[JURIST] Impeached federal judge Samuel Kent [JURIST news archive] on Thursday resigned [press release] from his seat on the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas [official website] effective at the end of June. Kent's resignation comes a day after US Senate [official website] began impeachment trial proceedings [JURIST report] against him, alleging that he sexually harassed his secretary and case manager, obstructed a judicial proceeding by making false statements, and made false and misleading statements to federal agents during his investigation. The articles of impeachment [text, PDF] against Kent were approved [JURIST report] by the US House of Representatives [official website] last week. Kent is the first federal judge to be impeached in 20 years and only the thirteenth federal judge to be impeached.
Earlier this month, Kent submitted a letter of resignation [JURIST report] that would have been effective June 2010, allowing him to collect his $174,000 annual salary and full health benefits until then. In May, Kent pleaded guilty [JURIST report] to obstruction of justice in a plea agreement [text, PDF] that prevented him from facing a criminal trial. Following his plea, he was sentenced [JURIST report] to 33 months in prison and ordered to pay a $1,000 fine and $6,500 in restitution.