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TN judge: my wife's lesbian affair made me take kickbacks

Here’s a novel plea for mercy. A judge in Roane County, Tennessee pleaded guilty to using his position to shake down driving school instructors as well as the probation police chief.

Thomas Alva Austin simply couldn’t help himself because the stress of learning his wife was carrying on a lesbian affair just short circuited his brain, turning him to a life of crime to fatten his coffers by tens of thousands of dollars. Nice.

…Austin’s attorney, Gregory P. Isaacs, in seeking a reduced sentence argues the judge had a breakdown.

“In early 2005, while Mr. Austin and his second wife were in marital counseling, she admitted her year-long involvement in an extramarital lesbian relationship,” Isaacs wrote in his court filing.

Mr. Austin was quite distraught, sought medical help for depression and was prescribed anti-depressants. Additionally, he began drinking heavily despite earlier struggles with alcohol. All of the charges that are included in this indictment occurred after this difficult and tumultuous period in Mr. Austin’s personal life.”

“He is corrupt to his core,” [U.S. Attorney Charles ] Atchley wrote in his brief of Austin. “This case represents an almost incomprehensible breach of the public trust,” Atchley wrote in the brief.

Austin was caught on video receiving cash from a victim who wore a wire after going to the FBI and reporting Austin’s “stress-induced” behavior. The judge certainly doesn’t sound like a man tortured by his actions when he brags to the victim about the kickbacks as well as a sexual harassment case he sat on:

I’ve pulled every fucking thing in the book,” he was recorded saying. “I’ve granted girls divorces in the morning and fucked them that afternoon.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding