"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.

Monday, February 18, 2019

#TheCrimeToBeNamedMelania. Part 5. No immigrant farmer will own prime real estate in the middle of the business district of Oneonta, New York. A special kind of due diligence necessary before buying property in Oneonta, New York and Otsego County

In the four articles of the #TheCrimeToBeNamedMelania series so far, I have written about discriminations and misconduct surrounding the Oneonta Hotel bought in 2015 by a couple of Romanian Americans, Melania and Nicolae Pervu - whose business is now practically shot with the help of, among other people, husband and wife Merzigs - the wife who authored the "order to vacate", as the Chairperson of the Oneonta, New York Board of Public Service, and the husband who verified that petition - instead of the wife, mind, as the law requires, not to draw attention that he is enforcing his wife's (a local business consulting firm owner's) order and not acting "for public interest".

Part III#TheCrimeOfBeingNamedMelania. How to steal a lucrative business from an immigrant with the help of a New York court. A tutorial. Part III. The burden of proof is on the Respondents - when a judge's and a city attorney's wives are involved in the mess. But, of course! - can be read here.

It is an open secret that the City of Oneonta, New York and Otsego County is predominantly white and deeply racist and xenophobic - anti-immigrant and anti-non-white.

The City of Oneonta was repeatedly sued for racial profiling in criminal cases, yet, it continued to do that for years, and, as far as multiple readers report to me, they continue to do it to this day, and racial profiling in the City and County was the subject of repeated local protests.

In 1992.
In 2005.
In 2012.
In 2014.

To check the racial profiling in how the all-white police investigates, how the all-white prosecution prosecutes and how the all-white judicial corps judges criminal cases, one can simply visit the Oneonta City Court (in Oneonta) and the Otsego County Court (for felonies, the worst of crimes) in Cooperstown, New York on arraignment days - they are open to the public.

With the census and a visitor's own eyes show that the city of Oneonta, New York and the County of Otsego are overwhelmingly white (but for students in Oneonta, New York - who are, together with their young minority professors, repeatedly targeted with racial profiling), those in jail jumpsuits and hand- and leg-cuffs in court are predominantly minority - Latino and African American.

The City of Oneonta was sued (including its former, now deceased by suicide, mayor Richard Miller, sued in his individual capacity) for deliberately trying, with the help of fabricating criminal charges, following around a man, Timothy Baron, who committed the double offense of being black and an immigrant, stopping him illegally, dragging him out of the car in the middle of the night while he did nothing wrong, beating him up, tasering him, pepper-spraying him, locking him up and fabricating criminal charges against him (a B felony).

Then, the county prosecutor John Muehl, famous for his 1. drinking and 2. corruption (just word-search my blog about his name, I have a lot of documentary information posted on the blog about him, as about all other public officials I mention in this article), kept threatening that man that if he does not cave in, does not plead guilty and does not go conveniently to prison, as John Muehl and so many others wanted him to do, John Muehl would pad up the charges through yet another grand jury and will pack him away for more.

And, the white Judge John Lambert, the former prosecutor from the same DA's office, after numerous ex parte conferences with John Muehl, the police and probation, kept denying motions of that black man and kept dragging him to unnecessary "conferences", to drain him of finances for an attorney, so that he would not be able to afford an attorney at trial - as is Judge John Lambert's habit of so many years, both in criminal and in civil proceedings.

Then, right before trial, when the man could not be coerced into a plea and the trial was right around the corner, John Muehl suddenly filed with the court for a permission to DROP charges because - lo and behold - he did not have his supposed main witness for prosecution (and, possibly, never had that witness in the first place).

So, all his threats of padding up the charges in order to coerce the man into a guilty plea and to go to prison was just bluff.

Charges were dropped and the man sued in federal, putting into his lawsuit a description of how his entertainment business, catering to minorities in Oneonta, New York, 
  • was repeatedly raided by the city police, 
  • badmouthed without basis that it was a source of crime in the city, and 
  • denied - by mayor Dick Miller who was coincidentally the Chairman of the Board of the Oneonta Art Performance Center (where the Oneonta City judge Lucy Bernier who was packing the man away in jail at arraignment and trying to deny him release when I asked for a felony hearing despite the fact that the felony hearing was not provided, and the release without bail was required by law, was a member of the Board) - denied a rental space in the Performing Arts Center while the Center advertised and continued to advertised that it had rental spaces available, specifically because Dick Miller advised the man, Timothy Baron, that Dick Miller did not want "his kind of people" not only in the Performing Arts Center, but in town, too.

The most recent lynching mob against minorities in Oneonta, New York was held on social media just last month when a black man, Terrence Truitt, was arrested without a good reason, charged with an arson that supposedly was the cause of death of a local former firefighter John Heller, and the local mourners of John Heller turned into a lynching mob and demanded death of Truitt, as torturous as possible, presumed his guilt and viciously bashed at anybody who dared to point out his presumption of innocence.  Moreover, the complaints of the lynching mob in Oneonta, New York caused the GoFundMe to stop a fundraising campaign for the defense of the presumed-innocent indigent black man - while the same GoFundMe freely allows fundraising campaigns of accusers of crimes, like Dr. Ford - accuser of the now U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh.

So, any immigrant needs to be beware what kind of town they are trying to settle in.

Just run the words "racial profiling" and "city of Oneonta New York" together in Google and see the results.

Just go to, register a credit card account and look up lawsuits against the City of Oneonta - before you are making an investment in that city, without regard whether lawsuits are won or not - considering how hard for plaintiffs of this kind to get an attorney and how hard federal courts try to revoke licenses of attorneys who dare to sue state and local governments.

Just look up the mentioning of corruption in the local government - or how the local government used its authority of claiming a business is not up to code to get rid of "unwanted" (minority) business owners, in order to give it to wanted (white) business owners.  

It is actually all in open access, a matter of public records.

The racism, the xenophobia, the family clans, the corruption, the double standards.

The County Attorney (a DSS lawyers, DSS contracts to subsidize poor tenants, a lawyer for the Sheriff and the county prosecutor) and the Chief Administrative Judge for the entire upstate New York who assigns all judges to cases in upstate New York and is seated in Otsego County as a Supreme Court (trial court of general jurisdiction) judge are wife and a husband.

 Which allows the wife to hold both a fulltime County Attorney job at the expense of taxpayers, and a job at a private law firm, Hinman, Howard and Kattel, working for that firm on taxpayer-paid time.

And, the Chief Administrative judge's influence will get Ellen Coccoma a free assigned counsel in federal court, a representation by  NY State Attorney General who represents STATE officials, in order to claim that she was NOT sued as a state official - and dismiss the lawsuit this way.  The representation became necessary when Ellen and Michael Coccoma's personal liability insurance denied them coverage of legal representation because they did not cover legal representation of intentional misconduct and fraud - as was alleged in the federal lawsuit against the both.

Remember that local public officials who violate your constitutional rights are entitled to an "assigned counsel for the rich" if you sue them - while you will be scrambling to find an attorney who would dare to go against the government.

And, even if you find and attorney to represent you when the government sues you - and sink tens of thousands of dollars into that representation - he will be trembling like a leaf, telling you, as attorney #HonRyanTDonovan reportedly told Melania Pervu, not to even mention the word "corruption" - which was obvious in the case - and, when Melania Pervu insisted that Donovan should do his job and address all issues in the case, including misconduct of local public officials, Donovan took leave and left Melania and Nicolae Pervu in the middle of a contempt proceeding, while Donovan was amply paid for representation in that proceeding.

As to the lawsuit against Michael and Ellen Coccomas (brought by my husband, pro se) was that the lawsuit was denied, my husband sanctioned for bringing it, ordered to pay attorney fees to those he sued (meaning, the sanctions decision is ON THE MERITS, while the court dismissed the lawsuit BEFORE REACHING THE MERITS) - and blocked from filing CIVIL RIGHTS LAWSUITS in the future without asking permission to file.

Because saying the "c" word (corruption) in court is not allowed in our God-blessed country.

Also, public records are available that Michael Coccoma was assigned to the case that started in 2007 and eventually led to the unlawful disbarment of my husband in 2011, quickly recused (as he did in Melania and Nicolae Pervu's case), but then, as an Administrative Judge kept assigning judges to it throughout its long history - and his wife Ellen Coccoma, as a member of attorney disciplinary committee, made a decision to bring disbarment proceedings - no, not against a local son-of-a-judge attorney Richard Harlem who sued on behalf of a client who never hired him to do that, sued representing both defendants and plaintiffs in the same case - but my husband who complained about the conflict of interest.

So, this couple.

Another husband-and-wife couple in the local government worth noting is the husband and wife Merzigs.

The wife, Margery Merzig is the longtime business consulting owner - and a Chairperson of the Oneonta Board of Public Services, issuing decisions that buildings of local businesses are not up to code.

The husband, attorney David Merzig, as a City Attorney, seeks enforcement of his wife's decisions through local (all-white) courts, featuring:

Judge Lucy Bernier - Oneonta City court, the former Board member of the Oneonta Performance Arts Center who got off the board when a lawsuit for racial discrimination was brought against the Center;
Judges Michael Coccoma, Brian Burns and John Lambert - at the County and Supreme Court level, all former prosecutors of the same county.

Let's not forget the Sheriff Richard Devlin - just re-elected for another term - and his son, a local police officer.

The son, reportedly, openly threatened to shoot up two elementary schools, the father blocked investigation for nearly 2 years, put the son on a PAID leave, never investigated or charged him with a crime - and the son was allowed to simply "resign" from the force, under public pressure, after getting paid for so many months for being under administrative (not criminal) investigation.

The father was re-elected - consider that somebody actually voted for that particular Sheriff to get him reelected.

Of course, running the "Devlin" last name on the website of the New York State Board of Elections website, their Campaign Finance, disclosure reports page, using the last name Devlin as a search criteria, returns a lot of names of judicial candidates with the same last name:

making one wonder.

Devlin, you know, is not Smith, and there are a lot of governmental dynasties in the State of New York, including judicial dynasties.

And, of course, one needs to check out the site, a database of non-profits across the United States, and browse freely and openly available tax returns of local non-profits, and who is on their boards of directors, who are their highest paid officers and employees (listed in tax returns), and how they cross-finance one another.

This way, a potential non-politically-connected investor conducting a due diligence research of what can potentially jeopardize his investment in Otsego County, New York, will find a Dewar Foundation, stationed in Oneonta, New York, a multi-million pot of money through which the local Chief Assistant District Attorney (and son-of-a-late-judge) Michael Getman gives tens of thousands of dollars to many local nonprofits, including those where local judges are on boards of directors - securing/buying for himself favorable rulings of all government officials in the area and immunity in case of any complaints about his misconduct.

By the way, the level of impunity as to Michael Getman can be demonstrated by the fact that the New York State Attorney General investigated and even filed a civil lawsuit against Michael Getman and his then-alive judge-father Frank Getman in 1999 for stealing from that same Dewar Foundation, big time.

Neither one was disbarred.

Neither one was criminally prosecuted.

Frank Getman was not disciplined as a judge or taken off the bench.

The case was hushed ("settled") in such a way that nobody suffered.

Michael Getman was only removed from voting on Dewar's decisions for a short while, and now is right back holding the reigns of Dewar and distributing its money.

But, I bet, nobody does this kind of due diligence before buying property in Otsego County.

People, especially starry-eyed immigrants who came to this country as a beacon of freedom and protector of human rights (this is how the U.S. portrays itself in self-propaganda anyway), presume that there is rule of law in Oneonta, New York, and in Otsego County.

But, if you do just a little research before you buy a property - and you see husbands and wives, sons and fathers - in key positions, for years and decades, in the local government, you can, and should, EXPECT CORRUPTION, and be wary of buying property up there, because it will be super-easy to deprive you of your life savings, without any remedy at law.

As it happens in Otsego County again, and again, and yet again.

People routinely learn about discrimination, and about their own inability to do anything about it - because they already voted in, through apathy or lack of knowledge, the same clans into the same key positions over, and over, and over again - only when they already invested their money and do not have an easy way to just up and leave.

As Melania and Nicolae Pervu did.

As to WHO may have been interested in the property, and the specifics of how those investors' desire to squeeze the Pervus out of their prime real estate was, and is handled by the local government officials, I will continue to write in these series.

Stay tuned.

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