Impeachment Proceedings Start Against Galveston Federal Judge
by: Sara Sciammacco, May 14, 2009 8:05:35 pm
The Judiciary committee voted unanimously to look into whether to impeach Kent. Texas Congressman Lamar Smith is the top Republican on the panel.
"We don't have a specific timeline, but if he does not resign in the next few days, I would foresee that we would act within the next month perhaps."
Kent is trying to claim disability in order to retire early and receive a sizable pension. Smith wants to prevent that from happening. Kent pleaded guilty in February for lying to investigators who were probing into a sexual harassment complaint against him. He was sentenced to thirty-three months in prison. Democratic Congressman Charlie Gonzales, who is a member of the committee also, says there's bi-partisan agreement that Kent should be removed from office.
"With Judges, it's one of those things that they use to say even the appearance of any impropriety is actually against the very code of judicial conduct, but in this case we have an indictable offense. And the nature of the criminal offense that the judge pled guilty to is deplorable."
Kent's attorney says politicians are rushing to condemn a disabled and decent man without knowing the full story.
From Capitol News Connection, Sara Sciammacco, KUHF-Houston Public Radio.