Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Cappy calls slots-pay raise lawsuit 'preposterous'

Pennsylvania's former chief justice says there is no truth to a lawsuit that accuses him of negotiating a judicial pay raise in exchange for the court upholding the state's slot-machine gambling law, The Associated Press is reporting today.

The League of Women Voters filed the lawsuit against former Supreme Court Chief Justice Ralph Cappy on Monday in federal court in Harrisburg.

In a statement Tuesday, Cappy called the allegations by unnamed legislators "preposterous" and vowed to vigorously defend himself in court, the AP reports.

The league says the alleged deal violates its constitutional rights to due process, since the league was one of the groups that filed the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state's 2004 slots law, according to the wire service.

Cappy, one of the original backers of the ill-fated 2005 pay raise along with Gov. Ed Rendell and Senate GOP leadership, "retired" from the bench in January.

Read the original story, "Lawsuit: Pa. justices won pay raise for upholding slots law," here.

The pay raise ended up costing 55 lawmakers their jobs and four of the seven justices who served on the court in 2005 are no longer on the court. One was thrown off the bench by voters while two others eventually "retired."

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