English Commercials Draw Fire
Saturday July 20 1:21 PM ET
ATLANTA (AP) He made it to the final episode of "Survivor: Marquesas," but "Pappy" English's recent commercials are getting criticism.
Superior Court Judge Paschal A. English Jr., who was a finalist on the CBS reality series, is part of an advertising campaign for Atlanta Gas Light Co. touting the benefits of natural gas instead of propane.
"Pappy doesn't do propane," the ads say.
The ads do not identify English as a judge, but some legal experts say judges shouldn't do advertising at all. Canons governing the behavior of judges prohibit them from using the prestige of their position to benefit private interests.
In an interview with the Daily Report, an Atlanta legal newspaper, English said he doesn't care about the opinions of law professors "in their ivory towers.
"The fact that someone knows me as a judge does that preclude me from doing anything?" English said.
Atlanta Gas Light officials declined to say how much they paid English, and said his role as a judge didn't influence their decision to hire him.
"We did not hire him as a judge. We hired him because of his popularity," company president Isaac Blythers said.
The state Judicial Qualifications Commission, which investigates judges' conduct, declined to comment on English's advertisements. The commission has never issued an opinion on whether a judge can serve as a paid advertiser in his personal life, commission executive director Cheryl Custer said.