Thursday, April 18, 2013

April 18, 2013 Former Judge Baumgartner "Ready" To Do Prison Time

Although he has appealed his federal conviction on charges of misprision of a felony to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, disgraced former Knox County Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner has decided to go on and serve the 6-month prison sentence that was meted out by U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer.

Baumgartner was convicted in November 2012 of multiple counts of misprision of a felony for lying to officials to cover up his mistress's drug dealing.  His mistress Deena Castleman was a graduate of Baumgartner's Drug Court. In addition to supplying Baumgartner himself with pills, she was involved in a prescription painkiller network.

Baumgartner eventually resigned from the bench during a probe of his activities. In the state case, Baumgartner admitted to charges of official misconduct, received diversion, and was able to keep his $4900/month state pension.

The subsequent federal conviction resulted in loss of his state pension. Baumgartner is appealing the decision by the state retirement system (TCRS) to take his pension away. Click here.

The News-Sentinel has a report and links to other information here.

Previous blog posts are here.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

April 11, 2013 Former Criminal Court Judge Baumgartner Sentenced to Six Months in Prison

Former Knox Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner was in Federal District Court in Greeneville yesterday.

He sat there as the Defendant, convicted of five felonies and awaiting sentencing.
He told the Judge that his conduct was "pathetic."

His attorneys maintained that the public shame and loss of his pension were punishment enough for the Judge who used his mistress to obtain pills and then lied to cover up his actions--all the while sitting on the bench presiding over criminal trials in Knox County and sentencing others to jail or prison.

Federal prosecutors pushed for at least two years in prison, citing the chaos and costs and toll on the lives of the victims and families of victims of cases over which Baumgartner presided.

The Knox News-Sentinel has the story here
The Sentinel also has a video history here.

For a recap of prior posts on the saga of Richard Baumgartner, click here.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

April 3, 2013 Federal Prosecutors in Baumgartner Case Seek "At Least" Two Years Prison TIme

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!]