"By this order, Judge [Mike] Maggio is henceforth prohibited from holding any judicial office in the state of Arkansas." - Arkansas Supreme Court in the matter of the social media leaking by Faulkner County Circuit Judge Mike Maggio about details of the 2012 adoption in his court of a child by celebrity Charlize Theron. Reported by the Associated and reprinted in the New York Post. Here you can read that coverage.
Using the moniker "geauxjudge," the AK judge Mike Maggio got on the Internet forum for Louisiana State University sports lovers and leaked bits and pieces about the adoption of a child in 2012 by Charlize Theron. He also made some inappropriate remarks. Maggio liked to post online.
This fall from grace brings up the compelling issue: The psychology of the leaker. Over and over the media probe the supposed motivations and unconscious of big-time leaker Ed Snowden.
But there are the less sexy instances of those working in BigLaw who leak juicy tidbits to Abovethelaw.com. If they are smart enough to get hired by BigLaw, then they have, of course, been smart enough to know how to leak undetected.
Then there are the mid-range leakers like Maggio who risk it all and frequently wind up losing much. Anyone who has taken Pyschology 101 and reads the "Science" section in The New York Times knows the debate about the existence of free will. Some contend there is no such entity. Behavior is a result of genes and early conditioning. So, Maggio might have been a sitting duck for leaking his way out of his job and brand of respectability.
But if there is such an entity as free will, what could have driven a judge to disclose confidential information? Surely, he was well-read enough to realize that any online postings can be traced back. Likely his drivers were the usual needs. There was the craving for showing off, creating excitement in a relatively staid life, violating the privacy of a VIP, and feeling powerful.
In addition, there could have been layers and layers of resentments, swallowed rage, and longings for love and recognition.
The psychology of leakers is probably little different from what criminal attorneys and pre-sentencing investigators bump into daily in their work. Something is off. That could be very off.