Narconon knows that prescription drugs can get the best of our citizens and this is likely what happened to Judge Baumgartner. Here is a man who presided over high profile cases and set a drug court program, yet was so desperate for opiates that he bought them illegally. He has had health issues and perhaps got a taste of prescription drugs from his docs– enough to make him to go to the dark side.
According to this article, the Judge bought prescription drugs from a convicted felon who had been assigned to his drug court. The article doesn’t say how the judge got caught but that would be an interesting question. Was he set up? It seems that a Judge who has had such compassion for drug addicts should get a break himself and be allowed to undergo treatment in lieu of any kind of sentencing. Here is the article:
A Knox County judge who championed a special court for drug addicts will resign today and admit an addiction that led him to buy prescription painkillers from a felon under his legal thumb.
Criminal Court Judge Richard Baumgartner, 63, is expected today to plead guilty to official misconduct for buying opiate painkillers from convicted felon Christopher Lee Gibson while Gibson was on probation in Baumgartner’s court.
In support of the official misconduct conviction, special prosecutor Al Schmutzer Jr. is expected to argue that, by buying pills from Gibson, the judge was not only turning a blind eye to Gibson’s violation of the terms of his probation but actually participating in Gibson’s law-breaking.
The News Sentinel has learned that Baumgartner will resign effective immediately but will be seeking judicial diversion from Special Judge Jon Kerry Blackwood as part of a plea deal brokered by defense attorney Donald A. Bosch.
Diversion would allow the judge to avoid a conviction on his record and, therefore, guarantee his pension, if he stays out of trouble during the two-year term the misconduct charge, a low-level felony, carries…..