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June 1, 2009

Latest news on impeachment process for former Judge Kent

This new story from the Texas Lawyer, headlined "House Task Force to Hold Hearing on Impeachment of Federal Judge," provides the latest news on the status of former judge, and now felon, Samuel Kent. Here is how the story starts:

Samuel B. Kent is set to report to federal prison on June 15, but even before the disgraced retired U.S. district judge begins to serve a 33-month sentence, the U.S. House will crank into high gear proceedings that could lead to Kent's impeachment.

The House Judiciary Committee Task Force on Impeachment has scheduled an evidentiary hearing on Kent's impeachment for Wednesday in Washington, D.C.  Kent as well as Cathy McBroom and Donna Wilkerson -- the two former staff members he has admitted to sexually assaulting, as part of pleading guilty to obstruction of justice -- will testify, according to two Republican staff counsel for the committee. Arthur Hellman, a professor at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law who is an expert on judicial discipline, also is scheduled to testify about the impeachment process, the staff counsel say.

Related posts on the Kent proceedings:

UPDATE:  This new article in the Texas Lawyer reports that Kent has now submitted a formal resignation to President Obama (but effective June 1, 2010!), apparently in the hope that impeachment proceedings will not take place:

One of the reasons the House is moving quickly to impeach Kent is because he is still receiving his $174,000-a-year judicial salary, two Republican staff counsel for the House Judiciary Committee told Texas Lawyer last week.  The only way to stop his salary is through impeachment or through Kent's voluntary resignation, they said.

[Kent's lawyer Dick] DeGuerin say Kent decided to resign "to try to save the embarrassment that these useless hearings would have. That's embarrassing for the judicial system as well as everybody involved."

An official with the House Judiciary Committee who requests anonymity says the June 3 hearing will go on as scheduled and the impeachment process will be swift.

House Judiciary Committee Ranking Member Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, says "Judge Kent's own actions continue to prove that he is unworthy of public service.  By choosing to resign effective a year from now, Judge Kent is attempting to secure a year's salary, paid for by the American taxpayers, while he sits in a prison cell as a convicted felon.  This is an outrageous abuse of authority and defies the very principles of justice Judge Kent swore to uphold.  Ensuring that a corrupt judge does not receive another penny of taxpayer dollars is one of the most important jobs for this Congress and a priority for the Judiciary Committee."

June 1, 2009 at 09:38 PM | Permalink

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Comments

This is a travesty of justice. The legions of would-be clerks that sucked up to him, NEVER ONCE said he did anything wrong.

Posted by: S.cotus | Jun 2, 2009 3:21:56 AM

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