2 La. Judges Indicted in Racketeering Case
Posted Oct 12, 2007 4:51 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
Two Louisiana judges have been indicted for allegedly taking bribes to help get defendants out of jail by reducing bond, among other mechanisms.
Both State District Judge Michael Walker, 57, and Caddo Parish Juvenile Court Judge Vernon Claville, 56, are accused in the federal racketeering case of accepting bribes from Larry Williams, 41, a licensed bail bondsman who is also named as a defendant, reports the Associated Press. If convicted, each could face a prison sentence of up to 20 years and a fine of as much as $250,000.
Walker and Claville technically remain on the bench for now. However, they have apparently voluntarily stopped hearing cases since yesterday's announcement of their indictment, and the state supreme court is considering their status, according to the Shreveport Times.
Each of the two judges has been on the bench for more than a decade. An investigation of their work reportedly was launched in 2003.