SAN FRANCISCO — A former part-time judge in Michigan who took a new name and a new career as a radio talk show host in California has tentatively agreed to plead guilty to an income tax charge, his lawyer said Wednesday.
Leon Edmond Kowalski, 47, who broadcast under the name of Ed Kowas, was ordered released for a week on $50,000 bail by U.S. Magistrate Frederick Woelflen and is scheduled to be back on the radio this morning, said George Anderson, president of station KMFB.
Anderson, who signed the no-cash bail bond, said listeners kept his phone ringing all weekend after news of Kowalski's arrest.
"It's been incredible, the support for him in our community," Anderson told reporters.
Assistant Federal Public Defender Nancy Pemberton said Kowalski had tentatively agreed to plead guilty to one of two federal tax evasion charges. She said no promises have been made about the sentence, which could be as much as five years in prison.
Kowalski was a lawyer in Baldwin, Mich., in 1979 when he was appointed as a part-time probate judge. Pemberton said he handled mainly juvenile cases in his four years in office, which ended when he decided not to seek election in 1984.