Sex Scandals

Barack Obama small Senator Barack Hussein Obama Above the Law blog.JPG* Collected coverage of yesterday’s Supreme Court oral argument in District of Columbia v. Heller, the Second Amendment case concerning D.C. gun control. [SCOTUSblog (linkwrap); How Appealing (linkwrap)]
* NJ prosecutors subpoena records from JuicyCampus.com (think AutoAdmit for college students). [AP]
* An update on former Lawyer of the Day Kwame Kilpatrick: the Detroit City Council wants him to resign as mayor, but he’s vowing not to leave. [New York Times]
* Olympic gold-medal hottie who had “close personal relationship” with New York’s latest Luv Guv, David Paterson, says he helped her land a government job. [New York Post via Drudge]
* The full transcript of yesterday’s speech by Barack Obama on race. [Washington Post]

mcgreevey.jpgVS.spitzer.jpgVS.paterson.jpg
New York and New Jersey’s rivalry has spilled over into sex scandals. New Jersey started the battle way back in 2004. Then-Governor James McGreevey resigned and announced he was a “gay American,” who had carried on an affair with a male aide. This month, New York belatedly responded, when Eliot Spitzer resigned as governor amid a prostitution scandal.
New Jersey filed its reply brief. From the New York Post:

A former driver and aide to former New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey yesterday made the bombshell claim that Dina Matos McGreevey must have always known her husband was gay – because he was the other man in bed with them.

In an explosive interview with The Post, the McGreeveys’ self-professed man in the middle, Teddy Pedersen, gave explicit details of three-way sex romps that he claimed to have had with the now-divorcing duo, starting during their courtship and continuing into the marriage.

Note: when conducting sex scandals, New Yorkers choose the Mayflower Hotel, while Jersey folks opt for drinks at T.G.I.F.’s:

“We called it the Friday Night Special,” Pedersen said. The “intense” escapades, he said, usually began with a “couple of drinks” at a local T.G.I. Friday’s and culminated in “a hard-core consensual sex orgy” between the three of them at McGreevey’s Woodbridge condo.

So as far as nasty sex scandals, we declared a victory for New Jersey — but then New York filed a petition for rehearing! The Daily News reports that new Governor David Paterson and his wife have both carried on extramarital affairs for years:

In a stunning revelation, both Paterson, 53, and his wife, Michelle, 46, acknowledged in a joint interview they each had intimate relationships with others during a rocky period in their marriage several years ago.

In the course of several interviews in the past few days, Paterson said he maintained a relationship for two or three years with “a woman other than my wife,” beginning in 1999.

As part of that relationship, Paterson said, he and the other woman sometimes stayed at an upper West Side hotel — the Days Inn at Broadway and W. 94th St.

We are unable to name a “Dirtiest Governor Sex Scandal” victor just yet. We are mildly overwhelmed. We wish the McGreeveys, the Spitzers, the Patersons, and “Kristen” would just have one big orgy, to make our news coverage easier.
I WAS MCG AND WIFE’S THREE-WAY SEX STUD: EX-DRIVER [New York Post via Drudge]
Wife of Ex-NJ Gov Denies Threesome Claim [Breitbart.com]
Gov. Paterson admits to sex with other woman for years [The Daily News via Drudge]

Eliot Spitzer Governor Eliot Spitzer prostitute prostitution Above the Law blog.jpgNew York Governor Eliot Spitzer scheduled a news conference for 11:30 AM today. It appears that the governor is running late. We’re tuned in to CNN, and they just showed footage of the governor’s motorcade leaving from his Upper East Side apartment — previously profiled here (Fifth Avenue, 3BR/3BA, Central Park views) — to his offices downtown.
11:35 AM: The CNN commentators are saying that Governor Spitzer is planning to announce his resignation, but it apparently won’t take effect until Monday, March 17. This would give the governor a week to “take care of business.”
11:42: Governor Spitzer is in the building. It seems we’re about to get underway.
11:43: Governor Spitzer takes the podium and unfolds a small piece of paper; it looks like he’ll be speaking from notes. He’s wearing a dark suit and white shirt — the uniform of the upstanding prosecutor. But should he still be allowed to wear a white shirt? It’s like a super-slutty bride wearing white on her wedding day. Who are you fooling?
Governor Spitzer’s wife, Silda Wall Spitzer, is once again standing by her man — literally, and as she did on Monday. She’s wearing a dark suit and a fabulous scarf (red, blue, cream, and gold). But she looks a bit haggard, and her face bears a dead expression. She’s not a happy camper.
11:44: Governor Spitzer speaks. Expressions of remorse for what he did, and gratitude for his family’s love and support. Emphasis on “private” failings. Apologies to the people of New York for not living up to their public trust. No specific description of his indiscretions.
11:45: “I cannot allow my private failings to disturb the people’s work… For this reason, I am resigning from the Office of Governor.” At Lieutenant Governor David Paterson’s request, it will take effect on Monday, March 17.
11:46: Concludes by expressing thanks for “the privilege of service.” He borrowed that line from “Kristen.”
No questions. Governor Spitzer has left the podium and the room.
That’s all, folks. Nothing to see here; please move along.
Update: The full text of Eliot Spitzer’s resignation statement appears here.
Earlier: Lawyerly Lairs: Eliot Spitzer’s Sugar Daddy


animated siren gif animated siren gif animated siren gif drudge report.GIFGuess we picked our Lawyer of the Day too soon.
Update (2:30 PM): Press conference scheduled for 2:15 p.m., but Governor Spitzer is running 15 minutes late. “I don’t blame him,” said Ben Smith of the Politico, interviewed just now on CNN.
Update (2:35 PM): Jeffrey Toobin, who was an HLS classmate of Eliot Spitzer, described the news as “a total shock.” He said Spitzer has been “nothing but a straight arrow” for many years.
Update (2:50 PM): Still no press conference. Brooke Masters, author of Spoiling for a Fight: The Rise of Eliot Spitzer, was just interviewed on CNN. She noted that this scandal comes at a bad time for Spitzer politically, in the wake of last year’s scandal involving his misuse of the State Police for political purposes.
Update (3 PM): We’re stepping away for a bit, to give a talk at Stanford Law School. We’ll be back online as soon as we can. Some content will be posted while we’re gone (material prepared ahead of time, not Spitzer updates).
Developing… Check back for updates.
Spitzer Is Linked to Prostitution Ring [New York TImes]

Carl McGee Carl Stanley McGee Governor Deval Patrick Above the Law blog.jpgThe day is still young, but we already have our Lawyer of the Day — and we doubt that anyone we hear about later today can steal this honor away from him. Via the Boston Globe:

A top official in the [Gov. Deval] Patrick administration has been placed on unpaid leave because he was arrested in Florida and charged with sexually assaulting a 15-year-old male in a steam room at a $500-a-night Gulf Coast resort.

Carl Stanley McGee, 38, assistant secretary for policy and planning, is scheduled to be arraigned next week for sexual battery in Lee County, Fla…. According to police reports, McGee was arrested Dec. 28 and accused of performing oral sex on the 15-year-old, who was a guest at The Gasparilla Inn & Club, a 95-year-old hotel and championship golf course in Boca Grande.

As they like to say up in Massachusetts, “Thar he blows.”

McGee, a former Rhodes scholar and Harvard Law School graduate, was previously a corporate lawyer at the law firm WilmerHale. He was instrumental in the movement seeking to defeat efforts to overturn legalization of same-sex marriage, serving as director of the civic and business outreach efforts of the advocacy group MassEquality.

A year after same-sex marriage became legal in Massachusetts in May 2004, McGee’s wedding to John Finley IV was highlighted in the “Vows” section of The New York Times….

Known for his shock of platinum hair, McGee was named one of The Boston Globe’s 25 most stylish Bostonians in November. In the article, he described his style as “traditional, but it’s also subversive and ironic.”

“Traditional,” but “subversive.” Sort of like married men engaging in steam-room hook-ups?
Good thing Carl McGee isn’t running for office. We’re reminded of the famous quotation by former Louisiana governor Edwin Edwards, who once boasted that he couldn’t lose an upcoming election unless he was “caught in bed with a dead girl or a live boy.”
Update: Just a reminder that these are obviously mere allegations. Sources mentioned in the Globe article said they “were stunned by the news of McGee’s arrest and said they do not believe the charges.” One colleague of McGee told the paper, “I know it didn’t happen.”
Further Update: Best comment thus far, from an observant, Spanish-speaking reader: “He was arrested for blowing a 15 year old in… huhuhuh… Boca Grande…”
Key aide to Patrick accused of sex assault [Boston Globe]
John Finley IV and Stan McGee [New York Times]

Beth Modica Elizabeth Modica prosecutor sex teenage boys Above the Law blog.jpgFor Monday’s Lawyer of the Day, we faced an embarrassment of riches — of embarrassment. So we nominated a quintet of contenders: a North Carolina lawyer caught reading Maxim in court, a former prosecutor who allegedly had sex with two teenage boys, an AUSA arrested on DUI charges, a Canadian lawyer/politician who allegedly overbilled an order of nuns, and a Chicago lawyer who keyed a Marine’s car. Then we had you vote on who should take the honors.
Participation was enthusiastic, with almost 1,300 votes cast. Two contenders emerged early in the voting: Beth Modica, the allegedly predatory prosecutrix, and Jay Grodner, who pleaded guilty to keying the Marine’s vehicle. Competition was fierce. But in the end, Mrs. Modica came out on top.
So congratulations, Beth Modica. You take the prize as Monday’s Lawyer of the Day!
Read more about her alleged misadventures, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyer of the Day, People’s Choice: Beth Modica”

vote ballot Above the Law blog.jpgLast week was a busy one in terms of bonus news. In addition, we were prevented from publishing as much as we wanted by technical difficulties (which lie outside the jurisdiction of your undersigned blogger, a mere writer and not a tech person).
Our recent neglect of the “misbehaving lawyers” beat has given rise to a backlog of possible Lawyers of the Day. We’ve decided to clear the backlog by tossing out five nominees and having you vote on who should get the honor.
Click on each lawyer’s name to read more about their alleged misadventures. Then vote on who should be our Lawyer of the Day.
1. Todd Paris: This North Carolina lawyer was held in contempt after a judge caught him reading Maxim [quasi-NSFW] in court. “When [Judge Kevin] Eddinger gave Paris a chance to respond he apologized and ‘stated in his view the magazine was not pornography, was available at local stores and that he did not intend contempt,’ the [contempt] order said.”
2. Beth Modica: “A former suburban prosecutor and PTA president had sex with two underage boys, joined many other teens in booze and pot parties and kept it all a secret from her police chief husband, officials said Tuesday. Beth Modica, 44, was indicted on 35 counts alleging statutory rape, criminal sex acts, sex abuse and endangering children. Wearing an olive-gray suit and handcuffs, she pleaded not guilty at her arraignment in Rockland County Court and was ordered held on $75,000 bail.”
3. Mikal Hanson: “Pierre police early Thursday morning arrested an assistant U.S. attorney, who is accused of drunken driving and speeding. Mikal Hanson, 52, an assistant U.S. attorney in Sioux Falls, was stopped by police shortly before 1 a.m. for speeding, said Pierre Police Chief Elton Blemaster. The arresting officer could smell alcohol on Hanson and asked him to perform field sobriety tests, Blemaster said. ‘Mr. Hanson didn’t complete them as instructed,’ he said.”
4. Canadian Senator Mobina Jaffer: “Liberal Senator Mobina Jaffer is under investigation by the Law Society of British Columbia for allegedly overbilling one of her legal clients, including charging for 30 hours of work in a single day…. Jaffer has been called before the law society to account for more than $6 million in legal bills charged to her former client, a Catholic missionary order known as the Oblates of Mary Immaculate.”
5. Jay Grodner: From the Chicago Tribune (via Blackfive.net):

Jay Grodner, the Chicago lawyer who keyed a Marine’s car in anger because the car had military plates and a Marine insignia, finally got his day in court last week. Grodner pleaded guilty in a Chicago courtroom packed with former Marines. They came to support Marine Sgt. Michael McNulty, whose car Grodner defaced in December, but who couldn’t attend because he’s preparing for his second tour in Iraq….

“You caused damage to this young Marine sergeant’s car because you were offended by his Marine Corps license plates,” said Judge [William] O’Malley….

“That’s because there is a little principle that the Marine Corps has had since 1775,” the judge continued. “When they fought and lost their lives so that people like you could enjoy the freedom of this country. It is a little proverb that we follow: “No Marine is left behind.

“So Sgt. McNulty couldn’t be here. But other Marines showed up in his stead. Take him away,” said the judge and former Marine.

So those are the five contestants. Here’s the poll:

Kwame Kilpatrick Mayor Kwame M Kilpatrick Above the Law blog.jpgThe great state of Michigan, recent host to presidential primaries, is also the home of our Lawyer of the Day. A correspondent writes:

The mayor of Detroit was sexing up his chief of staff, who just happened to be a Wayne State Law Student. The mayor happens to be married with three kids. They may have perjured themselves.

No, not the kids — Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his lover. From the Detroit Free Press:

Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and his chief of staff lied about their relationship last summer at a police whistle-blower trial that has cost the cash-strapped city more than $9 million, according to records obtained by the Free Press.

The false testimony potentially exposes them to felony perjury charges, legal experts say.

Kilpatrick and chief of staff Christine Beatty denied during testimony in August that they had a sexual relationship. But the records, a series of text messages, show them engaged in romantic banter as well as planning and recounting sexual liaisons.

Dirty details, below the fold.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyer and Law Student of the Day: Kwame Kilpatrick and Christine Beatty”

* Calling all cougars — and the young studs who love them. If you’re a single female who earns more than $500,000 a year (e.g., a Biglaw partner), you should check out this event. [DealBreaker]
* Canadian lawyers are horndogs, too. [Legal Blog Watch]
* “Though I did not think Judge Kopf owed me anything, I was not about to refuse a beer from a federal judge.” [Sentencing Law & Policy]
* Hillary Clinton as Tracy Flick? [Slate TV via Althouse]
* Survivor winner Yul Kwon, with whom we went to law school, contemplates a congressional run. Go Yul! [Washington Examiner]

Colleen Hartl Judge Colleen Hartl Above the Law blog.jpgMunicipal court is not exactly the pinnacle of judicial office. But we think that Colleen Hartl, until recently a (rather attractive) municipal court judge in Washington state, is still a worthy Judge of the Day. From the AP:

A Federal Way [that's a WA city name] Municipal Court judge has resigned after hosting a holiday party at which she claimed to be having an affair with a public defender who routinely appeared in her court.

Judge Colleen Hartl quit Dec. 19, less than a week after telling her guests — including five court employees — that she had sex with public defender Sean Cecil and displaying a text message in which he complimented how she looked in “tight jeans,” Michael Morgan, the court’s presiding judge, said Wednesday.

So she’s proud about how good her butt looks in tight jeans. What’s so wrong with that?

Even after admitting the affair at the Friday night party, Hartl showed up for work the next Monday morning and presided over several cases handled by Cecil, Morgan said. At lunchtime that day, Morgan — who attended the party but left before Hartl’s admission — was advised of the relationship by a court staff member who witnessed the statement. Morgan suggested that Hartl not sit on any cases that afternoon, and she resigned two days later.

Judge Hartl, we like your style.
Update: More here from Federal Way News.
Federal Way judge quits; talked of affair with lawyer [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]
Affair with lawyer linked to judge’s resignation [Federal Way News]

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