April 25, 2007

Courthouse Tryst Could Lead To Disbarment For Judge, Prosecutor

Disorder in the court as Grafton Biddle (there's a name!) and Laurie Steinman engaged in a little extra-judicial hanky-panky, and could face disbarment for their, uh, exertions:
A Douglas County judge and a female prosecutor admitted having sex in his chambers, and on more than one occasion he slipped into the women's showers at the courthouse for a tryst.

Those are some of the details included in a complaint filed Friday with the Attorney Regulation Council, which is looking into allegations that could result in their disbarment.

Grafton Minot Biddle, 57, resigned Dec. 18 after his fourth wife sent a letter to the chief judge saying he was having an affair with Laurie A. Steinman, 29.

Carol Chambers, district attorney for the 18th Judicial District, fired Steinman on Dec. 22, the day she admitted to the affair, the complaint said.

As rumors of their romance became fodder for courthouse gossip, the complaint said, Biddle encouraged Steinman to permanently delete messages they exchanged using their e-mail accounts at work.

"If people read this stuff, we're dead," Biddle told Steinman, according to the complaint.
. . .
The relationship began last spring, with Biddle offering to mentor Steinman in his chambers over morning cups of coffee.

They had sex on the Fourth of July, a courthouse holiday, in Biddle's chambers. "Both admit they had sex a number of times in . . . Judge Biddle's judicial chamber during the summer of 2006," according to the complaint, which said the pair "degraded the sanctity of the courtroom."

Biddle asked Steinman to join his gym and enroll in a Navy Seals training class, where they were together three or four times a week. After working out, they went to the courthouse, where there were showers in the basement.

"On a number of occasions, Judge Biddle would 'sneak' into the women's shower facility in the courthouse early in the morning to shower with Ms. Steinman," the complaint said.

Biddle's wife, Gail Liles, first reported the affair in December to Judge William Blair Sylvester, chief judge of the 18th Judicial District.

"I'm shocked and thoroughly disgusted," Liles, who filed for divorce, said on Monday after reading the complaint. "This has devastated my whole family."
Penalties for the amorous couple range from private reprimand to disbarment. Then there is Biddle's divorce settlement.

Justice may be blind, but this brief legal affair is certainly eye-popping in its licentiousness! More details here.

PS--The Drunkablog was on this yesterday--salaciousness!

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