We are not attorneys.
These cases have been collected through
multiple sources, including newspaper
articles, books and web sites.
Although some would say these reprimands
prove that the judges are being held
accountable, we feel they are the
tip of the iceberg, and only when
public outcry or political offense
are noted by the media is any action
really taken. Of the taken actions,
generally, they are inadequate,
and the punishments are often weak,
and not reflective of the nature of
the crimes. They cost society
a great deal of money.
Our position is that
our courts are our highest form
of accountability; that their failures
harm all of us; that they represent
their best knowledge of the laws,
codes and rules and often violate
them regardless. Further, we
know that the vast majority of complaints
are completely ignored as without
merit when they are, in fact, representative
of an entire sociological issue regarding
the breakdown of trust and accountability
in our society. We often have
no credibility in our complaints.
The bias is pervasive and destructive
to us all. Each judicial act
of misconduct harms the very fabric
of our society.
Redress, Inc. maintains a file of
these cases, with full case summaries.
Where an (*) is noted, those cases
are not yet on file in our offices.
99 judges (or former judges) were
disciplined in 1999 as a result
of judicial discipline proceedings.
22 judges were publicly reprimanded,
an additional five were publicly
reprimanded and fined, and an
additional three were publicly
reprimanded and suspended.
34 judges were publicly admonished,
20 were publicly censured, and
one more was publicly censured
and suspended. 2 judges
were given public warnings, 5
were suspended, and 7 were
Archbald, Judge of the U.S. Commerce
Bevilacqua, Rhode Island Supreme
Court (1985) - Resigned amid impeachment
He was suspended
for four months without pay and
publicly censured by the Rhode
Island Commission on Judicial
Tenure and Discipline for "bringing
his judicial office into serious
disrepute." The Commission's
actions stemmed from Bevilcqua's
frequent socializing with reputed
mobsters and meeting women at
a motel purportedly owned by men
linked to drug smuggling and illegal
gambling. After Bevilacqua
served his suspension, the governor
and legislators initiated an investigation
into whether Bevilacqua's actions
constituted grounds for impeachment.
In 1986, while impeachment hearings
were taking place, Bevilacqua
announced he was retiring from
the bench because of "ill
Harry E. Claiborne,
U.S. District Judge, Nevada (1986)
Chief Justice of the Rhode Island
Supreme Court (1986) - Resigned
amid impeachment proceedings.
Thomas Fay was sworn in as Chief
Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme
Court shortly after Joseph A.
Bevilacqua (above) resigned.
In 1993, Fay also resigned under
threat of an impeachment investigation.
Fay was being investigated for
allegedly using court funds to
pay for personal expenses, choosing
a business partner to arbitrate
contract disputes, using court
secretaries for private business,
and writing letters to municipal
judges on official stationery
asking them to fix parking ticks
for friends and family members.
In 1994, Fay was convicted of
fraud in criminal court for using
court funds to pay personal expenses
and received a suspended sentence.
Alcee L. Hastings,
U.S. District Judge, Florida (1989)
- U.S. v. Hastings, 881 F.2d 706
(11th Cir. 1982).
Illinois Supreme Court (1997)
In 1997, he was
the subject of an impeachment
investigation by the Illinois
House of Representatives.
In April 1997 the Illinois Courts
Commission had censured Heiple
for failing to cooperate with
law enforcement officials during
four traffic stops, one of which
resulted in an arrest. In
May 1997, a ten-member committee
of the Illinois House of Representatives
concluded its impeachment investigation
by recommending that no articles
of impeachment against Heiple
be referred to the Senate.
The investigation included charges
that when the other justices were
voting on whether to make Heiple
chief justice, Heiple failed to
disclose to them the fact that
the Judicial Inquiry Board was
investigating him; Heiple failed
to recuse himself from voting
on the appointment of a fellow
justice as chair of the Illinois
Courts Commission even though
he knew the chair would preside
over a hearing if the Board filed
a complaint against him; and Heiple
improperly avoided jury duty.
West H. Humphreys,
U.S. District Judge, Tennessee
Pennsylvania Supreme Court (1994)
the bench and barred from holding
any public office in 1994 after
being convicted by the Pennsylvania
Senate of improper conduct with
an attorney. Larsen was
acquitted of six additional charges
in the same proceeding.
Nixon, Jr., U.S. District Judge,
U.S. District Judge, New
Ritter, U.S. District Judge, Florida
Aetna Life Insurance
Co. Lavoie, 475 U.S. 813 (1986)
Court jurist failed to reveal
conflict of interest; reversed,
held such amounted to denial of
v. Bradley, 74 US (7 Wall) 764
conduct by judges not allowed.
v. Stone, 84 F. 3d 1121 (9th Cir.
judge Stone conspired with trial
lawyers to steal estate; not mentioned
in the opinion is that presiding
USDC judge James Ware sat on same
county bench with Stone; they
v. Health Services Acquisition Corp.,
486 U.S. 847 (1988)
judge failed to reveal conflict
of interest; reversed, held such
amount to denial of due process.
v. Alabama, 329 So. 2nd 583 (1975)
v. United States, 85 F. 2d 786 (10th
bribed a juror to acquit defendant;
v. Campbell, 684 F. 2d 141 (DC Cir.
accepting gratuities to fix traffic
v. Conn, 769 F. 2d 420 (7th Cir.
v. Devine, 787 F. 2d 1086 (7th Cir.
v. Frega (With judges Adams &
Malkus), 179 F. 3d 793 (9th Cir.
bribed judges; judge Greer rolled,
pled guilty and testified against
his co-horts; see also Adams v.
Commission on Judicial Performance,
8 Cal. 4th 630; 34 Cal. Rptr.
2nd 641; see also Adams v. Commission
on Judicial Performance, 10 Cal.
4th 866 (1995); 42 Cal. Rptr.
v. Glecier, 923 F. 2d 496 (7th Cir.
v. Hastings, 681 F. 2d 706 (11th
pretrial appeal, lost; later acquitted
at trial; impeached; went on to
be elected to U.S. Congress.
v. Holzer, 816 F. 2d 304 (7th Cir.
v. LeFevour, 798 F. 2d 977 (7th
v. Maloney, 71 F. 3d 645 (7th Cir.
(see also Bracy v. Warden, 520
U.S. 899 (1997) ) - habeas
corpus petition regarding "compensatory
bias" by Maloney.
v. Manton, 107 F. 2d 834 (2nd Cir.
court judge involved in bribes
to influence decision.
v. Murphy, 768 F. 2d 1518 (7th Cir.
v. Nixon, 816 F. 2d 1022 (5th Cir.
1987), 821 F. 2d 1305 (5th Cir.
judge convicted of bribery.
U.S. v. Reynolds,
821 F. 2d 427 (7th Cir. 1987)
"CRIMES" BY STATE
TOGETHER TO ATTAIN FAIRNESS