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Friday, May 4, 2012

Former Judge Pleads Guilty To Accepting Bribes

The Crooked Bench: Virginia Magistrate Joins Handful Of Bribe-Takers
The Wall Street Journal -  May 3, 2012

The wheels of the justice system are rarely explicitly greased by bribes, but one recent case stands out.  A former state magistrate in Portsmouth, Va. pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court to taking bribes from a bail bondsman. Deborah Clark admitted to taking the bribes in exchange for giving the bondsman favorable treatment in setting bonds for defendants, according to a statement.  Clark took cash and gifts from 2009 through February 2012 for referring arrestees to the bondsman, and for taking his advice on the amount of bond to set in particular case. In addition to cash, she admitted to taking payments for gas, meals and expense money for trips.  She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 when she is sentenced Oct. 3.  But is she the only U.S. judicial official to be sentenced recently for taking bribes? No, of course not.  Recall some cases from the past year or so, including one of the top-five convictions in Corruption Currents’ first year.  Former judge Mark Ciavarella was sentenced to 28 years in prison following a conviction for money laundering and conspiracy for sending children to detention centers in exchange for kickbacks from the builder of the detention facilities.  Or what about the former judge in Brownsville, Texas convicted last year for taking bribes in exchange for favorable rulings? And the judge in Texas convicted for taking a bribe that boosted her election chances in exchange for favorable rulings?  Americans don’t think that highly of their judicial system, anyway.  Transparency International’s 2010 Global Corruption Barometer asked respondents to score the extent of corruption in institutions on a scale of five, with five being extremely corrupt. U.S. respondents rated its judiciary at 3.4, barely edging out police, which rated a 3.3 but beating the press, which scored a 3.5.

RELATED:

Former Magistrate in Portsmouth Pleads Guilty to Accepting Bribes
U.S. Attorney’s Office  -  May 02, 2012  -  Eastern District of Virginia  -  (757) 441-6331

NORFOLK, VA—A former state magistrate in Portsmouth, Virginia pleaded guilty today to accepting bribes from a bail bondsman in exchange for giving him favorable treatment in setting bonds for criminal defendants who had been arrested, U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride for the Eastern District of Virginia and Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced today.  Deborah Clark, 52, of Portsmouth, Virginia, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Henry C. Morgan Jr.  Clark was charged in a criminal information filed on April 16, 2012. She faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 when she is sentenced on Oct. 3, 2012.  According to a statement of facts filed with her plea agreement, Clark was a state magistrate in Portsmouth from January 1993 until April of this year. She was authorized to issue arrest and search warrants, and to set bail or order the detention of arrestees. From 2009 through February 2012, she accepted cash and gifts from a bondsman in exchange for referring arrestees to the bondsman as prospective clients and seeking and accepting his advice on the amount of bond to set in particular cases. In addition to regular cash payments, Clark admitted receiving payments for gas, meals and expense money for trips.  Clark is subject to prosecution for bribery under a federal statute because, as a magistrate, she was an agent of the Commonwealth of Virginia, which receives annual benefits in excess of $10,000 under federal programs involving grants and other forms of assistance.  This case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan M. Salsbury and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Amy E. Cross of the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorneys Peter Mason and Monique Abrishami of the Public Integrity Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division are prosecuting the case.  A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.justice.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on https://pcl.uscourts.gov.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

She forgot to spread the money around. Dumb, dumb, dumb..... Some of these judges need to learn how to be corrupt.

Searching For Rule Of Law In America said...

every day there's something new... every friggin day...

--Michael A. Hense is Searching For Rule Of Law In America

Anonymous said...

I was hoping it was a Suffolk County NY Judge. Such as the Honorable (LOL) William Kent or the most Honorable Denise Molia maybe even the heing officer in family court Melissa Wilmott or her trainer the most excellent and honorable Barbara Lynaugh Suffolk Family Court Riverhead.
Then I remembered tht the entire state of NY employes. Are above the law.

Anonymous said...

Above are partners in crime with their law clerks.

Anonymous said...

Federal magistrates are appointed by their federal judge crony, who supervises their work. The buck stops one level higher at the federal district judge who appointed and supervised her. Watch for the non-action.

Anonymous said...

Yes even the feds are connected to the crimes within the state government. Including the Dept of the treasury. That is as bad as it can be. Might as well just close down the entire government. Let we the people start over.

Anonymous said...

think it would be more of a surprise if they were not taking some kind of bribe or taking a "favor" for a decision to go one way or the other.
The problem is that they say max 10 year sentance
she will get 2 years and she will be out in 14 months
a year probation and then she will apply and get her law license back
they shou;d throw her in jail for like 7 years this way send the message that if you do it you will not get slap on the wrist

Anonymous said...

A handful of bribe-takers!!! who's kidding who!!! The lawyers in dirty black bathrobes are like rats, if you see one there are hundreds you don't see!!! So the feds can't even clean up their own mess no wonder they can't and won't do anything in NY!!!

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               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
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