Such retaliation is nothing new to me.
I was criminally charged for exposing corruption in this blog - with criminal charges dismissed sua sponte, but those who orchestrated them promoted instead of sanctioned.
I was also sanctioned multiple for making FOIL (New York open records) requests:
- in 2011, by the now-quickly-retired Judge Carl F. Becker,
- in January 2012, by the same Carl F. Becker;
- in May 2015 based on sanctions of the same Carl F. Becker; and
- in November of 2015 when I was summarily suspended (without a hearing) based on sanctions of the same Carl F. Becker.
Carl Becker got upset (among other things - I also filed complaint about him and sued him) that I was filing FOIL requests about his financial statements - by the way, the NYS Court Administration NEVER complied with ANY of my FOIL requests regarding semi-annual financial statements of any judge, including Carl Becker, but instead sent notifications to judges that I made FOIL requests, for further retaliation.
Carl Becker actually mentioned in two orders - the sua sponte (on the court's own motion) order to show cause why I shouldn't be sanctioned in May of 2011 and in order of sanctions of January 2012, that sanctions are imposed for:
(1) making FOIL requests - Becker said that it was inappropriate for an attorney to make FOIL requests about the judge the attorney is appearing in front of and for - I was sanctioned by Becker $1,500 for that;
(2) using open records obtained through FOIL requests, because such use "invades privacy" - my client (husband) and I were sanctioned together $11,000 for that by Becker.
Of course, one cannot possibly, factually or legally, "invade privacy" of any other individual by obtaining and using PUBLIC records, but in New York courts, if a judge said the sun is raising in the West, that's it, any crazy thing a judge says is approved and supported as "judicial discretion".
Yet, that simple concept did not stop judge Becker, or judge Ferris Lebous, of Binghamton, NY, who reviewed a motion to vacate those sanctions (after he engaged in several ex parte communications with my opponents, for which ex parte communications my opponents charged me a legal fee, and Judge Lebous approved it against me and my husband).
In November of 2015 my law license was suspended for two years - without a hearing, since I wanted an open public hearing and since such a hearing would have exposed too much - based on Becker's sanction for FOIL requests.
My sanction was not the worst, though.
On June 26, 2010, Sunny Shue, of New York City, was bludgeoned to death after he investigated, including through FOIL requests to New York State Court Administration, foreclosure fraud involving a judge and reported the case to the FBI.
After Sunny Shue was murdered, evidence of the murder was reportedly covered up, and nobody was charged.
Sunny Shue predicted his own murder and published a video before the murder.
There is no statute of limitations on murder in the State of New York or under federal law - so, Sunny Shue's murder may be investigated at any time, we only need honest prosecutors to take up the case.
On April 9, 2016 I covered the story about the suspicious death of a whistleblower Adam Rupeka and his girlfriend, who was conveniently charged with a sexual crime against a child while exposing police misconduct, had to run for his life with his girlfriend, and was still apprehended and likely murdered in Mexico.
In April of 2016, there was an arson and murder attempt where the house of my friend Barbara O'Sullivan, her daughter and her unborn grandchild who was born in May and became the immediate target of social services; social services quickly backed out of their desire to snatch the child after the coverage of their misconduct on this blog, the child was released from hospital and the report was "unfounded". Upon my information, the former Delaware County Commissioner Bill Moon, decades-long friend of Barbara's hater, former Judge Carl F. Becker, was involved in influencing the "investigation" by social services.
Barbara's house was burnt down completely under the circumstances indicating that it was a retaliation for Barbara's activities in seeking open public records and exposing misconduct of the police and local prosecutors joined at the hip with local corrupt judges.
No investigation and no fire or police reports were produced, the investigation is hushed up, the remains of the house was destroyed by much more than the fire, the police never secured the crime scene, the house continues to be stripped of the remaining valuables (copper pipes), shady individuals show up on the property and make vague threatening statements, and the police refuses to protect Barbara.
It is interesting to mention that the Delaware County Sheriff's Department and the Delaware County DA's office was quite a bit more vigorous in investigating and prosecuting the theft of copper pipes after the flood in Sidney - I know because I represented one of the individuals charged with that crime.
When the same crime concerns Barbara, the Delaware County authorities "would not pee on the fire", in the aristocratic language of their social worker Sharon Reichert-Morgan, who volunteered communication with me to criticize me for the coverage of the fire at Barbara's house.
In fact, a firefighter's wife, a local social workers, claimed on my blog that if MY house burns down, her husband will not even pee on it to extinguish the fire - and other niceties of the same order. I was also told to sit back in South Carolina and not put my nose into the Delaware County business.
That was an open threat, even more transparent that there already was an arson attempt in my home in Delhi, NY that, similarly with Barbara's actual arson, nobody wants to investigate or prosecute.
Barbara and Alecia both endured criminal prosecutions, both terminated in their favor, see here and here, and both started by Judge Becker's former law partner John Hubbard, who did not disclose the fact that he was Judge Becker's law partner until Judge Becker retired and John Hubbard announced his still continued run for the seat of the Delaware County District Attorney.
#ActingDelawareCountyDistrictAttorneyJohnHubbard did not consider it beneath him to prosecute Barbara and Alecia based on fabricated warrants, as Barbara's case revealed, in collusion with Delhi Town Justice (who still remains on the bench) Richard Gumo.
John Hubbard did not consider it beneath him to stress out by criminal prosecution on fabricated charges Barbara's visibly pregnant daughter Alecia Bracci, simply out of retaliation on behalf of his former law partner Judge Becker.
Hubbard had to see in February of 2016, when he put Alecia Bracci through a jury trial on those fabricated charges, that Alecia is very pregnant (her child was born within less than 3 months, in early May).
That did not stop Hubbard from not only proceeding on false charges, and stress the expectant mother, but also to waste taxpayers' money and jurors' time on false prosecution and jury trial - only to please his former law partner, the quickly-retired Judge Carl F. Becker. John Hubbard, who is running for the DA's position now, is a prime candidate for the District Attorney's office in Delaware County - honest and fair.
Barbara was the victim of one more attempted murder attempt in 2014, by the Delaware County fake deputy Sheriff Derek Bowie (he did not satisfy the residency requirement, as revealed in yet another lawsuit, and was thus not a legitimate Deputy Sheriff), who had a history of violence, and whose violence against Barbara could have been also triggered by Barbara's facial likeness to Bowie's former girlfriend who sued him.
I wrote that Barbara's life was in danger back in September of 2014 when she was put in jail and my access to her, as her attorney, was blocked because it was conditioned on allowing the Sheriff's Department (employer of Derek Bowie) to search my attorney files.
But, Derek Bowie was never prosecuted for his assault upon his girlfriend Kylie Smith, or for the attempted murder of Barbara O'Sullivan.
Instead, Derek Bowie's victim Kylie Smith was prosecuted by the Broome County DA (the assault of Bowie upon Ms. Smith occurred in Broome County).
And, in Delaware County, Derek Bowie's victim Barbara O'Sullivan and her daughter Alecia Bracci were prosecuted by the employer of Derek Bowie's uncle, the Delaware County DA - because Derek Bowie's uncle Jeff Bowie works as a longtime investigator for the Delaware County District Attorney's office where Judge Becker's former law partner John Hubbard has been a Chief Assistant District Attorney for years, and is now the Acting District Attorney.
People who want to find out about governmental misconduct, as shown in this post, are exposed to a powerful backlash where the government uses its authority, given to it by the taxpayer to protect, in order to suppress exposure of its own misconduct.
Yet, there are more and more people like Barbara, who courageously continue to document corruption in the government by seeking open records through FOIL requests.
At this time, in the era of the Internet, when evidence of governmental corruption obtained through FOIL requests can be posted within seconds on the Internet (I do that all the time on my blog) and when the public is increasingly opposed to corruption, the government, and the mainstream media depending on handouts from wealthy advertisers who are connected with the government, continue to clamp down on "sensitive" topics - and on people who try to raise them, or to even seek materials for such publications, through open records requests.
In New York, Mayor Blasio and NYPD continue to fight to keep disciplinary records of police officers closed to the public - even though the law Mayor Blasio and NYPD are relying upon is facially unconstitutional because Civil Rights Law 50a was created with a specific purpose to undermine criminal defendants' efforts to effectively cross-examine police officers in criminal proceedings, impeaching them with evidence of their disciplinary record and misconduct, a violation of Confrontation Clause of the 6th Amendment of the U.S. Constituion.
I challenged constitutionality of that law in multiple criminal cases, in omnibus motions, always with the same result - the challenge was rejected without an explanation or reasoning as being "without merit".
Recently, under public pressure and civil unrest over a number of police abusing or killings of civilians without justification caught on witness's video, there appeared a trend of equipping police officers with body cameras.
Such body cameras, of course, are no substitute for witness videos since compromising videos in possession of the police can conveniently disappear or be redacted.
And, of course, body cameras can be conveniently shut off during an event they are supposed to record. In fact, turning off body cameras when dealing with a situation where shooting was involved was reportedly an instruction of dispatchers to the police in Tennessee.
And, even if the footage is obtained from such body cameras, the public may be blocked from seeing it, as it happened, for example, in North Carolina where the State Legislature just approved a bill removing police body cam videos from public access, so the public cannot obtain footage of police body cams on open access request.
So, witness videos remain the most reliable information about police misconduct nowadays.
But, that may change in the near future, too, at least for users of iPhones - where Apple is introducing in the near future an app that would allow the police to disable the cameras of telephones. Of course, then people may - and should - carry an additional device with software that cannot be disabled, a "conceal carry" camera.
Yet, OUR government, taxpayer-supported government, must conduct its affairs in the open, and there is a presumption of access to government records in state open-access laws and, as of June 30, 2016, in federal law, too.
The government fights those efforts, with increasing vigor and viciousness, in a variety of ways.
In New York, methods employed were:
- stalling responses to records;
- inventing ways of making access to records too expensive, like insisting on releasing only paper copies - for payment only - when the request is for e-mailed scanned or printed-to-pdf copies of documents that can be produced for free;
- sanctioning people who make FOIL requests (as I described above, my law license was suspended based on a sanction imposed by a judge, among other things, for making FOIL requests about financial disclosures of that same judge);
- murder of those who obtain incriminating records through FOIL and then turn them into prosecuting authorities - see the case of Sunny Shue above.
In other states, quite recently, and in rapid succession, investigative journalists are being arrested for seeking access and coverage at public meetings and for making open records requests.
I will run separate blogs for stories about each arrest, but here is a brief summary:
Date of arrest
Names, professions of people arrested
Real reason for arrest; criminal charges
Names, professions of people who sought the arrest
March 23, 2016
Reporter Chris Nakamoto
Trespass – in a City Hall
Sergeant Green of White Castle (LA) City Police, on behalf of the mayor #JermarrWilliams
June 24, 2016
in a lawsuit seeking audio records of court proceedings, both white males
Identity fraud, attempted identity fraud – attorney filed supboenas for public records not signed by a judge.
Seeking the records of court proceedings where a now-retired white judge Roger Bradley (a white male) reportedly used a racist slur against a criminal defendant, and seeking records that the attorney fees for stenographer who brought a $1.6 million counterclaim for defamation were financed out of court expense account of Judge Bradley
Chief Judge of Appalachian Circuit courts #BrendaWeaver; judge Weaver’s former law clerk #DistrictAttorneyAlisonSosebe, white females
June 29, 2016
Reporter sought to cover a public meeting regarding uninsured and improperly registered police cars (registered to individuals and businesses, not the police)
Reporter was arrested, criminally charged, handcuffed and chained to the holding bench
Town of Kinlock police captain
In addition to direct action by the government, in retaliation for seeking or using open court records such as:
1) law license suspension - that would be me in New York in 2015 and attorney Christine Mire of Louisiana in 2016;
2) arrests of reporters - Chris Nakamoto in Louisiana in March of 2016, Mark Thomeson in June of 2016, Chris Hayes in June of 2016,
there is also "indirect" retaliation:
- the murder of Sunny Shue in 2010 in New York;
- counter-claims for defamation by judge-inspired (and, likely, financed) court stenographers - in Georgia, against Mark Thomeson and in Louisiana, against attorney Chrisine Mire and her client;
- lawsuits for defamation - like the one pursued by a Nashville, Tennessee, #DistrictAttorneyGlennFunk against reporter Chris Phillips for coverage of his election campaign;
There are also instances of censure that I noted recently:
- a couple of days ago Bill O'Reilly of "O'Reilly factor" noted that he would not invite a person as a guest into his studio if he would know ahead of time that the person is going to say certain bad things about a public official - indicating that Bill O'Reilly (and, possibly, other mainstream TV stations) censure the content of whoever is "invited" as a guest speaker;
- State University of California, Davis reportedly used $175,000 in public money "to scrub the Internet of negative online postings following the November 2011 pepper-spraying of student protesters";
- decisions in April of 2016 of government authorities in removing the documentary "Vaxxed" from screening in New York and Texas film festivals questioning integrity of how safety and efficiency of vaccines are studied, tested and how vaccines are promoted by the pharmaceutical industries - removal of "Vaxxed" from the film festivals met with vigorous public protests
- Huffington Post's removal of its long-time reporter Lance Simmens for reporting on issues of government corruption raised in "Vaxxed";
- silence of the mainstream media as to the mass protests and mass arrests of protesters in Washington, D.C. demonstrating against government corruption, when 400 arrests were made, see also here.
All in all, TWO vigorous trends appear to exist:
1) that the public increasingly need, want, and seek public records of governmental corruption;
2) that the government resists efforts of the public to ensure transparency of the government and fights back, directly and indirectly, through:
- stalling of release of records;
- legislative acts making certain most sought public records unavailable to the public - like laws regarding police misconduct in New York and North Carolina;
- making open records requests prohibitively expensive;
- retaliating against those seeking the records by
- criminal charges,
- loss of occupational licenses,
- multi-million defamation lawsuits,
- spoliation or destruction of evidence,
- blocking documentaries about government corruption from public airing at large events,
- censure in the mainstream media and
- firing investigative journalists who cover governmental corruptoin (Huffington post's Lance Simmens, see above).
I will not be surpised if Apple's interesting app to block videocameras on smartphones was produced at the request of the government - to block people from creating their own record of government misconduct, not believing that the government will do a good or honest job in doing the same.
I do not believe that what I described in this blog is anything new.
Government corruption existed for as long as any types of government existed.
Yet, instant reporting on such government corruption became available only with proliferation of the Internet and social media.
Such reporting is absolutely necessary to keep our government clean and efficient, and to have at least a hope of a democracy alive.
This blog will certainly continue to report on corruption, and specifically on the corruption in the judiciary and among prosecutors, the most powerful branches of the government in the U.S. who retaliate in the worst ways and thus get most mainstream media sources intimidated.
Bloggers, social media reports and documentaries are now the main outlets for exposure of corruption in the government, especially judicial and prosecutorial corruption, and we must continue to do that if we do not want to sink into the dark ages.