In more than two months since they took a statement from Charles Harper, 18, alleging past sexual abuse by Broward Circuit Judge John Bowman, the Plantation Police Department has been conducting an investigation and has been mum about its status or eventual completion.
Many of the anonymous commenters (many of whom were likely defense lawyers) over on JAABlog wondered why nobody filed a complaint with the Judicial Qualifications Commission, or JQC, about the alleged misconduct. Well, now somebody has done just that -- but not just anybody. This guy is nationally known for filing complaints. Lots of 'em.
Jack Thompson is a disbarred
lawyer living in Coral Gables, with an extensive Wikipedia article detailing his many eccentric complaints, filings, and high jinks. This includes a battery complaint against Janet Reno (for touching him on the shoulder), an obscenity campaign against music by 2 Live Crew and numerous videogames, and a high number of filings with the Florida Bar, including an attempt to declare the bar itself unconstitutional.
We'll stop there. Let's ask Thompson himself why he decided to send JQC General Counsel Michael Schneider a link to our blog post on the story, asking him to investigate.
"First of all, I became aware of this case yesterday," he says. Thompson says he heard about the allegations from a lawyer who had a bar complaint filed against him, with Bowman as the judge refereeing the complaint process.
"Secondly, I've been a victim of... a lot of things," he continues. "I got started with my complaints against Neil Rogers, Grand Theft Auto, the videogame industry, by working with sexually abused young women. So I'm aware of the dynamic of sexual abuse."
Thompson also, of course, has lots of experience in filing complaints. Is he worried that people who know him as an overly litigious hyperactivist could discredit his JQC complaint?
"Well, I can't do anything about that," he says. "People who know me find me credible by virtue of the fact that I've gone through these battles. I'd be delighted if someone without my perceived baggage would file this as well."
The JQC handles complaints confidentially (another thing that irks Thompson), so it's likely that we won't find out for a while if any other complaints have been filed regarding the Bowman case.
Here's Thompson's complaint letter, which he chose to make public:
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April 5, 2011
Michael Schneider, General Counsel
Judicial Qualifications Commission
1110 Thomasville Road
Tallahassee, FL 32303 Fax to 850.9226781 and mail
Re: Formal Complaint against Broward Circuit Court Judge John Bowman
Dear Mr. Schneider:
Enclosed please find what purports to be a Plantation, Florida, Police Department Incident Report that is now in the public domain. On its face it raises certain concerns about the fitness to serve on the bench of the above. You can find this Report on-line at http://blogs.browardpalmbeach.com/juice/2011/01/police_report_sex_abuse_allegations_against_judge_john_bowman.php
Please proceed with an appropriate inquiry, as there are other documents and other news stories now in the public domain that bear on this matter, which may serve to exonerate the Judgeùor they may not. The JQC has a legal obligation, most people would conclude, to find out whether there is a pedophile, or worse, on the bench. No one on the bench should be operating under such a cloud, nor should the public's perception of the judiciary be sullied by such a cloud.
I SOLEMNLY SWEAR, UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY, THAT THE ENCLOSED PURPORTED INCIDENT REPORT IS NOW IN THE PUBLIC DOMAIN, AS INDICATED.
Signed April 5, 2011, John B. Thompson