Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo has issued an order today, Friday, dismissing two more of the remaining 10 charges filed against former attorney general Edward T. Buckingham.
In a 21-page order, Govendo granted Buckingham’s motion to dismiss the charge of obstructing justice by interfering with the service of process and the charge of misconduct in office.
Both charges are based on the same alleged act: that Buckingham, being aware that a penal summons was issued against him, engaged “in a course of conduct intended to deceive, resist and/or otherwise prevent” the effectuation of service upon him.
Govendo ruled that having found that the penal summons was invalid, the court need not address the issue of whether a physical threat or physical resistance is required under Commonwealth law.
The judge had previously determined that the penal summons was invalid as it was signed by the clerk of court and not by a judge.
In the same order, Govendo denied Buckingham’s motion to dismiss seven other charges. He dismissed one other charge as it relates to a certain punishment section of the law, but allowed the charge to proceed to trial as it relates to other punishment sections.
The Office of the Public Auditor filed 12 criminal charges against Buckingham in connection with an alleged violation of election laws and illegal award of a sole-source contract, among others.
Last week, Govendo dismissed two charges of misconduct in public office after OPA legal counsel George Hasselback asked for these charges’ dismissal. The charges were related to the alleged sole-source contract.
The bench trial of Buckingham will start on Feb. 10.
MORE DETAILS TO FOLLOW.