"If the judges interpret the laws themselves, and suffer none else to interpret, they may easily make, of the laws, [a shredded] shipman's hose!" - King James I of England, around 1616.

“No class of the community ought to be allowed freer scope in the expression or publication of opinions as to the capacity, impartiality or integrity of judges than members of the bar. They have the best opportunities of observing and forming a correct judgment. They are in constant attendance on the courts. Hundreds of those who are called on to vote never enter a court-house, or if they do, it is only at intervals as jurors, witnesses or parties. To say that an attorney can only act or speak on this subject under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of his profession and livelihood by the very judge or judges whom he may consider it his duty to attack and expose, is a position too monstrous to be entertained for a moment under our present system,” Justice Sharwood in Ex Parte Steinman and Hensel, 95 Pa 220, 238-39 (1880).

“This case illustrates to me the serious consequences to the Bar itself of not affording the full protections of the First Amendment to its applicants for admission. For this record shows that [the rejected attorney candidate] has many of the qualities that are needed in the American Bar. It shows not only that [the rejected attorney candidate] has followed a high moral, ethical and patriotic course in all of the activities of his life, but also that he combines these more common virtues with the uncommon virtue of courage to stand by his principles at any cost.

It is such men as these who have most greatly honored the profession of the law. The legal profession will lose much of its nobility and its glory if it is not constantly replenished with lawyers like these. To force the Bar to become a group of thoroughly orthodox, time-serving, government-fearing individuals is to humiliate and degrade it.” In Re Anastaplo, 18 Ill. 2d 182, 163 N.E.2d 429 (1959), cert. granted, 362 U.S. 968 (1960), affirmed over strong dissent, 366 U.S. 82 (1961), Justice Black, Chief Justice Douglas and Justice Brennan, dissenting.

" I do not believe that the practice of law is a "privilege" which empowers Government to deny lawyers their constitutional rights. The mere fact that a lawyer has important responsibilities in society does not require or even permit the State to deprive him of those protections of freedom set out in the Bill of Rights for the precise purpose of insuring the independence of the individual against the Government and those acting for the Government”. Lathrop v Donohue, 367 US 820 (1961), Justice Black, dissenting.

"The legal profession must take great care not to emulate the many occupational groups that have managed to convert licensure from a sharp weapon of public defense into blunt instrument of self-enrichment". Walter Gellhorn, "The Abuse of Occupational Licensing", University of Chicago Law Review, Volume 44 Issue 1, September of 1976.

“Because the law requires that judges no matter how corrupt, who do not act in the clear absence of jurisdiction while performing a judicial act, are immune from suit, former Judge Ciavarella will escape liability for the vast majority of his conduct in this action. This is, to be sure, against the popular will, but it is the very oath which he is alleged to have so indecently, cavalierly, baselessly and willfully violated for personal gain that requires this Court to find him immune from suit”, District Judge A. Richard Caputo in H.T., et al, v. Ciavarella, Jr, et al, Case No. 3:09-cv-00286-ARC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Document 336, page 18, November 20, 2009. This is about judges who were sentencing kids to juvenile detention for kickbacks.

Friday, April 10, 2015

When the prosecutor is asserting the best interests of his employee's relative in a criminal case, what kind of justice can people expect?

I reported on this blog back in September 2014 of the vehicular assault by a police officer Derek Bowie upon Barbara O'Sullivan of Delhi.

Since then, Barbara O'Sullivan was charged with a crime upon the statement of Derek Bowie, Derek Bowie was sued by Barbara O'Sullivan for assault and battery, but the Delaware County DA did not charge Derek Bowie with assault, battery and attempted murder of Barbara O'Sullivan, and I wondered why.

I recently got an answer to my question, why that happened.

It came to my attention that the DA failed to disclose that the alleged victim of Barbara O'Sullivan Delaware County deputy sheriff Derek Bowie (who is, according to Barbara O'Sullivan a perpetrator of a vehicular assault on her and battery, for which he is sued in the Supreme Court, and the county defends him at the taxpayer expense instead of indicting him for assault, battery and attempted murder) is, as far as I understand, a nephew of the District Attorney's employee Jeff Bowie.

Now this relationship raises very bad implications for the DA.

  Can it be that Richard Northrup, who worked with Jeff Bowie for an eternity, did not know about his close blood relationship to Derek Bowie?  It is completely unbelievable.

So why did Richard Northrup then proceed with the charges against Barbara O'Sullivan, Derek Bowie's victim and not against Derek Bowie?

Why was Richard Northrup present in the grand jury and directed the grand jury against Barbara O'Sullivan in violation of Criminal Procedure Law 190.25 despite knowing that he is disqualified to be there and contaminated the indictment by his presence?

He tried to make sure that the charges against Barbara O'Sullivan would stick - to suit his employee?

Why is Richard Northrup using/abusing his power, at taxpayers' expense no less, pretending that he protects People of the State of New York and in this county while he is doing the bidding and acts in the interests of his own employee?

When you take the blood relationship into consideration, the case starts smacking very much of corruption and gross prosecutorial misconduct.

Apparently, when the DA would not prosecute an attempted murder committed by a nephew of his own employee, but instead prosecutes the victim of that nephew, something stinks, and badly.

And that brings me to the problem of nepotism in Delaware County.

There is a saying in Delaware County, imparted to me by its long-time residents - that Delaware County is "a land of kissing cousins".  Pure white kissing cousins at that, too.

And that appears to be true - and interferes with fairness in criminal and civil litigation.

Back in 2009 I filed a Freedom of Information Request with the Delaware County, asking Mr. Moon, the then Commissioner of Social Services to provide me records of any anti-nepotism policies that the county might have.

There were no such policies to provide in 2009.

I bet, there are no such policies now either, and, as far as I know, not just single pairs of relatives, but clusters and clans of relatives are employed by Delaware County - and that is a big problem because it generates multiple conflicts of interest, most often undisclosed, often not even discernible because of different last names of the parties.

I first bumped into this problem in litigation when I had a child neglect case where I found out through discovery that multiple members of the Delaware County DSS participating in the proceedings, as well as multiple other high-standing employees of Delaware County.

The names are:

Meghan Barnes - DSS social worker
LaVonne Shields - Sheriff's Deputy/DSS investigator, Ms. Barnes' mother-in-law
Beverly Shields, the Delaware County Treasurer - Ms. Lavonne Shields' sister-in-law

That struck me weird and inappropriate, even though later I've learnt that this is only the tip of the iceberg of the Barnes clan in Delaware County employment.

Apparently, that is not the only clan in employment of Delaware County (I found more names, which are not pertinent to what I am going to tell you next, and I am sure, an untold amount of names will go unnoticed because people are related without marriage ties and with different last names).

The Bowie clan is, apparently, another powerful clan in employment of Delaware County, so powerful that when a member of the clan was involved in a vehicular assault, battery and attempted murder, the county helped him orchestrate charges against his victim and escape uncharged and, as far as I know, undisciplined in any other way and on the loose with a pistol and a taser, exposing other potential victims to future harm - think the recent North Charleston events with tasering and shooting by a police officer of an unarmed man, think the recent Albany events when an unarmed man was tasered by the police and died.

Dangerous weapons such as pistols, tasers - and police cars - may not be entrusted to people with a violent past.

Crimes committed by police officers must be investigated and prosecuted, and when the officer's relatives stand in the way of such investigations and prosecutions, there is a problem to public safety of all, not just Barbara O'Sullivan.

So why is Richard Northrup, instead of protecting the public from a potential dangerous predator, Derek Bowie, is protecting Derek Bowie from his victim and is pursuing his victim with a criminal charge?

The answer may be simple - Derek Bowie is a member of another powerful clan, the Bowie clan.

Jeffrey Bowie, likely Derek Bowie's father or uncle, was a DSS investigator, employed by the county since 1986.

After a scandal connected with his employment as a DSS investigator and deputy sheriff without proper records and without taking a civil service exam, Mr. Northrup employed him to rescue him.

Earlier, Jeff Bowie was involved in yet another scandal, where a Sheriff's deputy, Ken Eck, was dismissed from his job for allegedly conducting unlawful surveillance of Jeff Bowie allegedly having an affair with Ken Eck's wife, which did not preclude Jeff Bowie from doing disciplinary investigations of Ken Eck, according to the appellate court decision that I've read in that case some time ago. 

By the way, Ken Eck was dismissed, among other things, for conducting surveillance of Jeff Bowie despite an obvious conflict of interest.

Nobody dismissed Jeff Bowie for engaging in an affair on the job, with a wife of a fellow officcer no less, while investigating that same fellow officer in disciplinary matters, despite an obvious conflict of interest:

"Petitioner conceded that it was a conflict of interest for him to investigate Eck, with whom he was involved in litigation, and Bowie, who had previously investigated petitioner on another disciplinary matter."

Beautiful - an investigator investigating a police officer on a disciplinary matter gets (allegedly, but there were witnesses testifying about it in Ken Eck's hearing, so it could be true) into a romantic relationship with the officer's wife, and it is not a conflict of interest, and the investigated officer is dismissed when he starts to investigate the investigator back.

Not only Jeffrey Bowie stayed on in his employment in Delaware County, he thrived, despite no record of having ever passed a civil service exam, and so he was never even supposed to be an investigator, and had thus no authority to ever investigate Officer Eck.

Yet, it is Officer Eck who was dismissed, and it is Jeffrey Bowie who stayed and reportedly earned $77,420 in 2014 and has worked as a Delaware County employee since April 14, 1986.

Jeff Bowie's salary reportedly (see the same link as above) is "2.1 times greater than the average of all Delaware employees ($36,891) and $30,101 greater than the average of all New York employees ($47,599)", same source as the above link.

After Jeff Bowie became the focus of  media scrutiny for being improperly listed as an employee of the District Attorney's office and for never taking a civil service exam while working in a position requiring such an exam, Richard Northrup still employed Jeff Bowie.

So, Jeff Bowie has pull enough in the county for Richard Northrup taking the heat for improperly employing him previously for years, and still accepted him for employment after the scandal became public.

And now, Richard Northrup charged Jeff Bowie's blood relatives' victim instead of that blood relative.

Doesn't seem like a coincidence to me.

Clearly, this person who works as a Delaware County employee for nearly 30 years and earns 2.1 times the average salary of Delaware County employees, has a pull in the county.  

Is his pull enough to whitewash his son or nephew Derek Bowie of using the police vehicle to engage in assault, battery and attempted murder on a woman?  That same Derek Bowie who threatened the use of Taser against an unarmed middle-aged woman for no other reason?  The same Derek Bowie who was rewarded for his misconduct by being promoted after that to a TASER INSTRUCTOR in Delaware County - now await something really bad to happen!

I think, the investigation against Derek Bowie and the investigation of corruption in Delaware County, as to how its Sheriff's Department and its District Attorney's office prosecuted the victim instead of the well-connected perpetrator, should be referred to special prosecutors and special investigators outside of this county.

It simply stinks and it is clear that in this county the only thing that can happen is that Barbara O'Sullivan will be railroaded by the very people who hurt her and escaped without punishment due to their positions of power in the county.

Richard Northrup is apparently undeterred by the fact that Jeff Bowie his employee, employee of the office prosecuting Derek Bowie's victim Barbara O'Sullivan on what is likely a charge orchestrated in retaliation for her recording of Derek Bowie's misconduct, as well as her stance against judicial misconduct in this county.

Nothing like a tangle of conflicts of interest.

It is interesting to mention that during investigation and hearings pertaining to dismissal of Ken Eck involving Jeff Bowie, some illustrative statements were made by witnesses about alleged ticket-fixing for government officials in Delaware County, Nazi-like salutes by former Sheriff Thomas Mills, attempts to change accident reports, fear of county employees to testify at the hearings because they were afraid to lose their jobs...

Since Delaware County employment appears to be up for grabs for clans of people who arrange for favors for each other and for their relatives, I do not believe Delaware County is a good venue to try any cases where members of such clans are complainants, alleged victims or are testifying.

Nor, in the cases of O'Sullivan v Bowie and People v. O'Sullivan (see the link showing how Barbara O'Sullivan was jailed by Derek Bowie's colleagues and discriminated while in jail, she is out now, no thanks to the courts, prosecutor or Sheriff's department) should relatives of the prosecutor or relatives of the alleged "victim" Derek Bowie be involved in prosecuting the criminal case, as it happens when Derek Bowie is, upon information and belief, the nephew of Richard Northrup's employee Jeff Bowie.

What a mess.

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