"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

Will Delaware County be introduced to the modern word of public bidding on contracts?

Here is the interview report I received from the New York State Comptroller's Office of Delaware County Supervisor Wayne Marshfield who is also on the board of directors of the county's largest no-bid contractor Delaware Opportunities, Inc., see my blog about other Delaware County Supervisors on that board of directors here.

According to Mr. Marshfield, Delaware County includes no-bid contracts into its annual budgets, thus, in Mr. Marshfield's opinion, eliminating the need to bid out contracts and to separately make decisions on the choice of vendors for services.

And, contracts are not even discussed by the entire legislature of the County, only by "committees", so the County actually never does its job in approving contracts, with or without bidding!

A brilliant scheme, isn't it?

In home economics class, in middle school, they teach to form family budget this way:

(1) ascertain your needs,  
 (2) assess how much (approximately) your needs will cost (from a market survey of several different vendors) and 
(3) ascertain how much money you have, available and coming in in the immediate income or what can be obtained in loans.

Middle schoolers are not taught to first find a vendor you know who will give you the highest price and then build your needs and price your budget in accordance with the prices of that vendor.

You will not do that to your family, because for your family you would want the best service for the lowest available price.

Not so in Delaware County.

In Delaware County, "committees" of local government officials (who also sit on boards of vendors) determine the needs and put them into the budget of the County based on the prices quoted by the no-bid contractors that the County used for allegedly 30 years.

The problem is also that over 30 years, prices for goods and services changed dramatically, information technologies, such as Internet, made information about out-of-state goods and services readily available.

Therefore, the claim that Delaware County is a "large area with small population and few economic resources" which is touted by Delaware County officials as a justification of its 30-year practice of no-bid contracts, is not only a lie, but a stupid lie at that.

The Internet has made the entire world, including vendors from other counties, other states and other countries available for bidding on Delaware County contracts, and the price of submitting Delaware County contracts to bidding is the price of posting the bidding requirements on the existing Delaware County website - which is nothing, since it will have to be done by the already existing salaried employees.

Who knows, maybe it is cheaper to transport goods and services from China or deliver them electronically over the Internet to fit Delaware County needs for services, rather than to use taxpayer money to pay friends and relatives of members of the Delaware County government.

I understand that Delaware County needs to be introduced to the modern world, and it is a matter of time when an out of the area would-be vendor will sue the county for the opportunity to bid for its appropriation contracts. 

After all, New York State Comptroller, as of July of 2014, in his report on public contracts stated the following:


Delaware County should take notice. 

I will continue to FOIL Delaware County as to its contracting practices and report it on this blog.  Stay tuned.

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