Former Pa. Supreme Court justice Eakin fined $50k in lewd email scandal
HARRISBURG, Pa. – Former Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice Michael Eakin is hit with a $50,000 fine over the sending and receiving of lewd emails. Eakin accepted responsibility for his actions and resigned from the state’s highest court on March 15.
The Court of Judicial Discipline proceed anyway with its investigation into Eakins participation with friends and professional acquaintances in the exchange of emails that were considered insensitive and inappropriate for a sitting judge.
The ethics court concluded that Eakin not only failed to promote public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary, but moreover seriously jeopardized the reputation of the judiciary. He also failed to recognize that all members of the judiciary are holders of a public trust and stewards of the judicial power of our Commonwealth.
The court unanimously approved an order issued today. In a scathing opinion the judges wrote, “that the common thread of the emails, with their imagery of sexism, racism, and bigotry, is arrogance and the belief that an individual is better than his or her peers. Such beliefs are antithetical to the privilege of holding public office, where the charge is to serve, not demean, our citizens. As a Justice of our Supreme Court, Eakin’s position on our highest court involved not only setting administrative policy, but also pronouncing the law of our Commonwealth. This makes the violations cited herein all the more egregious.”
Eakin was given six months from today to pay the fine.