► U.S. Judge Thomas Johnston of Charleston, WV; ethical gremlin Print E-mail

U.S. Judge Thomas Johnston of Charleston, WV; ethical gremlin

 

The state of West Virginia presented Thomas E. Johnston with a law license in 1992 after he graduated from the University of West Virginia Law School.

 

Former President George W. Bush was duped into appointing Tommy U.S. District Court judge for the Southern District of West Virginia in 2005. Tommy didn’t receive the appointment because he was the most qualifed attorney in the Charleston area. He received it because she had proven to be a reliable lackey for the local political hacks.

 

In one matter,Tommy was assigned to a criminal case involving Freedom Industries and its former president Gary Southern. Tommy was charged with enviormental crimes, including violating a Clean Water Act permit and the negligent discharge of a pollutant. The pollutant was a coal-cleaning chemical that spilled from one of the company’s rusty, neglected tanks into the Elk River and contaminated drinking water for 300,000 people.

 

Subsequently, Mr. Gary Southern was charged with bankruptcy fraud, wire fraud, and lying under oath during Freedom’s bankruptcy proceedings that followed the massive spill of pollutants.

 

In a sworn affidavit, FBI Special Agent James F. Lafferty said that Mr. Southern, in an overt attempt to protect his personal fortune of $8 million and shield himself from lawsuits, he developed a scheme to distance himself from the company and deflect blame on others.

 

Under federal sentencing guidelines, the recommended sentence was 24 to 30 months in prison and a fine of up to $300,000. Unbelievably, Tommy the Apologist for Criminal Polluters and a Celebrated Perjurer, sentenced Southern to 30 days in jail and a $20,000 fine. After sentencing Southern, Tommy had the temerity to say:

 

“This defendant is hardly a criminal.”

 

In Tommy’s demented mind, perjury, bankruptcy fraud, obstruction of justice, lying to federal agents, wire fraud and criminal polluting are not “hardly” crimes. Of course Tommy would quite a different opinion if the defendant was poor or black and shoplifted 2 cartoons of cigarettes from the local Walmart store.

 

After sentencing Southern and in another arrogant slap in the face to the 300,000 folks were the victims of Southern’s criminal polluting, Tommy completed his comedy routine by allowing Southern to hop on a friend’s private jet to fly back to Florida. This gift was prohibited by the bond conditions imposed on Southern the Criminal Polluter.

 

Apparently, Tommy was aware that Southern lived in a $1.2 million, 4,133 foot mansion in Marco Island, Florida. Tommy wasn’t about to force Southern to have to breath in or drink the polluted water he had so cheerfully foisted on working class folks in West Virginia.

 

Hopefully, Mr. Southern was kind enough to reimburse Tommy for the costs he incurred in purchasing a pair of Industrial Strength Knee Pads for the purpose of genuflecting in his honor while he handed down his Patty Cake sentence.

 

As we speak (ca. February 2016), Tommy continues to sit as a U.S. District Court judge for the Southern District of West Virginia in Charleston, West Virginia. 

 

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