Samuel Kent

Thumbnail image for Judge Kent.jpgWill he stay or will he go? For the longest time, Judge Samuel Kent (S.D. Tex.), the federal judge who pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice in connection with his molestation of two female court employees, has been playing games about his departure from the bench. But now he has finally raised the white flag, resigning effective on Tuesday, June 30.
To recap: Judge Kent initially said he was retiring on “disability” — which would have allowed him to keep receiving his $174,000 judicial salary for the rest of his life. After that didn’t go over well, he announced he was resigning — but with an effective date of June 1, 2010. As Professor Jonathan Turley and others observed, it was a cynical move on Judge Kent’s part: he was effectively betting that it would take a long time to impeach him, during which time he would continue to draw his six-figure salary — and perhaps the knowledge that he’d be leaving the bench anyway would cause Congress to shelve impeachment proceedings.
But things didn’t quite turn out the way Judge Kent had hoped. Read more, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge Kent Resigns — Once More, With Feeling”

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Judge Kent.jpg* The tales of the Not-So-Honorable Samuel Kent — the first federal judge to be charged with a sex crime — are now being told on the Hill. The House Judiciary Committee task force held his impeachment hearing yesterday. Kent and his lawyer were not in attendance though. They “refuse to be part of the circus.” [CNN]
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Thumbnail image for Judge Kent.jpgThe Not-So-Honorable Samuel Kent — the first federal judge to be charged with a sex crime, and now a convicted felon, after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice — is leaving the bench.
But he’s taking his sweet time about it:

U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent on Tuesday submitted his ”unconditional resignation,” which will take effect June 1, 2010.

Kent’s lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, says the judge decided to resign to avoid the ”spectacle” of an impeachment process by Congress. The House Judiciary Committee had scheduled a hearing on the matter for Wednesday.

Kent’s resignation announcement comes a week after denial of his request to retire on disability due to depression — which would have allowed him to continue receiving his full salary for the rest of his life.

Yes, that’s right — June 2010. What’s going on? Professor Jonathan Turley explains (gavel bang: commenter):

The date is designed to milk the system of as much benefits as possible — only to resign shortly before any completion of impeachment. Absent a voluntary resignation or impeachment, Kent can continue to receive his judicial salary.

Pretty pretty clever. Count on a federal judge to work the legal loopholes.
Judge Kent Resigns On Eve of Impeachment Hearing — Effective One Year From Now [Jonathan Turley]
Convicted Federal Judge Submits Resignation Letter [Associated Press]
Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Judge Samuel B. Kent

Thumbnail image for Judge Kent.jpgWe noted in yesterday’s Morning Docket that libidinous federal judge Samuel Kent is heading to the slammer for three years. We’ve covered Kent’s unraveling extensively, but new details continue to emerge.
Kent is the first federal judge to be charged with a sex crime. He could have faced up to 20 years in prison, but a plea agreement got him a shorter sentence of just 33 months. Despite loudly proclaiming his innocence last year, the 1990 Bush appointee now admits to being an alcoholic and having “nonconsensual sexual contact with two employees between 2003 and 2007.”
From the Houston Chronicle:

Cathy McBroom, the one-time Galveston case manager for Kent who made the formal complaint that led to the judge’s downfall, said he first attacked her in a small room about 10 feet away from co-workers when he came to work drunk. She said she didn’t want to give up her job and her pension so she tried to avoid him as much as possible, while Kent told people she wanted the affair.
“Being molested and groped by a drunken giant is not my idea of an affair,” McBroom said. She said she lost her marriage, her Galveston position, sleep, self-esteem and more and asked Kent be sentenced so he and others will remember it.
Donna Wilkerson, Kent’s secretary, said Kent sexually and psychologically abused her starting her fifth day on the job.
“He said he hated bullies. How sad,” Wilkerson said. “He’s the biggest bully of them all.”
She said she believes Kent is “crazy” and she fears for her family’s safety.

The ABA Journal points out that Kent is still being paid a judicial salary. Kent’s lawyer says though that Kent intends to “retire early due to an unspecified disability.” Does ‘being a sexual predator’ count as a disability?
However, Kent may not have the retirement option. Rep. John Conyers, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Lamar Smith, the committee’s ranking Republican member, are getting the congressional impeachment process started today.
Kent sentenced to 33 months behind bars [Houston Chronicle]
Disgraced Judge Gets Nearly Three Years in Prison [Wall Street Journal]
Judge Kent Apologizes to His Family, But Not Claimed Sexual Abuse Victims [ABA Journal]
Earlier: Previous ATL Coverage of Samuel Kent

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* Ex-Judge of the Day Hall of Famer Samuel Kent, the first federal judge to be charged with a sex crime, will be sentenced today. He could have gone to the big house for up to 20 years, but his two decades on the bench have made him sentence-savvy. He’ll face three years max thanks to a plea agreement. [Houston Chronicle]
* Former Ohio AG Marc “the Dannimal” Dann has found a new niche. [Legal Newsline]
* A cobbled-together article suggesting that suicide is a trend for stressed attorneys. [National Law Journal]
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* The New York Times wants readers to pick Souter’s replacement. Vote Lat! [The New York Times]

Thumbnail image for Judge Kent.jpgOn Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent lost a motion to have his obstruction of justice charge dropped or moved to a different trial.

Today, he copped a plea and announced his intent to retire. According to the Wall Street Journal Law Blog:

The jurist pleaded guilty to one count of obstruction of justice today and retired from the bench, avoiding a trial on several charges that he sexually abused two female employees….

“Judge Kent believes that this settlement is in the best interest of all involved,” his attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said after this morning’s hearing. “A trial would have been long, embarrassing and difficult for all involved.”

Long and difficult? Sounds about right.

Update: Read more about Judge Kent’s fate over here.

Breaking News: Judge Kent Cops Plea, Resigns [WSJ Law Blog]

Judge Kent accepts plea deal and retires from bench [Houston Chronicle]

Judge Kent.jpgThe days following Valentine’s Day are always a good time time to check back in with ex-flames, long lost friends and alleged abusers. On that note, what has our old friend U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent been up to?

This Tuesday, Senior U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson of Florida, who is presiding over Kent’s federal sex crimes and obstruction of justice case, denied Kent’s request that the obstruction of justice charge be dropped or moved into a separate trial.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Kent’s lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, originally argued on paper that Kent should have two trials because he must take the stand in a trial of the sexual cases to say he believed his relationships were consensual but that he would not testify on his own behalf in the obstruction case. DeGuerin said on Tuesday that Kent will only likely not testify about the obstruction.

Just how did Kent obstruct justice, you ask?

In the obstruction charge, Kent is accused of lying about sexual contact with an employee to prominent federal judges who investigated a misconduct complaint against him.

But fans of Kent, worry not, for Kent’s explanation for the lie is beyond reproach.

Kent’s amazing excuse and notes on etiquette, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge Kent Does Not Kiss and Tell”

Samuel Kent Judge Samuel B Kent Above the Law blog.jpgMethinks the judge doth protest too much? From the Houston Chronicle:

U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent stood before a fellow federal judge this morning and vehemently proclaimed his innocence of three federal sexual crimes in his indictment.

“I plead absolutely, unequivocally not guilty and look very much forward to a trial on the merits of what I consider flagrant, scurrilous charges,” Kent stated with force to U.S. 5th Circuit Judge Edward Prado.

“For the record I absolutely intend to testify, and we are going to bring a horde of witnesses,” Kent said.

He also promised “a killer alibi,” “a s**tload of exculpatory evidence,” and an exonerating sex tape.
Is it necessary to Mirandize a longtime judge? Better be on the safe side:

Prado frequently said things such as “You pretty well know the routine,” and “As you know, you have the right to remain silent.”

The defendant’s status as a sitting federal judge led to some other, lighter moments. More below the fold.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge Kent Objects to His Indictment. Strenuously.”

Samuel Kent Judge Samuel B Kent Above the Law blog.jpgFor about a year now, ever since he took a mysterious leave of absence in August 2007, we’ve been following the troubles of Judge Samuel B. Kent (S.D. Tex.). A suspension from the Fifth Circuit, allegations of breastfeeding and BJ requests — it hasn’t been pretty.
Yesterday things got even worse for Judge Kent. From the Houston Chronicle:

U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent was indicted Thursday on charges of abusive sexual contact and attempted aggravated sexual abuse of a female employee, making him the first federal judge to be charged with federal sex crimes and the first in Texas indicted in recent history.

Congratulations, Your Honor? It’s a privilege to be FIRST.
The alleged victim — Judge Kent’s former case manager, Cathy McBroom — issued a statement after the indictment came down:

“After a very difficult 17 months, I feel like I have finally been validated. I have listened and read with horror as Judge Kent’s lawyer suggested that what happened to me was ‘enthusiastically consensual,’ ” wrote McBroom, who remains a federal court employee. “I am relieved to find that even federal judges are not above the law, and that sexual abuse in the workplace is never acceptable, no matter the status of the offender.”

Thanks for the shout-out, Cathy!
A little bit more, below the fold.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Judge Kent Indicted on Sex Charges”

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