In the latest indication of how serious the current investigation of U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent may be, it was revealed this week that the FBI is investigating possible crimes beyond his alleged sexual misconduct with a court employee.
Kent was suspended from the bench and reprimanded by the 5th Judicial Circuit after Cathy McBroom, his case manager, filed a formal complaint against him.
She complained that Kent called her into his office, pushed up her shirt and bra, put his mouth on her breast and tried to force her head into his crotch, her mother and her attorney have said.
McBroom wrote a letter to Gore making the allegations against Kent and asking to be transferred to Houston, her mother said. She later made a formal complaint against the judge.
“The only person she wasn’t getting support from was her office manager,” Schopp said.Kent and his attorney, Maria Boyce, have ignored dozens of requests for comment on this story.The 5th Circuit began an investigation into McBroom’s claims. But only after The Daily News made public the existence of McBroom’s complaint did the 5th Circuit’s judicial council issue an order punishing Kent.
Also under scrutiny is McBroom’s office supervisor, Mary Ann Gore, who is accused of advising McBroom that she could lose her job if she formal complaint.
Now, it appears that the alleged criminal conduct goes to possible favoritism on the bench.
The Daily News was told last week that federal agents had been interviewing Galveston restaurateurs about who U.S. District Judge Samuel B. Kent had dined and drank with throughout the years, and who has picked up the tab.
Dick DeGuerin, Kent’s attorney, on Friday confirmed that the federal probe extended beyond claims of sexual misconduct.
“They’re being as thorough as they can be and they’re investigating all the rumors that have been going on for years,” DeGuerin said.
“There’s always been rumors that Judge Kent favored certain lawyers or other lawyers were in disfavor with him, but his response has been real simple: Just take any lawyer and look at his win-loss record in his court. You look at any lawyers who are his friends — and he does have some lawyers who are his friends — none of them has any better win-loss record in his court than any other lawyer. In fact, some don’t have as good of a record.”
In the meantime, the House Judiciary committee is holding to its past tradition of letting the criminal process run its course before starting any possible impeachment proceedings. Two Texas judges could face such proceedings, click here)
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