Seamus McCaffery, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice who was exposed for sent and received pornographic emails to state employees through a private account, was immediately suspended by the court, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported Monday. He was temporarily barred on an “interim basis” with pay.
The justice is banned from "any further judicial or administrative action whatsoever" in the court, the Express-Times wrote. His paid suspension could change if the state's Judicial Conduct Board, which handles judicial ethics complaints, decides to file charges against the justice; they have 30 days.
An investigation has been launched to review McCaffery’s emails, according to the the Inquirer. The justice acknowledged that he sent lewd messages through a private account, and he apologized for it. However, he criticized Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille, a longtime rival, for an apparent "vindictive pattern of attacks" against him, which includes the drive for his suspension. The board has 30 days to determine if there is cause to file an official complaint against him.
Castille, however, does not think the conduct board has the proper resources to investigate McCaffery’s behavior. "The most recent misconduct of Justice McCaffery -- forwarding sexually explicit pornographic emails to employees of the Attorney General's Office (and, in one instance, an email depicting a naked 100-year-old woman as the target of a sexually explicit joke and a video of a woman in sexual congress with a snake that is clearly obscene and may violate the Crimes Code Section on Obscenity) -- has caused the Supreme Court to be held up to public ridicule," Castille wrote, according to the Express-Times. "This conduct deserves the immediate action as implemented by this court today."
Justice J. Michael Eakin accused McCaffery of blackmailing him with separate email charges, but did not participate in Monday’s hearing, PennLive reported. McCaffery denied the allegations.
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