Disgraced former Knox Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner got off light in the state prosecution of his pill usage while sitting on the bench--diversion and no loss of his state pension.
Then the feds came calling, and Baumgartner was charged and convicted on federal charges of misprision of a felony for lying and trying to cover up and protect his mistress Deena Castleman, a graduate of Baumgartner's Drug Court, who was supplying Baumgartner himself with drugs. As a result of the federal convictions, Baumgartner lost his state pension--which he has appealed.
In recent court filings, federal prosecutors are pushing for prison time on the federal convictions. The filing by the federal prosecutors in federal district court in Greeneville is here. The first 2-3 pages sum up the position of the prosecution--that high profile, educated, well-connected defendants often have educated, well-connected friends who write letters of support in criminal prosecutions. These same well-connected defendants have often held important positions and have made significant contributions to their community.
But, according to the prosecutors, "...none of that changes what Defendant did and the harm his conduct has caused.... as Defendant sees things, his prior employment and educational pedigree are mitigating factors. The opposite is true...." Prosecutors quote from a Sixth Circuit case: "[w]e do not believe criminals with privileged backgrounds are more entitled to leniency than those who have nothing left to lose."
Baumgartner's sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 10.
The News-Sentinel story is here.
[On a personal note, thank you to those who called to prod me to get back to blogging. I have been very busy the last two months, but I will try to get back in the swing of blogging more regularly about local, area, and state news!]