Wednesday, January 21, 2009
A Louisiana hearing committee considered bar charges filed against a judge who had been removed from office for, among other campaign improprieties, using his office staff to perform campaign activities on threat of losing their jobs if they refused and lying under oath in the ensuing investigation. He had been criminally charged with perjury and public salary extortion and pled guilty to a reduced charge of conspiracy to commit public payroll fraud. He had been suspended as a result of the conviction and the Supreme Court denied his application for reinstatement.
In this bar proceeding, he contended that the proceedings be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction because the sanction of removal from office has already been imposed. The committee recommends that jurisdiction be exercised in light of the Supreme Court directive that "necessary disciplinary proceedings be instituted." The committee found that the accused had lied under oath and was "evasive and unwilling to accept responsibility" for his perjury. The committee found the sanction question a "difficult case" but recommends permanent disbarment. (Mike Frisch)