Will formally request legislative hearing
HARRISBURG, Tuesday, Nov. 24 – The call for judicial conduct reform in the wake of the racist, misogynistic and homophobic emails received and forwarded by state Supreme Court Justice Michael Eakin grew louder today as more state lawmakers joined state Sen. Anthony Hardy Williams in his work to restore integrity and decency in the commonwealth’s prosecutorial and appellate networks.
While re-stating his call for a special prosecutor to decide if criminal charges should be brought in the cover up of Justice Eakin’s handling of the detestable emails, Sen. Williams said the attorney general should release all of the email addresses involved in this matter so the public can get a better understanding of the depth of depravity.
“Published reports throughout Pennsylvania have made it very clear that the people the taxpayers are paying to be fair and partial are anything but that,” Sen. Williams said during a Capitol press conference. “But they don’t know the level to which they dropped.
“Justice Eakin and other top prosecutors laughed at racist images, passed along homophobic emails, and thought it was funny when they looked at a picture of a boy with a dart in his head.
“We suspect there’s more to the story. These hateful emails make it clear that justice is an oxymoron to them.”
Williams said prosecutors need to know who else was on Eakin’s “hategate” email chain. He told reporters he will formally seek a legislative hearing on this subject.
“We believe there are many more people who received and distributed these terrible emails,” the senator said. “If they worked in a position of power and decision making, they also should be held accountable.”
Sen. Williams first called for Justice Eakin’s resignation during an Oct. 27 Capitol press conference. He then called for the removal last week of First Deputy PA Attorney General Bruce Beemer, PA Judicial Conduct Board Chief Counsel Robert Graci, and PA Supreme Court Special Counsel Robert Byer.
Since then, the Philadelphia Daily News said this of the Eakin emails: “Their existence raises serious questions about the mindset, maturity and judgment of people who are supposed to be working to ensure justice for all.”
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette said, “Only an independent outside investigation can get to the bottom of things … Pennsylvania’s judicial system has become its own punchline.”
Senate Democratic Appropriations Committee Chairman Vince Hughes, Lackawanna County Democratic Sen. John Blake, Philadelphia state Reps. Joanna McClinton, and Rosita Youngblood; Delaware County Rep. Margo Davidson; and Dauphin County Rep. Patty Kim joined Sen. Williams at today’s press conference.
Williams said members of the Senate Democratic Caucus support his call for a special prosecutor.