Supreme Court’s Eakin latest name in porn email scandal

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania’s high court has once again been laid low.

Supreme Court Justice Michael Eakin is the latest name to surface in the spreading pornographic email scandal that’s ensnared a number of prominent state officials.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane, as she was being arraigned on an additional perjury count Thursday in Montgomery County, released a letter she sent to the Judicial Conduct Board, the Ethics Commission and the Supreme Court’s chief justice.

The letter claims that Eakin, using the email account of “John Smith”, exchanged offensive emails.

Eakin is a Mechanicsburg native and former Cumberland County district attorney.

The emails have been described as pornographic and racially insensitive.

“Both traits are inappropriate for anybody in the justice system,” said Chuck Ardo, Kane’s spokesman.

Last October, Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery resigned over his involvement in the email chain.

Eakin released this statement Friday:

“I recognize the attorney general’s statement that she has discovered still more emails involving her office and my private email account, and that she has referred those to the Judicial Conduct Board. I will fully cooperate with the board’s review as I did a year ago with a similar matter involving former Justice McCaffery. I believe it would be inappropriate to comment further pending the outcome of the board’s review.”

Critics say the content of the emails is less of a problem than the fact that the relationship between judges and prosecutors seems to be too cozy across the state.

“It should be troubling to everybody because if people can’t count on the fairness of the system, then you’ve got real serious problems,” Ardo said.

The clash between Kane and what she calls the “good old boys” network in Harrisburg is fascinating to watch, according to Robert Davis Jr., a Harrisburg attorney who teaches ethics at Widener Law’s Commonwealth campus. He says no one gets a halo in that fight.

“Certainly there is evidence that the people we elect aren’t always honest,” Davis said in perhaps the understatement of the year.

For an ethics teacher, Pennsylvania, with its indicted attorney general, resigned Treasurer and convicted lawmakers, provides numerous examples of  how not to behave.

“It’s a terribly disappointing situation, especially with occurrence after occurrence after occurrence where public officials haven’t lived up to what they should be,” Davis said.

Eakin is the latest name to be caught in the web of web-based porn. He’s likely not the last.

“I think the email trail will lead to other prominent people,” Ardo said.

Kane, outside the courthouse Thursday, promised to continue her scorched earth policy.

“You can arrest me two times, you can arrest me 10 times. I’m sure this isn’t the end of the game. I will not stop until the truth comes out and I will not stop until the system operates the way it’s supposed to be,” Kane said.

Some officials are no doubt nervous.

The story will no doubt continue.

Stay tuned.

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