Judge in Lehman case charged with slapping wife

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NEW YORK (AP) -- The federal judge overseeing the record bankruptcy case of Wall Street investment bank Lehman Bros. has been arrested on misdemeanor charges of slapping his wife.

Judge James Peck was arrested Saturday at his Manhattan home and was charged with attempted assault and harassment.

He was arraigned Sunday in Manhattan Criminal Court, where Judge Lenora Gerald released him without bail and told him to return to court March 16.

Chief Judge Stuart M. Bernstein had no comment on whether Peck's legal difficulties would affect the Lehman case or any others, Bernstein's law clerk said Monday. Peck was working Monday but his calendar had no cases scheduled for the day.

According to the misdemeanor court complaint, Judith Peck accused her 63-year-old husband of hitting her on the face with an open palm. It says the slap caused "substantial pain" in her jaw.

Peck was initially represented by Legal Aid Society lawyer Gurmeet Singh (Gur-MEET' Sing), who said the judge would be retaining an attorney. Singh would not comment further.

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., founded in 1850, filed the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history on Sept. 15 after the federal government refused to bail it out.

Peck also is overseeing a bankruptcy examiner's investigation of whether former Lehman Bros. managers committed fraud or mismanaged the company.

Lehman firm had assets of $639 billion and debt of $613 billion. Its filing marked the end of what had been the fourth-largest U.S. investment bank.