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Tue March 4, 2014
Allegations Surface That Arkansas Judge Made Objectionable Posts on Message Board
A Circuit Judge from Conway is under scrutiny for allegedly posting inappropriate comments on a message board for Louisiana State University sports fans. KUAR’s Jacob Kauffman followed up with one person making those claims.
Kauffman: We’re on the phone with attorney Matt Campbell who runs the popular liberal investigative blog Blue Hog Report.
One of his high profile pieces opened the door for a state ethics committee investigation, fine and the eventual resignation of former Lt. Governor Mark Darr for misusing campaign funds.
Matt, thanks for joining us.
Campbell:Yeah, thanks for having me.
Kauffman: I’m speaking to you today because of something new you believe you’ve uncovered about Circuit Judge Mike Maggio of Conway. You allege he has been posting comments on an LSU fan page under the name “geuxjudge”. Can you tell us a little bit about what “geuxjudge” was saying?
Campbell: It was on my radar because he, whoever was making the posts, leaked some confidential case information about an adoption in Faulkner County. But when I looked into it the posts ran the gamut from racist, to sexist, to some homophobic remarks. There was a lot of anti-Arkansas as a state, anti-Arkansas as a football team, just about anything you could think of that might offend somebody it was there.
Kauffman: Can you think of any specific examples?
Campbell: At one point he said the people of Van Buren think that Deliverance is a love story. There were lots of incest and bestiality jokes about Arkansas. On the sexist thing he kept saying, more or less, that women need to realize that if they get divorced their life is going to be worse and maybe they should just stick with it or be happy living a lesser lifestyle afterward.
Kauffman: How did you first become aware of the possibility of Maggio posting on this website and what is your evidence for claiming the poster is indeed Maggio?
Campbell: A friend of mine is an LSU fan and he saw the thing about the adoption and sent it to me and said, 'Isn't this sort of inappropriate?' When I looked into it, it didn't take long.
The poster said he went to Millsaps College for undergrad, he'd gone to Old Miss for a couple years for law school, and then transferred to a different school. The poster had the same high school as Judge Maggio.
A little more digging around, someone was using that same name [geuxjudge] on a different website talking about Mike Maggio's daughter, talking about how great of a high school golf player she was. Everything fit.
There's no way somebody would have known about his daughter and just happened to have his exact same educational background.
Kauffman: You mentioned some comments were made about a high profile adoption. Could you go into a little bit more detail about that?
Campbell: Charlize Theron, according to the poster, adopted a baby in Faulkner County. Then this poster goes on, the same day that it happened a little after 5 o'clock saying, 'Hey has anybody heard this? Charlize Theron was in Arkansas today adopting a baby.'
Those are supposed to be completely confidential. You can't even find records of who the adopted parents were. This was still in that time frame where the birth parents had they found out who adopted the baby could have come back and caused a problem.
It was a huge red flag that anybody would do that. Once I realized it was an Arkansas judge it became a much bigger deal on my end.
Kauffman: I understand since you first wrote about this on Monday some of the comments on the website have been taken down by the user?
Campbell: The way the software is on the tiggerdroppings site when somebody goes back and edits the post there's a line that says, 'last edited on 3/3 at whatever time it was.' It looked like somebody within 20 minutes of the [Blue Hog Report] post going up was in there trying to delete and realized after doing a couple of them there was still a trail of when it was edited and then stopped.
So, whoever it was got rid of one about some time spent in a strip club and another about women only being interested in the amount of money a guy has. Those two got deleted and then he stopped.
Kauffman: Now that we have your claims against Maggio, what’s the next step? I read he’s currently under review for judicial conduct, is that for these comments?
Campbell: As far as I know that's for everything that was going on that website. Again, the adoption thing is sort of the big deal because it's supposed to be confidential. Then there are rules for judges that wouldn't apply to any other elected official or state employee in terms of, the free speech rights are limited. You can't say anything that might come off as biased against a group or a gender or anything.
The Judicial Discipline Committee has looked into this and from what I can tell they've seen the same things that were on there. They're going to find out if it was Judge Maggio for sure and if so go through the due process steps to hold him accountable for it.
Kauffman: Matt, I appreciate you joining us.
Campbell: Alright, thanks.
Kauffman: I'm Jacob Kauffman, KUAR News.