As I promised, I will soon publish further analysis of that decision regarding #NorthCarolinaJudgeJerryTillett, which was made on 41 pages and included multiple concurring opinions.
Yet, nearly immediately after the North Carolina top court absolved itself, all judges of the state, and judge Jerry Tillett, of the reach of attorney regulation, despite being licensed attorneys, the North Carolina Supreme Court gave yet another slap on the wrist (just like they did with Judge Tillett) to yet another North Carolina judge who was abusing his office for personal gain: #JudgePeterMack.
Mack has been handpicked and supported for judgeship by "prominent" local attorneys - while the ethics of this "tradition", and of judges too-cozy relationships with the local bar in return for rulings - was questioned since long time ago.
While the Supreme Court gave Judge Mack a "public reprimand", but did not take him off the bench, for only "failing to disclose additional income" from his rental properties, the disciplinary decision raises much more serious misconduct of Judge Mack, which required taking off the bench and disbarring him as an attorney.
Judge Mack had a rental property.
And, he rented it.
And, a tenant trashed it when leaving, causing a lot of damage.
And, Judge Mack had a right to pursue legal remedies under the law, as anybody else in this country and in the State of North Carolina.
Yet, it is HOW Judge Mack pursued his remedies that is a problem.
First, Judge Mack pursued not just civil remedies, but filed a criminal complaint against the tenant.
Moreover, to rub it in with the prosecution that the complainant is a judge, Judge Mack indicated as his return address the address of his court, obviously wielding the power of his office to advance his personal interests.
Such a complaint would likely not have been addressed, had it not been made by a sitting judge.
So, the criminal complaint was turned into criminal charges against the tenant, because of Judge Mack's status as a judge. So, Judge Mack influenced the prosecutor with his judicial position in order to have criminal charges brought against he tenant, instead of trying to sue the tenant and try his luck, as other landlords have to do, to get any money from a tenant in civil proceedings - facing the potential problem of a deadbeat tenant.
Of course, it is easier to have the tenant pay up for damages if that is the price of getting out of jail, rather than to have him pay up a civil money judgment.
Furthermore, knowing that the judge is the complainant, and is wielding his judicial status by putting his court's address on the complaint, the tenant had a difficulty finding an attorney who would dare represent him against a judge.
The case was even put on the calendar of Judge Mack, so he was both the Plaintiff and the presiding judge in the same case. Of course, Judge Mack denied knowledge or collusion with the prosecution, but who is going to believe it? Only "brother judges" on the NC Supreme Court, obviously.
Finally, a public defender was assigned to represent the tenant - only to sell the tenant out and to agree for the tenant to meet IN CHAMBERS of the Plaintiff Judge Mack, with the prosecutor being present, but without the presence of that same public defender for restitution negotiations - at the end of which the tenant was pressured enough to produce $3,000 for the judge.
For all of that - the judge was given only a "public reprimand" and was allowed to remain on the bench, while knowing that, according to NC Supreme Court helpful information in Judge Tillett's decision, the last time a judge was impeached in North Carolina was in 1868, and a judge may not be now disciplined as an attorney because NC Supreme Court decided to give itself and all judges in the State such a self-serving gift.
So, North Carolinians, the decision regarding Judge Tillett predictably opened up a floodgate of more corrupt disciplinary decisions that only pretend to discipline judges while in fact are operating as protection for judges committing egregious misconduct for personal gain.
And, unless the public demands more accountability from its judges, through a legislative action making impeachment proceedings easier and specifically providing by a statute that attorney discipline equally applies to judges who are attorneys, corrupt judges will remain on the bench forever.
After all, according to the NC Supreme Court's decision regarding Judge Tillett, it was Judge Tillett's current judicial status that protected him from disbarment - an incentive for the NC Supreme Court to NEVER take a judge off the bench, as it would mean throwing such a judge to the wolves of attorney disciplinary authorities.
Great job, NC Supreme Court.
Could not expect anything less from the "Honorable" judiciary.