Defendant alleges he used drugs with federal judge's relatives; 6th Circuit tosses judge from case

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A defendant who alleged he used drugs with two of a federal judge’s relatives has succeeded in getting the judge kicked off his case.

The Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals removed U.S. District Judge John Adams of Akron, Ohio, from the case in a May 9 order (PDF), Cleveland.com reports.

The appeals court also denied a request by the defendant, Eric Ramey, to seal his petition (PDF) to remove Adams. Ramey is charged with using counterfeit money.

In his response, Adams called Ramey’s petition “intemperate and inflammatory by design” and said he does not concede the allegations to be accurate. Adams also told the court he was “wholly unaware” of any relationship between Ramey and the relatives.

Adams said Ramey’s story had evolved over time. At first Ramey said he was somehow involved with one of the judge’s relatives and was expected to testify against him in a pending criminal proceeding. When that didn’t result in recusal, Ramey “upped the ante” and claimed a years-long friendship with two of the judge’s relatives, Adams wrote.

“When those additional allegations still did not result in a sua sponte recusal,” Adams wrote, Ramey’s “affiliation with my relatives then evolved into a 14-month drug binge. … Given the piecemeal manner in which they [the allegations] were presented, this panel should also have significant doubts about their accuracy.”

Adams told Cleveland.com in an email that he has “no independent knowledge of a relationship between the defendant and the persons referenced in the petition or the activities alleged in the petition.” He said he has recused himself at the direction of the appeals court, but he cannot comment further “as the 6th Circuit did not detail any reason for my need to recuse.”

The 6th Circuit has removed Adams from at least two other cases in recent years, according to Cleveland.com.

Adams was also in the news this month when he admonished a lawyer for cursing under his breath during a sentencing hearing.

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