Special counsel clears remaining supreme court justices of improper emails

By Jim Boyle | Dec 22, 2014

The special counsel selected to conduct an independent review of more than 4,500 email

The special counsel selected to conduct an independent review of more than 4,500 email

messages sent and received between the Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices and the office of the attorney general (OAG) found no further misconduct beyond the pornographic messages transmitted by former Justice Seamus McCaffery. "There were no email messages of an improper nature sent by any Justice of the Supreme Court to any representative of OAG or from any representative of OAG to any Justice of the Supreme Court," said Robert Byer in the introduction of his six-page report. Byer has chosen to investigate the emails following the revelation that McCaffery sent numerous explicit messages to accounts at the OAG. The scandal resulted in McCaffery's resignation from the bench. During the review, Byer analyzed more than 4,500 messages sent between Jan. 1, 2008 and Dec. 31, 2012. The database was whittled down by only selecting emails with at least one Supreme Court justice and one OAG employee in the address fields. According to the report, McCaffery had the largest amount to review, with more than 2,900 messages. Byer says that McCaffery and his wife, Lisa Rapaport, who served on his judicial staff, frequently sent email blasts to recipients in the OAG and other judiciary offices containing either pornographic images or jokes and humorous stories of an adult nature. "There also were some, but relatively few, email messages from or to McCaffery involving 'official business,' Byer says. "But the overwhelming majority of emails involving McCaffery and Rapaport were of the “blast” variety and of an innocuous nature but unrelated to official business of either the Court or OAG." Justice Correale Stevens and Justice J. Michael Eakin had the next most emails reviewed, none of which showing any inappropriate or obscene materials. The messages were largely innocuous, Byer said, with the materials ranging from authorizations for wiretaps or social interactions with friends.

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