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A.G. Schneiderman Announces Prison Sentence, Fine For Former Judge Who Exchanged Favorable Rulings For Sexual Favors From Defendants

News from Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 22, 2017

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A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN ANNOUNCES PRISON SENTENCE, FINE FOR FORMER JUDGE WHO EXCHANGED FAVORABLE RULINGS FOR SEXUAL FAVORS FROM DEFENDANTS

Paul M. Lamson To Serve Two To Six Years In State Prison For Exchanging Sexual Favors From Defendants For Beneficial Decisions

Schneiderman: We Will Continue Working To Root Out Abuse Of Power And Bring Those Responsible To Justice

CANTON – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that Paul M. Lamson, the former Judge for the Town of Fowler Justice Court in St. Lawrence County, was sentenced to two to six years in state prison and will pay a $2,500 fine for abusing his position as a Judge by providing beneficial rulings to defendants that appeared before him in exchange for sexual favors.  Lamson previously pleaded guilty before The Honorable Derek P. Champagne in St. Lawrence County Court to the charges of Bribe Receiving in the Third Degree in violation of Penal Law § 200.10, a class “D” felony, and Official Misconduct in violation of Penal Law § 195.00(1), a class “A” misdemeanor. 

“For a judge to exploit their power and take advantage of someone in such a vulnerable position is truly reprehensible, and erodes public trust in our judicial system,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “My office will continue working to root out public corruption and abuse of power, and bring those responsible to justice.”

Lamson was the Town Justice for the Town of Fowler Justice Court from 2005 to December 1, 2016, when he resigned.  When entering his plea in St. Lawrence County Court, Lamson admitted to soliciting and accepting sexual favors from individuals who had pending criminal cases before him in the Town of Fowler Justice Court. He did so under an agreement or understanding that his judgment, action, decision, and exercise of discretion as the Justice for the Town of Fowler Court would be influenced with respect to those defendants’ cases.  Lamson also admitted that he provided favorable rulings on these defendants’ behalf as a result of these agreements or understandings. 

Attorney General Schneiderman remains committed to rooting out public corruption, including in cases that involve judicial abuse of power. On February 24th, the Attorney General announced the guilty plea of Delmar House, the former Village Justice for the Village of West Carthage Court in Jefferson County, for abusing his position as a Judge by reducing a fine for a defendant who appeared before him in exchange for sexual favors, and by paying a portion of that defendant’s fines in exchange for additional sexual favors. House pleaded guilty to Bribe Receiving in the Third Degree, and Receiving a Reward for Official Misconduct in the Second Degree. On May 2, 2017, House was sentenced to serve four months in a county correctional facility and five years’ probation, and ordered to pay a $5000.00 fine.

The Attorney General thanks the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, the New York State Police, and the New York State Office of Court Administration for their valuable assistance in this investigation. 

Assistant Attorneys General Mary Gorman and Christopher Baynes prosecuted this case and were assisted by Senior Analyst Joseph Conniff, under the supervision of Public Integrity Bureau Chief Daniel G. Cort and Deputy Bureau Chief Stacy Aronowitz.  The investigation was handled by Investigator David Buske of the Investigations Bureau, with support from Supervising Investigator Richard Doyle, Deputy Bureau Chief Antoine Karam, and Bureau Chief Dominick Zarrella. 

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