"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.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Porter Kirkwood - a soft spoken corruptioner

Porter Kirkwood launched a new YouTube ad in his election campaign for the judicial office.

In that ad, he continues to claim that he handled 3,000 Family Court case - an unprovable fact.

He continues to claim that Family law in New York is such a difficult topic that his handling 3000 cases (allegedly, again, it is not provable because social services cases are sealed) makes him uniquely qualified for the job.

Porter Kirkwood is soft spoken and tries to create an impression of an intelligent and nice fellow.

He is neither nor.

Please, remember that Porter Kirkwood is the one who approved in 2013-2014 alone $129 million worth of no-bid contracts - and Delaware County is hiding identity of people who got those contract.  Such conduct is ILLEGAL.  Moreover, it may be CRIMINAL.  We do not need a judge on the bench who can be dragged away in shackles at any time, and $129 million in no-bid contracts is too big an amount to simply let it go without any investigation, so there WILL be an investigation, whether Porter Kirkwood wants it or not, by authorities or by citizens and the public.

Please, remember that the very first thing that Porter Kirkwood asked when he became County Attorney was a raise for himself - a $40,000 dollar raise from a $93,000 salary.

Please, remember that while being Assistant County Attorney, Porter Kirkwood, during County time, had on the side a private practice where he represented clients sued for elder abuse and wrongful death, issues which were in direct conflict with Porter Kirkwood's duties as an attorney.

Please, remember that, as County Attorney, Porter Kirkwood approved a financial arrangement where the new prosecutor in the Delaware County District Attorney's office will be financed out of conviction fines, which is a DIRECT and IRRECONCILABLE conflict of interest with the prosecutor's constitutional duty to be fair, and a financial incentive to seek convictions no matter whether they are false or not, simply to be paid and to have medical benefits of the prosecutor and his or her family covered.

Please, remember that under Porter Kirkwood as a County Attorney and as an Assistant County Attorney, Delaware County did not and still does not have an ethics code for its employees, and its employees were caught by the media in unethical behavior - both in shady employment of social services investigators through the District Attorney's office without having passed a civil service exam, see here and here, and in where its social worker and Commissioner preyed on the elderly instead of helping them - and it is an insult to anybody's intelligence to say that Porter Kirkwood was blissfully unaware of what was going on.

Please, remember that under Porter Kirkwood as a County Attorney and Assistant County Attorney, Delaware County did not and still does not have an anti-nepotism policy prohibiting employment of relatives in positions where conflicts of interest may arise.

Delaware County Department of Social Services always employed clusters of family members, and Porter Kirkwood's most ardent supporter, Delaware County Treasurer Beverly Shields, has a whole bunch of family members working in Delaware County DSS as social workers and investigators, with Kirkwood's approval.  No wonder Shields is supporting Kirkwood - because Kirkwood will continue Becker's tradition in case-fixing for his own client the Department of Social Services.  

Please, remember that the bulk of the illustrious alleged 3,000 cases that Porter Kirkwood is so proud of handling were FIXED cases because they were irreversibly tainted by having attorney for that same department of social services, attorney representing that same department for 27 years, preside over that department's cases as a judge (that is the retired judge Carl Becker).  In Family Court there are no jury trials.  All fact-finding decisions, including decisions on credibility are made by the judge.

When the judge is your own former attorney of 27 years, guess whose side will that judge take?

Judge Becker was notorious in inventing law in favor of social services and the police.

In one of the cases, Judge Becker invented a "mandatory reporter exception to hearsay" and claimed that a police officer has inherent credibility just because she is a police officer.  That is BIAS, ladies and gentlemen, but that is how Becker - Kirkwood's "mentor" and supporter - operated.  And, there is, of course, no such rule of law, but Becker relied on the fact that not many people appeal, usually people who are pursued by social services are poor, representation by assigned counsel in the trial court and on appeal is poor, on appeal counsel has a monetary cap that guarantees that appellate counsel for the poor does not work too much, because otherwise he or she will not be paid for his or her work, appellate courts are lazy and rubber-stamp nearly every factual finding of the lower court.

So, when Kirkwood talks about "keeping children safe" and "keeping families safe", he is LYING.

He SPLIT families in order to have his department funded, in order to obtain state and federal incentive money for adoption out of foster care, in order to grab children into foster care and have his department use the children's Social Security Disability monies.  It is ALL about money.  And you WILL NOT be able to verify anything that Kirkwood claims he was doing  because everything about social services is secret.

Also, Porter Kirkwood knows so much about, probably, every single person in the county, through secret investigation of his department, that you will never know what are the true reasons of his factual findings - the record in front of him, or secret investigations he was privy to.

Last, but, certainly, not least, is the fact that Porter Kirkwood was seen engaging in conversations with Becker when Becker was a judge and was presiding over Porter Kirkwood's cases, behind the courthouse.

It was blatant ex parte communication.

We will never know how many of those ex parte communications were conducted over the phone.

In 2011, Porter Kirkwood's then-boss, County Attorney Richard Spinney let out a secret - that he actually came to Becker's chambers or called Becker to discuss a case.

Spinney blurted that out on record, there is a transcript about it.

Becker blanched, but did not recuse and instead retaliated against the attorney who asked for his recusal.

Remember that Becker and Spinney are Porter Kirkwood's mentors and have been for years.  And now Becker is Kirkwood's supporter - for an unknown reason, because Becker retired to spend time with his pregnant daughter who lives in Seattle and plans to go to Australia, so it is a mystery what kind of interest the retiree Becker still have in election of the new Delaware County Family Court judge.

Please, also remember that for Porter Kirkwood constitutional issues are frivolous issues.  He argued that more than once in Family Court and in federal courts in civil rights cases brought against his department of social services.

And constitutional issues abound in Family Court where families are split by Kirkwood and children are ripped out of families by Kirkwood to be given in adoption to waiting Delaware County officials who grab both children and federal and state incentive money that accompany adoptions.

This is the kind of ethics that the soft-spoken Porter Kirkwood is bringing with him to the bench.

We do not need more dirt on the bench than is already there.

We need, instead, to clean the bench, and Porter Kirkwood is not good material for that.

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