The lawsuit is here.
Part I can be read here.
Part II here.
Part III here.
Part IV here.
Part V here.
Protection of whistleblowers in New York State is non-existent, even if they work in the court system, see description of how that works at the end of Part 5.
A prosecutor is a powerful public official who has an opportunity to retaliate against a whistleblower by discrediting him with a criminal prosecution - and conviction - and putting him in prison, for a very long time.
Of course, that would be witness tampering, a federal crime, but would a prosecutor care about that - because will a federal prosecutor prosecute a state prosecutor? Not in a thousand years.
So, the law regarding the Commission for Prosecutorial Conduct DOES have some really good provisions, and one of them is - authority of the Commission to give transactional (full) immunity to whistleblowers of prosecutorial misconduct.
Here is how the government itself explains transactional immunity:
Such an immunity blocks prosecution for any criminal offenses that a prosecutor can possibly conjure up out of a certain set of facts.
That is what bothered prosecutors and what they wanted stopped - and what they had stopped at this time, illegally.
You know how many times the words "transactional immunity", or "immunity" - are mentioned in prosecutors' lawsuit?
SEVEN (7) times.
Meaning, that immunity really, really bothered prosecutors and they really, really wanted to get rid of it. In which they succeeded so far, contrary to the law.
Here is how these words were mentioned in the prosecutors' lawsuit to nix the Commission for Prosecutorial Conduct:
If the CPC "deems it necessary and proper", it can confer broad transactional immunity from prosecution upon witnesses who appear before it. Id. at paragraph 499-d(2).
"Article 15-A also permits the CPC to call and grant transactional immunity to any witness it choses (so long as it "deems it necessary and proper" to do so (Judiciary Law paragraph 499-d(2)), even if such immunity could thwart ongoing or future criminal prosecution)."
"Article 15-A violates that clear intent by permitting the CPC to: … (2) grant immunity to those who prosecutors might otherwise prosecute".
"And because Article 15-A provides no appellate review of the CPC's discretion to obtain evidence, incorporate evidence into the public record, grant immunity, or conduct investigations that may interfere with active prosecutions, the statute will inevitable cause a flood of collateral litigation under CPLR Article 78 by prosecutors alleging unlawful, arbitrary, and/or capricious conduct by the CPC (citations omitted)".
"The non-judicial functions unconstitutionally assigned to judges appointed to the CPC include: … (3) conferring immunity upon witnesses involved in CPC investigations..."
"Prosecutors are painfully aware that every decision they now make will be scrutinized by a hybrid political commission operating without constitutional constraints, and that this commission may sanction them, publicize sensitive material pertaining to their cases, and grant immunity to witnesses with virtually no due process."
"Prayer for Relief. WHERETOFORE, because paragraphs 1 to 79 establish that no provision of Article 15-A of the Judiciary Law remains by which the CPC may be lawfully constituted and begin operation, and because Plaintiffs would be irreparably harmed if the CPC were to begin accepting complaints, initiating investigations, or conducting hearings, Plaintiffs respectfully request that a judgment and order be issued:
D. Preliminarily and permanently enjoining the CPC from conducting any hearings into the qualifications and conduct of prosecutors, including a prohibition on ordering any records or papers from prosecutors, or ordering any appearance by witnesses or prosecutors before the CPC, or granting immunity to any person..."
Prosecutors want a "right" to be able to go at witnesses regarding their own misconduct with criminal charges, they complain that the Commission, by granting full transactional immunity to such witnesses, prevent prosecutors from retaliating against those who testify regarding prosecutors' misconduct.
And - guess what?
The Legislature and the Governor stipulated to stall the Commission and not to grant whistleblowers of prosecutorial misconduct protection already given to them under the law.
Of course, it is not within authority of either the Legislature, or the Governor to "stipulate" suspension of certain laws, already on the books, through either
- refusing to fill vacancies on the Commission (the Governor); or
- suspending indefinitely the law (the Legislature).
- To enact (introduce, start, put into being);
- amend (change);
- rescind (take back, abolish)
- has been enacted;
- has not been amended;
- has not been rescinded -