News

Pennsylvania high court justice hit with ethics charges

Written by The Associated Press | Dec 8, 2015 4:55 PM
michaeleakin.jpg

Photo by AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

(Harrisburg) -- A Pennsylvania ethics board is accusing state Supreme Court Justice Michael Eakin of violating both judicial and constitutional codes of conduct by exchanging lewd and offensive emails with friends.

The Judicial Conduct Board on Tuesday said it filed four charges with a disciplinary court that has the power to remove judges.

The 52-page document says at one point that Eakin engaged in conduct so extreme that it brought the judicial office into disrepute.

Eakin is a Republican and former Cumberland County district attorney who has been on the high court since 2002. The investigation that resulted in the charges began after Attorney General Kathleen Kane submitted more than 1,000 of Eakin's emails to the conduct agency.

Eakin released this statement:

"Consideration of the ramifications of my private emails by the Court of Judicial Discipline, as indicated in my previous offer to expedite such consideration, brings the opportunity for transparency of process, based on the actual facts and not speculation and mischaracterization. 

As such, I welcome it.  I have cooperated with candor and openness, and will continue to do so as the Constitutional process goes forward."

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