5 Corrupt Judges & The Countless Lives They Tried To Destroy

We’d like to think our justices and judges are defined by respect, duty and impartiality. But behind that iconic black robe isn’t always a tireless drive to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States. Some of the most revered judges are worse than the criminals they should be sentencing. Below we examine five corrupt judges who will make you question your faith in the legal system.

Thousands of his cases were eventually overturned Photo: Associated Press

Thousands of Ciavarella’s cases were eventually overturned Photo: Associated Press

1. Judge Mark Ciavarella’s Kids For Cash Scheme 

Nicknamed “Mr. Zero Tolerance”, Ciavarella was a big supporter of harsh sentences…for kids. Ciavarella sent thousand of children to a local detention center during his tenure in Luzerne County, PA. Think the kids deserved it? Listen to this: Ciavarella sent an 11-year-old to juvenile detention for almost two years after the kid took his mom’s car for a ride down the block. He also sent a 15-year-old to the same detention facility for mocking her assistant principal on MySpace and gave a 17-year-old five months for helping steal DVDs.

Here’s the part that puts Ciavarella on our list — he got kickbacks from the facility where he sent those kids. No wonder the hearings often lasted only two minutes, Ciavarella got up to a million dollars for putting hundred of innocent children behind bars. The courts wised up to his plans, and eventually sentenced Mr. Zero Tolerance to 27 years in prison. Following his sentencing, nearly 4,000 of Ciavarella’s previous convictions were overturned. Too little, too late if you ask us.

Maloney was convicted of racketeering extortion and obstructing justice Photo: AP Photo/Chicago Sun-Times, John H. White

Maloney was convicted of racketeering extortion and obstructing justice Photo: AP Photo/Chicago Sun-Times, John H. White

2. Judge Thomas J. Maloney Defined Corruption In Cook County

Thomas J. Maloney was a judge in Cook County, Illinois from 1977 to 1991. Maloney and numerous fellow Cook County judges were the focus of an investigation named Operation Greylord. The operation  was a joint investigation by the FBI, IRS, USPS and the Illinois State Police to track down corrupt judges.

Like many of the public officials on our list, Maloney had an interesting way of dolling out sentences, especially in high-profile murder cases. In exchange for rigging murder cases Maloney got over $100,000 in bribes. Maloney let mafia members, murderers and gangsters walk free, as long as he got his “fee.” To this day Maloney is listed as “one of the worst judges in history.”

3. Judge Michael Cicconetti’s Bizarre Sentences Puts His Community At Risk

Cicconetti of Lake County, Ohio might not be taking bribes or sending innocent children to a dark future behind bars, but he is guilty of beyond bizarre sentencing. Cicconetti had a particularly creative way of prescribing punishment to anyone unfortunate enough to end up in his court room. The honorable Cicconetti had a woman spend the night alone in the woods without food after she a banded 35 kittens. He forced men who had been arrested for soliciting sex dress up as giant chickens and wonder around town.

While we can appreciate his desire to be original, Cicconetti’s sentences often caused more harm than good. For example, when a man shot his dog in the head and Cicconetti gave him 20 days in a dog costume teaching kids about traffic safety and drug abuse. Dog killer and kids just don’t mix.

4. Judge Kurt Eisgruber Shamed The Victim

While money can drive corrupt judges to make deplorable decisions, a few justices don’t need any incentive to handout horrifying sentences. In 2008, Mandy Boardman discovered that her husband, David Wise, had been drugging and rapping her, along with recording the attacks on his cell phone. Boardman filed for divorce but waited two years before taking the videos to the police. Boardman claimed that she didn’t want her kids’ father behind bars until they were adults.

Wise was arrested and found guilty of rape and criminal deviate conduct. The felony convictions could equate to six to 20 years in prison…unless Judge Eisgruber is handing out the sentences. Eisgruber took the opportunity to lecture Boardman, aka the victim, about forgiveness.

To make matters worse, the judge only gave Wise eight years of home detention with a GPS tracking devise. It wasn’t until Wise let the battery on the tracking devise die that the judge upgraded Wise’s sentence to five years in prison. FYI Eisgruber was re-elected and will be on the bench in Indianapolis, Indiana until at least 2020.

Her ill-advised sentencing promoted widespread backlash Photo: My Fox Detroit

Her ill-advised sentencing sparked widespread backlash Photo: My Fox Detroit

5. Judge Lisa Gorcyca Likens Kids To Charles Manson

When three kids refused orders to meet their father for lunch, Judge Lisa Gorcyca sent the kids to a junivenile detention center. Judge Lisa Gorcyca said the kids needed to have a “healthy relationship” with their father, said they weren’t behaving like “normal human beings” and likened them to Charles Manson (?!) for having the audacity to avoid their dad. (The children’s parents had been enmeshed in a long custody battle.)

The judge then told the children to apologize and have lunch with their father. When they refused, she held them in contempt of court and ordered them sent away to Children’s Village juvenile hall until the age of 18. The judge even wanted the children to be separated while inside of the facility. The kids had good reason to avoid their father, he is allegedly violent and reportedly hit their mother in front of them.

Thankfully the court of public opinion put the heat on Judge Gorcyca. The judge reluctantly took the kids out of juvenile detention and sent them to summer camp instead.

Go deeper inside a world of murder and corruption. Watch Hand of God on Amazon Prime.

  • Alicia Weekes-Johnson

    I remember that Ciavarella case. One of the kids actually ended up committing suicide. Really sad he messed up a lot of kids.

    • Margo/Mom

      You are right–Ciavarella was truly corrupt and his actions very far reaching to the immediate detriment of kids and his own financial enrichment. He broke the law, was charge and has now been convicted and sentenced. Equating Gorcyca with Ciavarella–particularly based on the comments made in one particularly difficult lightening rod case–strikes me as less than responsible.

  • Rhonda Barnhart

    worthless c*nt who deserves to have nothing but bad things / bad luck happen to her

    • Roger Terry

      This ‘judge’ is guilty of “Contempt of the Public” and must be removed and indicted!

  • Nadine Delgado

    They should investigate commissioner William Alan in Norwalk Ca…..

  • CCSpirit

    ID TV, Judge Gorcyca also had the children handcuffed, ordered no contact with the mom or mom’s family. The dad took off to Israel the next day while the children sat in a detention center for 18 days.

  • CCSpirit
  • Donna Campbell Ferrence

    The case regarding Judge Lisa Gorcyca isn’t over yet ID. The Mom has only been allowed very minimal contact with the children since the day they were sentenced to juvenile detention. The father has recently filed for full custody and last week a “separation order” was approved by the judge. this order prevents the Mother from having any contact whatsoever while the children are in the father’s custody. Please go to our public page and review the documents, read our posts to get a better idea of what is still ongoing in the Tsimhoni vs. Tsimhoni case being overseen by Judge Lisa Gorcyca! https://www.facebook.com/Justice-For-Tsimhoni-Children-872540339488854/timeline/

  • CCSpirit

    Here is a recent picture of judge Gorcyca

  • Donna Campbell Ferrence

    Andrew Bossary, Maya Tsimhoni’s previous attorney in the Judge Lisa Gorcyca case warned her on March 4, 2015 “We’re setting this up for failure judge”. Guess she should have listened! https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=898632730212948&id=872540339488854&substory_index=0

  • CCSpirit

    I am posting a link to a video that was done to honor judge Gorcyca. At approximately the 4 minute mark the judge speaking brings a poster size picture of judge Gorcyca who jumped into a protest of a family losing their child. Judge was making fun of the fact the protesters were out there and actually took a picture with them. Is it a laughing matter when someone loses their child? Judical ethics?

    https://www.facebook.com/872540339488854/videos/vb.872540339488854/893592047383683/?type=2&theater

    • Debra Obinna

      what a fkg c**t !!

  • Lynn

    The Judge Gorcya case is still ongoing so it is good this is getting exposure since she has issued a gag order to prevent more scrutiny on her behavior. Another gem from that June hearing was what she said to the 9 year old girl before she was put into juvie:

    “You want to have your birthdays in Children’s Village? Do you like going to the bathroom in front of people? Is your bed soft and comfortable at home? I’ll tell you this, if you two don’t have a nice lunch with your dad and make this up to your dad, you’re going to come back here (after lunch) and I’m going to have the deputies take you to Children’s Village.” Judge Gorcya

    I am concerned with several things that seem illegal:

    1) The children were assigned lawyers the morning of hearing and the lawyers didn’t even know the kids’ names! Why were court-lawyers assigned when clearly the judge has hatred for the mother? There should be objective lawyers assigned for them.

    2) Kids were taken from their caregiver mom who has helped them to become honor students with A averages, excel in sports and music and be excellent students. Why were all her rights taken away for 90 days? Was an evidentiary hearing done? They were NOT failing in school or misbehaving but thriving. Why was she NOT allowed visitation when they were in juvie and why is she NOT allowed to see her kids for 90 days? This supposed treatment program is not approved by the American Psychological Association and is a 30,000 dollar program that is not endorsed by psychologists or mental health professionals. Traditional therapy is FAMILY therapy with all members. Mothers are NOT excluded from it! Why isn’t her visitation immediately set up now so they kids are not traumatized further? It is traumatic to take kids away from their primary caregiver, especially one where they were thriving! Traditional therapy would never have a 90 day ban of contact.

    3) Why is there a gag order if there is nothing to hide? Why was the father who had SUPERVISED visitation suddenly granted not only unsupervised, but 90 day custody? Who is watching the children’s rights if they don’t have lawyers but only the court- appointed one that sides with dad?

  • Shawna Shakespeare

    There is NO proof Maya has alienated kids from Omer. GORCYCA Is saying oh 2 psychologist and my best friend middleditch, omer, and lansat (who none have training in psychology) say it’s parental alienation so I’ll just run with that even though there’s documented evidence of abuse.

    Multiple psychologist, drs, police reports, cps reports, even the FOC tracy stieb have stated it’s estrangement NOT parental alienation. But the friendship between gorcyca lansat and middleditch and hearsay or OPINIONS of people who have no training or licensing to make those opinions get held up in court vs actual proof.

    Maya on numerous occasions has filed the dr reports. Hospital reports. Cps reports. Documented abuse pictures . Psychologist reports and etc and they have all been IGNORED.

    So obviously gorcyca isn’t doing her job and it goes to show MONEY talks. Not actual factual evidence.

    These children are ESTRANGED from their father NOT alienated by Mother. He didn’t move to Michigan until January of this year yet they have been divorced for over five years. How many “regular” visits do you think he made from Israel to Michigan? Every other week which is the normal in most custody arrangements in Michigan? I think NOT. Did he visit his children after they were put into juvenile detention? Oh that’s right, he left for Israel the next day and just left them there. Did he visit his son on his birthday while being isolated in Juvi from his siblings? NO! Did he stay for his full hour visit with the children at Camp Tamarack? NO-He showed up twenty minutes late and left 15 minutes early.

    His own actions and lack of consistency in their lives have caused them to fear him. Completely removing mother from their life will only damage them further at the hands of the court.

    The freep and other media have posted updates, but they’ve been extremely biased and only share the abusive father and judges side. when they literally have ways to get the docs and see the full story instead of listening to omers side and printing omers side which is a violation of the gag.

    The freep in a recent article, states that the kids are living happily with dad, new wife and their son.. but, as far as sharon tzur(new wife) fyi she was in in a big money laundering scandal with former prime minister “Olmert” and Ben living with omer at westwood court (fyi 3 mins away from lansats house) I disbelieve that considering I have sharon tzurs addresses and phone numbers in NY.

    MEDIA could literally contact me and say hey we only have one side we don’t think it should only be published one sided because it makes us look like we’re being biased, so since you have documents that you bought can we take a look at them or use them in an article.

    You know what me and the other justice admins would say? We’d say hell yes because that would mean the media is actually reporting the facts not the opinions and one side!!!!!!!

    This same “wonderful” “loving” “devoted” father, that Gorcyca says Moves Mountains for the kids, besides either not showing up to visits, allowing kids to be stuck at court house for their spring break for visit with dad even though dad knew he wouldn’t show up, also abused these kids and Maya. NOT only that but In the Hague trial after he alleged and publicly bashed maya saying she kidnapped the kids and etc., he admitted on Hague trial about some abuse, admitted that he illegally without her knowledge filed for return citizenship under her name so that she would be “stuck” in israel. So when she left israel with kids as she and him agreed she could prior, he filed paperwork against her for kidnapping and being that the paperwork was filed about returning citizenship it made it where they could legally file charges against her. So her dying father, she and her kids can’t even visit because she would be thrown in jail even though us Hague trial stated they’re all us citizens and have proof of Omers Manipulation and how he was trying to purposely screw her over. Hague trial told him told drop the charges because it’s not valid or accurate. So did oakland county court. He still to this day has not so therefore he is in contempt of court. Yet Gorcyca does nothing. Because it’s this “Wonderful” amazing dad. That she is extremely biased over.

    Let’s also remember there’s multiple ties to all the lawyers and Judge in this case which I have proof of every one of em. Alot of it political, money ties. Even some friendship. The local media tries to play it off say oh its a small area, it’s fine. No its not. The 2013 population of oakland county is 1,232,000 there is no excuse for that. Absolutely no excuse.

    If you want the actual facts of the case, please go here https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=872540339488854

    Cps report start page 29: https://www.dropbox.com/s/9snkgjeqv5pw2ag/20150302_RESPONSE_FLD_OSC-PLF_063725382-3.pdf?dl=0

    Cps report start page 7: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/x0cxtc28kefqv6q/AABQdEHje-cQiqXYJnrTaBQ6a?dl=0

    Psychologist Ron rice Report:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/2qgtyk2hiycq2uy/Screenshot_2015-08-11-23-21-57.png?dl=0

    Gag & Seal: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vg4sb0mjteq2a06/AABKpqqdctZrstrVQozYH-YGa?dl=0

    Jennifer hoult Parental alienation Paper:https://www.dropbox.com/s/gbbpn9kho8pk1dw/SSRN-id910267.pdf?dl=0

    All Other Docs tsimhoni case:
    https://www.dropbox.com/sh/4jy2q37q3axx62a/AAASuO68l7LZn2GoLR705-lPa?dl=0

  • Softballumpire

    Dennis wiley needs to be on this list

  • Malinda Sherwyn

    Many judges are just bad, lawyers dressed in black robes obsessed with the power that has been bestowed upon them by the state.

    Judge Gorcyca should get out two documents and read them… her oath: Each justice or judge of the United States shall take the following oath or affirmation before performing the duties of his office: “I, ___ ___, do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent upon me as ___ under the Constitution and laws of the United States. So help me God.”

    (June 25, 1948, ch. 646, 62 Stat. 907; Pub. L. 101–650, title IV, § 404, Dec. 1, 1990, 104 Stat. 5124.)

    And the Canons of Ethics for Judges… According to these two documents and the true evidence in this case…regarding the Tsimhoni children and their mother…this judge is not fit to serve on the bench. She presents a danger to domestic violence victims and their children…

  • Clzoo

    Dig a bit deeper and you’ll find far more than just “summer camp” that #Gorcyca has imposed on these children aged 14, 11, and 9!

  • valleyyoung

    Judge Gorcyca has put a GAG on this case to avoid the scrutiny of the public for her very questionable actions . Someone needs to challenge this Unconstitutional GAG.

  • boydmarie25

    I thought they said Massachusetts, at the rate the children die in this state, I know of a couple, Here in Mass, That are a disgrace to the bench they sit on. The only bench they should be sitting on, is the cafeteria in Walpole prison.

    • abignobody

      Judge Barbara Savitt Pearson she improperly discloses all medical records with no bearing to cases in domestics and allows women to sustain bone fracture beatings to the face by denying equal justice if they have psych histories.

  • Merry

    Judge Stanley Ott and Judge Lois Murphy from Montgomery County, PA, in my opinion, should be added to this list for exploiting the elderly via the attorneys and guardians that they appoint to oversee the elderly’s person and assets. Many of the elderly receive substandard care under the court appointed guardians. In my opinion, the attorneys, judges, and guardians involved in this racket are really just a bunch of serial killers, protected under the guise of “justice” and the “law”.

  • jenniferh

    Judge Kelly in Orange County California needs to be added to this list. He makes excuses and gives leniency to people who rape and sodomize children. In his latest headlining case a 3yr girl was sodomized by her adult half brother. Judge Kelly claims he didn’t mean any harm and didn’t even give him the min sentence “required” by CA. This isn’t his first controversy involving child rapists.

  • Keith D Suchland

    “…she a banded 35 kittens…”

    “…and wonder around town…”

    “…had been drugging and rapping her…”

    Seriously, I’m not sure if the writer(s) or editor is more at fault, but I’m amazed these spelling and word errors made it, to “print”, so to speak.

    It’s “abandoned” not a banded, and wander not wonder, and I’m pretty sure the perpetrator was “raping” the woman, not singing/rapping to her.

    • Kerrie

      My thoughts exactly! This was painful to read. Both the writer and the editor should be embarrassed.

  • stevenaquinn
  • John Vorel

    I think more judges should be tough on bratty kids…too bad she had to back down from her original sentence.

  • Diana Glossip

    These judges are inhuman

  • JB Smith

    Corrupt judges are rampant in Virginia. Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen allowed me to be tortured by police for over 8 years. Her own clerk of court confessed to me that the judge knew I was being tortured by the Active Denial System. She denied multiple motions for cessation of torture. She dismissed a case in which both the defense and the plaintiff wanted to continue. She allowed an attorney to obtain without a subpoena confidential health records and publish them online. One attorney recused herself after she witnessed the torture first hand. Magistrate Judge Thomas E. Miller signed the Order of Substitution based on a fraud. Mag. Miller’s son is a lawyer for the defense team. Judge Allen said that was moot. Cannon’s of Justice are moot. So is the Constitution – Judge Allen is an accessory to torture. Judge Allen allowed two CSB agents who perjured themselves in conflicting sworn affidavits to go free. Judge Allen said perjury was moot. I had two heart attacks by the constant 24/7 torture – judge Allen doesn’t care if they murder me. They have murdered dozens since they almost murdered me. Judge Allen said it’s no skin off her nose who they murder. Judge Allen is a criminal and must be taking bribes. She dismissed a case in which I had already won a state case. I was implanted with a biochip – Dr. Lawrence Chang admitted he did it to me. Judge Allen said she doesn’t care how many lives the state and Newport News police destroy. Dr. Stephen Cunningham admitted he was paid by police to medicate me so I couldn’t fight the gang rape and sodomy. He claims he only medicated me and had no part in the torture. Judge Allen is the most criminal judge in history. There are thousands of innocent Virginia citizens being tortured and murdered by criminal state and local police and Judge Allen is a crucial part of allowing them to get away with crimes. Judge Allen doesn’t believe any one should have a fair trial. When I go to attorneys, they tell me my problem isn’t the facts of the case, it’s the Judge. They all hate Judge Allen. She is a disappointment to Barack Obama. She is a criminal to me. I am blessed to have lived these past eight years. I pray God meets out justice on this demonic Judge. She is a liar, has no integrity, no morals and doesn’t obey the laws, the cannons of justice, or the Bible. She attests to be a Christian. No one that allows someone to be tortured, raped, robbed, sodomized and watches is a Christian. Yes, Judge Allen and her marshalls have witnessed the torture firsthand. She is a criminal! She should be removed from the bench. I am not the only victim of these crimes. Check out Brandon Raub and Virginia’s Casual disregard for the Constitution and human life.

  • Lisette Richter

    There are a TON of corrupt judges in South Carolina…

  • Howard levee

    You may want to investigate judge mary colleen roberts of cook county for bribery and extreme LBGT bias. She is probably one of the dirtiest judges still practicing. Countless lives will be ruined daily until she is arrested or removed.

  • Michael McKinzy Sr

    Judicial corruption shall cause the demise of our American Justice Systems.

  • benevolus

    I know many judges in Wyoming who leave much to be desired. I have to practice in front of them. I’m so frustrated, I’m about to start naming names and filing grievances.

  • Joseph Wilke

    judge james schacht is a corrupt scumbag – he cheats disabled complainants and takes bribes

  • y3shuA imMANu3l

  • JayRaskin

    The vicious attack on Judge Eisgruber is absurd and unfair. The “victim” herself did not want her ex-husband imprisoned. The relationships between a husband and wife are always complex and it is vile to second guess judges who have to ponder these relationships and make real life decisions based upon them.

  • I know of a Judge too or two of them

  • JustmyOpnion

    All the Judges in MICHIGAN —
    District Court Judges conduct Federal Hospital Insurance Fraud resulting in death of retired OPM FEHB (federal employees)
    Circuit Court Judges conduct Mortgage Fraud forcing families out of their homes.
    We have NO Recourse from these CRIMINALS in judicial positions.

  • Ron Moore

    Money and power always corrupt.

  • believe

    a LOT of people in prison that found 10 and 20 years later they weren’t guilty r but the judge got paid off the put them there. c there are more than there showing believe me.

  • cheryl steele

    Our justice system is ran by crooks who sit comfortably in their bench. The constitution of our rights as Americans is a joke

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  • Mood v. Merit

    Adding Anne Arundel County Circuit Court Judge Paul F. Harris Jr. to this list would be prudent. An individual who has destroyed more lives than you can imagine by abusing his Judicial oath. Yes, this can be proven in a documented record ignored by all higher courts and oversight committees. Often the case when his favored unethical attorney is involved.

  • Mood v. Merit

    Anne Arundel Circuit Court Judge Paul F. Harris Jr. Should be added to your portraits of corruption. The evidence stands firm.

  • Smash Some Glass

    Thank you for doing this site. not enough oversight or ousting of these bad judges, California has their share too- see Court Reform , LLC and Jane and John Q Public

  • Allison MacArthur

    Michigan is rife with Corrupt Government, Attorneys and Judges. In 2009 Corrrupt Judge Margaret MS Noe Seized/stole my 27 registered Welsh Ponies, all of my farm equipment and family antiques and auctioned it all off. AG Bill Schuette and the Michigan Judicial tenure Commission did NOTHING!! Now I have uncovered this corrupt “Judge” is in cahoots with a local Trusts and real Estate Attorney Mark Bruggeman who has been ‘appropriating’ high value properties of unsuspecting heirs for decades. Bruggeman files a statement that he can’t find the heirs, then they advertise in the local (largely unread) Adrian Telegram and Voila, they have a $600,000 lakefront property in the Irish Hills. I recently saw such an ad and it took me all of 15 minutes on the internet to find the rightful heirs out of state. They are hiring a NON-Lenawee County Attorney as I type..

  • KCTennant

    INVESTIGATE IOWA. You Tube: Iowa Corrupt Judges Courts Police 2

  • KCTennant

    IOWA prosecuted my minor son without representation and threatened me, his father, if I tried to defend him or speak for him. INVESTIGATE COMMUNIST IOWA KTennantDC@Gmail.com

  • Rob_Shirah

    They do this on purpose to make all fathers look bad. See what happens when we put the children with the fathers. I am sure that there were more suited dads out there to have a judge stand up for their rights.

  • Rob_Shirah

    Notice Judge Ciavarella only got in trouble for the stuff he did behind the scenes, not any of his rulings though.