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Senate terminates federal judge impeachment proceedings

[JURIST] The US Senate [official website] on Wednesday dismissed articles of impeachment [text, PDF] for former federal judge Samuel Kent [JURIST news archive]. The decision to terminate impeachment proceedings came after the White House accepted Kent's resignation [JURIST reports] last month. Kent resigned at the end of June after the US House of Representatives [official website] voted to impeach him [JURIST report]. Kent is the first federal judge to be impeached in 20 years, and only the thirteenth federal judge ever to be impeached.

Earlier last 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 [18 USC § 1512(c)(2) text] charges in connection with the alleged sexual harassment of his secretary and former case manager as part of 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.

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