PENNSYLVANIA'S six Supreme Court justices have been cleared of sending improper emails in an independent review in the wake of a porn scandal that snared former Justice Seamus McCaffery.
Special counsel Robert Byer, of Duane Morris LLP, said he reviewed about 4,800 emails sent to or from the justices and staff in the Attorney General's Office between 2008 and 2012. Excluding those from McCaffery, he concluded that the messages were appropriate and did not reveal any reason for the judges to recuse themselves from any cases.
"Other than the previously disclosed email messages from Seamus P. McCaffery transmitting pornographic materials, there were no email messages of an improper nature sent by any Justice of the Supreme Court to any representative of OAG or from any representative of OAG to any Justice of the Supreme Court," Byer wrote in the report released yesterday.
"The email messages reveal no improprieties involving any judge of any other court."
McCaffery, a Democrat and former Philadelphia police officer, retired in October after it was disclosed that he sent sexually explicit emails to at least one member of the Attorney General's Office.
The emails were discovered during Attorney General Kathleen Kane's review of her office's handling of the Jerry Sandusky case. Several high-ranking Republicans in the Corbett administration were found to have sent pornographic messages, leading to the resignations of four former top deputies.
McCaffery could not be reached for comment yesterday.
According to Byer's review, the majority of the emails originated from McCaffery and his wife, Lise Rapaport, who served on his judicial staff. The couple sent email blasts, which consisted of jokes, inspirational stories, and a variety of other topics.
Of the remaining messages, most were duplicates, receipts or automated replies, or dealt with official business. A small number pertained to events or informal gatherings.
Byer found one other message that contained "offensive sexual content" sent to Justice Michael Eakin, but it did not come from the Attorney General's Office or anyone in the justice system, and Eakin did not reply to or forward the message.