ATLANTA --- A former federal judge who was involved in a scandal involving drugs, guns and a stripper was sentenced Friday to 30 days in prison by a visiting jurist who told him he shamed the profession.
Former U.S. District Senior Judge Jack Camp had asked that he be sentenced to community service and probation after he pleaded guilty to charges of using drugs with the stripper and giving her an $825 government laptop.
Prosecutors said he should serve between 15 days and six months to repay his debt to society.
In the end, Judge Thomas Hogan, a Washington judge flown in to hear the case, said he understood Camp has been forever humiliated and "has a scarlet letter chiseled on his forehead the rest of his life." But he said he couldn't get around the serious misconduct of a high-ranking official.
"He has disgraced his position and himself and denigrated his office," Hogan said. "I could not only give him a sentence of probation and spare him confinement."
Camp's attorneys said in documents that his decades-long battle with depression and a bicycling accident in 2000 caused brain damage that led him to use drugs and start seeing the stripper in May 2000.
But the former judge said at the sentencing hearing that his struggles don't excuse the conduct.
"I understand that I have brought it on myself and I am committed to overcome that stigma. I want to pay the debt that I owe and rebuild my reputation," said Camp, who was also ordered to serve one year of probation, pay $1,000 and complete 400 hours of community service.
He added: "The only thing I can say is that I'm so very sorry."
Prosecutors said there was no denying Camp was a community leader, a family man and a respected jurist before he struck up the relationship with the stripper. But they said he owed a debt to society for conduct that put the integrity of the federal courts at stake.
"Mr. Camp engaged in repeated criminal conduct over four months. This was not a one-time thing," said prosecutor Deborah Mayer. "This was not a one-time lapse in impulse control."
Camp, who is married with two adult children, is a Vietnam War veteran who was appointed to the bench by Ronald Reagan in 1987.
After he started seeing the stripper, prosecutors say he soon began paying her for sex and using drugs with her.