We’re just going to go out on a limb on this one and say that Shreveporters would be better off voting for somebody else.
A Shreveport attorney and judicial candidate Trina Chu was arrested Tuesday on charges that, as a law clerk for an appeals court judge, she hacked into computer files containing confidential drafts of an opinion being written in a case involving a friend and then sent some of the information to her friend.
Chu, 46, of Shreveport, was arrested by Caddo Parish sheriff’s Warrants Unit on warrants charging her with committing an offense against intellectual property and trespassing against state computers, both of which are felony offenses. She was booked into Caddo Correctional Center, with bonds set at $20,000.
Chu was a law clerk for Judge Henry Brown, then-chief judge of the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeal in Shreveport, at the time of her alleged actions. The case Chu is accused of improperly accessing involved a close friend of hers, who had been in a long-term relationship with Brown. The judge had recused himself from hearing the case and Chu had no reason to look at the case, investigators said.
The alleged hacking occurred in July 2018. Brown’s secretary had checked a copy machine and saw that someone had tried to print confidential information such as memos and drafts of the pending opinion involving Chu’s friend. The copy machine had shut down when it ran out of toner.
Judge Brown’s colleagues on the court fired Chu and filed a complaint with the Sheriff’s Office, which began investigating.
The chief justice of the Louisiana Supreme Court ordered Brown to stay away from the Second Circuit courthouse after a fellow judge who was considering the appeal filed a complaint Brown was trying to intimidate him, court documents reviewed by KTBS News say. Brown, who has denied any improper behavior and has not been accused of involvement in the alleged hacking, retired shortly after that.
The judges whose draft opinions were hacked upheld the lower court verdict against Chu’s friend.
Chu is running for a seat on the Second Circuit Court of Appeal. She is challenging Judge Jeanette Garrett in the Nov. 3 election.
Authorities acknowledged Chu’s arrest comes as she is running for a judgeship but said the investigation started long before she filed to run last month. An arrest was delayed by office shutdowns due to coronavirus and a review of the case by the state attorney general’s office, said Caddo District Attorney James Stewart, whose office will prosecute Chu.
People don’t generally pay a lot of attention to judicial races in Louisiana. There are a million of them, and the only people who know who any of the candidates are tend to be lawyers.
This isn’t a good thing. The more we look into some of the people who run for judge, the more we find people who are grossly unfit for the position.