Arrested Judge Wore Dress, Women's Hosiery

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sat, 02/16/2008 - 10:25pm.

A Boston-based federal judge wore a black cocktail dress, fish-net stockings and high heels when police arrested him for drunk driving after he rear-ended a pickup truck last week, sources said.


U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Somma, 63, struck a plea deal with the city Wednesday in which he pleaded no contest to a first-offense misdemeanor driving while intoxicated charge in Manchester District Court. In exchange, the judge agreed to pay $600 in fines and penalties and a 12-month license suspension, which can be reduced to six months if he proves he successfully completed a driver education and alcohol awareness course, court records show.

Federal judge guilty in Manchester DWI (36)


The arresting officer made no mention of the judge's attire in the written report police provided to the media other than to note the judge "had a difficult time locating his license in his purse."

Two sources confirmed Somma was wearing a cocktail dress, women's hose and high heels when his Mercedes-Benz E320 sedan struck a pickup truck stopped at a red light on Elm Street about 11:29 p.m. on Feb. 6.

"He told police his wife was out of town ... so he decided to come up to Manchester where no one would know him," said a city government official speaking on condition of anonymity. The official said he was told of the incident by a top police administrator during a briefing session.

Somma, who lives in Newbury, Mass., had a hard time keeping his balance, smelled of alcohol and slurred his speech, the police report shows. He failed the field sobriety test and took a breath test at the station that registered a blood alcohol level of .12, according to the police report.

The judge told police he had been at the Breezeway Pub at 14 Pearl St. where he had two gin and tonics about two hours earlier, the police report shows.

Ronald K. Forest of Weare, who was driving the pickup Somma struck, declined comment. While police said no one was hurt in the collision, Forest said he and his passenger sought medical help the next day.

Attorney John J. Cronin III of Bennington contacted the city's lawyers Monday to begin working out a plea deal for his client, which enabled Somma to avoid trial. Somma was set to be arraigned Feb. 25. Cronin could not be reached for comment.

Somma was appointed a First Circuit Court bankruptcy judge in 2004.

First Circuit Court spokesmen said Somma is a judge in good standing with no history of problems.


The federal bankruptcy judge who was convicted of DWI in Manchester this week is resigning.

According to a press release issued by the First Circuit federal court in Boston today, Judge Robert Somma will remain on leave until his resignation takes effect on April 1.


By KATHRYN MARCHOCKI - New Hampshire Union Leader Staff - February 15, 2008 - posted at

Tag this page!
Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sat, 02/16/2008 - 10:25pm.