From a release by U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise…
(Washington, DC) – Congressman Steve Scalise today announced that the U.S. House of Representatives voted unanimously to impeach U.S. Eastern District Judge Thomas Porteous.
“Following Hurricane Katrina, those of us who came back vowed to rebuild the New Orleans region both structurally and politically,” Scalise said.… “But, we didn’t vow to simply rebuild the same old broken system that existed before the storm, in fact we committed to rebuild better. Part of that better New Orleans includes reforming the old, corrupt system of the past. Corruption might be a part of Louisiana’s past, but it’s no longer acceptable behavior for our future.”
Since June of 2008 when the House received information of Judge Porteous’ misconduct, Scalise urged his colleagues in the House to act swiftly, create the task force to impeach, conduct investigations thoroughly and expeditiously, and vote the articles of impeachment out of the Judiciary Committee. Scalise maintained close contact with Members of the committee who were directly involved including Adam Schiff (D-CA), Chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s task force, Lamar Smith (R-TX), Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee as well as other members of the task force.
Scalise said, “This vote today is yet another shot across the bow and a strong reminder to everyone in public office that we will not tolerate corruption and that we will maintain a zero tolerance policy against public corruption at every level of government.”
Porteous continues to receive his federal salary of $174,000, although he’s been suspended from hearing cases since September 2008. Federal retirement rules allow judges to collect their full judicial salary for the rest of their lives. Porteous would become eligible for retirement in December 2011. If the Senate does not take this up this year, the 111th Congress would adjourn and the process would have to start over.
The resolution will be sent to the U.S. Senate where the impeachment will be presented for trial. A conviction requires a two-thirds majority of the Senators present.