Prosecutor on offensive emails: Justice wasn’t undermined
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.