A Colorado judge says the FBI will pay him $100,000 to settle a lawsuit that accused the bureau of damaging his reputation by releasing defamatory information about him, the Pueblo Chieftain reports. The FBI in 2001 privately released a confidential report of an investigation of possible drug use by Judge Claude Appel of Walsenburg, Co. The probe began in 1994. “The FBI closed its case in 1997 and concluded that there was no evidence of judicial misconduct or substantiated evidence of drug use by Judge Appel,” U.S. Attorney John Suthers said.
“The rumors and innuendo that I have used illegal drugs were and are absolutely false,” Appel said. He blamed “office politics” for the investigation. The FBI said in a court filing that former 3rd District Judge Jesse Manzanares of Trinidad provided information about Appel.