This is a spoof of the hypocrisy of California judges who are whining about corruption, cronyism and ineptitude at the helm of the judicial branch harming their lives. They do this while shielding corruption, cronyism and ineptitude in their own courtrooms and that of fellow judiciaries’ harming the lives of California citizens and workers.
The actual spoofed writing by the Alliance for California Judges “As Transparent As An Iron Curtain” may be read on Judicial Council Watcher at: http://judicialcouncilwatcher.com/2013/05/06/as-transparent-as-an-iron-curtain/
We whole heartedly support the dire need for transparency and change in leadership of the judicial branch. We acknowledge there are judges within the ACJ who have honorable intent of ridding the branch of some big, bad apples. However, we don’t think the judges have any credibility to claim a Holier than Thou stance while seeking support to overthrow the “regime” — without first cleaning their own courts.
The California judges do not seem to grasp that citizens not only do not trust the branch leaders, they don’t trust the judges themselves. Nor will they be inclined to support the judges’ efforts until the judges start adhering to Canons of Judicial Ethics D.(1) “Whenever a judge has reliable information that another judge has violated any provision of the Code of Judicial Ethics, the judge shall take appropriate corrective action, which may include reporting the violation to the appropriate authority” & D(2) “Whenever a judge has personal knowledge,* or concludes in a judicial decision, that a lawyer has committed misconduct or has violated any provision of the Rules of Professional Conduct, the judge shall take appropriate corrective action, which may include reporting the violation to the appropriate authority”. We write this biting spoof in the hopes that the judges wake up and realize one cannot completely rid corruption without acknowledging the complete corruption exists.
May 6, 2013
Dear Members and Others,
First, we apologize for the length of this communication. We deem it necessary, however, to place in context what has become the standard operating procedure by branch leaders to refuse to disclose public information and our unwillingness to expose those among us who are also corrupt and keep the compromised leaders in power. In particular, reasonable requests for information from judges associated with the Alliance have been treated in a manner that directly contradicts their claims of a new era of greater transparency, just like our feigned integrity as we turn a blind eye to corruption by our peers. We reiterate “reasonable requests for information FROM judges associated with the Alliance have been treated in a manner that directly contradicts their claims of a new era of greater transparency”.
Like many of you we were hopeful that a new day would dawn upon the judicial branch with a change in leadership, but not necessarily ethics in our courtrooms. For two solid years we were lectured to give the new regime “a chance.” as many of our peers gave them more than a chance via shielding corruption when the judicial leaders are at their benches. During those two years we were told by branch leaders there would be a new paradigm wherein decisions would be made in a more transparent way, that input from all would be welcome, and that substantive changes would result in a Judicial Council committed to properly overseeing the vast Administrative Office of the Courts in an accountable and transparent manner.
We just can’t seem to grasp that no one finds us credible in our thinking that we will stop corruption at the helm without first acknowledging our roles to aid it to continue. As a result, we have become nothing more than ineffectual whiners barking at the heels of those who we critique for corruption and simultaneously protect from punishment for corruption.
To support these claims, a survey was commissioned by the then new Chief Justice which sought the input of all judges and justices on what was ailing the branch. We filled them out but avoided discussing our own cronyism when at our benches. The Chief Justice told media sources that she read every judge’s comments and, although she declined to make them public, numerous courts provided the media with what their judges had said in their surveys; which again was nothing more than ineffectual whining of what the problem is because one cannot half expose corruption and expect to be taken seriously.
Subsequent to that survey, which revealed widespread dissatisfaction with the AOC; its purported overseer, the Judicial Council; the State Bar and the Commission on Judicial Performance – which shields those judges who shield corruption at the helm and by their peers; the Chief Justice created a Strategic Evaluation Committee tasked with issuing a report that would be, in her words, “the Bible” for reorganizing and downsizing the central bureaucracy with an eye towards greater transparency and accountability of the Council and AOC – but Thank God, not our courtrooms! If you notice, we have no beef at all about the removal of court reporters causing litigants and attorneys to be unable to document some of the pious, horrid and twisted things we say to them from our benches.
These actions did not take place in a vacuum. In fact, it took legislative branch pressure in the form of a scathing audit by the State Auditor of the failed half a billion dollar CCMS project, the introduction of legislation sponsored by the Alliance of California Judges to rein in the out of control spending by central planners, disclosures of pension spikes for the top 30 paid AOC staffers, the uncovering of a telecommuting policy that allowed an AOC lawyer to live and work in Switzerland, the exposure of costly and wasteful maintenance and construction projects, including the now infamous “gum removal” project that cost in excess of $8,000 dollars, the embarrassing disclosure of $200 light bulb replacements and the one-sided “public/private” deal to build a courthouse in Long Beach which has put a halt to at least 11 critical building projects because of its over-the-top long term costs. And by the way, the prior sentence is a single run on of such magnitude that the point of the paragraph is completely lost, i.e. corruption at the helm of the judicial branch does not occur in a vacuum.
Please know that virtually every one of the aforementioned boondoggles would not have been uncovered without the tenacity and courage of the media, legislature, the State Auditor and the Alliance of California Judges. Actually, that is kind of boastful bull shit. Not one of us stood up for employees of the AOC who experienced a wrath of retaliation when they were the first to expose the mass corruption. Not one of us helped them find legal counsel to stop the retaliation and shut down the fraud. Not one of us has spoken out of corruption of the old guard of George, Huffman, McConnell and company when at their benches that is shielded by the Bar, CJP, JC and AOC. In fact, we shield it, too. Ever heard of Richard Fine who spent eighteen months in jail at the hand of one of our peers for exposing LA county was illegally paying the judges? No? Whew! In each instance the new regime has cried foul and refused to take responsibility for its actions – just like we do.
Our leaders, citing the separation of powers, angrily reacted that legislators had no right to demand that former AOC director William Vickrey be fired over his mismanagement of this state’s most costly failed computer project. In fact, the new regime responded by renaming the Judicial Council’s meeting room after this publicly disgraced employee. Also in fact, no one from the public gives a damn what a meeting room is called. The people, for some silly reason, seem to think court buildings and court rooms are there for the purpose of upholding the Constitution. They want integrity in the courts from the top down and the bottom up. As a result of us not addressing the ethics problems in our own court and meeting rooms that carry names we like better, no one takes us seriously of what we have to say about ethics problems at the helm.
In our turf war of which faction should control the branch money, legislators who supported the Alliance backed bill, AB 1208, were accused of being uninformed and dishonest in a video which featured the Chief Justice. The respected State Auditor was also verbally attacked and her character impugned by the chair of the Council’s CCMS Committee, who first pronounced that not all of the Auditor’s recommendations would be implemented and then, within 48 hours, changed course to proclaim that all findings would be acted upon. That same committee chairman was recently praised by name for work he did on CCMS during the Chief Justice’s State of the Judiciary Speech which she gave to a combined session of the State Assembly and Senate. When the Chief Justice received the report from her handpicked Strategic Evaluation Committee, her first response was to tape a video message to AOC staff directing them to point out errors in what can only be described as a devastating indictment of AOC mismanagement and a failure of the Judicial Council to oversee its operations. Wow and Double Wow. Hopefully the Auditors will be investigating us, too, so real ethics can be restored to all levels of the branch for the good of the people.
Obtaining information from the new regime has not only been difficult for the Alliance but has been documented by others, most recently the Chief Justice’s own Strategic Evaluation Committee, the respected State Auditor, and members of the media. However, no one takes real action to overthrow the “new regime” because it would be replaced by us and we, as judges, are unwilling to acknowledge our sordid roles in the demise of ethics of the judicial branch. We just want more control of the money, not that we really give a damn about the Constitution.
Which brings us to the following disturbing actions by us and the same branch leaders who on a regular basis tout transparency and accountability. Over the last year, efforts by the Alliance to obtain public records from the AOC have been routinely ignored, denied, delayed, and in many instances forwarded to the Council’s Chairman of the Rules and Procedure Committee, Justice Harry Hull, where they languish without a response. This is just like we do to litigants who come before our courts and question our unethical acts, that are often shielded by employees of the AOC. In fact, Justice Hull has insisted that any request be sent to him via the United States Postal Service. Perhaps if CCMS had actually worked the good Justice would have been satisfied with email, but alas we will never know – just like the public does not know of the stealth information we share with each other via the Case History section of CCMS. They only get to see the Register of Actions.
How did this occur? That is an excellent question and one we are unable to answer because of a refusal on the part of branch leaders to disclose what apparently was decided behind closed doors and our narcissistic tendencies to deny we have and continue to play a major unethical role in the debacle. One thing we can point to is an apparent complaint by AOC staff that Alliance requests have become “burdensome” or troublesome.” – and that’s the ONLY one thing we will point to. To look in the mirror for contributing to the root of the problem is too difficult for narcissists.
We attach as an example a recent request by retired Los Angeles Superior Court Judge and Alliance member Chuck Horan, along with the response from the AOC which highlights how far our leaders are prepared to go to deny the Alliance relevant and easily retrievable information – just like we do when shielding our fellow compromised judiciaries. As painful as this might be, please take the time to review the entire email exchange that appears below. But please DO NOT go any of the growing number of websites concerning corruption and cronyism in our California courtrooms themselves.
The practice of hiding behind a tortured reading of Rule 10.500 of the Rules of Court, the attorney client privilege, and the catchall that the AOC does not maintain records that are easily retrievable is the very antithesis of “transparency” and “accountability.” as is our avoidance of Judicial Ethics Canons D(1)(2). In fact, it is an assault on the basic notion of open government that as Americans we expect of those who are funded by public dollars. (the prior sentence requires no spoofing to make the point.)
At this point, the Alliance is exploring various options to obtain these public records. We would hope that branch leaders would voluntarily disclose and cooperate with these requests, but if past actions are a predictor of future actions, no changes will be implemented by them or by us.
We will continue to keep you partially updated regarding this issue. We also encourage you to make requests of the central planners for information concerning the expenditure of public funds. Remember, but for the ability to obtain these records we would never have learned the truth about the AOC’s faux hiring freeze and faux furlough policy, the real costs of CCMS, the Long Beach Courthouse debacle or the outrageous maintenance costs and pension spikes, just to name a few. We thank the AOC employees who exposed the corruption to us and the State Auditor; and got thrown under the bus while we stood by and did nothing to help them. (Not really. We never mention them as we hold ourselves out as the saviors of ethics in the judicial branch.)
Alliance of California Judges
BTW, these are fraudulent court documents concealed as such by seven San Diego judges, six Fourth District Division One Appellate Court justices, the State Bar, the Administration of the Courts, the Judicial Council, the Commission on Judicial Performance, the California Supreme Court, the San Diego District Attorney and the FBI. 2010 Remittitur and 2008 Void Judgment
The California legal system has been shielding a massive scientific fraud in public health policy which has killed and maimed thousands of citizens and workers, via their collusive role in These Cases. As soon as these documents are acknowledged as fraudulent thousands of lives will be saved.
And you wonder why no one cares if the judges oust the “new regime” only to replace it with a newer regime. CLEAN YOUR OWN HOUSE, JUDGES, BEFORE YOU ASK FOR HELP TO CLEAN THE BIG HOUSE!
Sharon Noonan Kramer