A former Montana judge who came under fire for sending a racist email involving President Barack Obama reportedly sent hundreds of other inappropriate messages from his federal email account, according to the findings of a judicial review panel released Friday, the Associated Press reports.
Former U.S. District Judge Richard Cebull sent emails to personal and professional contacts expressing contempt for blacks, Indians, Hispanics, women, certain religious faiths and liberal political leaders. Some emails contained inappropriate jokes about sexual orientation, the Judicial Council of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found, the AP reports.
Some of the emails also concerned pending issues that could have come before Cebull’s court, the AP reports, such as immigration, gun control, civil rights, health care and environmental issues, the council found in its March 15, 2013, order.
The probe looked at four years of Cebull’s personal correspondence sent from his official email account. Investigators also reviewed his past cases and interviewed witnesses, the report says. No evidence of bias was found in his rulings or sentences, and the witnesses generally regarded him as a “good and honest trial lawyer, and an esteemed trial judge,” according to the report.
Cebull came under fire because of an email that was obtained by the Great Falls Tribune in March 2012, which contained a joke that compared African Americans to dogs and implied that Obama’s mother had sex with animals. He reportedly sent the message to seven recipients from his official courthouse email.
Cebull argued that he was not racist, but had forwarded the email because he was “not a fan” of Obama. But the message generated a firestorm of controversy, with many groups demanding that Cebull resign from his post.
Later, Cebull later sent a letter of apology to Obama. “I accept full responsibility,” he wrote. “I have no one to blame but myself.”