"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

#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.

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