Eakin Was Cleared by Friend in 2014 Review

EakinEver since new revelations came to light about State Supreme Court Justice Michael Eakin’s emails, many have wondered why the 2014 study didn’t reveal the full information.

William Bender of the Daily News seems to have found the answer.

According to Bender, the man in charge of the December 2014 review of Justice Eakin (precipitated by the accusations of Justice McCaffery) was Judicial Conduct Board Special Counsel Robert Graci.

Graci is not only a friend of Eakin’s but helped his 2011 re-election campaign by defending the judge’s fundraising.

“I was general counsel to Justice Eakin’s retention campaign committee, that’s true, and it was in that capacity those statements were made,” Graci told Bender.

Graci was appointed to his current position a year later. He defended himself by saying that the Board made the ultimate decision on Eakin and that he doesn’t have a vote on the Board. He has said that Kathleen Kane withheld emails from the investigation last year.

It is unclear if Graci ever disclosed his relationship with Eakin to the other members of the State Supreme Court or the Judicial Conduct Board.

November 11th, 2015 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Top Stories | 20 Comments

20 thoughts on “Eakin Was Cleared by Friend in 2014 Review”

  1. Kraig001 says:

    Dr. David here to tell us that Eakin is a good man and climate change is “phony”

    LOL @ these tea party crazies. They are destroying the republican party.

  2. Dr David Comes says:

    Life in the Everyday World……political correctness is as phoney as climate change. Judge Eakin is an intelligent hard working fair person….Get on with. Life!

  3. eagleswing says:

    How can both JIRB and the Disciplinary Bd. be so blind to Graci’s obvious unethical conflict of interest in being hired to investigate his former client Eakin? After Graci represented Eakin’s capping he was totally conflicted out of representing the citizens of PA in an investigation of his former client. what a total travesty and miscarriage of justice. Graci should be brought up on ethics charges without his client Eakin to protect him. anyone on JIRB who did not think to look at t he campaign finance reports of Eakin to see if he paid Graci deserves to be fired or pilloried, whichever is most appropriate.

    spounds to me that newspaper reporters would make better JIRB members than the current lot.

  4. Brad Kirsch says:

    This article supports a practical approach to ending the premature conviction of Ms. Kane and some return to a sane view of what went on at the AG’s office when she took over. It also calls for us to insist that she is able to have a trial that bends over backwards to provide a clean environment.

    While I don’t advocate not trying her for the alleged leakage of information I do suggest that we get some realistic context to the events as a whole.

    Since I am not a lawyer I do want to comment that I believe it is time for Judge Carpenter of Montgomery County to recuse himself and I also suggest a change in venue for her trial. When there is so much that seems off in the entire who struck who scenario and context of the court and its close ties to prosecutors and special lawyers in emails I don’t believe a fair trial can be had! Especially with the same judge issuing decrees and comments and supervising grand juries also presiding in the trial. I think we must err on the side of openness and fair play.

    But of course, I again state that I am not a lawyer – I am only a commoner with a limited understanding of just how corruption takes place and how deep it goes.

    So I would like it if my State Court system showed some real bent toward common fairness without the undue influence of the Press being the new judge, jury and executioner.

  5. Observer #2 says:

    Isn’t this how fascism works? Eakin is depending on being above the laws that apply to the rest of us. He’s in a protected ivory tower that needs to be crumbled.

  6. Observer says:

    Verde,

    Tell us more about Chadwick. Who is he? What kind of “consulting” did he do for the Supreme Court? Is he out of the picture with Ron Castille no longer on the Supreme Court? What does he do for the Inquirer now?

  7. Robert says:

    gulag – You make a very good point about the papers. They have benefited from the corruption – so they are turning a blind eye (or worse). This whole thing is a real eye-opener. The Feds need to investigate. It’s the only hope for the truth ever coming out.

  8. gulagPittsburgh says:

    Graci is not new to this unethical rodeo. When Mercer County President Judge Dobson denied due process to a litigant by refusing to let him enter evidence at a hearing, he first denied in the main text of his Opinion written for the appeal that he had denied due process. Then in a bizarre footnote to that Opinion, Judge Dobson bragged that he had forbidden the litigant to speak because he did not like what he thought the litigant was about to say because it criticized PA trial and appellate judges who has mishandled the case previously.
    Graci found “no evidence of misconduct” by Judge Dobson by the blatant contradictions between the Opinion main text and the bizarre footnote, and in his letter Graci threatened the litigant that his decision was final and no appeal was possible.
    How many other unethical judges has Graci protected by suppressing discipline?

  9. gulagPittsburgh says:

    WOW!!! Unanimous agreement that the PA Supreme Court is a cesspool filled with all manner of unethical and incestuous relationships and porn emails. Where have the Philly and Pittsburgh newspapers been all this time to ignore these public interest stories? That’s right, getting leaks on the political enemies of the judges and their allies. Eakin and Graci need to resign ASAP. But that is only the beginning of the necessary house cleaning in the PA courts and AG office and legislature.

  10. aaron says:

    Has Eakin resigned yet? It seems people are finally waking up to the Harrisburg Cesspool.

  11. Isaac L. says:

    Police policing police, judges judging judges. We play the same game over and over and are surprised when internal review without an independent board doesn’t yield independent results. It takes someone catching them in flagrante delicto and being able to get the word out for anything to happen. Would someone tell these folks that “transparency” isn’t just a buzzword? Oh wait, the House Judiciary Committee just voted unanimously to conceal the identity of police officers who shoot or kill people. It will be interesting to see if SCOPA circle the wagons.

  12. Big Moola says:

    Well said Verde !!! Well said !!!!

    Eakin and Graci must go…..! I’s time to clean up the mess that Castille left behind in the SC …!

  13. David Diano says:

    “She [Kane] says it’s too bad it took exposure of his obvious conflict of interest to make Mr. Graci do the right thing,” said Kane spokesman Chuck Ardo. “He should have done it last year.”

    Well said

  14. Pavoter says:

    This is an example of why appointing judges in pa won’t result in a better judiciary. All these same jerks would be enmeshed in the process. PS… Eakin needs to go.

  15. jim parsons says:

    The Judicial Conduct Board is all friends of Judges and Politicians. That whole Board should be under investigation..Look them up and then Google each name and you’ll see how “connected” they all are.

  16. Observer says:

    Exactly, Verde. You can point this stuff out over and over, and they do nothing because they think they should be able to get away with it.

    And now we have this, over a year overdue:
    http://www.pennlive.com/news/2015/11/lawyer_leaves_email_probe_over.html

    Graci should leave the Board entirely, as should Brobson – who clearly can’t see a Conflict of Interest if it hits him between the eyes. Graci should have an ethics complaint filed against his law license for his shameful lies of omission.

  17. Verde says:

    You can’t make this stuff up. No one would believe it. Anyone who pays attention knew about this relationship. Graci was hired by eakin who appointed Delsole who punted back to Graci-all on the taxpayer dime. Castille was probably the architect but will never be indicted since the chief of the US attorney public corruption unit was hired by-hold on- that’s right Ron Castille while Philly DA. Look it up. Meanwhile McCoy and Coloumbis won’t say a word because their boss Bill marimow won’t let them. THe same bill marimow who is represented by Bill Chadwick, Castilles former first deputy who now makes millions on no bid consulting work for the courts. Hahahahaha. Shhhh no one is supposed to know about any of this.

  18. Observer says:

    I mentioned the Graci-Eakin connection in a post here weeks ago. Bender obviously reads PoliticsPA. Clearly, McCoy and Couloumbis don’t… Graci wrote the report, and Byer – a running-mate of Eakins when both were campaigning for judgeships – signed off on it. There are no Ethics in Harrisburg.

  19. gulagPittsburgh says:

    This is a glaring conflict of interest that both Eakin and Graci knew. Both should resign immediately. Both SHOULD have recused Graci from participation in the probe of Eakin emails last year. To permit this conflict to persist was unethical and dishonest for both.
    Graci should be immediately fired and Eakin should be immediately suspended.
    There is no way Castille was not aware of this conflict also, but let it stand because another GOP on the court served his purposes. No concern for truth, justice, or the PA public and govt.

  20. Pat Unger says:

    Is this what Castille was talking about when he said the following:

    “It’s totally bizarre,” Castille said. “There are really strange things going on here.”

    Anyone go to him for comment on this? Did Castille know of the relationship? How about Del Sole? He just punted the whole investigation back to Eakin’s buddy. When is he going to address this?

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