Judge Who Helped Found the Charleston School of Law and Serves on its Board of Advisors (Even Though It Is For Profit!) Denied New Term Due To Sexist and Racist Remarks …

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… according to this account in The State. Below is an excerpt:

A U.S. magistrate judge accused of making disparaging sexist and ethnic remarks was not reappointed Friday by the state’s U.S. District judges, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Federal Magistrate Judge George Kosko of Charleston, whom the judges did not reappoint for an eight-year term, refused comment Friday afternoon after a three-hour meeting of the state’s federal judges at the Matthew Perry federal courthouse in Columbia.

Kosko met with the judges during their closed meeting. He left the meeting before the vote and waited outside. About two hours later, the judges adjourned. Kosko was informed of the vote, sources said.

Chief Judge David Norton of Charleston presided over the closed judges’ meeting that decided Kosko’s fate. Before the meeting, he said he would make public the meeting’s results. He did not, and would not comment afterward.

Federal Clerk of Court Larry Propes, who was in the meeting, also declined comment.

Kosko is a founder of the new Charleston School of Law and serves on its Board of Advisors.

It is highly unusual for federal magistrates not to be reappointed to their $155,756-a-year posts, one of the most desirable and high-paying government jobs around.

Magistrates are junior judges to the state’s higher-ranking federal judges, who make approximately $169,300 a year.

Magistrates are appointed to eight-year terms by the state’s federal judges, who serve life terms.

Kosko, who has ties to former U.S. Sen. Ernest Hollings, D-S.C., was in the final year of his first term.

Magistrates issue search warrants, hear initial criminal proceedings, set bail and perform a variety of other judicial duties.

In recent months, a magistrate’s screening committee received and investigated allegations of inappropriate comments made by Kosko about women and Asians, sources said. …

A wikipedia page for the Charleston School of Law reports: “The five Founders were Judge Alex Sanders (a former president of the College of Charleston and former Chief Judge of the South Carolina Court of Appeals), Ed Westbrook, Judge Robert Carr (a federal magistrate judge), Judge George Kosko (a federal magistrate judge), and Ralph McCullough.” Given the for profit nature of the enterprise, its “founding” by two sitting judges is quite perplexing. Of course, the wikipedia page may be in error about this, as it also curiously states: “Infamous South Carolina playboy [redacted name], is in the class of 2009. He is rumored to have toned down his exploits since his Wofford College days, for which a dorm was named in his honor.”

Still, one has to assume Canon Five applies even to judges in South Carolina

–Ann Bartow

Update: As 0f 1/22/08 The CSOL’s wikipedia entry has been edited to remove the joking comment. It also touts a 69.9% bar passage rate without any mention of the SC bar fixing scandal.

Update 2: Obviously the part about the “infamous playboy” was a joke, and I incorrectly assumed the name was from a law school case or hypo. Turns out it was a real person who says he was the victim of a practical joke, so I redacted his name at his request. Good reminder that the accuracy of any given wikipedia entry should not be assumed, to put it mildly.

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