Longtime readers will recall that Chief Judge Edward Nottingham (D. Colorado) is no longer eligible for our coveted Judge of the Day prize. After he threatened to call the U.S. Marshals service on a handicapped woman whose handicapped parking spot he stole, a few short months after it was revealed he dropped more than $3,000 at a strip club in two consecutive days — but couldn’t remember doing so, ’cause he was so darn drunk — we decided it wasn’t fair to the rest of the judiciary to leave him in the competition.
That call now appears prescient. From Denver 9 (via the Rocky Mountain News):
[T]he U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit is investigating Chief U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham for the third time in the past year. He is being investigated for improper judicial conduct after his full name and personal cell phone number appeared on a list of clients from a Denver prostitution business.
The business called Denver Players or Denver Sugar was shut down in January after IRS and Denver Police investigators served search warrants at the brothel on Fillmore Street.
First the prominent governor of a leading state, and now the chief federal judge in a major city. Are high-class call girls a growing trend in the upper echelons of the legal profession?
More details, including the judge’s highly appropriate nickname — no, not “Paulie Walnuts” — after the jump.
Evidence in addition to the phone records points in the direction of Judge Nottingham:
The driver spoke to 9NEWS on the condition of anonymity. 9NEWS has verified his identity and that he has no criminal record in Colorado. The driver has signed an affidavit confirming the information he told 9NEWS and says he would testify in court regarding his story.
The driver told 9NEWS he took prostitutes to meet Judge Nottingham at two locations in the Denver area about 10 times during the summer of 2007.
One of those locations is a condo in Denver listed as the residence of Edward Nottingham III, the judge’s adult son. The son’s name is listed on the condo directory at 1489 Steele Street, apartment #307, Denver.
Letting your dad use your condo to meet up with hookers? Now that’s what we call filial piety.
The driver says the prostitutes would mention Judge Nottingham by name before and after their appointments with him and frequently referred to the judge by his nickname: “Naughty.”
The driver described one conversation with a prostitute about Nottingham. “She was like, well, ‘It’s Naughty.’ I said, ‘Who’s that?’ She said, ‘A federal judge.’ She said, ‘He’s on some big trials and stuff like that.’”
“Yeah. Like he was the judge on the Doritos case… No, Fritos… No, the Nachos trial. That’s it. It was in the paper all the time a few years ago. Remember?”
The driver says he saw Judge Nottingham outside the condo complex on Steele Street interacting with the prostitutes several times.
“They always seemed pretty affectionate, you would almost think they were a couple by the way that they acted together,” the driver told 9NEWS. “They would hug each other and almost kiss on the cheek and then they would go inside.”
The driver says the women returned from their meeting with the judge with $300 or $400 in cash per visit.
A few hundred bucks for each “meeting”? Apparently “Denver Sugar” is no Emperor’s Club, which New York Governor Eliot Spitzer paid four-figure sums per tryst.
But Edward Nottingham is a federal judge, not the scion of a wealthy real estate family. As of 2008, U.S. district judges take home $169,300 a year. On that kind of pay, dropping a few grand on a single night of prostitute-provided pleasure would not be prudent.
A new argument for a judicial pay raise?
Chief federal judge investigated for alleged involvement with prostitutes [9News]
Report: Judge under scrutiny [Rocky Mountain News]
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Chief Judge Edward Nottingham (scroll down)