Wednesday, July 30, 2008

If you

get so fed up with police and judicial misconduct, you write the President with a heartfelt letter mailed to the White House, should then a State's Police encourage druggie felons to attack you at your home so you can be falsely arrested and imprisoned? [more]

[text] of letter mailed out July 29, 2008, from Brattleboro, Vermont

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Is molesting children ok for lawyers?

Did legislators that are most lawyers, given themselves yet more immunity to abuse the public and not account for their rip off of taxpayers?

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To the Connecticut Judiciary Committee Legislators:

Should an Attorney, such as Michael H. Agranoff [more information], be able to lose important paperwork, such as the Attorney/Client agreement, and either not have any files on a client, or refuse to show them, to justify a bill of over $17,000 for defending a client that was attacked on his own property during a robbery attempt, where the client got a year in prison, 3 years probation for using pepper spray to end the attack?

The Statewide Grievance Committee seems to think that Agranoff shouldn't be investigated, and no hearing held, even if he issues them contradicting statements regarding his handling of my money, has lost or can’t produce my legal file, and seems to have committed theft, fraud, or other crimes in his pretense of acting as a real lawyer.

It has come to my attention that the Connecticut Judiciary Committee has given lawyers immunity in child cases with passed legislation. Does that mean a lawyer can rape children they are in charge of, or when representing the family in a case?

Agranoff seemed to owe Judge Jonathan J. Kaplan a favor from what I gathered from what Agranoff told me. Agranoff allegedly had some sort of improper relationship with a female client and faced being disbarred. Agranoff told me how unfair that was, defending his refusal to defend me, while charging me over $17,000 saying that Judge Kaplan had told him he was not allowed to defend me in a criminal case as payback for not being disbarred for improper behavior.

I had tried to have Kaplan removed as judge from Rockville court for bias in civil cases for at least 2 years prior. Should Kaplan then be able to put me in prison in retaliation? Does any of this sound like you might be interested in at least reviewing my trial transcripts to see that the courts and Connecticut attorney act legally, and in the best interest of the public?

[more information on Connecticut injustice]

Thank you,

Steven G. Erickson

[address snipped]

P.S. I am posting the text of this email to you [here]

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Former Connecticut Teacher, Julie Amero, had some porn pop up on a laptop computer. It was beyond her control, yet she faced decades in prison, lost a baby during pregnancy, and is still living a daily nightmare over what passes as "justice" in Connecticut. [more information]

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Federal False Claims Act

Excerpt [from here]:

(b) Knowing and knowingly defined. For purposes of this section, the terms "knowing" and "knowingly" mean that a person, with respect to information--

(1) has actual knowledge of the information;

(2) acts in deliberate ignorance of the truth or falsity of the information; or

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Subject: Deborah Blanchard and Fed False Claims Act

Text: I am posting this letter to you [here]

I wish to get a written apology and retraction of statements in the below dated May 13, 2008, official Judiciary Committee letter signed by Deborah Blanchard, Committee Administrator.

click for larger view

I believe it is intentionally misleading and is meant to slander me and to possibly prevent guilty parties paid with tax dollars from being investigated and indicted for felonies.

Thank you,
Steven G. Erickson

My thoughts:

I contacted Congressman Shays' office regarding the public corruption in the Connecticut Judicial Branch, courts, and Connecticut State Police.

Here are my points regarding the above letter:

I have brought NO legal action. I have not been to a Connecticut court on ANY matter since the criminal railroad job by Judge Kaplan in Rockville.

I have complained and have got NO RESPONSE back regarding any complaints made. I believe no honest investigations have yet taken place.

The Statewide Grievance Committee refused to schedule a hearing even though Atty Michael H. Agranoff did not give me my legal file, did not file a reason or appeal my case, could not explain financial discrepancies, and could not produce or find paperwork INCLUDING the attorney/client agreement where he ASKED ME for a copy of mine as he had lost his! Tell me the lawyer overseeing lawyers in Connecticut is fair!

I complained about Judge Jonathan Kaplan to the Judicial Review Council. They refused to investigate. Tell me judges judging judges is fair!

Atty Gen Blumenthal's Office refused to answer Congressman Simmons letters and calls asking Blumenthal to just read my trial transcripts. Tell me the Attorney General serves the people before his law partners, friends, and others in offices with something to hide!

The Connecticut State Police Internal Affairs Officer, LT Wack refused to take my complaint against his "Friends". Tell me police can police police!

[click here] for evidence and videos

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Sovereign and Judicial Immunity of Judges

There is a raging debate on whether judges should have blanket immunity from prosecution, even for malicious acts. Should a judge be able to stand up from the bench, pull a gun, shoot you dead, and then be immune from prosecution?

Should judges be able to rape, rob, murder, and falsely imprison citizens on their whims? [click here] for a video on the Grand Jury System and the need for a strong one.

July 19, 2008, 11:33PM
Justice Department broadening investigation of Kent
Sale of home and gift reporting being examined

Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle

A Justice Department investigation into the sexual conduct of U.S. District Judge Samuel Kent has expanded to include allegations that he accepted but failed to report gifts and also sold his home in a deal arranged by a lawyer with dozens of cases in his court, Kent's own attorney and other lawyers have confirmed.

The ongoing investigation was launched last year after Kent's former case manager complained that the judge sexually molested her. Since then, several prominent attorneys have been subpoenaed by federal prosecutors to appear before a Houston grand jury involving other allegations of judicial misconduct, according to documents and interviews obtained by the Chronicle.

Months ago, investigators began asking about parties, a 2001 trip to London and meals attorneys had bought for Kent at Galveston restaurants — often on days they did business in his court, lawyers and former co-workers said.

According to Kent's attorney, Dick DeGuerin, they also requested records about a real estate deal in which one of those attorneys, Kurt Arnold, helped persuade his mother to buy Kent's home in the city of Galveston.

Under federal disclosure rules, a federal judge normally is not required to report income earned from the sale of a primary home.

At issue, though, is whether the attorney's assistance would have amounted to a gift or item of value that the judge should have disclosed — or whether the arrangements constituted a criminal conflict of interest, experts on judicial conduct cases said.

Randy Schaffer, a Houston attorney who represents Arnold, said his client violated no laws. He refused comment about the judge's conduct.

"I think this is essentially a situation where a young lawyer has been caught in the crossfire of the government going after Kent," Schaffer said.

The 2006 sale price was $339,500 for the 64-year-old house in the Denver Court neighborhood a few blocks inland from the seawall. The property is valued at $224,090 by the Galveston County Appraisal District. However, appraisals obtained by the buyer and seller were closer to the sale price, DeGuerin and Schaffer said.

Commission savings
Because Arnold found the buyer, Kent negotiated a reduced real estate commission of $5,000, according to DeGuerin and sale documents. That's a savings of $15,370 for Kent compared with the standard 6 percent fee for a typical house sale with two agents.

DeGuerin argued the price was fair and the reduced commission justified, because only Kent used a Realtor and that Realtor didn't find the buyer.

He insists the house deal was legitimate, that Kent always treated all attorneys fairly and the judge has done nothing improper or illegal. He claims the feds are going all out because a federal judge "is a big pelt."

"I think they're trying to find anything that they can, and this should be a dead end," DeGuerin said. Kent repeatedly has refused comment, though he authorized DeGuerin to provide responses and share documents with the Chronicle.

DeGuerin also has called any alleged sexual contact between Kent and his former case manager, Cathy McBroom, "enthusiastically consensual."

McBroom made a formal judicial misconduct complaint in May 2007, alleging that Kent twice improperly touched her under her clothing and made obscene proposals.

Case called 'slam dunk'
Kent received a written reprimand in September for sexual harassment and "inappropriate behavior" from the judicial council of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. He was later reassigned to Houston after serving nearly 18 years as Galveston's lone federal judge.

Meanwhile, McBroom's attorney, Rusty Hardin, formally requested a separate criminal investigation.

In early 2008, investigators, overseen by prosecutor Peter Ainsworth of the Washington, D.C.-based Public Integrity Section, called several court security guards and other federal court employees who knew McBroom to testify before a grand jury. Later, investigators began asking attorneys who practiced in Kent's court about alleged misbehavior and gifts.

Hardin, McBroom's attorney and a former prosecutor, said he is frustrated that it has taken so long to review a sexual molestation case he calls a "slam dunk." He said he does not understand why federal prosecutors seem more interested in gifts and real estate.

Kent's disclosure forms for 2001-2006 show he reported receiving no gifts since 2002.

In 2001, an insurance company reimbursed Kent an unspecified amount for "round trip transportation only" to appear at a London conference.

The same year, Richard Melancon, an attorney friend who had dozens of cases in Kent's court, gave Kent a catered wedding reception the judge valued at $1,000. A few months after the party, Kent's supervising federal judges abruptly reassigned Melancon's cases to another court. Melancon has since retired. It was in 2002 that Kent last reported a gift: a $300 crystal bowl from another attorney.

But in interviews, former court employees and attorneys say that Kent continued to receive expensive lunches and drinks from other lawyer friends.

In recent months, investigators requested documents about the sale of the judge's former Galveston home to the mother of Arnold, according to DeGuerin and court records.

Arnold, who graduated with honors from UT law school, founded his own Houston firm not long after serving as Kent's law clerk in 2002.

Records show Kent put his two-story Galveston home on the market in mid-2006. At first there were no takers.

After Kent reduced the price by $10,000, DeGuerin said, Arnold and another local attorney, Anthony Buzbee, who practiced in Kent's court, both expressed an interest in buying it.

Buzbee and Arnold both served as Kent's former law clerks.

But Buzbee, who also runs a property management company, said that when the judge asked him about it he refused.

"I told him 'No,' in no uncertain terms," Buzbee said. He said the older home in an established Galveston neighborhood did not meet his property investment standards.

"It's not a good rental house. It doesn't have central heat or air," Buzbee said.

Buzbee and another attorney with knowledge about the sale said the judge actively solicited offers from at least three attorneys who practiced in his court at the time.

Kent also sought a legal opinion from his law clerk at the time, Carey D. Worrell, a Harvard law school graduate, on whether any "barriers, ethical or otherwise" would prevent him from selling his house to a lawyer who practiced in his court, according to DeGuerin and the clerk's letter.

Worrell concluded on July 19, 2006, that such a sale was not "expressly prohibited" if the deal was for the "fair market value" and involved Realtors representing both sides.

But she pointed out that the code of conduct for federal judges "contains the only language arguably critical of the contemplated transaction." The canon says, "A judge should avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety in all activities."

A few weeks later, Kent sold the home to Arnold's mother.

At least 10 subpoenaed
DeGuerin said Arnold received no favors in return. Arnold's mother, who lives in Corpus Christi, used the house as rental property. She did not return messages left by the Chronicle.

In previous interviews, Arnold has defended Kent as an intelligent jurist who treated all attorneys fairly.

Tom Fitton, president of the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Judicial Watch, said the sale "has all the hallmarks of something that's not on the up and up. ... A full investigation may exonerate (Kent) — but a full investigation must be done."

In late June, U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr., of New Orleans, was recommended by a national judicial disciplinary body to be considered for impeachment partly because he failed to report gifts or income received from attorneys who practiced before him, records show.

The 5th Circuit judicial council, which oversaw its own investigations of Porteous and Kent last year, has deferred judicial disciplinary action against Kent while the Justice Department's criminal probe continues.

At least 10 attorneys who practiced in Kent's court have been subpoenaed, though several chose to give voluntary statements instead of appear before the grand jury, several attorneys cooperating with the investigation said.

Maritime cases handled
The list included some of Kent's closest associates, including Arnold, Buzbee, and Francis Spagnoletti, another longtime friend of Kent's who accompanied him on his 2001 trip to London. Together, their three firms handled more than half of the 500 maritime cases filed in Kent's court between 2003 and 2007, a Chronicle analysis of federal electronic court records shows.

Buzbee and Spagnoletti "had nothing but good things to say about Sam," DeGuerin said. DeGuerin said he didn't know whether Arnold had testified yet. Spagnoletti did not return phone calls.

Kent has given a voluntary statement to the FBI and is eager to cooperate with prosecutors — but has not been contacted, DeGuerin said.

Staff writer Harvey Rice contributed to this report.

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Stories of police, judicial, attorney, and official misconduct in the State of Connecticut [click here]

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

From the Crime and Federalism blog:

Arrested for Satire?

The below found [here]

First Amendment Right to Call Yourself a Terrorist

How did Fogel v. Collins, No. 06-15395 (9th Cir. June 27, 2008) (opinion) escape the blogosphere's attention?

In Fogel, a 22-year-old Nevada City resident painted his van with some interesting messages:

The words 'I AM A FUCKING SUICIDE BOMBER COMMUNIST TERRORIST!' were painted in block letters on the back of the van above the rear window. On the rear window was painted 'PULL ME OVER! PLEASE, I DARE YA[.]' Below the window in slightly smaller letters was the text 'ALLAH PRAISE THE PATRIOT ACT . . . FUCKING JIHAD ON THE FIRST AMENDMENT! P.S. W.O.M.D. ON BOARD!' A small American flag was attached to the van below the lettering. The rest of the van was decorated with slogans and paintings that had no political or threatening character.

The police officer who saw this van, unlike Barack Obama supporters, had a sense of humor. Id. at *7687 ("[The police officer] concluded that the messages on the van were just 'political satire' and returned to the police station after taking digital photographs of the van.") His supervisor disagreed, ordering the officer to impound the vehicle.

Keep in mind that Fogel had not committed any crimes. He had not been pulled over. Rather, his van was parked in his apartment's parking lot.

After police officers found Fogel in his apartment, they asked him if they could search his van. He consented to a search. No evidence of any crime was found.

Police arrested Fogel, charged him with making terrorist threats. They also impounded his vehicle:

Sergeant Hooker called a private towing company to impound the van. He instructed the company not to release the van until Fogel removed or painted over the writing. Fogel was told he would have to remove or paint over the entire message in order to retrieve his vehicle from the impound lot.

Id. at *7689. Fogel sued.

The Ninth Circuit held that the messages on his van were protected political satire. The panel noted: "When we take into account the entire context of Fogel's statements on the van, it is hard to see how any reasonable observer would have believed the statements were serious expressions of an intent to cause harm." Id. at *7695.

Yet, amazingly, the panel holds that the police officers were entitled to qualified immunity. How?

If a court wants to grant qualified immunity, makes it seem as though liability may be imposed only if there has been a case with identical set of facts. Thus, the court noted:

[I]n no case had a court held on identical or closely comparable facts that the speech was protected by the First Amendment. That is, in May 2004, when the officers acted, there was no reported case in which a person in the post-September 11 environment satirically proclaimed himself or herself to be a terrorist in possession of weapons of mass destruction.

Id. at *7699. There is, however, a long line of cases protecting satire. There is also a long line of cases holding that one cannot be arrested for non-threatening speech. Indeed, the panel spent several pages explicating those cases! See id. at *7791-97.

Are police officers so stupid that they can't apply a general rule ("You can't arrest someone for satire") to a specific set of circumstances (messages on a van)? Or is it that, when it comes to letting police officers escape liability for unconstitutional conduct, where there's a will, there's a way?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Nepotism and Cronyism Central

[previous post] where the cat is out of the bag on the Connecticut Judiciary with comments in a newspaper forum showing up, and then, for some reason, getting deleted ...

[click here] for the possible solution to the Connecticut public corruption in all 3 branches of government:

Connecticut Constitution Convention Campaign

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State's Probate Court Administrator Submits Resignation

July 15, 2008

Probate court administrator James J. Lawlor, who has been locked in trench warfare with the state's small-town probate judges for years, has lost his battle.

He submitted his resignation Monday in a heavily detailed, five-page letter that outlined his attempts to reform the state's 117 probate courts, which have been targets of criticism for their cronyism and uneven performance.

Lawlor, 65, made numerous enemies among the elected judges because he tried to enact sweeping reforms that included more rigorous training for judges and staff, more financial auditing, additional oversight from the central office, and consolidation that could have cost some judges their jobs.

State officials who spoke on an agreement of anonymity said Lawlor had been forced out of his job, which pays nearly $150,000 a year. One state official who saw Lawlor over the weekend said, "He looked like he got punched in the gut."

Lawlor declined to discuss the details behind his departure. "I've always recognized the fact that I'm temporary," he said Monday. "It's not a permanent job."

Lawlor's sudden departure stunned legislators as word spread over the weekend and into Monday.

"He has been playing the honest broker, moving in the direction of reform," said state Rep. Michael Lawlor, D-East Haven, the longtime co-chairman of the judiciary committee. "He was one of the guys trying to make changes. I thought he was doing a very good job."

In a highly independent and decentralized system, local probate judges worked for years with virtually no supervision. When James Lawlor, a former probate judge in Waterbury, tried to impose reforms from the central office during the past six years, the judges fought back.

Though most of the judges are lawyers, some in the small towns are not. There is also no requirement that the judges work full time — setting up a system in which big-city probate judges are lawyers who work long hours and small-town judges have other occupations and might only work a few hours a week.

Although the judiciary committee has passed some bills seeking reform, Rep. Lawlor said, "Each and every one has been like pulling teeth."

Judge Lawlor submitted his resignation, which is effective Oct. 1, to Chase T. Rogers, the chief justice of the state Supreme Court who oversees the administration of the entire judicial branch. Rogers declined to comment when reached at her home Monday night.

Gov. M. Jodi Rell's legal counsel, Anna Ficeto, said the governor's office "had no knowledge" of Lawlor's impending resignation until it called the judicial branch after a reporter's inquiry. "It came as a surprise to us," Ficeto said.

Joseph Secola, a Republican probate judge who represents Brookfield — Rell's hometown — has been a chief critic. For years, Secola has rallied a group of small-town probate judges to fight Lawlor's attempts at court consolidation.

Reached Monday, Secola expressed surprise — but little regret — about the judge's departure. "I'm looking forward to a fresh start," he said.

Meanwhile, New Haven Probate Judge Jack Keyes said, "I'm heartbroken. He was the best to work for."

A Waterbury Democrat, Lawlor ran for the U.S. Congress in the Fifth Congressional District in 1992 and lost in a three-way race against Republican Gary A. Franks and third-party candidate Lynn Taborsak. A social conservative, Lawlor had won the Democratic primary against Taborsak, then a liberal state legislator.

For more than a century, the probate system has sustained itself on fees charged to estates and to those who use the courts. But with a rise in health care costs and demands from cases involving children, the mentally ill and others who don't bring in much money, the system is expected to require outside funding within two years. A group of probate judges is currently meeting, at Lawlor's request, to come up with a plan for cutting costs. Even the small-town judges concede that financial pressure will force some of the state's 117 courts to close.

It is not clear who will be tapped to replace Lawlor. By law, it must be a sitting probate judge. Another question is whether the reforms he instituted will continue. Going forward, funding of the children's courts could be a problem. With the system running out of money, the state has stepped in to foot the bill.

"He's been vilified by some of my colleagues, but not by me," said Democrat Bob Killian, the longtime Hartford probate judge. "He's tackled things that no one dared to even think about, for years. That's not about to win you any Miss Congeniality awards."

Jeanne Milstein, the state's child advocate, said she hopes the children's courts survive.

"The focused expertise better assures appropriate and early intervention in each child's life," she said Monday. "I have seen too many children whose needs are not identified early, and, as a result, end up in the child welfare, juvenile justice and/or mental health systems."

Rep. Lawlor said he is looking for improvements in the future in the courts.

"It reminds me of the county sheriff system — something that was an anachronism and all these mini-scandals came up," Lawlor said. "It's certainly something that needs reform."

Contact Christopher Keating at

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This blogger's email:

[click here] and scroll down for my comment in a Connecticut news and politics forum on a form of "Green Public Transportation" and the deterioration of the Connecticut judicial system

Rove should be held in contempt of Congress

Why shouldn't Karl Rove be arrested, hauled away in handcuffs, fingerprinted, have his mugshot taken, and face getting bailed out of jail?

Rove defends defiance of congressional subpoena


BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — Former White House adviser Karl Rove on Monday defended his defiance of a congressional subpoena, saying he's offered lawmakers other ways to question him about allegations of political pressure at the Justice Department.

In five letters to the House Judiciary Committee, "my lawyer has offered for me to go up to visit with members of Congress, visit with the staff or respond to written questions without foreclosing any future action by Congress," Rove said.

Rove, now a Fox News contributor, was responding to questions from Television Critics Association members during a Fox News panel session.

John Moody, Fox News executive vice president, was asked if it undercuts the channel's credibility to have someone with Rove's "political baggage" in its lineup.

"No," Moody replied, calling the former Bush adviser an authority on politics and adding that the current difference of opinion with Congress is between Rove and lawmakers.

But when a reporter tried to press the point with Moody, Rove jumped in to dispute characterization of the dispute as personal.

"It's not between me and Congress. I've not asserted any personal privilege. This is between the White House and Congress," Rove said.

The issue centers on "the ability of the president to receive advice from senior advisers and for those senior advisers not to be at the beck-and-call of Congress for testimony," Rove said.

Lawmakers subpoenaed Rove in May to force him to talk about whether he played a role in prosecutors' decisions to pursue cases against Democrats, such as former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman, or in firing federal prosecutors considered disloyal to the Bush administration.

Rove has said previously he is bound to follow the White House's guidance, although he has offered to answer questions specifically on the Siegelman case — but only with no transcript taken and not under oath.

After Rove failed to appear Thursday, the Democratic chairman of a House subcommittee ruled that Rove was breaking the law by refusing to cooperate. It was perhaps the first step toward holding him in contempt of Congress.

The White House has cited executive privilege as a reason he and others who serve or served in the administration shouldn't testify, arguing that internal administration communications are confidential and that Congress cannot compel officials to testify.

A decision on whether to pursue contempt charges now goes to the full Judiciary Committee and ultimately to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The above copyrighted article from the Associated Press [found here]

Monday, July 14, 2008

Catherine Crier, impressive person in the legal and journalism fields

Why is corporate media bad, and why is Independent Media good?

[videos and more]

Sunday, July 13, 2008

A video that shows typical American Attorney Misconduct

[click here] for links that go with above video

Infighting can show how poorly a state is run

Monitor Of DCF Sues Ex-Officials Over Own Case

By JON LENDER | Courant Staff Writer
July 13, 2008

For two years, the [Connecticut] Department of Children and Families has operated under a bizarre governmental quirk: Its compliance with a federal court order has been policed by an official fired by the DCF in 2006 for having sex in the 1980s with a woman he met as a social worker.

Last week, the situation turned even messier.

Raymond Mancuso — whom the state pays $150,000 a year as the U.S. District Court-appointed federal "monitor" of DCF's child-protection practices — filed a federal lawsuit last week against present and former state officials over his 2006 firing.

Mancuso's lawsuit bares previously unpublished allegations about his relationship 23 years ago. Among them are claims by the woman, referred to as "Jane Doe," that he coerced her into sex and installed video equipment to monitor her at home.

His lawyer denied those allegations and cited official reports of her mental illness, years after the one-time sexual encounter that occurred when the two were single and in their 20s.

"Two mental health professionals opined that Doe has been likely fabricating allegations about Mancuso," his attorney, Thomas G. Moukawsher, said in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit has brought renewed calls for Mancuso's removal as monitor, based on the claim that it's a conflict of interest for him to oversee the agency that fired him — and whose former officials he now is suing.

In interviews with The Courant on Friday, Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and State Child Advocate Jeanne Milstein reaffirmed a written request they made two years ago for Senior U.S. District Judge Alan H. Nevas to oust Mancuso as monitor.

Nevas did not return a call from The Courant.

Mancuso had risen within the department ranks since his 1980s job as a case worker; he was installed in 2005 as the federal court monitor. The monitor evaluates and files periodic reports on DCF's compliance with standards to which the department agreed in a consent decree to settle a lawsuit on behalf of abused and neglected children.

Although Mancuso was fired as a state DCF official in July 2006, Nevas left him in the federal monitor's job.

Sources said that Nevas had been awaiting the outcome of Mancuso's administrative appeal of his firing. But that has stretched out for two years and appears far from over.

"The point I made when we asked for his removal in 2006 was that his termination by the DCF created a conflict of interest — insofar as he was overseeing as court monitor the very agency that terminated him," Blumenthal said.

He added that although "anyone has a right to file a lawsuit," Mancuso's suit against former DCF officials "could heighten the appearance of conflicting interests."

Moukawsher said Blumenthal and Milstein "should remember that, in America, to be accused of something is not to be convicted of something. While the wheels of justice turn slowly, they still turn."

Mancuso's lawsuit names three defendants: former DCF Commissioner Darlene Dunbar, who fired him in 2006; her predecessor, Kristine Ragaglia, now Kristine Williams after a divorce; and Frederick Heisler, a state labor relations officer who rejected the grievance Mancuso filed over the firing.

Mancuso seeks unspecified damages, a declaration that his firing was illegal and the restoration of lost pension benefits. He wants a judge to bar Heisler from prosecuting the case for the firing at the next administrative appeal level: the Employees' Review Board.

Dunbar, the former DCF commissioner, also had asked Nevas to dump Mancuso as court monitor in 2006. The department's current commissioner, Susan Hamilton, did not comment Friday.

Mancuso's lawsuit claims that the sexual relationship between him and "Jane Doe" did not violate departmental ethics rules.

They both lived in Enfield in the mid-1980s when he went to her home as a DCF social worker to investigate if she was neglecting her child. He determined she wasn't and considered the case closed, the suit says. Their friendship developed several months later when they bumped into each other in town, and "one day they had a physical encounter," the suit says.

His supervisor at the time investigated the friendship after a local social-work volunteer questioned it. Jane Doe "refused to confirm" allegations of an improper relationship, the supervisor, Thomas P. Gilman, wrote at the time, and Mancuso denied wrongdoing. "Please be advised that my inquiry is finished resulting in your complete exoneration," Gilman wrote, according to the suit.

DCF rules say that agency personnel must not engage in close relationships with clients. Because the DCF did not intervene after Mancuso visited and evaluated Jane Doe's situation, she was never a client, Moukawsher said.

Mancuso "heard nothing of the issue again for over 20 years," the suit says. Then, in December 2005, not long after he had become court monitor, Mancuso was informed that the old relationship had arisen again because of a complaint by an anonymous "whistle-blower." Blumenthal and Milstein were investigating the complaint, and after they contacted DCF, Dunbar launched her own internal inquiry.

As the new DCF probe progressed, the suit says, "Mancuso was shocked" to learn that back in 1997, then-commissioner Ragaglia also had investigated a whistle-blower complaint about the relationship but never told him.

He received a 1997 document from Dunbar's office showing that a decade after their relationship, "sadly, Doe now claimed a very different version of the events" — including that he planted "video cameras in her home" and threatened that a politically powerful relative would "take her child away if she did not cooperate," the suit says.

In May 2006, Blumenthal and Ragaglia told Nevas in a letter that during Dunbar's new DCF probe, "Mancuso acknowledged having had sexual relations on one occasion with a parent of [a] child who received services as a result of DCF intervention." They said it "calls into question his ability to continue as court monitor."

The DCF probe led to Mancuso's July 2006 dismissal from the state agency, but not the federal monitor's post.

Contact Jon Lender at

Thursday, July 10, 2008

What are they really saying?

the below [found here]

AG Mukasey Hints at Revision of McNulty Memo, Spars With Senators at Hearing

Pedro Ruz Gutierrez
Legal Times
July 10, 2008

Wednesday morning's oversight hearing of the Justice Department by the Senate Judiciary Committee got off to a contentious start between Attorney General Michael Mukasey and the committee's top senators.

And then Mukasey dropped the bombshell: The so-called McNulty memorandum may be revised and is likely to be replaced by a new set of guidelines for the handling of attorney-client privilege in corporate fraud investigations.

Responding to Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., the ranking minority member, Mukasey revealed that Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip is drafting a letter to Specter addressing "real significant proposed changes" that could replace the policy named after former Deputy Attorney General Paul McNulty.

"There's no such as thing as a memo that achieves perfection. ... There are adjustments in the McNulty memo that can and will be made," Mukasey said. "In particular, we will no longer measure cooperation by waiver of the attorney-client privilege."

Mukasey said Filip's letter can be used to discuss changes "that may very well produce a memorandum in short order."

Specter, the lead sponsor of a bill in the Senate to modify the McNulty guidelines, had asked Mukasey what justified "coercing a waiver of the attorney-client privilege" and whether legislation is necessary.

The McNulty memo, which addresses how prosecutors should treat suspected corporate wrongdoers and their invocation of the privilege, is one of several in a succession of Justice directives that have been criticized as far-reaching and unfair to corporations.

Last month, Mukasey hinted that the memo could be tweaked.

Earlier Wednesday, at the outset of the question and answer session, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., the committee's chairman, accused Mukasey of failing to keep his promise, made last fall, to review all controversial legal opinions by the department's Office of Legal Counsel issued in recent years.

"Why have you done that?" Leahy asked bluntly.

"Respectfully, I don't think I’ve gone back on my word," Mukasey said. Mukasey went on to say that he has reviewed "all significant OLC memos," some of which have been made available to the judiciary and intelligence panels in Congress.

Leahy quickly interjected: "I beg to differ with you a little bit. ... Simply reviewing the current [opinions], I don't think is enough." Leahy explained that revisiting past legal memos on executive powers would help the committee.

"I can't make a commitment to open up drawers of OLC and make them available to this committee," Mukasey shot back.

Leahy next suggested Mukasey make a list available of the memos he chose not to review. The attorney general was not swayed: "For me to give an index of all OLC memos, I don't know that it would serve anybody's interests."

Frustrated, Leahy ended his questioning: "Your answer is, 'No.'"

Mukasey responded: "My answer is qualified."

First reported in The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times

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Is former US Attorney General John Ashcroft, for sale, to any corporate raider's bidding? [more]

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

What is the real, behind the scenes, story?

U.S. Attorney Patrick Meehan Announces Resignation

U.S. Attorney Patrick L. Meehan, who as chief prosecutor for southeastern Pennsylvania cracked down on government corruption in Philadelphia, announced his resignation on Monday.

Meehan, named by President Bush as chief prosecutor for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania nearly seven years ago, didn't immediately reveal the reason for his departure. He scheduled a news conference for Monday afternoon.

The Republican has been mentioned as a possible candidate for governor in 2010.

Meehan was sworn into his current post in 2001, only six days after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. He oversees an office of some 200 lawyers who handle all the civil and criminal federal cases in Philadelphia and eight other southeastern Pennsylvania counties.

Meehan's tenure saw more than a dozen convictions stemming from a federal probe that became public when police discovered an FBI bug in then-Mayor John F. Street's office in October 2003. Street was never charged, but several confidants and the city treasurer were put away.

Meehan's office is also prosecuting one of the state Senate's most powerful figures, outgoing Democratic Sen. Vincent Fumo.

His office has named among its priorities the protection of children from online predators and the elderly from substandard nursing homes and predatory lenders. Other initiatives have include prosecuting identity theft and cracking down on gang activity.

Meehan was elected Delaware County district attorney in 1995.

A month into his tenure there, he was thrust into the prosecution of high-profile murder suspect John DuPont. Heir to his family's chemical fortune, DuPont was convicted of the 1996 shooting death of Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler David Schultz.

Meehan received his undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College, where he was a hockey standout, and was a National Hockey League on-ice official for several years.

He graduated from Temple University law school. Before becoming a prosecutor, he worked as a corporate lawyer and an aide to U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa.

He ran high-profile statewide election campaigns including Specter's 1992 Senate win and U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum's upset victory in 1994.

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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What about prosecuting Bush? [more]

Sunday, July 06, 2008

What the doctor needs to order?

Judicial corruption has adversely colored our lives for many decades, yet many of those afflicted continue to pursue judicial remedies, notwithstanding such understood corruption. Because it is no longer accordingly possible to realize redress in our national courts, Richard Hettler [above photo] of Minneapolis, Minnesota has drafted a Private Attorney General Bill which essentially allows private citizens to sue the Government, based on malfeasance and more often than not criminal misconduct by government employees, including judges.

On 11 July, 2008, the following US House members were served with relevant documentation in support of Hettler’s Private Attorney General Bill; that is, Congressman Chris Cannon, Congressman Howard Coble, Congressman John Conyers, Congressman Keith Ellison, Congressman Dennis Kucinich, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congressman Bobby Scott, Congressman Lamar Smith, Congressman James Sensenbrenner, and Congressman Henry Waxman. In the Senate, U.S. Senators Norm Coleman, Chuck Grassley, Patrick Leahy, Bill Nelson, and Arlen Specter were contemporaneously served.

This Private Attorney General Bill would supplement existing legislation now before both houses of Congress on evidence furnished Congress by Hettler in April. 2006; specifically, HR 785, and S461, and would allow for damages denied those who have been victimized by various and numerous offending judges.

Mr. Hettler may be reached at

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Grand Juries and why we need them, explained:

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Employers use federal law to deny benefits

[click here for more]

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This is only more proof that government and court judgments are for sale to the highest bidder.

Former Attorney General John Ashcroft "offers" his services to the the highest bidder as an insider lobbyist. [more]

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The History of Public Corruption in Connecticut [more]

Friday, July 04, 2008

Justice for Profit

Actions Of Probate Judge's Law Partner Prompt Ethics Complaint

A lawyer trying to drum up business for his law firm online recently touted the fact that his firm includes a Connecticut probate judge, a statement that has prompted an ethics complaint with the state.

A real estate investment firm looking for property to buy in probate courts in Connecticut, New York and New Jersey recently posted an ad on a professional networking site looking for probate attorneys.

Micky Fox, a law partner of Brookfield Probate Judge Joseph Secola, responded to the site's ad with the posting: "My partner, Joseph Secola is not only a Probate Judge in Brookfield, CT, but ihe (sic) is also licensed in New York."

Connecticut has 117 probate judges who sit part time and, in most cases, hold outside jobs. For decades, reformers have tried to consolidate the courts to make the positions full time, eliminating the temptation for judges to use their elected office to benefit their practice. So far, the judges have managed to keep the system intact.

Reached Thursday, Secola called the posting a "complete and total mistake" and said his partner, Fox, should have checked with him first.

"He doesn't understand the ethical restrictions I'm under," Secola said. "I don't even put on my letterhead that I'm a probate judge."

Probate Court Administrator James Lawlor said he forwarded the complaint to an ethics committee made up of probate judges. Last year, a Southington probate judge was publicly reprimanded for buying real estate that passed through his court. Since then, rules have been tightened to prohibit such actions.

Contact Kim Martineau at

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[click here] for Probate Injustice Returns

[click here] for my thoughts on Freedom and the 4th of July

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The US Atty firing scandal


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

In by email:











The right (of petition) embraces dissent, and "would seem unnecessary to be expressly provided for in a republican government, since it results from the very nature and structure of its institutions. It is impossible that it could be practically denied until the spirit of liberty had wholly disappeared and the people had become so servile and debased as to be unfit to exercise any of the privileges of freemen." "[D]eprivation of it would at once be felt by every freeman as a degradation. (2)

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On September 2nd we will Rally for Freedom and Constitutional Law in Minnesota across the river from the GOP presidential national convention.

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