After 14 years on the bench, Judge Victor Barron spoke with authority at a sentencing last year when he declared, “No one is above the law.”
The sentencing, after all, was his own.
The silver-haired Brooklyn judge was led out of the courtroom in handcuffs to begin a three- to nine-year prison term for taking thousands of dollars in bribes perhaps the most troubling scene so far in a judicial corruption scandal that one watchdog group calls the worst in the nation.
Since Barron’s conviction, authorities have arrested a second Brooklyn judge for allegedly accepting gifts from a corrupt lawyer, kicked a third off the bench for breaking rules on rental property and scrutinized a fourth for his handling of his elderly aunt’s life savings.
District Attorney Charles Hynes has launched a grand jury investigation into the cozy relationships between Brooklyn’s elected judges, lawyers and politicians in response to allegations that civil judgeships with annual salaries $125,000 or more are for sale.
The AP reports on this little judicial nightmare here.