"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.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

The #JudgeBrendaWeaver saga - Part II. What's not to like in #JudgeBrendaWeaver's "slush fund"/"court operating account"?

In my today's blog I published the dismissal of ethics complaints against Georgia Judge Brenda Weaver (here she is, on the left, receiving a "Citizen of the Year 2015" award):

- made by a team where the "impartial" investigators and adjudicators:

By the way, Ralston is himself an attorney, was himself accused two years ago, in a formal disciplinary proceeding, of violating 9 state bar rules.

And, there is an interesting coincidence - things happen to people who investigate and prosecute these two former sweethearts, Ralston and Judge Weaver.

The two people who were investigating Judge Weaver:

For Thomason - Weaver's and sheriff's friends reportedly talked advertisers not to support Thomason's newspaper, effectively shutting down his business;

For Thomason and his attorney Stookey - they were harassed, intimidated, sued, an attempt was made to slap both of them with $17,000 of attorney fees from an already dismissed action, then they were arrested, stripped naked, put in jail cell with convicted criminals, starved (for Stookey, who is over 70 and is a diabetic, it could end up in coma and death), and then harassed some more.

Now, the dismissal of their ethical complaint against Brenda Weaver who orchestrated all of the above against a journalist and his attorney, simply for doing asking for access to public records, sounds like a slap in the face - because in that dismissal, Brenda Weaver's friends and appointees of her sweetheart 

  • deny that there was evidence - while it was provided to them;
  • ignore witnesses who were willing to testify, moreover, there were miles of depositions, with transcripts ready from Mark Thomason's petition for the audio; and
  • accuse the victims of Brenda Weaver's misconduct of falsely blemishing the pristine name of a "sitting judge" because of their "personal dislike".
The only word combination that I personally like in the phrase about the "sitting judge" is just that, the "sitting judge".

Because Brenda Weaver, for all that she has "weaved", should be a sitting - albeit former - judge.   And she should sit exactly where she was trying to put Thomason and Stookey, in jail.

Now, as to investigators and prosecutors of her protector and former sweetheart Speaker Ralston, things happened to them, too, not as drastic, but things did happen.

In 2015, attorney Mark Dehler resigned from David Ralston's state bar disciplinary case - and went on to head the Georgia State Judicial Qualifications Commission, to replace the then JQC Chairman, attorney Lester Tate who resigned from JQC claiming that "outside political forces were trying to undermine the agency’s independence."

Gee, who would do that?

Then in August of 2016, when complaints were filed against David Ralston's former sweetheart Judge Brenda Weaver, Mark Dehler resigned from the JQC, too - and you know who replaced him as the Director of the Commission?

But, you know who was the Chair of the JQC after Mark Dehler resigned?

Please, don't cry.

It was Brenda Weaver herself.

She resigned from that position 10 days after Mark Dehler resigned, and only under public pressure, because of her persecution of a journalist and his attorney.

After that, the Commission was in limbo - and a former judge who has run from the bench TO the legislature, where Judge Brenda Weaver's former sweetheart was Speaker (do you follow the connections?  It is easy to get lost in this quagmire), spearheaded, with good intentions, of course, the drive to "reform" the Judicial Qualifications Commission - through a referendum.

And, there was a referendum - where voters were not explained what exactly the Commission is, the reform is going to be, and it was just too short a time to explain to the voters that what was offered was yet another sham, because when the MAJORITY of members and staff of the Commission are attorneys or judges, and when judges regulate attorneys' livelihoods, there is no possibility that this crew will be impartial and will consider public interest first and their own personal interests second.

And now, the "new and improved", "neutral" team of (corrupt) investigators and adjudicators from the Judicial Qualifications Commission, irreversibly tainted by ties to Brenda Weaver either through representation, or through employment of her child, or through appointment by her sweetheart, or through prior work on the commission or in courts, made, among other things, the following findings:

And here comes a problem with ... how to put it mildly and politely ... let's say, semantics.

Because the so-called "operating account" of Judge Brenda Weaver is not really an official account.

Because, from what Mark Thomason and his attorney Russel Stookey found out, there was NEVER - NEVER an audit of that account.

Because, from what Mark Thomason and his attorney Russel Stookey found out, that account is replenished, every three months, not out of the State of Georgia's budget - as a state court must be funded - but by three local counties, the Fannin County, the Pickens County where, coincidentally, Mark Thomason and Russel Stookey were arrested, starved and abused in the respective county jails, and the Gilmer County.

Moreover, these counties do not even try to conceal that they do give Judge Weaver, a judge of a state court financed from state funds - money, while the County very obviously has to appear in front of that court in multiple proceedings.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is criminal, and that is not just my theories, and the only reason why the FBI did not yet pick Brenda Weaver and locked her up is because of her connections and the astounding audacity (or greed, or both) of public officials backing her up.

It actually happened - a similar scheme was actually exposed, in another state, the blessed State of California,

and the attorney who exposed that scheme was disbarred, jailed and held in solitary confinement for 14 months, by the same people whose criminal behavior he exposed.

The name of the attorney is Dr. Richard Fine, PhD.

The attorney who exposed bribes of the Los Angeles County to local state judges - to the tune of $57,000 addition to each judge's salary, per year - remains disbarred, even though he committed no crime, no ethical violation and his exposure of judicial corruption saved money and was in the public interest.

Judges who were involved in criminal behavior, on the opposite, received a retroactive immunity of their CRIMINAL liability - an unheard of move - from the California State Legislature.

Now, if we compare what was happening in Los Angeles County, California, and in Fannin County, Georgia, there was no difference at all.

Fannin County, together with two other counties, paid Judge Brenda Weaver at least $4,500 in three months, and, according to a tip from the bank, many more checks from Brenda Weaver did not reach her account at all, were not deposited (Thomason checked on both sides, County and bank).

So, County taxpayer money leave the County, the "operating account" that was never audited receives only a small portion of the money, and the rest disappears without a trace.

Looks like a criminal theft from taxpayers to me.

Doesn't it?

Yet, Brenda Weaver believes that her little (or not-so-little) "slush" fund, funded by briberies of three counties, and used by her for bribery of attorney Mary Elizabeth Priest (who she additionally bribed with a judicial nomination) is outside of the State of Georgia's Open Records Act because the bribery fund is part of "judicial records". 

Yet, if the fund is funded by the three counties (like it was in Los Angeles County, California, where the scheme had to be cancelled after its exposure in the media and public outcry about bribery of judges), first, the records are discoverable on the County side - which is very much subject to the Open Records Act, and second, may not be covered under the Open Records Act, because it is NOT an official operating account of the judiciary. 

The bribery fund of Judge Weaver, which may be existing until this day - and legitimacy of which Weaver tried to confirm through the obviously bought dismissal decision of the "friendly" Judicial Qualifications Commission - is not funded out of the official State budget meant for the judiciary and it has never been audited, upon information of witnesses who investigated the matter with the appropriate authorities, as an official court operating account because reportedly Brenda Weaver claimed that it is her account that is not subject to audit.

Also, note that Brenda Weaver, an attorney and judge of many years, has the stupidity of claiming, in print, that the court stenographer "prevailed" in the very proceedings where she voluntarily agreed to the DISMISSAL of her defamation claim - which is the opposite of prevailing.  I will dedicate a separate blog article to the analysis of the merits of the defamation counter-claim, and to misconduct and frivolous tactics of the now-judge Mary Beth Priest in that proceeding.

Apparently, Mark Thomason dug deeper and found much more in terms of "financial discrepancies" of the financially talented Judge Brenda Weaver, which will be revealed in one of the next blogs.

And, since one cannot steal or launder a lot of money while pretending that is done legitimately, without a LARGE number of helpers, the helpers organized and struck, and keep striking, back at Mark Thomason and attorney Russel Stookey.

But - what is very interesting to me, the JQC - if they truly "investigated" the matter - had to do what would amount to the audit of Judge Brenda Weaver's "operating account", had to see that it was funded by counties and not by the state, and had to CHARGE Brenda Weaver for ethical violations ADDITIONALLY - and to turn her into the FBI AGAIN.

Which did not happen.

And my question is - how much money or influence was paid or exerted, respectively, upon the members of the JQC in order to extract from them the shameful decision that they produced.

And, if we are talking about corrupt public officials, how STUPID should you be to get caught like Brenda Weaver was - because she actually PAID $17,000 of COUNTY taxpayer money to the attorney for the stenographer (the same attorney who she paid off with a nomination to the judicial seat right DURING the short court proceedings where Mary Beth Priest represented the stenographer).

How really stupid, arrogant, entitled and vindictive Brenda Weaver, a former teacher, an attorney and a judge of many years must be to, instead of simply RELEASE the damned audio tape that Mark Thomason wanted - because there were MULTIPLE witnesses who heard the Judge AND the Sheriff AND a Sheriff's investigator call the witness "nigger Ray", laughing all the way.

The judge in question resigned anyway.

There was nobody's "reputation" to save.

And, Judge Brenda Weaver should have stayed away as far as possible from the whole situation because HER HUSBAND George Weaver was actually A WITNESS of what was said that day in court, because he was one of the ATTORNEYS OF RECORD that day, and because he was the one who actually went out into the hallway after the exchange of racial slurs happened in the absence of the witness and told that person, in the presence of several people, what he was called, and that he can now sue the County.

Instead of staying far away from the case, Brenda Weaver injected herself into it as much as she could, and did not do it in a smart way either.

WHY would Judge Brenda Weaver thought no better than to:

  • order the stenographer to cook the transcript AND the audiotape (the stenographer admitted that to two witnesses);
  • deny access to the altered audio;
  • closely monitor proceedings, sending that same husband of hers, George Weaver, to be present in the courtroom during public hearings on Mark Thomason's open records petition and the stenographer's counterclaim; and
  • pay off the attorney representing that unfortunate stenographer TWICE -
    • with $17,000 in taxpayer money out of an unaudited account illegally funded, as bribes, by the three counties, and
    • with a nomination to the now-vacant judicial seat left by the judge who used that racial slur?
How arrogant can one become when one climbs to that judicial bench?

As to what actually happened in that courtroom, what exactly was said by the judge and the sheriffs that Judge Weaver ordered erased (which is a crime, tampering with official court records) from the transcript and the audio, about a similar case in another state with a similar judicial misconduct, and about why the tampered audio was not released to the public - I will publish that story in my next blog.

Stay tuned.

Citizen of the Year.  Right.

And the recipient of the Golden Padlock Award of Year 2017.

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