William A. Borders, a prominent Washington lawyer who was convicted five years ago of conspiring with a federal judge to accept a $150,000 bribe, is now teaching law classes part time to business students at the University of the District of Columbia.
Borders, 48, was paroled from federal prison in February 1986 after serving 33 months of a five-year term. Last fall he began teaching two courses at UDC, business law and business operations and the law, both offered in associate-degree business and paralegal programs.
"He's paid his debt to society and he's doing a good job for us," said Johnnie Landon, chairman of the management technology department, who hired Borders. "We attempt to provide our minority student population with a law faculty who have had experience. To the extent we can make them more competitive, the higher the prestige of our program."
Landon added, "Look at it realistically. We have a pretty low pay scale for part timers. This is no slap at Mr. Borders. Where can I attract somebody with his experience for that remuneration?"
John Britton, a UDC spokesman, said part-time faculty are paid about $1,200 per course each semester. The courses meet for two 1 1/2-hour sessions a week for 15 weeks.
Borders has been disbarred permanently by the D.C. Court of Appeals.
Several students in his classes praised Borders highly, but when a reporter met him outside his classroom, he refused to discuss his UDC job or disclose any other work he may be doing.
"I have a policy of not talking to the press," he said.
Borders was convicted in 1982 of conspiring with U.S. District Judge Alcee L. Hastings of Miami to accept a $150,000 cash bribe on behalf of two convicted racketeers in return for lenient sentences. In addition to the conspiracy charge, Borders was convicted of obstruction of justice and two counts of interstate travel to commit bribery.
Hastings was acquitted of the charges by a Miami jury, but a panel of judges concluded after an investigation that Hastings "attempted to corruptly use his office for personal gain" and then lied under oath. It said Hastings' conduct "might constitute grounds for impeachment." A House Judiciary subcommittee is investigating whether to recommend that Hastings be impeached.
Before his conviction, Borders had been president of the National Bar Association, an organization of black lawyers, and had been appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the D.C. Judicial Nomination Commission, which recommends judges for the D.C. Superior Court.
At his sentencing, Borders told U.S. District Judge Edward T. Gignoux, "I stand before you a humble, broken person asking you to do what's best." Gignoux sentenced him to four concurrent five-year prison terms and imposed a $35,000 fine.