Impeachment Process Underway

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline)-Congressional impeachment proceedings could begin today against disgraced U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent of Houston, who was sentenced Monday to lying to federal investigators about groping two female employees.

Kent, 59, was being investigated amid allegations he had nonconsensual sexual contact with his secretary and case manager between 2003 and 2007.

On May 12, 2009, soon after Kent was sentenced to 33 month in prison, Congressmen John Conyers, Jr. and James Sensenbrenner introduced separate resolutions (H.Res. 424 and H.Res. 431), which were referred the House Judiciary Committee which two days later voted to begin impeachment proceedings, as a reaction to Kent's refusal to resign.

By Associated Press Monday, May 11, 2009 - Added 0m ago HOUSTON — A disgraced federal judge was sentenced today to nearly three years in prison for lying to investigators about whether he sexually abused his secretary. U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent was sentenced to 33 months Monday. He was also fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $6,550 in restitution to the two women whose complaints resulted in the first sex abuse case against a sitting federal judge. Kent could have received up to 20 years in prison after admitting to obstruction of justice, but prosecutors said they wouldn’t seek more than three years under a plea agreement. "Your wrongful conduct is a huge black X ... a stain on the judicial system itself, a matter of concern in the federal courts," U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson said as he imposed the sentence.

Unless Judge Samuel Kent immediately resigns, we intend to introduce a resolution jointly to commence an inquiry into whether grounds exist to impeach him and remove him from office.”

— Statement by: Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Lamar Smith, R-San Antonio, the committee's ranking Republican member.