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Complaint Against Judge Whose Wife Donated to Sen. Menendez's Legal Defense Dismissed

Fix the Court today is releasing an order filed in March by the chief judge of the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims in response to a complaint FTC submitted earlier this year regarding a $10,000 donation made by a CAVC judge’s wife to Sen. Bob Menendez’s legal defense fund.

Though the complaint was dismissed, Chief Judge Margaret Bartley did speak to Judge William Greenberg about the donation, from which conversation Bartley was able to “establish[]” the judge had no say in the decision to write the check and that the money came from a bank account solely controlled by the judge’s wife.

That said, the Bartley’s order notes that Greenberg did know about the donation before it was tendered and did not dissuade his wife from sending it in.

“The very clear perception issue of a wife of a judge, who owes his judgeship to a senator, donating to that very senator’s defense against allegations of quid pro quo isn’t going to go away unless Menendez returns the check, which I don’t see happening,” FTC’s Gabe Roth, who ofiled the complaint in February, said.

“But there are a few positives here,” Roth added. “First, it only took a month to review and adjudicate the complaint, a turnaround time that chief judges in all appeals courts should aspire to. Second, the order gives a sober and frank assessment of how the chief judge sought to ascertain relevant facts, showing that the complaint was taken seriously, which I appreciate. And finally, the order confirms what I’d say is a not-the-worst scenario: the money donated was the judge’s wife’s alone, and the judge had no say in the donation.”

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