Impeached Federal Judge Has Law License Revoked

     (CN) – U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr., who was impeached and removed from the Louisiana bench last month, resigned from practicing law, the state’s Supreme Court ruled.

     Porteous, 64, is the eighth federal judge to be convicted by the U.S. Senate and removed from office through impeachment. He was convicted on four articles of impeachment by the Senate in December 2010 and barred from holding any federal office.
     The Louisiana Supreme Court announced on Wednesday that it had granted Porteous’ request for resignation in lieu of discipline.
     House prosecutors said Porteous had a decades-long history of corruption on the bench. An apparent gambling and drinking problem led Porteous to begin accepting cash and other favors from attorneys and bail bondsmen who appeared before his court. Porteous also was accused of filing for bankruptcy under an alias and lying to Congress during his judicial confirmation.
     Porteous had said that he disagreed with, but understood, the Senate’s decision because the “allegations did not rise to the level of impeachable offenses as a constitutional matter.”
     The New Orleans native was a state judge until 1994, when he was appointed to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton.
     The four articles of impeachment were for accepting large sums of cash from attorneys, manipulating bond amounts in order to get the highest fees possible, filing a fraudulent bankruptcy and lying to Congress during his judicial confirmation.
     As a result of the conviction, Porteous lost his $174,000 annual pension, but he did not face any other penalty, fine or imprisonment.
     Porteous is the first judge to be impeached and convicted since two judges, Walter Nixon of Mississippi and Alcee L. Hastings of Florida, were removed from office. Hastings later was elected Congress, and still serves as one of Florida’s Democratic representatives in the House.
     In 2009, a federal judge from Galveston, Texas, Samuel B. Kent, would have faced four articles of impeachment by the House for sexual battery, but resigned as the threat of impeachment loomed. Kent is serving a 33-month prison sentence for federal sex crimes.

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