Report: Justice McCaffery Forwarded Racy Emails

From his own email, not a state account — but there may still be problems.

seamus mccaffery

The Morning Call reports this morning that Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery — he’s from Philadelphia — “forwarded at least eight sexually explicit emails to an employee in the state attorney general’s office,” who in turn shared those emails with more than a dozen others.

Three of the emails the paper reviewed contained images that Attorney General Kathleen Kane shared with reporters in describing the broader burgeoning scandal last week, the paper said. She identified eight current officials who had exchanged the emails, but never mentioned McCaffery among them.

McCaffery has a defense: The emails were apparently forwarded from a now-inactive Comcast account — a personal account, in other words, not his state e-mail. Much of the controversy about the racy emails has been over whether they violate rules governing the use of state resources. Indeed, a spokesman for Kane told the paper “it is not illegal for adults to send or receive pornography depicting adults.”

“Not only do I not have any comment, since when does the news media pry into personal emails?” McCaffery told a Morning Call reporter.

McCaffery could still have a problem with Chief Justice Ron Castille, though, if the Morning Call‘s reporting bears out:

In statements made Monday during a phone interview with reporters, (Castille) said a judge should not be fraternizing too closely with either prosecutors or defense attorneys by sending personal emails of any kind. Defense attorneys can seek to have a judge removed from a case involving the attorney general’s office if the judge’s name is in the sexually explicit emails, he said.

“The requirement is to be a neutral arbitrator of cases,” he said. “You cannot be sending pornographic emails to another agency.”

A judge could be in violation of judicial rules of conduct for sending pornographic emails on government-owned computers or personal computers, Castille said.

Castille would not comment on the paper’s allegations.

McCaffery, of course, is no stranger to controversy. He’s been known to feud with Castille. He’s suing the Inquirer and Daily News over an Inquirer report into referral fees his wife received involving companies that later went before his court. That report resulted in some changes to court ethics rules and an FBI inquiry, but McCaffery has denied wrongdoing.

Previously: Kane Will Make Racy Emails Available to Corbett
PreviouslyEmail Scandal Could Spread to Judiciary
PreviouslyMr. Corbett, It’s Time to Clean House
Previously: Corbett to Kane: Give Me All The Pornographic Emails You Have
PreviouslyThose Racy Emails: What They’re Saying