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June 25, 2009

Judge Kent (finally!) resigns as he is served impeachment papers in prison

Thanks to this post from How Appealing linking all the press coverage, I see that convicted felon Judge Samuel Kent made some news from his prison cell this afternoon.  Here is a report from the Houston Chronicle:

U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent resigned via an unusual no-frills letter that he hand-delivered in prison to two Senate officials who had come to serve a summons on him as part of ongoing impeachment proceedings in the Congress of the United States.

The resignation of Kent, a convicted felon who had continued to collect his $174,000 a year salary in prison, was announced to the surprised participants at the first meeting of the Senate’s impeachment trial committee on Thursday afternoon in Washington D.C.  The committee is chaired by Senator Claire McMcCaskill, D-Missouri, who announced Kent had handed in a resignation, effective June 30th, 2009, on plain paper to the Senate’s sergeant-at-arms during an official prison visit.

Kent had earlier offered to resign in mid 2010 -- a move that angered officials in the House of Representatives who quickly voted to impeach him rather than let him collect his salary for the first year of his 33-month sentence. He could only be removed from office after a trial in the U.S. Senate.  Kent pled guilty earlier this year to obstruction of justice and admitted to sexually molesting two women who worked for him when he served as the lone federal judge in Galveston....

Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wisconsin, who served as one of the House managers for Kent’s impeachment, told the Chronicle Thursday that he was “pleased to learn that Judge Kent has resubmitted his resignation, this time effective on June 30, 2009.”

“Kent’s realization that we would not allow him to take advantage of the system proves that the system works and justice has been served,” he said. “ I hope this process reminds other judges that they are not above the laws they took an oath to uphold. I hope the women Mr. Kent assaulted will find some closure in this man being behind bars and no longer being able to serve on the bench or collect a taxpayer-funded paycheck.”

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said that the original letter of resignation would be delivered to the President and a certified copy to the House of Representatives. In separate statement, House impeachment managers and Senate leaders said that after Kent’s is accepted by the President, first the House of Representatives and then the Senate would determine what -- if any -- further action is necessary.

Related posts on the Kent proceedings:

June 25, 2009 at 08:58 PM | Permalink

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Comments

There will have to be some offical act of closure in the Senate. I assume a motion would be in order to dismiss the article of impeachment from the House in light of the offical acceptance of the resignation by the President.

Posted by: Daniel | Jun 25, 2009 9:26:07 PM

Good riddance to bad rubbish.

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Jun 26, 2009 9:19:24 AM

I hope they finish the Senate trial and vote that he is no longer allowed to hold public office. Not that they seem to impose that very often even given the rare circumstances of impeachment trials.

Posted by: Soronel Haetir | Jun 26, 2009 10:44:13 AM

Yes. He got off easy with the sentence, perhaps being one of the few judges actually convicted in the Senate will be some consolation to the victims.

Posted by: federalist | Jun 26, 2009 11:40:19 AM

Yes. He got off easy with the sentence, perhaps being one of the few judges actually convicted in the Senate will be some consolation to the victims.

Posted by: outdoor playground set | May 25, 2011 9:46:31 PM

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