Judge Censured For Attending Illegal Poker Game

A Suffolk County District Court Judge was recently censured for bad judgment in attending on multiple occasions a for profit poker game held at a fraternal lodge. Apparently, the Judge had played in numerous Texas Hold 'Em games in 2008 at a fraternal lodge of which he was a member. Although the Judge did not run the games and was not an officer of the lodge, he participated in tournanment games.

While it is illegal to profit from running an unlicensed gambling enterprise, it is not illegal to attend or play. None of the guests or members knew that an undercover Suffolk County Police Officer had been attending games and eventually the games were raided by the police. The Judge was not arrested, but was censured for exhibiting poor judgment in attending and playing in games that he should have known were run for profit illegally. Additionally, since members of the fraternal lodge knew that he was a judge, the Judicial Conduct Commission also stated that it was poor judgment for him to attend games that were in violation of the law.

The Commission noted that the Judge had never previously been the subject of any discipline and was remorseful for his mistake in judgment.

Even judges can make mistakes because they are people like everyone else.

Categories: Judicial Conduct
Steven P. Kuhn, Attorney at Law
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