► U.S. Judge Peter Beer of New Orleans; greedy scofflaw Print E-mail

U.S. Judge Peter Beer of New Orleans; greedy scofflaw


The state of Louisiana presented Peter Hill Beer with a law license in 1952 after he graduated from Tulane University Law School.


President Jimmy Carter was duped into appointing Pete to a seat on the District Court in 1979. Pete didn’t get the appointment because he was the most qualified lawyer in the greater New Orleans area. He got it because he had proven to be a reliable lackey for the local political hacks.


Federal judges are required to file annual financial disclosure statements that must be accurate and signed under penalty of law. Those statements mandate that a judge itemize each gift and reimbursement for “transportation, lodging and food.”


On at least three (3) of his annual financial reports, Judge Beer failed to disclose trips paid by the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment (FREE), a corporate-funded libertarian group that holds seminars in Bozeman, Montana.


Two of the trips paid for by FREE were held at a fancy tourist ranch near Yellowstone National park. When asked about his failure to comply with the rules regarding disclosure, Pete said in part:

  • “I never considered I was obliged to do that.”
  • “As far as I was concerned, that was not an item that I was required to report.”

Pete went on to say that the ranch provided “pleasant surroundings” and, after the day’s discussions, allowed time for hiking and other outdoor activities. And Pete was paid about $680 for each of the five days while he vacationed on the taxpayer’s dime.

Pete’s defense of “ignorance of the law” is rather novel to say the least. I’m sure that anyone who appears in his court and used the same defense wouldn’t be treated very kindly.


It should be noted that Pete assumed senior status in 1994. This means that he continued to receive a full salary every year for the past 21 years and as we speak (2014) of $199,100 even though he is only required to work ten (10) hours a week. Great gig if you can get it, right?


Pete could have retired in 1994 after serving 15 years and would have collected $133,600 for the balance of his life. However, he decided to enrich himself by refusing to fully retire so that he would benefit from judicial pay increases totaling $66,000 since 1994.


As we speak (ca. March 2014), Pete continues to sit as a District Court Judge in New Orleans, Louisiana despite the fact that he is 86-years-old. .



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