Supremes disbar convicted Judges Blitch, Camp
A judge who shared drugs with his stripper girlfriend, along with a second jurist who freed criminal defendants without telling prosecutors, both lost their law licenses today.
The Georgia Supreme Court disbarred former Superior Court Judge Brooks Blitch and accepted the voluntary surrender of former U.S. District Court Judge Jack Camp‘s license to practice law. Both decisions were unanimous.
Blitch, a judge in southeast Georgia’s Alapaha Judicial Circuit for 27 years, pleaded guilty in 2009 to federal charges that he abused his judicial authority. He admitted releasing criminal defendants from jail without a hearing and without notifying prosecutors.
Blitch later requested a one-year suspension of his law license, and a special master recommended a three-year suspension after hearing the former judge’s argument. But the Supreme Court held today that a judge with a felony conviction that is directly related to his official duties warrants a more severe level of discipline.
“It hardly bears stating that a judge occupies a unique and crucial position of power, trust and responsibility in our society. We cannot rightfully expect members of the public to respect the law and remain confident in the integrity and impartiality of our judiciary where judges themselves do not respect and follow the law,” today’s opinion says.
A federal judge fined Blitch $100,000 and sentenced him to three years’ probation.
Camp is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to federal criminal charges related to his dalliance with a stripper. He petitioned to surrender his law license, an action that is tantamount to disbarment, since the plea means he will be convicted of a felony.
Camp admitted aiding and abetting a felon — which is itself a felony — by buying marijuana, cocaine and a painkiller to share with his stripper girlfriend. He also pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors: drug possession, and theft of public property (for giving his government-issued laptop computer to the stripper).
cocaine, a painkiller and marijuana