We are three women out of Delaware County who happened to criticize and sue the now-quickly-retired-before-the-end-of-his-term Delaware County Judge Carl F. Becker.
The case in federal court, Bracci v Becker, filed in December of 2011, was dismissed only on the grounds of "absolute judicial immunity for malicious and corrupt acts", leaving the question whether such malicious and corrupt acts occurred or not, open.
After we had the audacity to sue the high-and-mighty Judge Becker in Delaware County Supreme Court and in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York (Bracci v Becker, Case No. 1:11-cv-1473), the following happened to us:
Becker got himself assigned to all of my cases, sanctioned me in several of them, sent the charges to the disciplinary committee, and I was eventually suspended without a hearing based on his retaliative sanctions because I dared to make motions to recuse him to secure an impartial judge for my clients.
I was also criminally charged for discussing my disciplinary case, including my plans to call Carl Becker to testify - charges were quietly dismissed on May 11, 2015, but my law license was nevertheless suspended on November 13, 2015, just in time to prevent me from helping Barbara in her criminal case - God forbid I would fly over and handle the trial for my friend, no, Becker and the crew couldn't have that.
Barbara's daughter Alecia Bracci was prosecuted on fabricated criminal charges, courageously went all the way to a jury trial - and was acquitted by the jury.
Criminal charges were also fabricated against Barbara, which were finally dismissed yesterday on a pretext that the magistrate who signed her arrest warrant, judge Gumo, did not actually sign that warrant and lied under oath about it. Judge Lambert caustically said in his order granting Barbara's pro se motion (that Lambert initially denied without much reasoning) that Gumo was either "confused or disingenious" when he testified.
I must note that for the previous trial date (adjourned because Barbara changed her counsel from one attorney who did no trial preparation to, unfortunately, another attorney who did not appear to do much trial preparation either, but who took the money while being afraid of doing the job properly), Becker was seen around the courthouse, obviously anticipating Barbara being led away in shackles.
Yet, Becker, reportedly, was not seen anywhere near the hearing of February 24, 2016 (I will only be able to provide an order from that hearing in this blog that led to the dismissal of charges, and will reserve my analysis of what occurred there until I get access to the transcript of that hearing).
Apparently, Becker may have realized that the case goes where it was supposed to be in the first place - down the drain, and that nobody wanted to put their career on the line for a has-been like him anymore.
I must also note that, after I was squeezed out of Barbara's case at the level of the lower (Judge Gumo's) court, because the nepotism-infested Delaware County Sheriff's Department (I will dedicate a separate blog to nepotism in Delaware County employment that affected this case) did not allow me even to visit her in Delaware County jail without my attorney files being searched, which I refused to allow, and because I had to leave the State of New York for fear of physical retaliation against me and further fabricated criminal charges brought against me, Barbara had two attorneys.
In fact, it came out on February 24, 2016 as a result of Gumo's perjurous testimony that Gumo knew at the time when I was handling a felony hearing for Barbara on September 22, 2014, two days before the Delaware County Sheriff's Department blocked my access to Barbara unless I allow to search my attorney file, that charges are based on a defective warrant - his own.
Not only Gumo did not tell me or the prosecutor about it (maybe, the prosecutor knew, but I definitely did not), but Gumo, despite his earlier promise to the Commission of Judicial Conduct that he has made only FOUR days prior to that date, Gumo did not record our conference during the felony hearing proceedings and denied my motion made on legal insufficiency of charges and jurisdictional grounds, without reading it - he said as much on record.
BECAUSE there were too many case citations in that motion for Gumo's little head to digest. It was easier to deny it, conceal his own misconduct and subject Barbara to 1.5 years more of harassment, including incarceration.
I will dedicate a separate blog to Barbara's felony hearing and Gumo's misconduct there.
After I was squeezed out of the case, Barbara first represented herself in the County Court, and then had two attorneys representing her.
Yet, her dismissal was based on materials in the omnibus motion that she has made pro se before she hired the first attorney who represented her in the County Court, and based on materials from the Judicial Conduct Commission that she obtained on her own through a Freedom of Information Law request, while her second attorney was on a vacation (before her jury trial) on the Bahamas and out of her reach.
So, congratulations, Barbara!
This is your victory, and a big one. To beat the entire corrupt machine of criminal "justice" where several corrupt judges and prosecutors were bent on locking you up for up to 7 years in prison, required unmatched courage.
Many criminal defendants, even strong (at least outwardly) men, fold when prosecutors threaten them - like they threatened you - and agree to some kind of a plea bargain in order to avoid a long prison sentence.
You courageously held out, even though you were threatened with a maximum sentence of 7 years in prison and a D felony conviction if you went to trial.
You were intimidated with cross-examination about THIS blog - where you were not an author (I will run a separate blog with an analysis of how stupid and unethical it was of the Acting Delaware County District Attorney John Hubbard) to intimidate you in this particular way.
You were offered a misdemeanor with only a fine and no jail time - so that you could "escape" prison time.
You held out.
Even though you loved your daughter to death and did not want to go away from her for 7 years.
Even though you loved your only granddaughter to death and did not want to lose out on even more years of her growing up than what Becker maliciously caused you, in retaliation for reporting him for misconduct in the murder jury trial of People v Glenford Hull.
You held you, you dug yourself for information when your own attorney refused to file the necessary motions to recuse and disqualify the presiding judge and prosecutor for bias (judge) and conflicts of interest (prosecutor), and to dismiss the indictment because the disqualified prosecutor was present in the grand jury.
I wrote about all of that on this blog.
It broke my heart to not be able to help you even with verbal advice after my license was suspended, because to do that would have been a crime for me.
At that time, more than at any other time, it showed to me that attorney licensing is NOT meant to protect legal consumers from bad attorneys, it is meant to defend judges from criticism and actually deprive criminal defendants and civil rights plaintiffs of good, courageous and independent legal advice.
It should not be a crime to share knowledge and expertise in order to help a person beat dirty, politically tainted, fabricated criminal charges. But it is, and this "protection" of you as a legal consumer, which is what my suspension is supposed to be, did not allow me to actually help you in the last months before your trial.
You held out, you stood up to intimidation and refused plea offers, and did your own investigation and documentary discovery, as much as you could.
And you won.
Here are the orders of the assigned judge John F. Lambert from the February 24, 2015 hearing, the letter of the Acting Delaware County District Attorney John Hubbard asking Judge Lambert to drop the criminal charges against you with prejudice, and the order of dismissal of your criminal charges.
It was sad that, after prosecuting you for a year and a half for a D felony, John Hubbard did not read the file attentively enough to get it through his head that there was never a SEARCH warrant issued, applied or even pretended in your case, and that all the 9 yards was about the ARREST warrant that was used as a pretext
Congratulations! The dismissal will not give back the time you would have used other than by preparing for criminal defense or for a possibility of 7 years in prison.
The dismissal will not give you back the health you've lost in this battle, will not reimburse you, your daughter or your granddaughter for the stress you all underwent in this horrible ordeal, orchestrated by one man, and his cronies, just because the man could not take fair criticism from women.
But, at least, your dismissal can show to people that it is do-able to overcome the corruption in Delaware County and make corrupt and dirty public officials, including prosecutors and judges, to, at least through a pretext through designating one victim (Judge Richard Gumo of Delhi Town Court) amongst themselves, maybe, not the dirtiest of all, no matter how bad his misconduct was, but to distance away from prosecuting your case.
I will give a full analysis of what , who and how fabricated evidence and lied, abused their power or failed to deliver on their duty, and about the price to Barbara, her daughter Alecia, granddaughter and their pets in this whole ordeal, in further blogs.
The important thing is - this courageous woman, same as her daughter Alecia shortly before her, showed that there is a way to beat corruption in Delaware County.
The judge and prosecutor were afraid to proceed to trial against Barbara O'Sullivan, were afraid a reversal of this extremely dirty case on appeal - right after Lambert was reversed in the Norman Michaels case I blogged about earlier - and quietly dropped the charges.
I will dedicate a separate blog to misconduct of Richard Gumo, how far it went and what long-ranging consequences it may have for criminal cases Gumo has handled. There is a clear possibility that Gumo would be taken off the bench. I was told there is a likelihood that Gumo was, once again, referred for his misconduct to the Commission for Judicial Conduct, that won't be as lenient to him, I think, as it was recently, because he engaged in misconduct right after his testimony before the Commission pledging he wouldn't do it again.
I will talk about it in the days to come.
Today, I congratulate Barbara O'Sullivan. For her courage. For her commitment to not fold and not yield to powerful public officials engaged in misconduct against her, for years and years, simply because she told the truth about misconduct of a dirty judge.
You made them afraid, Barbara.
You showed people that honest people can also win their cases, even when railroaded, even when prosecutors and judges are beyond biased and corrupt.