"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.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Delaware County (NY), the one that claims that it does not have inventory of equipment bought with taxpayer money, bought new cars. Where did the old ones go?

In May of 2015, a scandalous audit of New York State Comptroller showed that Delaware County, NY allowed its social workers to use County-issued cars as their own, and allowed their workers to sell good cars "for scrap" for $350 to their friends, see the complete official audit report here.

Despite the audit, and even despite the allegedly pending at this time FBI investigation, the Delaware County did not become more diligent or cautious with taxpayer money.

The Delaware County adamantly claimed in response to my FOIL request that it does not have inventory (which means, it does not do accounting) of printing and scanning equipment bought with taxpayer money. 

Considering that the audit of the New York State Comptroller found in May of 2015 that Delaware County allowed its workers to
the lack of inventory of printing and scanning equipment can only suggest that printers and scanners in Delaware County are also sold for peanuts to family and friends, and that's why the inventory is not available, at least for FOIL requests.

Then, Delaware County also claimed that its monthly cell phone bill is on 321 pages - that is in a poor rural County

While many people at high levels of the County government ran recently, and a new, but not so new, insider Acting County Attorney Amy Merklen was recently installed, it appears that Delaware County continues to buy new expensive equipment, while not having a proper accounting of what happened to the old equipment.

Recently I received a tip from Delaware County, NY, with the following pictures:

The reader also sent me a message indicating: "lately we have been noticing a whole line of new cars for the county & the police, the licenses plate have the lettering AH OR AD as well as the line of cars seem to be of a higher class, not your standard government car like the Nissan SUV *(PATHFINDER) in this pic which happens to be bought from a dealership in Ulster County.
Village police has two new unmarked vehicles One is a all Black, I think it's a Dodge Challenger & the other one I will have to ask what the make is".

As a Delaware County taxpayer - even though I do not reside in the County, I have to pay County taxes on the properties we have in the County - I have a question that I will surely be asking the brand-new Delaware County Chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors - did Delaware County struck a gold mine somewhere?

Smells like a lot of rats to me.

I will make sure the feds will know about this new and exciting development in Delaware County history of use of taxpayer money.

And, of course, I will publish what the County says NOW to FOIL requests, to specific questions -

  1. were these new vehicles purchased at a competitive price at a public auction, or again without public bidding, and, likely, with kickbacks to County officials who were in charge of buying these vehicles?
  2. was buying these new cars within the County budget?
  3. what funds were used for new cars?
  4. who specifically, which County officials have got those new cars?
  5. how many cars were bought?
  6. what cars and how much was paid for each?
  7. where did the old cars go -
was there a public auction?  Did they go to the highest bidder?  Or were they, as in the "good olden times" distributed amongst family and friend, as "scraps".

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