Judge Porteous faces questions on finances in impeachment trial

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by Mike Hoss / Eyewitness News

wwltv.com

Posted on September 15, 2010 at 5:47 PM

WASHINGTON -- Testimony in day three of the Senate impeachment trial of federal Judge Thomas Porteous centered on the judge’s finances.

Porteous's secretary and his bankruptcy lawyer dominated much of Wednesday’s proceedings in Washington D.C.

Porteous is accused of accepting gifts and cash from lawyers while on the federal bench. But much like on Tuesday, a portion of the testimony dealt with his time in the 24th District of Jefferson Parish.

One issue was that in 2001, when the Porteous's filed for bankruptcy, they did so under a false name, a G.T. Orteous, and used a P.O. box instead of their home address.

The judge's bankruptcy attorney said that decision was made so the judge’s name would not appear in the newspaper of those filing bankruptcy and could avoid embarrassment.

“For most people who are just regular folks, no one is going to notice their name in there. It’s not going to be a tremendous embarrassment to them because nobody knows them,” said bankruptcy attorney Claude Lightfoot Jr. “But I feared that would trigger a big, sort of article or expose in the paper that would embarrass Judge Porteous and his wife.”

Also addressed in Wednesday's testimony was the judge’s gambling habits and an alleged $2000 gift from an attorney for the judge's son's wedding. The trial is expected to last a couple of weeks.

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