INdiana Systemic Thinking

February 9, 2008

Delaware Judge Now Says He is Extortion Victim

In a follow up to my post yesterday, Delaware County Circuit Court Judge Wayne Lennington now says he was a victim of an extortion plot, according to the Muncie Star Press:

Judge Wayne Lennington said Friday he believed an extortion attempt might have kindled an already existing investigation into his business affairs.

“If I would have paid him, I’m sure it wouldn’t have gone anywhere,” said the Delaware Circuit Court 5 judge. “But I wasn’t going to do that.”

On Friday, Lennington provided The Star Press with a copy of an e-mail whose author threatened to deliver to federal investigators information that was damaging to Lennington and a business partner, Joseph Gray, unless the men paid him $250,000.

The judge said he believed his extortionist was an Ohio man he had met once through Gray.

In a May 30, 2007 e-mail to Gray, the man purportedly wrote, “My attorney assures me that the material in my possession are sufficient to have Judge Lennington removed from the bench, and the both of you criminally prosecuted.”

Furthermore, the e-mail stated the man would be willing to turn over to investigators:

  • Taped conversations between himself and Gray about Gray’s relationship with Lennington.
  • Faxes to him from Lennington’s home.
  • “Copies of prints from the golf course,” which Lennington believes is a reference to an aerial photograph Lennington provided Gray of a Delaware County golf course they were considering buying.
  • Information about “unfettered access” to tax sale information.Sometime after receiving the e-mail, Gray showed the message to Lennington, the judge said.Lennington told The Star Press he had never done anything illegal so he felt comfortable sharing the extortion message with state police and Delaware County Prosecutor Mark McKinney’s office.
  • The judge could not provide a precise timeline concerning when Gray first provided him the e-mail and when he notified authorities.

    Lennington said he has not heard back from the police or prosecutor.

    While Lennington was under investigation before the extortion attempt, the fact that he refused to cooperate with the extortionist might have indirectly “intensified” investigators efforts to bring him down, the judge suggested.

    He questioned whether the extortionist, embittered by Lennington’s resolve, was feeding authorities false information that the judge conspired with Gray in illegal scams.

    An effort to reach the alleged extortionist through the e-mail address provided by Lennington was unsuccessful.

    Lennington didn’t mention the extortion letter during the Thursday interview in which he confirmed he was being investigated. The judge said he wasn’t comfortable with releasing the letter until a second conversation with a reporter on Friday.


    1 Comment »

    1. We value the content post.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

      Comment by Jaliyah Gambill — February 27, 2012 @ 11:12 pm | Reply

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