New York State Commission On Judicial Conduct: Judicial Discipline Should Be Open
The subject of public disciplinary proceedings, for lawyers as well as judges, has been vigorously debated in recent years by bar associations and civic groups, and supported in newspaper editorials around the state. Betsy Combier says "The level of judicial corruption, currently rampant under the banner of "Judicial Immunity" and "Absolute Immunity" has allowed people acting as members of the Courts to lie, cheat and steal under the guise of "judges", "law clerks", "Public Administrators" , "Surrogates" and other titles. New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo is a partner in these crimes, as documented by Whistleblower Attorney Christine Anderson. Open hearings is not the answer, it is just one hallow step toward rooting out the bad guys in America's court systems.
The North Country Gazette article below really struck home with me, a victim of the New York State Unified Court System RICO. When Attorneys Kenneth Wasserman, Eli Uncyk, Jeffrey Kofsky, Jonathan Landsman, Mary Santamarina and way too many others joined forces with NYC Surrogate Judge Renee Roth, Bronx Judge Troy Webber, Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman and the First Department Appellate Division to steal my mom's estate after her death in March 1998, I started investigating what was going on. Anyone can see that there is something very wrong with "Justice" in America. New York State may be the worst in this category, due to the involvement of current Governor Andrew Cuomo (former Attorney General) under whose corrupt leadership this payback scheme achieved its' highest levels. I had heart failure on July 22, 2006 due to this illustrous crew, but luckily survived to sue all of them in United States District Court.
The Southern District gave me Richard Holwell as the judge in my RICO, and he needed to get my case removed as quickly as possible. So, he quickly dismissed the RICO on the basis of "Judicial Immunity". He was on the Disciplinary Committee for the First Department in 2004 when I brought a complaint against Wasserman, and nothing was ever done. He was also the attorney at White and Case who handled the Banker's Trust account, and helped Banker's get out of paying $60 million after the bank was indicted by the US government for fraud on their clients. By means of a deal made with the Department of Probation, Bankers paid only $19 million, and the State of New York rewarded Holwell with a seat in the Southern District. That's how the judicial system works.
My point? Make complaints public as well, and hold the CJC accountable for whitewashing "favored" scoundrels. Get rid of judicial immunity, which simply puts people above the LAW and permits crimes against innocent citizens.
For more information, just read the lawsuit filed by Christine Anderson, a former senior attorney with the Attorney Discipline Committee who complained about the white-washing and was terminated. Her case went to trial in 2009.
By the way, Commission Administrator Robert H. Tembeckjian is the husband of New York Daily News reporter Barbara Ross.
Commission: Judicial Discipline Should Be Open
Posted on Saturday, 23 of April , 2011 at 7:10 pm
ALBANY—-The state Commission on Judicial Conduct has renewed its call for legislation that would open its proceedings to the public when formal disciplinary charges are filed against a judge.
Such proceedings are public in 35 other states, as they were in New York until the law was changed in 1978.
“It may be unusual for a government agency to invite more scrutiny of its work,” said Commission Administrator Robert H. Tembeckjian, “but that has been the commission’s unwavering position for more than three decades.”
The subject of public disciplinary proceedings, for lawyers as well as judges, has been vigorously debated in recent years by bar associations and civic groups, and supported in newspaper editorials around the state. The Commission itself has long advocated that post investigation formal proceedings should be made public.
The commission restated its position in its annual report, stating that “Judges are public officials, and the Commission is a public agency. Not only does the public have a right to know when formal charges have been preferred by a prosecuting authority against a public official, but the prosecuting entity is more likely to exercise its power wisely if it is subject to public scrutiny.” 2011 Annual Report
The Commission again recommended that suspension from office be added to the sanctions it may impose and called attention to a traffic diversion program in some upstate counties that raises concerns.
In those counties, district attorneys have instituted a “Traffic Diversion Program” that, with some variations, operates as follows. A motorist who is issued a traffic ticket, usually for speeding but apparently other moving violations, is offered the option by the District Attorney of disposing of the ticket by (1) paying a fee (say, $200) to the DA’s Office and (2) attending, paying for and successfully completing a
safe driving course, in exchange for which (3) the DA will either ask the court to dismiss the ticket or simply decline to prosecute.
The Commission understands that in one county, the DA gives the court $5 per ticket and apparently keeps the balance of the $200 fee, and in another, the DA splits the $200 fee with the county and the town where the alleged speeding occurred.
The Commission finds this practice very troubling in several respects. For example, it appears as if some defendant-motorists are being offered the opportunity to buy their way out of points on their licenses or other appropriate consequences for unsafe driving. It effectively discriminates against those who cannot afford the $200 fee and the cost of the safe-driving course.
It supplements the budget of a public agency (the DA’s office) without any meaningful checks and balances and raises at least an appearance that the exercise of prosecutorial discretion may inappropriately be based on potential revenues to the office. It deprives the State of revenue from its portion of any fines and fees that would otherwise be shared with the locality.
Most significantly, such a traffic diversion program is unsupervised by a court, effectively leaving the prosecution in control of what should be an adjudicatory process, the commission said.
The commission also noted a recent change in the law regarding the setting of an “appearance date” for those who plead not guilty by mail to traffic violations and the commission recommends the Office of Court Administration consider requiring that all criminal courts record arraignments, as all town and village courts are now required to do.
The Commission received and processed 2,025 complaints in 2010 – a record number. There were 170 more than in 2009 and 102 more than the previous high of 1,923 in 2008.
The Commission is the New York State agency responsible for investigating complaints of misconduct against judges of the state unified court system and, where appropriate, disciplining such judges for ethics violations.
In addition to the record number of incoming complaints:
???? 439 preliminary inquiries were conducted
???? 225 full-fledged investigations were authorized
???? 15 public decisions were rendered:
* • 1 Removal from office
* • 7 Public Censures
* • 5 Public Admonitions
* • 2 Public Stipulations in which judges agreed to leave and never again hold judicial office
-14 judges resigned during Commission proceedings
-36 confidential cautionary letters were issued
-226 matters were pending at year’s end
Commission Administrator Robert H. Tembeckjian said: “While no single-year statistics tell the whole story, the numbers for 2010 are about average for the last five years.” 4-23-11