A judicial panel censured a judge of Long Island who the police caught playing poker games in his club in 2008. He had played even on the night after his re-election.
According to the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct, Paul Hensely, judge of Suffolk County District Court, who was quite popular at the Fraternal Order of Eagles Club House, based in Northport, took part in poker games to give his judicial approval to the game.
The commission’s report says that, although no player was held guilty of law breaking, the organizer of the poker games was charged for illegally organizing a real money poker game and keeping part of the profits. The judge reportedly was in the habit of playing poker throughout 2008. He also played poker at a special poker party arranged in his honor the night after he was re-elected. Eight other players were also present and they had an ice cream cake. Since an undercover officer also happened to be in the party, the police soon arrived on the scene with a search warrant.
According to the commission’s report, Hensley was well aware of the fact that his act of attending and taking part in these real money poker games was not consistent with “his role as judge and his obligation to respect and comply with the law because he was voluntarily in the presence of those who were violating the law.” The commission also stated that the accused judge admits that the least he could have done was to leave the scene when he saw that illegal poker games were being conducted there.
As per New York law, it is criminal to receive profits from illegal gambling; however, the law does not make it illegal for any individual to attend the game or play it. Accordingly, the lawyers’ and judge’s commission adjourned the case against the person who organized these games and dismissed all charges against him in 2009 with the permission of the district attorney.
David Besso, legal representative for Hensley, said that his client has expressed remorse and is grateful to the commission for censuring him instead to taking action against him. Hensley’s judicial career began in 2002, and his term comes to an end in 2014. The commission took into consideration the fact that, expect for playing poker, Hensley has had a clean career. Besides, he had sworn that he hasn’t taken part in any poker game after 2008.

This site is registered on wpml.org as a development site.