It seems that tearful, emotional testimony wasn’t enough to save state Supreme Court Justice Michael Eakin.
The state’s Court of Judicial Discipline ruled today that Eakin, a Republicanfirst elected to the court in 2001, is “suspended from his administrative and judicial duties” effective immediately.
The panel found that Eakin”participated in a pattern of not only receiving emails which were insensitiveand inappropriate toward matters involving gender, race, sexual orientation, and ethnicity, but also sending and forwardinga number of such emails.”
The Court of Judicial Discipline went on to say that it was particularly concerned about two exchanges between Eakin and Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Baxter “in which they comment upon the physical attributes of female employees in [Eakin’s] office as well as sexually-suggestive observations. Clearly, these emails, which address judicial employees, are extremely inappropriate and offensive.”
As it ordered Eakin’s suspension, the court concluded that “the totality of the circumstances has tainted the Pennsylvania judiciary in the eyes of the public.”
Eakin previously garnered headlines when he “tearfully apologized Monday for exchanging emails that included pictures of naked women and crude jokes that mocked minorities, gays, lesbians and others,” reported Philly.com.
In response to Eakin’s emotional testimony, Philadelphia Daily News columnist Helen Ubiñasopinedthat “it would have sounded like a sincere apology if it wasn’t such a hollow one, because the proper thing to do –the thing Judge Eakin failed to do –was to decry these emails forcefully the moment he saw them.”
Technically, Eakin is still on the state Supreme Court but suspended from all his duties.
Eakin is the second justice affected by the scandal.
In 2014, Philadelphia Democrat Seamus McCafferyretired following the first major wave of Porngaterevelations.