Ronald Bodenheimer, a former judge in Jefferson Parish, La., was sentenced yesterday to almost four years in prison for corruption, says the New Orleans Times-Picayune. Citing his “appalling” actions, U.S. District Judge Helen “Ginger” Berrigan ordered him to prison for 46 months — a month longer than his tenure as a judge of 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna. “Corruption in the judiciary is worse than corruption in any other branch of government,” Berrigan told him.
Bodenheimer, a former prosecutor who sent five people to death row and dozens others to life in prison before becoming a judge, agreed with the sentencing judge but struck a more defensive tone outside court. “Ninety-nine percent of what I did as a judge was the right thing. One percent was wrong, and for that I pleaded guilty and I have been punished,” he said.
Bodenheimer left office Dec. 31, 2002, and pleaded guilty last year to conspiring to plant drugs on a critic of activities at his Venetian Isles Marina. He admitted plotting to fix a child custody case in his court, with the aim of gaining a seafood contract with a multimillionaire businessman. He confessed to manipulating bonds in favor of bail bonds mogul Louis Marcotte III in exchange for dinners, trips, and other things of value.
He will become the fourth judge in the state to serve time in the past two decades.