Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Michael Joyce (R) has a problem of saying one thing and doing another.
Hereâs what Joyce, who was indicted Monday on nine counts of money laundering and mail fraud, has said. Back in 2001, he was in a car accident. The injury was so bad that he had to forgo almost all physical activity. According to the narrative he filed with his insurance company, he couldnât golf. He didnât renew his scuba license because he couldnât swim. And though he had received a primary nomination to the state Supreme Court, now the pain from his injuries meant that he couldnât even imagine running an election campaign.
The only problem is, thatâs not true. Okay, so some of it is true. Joyce was involved in a fender-bender with another car (at speeds around 5 miles per hour). The bump was minor, so no police or medics were called to the scene. And it is true that a year later Joyce filed insurance claims with both his insurer and that of the other driver; he received settlements totaling $440,000. And to be fair, even low-speed accidents can produce chronic injuries.
What doesnât seem to be true is the idea that Joyce was suffering very much. He said he couldnât play golf. But he turned in sixteen completed scorecards between the accident and the filing (who wants to lose his golf handicap?). He said he had forgone his scuba license. But a December 2001 check to the Professional Association of Driving Instructors says otherwise, as does a June 2002 scuba trip to Jamaica. Joyce says he had to abandon his hopes of a Supreme Court campaign, despite the support of his party. But the grand jury indictment says he received no such endorsement or nomination, and his local Republicans have so far agreed. You can see the full indictment here.
In fact, Joyce even found time in 2002 to pick up a few new hobbies. When he wasnât driving around on the motorcycle he bought with the first round of his insurance money, Joyce was enjoying another new hobby: flying. Between April and October, he piloted a plane over fifty times. And in order to pilot, he had to sign off saying he that he was not experiencing physical limitations or problems. He even put some of his insurance windfall towards a down payment on a private plane.
Joyce is set to fight the indictment in court, promising to mount a âa vigorous legal defense.â Then again, he also said last week that he had no plans to abandon his reelection campaign. But this week, he announced that he will retire after this term. So it remains to be seen if this is the time Michael Joyce actually does what he says.