Crystal Gavel Nominee: AOC Employee Michael Paul

My latest nominee for the AOC’s Crystal Gavel Award is one who might not even have come to notice if it weren’t for the fact that he stood up for what he believed was right. A person who currently works for the AOC and yet felt so strongly about coming forward to reveal a bureaucratic frack up on the AOC’s part that he did so knowing he would be facing the wrath of the AOC and its supporters. That person is one Michael Paul. And the frack up he revealed was the AOC’s complete incompetence in double checking that the vendors it contracted to maintain the courthouses in this state were properly licensed .

As of the writing of this post the AOC has now filed suit against Aleut Global Solutions LLC and Jacobs Facilities Inc. According to the Daily Journal in court filings the AOC claimed that both companies had breached a three-year-old contract that the companies had with the AOC. The Daily Journal referred to the complaint the AOC filed which stated that the AOC was seeking “disgorgement of ‘all compensation paid to them by the Judicial Council,’ a sum totaling more than $14.5 million over the life of the contract, an Administrative Office of the Courts spokesman said Thursday.” To make matters worse, it would appear that some within the AOC knew that the companies may not have been properly licensed and yet continued to issue work to the companies over a period of three years.

As I also said in my post about the Followers of Themis, whom I also nominated for the Crystal Gavel, none of what we now know about the incompetence on the part of the AOC to manage not only the affairs of the courts of this state but its own affairs would never have come to light if it weren’t for people like Michal Paul. Even with the knowledge that he may not be protected by current whistleblower laws Mr. Paul has nevertheless stepped forward to blow the whistle on this expensive bureaucratic frack up.

Two legislators are already stepping forward seeking to introduce legislation next year that will protect AOC employees like Mr. Paul. I sincerely hope that this legislation comes soon for the sake of other AOC employees who may be waiting in the wings to come forward with more information about the AOC’s mismanagement but are fearful of reprisal. A fear that Mr. Paul has obviously overcome.

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56 responses to “Crystal Gavel Nominee: AOC Employee Michael Paul

  1. Thank you Mr. Paul –

  2. Yes, THANK YOU, Mr. Paul! Your courage and willingness to come forward is deeply appreciated by those who know how difficult it is to do so in an organization like the AOC. It will also benefit the branch in the long run – it will take time to turn things around, but your coming forward is especially critical to this cause. Mr. Paul, I wish you the best.

  3. I can only imagine how difficult this has been for you, Michael. (Yes, I’m addressing you by your first name only!) Beating your head against the wall of denial for SO MANY MONTHS, and the personal struggles along the way in your attempt to do the right thing….to be heard…and the accompanying hope you had that matters would be resolved internally in good faith, and to have that hope shattered…..

    THANK YOU MICHAEL! I am grateful for the risk you has taken and the price you have paid, and I’m in complete awe at your strength, courage and sharp mind.

    I am also eternally grateful to AOC Watcher (nope, I’m not going to refer to you by first name alone! lol), and the many contributors looking for the truth, both here in this blog and otherwise. While I realize there is a long haul ahead, without each and every one of you, I would have lost all hope for positive change in our judiciary branch. AGAIN, THANK YOU TO EVERYONE!

  4. Michael Paul

    Thank you for the nomination. While Pubic contract code is being violated from stem-to-stern, and all of the behaviour I have documented is felonious behavior, this all amounts to state law.

    According to a letter from the Attorney General’s office, the State Attorney General has no jurisdiction over the Judicial Branch.

    So while I and others in the AOC have strong convictions regarding complying with the law and ensuring that the taxpayers get the best value for their dollar, there is no one to enforce those laws and there is no one in the AOC willing to enforce those laws.

    While I thank you for the Crystal Gavel Nomination I’ve accomplished nothing to deserve it except express an opinion.

    • Michael-I think you have accomplished something. You have placed the AOC on notice, and if nothing else happens, there will be managers and senior staff that are more careful in carrying out their duties.

      Do you think that before the AG was contacted, one of the judges that posts regularly on this website could have told you that the AG had no jurisdiction over this matter? Surely, one of them should have known the appropriate authority to contact.

  5. Claire Voyant

    These issues get very complicated for the state, but they do have a way of working themselves out. At some point, the Chief Justice may have to oust people that are harming the branch. But only if he wakes up and prevents repeating the past:

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2002/05/03/MN172191.DTL&type=printable

    • Do people realize the Attorney General is running for Governor, and the Chief is up for retention, in November 2010? Do either of these gentlemen want scandal in 2010? I would think not. Most would like to see one of you man up, and take charge.

      If neither of you is willing to do so, you can expect the Legislature of the current Governor will. They still have powers to act and enforce, and they will if it is politically advantageous.

      • Sorry, I meant to say”you can expect the Legislature OR the current Governor will.” Schwarzenegger is friends with the Chief, probably friends too with “Deloitte Consulting,” but he is leaving office and will cut the cord fast.

  6. Please consider what follows a lawful report to government officials – as I know that judges, court executives, legislators and legislative aides and even AOC management reads this blog on a regular basis.

    I am reporting an ongoing crime against the people of the State of California and am blowing the whistle yet again -and for the last time- in the hope that the reader and everyone else bring about the necessary change to stop the activity I am about to describe.

    When the AOC continues business as usual with respect to not putting public works contracts whose value is in excess of $25,000.00 out to public bid in violation of public contract code and that the only mechanism available to me is to report this to the “confidential fraud, waste and abuse coordinator” who reports to those who wrote and approved these contracts, I can hardly see how I did anything more than put the public on notice of this ongoing activity and piss everyone at the AOC off – and that this post is just going to add more gasoline to the fire.

    AGS, the unlicensed contractor is taking a $25000.00 job (for example) and is breaking it up in increments of $500.00 with the assistance of OCCM-FMU and this is how they continue to do their work. I wouldn’t doubt that other work is being broken up in increments less than $25, 000 as to avoid competitive bidding requirements.

    The prescribed penalty for failing to put public works contracts over $25,000.00 to public bid, if I read public contract code correctly is a felony punishable by time in state prison and possible restitution amounting to two times the value of the contract for all involved.

    There are additional penalties for not observing public works laws, such as audited payrolls, prevailing wage laws and the like.

    The AOC has apparently exempted itself from public contract code and public works law with respect to anything between any existing 4 walls. Where “new courthouse construction” is clean anything that exists between any 4 walls isn’t.

    It comes with sky-high percentage-based management fees and performance-based bonuses – items one would never see on a bona-fide public works project put out to bid.

    There is no incentive whatsoever to be the low bidder because you have a captive customer that won’t be putting this work out to bid and putting this work out to public bid would erode your management fees – and associated bonuses.

    Most everyone in the rank and file at the AOC is utterly powerless to do anything about this and those who have the power to intervene won’t.

    The Deputy Attorney General filing suit represents the will and desires of the AOC exclusively according to his email to me and is only filing suit on behalf of the AOC based on their instructions without consideration to the larger implications.

    I blew the whistle on this on July 24th 2009 and was astonished by the (lack of apparent) investigation that was taking place.

    On October 8, 2009. After watching job after overpriced job being steered to two unlicensed contractors, I suggested that if the AOC were to take no action in this matter, the two law firms that represent me would file a qui tam action on behalf of the People of the State of California.

    The AOC’s first act was to attempt to disqualify me as a potential qui-tam litigant by assigning the unlicensed contractor “Team Jacobs” to my datacenter remodeling project at a price of more than 110 grand higher than internal cost estimates of 80 grand and those I obtained from a licensed contractor, Cupertino Electric.

    If I had approved this, I would have been complicit in the commission of the very behavior I was seeking to stop – the unlawful steering of overpriced contracts to unlicensed entities – and would be instantly disqualified from pursuing the matter further.

    The action of filing an AG suit for a small fraction of what could be recovered was a result of that October 8th e-mail and would negate my or anyone else’s ability to move forward on a qui-tam action.

    Judges that post to this board cannot give anyone, most especially me, a well represented potential litigant legal advice and they have properly refrained from doing so.

    However, it is important that everyone note the structure of the current IAD department “and the confidential fraud, waste and abuse coordinator” and how he reports to those in charge of these contracts, which goes a long way in explaining how whistle blowers have usually been terminated, how an investigation is likely to progress and how enforcement is and has been non-existent.

    According to the Attorney General’s public information office, the appropriate authority is the Human Resources Department of the AOC.

    This would be the same Human Resources department where Attorney Paula Negley worked and was terminated from after turning over allegedly confidential documents by the order of a federal judge as a matter of discovery and where over 50 people have been fired in the last 3 years – many of them for calling out improprieties within the AOC.

    I stand in a unique position.

    One, my many predecessors have already paid a steep price.

    Two, unlike those who have kids, mortgages and car payments and are wholly reliant on their AOC paycheck or AOC retirement, while the AOC retirement and benefits are very attractive, I have no such reliance on my pay, benefits or my retirement.

    It is a nicety.

    I serve as a public servant because I have uniquely specialized skills that could rarely be filled by the job description I was hired for. I cherish the work I do for the people of the State of California and the California Court system.

    I blew the whistle because I own a media group and can afford to blow the whistle and consider this post as me blowing the whistle again – hard, loud and to anyone that will listen – and for the last time.

    I wish to express in advance, that I enjoy the work that I do as a public servant and that I would wish to continue to do that work in the courts or on behalf of the people of the State of California should any change in that employment occur within the AOC.

    If we go by the face of the AG lawsuit, I have been the sole reason that the State of California will recover over 400 years of my pay – minimum.

    If working for the State of California or the Courts is not in the cards, I can easily return to being a hired gun and doing what I do at two to three times the income the AOC pays me.

    I have always enjoyed executing on IT projects for the AOC and the trial courts and have successfully brought derailed projects back on track and have a solid reputation for doing so.

    My allegations of price-gouging to this day, go unanswered by the AOC. There is a reason for this – and the reason is that they are entirely true.

    At this time, my whistle blowing days are done.

    You have all be put on notice and how those who have more power to act than me – and if you will act at all, is entirely up to you.

    As per verbal instructions issued to me, I am and have ended my investigation.

    However, because there are still concerned parties involved that are aware of the unique position I am in that they are not in, they continue to report to me about these things believing they will be fired for going to the “confidential fraud, waste and abuse coordinator”

    Please, everyone have a happy and safe 2010 and if you ever get around to changing the laws to protect those people and move both the whistle blowing and investigative body outside of the AOC, I suggest that you move towards such legislation without further delay.

    Sincerely,

    Michael Paul, MCSE/MCITP
    IS-TSG | IT Facilities Design & Systems Integration
    Judicial Council of California
    Administrative Office of the Courts
    office: 415-865-4073
    personal cell
    (available 24×7)
    510-684-8706

    “Serving the courts for the benefit of all Californians”

  7. Michael – it is unfortunate that the courts, Chief Justice, Judicial Council, the fourth branch, and other states must learn about the AOC via an anonymous blog. But I can assure you that we are watching and listening.

    Take good care.

  8. *correction – over 50 people have been fired or compelled to quit or retire.

    The post above does not represent the official views of the AOC. My name and title is provided as a guide towards what I do and where I work and how I might have personal knowledge of these events. I

    t is in no way a statement of representation of the Administrative Office of the Courts and should not be construed as such.

  9. Michael, I hope you provided this information to your representatives in the legislature (and the press). You are right, it appears legislation must be enacted in order for the branch to have any oversight. Perhaps a state level grand jury?

    While I don’t like the idea per se of another branch overseeing the judicial branch, there must be some mechanism to oversee it when claims or accusations of felonioius actions by the AOC are brought to the fore. Isn’t the CJ subject to the Commission on Judicial Performance like other elected judges? Could that be the place to take these claims? After all, many judges have been disiplined or removed from the bench for their conduct. I can’t understand either how the AG can claim no jurisdiction over the branch, when that office has prosecuted judges for felonious acts (for example Judge Trammell in LA in the 1990’s). So what is up with that? Nor can I believe that NO ONE has jurisdiction over a non elected administration of state branch employees, such as the AOC, running amok. If it is the CJ then sounds like CJP better get on board.

    Anyway, good luck to you Michael and thank your for your bravery and dedication to public service.

  10. PS CJs in other states have been removed for much less.
    Also, Michael where is the state contractor’s licensing board on all of this? Thank you

    • Michael Paul

      I was directed to an online form to report the unlicensed activitity. However, the CSLB does not have jurisdiction over public works, yet Business & Professions Code 7028.15 allows them to cite any public official between $200.00 and $15,000.00 for each individual offense of using an unlicensed contractor.

      Unfortunately, the online form does not appear to permit me to file such a complaint, nor does the CSLB have any jurisdiction over public works – and then you have the minor issue of the CSLB being an executive branch agency – which in theory paralyzes them from issuing these citations.

      This is an incredibly unique situation where the AOC appears to be above and immune to all existing public laws – something I gather no one ever thought about when SB 1732 or SB 1407 was passed or trial court unification was passed.

      Who would have ever even considered that the Judicial Branch would have any complicity in events such as this?

      • Claire Voyant

        Michael – I do not think that the AOC is above the law, nor do I think people on the bench share such a view. You may be the first (but not the last) to hold those who have broken the law accountable. And if you are not finding any assistance from state entities, I would suggest that you contact federal authorities, who have complete jurisdiction to investigate potential wrongdoing at the AOC. They may think they are important, but the AOC is nothing but a poorly run lemonade stand in the world of national government.

      • Michael Paul

        Here is the issue with that Claire Voyant and maybe some law clerks can pound away at these questions, maybe some court people know of federal funds or grants that might have been applied to any of these projects – because that is one cause of action for federal involvement.

        I have already conducted a thorough debriefing with the FBI. By definition, unless federal funds were used in any part of these unlicensed contractors ongoing activity (and I have only put my finger on one such project – and there may be pass-through rebates of federal grants and funding that I am trying to research) then what is being done is against state – and not federal – laws.

        Their interest appears to be limited to that one project at this time and it is an incredibly limited interest.

        Alternatively, unless someone is on the take and I can show the FBI that this is the case, then this is largely a state matter. I think I read somewhere above about the untouchable 4th branch of government.

        I reckon that’s an accurate analysis.

        The easiest way for these matters to go away is to do what the AOC has been doing since Bill Vickery first broke the news to Judicial Council Members, Executive Officers and PJ’s and it went public after that.

        Just don’t talk about it and just don’t address these important issues in the hope that either they – or I – go away.

        Standard M.O. –

        To use the words of AOC Watcher you are more likely to see Unicorns tomorrow.

  11. Michael Paul

    My two legislators, The Honorable Mary Hayashi and the Honorable Senator Ellen Corbett both stand in unique positions to act.

    1. The Honorable Senator Ellen Corbett, my state senator sits on the Judicial Council of California and is the head of the Senate Judiciary Committee. Her office is closely watching these events.

    2. The Honorable Assemblyperson Mary Hayashi, whose husband Dennis Hayashi is an Alameda County Judge, is a legislative advisor to the State Public Works Board and her office is also closely watching these events.

    It’s my hope that the new year brings about needed change – and it personally pains me greatly to bring this up in an “anonymous blog”.

    For two years now, I have sought to resolve these matters quietly and internally to the AOC to no avail.

  12. Amazing! Thank you Michael for the info and again, all of your efforts.
    Well, your reply gives all the more reason for local control to return to the trial courts and perhaps disband what exists as the AOC today in its entirety, and replace it with an organization whose authority is vested and overseen by the judges of the state. The CJ and be part of a “one man one vote” process, and he can go back to what his real job is, being a justice and the titular head of the branch. As you have found, these issues go way beyond administrative errors and lack of proper oversight.

    I am sorry Michael that it pains you to bring this information out on an anonymous blog. It seems already in my limited experience with blogs, that they can be very powerful and useful tools, given time. I myself personally appreciate your sharing your information with us here on this blog. Unless your information was published by the press, many of us would have no way of knowing what was going on in your efforts with the AOC.

    What is just as scary about the AOC being above the law, is their knowing that they can just wear good folks like you (and many others) out and eventually the problem will go away. Then the AOC can go on its merry way with no oversight. Wow, what a gig.

  13. courtflea,

    Sadly, that’s been the AOC internal process for quite a long time (wear the good people down who speak up against wrongdoing) with total disregard for doing the right thing. A full audit/review of all internal “whistleblower” complaints ever filed or reported will clearly show this (and other important information regarding the subject matters being reported), if only someone had the authority to look into it….

    As you might surmise, what has thus far been discovered or revealed is only the tip of the iceberg.

    The fourth branch of government within the State of California (If we are honest, that would be the AOC, would it not?) does not care about doing the right thing! They seem to only care about preserving the limitless power that was somehow given to them!

  14. Michael Paul

    P.S.

    One of my employees purchased a lot of 200 NEON COLORED whistles on eBay and it came as a package under my christmas tree “For Michael Paul and the employees of the AOC”

    If you’re an AOC employee that believes that whistleblower laws should be changed, the whistle blowing function and investigative body needs to be moved outside of the AOC, then feel free to come by my cubicle (or drop me a message via e-mail) and get your free whistle.

    Someday, maybe you will actually be able to use it and it will work.

  15. Can someone please explain why information has been deleted from the Judicial Council meetings web page? For example, the page that CURRENTLY displays the Judicial Council Meetings Archived Minutes and Agendas, 1997-2008 does not allow a person to listen to the audio for those meetings, nor know they even exist! That information has mysteriously disappeared, where links to those audios were once present as late as March 27, 2008. Please allow me to show you how I know this information has been deleted.

    First, in case you are not familiar with the method of how to view web pages as they existed in the past, I direct you to the Internet Archive Wayback machine: http://web.archive.org/

    Now, if you look at the *CURRENT* JC archived meetings page, you will notice there are no references at all to any audios existing for any meeting dates shown on that page. Please see:

    http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/jc/arch.htm

    And yet, a snapshot of that very same page, as it existed as of March 27, 2008 clearly shows audiocast hyperlinks for meetings from 4/23/04 through 12/7/07.

    http://web.archive.org/web/20080327140546/http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/jc/arch.htm

    And, as a continuing illustration of this situation, if you click on the audiocast link for the 12/7/07 JC meeting WHILE STILL VIEWING IT IN THE “WAYBACK MACHINE”, it will take you to this page as it existed as of 3/27/08 (Judicial Council of California, Public Meeting Audio Archive, December 7, 2007):

    http://web.archive.org/web/20080304115024/www.courtinfo.ca.gov/jc/audio_120707.htm

    What I find extremely interesting is that, for example, the 12/7/07 JC meeting audio archive page seems to still exist TODAY on the server, but how would anyone know this, if all incoming links to it have disappeared from public eyes? Regardless, any link found on that CURRENT page should lead to the actual audio of the JC meeting, but everything seems to have been removed from the server! I found the current page as it exists today by extracting out the root URL from what was displayed while searching within the Wayback Machine, which shows as follows:

    http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/jc/audio_120707.htm

    Additionally, any search for JC meeting audios performed directly on the California Judicial Branch web site might give you results leading to various meeting audio archive pages, but I couldn’t find any audio links that actually work, with the exception of the audio for the last JC meeting held in December 2009.

    Why have all of these JC meeting audios disappeared since March of 2008? Is there something I don’t know in this regard that would justify such a thing? Inquiring minds would like to know.

    • For clarification purposes, I do not know the exact date these audio links might have been deleted. (I’d *LOVE* to know, though!)

      The last “snapshot capture” that was shown by the Wayback Machine was March 27, 2008 and we know, as of that date, the audio links still existed. As of my posting, they no longer exist.

      The Wayback Machine website states: “It generally takes 6 months or more for pages to appear in the Wayback Machine after they are collected, because of delays in transferring material to long-term storage and indexing.” Over the years, my personal experience has found that their trailing time seems to be longer and longer with the ever-increasing volume of new websites showing up on the internet.

    • Obi-Wan Kenobi

      First, you make a very interesting point.

      How would anyone else know if the JC conducted a vote ceeding its authority and governance to the E&P committee if the audio were to disappear?

      If it looks like a cover-up, if it smells like a cover-up, if it walks like a cover-up then good money says it’s not likely a duck.

    • Obi-Wan Kenobi

      Periodically, I am going to link back to mermaids post for the weekend. This is a really important nuance to note that there stands a claim of the Judicial Council ceeding its authority to the Executive & Planning Committee and that Executive & Planning controls the Governance of both the Judicial Council themselves as well as the AOC and that according to the extensive audio record recently deleted off AOC’s servers, no such vote ever took place.

      As I mentioned before, if it looks like a cover-up, if it walks like a cover-up, if it smells like a cover-up then good money says it’s not likely a duck.

  16. What fun to read the recent postings on the AOC-W. What a feast of delicious frothing and highly entertaining prose! What a thrilling display of light sabers and inspiring re-enactments from the annals of American history and popular cinema! And what a treat to encounter so many heroes and heroines vying for the spotlight, queuing up to say, “I’m ready for my close-up, Mister DeMille!” How wonderfully American and inspiring it has all been. If only autographs were possible!

    But we mustn’t overlook the intellectual challenges the AOC-W affords. Consider the stimulating possibilities available to the armchair psychologist. Imagine the attraction the site must have to all those “Doctor Phil” acolytes. Consider the analytical stamina it doubtless takes to decode the ulterior motives, and dare we use the word—“ego” of the various ‘star’ bloggers. What, for example, might be made of the nuggets shown below from a recent post of nearly 1400 words? Indeed, one can’t help wondering what Sigmund Freud would have had to say about the blogger’s fondness for the first person pronoun. Shall we venture an hypothesis? That perhaps the blogger’s obsession extends well beyond AOC abuses? That the subject closest to the blogger’s heart is, hmm, perhaps—much more (first) personal?

    1. I know that judges …
    2. I am about to describe
    3. I am reporting…
    4. I can hardly see how
    5. I did…
    6. I wouldn’t doubt that …
    7. I read public contract
    8. I blew the whistle
    9. I suggested…
    10. I obtained …
    11. If I had approved this…
    12. I would have been complicit …
    13. I stand in a unique position…
    14. I have no such reliance on my pay…
    15. I serve as a public servant
    16. I have uniquely specialized skills
    17. I was hired for
    18. I cherish the work
    19. I do
    20. I blew the whistle
    21. I own a media
    22. I wish to express
    23. I enjoy
    24. I do
    25. I would wish
    26. I have been the sole reason…
    27. I can easily return to being a hired gun
    28. And doing what I do at two to three times the income…
    29. I have always enjoyed
    30. I am and have ended
    31. I am in that they are not…
    32. I suggest…

    • Michael Paul

      For every criticism, submitted was a possible solution.

    • I find your post the most entertaining of all, quite frankly, and I thank you for the amusement! This is especially true considering your post is void of any real material fact or suggestion for improvement but, instead just full of attempted personal insults. I hope you are equally as entertained in the future, regardless of the venue, but only time will answer that gem of a question!

      And, to answer the question you pose…..I see people who truly care about what is right versus wrong . Now, how about you?? It’s not uncommon for those who are unable to attack the truth to attack people, instead, so your post speaks volumes to me, personally….but perhaps not quite in the manner in which you intended.

      When the word “I” is used by this poster, it is because it represents the sole opinion and thoughts of one person….me, myself and, yep, you got it….I.

      Have a wonderful day and, again, thanks for the amusing post!

  17. I welcome your thoughts. Even if they seem belittling. When no leadership or good ideas are allowed to emanate from the AOC, they may as well be born here.

  18. Michael Paul

    I believe that the Alliance of California Judges has a good plan that falls just a tiny bit short of what is required.

    Giving whistleblowers protection in the current constructs of the confidential fraud, waste and abuse coordinator – where that person continues to ask his boss

    “Hey boss, imagine this, another dumb-ass employee wants me to investigate us”

    Then I submit, that just like the many years of running this before I came on the scene that nothing will continue to occur and employees will remain in peril and will remain silenced.

    If this body was moved to the trial court advisory group proposed by the Alliance of California Judges Judge David Lampe and reported to the TCAG as opposed to the AOC then real, meaningful reform in AOC’s business practices would begin to take shape.

    I respectfully submit that the money that could be saved by this one act alone would pay for TCAG and all of its employees, no one would feel threatened anymore and meaningful reform of the AOC would begin to take shape.

    The AOC has a lot of brilliant, professional, well-intentioned people working for it. Not all of these well-intentioned professionals should pay the price of a few.

  19. Claire Voyant

    Oh come on, ocomeon.

    When the AOC provides a policy for employees regarding this blog (called “AOC Watcher”), people might actually be happy to follow it.

    And you remind me of an Assistant Director I used to know (one who is very complicit in hiding and coverups) who said “there are no stars” at the AOC. This is what happens when you hire smart people but expect them to break the law. No thanks.

  20. After ocomeon’s post, can we start making fun of J Huffman’s hair again? 🙂 I enjoy amusing posts as well! And opposing view points on such important topics as those brought forth by ocomeon.

  21. Dear Ms. Claire,

    How embarrassing to learn after posting here that it is considered a faux pas to pin the tail on the Watcher’s sacred donkeys (apparently one mustn’t allow even a pin-prick around all that heated, rarified air). Please excuse my lack of blogging etiquette. Additional thanks to you for clarifying the rules of the site—namely that while offering commentary on heroic whistleblowers is, as they say in Spain, “prohibido”, it is always open season on the ethics, purported comments, and rumored criminal activities of certain AOC Assistant Directors. Perhaps you should point out that distinction in the regulations to the Misses Mermaid and Mary Hart? Never fear, this interloper will not intrude on the Gods again.

  22. Gods? I thought we were talking about public servants. And whether you are an interloper or simply another anonymous interested party, thank you for sharing the views of the AOC.

  23. Claire Voyant

    It honestly would be fine with me if someone wanted to come on here and tout the virtures of the AOC Executive Team. But on an anonymous blog, there are no rules. There is however greater protection for government workers to post on blogs, because of the public interest in knowing how government works, and when malfeasance or misuse of public funds may be taking place. So, I have a suggestion for the interloper to pass on to the team: clean up your house and become a role model.

  24. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    We are highly amused by the visits of AOC management and their unrestrained commentary in defense of the indefensible.

    A girl from Kansas named holmes on the 5th floor, a sofa from the 7th floor, I wonder whom next will join our cavalcade of AOC management trying to preserve the status quo by attacking people and not the facts but really folks, we don’t read these criticisms about our activity. Remember, the company message is to ignore them and its nice to see that you cannot restrain yourselves enough to listen to the messages of the company.

    They read because organized dissent is letting the facts be known. With every passing day the charade becomes a little clearer. Those who have done wrong grow a lot more nerveous. Meanwhile all of the employees of California’s Judicial Branch across the state still wait for the arrival of superman to defend law, justice and the American way and toss to the street below those who seek to pervert justice and preserve the status quo.

    Will it be our own judges and court execs who encourage our district attorneys to take action or will we be leaving this up to the state legislature and the executive branch?

    Only time will tell.

  25. Gosh, touchy, touchy, touchy. Ocomeon sure got his/her feelings hurt really easy.

  26. Sofa Man indeed! Guess again, Honored General! The only thing that hurts my feelings, Courtflea, is that anyone would think a La-Z-boy recliner could sing as well as me-me-me-me-me (oops, I’m beginning to sound like the AOC’s own Pavarotti! Such a dulcet tone, his! Almost like a whistle, don’t you think?). Carry on, Deities: still plenty of judgments to fling, aspersions to cast. I offer rejoinder but this final time.

    • Obi-Wan Kenobi

      This is management’s general tone.

      It’s like being in east oakland or east L.A. or any place else that the authorities aren’t to be trusted. Except some of these idiots have law degrees.

      Those that snitch are marked for AOC death.

    • By the way Omecon, do me a favor. Ask every AOC and court employee if they know that their e-mail on non-deliberative matters may now be subject to the California public records act laws that took effect on January 1, 2010. I haven’t seen anyone bother to post that here, but out of service to my colleagues, and out of respect for the bench, you should all read the new law and encourage dialogue about it. Thank you.

      • Obi-Wan Kenobi

        A memo has been circulating for some time as guidance towards this new law. That memo, put out to the trial courts earlier this year suggests deleting all e-mail more than 12 months old “to reduce the costs of discovery assocated with litigation” I can only imagine the AOC is next in line to fire up the electronic shredder if they have’t done so already.

  27. Why are you playing so hard to get, Comrade Ocomeon? You obviously are intrigued enough to post, despite the fact that no one reads AOC Watcher. Why keep promising to go away and keep coming back? It’s almost as if you are feeling guilty or something. Just confess and use your real name — no one reads this blog anyway.

    And if aspersions cast here continue to become known as common truths, then, by all means, come back and rejoind away.

  28. Claire Voyant

    I would agree Obi but I would clarify for our friends that the AOC is not the mafia. It is a state agency that has gotten out of control. They think people are “snitching,” but it’s because they are so digged in that they can’t see the sunshine. Or the consequences of their own actions.

    And I like dulcet tones, they remind me of good lawyering and stimulating exchanges of ideas that take place at bench. You have to be in a courtroom and respect it to know what I am even talking about.

  29. joshmadisonn

    Ocomeon, please come back! Others here leave and return all the time! You management types have such lovely prose, and your sense of innuendo is so refreshingly wicked. Plus, I could really use a good laugh.

  30. Ocomeon, while I admire your command of the english vocabulary, I don’t quite understand your cryptic reference to a Lazy Boy, mee mee mee and Pavarotti. I guess I am just a simple blogger. Usually when someone sings well, in this context, are you suggesting you are a whistleblower? PS have another cocktail on me.

  31. I agree with Josh. Post away.

  32. Claire Voyant

    And I agree with courtflea … if you have been drinking, definitely keep on posting. 🙂

    I think I know who the poster is, and he is very entertaining. We like that.

  33. Claire and all, I hope one day when Superman returns and truth, justice and the American way prevail, we can get together and have a good time. I bet I knew and admired many of you before this blog. But we must wait until that time.

    Rock on Ocomeon.

  34. joshmadisonn

    Way past my bed time, but couldn’t resist one final post, especially after Claire’s and Flea’s last. As to the identity of brother Ocomeon, don’t think we’re dealing with a whistle blower there, Flea, but our friend is very “musical” and as Claire says, very entertaining. In fact, if my guess is right, many of us have probably witnessed a live performance on AOC stage. Maybe if we’re extra nice we can score another one? How about it, Ocomeon or are you still warming up your pipes? (Think that’s what was meant by the “me,me, me” comment Flea. You know, like the lady opera singers did in all those Marx brothers movies just before they let loose an ear splitting shriek). Nighty night. PS to Ocomeon: notice how the first person is missing in this post.

  35. Ok gotcha Josh, thanks for putting it in context for me. Interesting clues too about Ocomeon’s identity.

    Ocomeon, do you spray your throat before warbling as well? I always liked that part in the movies too. Sorry could not resist. But I would suggest for your next performance that you sing the Nelly Fallbush part in South Pacific for the tune, “I’m just a cock eyed optimist”. The partial lyrics (modified of course for my evil purposes here) :

    I have heard AOC watcher bloggers rant and rave and bellow…..
    that the AOC is done and the current JC governence might as well be dead,
    But I’m only a cockeyed AOC supporter
    And I can’t get that into my head.

    They say the AOC admin is falling on its face and hasn’t very far to go…
    But every AOC Director is selling me a bill and telling me it just ain’t so….
    I could say that the JC agendas were were about as significant as a bowl of jello, and appear more intellegent and smart……
    but I am stuck like a dope with this thing called AOC propaganda and I can get it out of my heart….not this indoctrinated heart………

    Forgive me Misters Oscar and Hammerstein

  36. joshmadisonn

    Oh, I like these lyrics, Flea! You’ve missed your calling. But wasn’t Oscar Hammerstein one guy? LOL.

  37. Thanks Josh, makes ya want to sing eh? Yes that was an LOL moment and this is also one of those moments where I am very red faced and think I may be entering into early dementia! I have only seen that movie and heard the music like a million times. That faux pas was about as bad as saying the Misters James and Mitchner. 🙂

  38. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    While history is being carefully re-written we’ll just call this time the calm before the storm.

    Obi-Wan Kenobi’s 2010 predictions

    1. The Chief Justice chooses retirement over another term realizing that he should quit while he is ahead and preserve his legacy of trial court unification.

    2. The new Chief Justice democratizes the Judicial Council and as my friend Yoda would say, “puppets, they are” will be replaced by those who will debate the merits as opposed to tow the party line.

    3. Judicial Council meetings will be monthly meetings. What was good enough in the past for the approval of forms is inadequate for running a branch of government.

    4. The AOC leadership, executive and directors alike will be asked to submit their resignations. Not just one of them – all of them. They will then be asked to re-apply for their jobs if they believe they can demonstrate that they are worthy to re-occupy the seats they once held and embrace a new culture.

    5. Several assistant directors, senior managers and managers will be given an opportunity to retire early. Some will be urged to do so. Others will be shown the door.

    6. A new management culture will begin to take shape. Not one based on the current model of fear, intimidation and appearances – but one of open doors, teamwork and a firm understanding that all people are valued in their roles and that no role is less important than another.

    7. Those in the AOC will learn to admit their fallability; that fallability is a human trait and that one gains more respect by admitting their fallabilities than they would ever gain by hiding their mistakes.

    8. The AOC will learn that hiring a consultant in an effort to offer an escape from the decisions that are made is done nowhere else on earth and it’s no longer acceptable to do at the AOC.

    9. The people that the AOC serves and the dollars that they spend are those of our citizens, our neighbors, our brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, friends and children, both in and outside the branch. “Serving the courts for the benefit of all californians” is dropped as an e-mail tag line and is replaced by doing the right thing, no matter how difficult it may seem at the time.

    10. Just like any japanese assembly line, when a problem is found any employee will be able to reach up and pull the line cord and stop the line until the problem is solved without fear of retribution, ridicule or fear of termination.

    It’s difficult to re-mold a culture that one has grown accustomed to. What was good enough 15 years ago is no longer good enough today.

    Change is good.
    Change is inevitable.
    It’s time to embrace change.

  39. According to my sources number one will not occur. The Chief Justice listens only to the lickspittles who surround him in Bagdad by the Bay. If anyone close to the Chief Justice had the Chief Justice’s best interests in mind they would urge him to retire. He has done some good things. Sad to say, that person does not seem to exist.

    If Number One does happen Omerta believes that two through ten will occur.

    With a new Governor in 2011 there will be a new playing field. One of them is not impressed with the Judicial Branch otherwise why would he pass over Tobriner and chose Rose Bird? The other two have a extensive experience in the private sector with computers. They know that 1.7 billion for a computer system is an outrageous waste of public funds. All three of them can smell out phonies and that is what we now have running the Judicial Branch of government.

    It does not take a weatherman to know which way the wind is blowing and it is not blowing in favor of the Chief Justice, the Judicial Council, and the AOC. It is blowing in favor of democracy, accountability, open courts and
    local control.

  40. As Omerta says, it’s hard to imagine that Poizner or Whitman would think highly of any leadership that championed a 1.7 billion disgrace like CCMS. Hopefully a politician as seasoned as Brown would have the sense to distance himself as well. No doubt, the next few months will provide us all with worlds of entertainment. I tend to agree with Omerta — the Chief will probably stand for retention.