Appeal, No. 490, Miscellaneous Docket No. 18, in re Stanley M. Greenberg, Judge, Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia.
Before Bell, C.j., Jones, Eagen, O'brien, Roberts, Pomeroy and Barbieri, JJ.
AND NOW, this 24th day of March, 1971, the recommendation of the Judicial Inquiry and Review Board in the above-entitled matter, by report filed December 31, 1970, is approved, and
IT IS ORDERED that Stanley M. GREENBERG, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of the First Judicial District, City of Philadelphia, be and he is hereby suspended from his office, and prohibited from the exercise of any and all judicial functions, and from any and all judicial acts and judicial duties until the issue of his conviction (Criminal No. 23208 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania) shall become final.
Opinion in support of order,filed by Mr. Justice POMEROY:
The Court has this day entered an order suspending Judge Stanley M. GREENBERG from his office and from exercising judicial functions until the issue of his guilt or innocence is finally determined in the federal courts. This order was entered with reluctance, but in the firm belief that it is necessary in order to uphold respect for the rule of law and the administration of the judicial process in the courts of this Commonwealth.
The action now being taken, after mature deliberation, is pursuant to and in accord with the unanimous report and recommendation of the Judicial Inquiry and Review Board of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (herein "the Board"),*fn1 filed December 31, 1970, and
after consideration of the statement of objections*fn2 thereto filed on behalf of Judge GREENBERG.
The Board found that Judge GREENBERG was appointed to the Court of Common Pleas of the First Judicial District (City of Philadelphia) on August 6, 1965, and subsequently elected to a full term (10 years) which he is presently serving; that on March 20, 1968, Judge GREENBERG was indicted to Criminal No. 23208 in the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania for the crime of conspiracy and use of the United States mail to defraud in 21 counts; that on April 29, 1970, after trial by a jury, he was found guilty of the charges laid in Count 1 of the indictment, to wit, a conspiracy to use the United States mail to perpetrate a fraud; that the fraud concerned the use of the mail to kite bank checks during the
period September, 1961 to July, 1965, prior to Judge GREENBERG'S appointment as a judge; that motions for a new trial and judgment of acquittal were denied on December 4, 1970;*fn3 and that the indictment and conviction of Judge GREENBERG "prejudiced the proper administration of justice and brought the judicial office into disrepute". The Board further found that since his conviction Judge GREENBERG had limited himself strictly to "matters of administration",*fn4 and that his record in connection with administrative work of the court had at all times been competent.
In its conclusions of law the Board stated that the conviction in the United States District Court of a judge of the court of common pleas of a conspiracy to use the United States mail to defraud, "a felony-type offense",*fn5 "constitutes conduct which prejudices the proper administration of justice and brings the judicial office into disrepute." It also concluded that it is contrary to the intent and purpose of Article V, Sec. 18 of the Constitution of Pennsylvania that a judge of the court of common pleas "hold judicial office, administer the judicial power of the Commonwealth, exercise judicial functions and perform judicial acts while he himself stands convicted of unlawful and felonious acts". We accept both the findings and conclusions of the Board.
"The place of justice is a hallowed place; and therefore not only the bench but the ...