Pros­e­cu­tor on of­fen­sive emails: Jus­tice wasn’t un­der­mined

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - NEWS -

There’s no ev­i­dence that gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees, in­clud­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tors and judges, who swapped sex­u­ally ex­plicit and of­fen­sive ma­te­rial for years through of­fice email un­der­mined the ad­min­is­tra­tion of jus­tice, Penn­syl­va­nia’s at­tor­ney gen­eral said Tues­day in re­leas­ing a new re­view.

The re­port by a pri­vate law firm and re­leased by At­tor­ney Gen­eral Bruce Beemer flags 38 peo­ple as high-vol­ume senders of in­ap­pro­pri­ate emails. Thir­teen senders were se­nior gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials or judges — in­clud­ing two state Supreme Court jus­tices who re­signed as the scan­dal un­folded over the last two years.

“There are clearly of­fen­sive emails that were re­cov­ered, hun­dreds of them,” Beemer told re­porters. “There’s no ques­tion about that.”

But the re­view, Beemer said, found no in­ap­pro­pri­ate com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween judges and the of­fice’s em­ploy­ees about cases or the jus­tice sys­tem. The vast ma­jor­ity of emails dredged up by the year­long re­view did not in­clude porno­graphic con­tent and were sent six or more years ago, Beemer said, as he sought to put to rest ques­tions about the fair­ness of Penn­syl­va­nia’s jus­tice sys­tem.

“The re­port pro­vided no ev­i­dence to sup­port the idea that there were re­la­tion­ships be­tween pros­e­cu­tors and judges that may have re­sulted in in­ap­pro­pri­ate ex parte com­mu­ni­ca­tions that might have af­fected the ad­min­is­tra­tion of jus­tice in Penn­syl­va­nia,” Beemer told re­porters.

The re­port’s au­thor — for­mer Mary­land At­tor­ney Gen­eral Dou­glas Gansler, who led a team from the Buck­ley San­dler law firm — did not nec­es­sar­ily come to that same con­clu­sion, say­ing that the vol­ume and na­ture of sex­u­ally ex­plicit and of­fen­sive email com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween judges, pros­e­cu­tors and oth­ers is a “sig­nif­i­cant prob­lem.”

While Gansler was given a broad charge to re­view in­ap­pro­pri­ate com­mu­ni­ca­tion by the of­fice’s em­ploy­ees or judges, such as col­lu­sion, his re­port fo­cused on porno­graphic or of­fen­sive ma­te­rial in emails.

Beemer said the re­view of 6.5 mil­lion emails found no ev­i­dence of any “even re­motely pros­e­cutable” crimes. But Beemer redacted the names of the senders from the 50-page re­port, which de­scribes some of the emails’ con­tents as porno­graphic or con­tain­ing jokes that play on racial or other stereo­types.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.