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White House accepts impeached judge's resignation

[JURIST] The White House on Monday accepted the resignation of impeached federal judge Samuel Kent [JURIST news archive] from his seat on the US District Court for the Southern District of Texas [official website]. In a resignation letter submitted [JURIST report] last week, Kent said he would step down by the end of June. Kent recieved a letter [AP report] from White House Counsel Greg Craig saying that US President Barack Obama [official profile] had accepted the resignation. Kent's termination comes amidst impeachment trial proceedings [JURIST report] against him in the US Senate [official website], which last week accepted articles of impeachment [text, PDF] approved [JURIST report] by the US House of Representatives [official website] earlier this month. Kent is the first federal judge to be impeached in 20 years, and only the thirteenth federal judge ever to be impeached.

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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