(UPDATE) Pa. Supreme Court Justice: McCaffery Threatened to Release Emails
[Update 4 p.m.] Justice McCaffery has just released a statement giving his side of Eakin’s allegations:
“Yesterday, I had a phone conversation with Justice J. Michael Eakin, whom I respect as a colleague. The purpose of my call was to inform him that I was hearing strong rumors that a personal email account that belonged to him contained not only hundreds of sexually explicit emails, but – even worse – racially offensive images. In light of my own recent experience, and given the way these emails have been leaking, I expressed my concern for him, especially because of the racially-charged emails, which, as I recall, I told him I feared could bring him down.
“Although he was extremely agitated and upset, Justice Eakin told me he appreciated the call and the ‘heads-up’ and specifically lamented the fact that this whole email controversy has been Chief Justice Castille’s doing. In fact, he told me that he had written to Castille on Monday to urge him to stop putting out all of this information, but that he was certain he could not stop the Chief Justice from continuing his attacks against me.
“I unequivocally deny Justice Eakin’s allegations that I threatened or coerced him to do anything. What I did do was to try to help him prepare himself for the same kind of media onslaught that I have endured, and urged him to talk to his close, personal friend, Ronald Castille, to stop the mud-slinging that has so tarnished our Court. I unequivocally deny that I have or ever have had Justice Eakin’s personal emails, and I have never leaked anything to the media.”
[Original] The Pennsylvania porn email scandal just got even weirder.
After a report today tied a second Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice, J. Michael Eakin, to pornographic emails sent to a private account, Eakin sent a statement to the state’s Judicial Conduct Board saying Justice Seamus McCaffery threatened to release those emails unless Supreme Court Justice Ron Castille rescinded his comments earlier in the week.
“The subject of much recent publicity concerning the sending of salacious emails, Justice McCaffrey next told me he ‘was not going down alone.’ Justice McCaffrey told me that I had to cause the chief justice to retract his media statements of the prior day,” the letter to the JCB read. “I told him I would not attempt to do so even if it were possible. He repeated that I had to, and that he ‘needed an answer’ by noon to prevent release of the emails involving my account.”
He did not deliver the letter in verse, as he occasionally does in opinions. “I specifically told him that I was not a ‘fixer,’ and that his demand was totally inappropriate,” Eakin added in the letter. “After making a series of other allegations against several other people not relevant to the instant situation, he repeated that I had until noon to get back to him.”
The Philadelphia Daily News obtained explicit emails it says state Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin received at a Yahoo! email account he registered under an alias. The emails were sent to federal, state and county officials’ state accounts, private law firm accounts as well as free email service accounts, the paper reports. Earlier this week, Chief Justice Ron Castille said a review of state email accounts tied only Justice Seamus McCaffery to pornographic emails, but these emails were sent to a private account.
The emails, as described by the Daily News, are the sort of dumb email forwards you might get from your aunt, except instead of kittens or right-wing scaremongering it’s racism and boobs.
* “Prom Night at Camden High School!!” – 13 images of African-Americans who appear to be attending a prom, with captions mocking their clothes, physical appearances and the presence of police vehicles.
* “Send your buddy some titties day!” – 13 images of women who are topless or completely nude. The “send your buddy some titties day” was a regular theme in the Attorney General’s Office emails that Kane released.
* Hooters 25th Anniversary – 33 images of nude women, apparently pulled from a 2008 spread in Playboy magazine, along with four images of women wearing Hooters uniforms.
The email about Hooters wasn’t even an accurate depiction of its 25th anniversary!
It wasn’t clear from press reports who sent the emails. Eakin didn’t talk to the Daily News about the messages: “I’m not going to deny it, but I don’t think I should comment at all until I see what we’re talking about. I’m really not comfortable doing that.” Castille, who yesterday McCaffery said was waging a campaign against him, said receiving porn was different than sending it.
What’s funny is the Daily News report doesn’t just tie a Supreme Court justice to the emails, it appears to ties a ton of people working in state government and law firms as well. Who sends these kinds of email forwards along at work? I have not shared porn with anyone since we found the secret stash in the woods near the bike jumps on Academy Road in seventh grade.
If anyone asks you about the judiciary in this state, just remind them the story of when the old Eagles Court judge threatened to release the emails of the judge who writes opinions in verse unless the war hero judge with a prosthetic leg rescinded comments about pornographic emails.