Thomas did admit he met with inmates listed in the Bar complaint. The District Attorney’s Office and Defense Attorneys were aware of this, and Thomas did admit it was improper.
“Thomas did admit that after he was suspended from the practice of law, he wrote the letter concerning the Washam Case and was attempting to close files after his suspension date. Thomas was attempting to comply with the Bar Association Rules.
“Thomas did also admit having contact with individual (sic), not on his criminal docket, at the request of their parents and/or grandparents. He admitted, at the request of parents or grandparents, he administered corporal punishment. However, none of these individuals had any criminal cases on his docket. He did admit he had discontinued this practice.”
Source: Herman Thomas v. The Florida Bar; case no. SC11-925, Lower Tribunal No(s).: 2009-00,804(2B)
What you just read were words written by former Mobile County Circuit Court Judge Herman Y. Thomas in 2011 as he appealed being disbarred by the Florida Bar Association. These are his words, his admissions. Nobody planted this appeal. Conspiratorial judges didn’t get together and write it for him.
These are admissions by Thomas in a filing made to the Florida Supreme Court stating that he, while in office as a circuit court judge, not only improperly met with inmates, but also that he operated some kind of freelance spanking service.
The voters of Mobile’s District 1 can look this up and read the whole thing.
I bring this up because last week, 1,314 voters in D1 — 28 percent! — circled in the little bubble on their ballots for the disgraced spanking judge. That was enough to get him in a runoff with Cory Penn. I think Penn will beat him in the runoff, but what do I know? I also couldn’t imagine more than 10 percent of voters supporting Thomas in the general election. And now outgoing Councilman Fred Richardson is sounding like he’s going to support Thomas.
When you consider the number of people who live in District 1, 1,314 isn’t a big number, but low voter turnout made it a far more impressive percentage than it might otherwise be.
I’m going to give some of those 1,314 people the benefit of the doubt — that not all of them intentionally voted for a man who, as a very powerful judge, thought it was OK to spank young adult men on their naked butts. I have to assume there were people who went to vote and had no real idea who the candidates were and just remembered Herman Thomas as a name they’d heard before.
Or maybe they’d never heard of him at all, but had a pet turtle named Herman when they were kids and it made them smile to vote for their beloved turtle. We have to assume some of the people who voted for him really had no idea what they were doing.
But I can’t imagine that was the majority of his 1,314 supporters. The vast majority of the people who voted for Judge Spanky must be aware of his past, or at least some version of it. It’s been nearly 12 years since a judge cleared Thomas following a lengthy trial in which the jury ended up deadlocked on several charges.
And I know that for 12 years, Thomas has been telling anyone who would listen a ridiculous story about how he was set up by other lawyers and judges because he dared throw his name in the hat to be selected presiding judge back in 2006. As his tale of woe goes, his fellow jurists who had worked with him for years, immediately formed a conspiracy to have him thrown in jail for decades rather than just not vote for him as presiding judge. Talk about swatting a fly with a Buick.
I can only assume a large segment of the 1,314 Hermie voters have bought into this ridiculous story. Maybe it makes sense to them that the White judges would be so incensed by their lowly Black colleague not “knowing his place,” so to speak. Judges ginning up stories about Thomas checking prisoners out of the jail and having sex with them would be the way to ruin him and keep him from obtaining that all-powerful presiding judge’s title sounds plausible to some of the 1,314.
All of the things Thomas did or is accused of doing can get pretty complex, which is possibly why his victimization tale of being destroyed by angry, White judges and attorneys resonates. Maybe it’s easiest to start with the things Thomas admits he did.
So D1 voters, this judge admits he checked prisoners out of jail to “mentor” them. He also admits in his Florida appeal that it was “improper.” That means the judge, someone who sentences others for doing illegal things and sworn to uphold the law, knowingly broke the rules of his profession.
Thomas also admits he spanked men. He claims parents and grandparents asked him to do it, so he paddled their “bad” kids on their bare bottoms.
Let me ask you citizens of District 1, if you were hiring a person for a job and asked them if they’ve ever knowingly violated rules and regulations at their former jobs, and they said they had, would you hire that person?
If in the same interview you asked that person about their hobbies and he said one of his pastimes was administering corporal punishment to young men by paddling them on their naked rear ends, would you hire that person? Would you want someone working for you who, when given authority, decides he can ignore the rules and then after a hard day’s work, likes to chill out by spanking some 18- or 19-year-old ass?
I doubt you would.
That’s because I still believe in you 1,314 people. These are confusing times when people are highly polarized politically. I get it. Maybe you just can’t imagine that nice Mr. Thomas doing the things he was accused of, and that’s fine. But he’s told the Florida Supreme Court he checked prisoners out of jail and that he spanked young men. Nobody made that up.
Cory Penn seems like a completely honorable, intelligent and competent man who is interested in improving the city and District 1. You have a good option.
This job interview will be over in October, are you really going to hire the guy who broke rules and spanked young men the last time the public put its trust in him?
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