Friday, July 02, 2004


What's that whooshing sound?

I’m working on several posts considerably more serious than this one, but in the meanwhile, a little comic relief is in order. This story was carried by any number of outlets over a week ago, but I hope to bring you some fresh details.

We’re quite familiar by now with tales of inebriated or drug-besotted judges, but Judge Donald Thompson, a district judge in Oklahoma, sought a more natural remedy to the stresses of office. And the state attorney general, far from welcoming a method that would leave the judge's mind clear, filed a petition for the judge’s removal. His complaint?

Judge Thompson violated ... [the code of judicial ethics] by his repeated use of a device known as a penis pump during non-jury and jury trials in his courtroom and in the presence of court employees while serving in his capacity as district judge. He also violated these Canons by placing himself in a position where his court reporter viewed his penis on a number of occasions while he was serving in his capacity as district judge.

Well, Oklahoma is a “red” state, and if there’s one thing that red-staters just can’t stand it’s moral turpitude. So the course of this affair is a little puzzling.

Going back almost four years, Lisa Foster, the judge’s court reporter,

started hearing a noise that “sounded like a blood pressure cuff being pumped up.”... Three or four months later she noticed a space she had not noticed before where she could see between the judge’s drawer and a door on his desk. Over the course of time, from where she sat in her court reporter chair, Lisa Foster saw Judge Thompson place a penis pump on his penis “maybe ten” times during either a non-jury or a jury trial and operate the pump.

Ms. Foster saw Judge Thompson masturbate on a number of occasions and during the course of her employment, saw his penis fifteen to twenty times. On one occasion, Ms. Foster say Judge Thompson holding his penis up and shaving underneath it with a disposable razor while on the bench.

During a trial in August of 2003,

The sound of Judge Thompson using the penis pump during trial was heard by a number of witnesses including Chief James Isaac Wall, Jr. of the Sapulpa Police Department ... who testified that the noise sound[ed] “like air being pumped or released” similar to a blood pressure cuff.

Sergeant Michael Reed ... was testifying as a witness ... and heard a “ch-ch” sound like air coming from an air pump. He turned in his chair and saw ... Judge Thompson in his chair with his elbows on his knees. He noticed a white plastic-looking device in the judge’s right hand and saw his hand moving up and down. A section of a tube disappeared between the judge’s legs, underneath his robe.

Even the jury was puzzled—

A juror commented to Ms. Foster during the ... trial that she heard a “popping” sound and asked what that sound was. Another juror said the noise sounded like “sh, sh.” Ms. Foster confronted Respondent Judge about the noise and he replied, “I don’t know what they’re talking about. Do you?” Judge Thompson asked Ms. Foster to let him know if the jurors heard the sound again or if she heard it.

But there were other indications that the judge was up to a little more than cogitation--

The cleaning responsibility [for the trash can under the bench] later fell to Judge Thompson’s secretary, Zelma Hindman, who testified that she found semen in the trash can on more than one occasion.
There were times when Ms. Hindman would hear ... the pump in his office.

The judge, however, did not neglect his personal hygiene.

... [h]is court reporter could see his penis, both erect and non-erect, from fifteen to twenty times, including seeing him masterbuate and lift his penis and shave underneath with a razor.

If all these allegations are true, how could it have continued for so long? Only one news report yields a clue. At a news conference “in which reporters weren’t allowed to ask questions,”

Hindman said working as Thompson's secretary-bailiff was ''probably the best job I've ever had.''
''I was afraid if I said anything I would get fired,'' Hindman said. ''It's hard to talk about something like that.''

You have to go to South Africa’s Independent Online to learn these details of the rebuttal:

The judge flatly denies the charges made in the petition, his lawyer, Clark Brewster, said on Thursday. He said the judge received a penis pump for his 50th birthday as a gag gift, which became a source of a running joke in the courthouse.

"The allegations are bizarre and preposterous," Brewster said. "Recently, some members of local law enforcement that are upset with a number of his rulings, used this situation to embarrass and attack him."

Chicago Pride adds this:
Thompson has a reputation for being a tough law and order judge, strong on family morals. He once tried to send a man to prison for life for spitting on a police officer. Thompson served six years in the state House of Representatives starting in 1975.

And the Best Headline Award goes to—(drum roll)—FOX NEWS

Oklahoma Wants Accused Judge Yanked

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