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Sunday, December 12, 2010
The Senate on Wednesday found Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr. of Federal District Court in Louisiana guilty on four articles of impeachment, the first time the Senate has removed a federal judge from the bench in more than two decades.
Judge Porteous was impeached by the House in March on four articles stemming from charges that he received cash and favors from lawyers who had dealings in his court, used a false name to elude creditors and lied to theFederal Bureau of Investigation during his confirmation. The behavior amounted to a “pattern of conduct incompatible with the trust and confidence placed in him,” according to the articles against him.
Mr. Porteous, the eighth federal judge to be convicted and removed from office through impeachment in the history of the Senate, got an early indication that things would not go his way when all 96 Senators present voted “guilty” on the first article against him. One of his lawyers then reached over to touch his arm, as if in consolation.
Mr. Porteous, 64, was appointed to the federal bench by President Bill Clinton in 1994 and has been suspended with pay since 2008; as part of his removal, which begins immediately, he will not receive his federal pension.