To recap, earlier this month we found out Justice McCaffery was among those the Attorney General found had been exchanging pornographic emails with government employees. Chief Justice Castille then got his hands on the emails and told the press that no other justice was involved.
Finally, yesterday McCaffery released a long accusatory letter aimed at the Chief Justice that portrayed the scandal as an effort by Castille to get McCaffery off the court.
Now, Justice Michael Eakin has released his own letter to the press saying that Justice McCaffery threatened to release Eakin’s supposedly inappropriate private emails.
“Justice McCaffery said he was receiving communications from ‘people’, and that ‘they’ had in their possession inappropriate emails that involved me,” Eakin wrote. “He described the purported nature of the emails, which involved my private ‘John Smith’ Yahoo email account.”
“The subject of much recent publicity concerning the sending of salacious emails, Justice McCaffery next told me he ‘was not going down alone.’ Justice McCaffery told me that I had to cause the Chief Justice to retract his media statements of the prior day,” Eakin claimed. “I told him I would not attempt to do so even if it were possible. He repeated that I had to, and that he ‘needed an answer’ by noon to prevent release of the emails involving my account.”
Eakin refused and soon reporters from the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News were asking about “racy” personal emails that they had received.
In addition to releasing the letter to the press, Eakin also sent it to the state’s Judicial Conduct Board.
Suffice to say, stay tuned for further developments.
Update: Justice McCaffery has released the following statement:
“Yesterday, I had a phone conversation with Justice J. Michael Eakin, whom I respect as a colleague. The purpose of my call was to inform him that I was hearing strong rumors that a personal email account that belonged to him contained not only hundreds of sexually explicit emails, but – even worse – racially offensive images. In light of my own recent experience, and given the way these emails have been leaking, I expressed my concern for him, especially because of the racially-charged emails, which, as I recall, I told him I feared could bring him down.
“Although he was extremely agitated and upset, Justice Eakin told me he appreciated the call and the ‘heads-up’ and specifically lamented the fact that this whole email controversy has been Chief Justice Castille’s doing. In fact, he told me that he had written to Castille on Monday to urge him to stop putting out all of this information, but that he was certain he could not stop the Chief Justice from continuing his attacks against me.
“I unequivocally deny Justice Eakin’s allegations that I threatened or coerced him to do anything. What I did do was to try to help him prepare himself for the same kind of media onslaught that I have endured, and urged him to talk to his close, personal friend, Ronald Castille, to stop the mud-slinging that has so tarnished our Court. I unequivocally deny that I have or ever have had Justice Eakin’s personal emails, and I have never leaked anything to the media.”