In 2009, State Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin exchanged emails with some old friends, including a state prosecutor and a prospective lower-court judge. Among the topics: visits to strip clubs and sexual gibes about female staffers in Eakin's office.
At one point, the justice wrote that he had "a stake" of 50 one-dollar bills to give strippers - to resolve his "titty-deficit."
In that email from June 18, 2009, Eakin wrote that an incoming Dauphin County judge would soon learn that a discreet judge "has to go out of state to see boobs."
Eakin and prosecutor Jeffrey Baxter also joked about inviting two of Eakin's female aides to join them on a trip to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to enjoy its golf courses and strip clubs. The men mused on sleeping arrangements.
"I'll take care of her rooming needs," Eakin wrote of one of his aides.
His friend the prosecutor said of the other Eakin aide, "I'll certainly take care of her one night."
The email chain, reviewed last week by The Inquirer, has never before been made public. It is believed to be part of a cache of emails that Attorney General Kathleen Kane retrieved from the computer servers in her office and has decried as offensive.
Lynn A. Marks, executive director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, a judicial reform group, said Eakin's email exchanges and his comments about his aides raised serious questions about his judgment.
She said the code of conduct for judges makes clear that they must avoid the appearance of impropriety. Judges are held to a higher standard of conduct than the average citizen, she said, "because they sit in judgment of others."
"As a woman, I personally find it repulsive," Marks said of the email exchanges. "For women going before the court, it's such a 'yuck.' "
Cache of emails
Marks said she was troubled that Eakin had exchanged messages with the soon-to-be Dauphin County judge, Bernard Coates Jr., because the justice, in his role on the high court, had oversight of lower courts. Coates died earlier this year.
Eakin did not respond to a message to his chambers in Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County. His lawyer, William Costopoulos, declined comment Friday.
Eakin, 66, and a member of the high court since 2002, was swept up in the so-called Porngate scandal this fall after Kane said she had uncovered a cache of his emails with "racist, misogynistic pornography."
Late Saturday, the Supreme Court announced it was dropping a plan to install a new member to the judicial tribunal weighing Eakin's fate who was seen as supportive of the justice. The court did so after The Inquirer published an article on the plan.
Eakin is the second justice to face scrutiny for his involvement in offensive or pornographic emails. State Supreme Court Justice Seamus McCaffery retired last year after Kane disclosed that he had exchanged hundreds of pornographic emails.
At the time of McCaffery's departure, the Supreme Court ordered a review of the email traffic of all of the justices.
That initial review of Eakin's messages by an expert appointed by the court deemed them "unremarkable."
This fall, after Kane said she had discovered dozens of offensive Eakin emails, the Supreme Court appointed a new outside expert to examine his messages.
The new review found that Eakin had sent or received many emails that were "offensive, tasteless, insensitive, juvenile, and repugnant to reasonable sensibilities."
The review looked at about 1,000 Eakin emails captured by the attorney general's computer servers between 2008 and 2014. Kane flagged about 65 as troubling. Of those, Eakin was the recipient in a heavy majority, and the sender in only a handful.
He has apologized for the messages and said they do not reflect his character.
His emails fell into Kane's hands because many were exchanged with Baxter, a prosecutor in the Medicaid-fraud unit of the Attorney General's Office, using his government email address.
Baxter did not return phone calls Friday. Kane suspended him for 10 days last year for his involvement in offensive emails.
It was Baxter who joked with Eakin about inviting the justice's female assistants to join them on the out-of-town trip and mused about possible sleeping arrangements.
If the women agreed to go along, Eakin wrote, "it would be tough working with them after the trip though."
Five minutes later, Baxter replied, "A week of discomfort would be a small price to pay for the mammories, um, memories that would be created."