Lise Olsen was working as an investigative reporter for the Houston Chronicle when she got a tip: The case manager for a federal judge was seen running from his chambers in tears, her clothes disheveled. People in the courthouse assumed she was sexually assaulted because of the judge’s reputation. “That was my introduction to the world of federal judicial misconduct,” Olsen said.
Olsen ran a series of investigative stories that revealed the scope of allegations against the judge, U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent, by case manager Cathy McBroom and others. After a judicial investigation didn’t result in Kent’s removal, federal prosecutors and lawmakers—armed in part by Olsen’s coverage—targeted the judge. And after pleading guilty in federal court and becoming the first federal judge to be impeached for a sex crime, Kent agreed to resign from his judgeship.