Arkansas ex-judge in Charlize Theron adoption leak loses law license

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 16, 2015 8:17 PM

(Reuters) - A former Arkansas judge who was forced from the bench for disclosing confidential information about an adoption by actress Charlize Theron was allowed on Thursday to voluntarily surrender his law license by the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Michael Maggio had pleaded guilty to a federal felony bribery offense unrelated to the Theron adoption case and in March filed a request with the state Supreme Court to surrender his license to practice law.

"Mr. Maggio also states that he wishes to avoid the expense, stress, and publicity of further addressing his conviction," the Arkansas Supreme Court order said.

Maggio in January admitted accepting $24,000 in campaign contributions from the owner of a nursing home two days before he reduced to $1 million from $5.2 million a jury's negligence award against the nursing facility.

The charge of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison, three years supervised release and up to $250,000 in fines, plus restitution. His sentencing is scheduled for July 24.

Maggio was removed from office in September 2014 after admitting he used a pseudonym to disclose information about the adoption by the Academy Award-winning actress, which apparently occurred in January 2012 and was handled by another judge in the state.

(Reporting by David Bailey in Minneapolis; Editing by Eric Walsh)