"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.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Delaware County taxes and property foreclosures feed its 30-year no-bid inflated contracts to family and friends of local government officials

Delaware County Supervisor Marjorie Miller told in the interview to New York State Comptroller's auditor that two contracts made by Delaware County may have been given to friends of the multi-year Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors Mr. Eisel, one, an overpriced contract to a coroner, and another, a contract for the lease of the Treadwell school building.

That is what I know from public records.

What I also know from the same set of documents received from the NYS Comptroller's office that for years, Delaware County employees were not asked to sign conflict of interest disclosures, while for over 30 years Delaware County engaged in a one vendor per service no-bid contracting "system", renewable automatically without public input and without input by the entire legislature, by the Board of Supervisors' "committees" alone.

Moreover, Marjorie Miller said in her interview that oftentimes she was requested to approve budgets without seeing them.

So, Marjorie Miller already spotted the overpriced contract of the County with the coroner (Dr. Ucci, I believe), who Marjorie Miller identified as a friend of the Delaware County Board of Supervisors Mr. Eisel.

Lack of competition in contracts and lack of disclosures of conflicts of interests for 30 years, in a county best characterized as "a land of kissing cousins", where no no-nepotism (prohibition on hiring relatives) policy in employment exists, must necessarily lead to overpriced public contracts.

Those public contracts are financed by you, ladies and gentlemen, taxpayers of Delaware County.

Each year for those 30 years while running those no-bid contracts, Delaware County foreclosed on delinquent county-tax taxpayers and took many homes from Delaware County property owners.

Recently, Delaware County Department of Social Services Commissioner William Moon was caught in buying up such a foreclosed property through his wife who has a different last name.  

I wonder how many more of those buy-ups existed over the years of no-bid contracts, but Mr. Moon, apparently relying on his connections in the government and, likely, on the contracts to influential people he distributed over the years, escaped criminal and civil liability for his misconduct.

He only very quickly resigned, as did Judge Carl Becker, who was the legal advisor of Commissioner Moon for many years while the no-bid contract system was in existence and knew his many secrets, if not participated in Moon's little "inside trading" in real estate foreclosed by the County and in doling out contracts to family and friends.

It is my firm belief that support by the well-known corrupt judge Becker derailed judicial election campaign of his student, colleague and subordinate, now County Attorney Porter Kirkwood in the past judicial elections to the Family Court seat this year.

I wonder if property owners whose properties were foreclosed over the period of 30 years will now start questioning propriety of foreclosures to feed the corrupt inflated budgets of Delaware County that was made to accommodate inflated contract prices to family and friends of Delaware County government officials - under the guise of "helping" Delaware County in foregoing public bidding, because Delaware County has "small population" and "lacks economic resources" to verify whether contracts for services paid for with taxpayers' money, are provided at the best available prices.

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