Gary Stein for Congress Fl., 20th District

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Hastings did indeed throw out the judgment, and evidently acted to ensure that it was done quickly. According to testimony, he told his courtroom clerk, “I want the order today...Sorry for the rush, but the order has to go out today.” A short time later, a pickup date for the full payoff was set. [9] [10]

As the FBI was building its possible case against Hastings, it wiretapped calls between the judge and Borders. In one call, Hastings stated, "I've drafted all those ah, ah, letters, ah, for him, and everything's okay. The only thing I was concerned with was, did you hear if, ah, hear from him after we talked?" This statement would become a key piece of evidence for the prosecution at Hastings' trial. (Edward Cody, "Jury Acquits Judge Hastings In Bribery Case," Washington Post, February 4, 1983)

On October 9, 1981, the day Borders was to be honored in Washington by the National Bar Association, the nation’s largest black legal group, he got a call to meet “Frank” at a local hotel. Borders showed up and met with the FBI agent he thought was Frank Romano. The agent had brought the $125,000. Borders was immediately arrested when the money changed hands. [11] [12]

Hastings was in Washington that day to attend the dinner honoring Borders. Alan Baron, the lawyer who was hired by the Democratic majority on the Judiciary Committee to lead an impeachment investigation into Hastings several years later, wrote a law review article on the case in which he described Hastings’ actions this way:

Hastings was at the L’Enfant Plaza Hotel in Washington, D.C. when he heard the news of Borders’ arrest. His reaction was to leave Washington immediately and return to Florida, thereby avoiding the FBI. He quickly packed a bag and left the hotel without checking out, leaving behind a suit he had sent to the hotel’s valet service. The suit was retrieved by the FBI several days later. [13] [14]

Hastings then took a taxi cab to the Baltimore-Washington airport. Once there, he called his mother in Florida from a pay phone. Then, according to Baron:

Hastings placed a collect call from a second pay phone at the airport to the home of his girlfriend, Patricia Williams. The call lasted a minute or less. Hastings told Williams to call him back at a third pay phone, which she did. He then told her to go to a pay phone and call him again at the same number. About fifteen minutes later, she called Hastings from a pay phone located in a shopping mall near her home. This call lasted a minute or less. Hastings then called her at the mall pay phone from a fourth pay phone at the BWI Airport. This call lasted about four minutes. [15] [16]

Hastings then caught a plane headed for Florida. The FBI found him late that night at his girlfriend’s house. 


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