This time of year I always love reading the Golden Dukes nominations. But it’s the Local Venue category that’s the great pleasure. Because it’s there that we hear about a lot of quality muck I’d never even heard of before. Like this nomination from TPM Reader CE …
NY State Supreme Court Judge Ronald Tills, of Buffalo, now serving time in Jessup federal prison for transporting women across state lines for the purpose of prostitution.
Judge Tills would load up his motor home with his friendly law clerk, a local sheriff and several of the women he knew from the local massage parlor (as well as one he met when she appeared before him in court) and drive on down to Kentucky for weekend retreats with fellow lodge brothers in the Royal Order of Jesters, an elite group of Shriners.
Federal authorities discovered Judge Tills was banging more than his gavel when they staked out the Golden Acupressure Massage Parlor, part of an international sex trafficking ring.
Most of Judge Tills’ women were undocumented aliens, which authorities say were being held in virtual slavery. Wiretaps caught Tills telling the women if they ran into any trouble with the law, he could fix it so they could still get immigration papers.
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced in August after agreeing to cooperate with on ongoing investigation of the Jesters, sex traffiskcing and international travel for the purpose of having sex with minors.
Judge Tills was praised in a speech on the floor of the House by former NRCC boss Congressman Tom Reynolds, who called Tills his mentor.
Coincidentally, Reynolds, who belonged to the same Masonic lodge as Tills, announced he would not seek re-election on the very same day Tills was arrested for sex trafficking.
Haven’t submitted your own nominations yet? Instructions here.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.