OLR Research Report

February 9, 2004




By: Christopher Reinhart, Associate Attorney

You asked for a list of state officials who have been impeached or threatened with impeachment.


We found 15 governors who were impeached (including two who were impeached twice) and seven who were threatened with impeachment. Of the 15 who were impeached (with the two impeached twice), seven were convicted. We also found a number of governors who left office in other ways, such as recall election, automatic removal for conviction of a crime, and resignation.

We found 13 other executive branch officials who were impeached or threatened with impeachment. These include a lieutenant governor, secretary of the state, treasurer, attorney general, and auditor. We did not focus on judges, but we also found 36 judges who were impeached or threatened with impeachment. These range from city court judges to state Supreme Court justices. We also found ten other officials who were impeached or threatened with impeachment. These include sheriffs, legislators, and a clerk.

The list below includes the state officials we found in our research, in chronological order with the most recent first. The information on each individual varies depending on the sources available to us. The

information is almost entirely from secondary sources. While we conducted extensive research, this list cannot be considered comprehensive.

Please let us know if you would like further research on any of the individuals.


1996: Arkansas Governor Jim Guy Tucker

● In May 1996, Tucker was convicted of two federal felony charges in connection with the “Whitewater affair.” Shortly after the verdict was announced, he stated that he would resign his office on July 15, 1996 to provide for an orderly transition of office. He subsequently changed his mind upon learning of grounds that could have led to the verdict being set aside. The lieutenant governor and legislative leaders called for Tucker's impeachment, and he resigned on July 15, 1996 (“Tucker Flips, Flops,” Arkansas Times, July 19, 1996).

1994: Oklahoma Governor David Walters

● A grand jury issued an indictment against Walters for campaign contribution violations. It also recommended impeachment.

● Walters pled guilty to a misdemeanor and eight felony counts were dismissed. The misdemeanor related to encouraging a contributor to give $13,500 more than the $5,000 campaign contribution limit. Six of the felony counts were perjury charges tied to signing campaign reports.

● Walters received a one-year deferred sentence, paid a $1,000 fine, and gave the state Ethics Commission the money he had raised for the 1994 governor's race.

● In 1994, the House voted 52-47 not to hold an impeachment inquiry. Walters did not run for re-election (“Oklahoma Governor Will Not Run Again,” Los Angeles Times, November 2, 1993, “Former Gov. David Walters Formally Announces Senate Campaign,” Associated Press, May 7, 2002).

1988: Arizona Governor Evan Mecham

● In April 1987, Mecham filed his personal financial disclosure statement. The statement, which was made under oath, did not identify a $350,000 loan from an attorney who was being investigated by the attorney general for an alleged arbitrage scam. In the fall of 1987, the attorney general launched a grand jury probe that resulted in the governor's indictment for failing to disclose the contribution.

● On February 8, 1988, the House voted three articles of impeachment following an investigation. It alleged that Mecham had obstructed justice, filed false sworn statements related to official filings made while in office, and misused state funds.

● In April, the Senate found Mecham guilty of obstructing justice and misusing state funds and removed him from office.

● On June 16, 1988, Mecham was found not guilty of the criminal charges, which were almost identical to the impeachment charges (links to various impeachment materials,

1985: Alaska Governor Bill Sheffield

● A grand jury recommended considering impeaching Sheffield for allegedly manipulating lease specifications and lying about his role.

● After a committee investigation, the Senate (which sends impeachment articles to the House) adopted a resolution that it did not find clear and convincing evidence that the governor committed an impeachable offense (“Impeachment Move Dies,” Los Angeles Times, August 4 and 6, 1985).

1935: North Dakota Governor Thomas H. Moodie

● After the election, it was alleged that Moodie did not meet the constitutional residency requirements for holding office.

● The attorney general brought a challenge to Moodie's eligibility for office in the state Supreme Court.

● The House narrowly passed an impeachment resolution that did not mention specific charges and authorized a committee to formulate the charges. Reports indicated that the charge would be a misdemeanor in office—that he took office with knowledge that he was not qualified.

● The attorney general blocked a plan to elevate the lieutenant governor, ruling that impeachment was not complete until the House presented the Senate with articles of impeachment.

● Impeachment proceedings halted when the state Supreme Court took up the case. The court later removed Moodie as unqualified for office.

● On the last day of session, the House voted to expunge the impeachment resolution and all references to it from the journal (“The Gubernatorial Controversy in North Dakota,” American Political Science Review, Vol. 29, No. 3, p. 418 (June 1935)).

1934: North Dakota Governor William Langer

● A federal court convicted Langer for soliciting political contributions from federal employees.

● After Langer's conviction, Lieutenant Governor Olson attempted to take office as governor arguing that Langer's conviction made him ineligible for office under the constitution.

● The attorney general and state Supreme Court refused Olson's request to rule on Langer's eligibility but the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case after Langer's sentencing.

● On July 12, Langer called for a special session to investigate him, stating that the legislature had the sole power to investigate and remove him from office. His attorneys also used this argument before the Supreme Court.

● On July 17, the court ordered Langer removed from office because of his felony conviction. Langer declared martial law and ordered the National Guard to Bismarck because of the possible threat from federal relief workers who demonstrated the day before (some argued that Langer initiated the strike to justify martial law).

● On July 18, Olson revoked the special session call and the adjutant general stated that he accepted the court's ruling and Olson as his commander.

● On July 19, Langer vacated his offices and the legislature met. The House stated that it met under its own powers and under Langer's call. The Senate could not get a quorum. On July 24, the House recessed after adopting a resolution stating that it was legally in session to consider impeaching state officers and it had authorized the speaker to appoint an investigatory committee.

● After three more trials, Langer was eventually acquitted of the federal criminal charges (“The Gubernatorial Controversy in North Dakota,” American Political Science Review, Vol. 29, No. 3, p. 418 (June 1935),

1931: Tennessee Governor Henry Horton

● Impeached and acquitted (Council of State Governments, list for publication in 2004 Book of the States).

1929: Louisiana Governor Huey Long

● The House articles of impeachment alleged that Governor Long (1) intimidated an individual; (2) attempted to bribe legislators; (3) did not account for money appropriated for a governor's conference (including allegedly purchasing a car with state money); (4) illegally interfered with the state colony and training school and removed an official; (5) spent money appropriated to repair the governor's mansion for other purposes; (6) used state money to buy a private law library; (7) allowed a construction company to build defective culverts and paid them for it; and (8) forced appointees to sign undated resignations, insulted citizens, discharged a college president, appointed a corrupt parole officer, and demonstrated incompetence and an unfit temperament for office.

● The Senate rejected the first article and 15 Senators signed a statement that the other articles were invalid and they would not vote to convict (there was an argument about the articles' validity because they were adopted after the date set for the end of session) (T. Harry Williams, Huey Long (1969)).

1929: Oklahoma Governor Henry S. Johnston (also impeached in 1927)

● Charges in the articles of impeachment included unlawful issuance of deficiency certificates, illegal appointments, unlawful use of the military to prevent the legislature from assembling, corrupt use of the pardon power, and general incompetency.

● The Senate acquitted Johnston of all charges except the charge of general incompetence and he was removed from office (Edward Everett Hale and Morris L. Wardell, History of Oklahoma (1948) and

1927: Oklahoma Governor Henry S. Johnston (also impeached in 1929)

● The allegations are unclear but it was alleged that his confidential secretary had too much influence over his actions and policies and the Highway Commission was criticized.

● House leaders claimed to have the signatures of a majority of members to call a special session but the governor did not recognize their validity.

● The legislature met on its own motion and the House appointed an investigatory committee. The committee was also authorized to investigate the state Supreme Court.

● The Supreme Court invalidated the law under which the legislature was meeting and declared that the legislature had no inherent authority to convene itself. A district court then issued an injunction to prevent the legislature from meeting. But legislators claimed they were meeting as a court of impeachment and were superior to the Supreme Court and not bound by the court's decrees.

● The National Guard, under Johnston's orders, blocked the capitol and the legislature met at a hotel. The House adopted articles of impeachment against the governor, Supreme Court chief justice, and agriculture secretary.

● The Senate later met as a court of impeachment but declared that the House had not met legally and the Senate could not consider the charges (Edward Everett Hale and Morris L. Wardell, History of Oklahoma (1948) and

1923: Oklahoma Governor John Walton

● Early in his term, Walton placed Okmulgee and Tulsa counties under martial law in response to activities of the Ku Klux Klan, suspending habeas corpus in Tulsa. When an Oklahoma City grand jury prepared to investigate the governor's office, Walton put the entire state under martial law on September 15, 1923 with “absolute martial law” applicable to Tulsa.

● Legislative leaders responded with a call for a special impeachment session, which was authorized on October 2. In an attempt to override the legislature, Walton called a special session on October 11 to enact measures against the Klan.

● The legislature refused the governor's request and recessed until October 17 when they met in reply to the call of the speaker of the House.

● The House adopted 22 charges and voted for impeachment. Charges included appointing a legislator as judge and allowing him to serve in both capacities and collect both salaries, allowing his chauffeur to serve in two offices and collect both salaries, using the militia to prevent a judge from impaneling a grand jury, profiting from fraudulent land deals involving state land, engineering payment of a bribe for approving state money for a local school, proclaiming martial law in Tulsa without proper grounds, misusing power as commander-in-chief of the militia to intimidate people, appointing friends to lucrative positions in government without proper justification, and granting 274 pardons and paroles mostly without justification.

● Eleven charges were sustained, including illegally collecting campaign funds, padding the public payroll, unconstitutionally suspending habeas corpus, excessive use of the pardon power, and general incompetence. On November 19, 1923 Walton was convicted by the Senate and removed from office (Minnesota State Law Library, and

Around 1920: Oklahoma Governor James Robertson

● Robertson was involved in political scandals with administering federal funds.

● The House came one vote short of impeachment ( This document also states that Lieutenant Governor Martin E. Trapp was impeached but we did not find any other information on his impeachment).

1917: Texas Governor James Ferguson

● During the 1916 campaign, the Ferguson administration was accused of a number of irregularities. Preliminary investigations by the legislature failed to uncover any charge that would merit impeachment, and the incident seemed closed. However, Ferguson became involved in a controversy regarding funding for the University of Texas, which revived the old charges and introduced several new charges.

● In July 1917, Ferguson was indicted on nine charges. Seven related to misapplication of public funds, one to embezzlement, and one to the diversion of a special fund. Ferguson made bond of $13,000 and announced his candidacy for a third term as governor.

● The House speaker subsequently called a special session to consider charges of impeachment against the governor. The call was of doubtful legality as the state constitution only provided for the governor to call special sessions, but Ferguson removed all question by calling the legislature to meet for the purpose of making appropriations for the university.

● The House conducted a lengthy investigation and prepared 21 articles of impeachment.

● The Senate spent three weeks considering the charges and finally convicted the governor on ten of them. Nine of these articles involved criminal activities, including the misapplication of public funds. The tenth charge was that Ferguson refused to reveal the source of a $156,500 payment in currency. The Senate also barred Ferguson from serving in political office in the future.

● One day before the Senate vote, Ferguson resigned from office and argued that the decision did not apply to him. The issue went to the state Supreme Court, which sustained the Senate's decisions (Ferguson v. Maddox, 263 S.W. 888 (Texas 1924)) (

1913: New York Governor William Sulzer

● Sulzer was accused of campaign finance corruption, including (1) filing false statements of receipts and expenditures in the election campaign of 1912, (2) misusing monies contributed for his campaign and illegally converting campaign contributions, and (3) corruptly influencing the stock exchange.

● The Assembly impeached him in August 1913. The Senate convicted and removed him from office on October 17, 1913 (Minnesota State Law Library,

1876: Louisiana Governor William Pitt Kellogg

● The House appointed a committee to examine the public accounts and then appointed a committee to draft articles of impeachment. The House notified the Senate, which notified the House that it would accept charges by 7:00 P.M. that day. The House presented none and the Senate dismissed the accusation and acquitted Kellogg.

● The House later adopted 14 impeachment articles (Albert Phelps, Louisiana (1905)).

1876: Mississippi Governor Adelbert Ames

● Violence and riots erupted surrounding the 1875 election (Reconstruction era).

● Ames was charged with misuing funds appropriated to build a state prison, removing the treasurer and assuming his duties, ejecting a county sheriff from office, using state prison inmates for his own benefit, and refusing to fill a vacancy in office.

● Ames was impeached but resigned when it became apparent he would be convicted and removed. The charges were dropped (Minnesota State Law Library,

1872-1873: Louisiana Governor Henry Clay Warmouth

● Allegations involved his role in a fraudulent election.

● Impeached but not brought to trial (

1872: Florida Governor Harrison Reed (also impeached in 1868)

● Reed was charged with misapplication of public funds and receiving unlawful compensation. The House of Representatives impeached him.

● Reed considered himself suspended and left the capital and the lieutenant governor declared himself governor. When the legislature adjourned without a trial, Reed returned and assumed he was acquitted. The state Supreme Court declared that Reed remained governor and a special session led to dismissal of the charges (Exploring Florida website,, “Path to Impeach Always Thorny,” St. Petersburg Times, October 28, 2001)).

1871: Arkansas Governor Powell Clayton

● The House adopted articles of impeachment.

● Charges were dropped (Historic Arkansas website, quoting Harper's New Monthly Magazine, April 1871,

1871: Nebraska Governor David Butler

● The allegations primarily involved Butler's actions relating to locating the state capitol, erecting public buildings, selling lots, and building a university and asylum.

● The articles of impeachment included (1) neglecting his duty regarding certain federal funds, intermingling them with his own funds, and appropriating them to his use and benefit; (2) using official powers corruptly, refusing to perform duties to secure profit to himself and extort money from people with claims against the state or seeking office or privilege (involving unsold lots in Lincoln and building the university and asylum), keeping part of payments requested for work performed by certain individuals on threat that the individual would receive less, entertaining an offer for money to assist and vote for an appointment to a position, and accepting land at a reduced value as inducement and a bribe to influence actions and decisions as commissioner in locating the asylum; (3) requesting an amount above the fair and reasonable amount to pay an attorney and keeping half of the payment; (4) accusations about choosing the contractor for the asylum and awarding an amount above the appropriation; (5) accusations about the price for building the university; (6) deceiving the House about depositing the federal funds in the state treasury; (7) loaning funds that were to be invested recklessly, without authority, and without action by the treasurer; (8) appropriating money to be deposited into the treasury to his own use; (9) issuing patents for public lands to certain railroad companies that the legislature had given to another company; (10) selling lots and state land at private sale and appropriating some of the money to his own use; and (11) corrupt practices involving selling lots and appropriating some of the money for his own use.

● The House impeached Butler for misdemeanors in office and the Senate convicted him on the first charge and removed him from office (Andreas, History of the State of Nebraska (1882), at (Nebraska: A Bicentennial History (by Dorothy Weyer Creigh, 1977) also mentions that the state auditor was impeached but not convicted.)

1871: South Carolina Governor Robert Kingston Scott

● Unsuccessful attempt to impeach (

1870: North Carolina Governor William Woods Holden

● Allegations related to his actions concerning insurrections, using martial law, suppressing KKK activities, and denying habeas corpus.

● The House presented the Senate with eight articles of impeachment on December 20, 1870.

● The Senate found him guilty of six articles and ordered his removal and disqualification from holding office (

1868: Florida Governor Harrison Reed (also impeached in 1872)

● The legislature adjourned before the Senate conducted an impeachment trial. The lieutenant governor proclaimed himself governor and the state Supreme Court ruled that Reed was not officially impeached because a quorum did not exist when the Senate originally charged him.

1862: Kansas Governor Charles Robinson

● The House impeachment articles for the governor (along with the secretary of state and the auditor) primarily involved their actions in the sale of certain state bonds. A legislative act authorized the three to act in issuing these bonds. The impeachment articles alleged that the three worked together or knew of the plan to give a number of the bonds to an individual who sold them at a high rate but paid the state at a rate lower than that authorized by law.

● The Senate acquitted the governor (Proceedings in the Cases of the Impeachment of Charles Robinson, Governor, John W. Robinson, Secretary of State, George S. Hillyer, Auditor of State, of Kansas (1862)).


We found a number of governors who left office in other ways, such as recall election, automatic removal for conviction of a crime, and resignation.


Two governors have been removed from office by recall: Lynn Frazier (North Dakota, 1921) and Gray Davis (California, 2003). Arizona Governor J. Howard Pyle was the subject of a recall petition that was certified but his term ended before the election date in 1955 (Council of State Governments, list for publication in 2004 Book of the States).

Removal for Conviction of a Crime or Disqualification

Two North Dakota governors were removed from office by the state Supreme Court: William Langer (1934, also discussed above as the subject of an impeachment resolution) and Thomas H. Moodie (1935,

also discussed above as the subject of an impeachment resolution) (“The Gubernatorial Controversy in North Dakota,” American Political Science Review, Vol. 29, No. 3, p. 418 (June 1935)).

Alabama Governor Guy Hunt was automatically removed from office by statute when he was convicted of a felony ethics charge of illegally using inaugural fund money in 1993 (“Gov. Hunt Loses Office After Conviction Verdict,' Los Angeles Times, April 23, 1993).


Arizona Governor Fife Symington was convicted of seven felony counts of bank and wire fraud (the conviction was later overturned and he was pardoned by President Clinton). He resigned from office in 1997 (“From Politics to Pies: Former Arizona Governor Hails New Life,” New York Times, April 6, 2003).

Tennessee Governor Ray Blanton, who was involved in a pardon-selling scandal, left office three days earlier than usual when the inauguration date for the next governor was moved up (1979). He was not charged in the scandal but was later convicted on unrelated charges of extortion and conspiracy for selling a liquor license for $23,000 to a friend while in office (“Ex-Tenn. Gov. Ray Blanton Dies; Was Involved in Clemency Scandal,” Washington Post, November 23, 1996).

Maryland Governor Marvin Mandel was convicted in 1977 on racketeering and mail fraud charges. He was charged with manipulations to increase the value of a race track secretly owned by a friend and political fundraiser and four others. Mandel allegedly helped the track receive extra racing days and the owners gave him money, jewelry, vacations, and financial assistance in his divorce and remarriage. Mandel resigned from office. He served 19 months in prison before President Reagan commuted his sentence (“The Comeback of Marvin Mandel,” Washington Post, June 2, 1987, “Md. Assembly Asserts Its Independence, Washington Post, January 15, 1987).

Louisiana Governor Richard Leche was involved in a political scandal known as the “Louisiana hayride.” He resigned in 1939 and was later convicted of mail fraud in federal court (President Truman pardoned him) ( and

Indiana Governor Warren McCray was convicted of mail fraud and forced to resign in 1924 (he was later pardoned by President Hoover) (,1169,C_GOVERNOR_INFO^D_1067,00.html).

Georgia Governor Rufus Brown Bullock faced a number of controversies and was accused of peddling pardons, bribing the press, and ransacking the state penitentiary. He resigned in 1871 under mounting charges and fled the state. He was arrested and tried for embezzlement in 1876 but was not convicted (,1169,C_GOVERNOR_INFO^D_932,00.html).

Mississippi Governor John A. Quitman was indicted in 1850 for violations of the federal Neutrality Act. He advocated annexing Cuba to the United States, invited two Cubans to be guests at the governor's mansion, and became involved in their plans. Governor Quitman resigned in 1851 before submitting to arrest by a federal marshal (Richard Aubrey McLemore, editor, A History of Mississippi, Vol. 1 (1973)).


2004: Nebraska Treasurer Lorelee Byrd

● Byrd was involved in a scandal about hidden money and threatening letters. She allegedly wrote $300,000 in checks and kept them in her vault and then voided them shortly after the legislature ended its budget cutting session. She denied writing the checks to make it appear that the money had been spent, in order to protect her office from budget cuts.

● She pled guilty to misdemeanor misconduct in office.

● Members of the legislature talked about beginning impeachment proceedings.

● She resigned from office January 6, 2004 (“Nebraska Treasurer Resigns,” Casper Star-Tribune, January 7, 2004, “Voided Check Scandal is Rare for Nebraska Politics,” CNN, December 17, 2003).

1994: Missouri Secretary of State Judith Moriarty

● The House adopted three articles of impeachment for misconduct in office involving backdating her son's election paperwork to appear that he filed candidacy papers for a House seat before the filing deadline.

● The House impeached and the Missouri Supreme Court convicted (“Ex-Missouri Official is Fined,” Washington Post, December 23, 1994, Governor's Executive Order No. 94-100).

1984: Nebraska Attorney General Paul Douglas

● The legislature impeached Douglas in connection with his handling of an investigation of a failed bank. Charges included lying, failing to disqualify himself from an investigation, and failing to investigate the bank.

● The state Supreme Court tried and acquitted Douglas of the charges.

● A county jury convicted Douglas of perjury for lying to a state legislative committee and he resigned (the conviction was later overturned) (“State Attorney General is Impeached,” Wall Street Journal, March 15, 1984, “Nebraska State Official Quits After Conviction on Charges of Perjury,” Wall Street Journal, December 27, 1984).

1939-1941: Massachusetts Governor's Councilor Daniel H. Coakley

● The governor's councilor advised the governor in certain matters including pardons and paroles.

● The House impeached, citing numerous instances of accepting bribes.

● The Senate found Coakley guilty and voted for removal from office (Minnesota State Law Library,

1933: Kansas Auditor Will J. French

● Articles of impeachment included approving a deputy receiving money for issuing forged state bonds, various acts concerning school district warrants including issuing false warrants, and defrauding the state by aiding in the mishandling of state money deposited in state banks.

● The House impeached but the Senate acquitted (Minnesota State Law Library,

1907: Washington Deputy Insurance Commissioner John H. Schively

● Charged with embezzling state funds, collecting excessive fees, and collecting a salary as officer of a livestock association while holding office.

● The Senate acquitted (Minnesota State Law Library,

1876: Mississippi Lieutenant Governor Alexander K. Davis

● Charged with accepting a bribe to pardon a prisoner convicted of murder.

● He was impeached and removed from office (Minnesota State Law Library,

1876: Mississippi Superintendent of Public Education Thomas W. Cardozo

● Cardozo was impeached for land fraud (owing large sums of money to the state for his purchases of state lands), embezzlement of public funds, and misuse of university funds.

● He was impeached and removed from office (Minnesota State Law Library,

1872: Michigan Land Commissioner Charles A. Edmonds

● Charged with fraud in purchasing swamp land, conspiracy to favor friends in land sales, and fraudulently issuing licenses on state lands.

● The House impeached but the Senate acquitted (Minnesota State Law Library,

1868: New York Canal Commissioner Robert C. Dorn

● Charged with corrupt bidding on repairs and conspiracy to enrich certain contractors, accepting excessive bids, and allowing friends to acquire materials for themselves.

● The Senate found him guilty (Minnesota State Law Library,

1862: Kansas Secretary of State John Robinson and Auditor George Hillyer

● The House impeachment articles for these two officials (along with Governor Charles Robinson who is listed above) primarily involved their actions in the sale of certain state bonds. A legislative act authorized the three to act in issuing these bonds. The impeachment articles alleged that the three worked together or knew of the plan to give a number of the bonds to an individual who sold them at a high rate but paid the state at a rate lower than that authorized by law.

● The Senate convicted Secretary John Robinson and Auditor Hillyer but acquitted Governor Charles Robinson (Proceedings in the Cases of the Impeachment of Charles Robinson, Governor, John W. Robinson, Secretary of State, George S. Hillyer, Auditor of State, of Kansas (1862)).

1794: Pennsylvania Comptroller General John Nicholson

● Nicholson was charged with trafficking in illegal stock certificates and tampering with state finances.

● The Senate acquitted (Minnesota State Law Library,


2001: Florida Judge Charles Cope (Circuit Court)

● Cope pled guilty to the misdemeanor of public intoxication in California, based on an incident at a judicial conference where he allegedly attempted to enter the hotel room of two women. He was also found guilty of public intoxication and improper intimate contact by a Judicial Qualifications Commission panel.

● Legislators considered beginning impeachment.

● The Florida Supreme Court reprimanded him in 2003.

● Cope would face re-election in Fall 2004 (“Justice Lambastes, Warns Cope,” St. Petersburg Times, August 29, 2003).

2001: Florida Judge Robert Bonanno (Circuit Court)

● Bonanno was caught in another judge's chambers after hours. Other questions involved a courthouse affair, sealing cases, and a home purchase. A grand jury found him unfit for office and recommended his removal. The state Supreme Court considered a reprimand.

● Bonanno resigned as a House committee prepared to launch an impeachment investigation (“Judge Bonanno Quits as Inquiry About to Start,” St. Petersburg Times, December 28, 2001).

2000: New Hampshire Impeachment Proceedings Against Supreme Court Justices

Associate Justice W. Stephen Thayer, III

● Justice Thayer resigned before proceedings began.

Justice John T. Broderick, Jr.

● The House investigated but rejected articles of impeachment against Justice Broderick.

Justice Sherman D. Horton, Jr.

● The House investigated but rejected articles of impeachment against Justice Horton.

Chief Justice David A. Brock

● The House approved four articles of impeachment against chief Justice Brock: (1) overseeing a practice that allowed recused and disqualified justices to receive draft opinions, attend conferences on the cases, and comment and influence rulings; (2) discussing with Justice Thayer who would substitute on the appeal in Thayer's divorce case; (3) phoning a lower court judge to check the status of a case involving a company owned by the Senate majority leader and not informing his colleagues of it when the case came to the Supreme Court; and (4) lying to the House Judiciary Committee under oath when denying the call.

● The Senate did not convict (Interim Report of Special Counsel Joseph D. Steinfeld, May 30, 2000, Methods of Removing State Judges, American Judicature Society,

1997: Illinois Supreme Court Chief Justice James Heiple

● Allegations included that Chief Justice Heiple used his office to avoid traffic tickets and manipulated the judicial process to avoid sanctions. The Courts Commission censured him for failing to cooperate with law enforcement during four traffic stops.

● A House committee investigation included charges that he did not disclose that the Judicial Inquiry Board was investigating him when the justices were voting to make him chief justice, he did not recuse himself from voting on the appointment of a fellow justice as chair of the Court Commission even though he knew the chair would preside at a hearing if the board filed a complaint against him, and improperly avoiding jury service.

● A House committee recommended no articles of impeachment (Methods of Removing State Judges, American Judicature Society,

1996: Vermont Assistant Judge Althea Kroger

● The Judicial Conduct Board requested that the legislature impeach Kroger.

● The House resolution alleged reasonable grounds for impeachment including perjury under oath and making false allegations of wrongdoing with respect to another county officer.

● The House Judiciary Committee held hearings but took no action. The board later made a finding but did not have the necessary votes to recommend a sanction. Kroger took a leave of absence and the Vermont Supreme Court later suspended Kroger from judicial office for one year. Kroger later resigned and was reprimanded by the Supreme Court (

1994: Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice Rolf Larsen

● The Senate convicted Larsen of improper contact with an attorney and acquitted him on six other charges.

● He was removed and barred from holding public office (Methods of Removing State Judges, American Judicature Society,

1993: Rhode Island Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Fay

● Chief Justice Fay was investigated for allegedly using court funds for personal expenses, choosing a business partner to arbitrate contract disputes, using court secretaries for personal business, and writing letters to municipal judges asking them to fix parking tickets for friends and family.

● Fay resigned under threat of an impeachment investigation.

● He was later convicted in criminal court of fraud for using court funds to pay personal expenses (Methods of Removing State Judges, American Judicature Society,

1986: Rhode Island Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph A. Bevilacqua

● The Commission on Judicial Tenure and Discipline suspended Chief Justice Bevilacqua for “bringing his judicial office into serious disrepute,” based on frequent socializing with reputed mobsters and meeting women at a motel purportedly owned by men linked to drug smuggling and illegal gambling.

● He retired from the bench while impeachment hearings were taking place (Methods of Removing State Judges, American Judicature Society,

1978: Florida Judge Sam Smith (Circuit Court)

● A federal court convicted Judge Smith of drug conspiracy in 1978.

● The House then impeached and the Senate convicted him on four articles of impeachment (“Path to Impeach Always Thorny,” St. Petersburg Times, October 28, 2001).

1975: Florida Supreme Court Justices Hal Dekle and David McCain

● The two justices faced allegations of pulling strings for friends. Justice McCain allegedly lobbied a lower court to overturn a political supporter's bribery conviction (there was also evidence that he accepted a bribe).

● When the House began an investigation, both resigned (“Path to Impeach Always Thorny,” St. Petersburg Times, October 28, 2001).

1963: Florida Judge Richard Kelly (Circuit Court)

● Judge Kelly allegedly intimidated and embarrassed lawyers in court.

● The House initially fell seven votes short of the required 2/3 to impeach but later did impeach.

● The Senate acquitted (“Path to Impeach Always Thorny,” St. Petersburg Times, October 28, 2001).

1957: Florida Judge George Holt (Circuit Court)

● Judge Holt was charged with ethics violations.

● The Senate acquitted (“Path to Impeach Always Thorny,” St. Petersburg Times, October 28, 2001).

1943: Michigan Probate Judge Michael E. Nolan

● Charged with failing to conform to legal requirements in performing marriages, charging low fees for ceremonies, and not publishing proper information about marriage licenses.

● The Senate voted for impeachment (Minnesota State Law Library,

1929: California Judge Carlos S. Hardy (Superior Court)

● Judge Hardy allegedly acted as counsel, rendered various legal services, and accepted a fee in connection with two individuals and their evangelistic activities while serving as judge.

● The Senate acquitted (Minnesota State Law Library,

1916: Kentucky Judge Joe Edward Williams

● The House approved articles of impeachment against Judge Williams including issuing arrest warrants for several people conspiring to injure public property, issuing a warrant without an affidavit or supporting documents, failing to keep a record book, failing to account for money paid the court, and suspending criminal sentences.

● Outcome unclear (Minnesota State Law Library,

1911: North Dakota Judge John F. Cowen

● Judge Cowen was accused of delaying decisions on motions, taking undue time at trials, and unseemly behavior.

● The Senate found him not guilty (Minnesota State Law Library,

1891: Kansas Judge Theodosius Botkin

● Judge Botkin faced numerous charges, chiefly continuous drunkenness and ignoring the docket.

● The Senate voted against the judge (Minnesota State Law Library,

1882: Minnesota Judge E. St. Julien Cox

● Judge Cox allegedly held court while intoxicated.

● The Senate found him guilty and removed him from office (Minnesota State Law Library,

1878: Minnesota Judge Sherman Page

● Judge Page was charged with having an arbitrary and violent temper; treating witnesses, counsel, and litigants improperly; lacking dignity and decorum; being retained by a newspaper while sitting on a case involving the paper; being prejudiced against litigants; and overbearing and offensive conduct.

● The Senate found him not guilty (Minnesota State Law Library,

1874: New York Justice George G. Barnard (Supreme Court)

● Judge Barnard was charged with unjudicial conduct in certain railroad cases (opposing railroad magnates and denouncing railroad financiers from the bench), fraud, corruption, and other dealings.

● He was removed and disqualified (Minnesota State Law Library,

1874: New York Justice George Milton Curtis (Marine Court of the City of New York)

● Charged with becoming a partner in a law firm with a principal practice of trial cases before his court and sharing in the firm's profits (including specific cases of dismissing juries and deciding cases himself).

● He was impeached but the Senate found him not guilty (Minnesota State Law Library,

1872: New York Justice John H. McCunn (Superior Court of the City of New York)

● Charged with unjudicial conduct in trying a case, actively participating in the plaintiff's case, acting as plaintiff's counsel while judge, assisting a brother-in-law as a litigant in another case, and assisting a litigant to collect rent in a case before him in which he was personally involved.

● The Senate removed him from office (Minnesota State Law Library,

1871: New York County Judge and Surrogate Horace G. Prindle

● Judge Prindle faced various charges involving his handling of probate matters, collecting fees, filing in his court on private matters, collecting a salary for the work, appropriating money allocated for the clerk to himself, appointing himself executor in large estates and receiving attorney's fees, and collecting other fees in other cases before his court.

● The Senate vote to remove failed (Minnesota State Law Library,

1870: Florida Judge James T. Magbee (Circuit Court)

● Among other things, Judge Magbee fined a citizen $100 for contempt after publishing an article criticizing a speech by Magbee and ordered the man jailed until the fine was paid.

● He resigned and impeachment proceedings ended (“Path to Impeach Always Thorny,” St. Petersburg Times, October 28, 2001).

1865: New York Judge George Washington Smith

● Judge Smith allegedly allowed his law partner to prepare papers and took bribes for granting an exemption from military service for certain commissioners.

● The Senate voted for removal (Minnesota State Law Library,

1853: Wisconsin Judge Levi Hubbell

● The House impeachment charges against Judge Hubbell included accepting a bribe in a case before him, presiding at a trial where he concealed a personal financial interest, imposing criminal fines in excess of those allowed by statute, sitting in the Supreme Court in a case with a litigant he had served as personal counsel, giving judicial advice to people in cases pending in his court, giving advice in a divorce case, inducing women to debauchery, and interfering and meddling in suits in other circuits.

● The Senate found him not guilty (Minnesota State Law Library,

1821: Massachusetts Judge Prescott

● Judge Prescott was charged with 15 separate incidents of misconduct.

● He was impeached, convicted, and removed (Interim Report of Special Counsel Joseph D. Steinfeld, May 30, 2000).

1794: Pennsylvania Judge Francis Hopkinson (Court of Admiralty)

● The House adopted impeachment charges of accepting payments from litigants, accepting bribes for appointments, and dealing in false certificates.

● The Senate acquitted (Minnesota State Law Library,

1792: Vermont Assistant Judge Lemuel Chipman

● The Council of Censors received a petition for impeachment for maladmininstration—signing an attachment without giving an oath.

● The council dismissed the petition and there is no record of a petition to the General Assembly (

1790: New Hampshire Judge Woodbury Langdon (Superior Court—then the state's highest court)

● The House impeached Judge Langdon for maladministration—“corruptly and willfully” neglecting his duty by refusing to hold court in three counties at appointed times (Interim Report of Special Counsel Joseph D. Steinfeld, May 30, 2000).

1785: Vermont Justice of the Peace Abner Osgood

● Osgood was impeached for maladministration—issuing a warrant to apprehend someone without listing any charges, granting an attachment, and making a judgment beyond his jurisdiction.

● The General Assembly set a hearing but dismissed the impeachment petition (

1784-5: Vermont Justice of the Peace John Barrett

● The General Assembly appointed a prosecutor in this case.

● Barrett was then charged with maladministration—encouraging needless and vexatious law suits.

● The charges were put to the governor and council which convicted him and suspended him from office for six months.

● The General Assembly ordered a new hearing and he was again found guilty (


1980: Vermont Sheriff Leroy Null

● A grand jury indicted Null for perjury, destroying official records, and urging someone to commit perjury.

● The House introduced a resolution but later voted to withdraw it. Another resolution was introduced and adopted but Null's death ended the investigation (

1976: Vermont Sheriff Malcolm Mayo

● The House adopted three articles of impeachment against Sheriff Mayo for falsifying reports and documents, failing to perform the functions of his office, and breaching his duty as a police officer.

● The Senate rejected all articles (

1800: Vermont Sheriffs John Chipman and Prince Hall

● The Council of Censors charged the two sheriffs with maladministration based on fee charges.

● The General Assembly investigated but dismissed the matter (

1799: Vermont High Sheriff William Coley

● The Council of Censors charged Coley with maladministration for receiving greater fees than allowed by laws.

● The House dismissed the charges (

1787: Vermont House Member Jonathan Fassett

● Although the term impeachment was used, the House voted to expel.

● Fassett was charged with aiding and assisting a mob to stop a county court from sitting.

● The House expelled him from his seat (

1785: Vermont Clerk Matthew Lyon (Court of Confiscation--dealing with enemies of the state)

● Lyon refused a request of the Council of Censors to turn over court records on expenditures.

● The council resolved that Lyon be impeached. The General Assembly impeached him and the governor and council tried and found him guilty. A retrial occurred and there are no additional records (

1781: Vermont House Members John Abbot and Daniel Martin

● The House used the term impeachment but the entire process occurred in the House.

● The two members were charged with exchanging state bills of credit for cash at a discount.

● The House impeached, tried, convicted, and punished both members (apparently with reprimands) (

1779: Vermont House Member Matthew Lyon

● The House used the term impeachment but it was an attempt at expulsion.

● Lyon was accused of falsifying and altering public records in violation of the law regulating houses of public entertainment. The General Assembly resolved not to impeach (