"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.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Judicial candidate Porter Kirkwood abuses his power as the Delaware County Attorney in order to get elected and stalls disclosure of his potential undisclosed unethical interest in Delaware County contracts

Porter Kirkwood has been chest-pounding throughout his judicial election campaign about his alleged honesty, integrity, stellar reputation and qualification for Family Court judgeship and "taking the high road" as to the alleged "claims of negativity".

Yet, Delaware County, advised by Kirkwood as a legal advisor, stalled disclosure of contracts that were subject to New York State Comptroller's office, in answer to my Freedom of Information Request.

And here is the likely reason, why - Porter Kirkwood may have been involved in an undisclosed interest in those contracts.

Here are some pieces from the New York State Comptroller's audit report of May 2015 on Delaware County.

Once again.

The New York State Comptroller's Office made inquiries about possible interests in contracts pursuant to General Municipal Law of 24 individuals, including 19 members of the Board of Supervisors, four Department heads and the County Attorney (that is our judicial candidate Porter Kirkwood).

Apparently, since the Delaware County stalls disclosure about the contracts, I will have to file a FOIL request with the New York State Comptroller's office about the contracts covered by audit, vendor names, inquiries into the "possible interests in contracts" of "24 individuals", including a County Attorney.

The NYS Comptroller's audit report indicates that "one individual", without stating his name, out of 24 individuals that included the County Attorney Porter Kirkwood, did not comply with disclosure requirements of the individual's "potential interest in contracts".

Whether that individual was Porter Kirkwood or not, was not announced.

Porter Kirkwood would have an affirmative duty to come forward to the public and, during his judicial campaign, clearly state that he WAS NOT the individual mentioned in the NYS Comptroller's report who had an interest in the County contracts, but did not comply with disclosure requirements.

He did not make such a disclosure.

Instead, throughout his election campaign, he repeatedly stated that he had nothing to do with the no-bidding contracts - despite the report about the NYS Comptroller's inquiry about HIS "possible interest in contracts".

And now the County still does not have a procurement policy (according to the County's disclosure in answer to my FOIL request) - as was recommended by the NYS Comptroller in its "key recommendations":

The County reportedly "opted" not to have a Board of Ethics that the County announced in its own earlier resolution it will have.

And, the County, instead of committing ethical questions to a Board of Ethics, a public body whose meetings and decisions would be subject to public meetings law, "opted" to entrust the henhouse to the fox, to the behind-the-doors decision-making of the target of the NYS Comptroller's inquiry into unethical conduct - County Attorney Porter Kirkwood.

There is NOTHING ethical about this "ethical policy".

Porter Kirkwood's name cannot possibly be cleared after the audit report.

It is a violation of disciplinary rules for an attorney to have ANY interest in his client's dealings without a written disclosure of conflict of interest and a written waiver of that conflict of interest.

Porter Kirkwood's client is Delaware County, a public body supported by our, the taxpayers', money.

Porter Kirkwood owes us the taxpayers and voters an explanation he never gave during his judicial campaign - as to his own self-dealing in the County contracts, and as to covering up self-dealing of county officers and employees.

Instead, Porter Kirkwood claimed "taking the high road", not engaging in "negativity" and denouncing "attacks" on him during his judicial campaign.

While all the time he was stalling disclosure of public records that could provide the voters much needed - and potentially damaging - truth about the true face of Porter Kirkwood The Smiler.

I, of course, will get to the bottom of the names and numbers, through FOIL requests filed in various public agencies.  

It will take time, but I will do it.  I owe it to my family who pays the taxes.  I owe it to my neighbors and friends who pay the taxes in Delaware County and do not have my knowledge and skills to pursue FOIL requests - an act presumed to be done in public interests (as courts ruled), and an act for which, nevertheless, I was repeatedly sanctioned and persecuted by the targets of the FOIL inquiries.  People are afraid nowadays to even file a FOIL requests. Even more reason for me to do that, as my public service to my neighbors and friends in Delaware County.

Yet, while I am making my ways through the stallings of government agencies with FOIL requests, Porter Kirkwood may become an elected judge, elected through his fraud and non-disclosure to the voters of his misdeeds, as well as through his efforts to hide his misdeeds by abusing his power as the County Attorney and advisor to the Records Officer of the County and to deny release of records to me pursuant to FOIL requests.

Yet, there are precedents in the State of New York where a judge was taken off the bench based on something he did long before he became a judge - or even a lawyer.

Nor does judgeship protect Porter Kirkwood from criminal liability, if such liability is warranted based on public records that he is concealing from exposure to the public.

So, Porter Kirkwood should rest assured that, even if he gets elected as a judge, and if his "possible" misdeeds with contracts, which are PUBLIC RECORDS, and MUST BE AVAILABLE FOR PUBLIC REVIEW,  are revealed when he is already a judge, there are plenty of legal avenues to address it and make sure he is no longer a judge.

Yet, there is enough impropriety in Kirkwood abusing his power, stalling public access to potentially damaging information, and now appointing himself THE person to address ethical questions in Delaware County instead of a public body subject to public meetings law - to simply NOT elevate Kirkwood into an even higher position of power.

His ethics on that high bench will not get miraculously better.

Absolute judicial immunity for MALICIOUS and CORRUPT acts is what he craves - not service to the people.  And corrupt acts will follow.

Now, let's count unethical acts Porter Kirkwood have so far been caught in:

  1. Representing private clients on taxpayer-backed time as a private attorney, during his employment for the County;
  2. Representing Social Services supervisor Peter Bracci sued for elder abuse and wrongful death of his father by his own sister (not a job for the County Attorney), which was in direct contradiction with Porter Kirkwood's duty to prosecute elder abusers;
  3. Failure to submit his own son's assault on another child on school grounds to a special juvenile delinquency investigator and prosecutor, and instead malicious prosecution of his son's victim's parents and (failed) vigorous efforts at two court levels to label his son's victim as mentally ill, to discredit the victim as a witness against his son;
  4. Ex parte communications with his friend, former boss and presiding judge Becker during pendency of cases before Becker leading to "winning" the cases before Becker;
  5. Interest in County contracts that was subject of NYS Comptroller's inquiry in May of 2015, and stalling disclosure of such contracts during his election campaign;
  6. Disclosure at the meeting with voters that Kirkwood participated in masterminding a program of psychological experiments on juvenile delinquents in foster care - where Kirkwood was, at the same time, an advisor of the County as legal guardian of the children, and the prosecutor of those same children, an IRRECONCILABLE conflict of interest that warrants DISBARMENT of Porter Kirkwood, not his elevation as a judge;
  7. False claims of superior appellate knowledge;
  8. Claims of allegedly handling "3000 cases" in Delaware County Family Court that Family Court refused to allow to verify, and, thus, truth or falsity of such claims cannot be established;
  9. Endorsing claims of other people who repeat his claim of "3000 cases" in Family Court, while, same as everybody else, are blocked from verifying truth or falsity of such statements, and thus, are made in reckless disregard of the truth or falsity of such statements.

Voters, when you go to the booths on November 3, 2015, please, think if you need Porter Kirkwood who is a good candidate for disbarment AT THE VERY LEAST, as your Family Court judge who will also be appointed the local Acting Supreme Court justice and, as such, will decide ALL aspects of your life for the next 10 years, with absolute immunity for his MALICIOUS and CORRUPT acts - which acts, judging from his past record, we as taxpayers and voters may be assured, will come.

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