Here’s a quick update on the unfortunate tale of Albert “Pat” Murdoch, the New Mexico state court judge who has been accused of raping a prostitute. He will be retiring from the bench, as of Friday, and he has agreed never to seek another judicial office in the state.
(Maybe he should run for elective office? It worked out for Alcee Hastings, who successfully ran for Congress after getting impeached from his federal judgeship.)
Murdoch is retiring pursuant to an agreement with the state Judicial Standards Commission, which had started a disciplinary investigation (which will now conclude). Pat Murdoch will have more time to focus on his defense in the criminal case against him.
On that subject, the contours of his defense are starting to take shape….
Here’s a report from the AP (via the Sacramento Bee):
Murdoch has yet to enter a plea to the criminal charges but his lawyers say he is a victim in the case. The woman who has accused Murdoch of rape is an admitted prostitute and has said she met with him about eight times.
Murdoch’s lawyers are seeking dismissal of the criminal complaint and have said police are investigating whether the woman may have tried to extort the judge with a video of a sexual encounter.
In fairness to Judge Murdoch, he’s not the only member of the NM state judiciary who apparently has issues:
District Judge Michael Murphy pleaded not guilty to felony bribery charges in an investigation into an alleged pay-to-play scheme for judicial appointments during former Gov. Bill Richardson’s administration. Richardson has denied that campaign contributions influenced his judicial appointments, saying the allegations are “outrageous and defamatory.”
In 2004, the chief judge in the 2nd Judicial District, John Brennan, resigned after his arrest on drug possession charges. Brennan later pleaded guilty to aggravated drunken driving and cocaine possession.
Earlier this year, state Appeals Court Judge Richard Robles resigned after pleading guilty to drunken driving.
Perhaps Judge Murdoch and all of his ethically challenged ex-brethren should go into electoral politics. Allegations of drinking, drugs, sex, DUI… does the Kennedy family have a New Mexico branch?