It looks like the federal judiciary is having another #MeToo moment.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is investigating three San Antonio bankruptcy judges in response to allegations that they covered up sexual misconduct by the former court clerk and permitted retaliation against a whistleblower, according to records provided by a former employee.
In a May 14, 2018 letter to former court employee Alan Vest, a deputy clerk wrote that Chief Judge Carl E. Stewart of the Fifth Circuit appointed himself and two other judges, Fifth Circuit Judge Leslie H. Southwick and Northern District of Texas Judge Jane H. Boyle, to investigate the complaint that Mr. Vest filed against Chief Bankruptcy Judge Ronald B. King and Bankruptcy Judges Craig A. Gargotta and H. Christopher Mott of the Western District of Texas.
The investigation has not been reported publicly, and the three judges declined my requests for comment. The former clerk, George D. Prentice, now serves as the clerk of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of Arizona in Phoenix.
According to Mr. Vest, his troubles began almost eight years ago when he questioned the appointment of an inexperienced female candidate as head of his department. The woman originally was hired as a summer intern, then suddenly left her position without giving notice, he said.
Notwithstanding the bizarre circumstances of her departure, she was allowed to return to work a few months later, he said, then she was suddenly promoted to department head over far more experienced candidates. When he shared his concerns with Mr. Prentice that “something unseemly” had happened, Mr. Prentice became irate. … Read more