"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, July 31, 2016

On constitutional restrictions of peremptory challenges of judges: opinion of Judge Richard King, California

In my previous blog, I provided an overview of the fight between Orange County (California) District Attorney Anthony Rackaukas and judge Thomas Goethias, and later Judge Richard King, against disqualification of judge Thomas Goethias from criminal proceedings brought by DA Rackaukas, where DA Rackaukas used the peremptory disqualification statute where he did not have to claim actual prejudice and could change a judge in his case one time without any explanations, only a "good faith" affidavit alleged belief there is prejudice and there cannot be impartial judicial review with a particular judge presiding over the case.
In California legal jargon, removing a judge from a case using a the peremptory challenge statute is called "papering" the judge.
Another trial judge, Judge Richard King, was assigned to hear the peremptory challenge to judge Thomas Goethias, denied the motion and stated in his opinion:
“the People’s “blanket papering’ of Judge Goethias ensued from his rulings in three cases: rulings in which he found that prosecutors and police officers had committed misconduct”.

That could have been true, but the statute under which the prosecutors sought disqualification of Judge Goethias was a peremptory challenge statute, and the reasons for a motion to disqualify were irrelevant.

Yet, Judge King denied the motion to disqualify claiming that the motion to disqualify a judge, even one that followed the peremptory challenge statute, violated the doctrine of Separation of Powers.

It was true that after Judge Goethias disqualified prosecutors based on misconduct, prosecutors reciprocated by peremptory strikes of the judge – in accordance with California statutory law.

Nevertheless, when Judge Goethias, an experienced judge in felony cases, was stricken off “too many” felony cases, Judge King used the “judicial economy” and “administration of justice” arguments to disregard the peremptory strike statute and allow Judge Goethias to preside over cases, because otherwise the court system would have had to do too many adjustments in reassigning other judges.

Judge King made a statement in his opinion denying to the Orange County DA yet another disqualification of Judge Goethais that

“[t]o allow a party to manipulate the court into removing a judge from hearing certain criminal cases  - when that judge, in the performance of his judicial duties, has conducted a hearing which exposed that same party’s misconduct – not only goes against the very cornerstone of our society: the rule of law, but would be a concession against judicial independence”.

Yet, in making such a statement, under the circumstances of the case, Judge King was fighting against an enacted state peremptory challenge statute and was, thus, himself violating the separation of powers doctrine, legislating from the bench and refusing to apply an enacted statute the way it was written, whether the judge agreed with it or not.

Despite the clear statutory procedure in California for peremptory challenge of a judge that judge King described in his opinion:

·      “Filing of an affidavit or declaration which states that the judge assigned to the case is prejudiced against:

o  A party;

o  His attorney, or

o  His interest “so that the party or attorney cannot, or believes that he or she cannot, have a fair and impartial trial or hearing before the judge…” (King’s decision at p. 20, citing to Code of Civ. Proc paragraph 170.6(a)(2) of the State of California).

·      The affidavit does not have to show actual prejudice, only a “good faith belief in prejudice”.

Yet, King, in a parallel with peremptory strikes of jurors, overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court on defendants’ right to a racially diverse jury (Batson v Kentucky, 476 U.S. 79, 91 [1986]), tried to claim that statutory grounds for peremptory strikes of judges are not absolute, even if the statute says they are, and are subject to constitutional limitations.

Judge King referenced the first California statute, the former CCP 170.5 which was deemed unconstitutional as an interference by litigants and attorneys, as well as the legislature, with judicial independence and “with constitutional and orderly processes of the courts”.

Judge King engaged in a long overview of legislative history of the California peremptory judicial disqualification statute and referenced a case with a carved-out judicially created exception to the statute on the basis of “group” or “racial” bias against the judge – similar to Batson v Kentucky prohibition on racial bias towards jurors.

Judge King also referenced court decisions in three “sister states”, the states of Illinois, Arizona and Minnesota, where peremptory challenges to judges are also allowed by statute, but where courts ruled that the statutory grounds for judicial disqualifications are not absolute and that “unconstitutional use of a constitutional statute” may not be allowed.

Judge King then stated that:

“The record here demonstrates the disqualification of a judge on almost fifty murder cases because he conducted hearings and made findings of prosecutorial misconduct.  The record also shows that these disqualifications have substantially disrupted the operations of the court”.

Because of that, Judge King denied the prosecution’s motion to disqualify Judge Goethais, finding the use of peremptory challenge statute abusive, unconstitutional and seeking to interfere with independent discharge of judicial duties.

The top Court of Appeals of the State of California reversed.

I will address the reversal and Judge King's opposition to that reversal through his attorney Professor Erwin Chemerinsky, in a separate blog.  Stay tuned.

On peremptory challenges to recuse judges - when the challenger is a prosecutor caught red-handed in misconduct

On December 5, 2015 the Superior Court of the State of California for Orange County refused the Orange County District Attorney's motion to disqualify judge Thomas Goethais based on California's peremptory challenge statute.

I wrote on this blog about the concept of peremptory disqualification of judges - the same as it exists for jurors - and about the states that allow that form of disqualification and that do not allow it.

California does allow peremptory challenge, and the Orange County DA has filed motions to disqualify judge Thomas Goethais in nearly all of 49 criminal cases assigned to the judge at the time the decision to - initially - deny the motion to disqualify was issued by the Superior Court of the State of California, Orange County, Judge Richard M. King.

The Orange County DA appealed the denial of disqualification through a writ of mandamus to the Court of Appeal of The State of California, Fourth Appellate District, Division Three.

Judge King was represented in opposition to the writ of mandamus by professor Erwin Chemerinski, a controversial constitutional law professor and a hired lecturer of BarBri, a company accused in a federal lawsuit of underhanded tactics in dominating the market of bar exam preparation by stifling competition and undercutting and eliminating better courses than what BarBri uses.

The Court of Appeal reversed and allowed the Orange County DA to disqualify Judge Thomas Goethais, in another 48-page opinion, with a strong dissent, allowing a peremptory challenge of a judge even when the reason for peremptory strike of a judge is that the challenger, a criminal prosecutor, was caught committing egregious and systematic violations of constitutional rights of criminal defendants - and should have been not only disqualified himself, but also impeached, disbarred and criminally prosecuted.  Of course, none of that happened to the Orange County DA (California), Anthony Rackaukas - even though Rackaukas was not caught in committing misconduct for the first time in 2015.

In 2002 he was accused of political favoritism during grand jury proceedings, in particular towards his campaign contributors - yet, no discipline against him followed.

Instead, in 2009 California State Bar disbarred whistleblower attorney Dr. Richard Fine who caught California judges in the scheme where they were paid not only by the state, but also by the county appearing in front of them - as a result, the whistleblower was disbarred and held in jail for 14 months without criminal charges, on a civil contempt order of a judge Dr. Fine accused of corruption, and the legislators gave California judges retroactive civil and even criminal immunity in charges of corruption.  I understand, otherwise too many judges had to be criminally prosecuted.

Even though criminal immunity in state courts did not extend to criminal immunity in federal courts, FBI did not investigate or prosecute the corrupt California judges, or prosecutor Anthony Rackaukas for political favoritism towards his campaign contributors in grand jury proceedings, or the illegal use by the Orange County DA of jail snitches to elicit confessions out of defendants, including in death penalty cases.

So - the whistleblower attorney Richard Fine was disbarred, for his constitutionally protected conduct.

The prosecutor repeatedly caught in committing misconduct continues with his license, and his public office - and removes judges from his cases who dared to criticize him, something that was not allowed to Richard Fine to do in the same state of California, under the same peremptory challenge law.

That's the short story.

I will analyze Judge King's decision, Professor Chemerinski's brief, and the California Court of Appeal decision, including the dissent of judge Thompson in separate blogs.

Stay tuned.

#LivestreamRecordingOfPoliceMisconduct - the police was unable to destroy video of their misconduct created by Maurice "Mo" Crawley's in Syracuse, NY: it was already "on air"

Recently, one of New York's intermediate appellate courts, Appellate Division 2nd Department, has made it more difficult to prosecute the "usual" on the menu of police caught in misconduct - charging a person who recorded such a misconduct with "obstruction of governmental administration".

Usually the police arrest people for "obstruction" - and then think how to justify the arrest.

Well, the 2nd Department has made bringing such criminal charges harder - by actually following the law and requiring to provide what the law has required to provide all along - non-hearsay support for each element of the charged crime, and description of the allegedly obstructed government function, in specificity.

Which did not prevent the police in Syracuse, NY, Onondaga County - that is the 4th Department - to concoct charges against an individual who recorded police misconduct.

The interesting point is not only the police that committed misconduct, but the District Attorney's Office of the Onondaga County who went along with it and is pressing charges against the reporter of police misconduct.

But, of course, in the situation where the local judges of federal court are former prosecutors of that office and preside over civil rights lawsuits against that office, invariably ruling for that office, I wrote about that on this blog before - the Onondaga County DA may seem unreachable by any attempts at accountability.

What police was trying to do by arresting the individual for recording them is, of course, destroy the evidence, the videotape.

Yet, that was not possible, because the individual, Maurice "Mo" Crawley, knew those police tricks and, as a precaution against attempts of our noble public servants to falsify evidence, live-streamed his recordings to his Facebook page - a recording that later, reportedly, went viral.

The Onondaga County Chief of Police, after viewing the video made by Mr. Crawley, including the video of his arrest, said one word as to his impression - "Troubling".  It is interesting to know what was troubling more to the Chief of Police - the contents of the video or the fact that his "boys" were indiscreet enough to allow themselves to be caught on video recording - and on a live-streamed video-recording, too.

Mr. Crawley was charged with resisting arrest and "interfering with investigation".  How can a person interfere with an investigation on a public street by video-recording it from afar, nobody knows, and the Onondaga police force needs to be trained just a little bit better as to "resisting arrest" charges - because in New York, an unlawful arrest can be resisted with deadly force, if necessary, and there was nothing lawful in arresting an individual for recording the police.

So far, Mr. Crawley was arrested, put in jail, released on bail, but charges against him - completely unconstitutional charges - were not dismissed and continue to be pressed by the Onondaga DA's office, which is attorney misconduct.

The court lingers with dismissing the case obviously protecting the police, because once the case is dismissed, the police can be immediately sued in federal court.  If a civil rights lawsuit is filed at this time, it will most likely be dismissed on the "Younger abstention" ground - claiming that the state court has an ability to resolve constitutional matters in question as well as the federal court.

We will see just how well the federal court will resolve those constitutional issues - where a man was arrested for asking the officer to repeat what he said, and, mainly, for recording the police.

One lesson Maurice "Mo" Crawley taught all of us though - if you are recording the police, LIVESTREAM it immediately, this way the evidence will be instantly preserved on an independent remote server unreachable by the police.

Otherwise, our noble and brave public servants will try to use their armed force to get the evidence you created against them, destroy it and make up some criminal charges against you in retaliation for filming them in the first place.

So, #LivestreamRecordingOfPoliceMisconduct.  It may make a difference between life and death for you and other people.

I will continue to cover this case.

Stay tuned.

The 3rd Department attorney disciplinary committee hires a confidential court analyst, without a law degree, for spying on attorneys online and for managing the court system where the Committee appears

Here is the application - the deadline is already past, so the pool of applicants is already defined for this job:

Note that the "court analyst" will perform "confidential analysis, research, planning and other related duties" in the areas of:

  • budget development;
  • court finance;
  • personnel administration;
  • resource allocation; and
  • court system management and administration.

That a court analyst publicly hired, for taxpayers' money, to secretly analyze public functions of public courts is already an outrage and completely illegal.

What is even more illegal - and revealing - is that the employee of the attorney disciplinary committee will perform confidential research and analysis of the entire "court system management and administration" - authority that attorney disciplinary committees (which are illegal to begin with because their existence is not prescribed by Judiciary Law 90 regulating the legal profession in New York) do not have under any stretch of imagination.

Since attorney disciplinary committees now secretly research and analyze "court system management and administration", "court finance", "court personnel administration", and "court resource allocation" (the word court is located in the sentence before the word combinations "personnel administration" and "resource allocation", and, by rules of construction, defines those word combinations, too), with this announcement it has become even more clear that attorney regulation in New York is illegal, because the accusers are part of the adjudicators - which is illegal as of June 2016 under Williams v Pennsylvania, 579 U.S. __ (2016).

Also, please, note that the "court analyst"/investigator will be "gathering information from online sources" - about attorneys.  So, I understand that the new position involves, very simply, spying on attorneys' posts in social media.  And I am sure that posts praising judges will not be sought - only those criticizing the court system and misconduct of its politically connected "pillars".

I will verify through FOIL who was hired for this "lucky" and powerful behind-the-scenes position and will report it on this blog.

Stay tuned.

#CarlFBeckerBeast is moving out of Delaware County, New York? Becker's house as Becker's face - a cold house of a cold-hearted man

A reader reported to me that the residence of the former Judge Carl F. Becker of Delaware County, NY, is listed for sale.

Apparently, it was just put up for sale - it is reported to have been on Zillow for 21 days.

So, apparently, there are no job offers for the Becker Beast in the area?

Becker's registration still shows no new employment.

Apparently, a year after retirement nobody offered Becker a lucrative job in a law firm, as it usually happens with judges - so, nobody wants a former judge with a reputation as sullied as Becker's is?  Becker ran from the bench, after fighting to get re-elected and defrauding voters to get re-elected, portraying himself as a Boeing 747 as compared to his opponent (now Judge Gary Rosa's) portrayed by Becker, in a demeaning manner, as a "single engine prop plane".

Becker ran from the bench, having announced his "retirement" one day before the NYS Comptroller announced the results of the audit of Delaware County, quite scathing and showing corruption going back years, to the highest level, and Becker and Becker's close friends County Attorney Richard Spinney and Social Services Commissioner William Moon ran from their respective jobs even earlier.

The NYS Commission for Judicial Conduct, in its report of the year 2015 mentioned a number of judges who resigned pending investigations in that year.  It appears that Becker is one of them, and that he had a "choice" - continue on the bench and be booted, or retire years before the end of his term and years before his mandatory retirement at 70.

As to the house - all that negative energy concentrated in those walls...  All the vile of this man with the ugliest soul I know.  All the anguish of wrongfully convicted people, parents and children wrongfully rendered apart by Becker, a former social services attorney of 27 years who had an adoption practice on the side while handling adoption investigations through his agency and using his power for his benefit.  Then, 12 1/2 years on the bench, ruling for his own client of 27 years, the Department of Social Services - that's why the Department wanted to put Becker's successor and student in his place so much, Porter Kirkwood - and failed, thankfully.

"Retirement" of a judge who was clutching at his position like Becker was, who valued his position as an absolute king over lives of people in all aspects does not appear credible - especially as abrupt as it was - appears like a desperate act of running, and Becker proved that by crying when announcing that he was leaving.  Too much power to lose too soon and too abruptly, and at the time when judicial salaries were expected to go up considerably, and they did.

Anyway, the Beast will cease hovering around the Delaware County courthouse, as he did for some time after his retirement, obviously having a difficulty coping with the loss of his king-like power over people, and good riddance.

As to the house, the price seems to be at the same time both low - for houses in the area of comparable size, and high - for what is presented in the pictures, and I can assess it as having lived in the area for 17 years, having experienced the weather in the area, and having properties in the area of our own.

And, while the house is presented with bright summer pictures, Delaware County has harsh winters - and whoever buys the house may freeze there, or have to pay high heating bills.

Problem # 1.  No basement mentioned

Houses in Delaware County that have no heated basement have extremely cold floors, I've been, as a guest, to some of such houses, it is not comfortable feeling, and a fireplace does not help.

Of course, a cold man does not need a warm house.

Problem # 2.  No storm doors over 3 outside doors

Here are the pictures of the outside doors to Becker's house he is selling right now:

The side door

The front door and the dormer door to the balcony

In Delaware County,  New York, up in the mountains, you have to have storm doors for warmth in winter.  What appears in the picture are two sets of doors on the first floor and a set of doors on the second floor (in the dormer) which are kind of flimsy for harsh winters. 

Such doors would be good in the South, but need some reinforcement for warmth in upstate New York, especially up in the Catskill mountains where the house is located.

Problem # 3.  All those stained-glass windows.

There are some old double-pane hung windows shown on the house - which was reportedly built in 1917:

Yet, there are some stain glass windows that do not appear to be double pane.

Those windows may be beautiful - in a church - but they do not appear to be double-pane, or modern, energy efficiency-rated for warmth. 

And, there are a lot of large, and obviously not new, windows in the house all around, too many for warmth. 

Once again, good for a Southern home, bad for an upstate New York in the mountains home.  Should be cold there in winter.  In any event, such a house needs to be viewed in winter, not in summer, for purposes of buying.  This way, all of its deficiencies will be more readily understandable.

Of course, if it is bought as a second home/summer home - it will be ok, even though it appears that it will need a lot of work.

Problem # 4.  Everything is terribly dated

With the salaries and/or retirement benefits of both Becker and his wife, a school teacher, and both children long adult and out of the house, there was some free money, and the lack of investment in the comfort of living is depressing, especially taking into consideration that Becker's wife, as far as I know, had health problems for some time, and needed a more comfortable setting.

Only one recliner - and that is a black leather recliner, so I assume, it was his.  For her - some old and uncomfortable chairs and some old cloth sofas.  The one in the kitchen appears to be dirty.  No effort was made to beautify the house even for taking pictures for listing purposes at least.

A cheap microwave in the kitchen,

a not-so-clean from appearance in the picture fabric sofa in the picture

an ancient countertop,

cramped weird bathrooms - 1 1/2,

uncovered ugly water heating units - Becker had enough time in retirement over the year to commission a simple stained wooden box with decorative meshes for air passage (available in Home Depot) to cover those eyesores:

three chairs at a table requiring four - Becker did have time to put two candles and flowers on the table, but did not have time putting the 4th chair to the table to make the picture of the house he is selling to at least look better:

old worn ugly carpet

a bedroom with a quilt on the bed that appears to be quite old, worn and devoid of color - like a packing quilt for furniture.

There are a lot of nice quilts, including vintage quilts, available in stores and over the internet, at very affordable prices.  How can one hope to sell a house while advertising it in such a terrible way?  Even the stuff sold in Walmart could beautify that house considerably to make it more presentable for sale:

An office of a teacher and a judge of 12 1/2 years !!!  The tiny, untidy, poorly organized corner area where people's destinies were decided for decades:

The library of a lawyer, a judge and a teacher.  The amount of books this learned couple has invited into their home is staggering.  A paper-ribbon calculator - with a laptop right next to it, where the same sums can obviously be made through software, spreadsheets.  Of course, good they are not using the abacus, but still.  A person so ancient in what he uses in his everyday life - it is not at all surprising that Becker treated any new idea in the courtroom as "frivolous".

Don't they want to actually sell this place if they listed it?

A new coat of paint on the walls?

A new rug instead of that ugly wall-to-wall thing in the living room shown in the pictures?

The house looks like a bad motel, or a very neglected low-class bed-and-breakfast. 

Remember, Becker has been retired for year now.  Enough time to at least "stage" the house for sale properly, instead of running around the Delhi, NY courthouse trying to capture the shadows of his old glory, long after he shed his black robe - "voluntarily".

Becker is, or was reportedly an avid hunter and an avid golfer, and he also reportedly not averse from alcohol - far from that.  Becker's disgusting photos with animals, usually bears, killed by him, appeared in local newspapers every year.

He loved hunting so much that reported on his election campaign his "big game" trips to Canada to hunt caribou and moose - and those hunting trips (1) take money and (2) usually involve booze.

All of these activities require money, the money that did not go into the care of the house.

Did not go into the care of the comfort of this woman - at whom Becker so lovingly looks in his election video, for show:

(1) the caliber of school students in Delaware County, and students capable of leadership roles, according to Becker and his schoolteacher wife, has dwindled with the decline in numbers of doctors, lawyers and shopkeepers in Delaware County - his words, not mine, and that

2) the police social services, as a result, are needed at schools because of such decline in quality of students.

I have a copy of the interview on file, and I filed it with the Delaware County and Supreme Court with motions, so it is on file as a public record. 

After all these efforts - including duping the voters by claims of his non-existing competence, Becker ran from the bench, and is now running from Delaware County.

Let's remember - the house Becker is selling now is a house of two public servants, whose medical benefits WE the taxpayers paid for, for years, so that they did not have that expense that many people with salaries much lower than theirs have.

And yet - this sorry result.

Becker, apparently, put more care and heart into his mug collection (which he kept in his chambers at work) than into the place where he lived with his wife of many years.

While being "old-fashioned" dominant male (male chauvinist pig) in the courtroom, he did not extend his male dominance to at least make the house appear like it was comfortable to live in for a woman.

And yes, with all Becker's jealous diatribes in the courtroom as to how much people earn, and his retaliatory rulings to punish people by taking away their property over Becker's personal grudges, it is interesting to now have a view of the insides of how Becker lived.

Becker's whole life was greed and jealousy to other people's success - when other people actually worked for it.  Becker showed no care for his house, uncared for considering the climate of the area, and filled with old junk.

In one of the pictures there is a table with three chairs, on one side of the table a chair is conspicuously missing.  Even for purposes of staging the house for sale, Becker couldn't put in an effort.  Such a depressing view - a table surrounded by just three chairs, with one missing.

Here is Becker's salary for the last years, as available on "seethroughny" (by the way, Becker sanctioned me for seeking through FOIL requests copies of his own semi-annual financial reports from the New York State Court administration, which the Court Administration stalled):

And this is the salary and pension of Becker's wife Christine:

After seeing pictures of Becker's house,  -

  • with a house that looks inside uncared and junky,
  • with Becker having an adoption practice on the side plus a Social Services attorney job feeding that adoption practice, and then
  • a judicial job where he cast around favors for friends and connected attorneys, plus his wife's teaching job, for years, with benefits paid for,
  • with the audit of Delaware County that recently found that the county, including under Becker's guidance, was giving public contracts to people without public bidding - and knowing Becker's greed and laziness, one must look for kickbacks

where did all his money go?

An old car, old furniture in the house, no renovation, no attempts to maintain the house as the climate and comfort of Becker's and his wife's health requires - despite the obviously available funds.  Is it the actual home of Becker, or does he have another one, which he cares for better?

Apparently, an investigation should be undertaken into Becker's finances and other assets, and I will spend time doing it. 

We all have a right to know, and I will engage every legal effort to provide more information on the assets of this lifetime public service to those who he "served" - or, rather, robbed and hurt to satisfy his greed, his personal grudges, his personal preferences, his prejudices and his thirst for power.

As of now, Becker's voluntarily and publicly listed pictures of his residence tell a story of a lazy and neglectful man with a cold heart.

Stained glass everywhere, like in a church, but practically no books, and a corner less than a half-bathroom dedicated to an office - for a lawyer and a judge (and a teacher wife). 

If I was looking at such a house as a buyer, I would wait until winter to see how the house is heated before bidding on it, ask for copies of recent heating invoices, invest into a full home inspection - and be prepared for a lot of fairly costly renovation to be made throughout the house, unless, of course, one is looking for a summer home only and likes everything "dated" (and dingy, as pictures show).

And, the buyers should keep in mind that since Becker defrauded the voters as I described, defrauded litigants - for years - by failing to disclose his conflicts of interests that keep coming out after his decisions were made and after he "retired" from the bench, and since Becker repeatedly invoked absolute immunity for CORRUPT acts in various courts - he can defraud the buyers of his property with as much ease as he did with taxpayers, voters and litigants.

As to the insides - and insights - of the house, it is an enlightening experience, thank you, Carl Becker, for letting us see how you live.

Based on this enlightening experience, I will continue to look for Becker's assets and will report my findings on this blog.

Stay tuned.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

#TheThiefJudgeJanetDiFiore - of the State of New York - and her generous donation of other people's money to a powerful nonprofit, one day before her confirmation hearing in the NYS Senate

I wrote on this blog, multiple times, about the corrupt new Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals Janet DiFiore.

I publicly opposed, through written statements to the New York State Senate (NYS Senate did not allow testimony of witnesses against DiFiore who wanted to testify, including myself), the appointment of Janet DiFiore to this position and publicly asked the senate - a request which the senate ignored - to criminally investigate Janet DiFiore's activities.

Since then, DiFiore was appointed as a Chief Judge and, of course, retaliated against me in two court cases - denying me review of constitutional appeal "as of right" of my unconstitutional suspension for criticism of a judge in motions to recuse, twice, and denying me a constitutional appeal from another case, I wrote about that case here and here.

DiFiore also readily showed her corruption and payback to those who were backing her up, as well as her total lack of integrity and the fact that she is using her high position for her own personal gain in a court case I wrote about which DiFiore apparently fixed fixing for a gaming-regulator, the industry that supported DiFiore's benefactor NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo.

 DiFiore chose to hear a case of a subdivision of New York government where DiFiore's own husband Dennis Glazer worked and decided it in favor of her husband's agency.  DiFiore not only did not disqualify herself from that case, but wrote the opinion in that case favoring her husband's agency.  Not to mention that her husband was appointed to that agency by Cuomo after DiFiore saved Cuomo's hide from a corruption investigation by corrupt acts in her position as the Chairwoman of the New York Public Ethics Commission.  Talking about letting foxes into chicken coups.

To add to the picture, recently some reports emerged about Janet DiFiore's "generous donation" of $940,000 to law internships from her re-election campaign for the position of the Westchester County District Attorney.

The media so far tended to glorify that donation instead of characterizing it for what it is - improper allocation of donations to the election campaign.

Yet, the whole story about the donation - made in January of 2016, but filed and reported only in July of 2016, in obvious violation of the law that required to include the fact of the donation into the January, and not July report, begs investigation of the "donation" story.

DiFiore was given donation towards her re-election to the Westchester County DA's office.

I preserved the donation reports for Janet DiFiore available from the NYS Board of Elections before posting this blog, in view of the government's usual swiftness to remove potentially incriminating public records from public view.

When donations are made for a certain purpose and by certain individuals, and when the purpose to be re-elected for the Westchester DA's office is no longer a valid purpose because of the appointment of Janet DiFiore as New York State Chief Judge, donations had to be returned to those who gave them.

Yet, Janet DiFiore, instead of returning donations back to the donors, gave the donors' money to a certain non-profit, the Fund for the City of New York.

First of all, I doubt that Janet DiFiore had a right to give the donations to anybody other than the donors.

Of course, the donors are now hostages of Janet DiFiore's high status and may be afraid to say that the Chief Judge of the State of New York stole their money - money given towards her election campaign for the seat of the Westchester County DA - when Janet DiFiore was appointed the Chief Judge of the State and no longer wanted to be re-elected as Westchester County DA.

Yet, the donation that was made on January 19, 2016, ONE DAY BEFORE Janet DiFiore's confirmation hearing in New York State Senate.

Not too corrupt, is it?

While I lack information about the current officers and employees of the Fund for the City of New York, the latest published IRS report shows the following names (for 2013), and I doubt that those names changed, since people are usually carried out of these "funds" feet first:

I encourage my readers, as I will do myself, to research backgrounds of these people and their connections to:

(1) the NYS Senate;
(2) the NYS Senate's Judiciary Committee and its members;
(3) cases so far decided by Janet Difiore and her court.

I already wrote about one case that DiFiore apparently fixed - for an organization which is part of New York government where DiFiore's husband plays a major role.

With DiFiore's prior record of apparent corruption - which authorities apparently do not want to touch - DiFiore feels she can continue with her corrupt ways for an eternity.

I will publish results of my research into this interesting donation - as well as into whether there are connections between donations to DiFiore - made at any time to any of her election campaigns - and DiFiore's decisions as a judge or as a District Attorney.

That research requires a lot of work and time, and I request my reader's patience, but I will complete it and I will publish the results.

I can tell you right now that Janet DiFiore received donations towards her re-election as Westchester County DA every single year between 2006 and 2016, which seems extraordinary to me since the actional elections to that position happen only once in every 4 years.

Since donations went non-stop, it is interesting to see the backgrounds of those who financed DA DiFiore for her future re-election as Westchester County DA while she was already Westchester County DA.

I will publish my findings.

Maybe, it is time for the FBI to look at DiFiore's "generous donation", too - as well as at DiFiore's prior and recent trail of apparent corrupt conduct?

Since her campaign fund does not have money any more, she will now have to find her own money, or more generous donors, to get her out of the mess she created and continues to create by her apparent dishonesty and greed.

Stay tuned.

Friday, July 29, 2016

When Social Services do not care about the law...

In fact, social services USUALLY do not care about the law - those who had the misfortune of having come in contact with this particular group of government, know it well.

One more example of that was reported to me from Delaware County, New York.

An individual carrying a child carrier tried to access the County building at 111 Main Street, Delhi, NY (the Department of Social Services and its official helpdesk is located on the 2nd floor of the building) - from the front door and from the back door.

It was reported to me that neither of the doors was equipped with handycap-accessible push-button on the wall allowing to open the door by pushing the button with, let's say, any body part, including simply leaning on that button - which would be ideal for a person carrying a baby carrier in one hand and a bag (for the baby and with documents) in another hand.

Moreover, the individual who reported the lack of the push-button, also told me that she was observed in her efforts to get through TWO doors located one after the other by several social workers, and NONE of them helped her out by holding the door for her.

Additionally, it was reported to me that the elevators that exist in the building, do not go into the basement where some depositions are held by the County for individuals who sue the County, thus precluding disabled individuals from access to those rooms in the basement.

Social Services were created in order to help people, right?

So, they are expected to comply with, at the very least, Americans with Disabilities Act - right?

And, since people who come to the helpdesk of Social Services at 111 Main Street, Delhi, NY, are often disabled or have small children, access to the building for the county where a multimilion budget is given every year to some pet non-profit corporations of Social Services, should be secured before a penny is expended towards those non-profits, right?


An update regarding the #ThiefJudgeBrendaWeaver of Georgia

I recently wrote several blogs about #JudgeBrendaWeaver of Georgia who publicly confessed of misuse of public funds, $17,000 to be exact that Judge Weaver authorized to be paid for private legal fees incurred in litigation fighting access to the court's records to verify whether a court transcript was altered to cut out a racial slur by another judge - who since resigned, see the latest blog here.

Since then, a request was made through a media post for Judge Weaver to resign her judicial position, and there is a report that the FBI is investigating court accounts that Judge Weaver mis-handled.

It is interesting to see whether Judge Weaver will actually be held accountable for her gross misconduct - or if she will be allowed to escape with a slap on the wrist, as it usually happened with judges involved in misconduct, and even in criminal conduct.

I will continue to cover this story.

Stay tuned.

The interview with "Justice Served with Andy Ostrowski"

On Juy 26, 2016, I appeared on the radio show "Justice Served" at the kind invitation of Andy Ostrowski who has run for the U.S. Congress on the platform of judicial reform.

The issues covered in the interview is access to justice and the impact of occupational regulation of the legal profession, and antitrust issues involved in such regulation, upon everday access to justice of all Americans.

The archive of the interview is available here.