A jury’s verdict cost former Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Michael T. Joyce his freedom and his home.
Now the board that governs the conduct of state judges is taking action that could result in it passing judgment on how Joyce’s crimes reflected on his judicial stature.
On April 14, 2011, the Pennsylvania Judicial Conduct Board has initiated disciplinary proceedings against Michael T. Joyce, more than two years after he was convicted in U.S. District Court of felony charges of mail fraud and money laundering.
The board said that under the Code of Judicial Conduct and the Pennsylvania Constitution, a judge who is convicted of a felony may be suspended, removed from office or otherwise disciplined. The disciplinary proceedings, if successful, would allow the Judicial Conduct Board to issue an opinion on Joyce’s conduct and seek sanctions. In Joyce’s case, since he has already retired from the bench, the proceedings might ensure that he never returns as a senior judge or in any other judicial capacity.
Joyce, 62, who is serving a 46-month federal prison sentence in Morgantown, W.Va., has the right to respond to the charges, inspect the evidence and seek a public trial before the Court of Judicial Discipline.