A Judge in Washington County, PA., was sentenced to 1 to 23 months for stealing cocaine that was in evidence in a case before him. Judge Pozonsky not only broke the evidence seal on the drugs and replaced the cocaine with baking soda, but he left his DNA in the process. When the Judge realized that the police were investigating, he ordered the drugs in that case, along with evidence in sixteen other cases destroyed.
But all is not lost for the former robe wearer. A day after arriving in prison he was approved for work release. The entire sordid details are here.
We can't help but be reminded of a former Dade Judge, Phil Davis, who was also caught up in a drug and bribery scandal. The case in Miami was known as "Courtbroom" and it's sort of sad that there are judges on the bench, and lawyers in our courtrooms who know nothing about the earthshaking events in the REGJB that broke in the summer of 1991 if memory serves us.
The scorecard in Courtbroom was:
Judge Harvey Shenberg - who was memorably videotaped stuffing $50,000.00 in his pants in while remarking it was hard to send a kid to college on a judge's salary, was sentenced to 15 years and that was later reduced to 12 after appeal.
Judge Alfonso Sepe, was acquitted of 27 counts at trial, while the jury hung on five. Sepe eventually pleaded to one count and did a year.
Former Judge David Goodhart, aka "the bag man" was convicted and received we think about five years, but that is a guess.
Judge Roy Gelber flipped and got about seven years.
A gaggle of lawyers also went to trial and lost. Part of the scheme was that Gelber and Sepe and Davis were receiving kickbacks for court appointments. Sepe got partially paid in pasta, with lawyers picking up his bill at fancy italian restaurants around town.
Say what you want, but our bad judges had flair.
And then there was Phil Davis. Represented at trial part of the time by flamboyant defense attorney (and former federal judge in Miami who was impeached) Alcee Hastings (you can't make this stuff up), Davis was acquitted of all charges, based mostly on the best closing of Hasting's life. Hastings, BTW, is now a congressman in Florida.
Given a second chance, Davis couldn't keep out of trouble, with a bar complaint in California from a case he handled there, to a grand theft case in Miami where Davis was charged with running a scheme to steal from a charity. Davis got veinte anos on the theft case after losing at trial. We covered the case here.
All of this goes to show that when it comes to bad judges, Pennsylvania can't hold a candle to Miami.
Have a good week.
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