Discussion Thread for AOC Employees

An open discussion thread for AOC employees who wish to discuss and share the latest news from deep within the Star Destroyer aka AOC headquarters.  Also a discussion thread for all topics related to AOC employees including upcoming legislation to bring AOC employees under the coverage of whistleblower laws.

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144 responses to “Discussion Thread for AOC Employees

  1. Claire Voyant

    I no longer work for EOP so let me share some thoughts:

    The iPad rumor is circulating fast. There apparently really is AOC staff who insisted he or she needed an iPad – at state taxpayer expense — in order to do their jobs. This is like a county bus driver saying, “I need a Porsche bus.” Their names should be published in the press.

    The AOC is losing employees fast.

    Those who are staying are simply hoping they keep a job.

    Millions of tax dollars pay each year for the inept and motley AOC management crew of Managers, Senior Managers, Assistant Directors, Directors, Regional Administrative Directors, Special Consultants (some of whom were crooked court employees – remember what kind of stuff happened in Monterey anyone? – who slithered on their bellies over to the AOC for a fat paycheck), a Chief Deputy Director, and an Administrative Director, all of whom are a public relations disaster and make well over $100,000 per year.

    Meanwhile, line-staff at the AOC are struggling to get by day by day because they feel like they work in a morgue.

    Hey Ron George – guess what? I see dead people. They work in your building.

    • Hi Claire- Can you be more specific about the ex-Monterey Court staff? Wh are they and are they still working for the AOC EOP?

    • The iPad purchase is a fact. They were authorized by the IS Directors but someone blew the whistle in EOP and it was denied. The audacity of these people who make 150k per year. Props to the iPad whistleblower.

      Who’s leaving? Nobodys running for the door, unfortunately. Matter of fact people are getting promoted to senior manager positions. Oh excuse me, “acting” senior manager positions.

  2. As I have previously mentioned, I was a former AOC employee. I agree with everyone here that no one, when dissing the AOC is dissing the average AOC employee or the ones that just do what they have to do to keep their jobs. All of our hats our off to those that choose to take the risk to take the AOC on. I understand the hardships you all work under and how awful it is to be working in such an enviornment. I have so been there done that. I admire those of you that manage to stick it out in order to have a job. What a nightmare. Been there done that too my friends. But I just want to say that one day the economy will get better, or you will find other, more noble work, which I know is why most of you went to work at the AOC. It will happen because you are all so smart, hard workers, and great folks. Hang in there and know that you are supported by many of us out there. Take solice as I did in karma. This can’t last forever. What goes around comes around. We care.
    Asta la vista CJ and Bill V. Your time will come.

  3. Claire, what I recall about Monterrey was that the judges were doing some pretty questionable stuff, not court admin who I am assuming you are referring to….

  4. WiseEmployee

    Does anyone have access to today’s Recorder? Today’s headline is something about a judge rejecting an AOC employee claim regarding gender bias and pay. I would certainly appreciate it if someone could share this article. Thanks!

    • Obi-Wan Kenobi

      Take a read at Marilyn Hall Patel’s decision on the motion for summary judgment in Negley vs. the Judicial Council of California, Administrative office of the courts.

      It’s an eye opener for anyone who thought whistleblower protections exist for anyone.

      It’s an amazing decision in its conclusions. First, it declares that the Judicial Council of California is not a respondent and that Negley was never employed by the Judicial Council of California but she was employed by the Administrative Office of the Courts.

      (Patel ignores that the AOC is the administrative arm of the JC and dismisses the JC from the action)

      Patel goes further into her decision and underscores something that anyone thinking of blowing a whistle anywhere in California should be paying attention to. According to well established legal precedence of the 9th circuit court of appeals, firing an employee 10 months or more after they report wrongdoing for any reason cannot be construed as retaliatory termination. In other words, keep them at least 10 months and you’re free and clear to fire them for any reason.

      I believe that Ms. Negley needs a world class appellate lawyer in employment law.

      If you have any names of any world class appellate lawyers, feel free to post them.

  5. Judge Rejects Pay Bias Suit Against AOC
    Cheryl Miller
    The Recorder
    June 22, 2010
    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge has dismissed a pay discrimination and retaliation lawsuit filed against the Administrative Office of the Courts by a former employee.
    In granting the AOC’s request for summary judgment Monday, U.S. District Judge Marilyn Hall Patel said former labor negotiator Paula Negley didn’t prove that she was improperly paid less than a male colleague, David Wolf. In fact, Patel wrote, “Negley never received unequal pay for equal work because Negley and Wolf never engaged in equal work.”
    The AOC fired Negley in April 2009 for giving confidential reports on two unrelated discrimination complaints in the agency to her attorney. Negley argued that she was required to do so by federal evidence rules. But Patel said the AOC offered “a legitimate, nondiscriminatory reason” for terminating Negley.
    The pay discrimination claim stems from AOC efforts to replace a retiring labor negotiator in 2008. Wolf, a former assistant general counsel at Sutter Health Corp., turned down an initial job offer, calling the $88,728 salary offer too low. So AOC executives sought and received approval from Chief Justice Ronald George to create a new position for Wolf — even though a hiring freeze was in place. The senior labor and employee relations officer position would pay $107,628 annually. Wolf accepted.
    Negley said that she was told by her boss that she and Wolf would be performing the same job duties but he would be working “out of class.” Negley filed a discrimination claim with the AOC, arguing that it was unfair that she would be paid roughly $12,000 less than Wolf.
    AOC officials tried several times before and after Wolf started work to reclassify his position. They finally settled on “senior labor relations negotiator,” a position that was created without the usual justification process. Wolf’s job gave him direct oversight of Negley and duties “beyond” what a labor relations negotiator would have, Patel wrote in her ruling.
    “We’re terribly disappointed and think it’s a travesty,” said Negley’s attorney, D. Joseph Clapp. Negley, who now works for a labor group in San Diego, is considering an appeal, he said.
    “We are pleased that Judge Patel carefully considered all of the plaintiff’s claims and entered judgment in our favor without the necessity of a trial,” said AOC spokesman Philip Carrizosa.

  6. WiseEmployee

    This just begs for some sort of merit system for hiring, promoting, disciplining and terminating AOC employees. Merit systems or civil service systems exist precisely to avoid this sort of nonsense of promoting certain people for political reasons and bypassing qualified staff, as well as to ensure gender equity pay and prevent other biases based on personality, disability, etc. Very unfortunate and so, so shameful.

  7. Paula J. Negley

    Part 1 of 4:

    I have, until now, remained silent on this blog regarding my own story, the lawsuit, and the AOC. In brief summary, after witnessing several years of highly questionable business practices and violations of AOC policy, an alarming and exorbitant Division turnover rate, as well as abusive and unethical conduct, by the leadership in the AOC’s Human Resources Department, in April and May of 2008 I filed internal complaints at the AOC regarding AOC policy violations, discrimination, harassment, unethical conduct and retaliation. Upon the filing of those complaints, the AOC was obligated both under the law and their own policies to conduct a prompt, thorough, and impartial investigation. The AOC was also obligated by law and their own policies to immediately take all necessary remedial measures to prevent any retaliation.

    For months and months, there was no investigation. Instead, after filing those complaints with the AOC, as well as filing complaints with the EEOC and DFEH, I was subjected to a vicious campaign of harassment, degradation, humiliation, and retaliation by management within the HR Division as well as others within the AOC, including being privately and publicly humiliated in Division meetings, subjected to e-mail avalanches, writing repeated memos about where, when, how, and why I bought gasoline while on approved State travel, my safety was put in jeopardy, I was called names, I was accused of things I hadn’t done, my job description was re-written in secret, I was repeatedly asked why I hadn’t found another job, the list goes on. In short, after filing those complaints for day after day, month after month, AOC leadership made my life at work unmitigated hell. On August 1st, 2008, after months of relentless retaliation, my attorney sought the protection of the court and filed a lawsuit on my behalf at the federal courthouse in San Francisco.

  8. Paula J. Negley

    Part 2 of 4:

    I filed my first internal complaint at the AOC on April 1, 2008; the second was filed on May 5th, 2008; I filed with the EEOC/DFEH on May 5th and later filed amended/additional complaints with EEOC/DFEH. I was not interviewed by the AOC’s self-selected “investigator” until some five and a half months later, on September 18th, 2008. The investigator selected by the AOC was a personal acquaintance of the Senior Supervising Attorney in the AOC’s Office of General Counsel, who was the same person the AOC’s self-selected investigator reported to regarding the so-called investigation. The potential conflict of interest was not disclosed to me by the investigator, and when I asked about it, the investigator acknowledged the relationship, and became visibly irritated and angry. None of the witnesses I gave the investigator were interviewed, and the investigator also ignored or omitted the majority of the documentation and evidence I provided.

    All of this, and more, is documented and a matter of public record at the federal courthouse in San Francisco, across the street from the AOC, and also at the federal court electronic website known as PACER. I can only say that I know that I have been truthful and that I have obeyed the law. I do not believe that the same can be said for the AOC.

  9. Paula J. Negley

    Part 3 of 4:

    Here is what I know today:

    Telling the truth will result in you being viciously punished and humiliated, and that punishment and humiliation will be rewarded by the court. Trying to do the right thing and reporting fraud, policy and ethical violations, discrimination, retaliation, trying to stand up to hypocrites, liars, thugs, and bullies, and other misconduct in your workplace will also result in you being viciously punished and humiliated, and that punishment and humiliation will also be rewarded by the court. Obeying the law and the orders of a judge will, again, result in you being viciously punished and humiliated, and that punishment and humiliation will again be rewarded by the court.

    In my personal opinion, it is not realistic for the people of the State of California to expect the employees of the AOC to report waste, fraud, misconduct or abuse they are aware of in their workplace, especially given the fact that the employees of the AOC have no place to report this kind of misconduct in their workplace except to the very people who are engaging in it, just so the AOC can investigate itself and come to its pre-determined self-exonerating conclusion and then humiliate and punish the employee for coming forward. It is particularly unrealistic to ask, or even expect of this of the employees of the AOC given the fact that AOC employees have none of the employment protection or due process rights afforded all other State excluded employees and also given the virtual certainty that those very same employees will be mercilessly punished if not fired for trying to do the right thing.

  10. Paula J. Negley

    Part 4 of 4:

    Based upon what I personally experienced and witnessed at the AOC, I would advise every employee of the AOC that if they are aware of fraud, waste, or abuse in their workplace do not report it unless they are prepared to be fired as a consequence. If they are aware of ethical violations or policy violations or even violations of State law going on in their workplace do not report it, unless they are prepared to be humiliated and punished for doing so. If they are aware of embezzlement of public funds, fraud in securing appointment, employees with felony criminal histories being internally employed without being required to pass a criminal background check, employees who falsely represent obtaining a college degree or favored subordinates being permitted to go to school while on State paid work time, the use of unlicensed contractors, inappropriate relationships of AOC management with subordinate employees, misuse of public money, or other misconduct going on in their workplace do not report it. Unless they are prepared to lose their home, to not be able to support their family, watch their children go hungry, be forced into bankruptcy, to lose everything they have worked for because they tried to do the right thing, do not report it. Instead, close your eyes to what you witness, see, or know, do not speak of it, and turn and walk away, or run, as fast as you can in the opposite direction.

    What I personally witnessed and experienced as an employee of the Judicial Council of California in the Administrative Office of the Courts has forever shattered and destroyed my trust, faith, and belief in the California Judicial Branch. And if the people of the State of California retain the current Chief Justice in the upcoming November election, then they will be accepting a Judicial Council, an Administrative Office of the Courts, and, by default, a California Judicial Branch as a whole, that has grown putrid with fraud, corruption, malfeasance, and an managerial and administrative absence of integrity, ethics, transparency, or accountability, and they will deserve what they have accepted.

    • Obi-Wan Kenobi

      Paula’s endless harassment in the workplace was witnessed by many people in the AOC.

      Employees would have also lost their jobs had they testified against the AOC and on Paula’s behalf as witnesses have no protections.

      Even if they did have any sort of protections our state legislature better read Patel’s decision to get a grasp of the gravity of the situation, whistleblowers only deserve protection for 10 months. After that all bets are off.

      So when you’re considering legislation, instead of addressing just the AOC employees or court employees, please write the legislation in such a manner that addresses any entity that accepts any public funds and extend those whistleblower protections out 7 years.

      Shift the burden of proof to employer to prove they did not retaliate within a 7 year protective period.

      The people who are responsible for all the confidential information in the sacramento courts being leaked are no less guilty of the same offense to which Paula Negley is accused.

      The difference is they still have their jobs.

      • Wendy Darling

        Only Paula Negley didn’t publish or disclose any confidential information or any confidential document to the public. She turned documents over under the protection of the court and only after being ordered by the court to do so, and the documents in question weren’t made available to the public.

      • Obi-Wan Kenobi

        The whole decision is frankly mindblowing and that is a part of the decision that stands out for sure.

  11. Paula, I am so sorry. I feel your pain having to settle in court after trying to do the right thing myself. The AOC with their deep pockets are almost impossible to challenge as you obviously know. Those of you who read this blog who have legislative connections, are legislators, or can make a difference in changing laws regarding employee whistle blowers, are you hearing Paula’s story? are you going to do anything about it? Judges are you so worried about whistle blower protections applying to court employees that you would allow such travesties of justice to occur? So the judge made decisions based on current case law and statute, who is going to change it to stop this abboration of justice? Are we all willing to accept these people (the AOC and JC)as representatives of the branch? Ok I guess so. Pay and retirement and a steady job mean more to us than truth, justice, and the american way. Sorry for the ranting, I just want to puke over this. I hope the CJ, Bill V and whomever else is behind stuff like this roasts in hell. I just wish I could be there to see it. How a public agency is allowed to run amuck is beyond me but oh my bad, I fogot about the public agency that is supposed to oversee/regulate companies like BP oil rigs, or the use of pork barrel and “ear marks”. Crikey, am I on the wrong planet or what? There must be some place in the universe for honest folk. I know Rome or democracy was not built in a day but gee, getting there sucks sometimes. It is enough to blow the air out of a dirigible.

  12. JusticeCalifornia

    The very same thing is happening to others who criticize the CA courts, anywhere, at any level. There is an M.O., and the idea is to stun, degrade, humiliate and destroy (personally, financially and emotionally) those who complain about court corruption, so everyone will shut the f*** up. In Marin they call it “behavior modification”.

    That is why some of us are such activists.

    Yes, Ron George must be removed.

    BTW, in court circles, judicial reach arounds are politely called “intellectual dishonesty”.

    Dirty deeds done dirt cheap.

    • Wendy Darling

      The only thing being an “activist” will get an AOC employee is having their head chopped off — figuratively speaking, but only in the most minimal sense.

      • JusticeCalifornia

        Top judicial leadership would like us to believe that all those who complain can be brutally silenced. . . .but history, and current events, show this just isn’t true, and in fact this approach will backfire.

        The purpose of the judicial branch is to serve the public and protect legal rights, not bully and oppress. Those in power who forget that are doomed, most especially in this country.

        W.D., look around you– Ron George is no longer the “untouchable, golden” Chief Justice of the largest judiciary in the Western world that he once was. As they say, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. In aggressively pushing all to adopt his personal vision for the third branch, no matter what the cost, he has forgotten the power of democracy and free speech, and the grand indignation resulting from power and independence that has been abused, and justice that has been perverted and denied. In trying to silence anyone who criticizes the branch or disagrees with him and his vision, and in surrounding himself with certain yes-people who bend ethical rules, violate laws, and/or keep their eyes lowered and mouths shut, he has adopted the tactics of a despot, and publically allowed the judiciary’s core values—truth, justice, fairness—to be sidelined.

        I personally disagree that people should shut up— IF, when, and how they are personally moved to speak or act out against third branch oppression. I have been doing it for over a decade now. Yes, it can be hard. Yes, it can be brutal. But I have found that shutting up, keeping your eyes lowered, and bending over for bullies does NOT make everything all right.

        I personally believe that memorializing, documenting and reporting judicial branch corruption and oppression can change the way things are done. We are all watching it happen right now. It is painful, and gut-wrenching. But when was change ever easy?

        I have said it before, and I will say it again. Reform is not for the faint of heart. Those who know they must will step forward; those who cannot may quietly lend support and a helping hand; others may only be able to silently wish others well. It is a personal choice, and no one can make it for anyone else.

        But make no mistake– if protected corruption, oppression, waste and/or retaliation persist in the CA third branch, there will be a true revolution of sorts – just as, throughout history, throughout the world, there have always been revolutions to clean up institutionalized corruption, oppression, waste and/or retaliation. . .

  13. JusticeCalifornia

    From the Declaration of Independence, which was written to express grievances against and independence from a different King George:

    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

    • Wendy Darling

      The employees in the AOC’s HR Division look around them everyday, and what they see are the ghosts of the over 60 former HR employees whose bodies now symbolically lie piled up outside the office doors of Ernesto Fuentes and Kenneth Couch. And as for the Declaration of Independence, as far as the current Chief Justice, Bill Vickrey, and the AOC are concerned regarding AOC employees, its application stops at the front door of 455 Golden Gate Avenue, along with every other law that is inconvenient for them and which they continue to violate with impunity. The law is meaningless to them when it comes to applying it to themselves, and no one in any position of authority has done anything to actually stop them, or even to intervene. and now not even the federal court. Every AOC employee has learned by now that to try to stand up and oppose what is going on in the AOC is only going to result in their AOC death sentence and execution. You can’t feed your children, take them to the doctor, or make your morgage payment on ideals or principles, and the Chief Justice and the AOC know this and abuse it to their full advantage every day. AOC employees come to work in fear and for very good reasons.

  14. JusticeCalifornia

    From Wikipedia:

    “Despotism is a form of government by which a single entity rules with absolute and unlimited power, and may be expressed by an individual as an autocracy or through a group as an oligarchy. Despotism itself means to “rule in the fashion of a despot”. . .”

    “Colloquially, ‘despot’ has been applied pejoratively to a person, particularly a head of state or government, who abuses his power and authority to oppress his people, subjects or subordinates. In this sense, it is similar to the pejorative connotations that have likewise arisen with the term ‘tyrant’. ‘Dictator’ also has developed nearly similar pejorative connotations, though ‘despot’ and ‘tyrant’ tend to stress cruelty and even enjoyment therefrom, while ‘dictator’ tends to imply more harshness or unfair implementation of law.”

    Wendy, what is happening in the AOC has happened elsewhere. What you are describing involves a level of cruelty that I have also seen in the third branch at times . . .you have to wonder where that comes from, and why it is accepted, protected behavior. Don’t lose faith. The AOC employees are late to the game, in some ways– many non-AOC people have been harmed in the last decade or two and are already SO angry and/or disgusted at the third branch and its current leadership.

    Two actions, six words that will revolutionize the branch, since top leadership just can’t seem to see the handwriting on the wall, and change its ways:

    No on George.

    Eliminate Judicial Immunity.

    Does anyone else have other suggestions? If so please share.

  15. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/presscenter/newsreleases/NR27-10.PDF

    We can without reservations dismiss this Advisory committee on Accountability and efficiencyfor the Judicial Branch.

    At least half of these appointees are trying to bury their own questionable acts and skeletons and the others are yes men to the chief. Does anyone believe that this circus will look into any of the impropriety portrayed by this blog?

    They did nothing as Judicial Council members and now they are being asked to look into their own decisions as council members and see if they might be able to hold themselves accountable or find a more efficient way of helping the taxpayers part with their hard earned dollars.

    Pathetic.

  16. JusticeCalifornia

    Gotta love when someone who has been named under oath as committing what appears to be a felony (Kim Turner, Govt. Code section 6200) is, in the last week, appointed by Ron George.

    Woo hoo.

    No on George.

  17. JusticeCalifornia

    So Big Ron, and little Kim, do you think Kim’s career as a notorious , trusted, judicial branch “service provider” (and , according to Kim’s employees, a reported felon), will help or hurt the branch? Let’s see. This is a test. About to come down in the next two or so weeks.

  18. Well, good news. Apparently Ron O at the last Court Executive Advisory Committee and a meeting for new CEO’s was very upset about this blog. Like way mad. He also was way pissed that someone invited the Daily Journal to the CEAC meeting. No she was not allowed in, but was waiting outside to query the AOC and other attendees about the meeting.
    At the new CEO’s meeting Ron O was stressing how we all need to get along and speak with one voice and how going to the press was not a good thing, we should work out our problems internally.
    They are definately running scared. Justice California, you are right we should all keep at in whatever way we can.
    Wendy, I hear ya and that body count makes me sick. In my references in my earlier email I was asking the judges to take a stand, not the little folks anymore. The body count proves that you all have done your part.

  19. Wendy Darling

    Ron Overholt’s protestations that everyone should speak with one voice, “get along”, going to the press is not a “good thing”, and to “work out problems internally” sounds like what mobsters and dirty cops say to each other when they need to get their stories straight. Especially when we have all seen or personally experienced the AOC’s punitive and unique interpretation and application of how the AOC “works out problems internally.”

    And I guess those comments from Ron-O just confirm, despite previous denials to the contrary, they’re all reading this blog. If the truth hurts so much that it has to covered up, maybe Ron-O, Billy Boy, the AOC, and the Chief Despot should stop doing what they’re doing instead of complaining so much about the people who are finally speaking out about the smell spilling out of 455 Golden Gate Avenue.

    Note to the AOC: Holding your nose, and trying to tell others to just the same, in the hope that the smell will just go away probably isn’t going to work anymore. The sewer is too full.

    • Obi-Wan Kenobi

      The first paragraph of your assessment is accurate. If you have nothing to hide open your books and meeting doors wide.

      When an organization goes around itself and educates its managers on how to avoid an external investigation and further recommends stonewalling the press, stonewalling state auditors and stonewalling public inquiries with hefty fees and internal legal review prior to the release of documents that should be publicly available, you have an ongoing criminal enterprise that is attempting to hide behind the robes of the rest of the judiciary to conduct business as usual.

      Why does the Markleeville courthouse going to cost $1,776.00 per square foot?

      Because people are catching on to the judicial branch gravy train and want in on the action.

      Fraud, Embezzlement and repetitive violations of public law, all while looking the other way and whistling dixie doesn’t make your organization look as pristine as you think Ronnie-O. What it does is cause everyone to wonder why certain members of the AOC aren’t being criminally indicted under RICO statutes for this repetitive, long term behavior.

    • Alliance Supporter

      Newly-appointed judges at the Witkin College last summer were ORDERED not to speak to the reporters and to refer all inquiries to AOC spokespersons.

  20. JusticeCalifornia

    All good things come to them that wait. . . .

    I was frankly getting a bit irritated about how long the story about destruction of Marin court records relevant to the family court audit, reportedly at Turner’s direction, was taking to get out, and then, during the delay, Ron George appoints Turner to an oversight committee! Obi, thank you for the heads up on that. That appointment perfectly illustrates what is going on in the branch– it completes a fresh-out-of-the box story, and I, for one, am grateful for that.

    A compilation of these stories tells a sordid and irrefutable tale. . . .and the main characters cannot blame anyone but themselves for what must ultimately and necessarily result in a perhaps spectacular end of an era for the CA judicial branch as we now know it. It is inevitable. It appears that everyone EXCEPT top leadership knows the status quo is not working.

    Respectable third branch members should be preparing the lifeboats. The captain and crew of this $4 billion ship are on a collision course with reality.

  21. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    No lifeboats required.

    Just a clean leader that runs an ethically wholesome tight ship, admits its mistakes, holds people accountable and demands results.

  22. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    By the way JusticeCalifornia, you make casual reference to someone filing some sort of complaint for the destruction of records in marin county. Has a witness come forward?

  23. JusticeCalifornia

    Family Code Section 1819:

    (a)Except as provided in subdivision (b), upon order of the judge of the family conciliation court, the supervising counselor of conciliation may destroy any record, paper, or document filed or kept in the office of the supervising counselor of conciliation which is more than two years old.

    (b)Records described in subdivision (a) of child custody or visitation mediation may be destroyed when the minor or minors involved are 18 years of age.

    Government Code 6200:

    6200. Every officer having the custody of any record, map, or book, or of any paper or proceeding of any court, filed or deposited in
    any public office, or placed in his or her hands for any purpose, is punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for two, three, or four years if, as to the whole or any part of the record, map, book, paper, or proceeding, the officer willfully does or permits any other person to do any of the following:

    (a) Steal, remove, or secrete.
    (b) Destroy, mutilate, or deface.
    (c) Alter or falsify.

    Sworn 2010 testimony of Marin Family Court Services mediator Meredith Braden (in a case involving a young child):

    Q. Okay. Well, generally do you have a file for
    each mediation case?

    A. It’s a little complicated. We do keep files currently, but at one point the directive was that we were no longer keeping files. They were all destroyed.

    Q. They were all destroyed?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Can you tell me who directed you to do that?

    A. It was Kim Turner, to the best of my knowledge, yes.

    Q. What do you mean by to the best of your knowledge?

    A. I mean, we were told, through our supervisor at the time, that that was the policy from above him.

    Q. Who was your supervisor?

    A. Leo Terbieten. But he has since retired.

    Q. When did he retire?

    A. At the end of 2009.

    Q. End of December?

    A. Yes.

    Q. Okay. So between the period of September 21st, when you interviewed these parties, and the end of December, then were you instructed to throw away your files?

    A. You know, I don’t remember the exact dates.
    There were — all of the files were destroyed at some point in the Fall. Obviously it was after September 21st. And then the policy was reversed at some point, also in the Fall, prior to December, but I couldn’t tell you exactly when. And so since that time we’ve been maintaining the files again.

  24. JusticeCalifornia

    As a handpicked Ron George Judicial Council appointee, Kim Turner is setting policy for the California courts, and, as Marin Court Executive officer, she is a) in charge of Family Court Services personnel, and b) the keeper of the keys with respect to the files and documents the legislative auditors are able to look at right now. . . .

    The audit of the Marin family court was announced in early July, 2009. Marin mediation records were destroyed three or more months later.

    For those unfamiliar with family law, “recommending” Family Court Services “mediation” is the often the gateway to hell, especially in Marin County. Parents are required to meet with a mediator who spends an hour or two with the parents, and then that mediator makes an often life-altering custody/visitation “recommendation” to the judge which is usually rubberstamped. (In Marin, parents are not allowed to have their attorneys accompany them to mediation).

    The mediation file has the mediator’s notes of what was said and by whom, and who the mediator did or did not talk to, and the documents provided to or obtained by the mediator. In other words, the auditor would be able to look at a mediation recommendation, then look at the mediation records, and get a clue about whether or not the mediator had followed the MANDATORY procedures set forth in CA Rules of Court 5.210 and 5.215 (which include compliance with the law and review of court files, and implementation of complaint procedures) and the Family Code. They would also see whether either or both parents had lodged a complaint against the mediator—and the results of the complaint.

    Lack of access to mediation records would hinder auditors from discovering avoidable negligence, incompetence, and lawbreaking or retaliatory behavior of certain Marin mediators who have routinely violated state-mandated procedures and laws in custody cases, and who have a long and well-documented history of problematic behavior.

    So, a) Judicial Council member Kim Turner stonewalled the auditors for almost a year, with the help of the AOC, and, b) in the meanwhile, mediation records under her control have been destroyed– and that appears to be a felony.

    This is just the latest Kim Turner story. As you all know, up to now she is probably most famous for signing off on her former boss’s improper expenditures. Her former boss was eventually arrested on ten felony counts of conflict of interest for funneling over $650,000 in court contracts to his girlfriend.

    Turner is the person that Ron George has hand-selected to serve on his new “Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Financial Accountability and Efficiency for the Judicial Branch”, the purpose of which is “to promote transparency, accountability, efficiency, and understanding of the work of the Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) and the judicial branch.”

  25. Obi-Wan Kenobi

    Mary Ann O’Malley is directly involved in the stench blowing over Martinez and it isn’t just the Tosco oil refinery. Both her and her husband Dan have engaged in ethically questionable conduct regarding Dan’s desire to be District Attorney.

    If anyone is familiar with the Michael Gressett case, some allege that the charges against Michael Gressett are politically motivated as to ensure that Michael Gressett wouldn’t run for DA again.

    The case is incredibly weak and amounts to condemning Michael Gressett, a previous DA candidate for kinky and somewhat hazardous sex and some suspicious time later, it’s charged as forced rape.

    Dan is accused of receiving donations in the DA’s office and MaryAnn is accused of abusing the robe for her husbands personal gain.

    Just like Kim Turner, there exists that less than one degree of seperation to a scandal and in these matters you have plenty to choose from, including a large layoff of court personnel in CCC.

    This too is not someone that would come to mind as someone to promote transparency, accountability, efficiency and understanding of the work of the AOC.

    If anything, these two appointments stink of “you scratch my back and we will scratch your back”.

    • Obi-Wan Kenobi

      Consider this as racketeering on an entirely different level.

      What better way to control both the people and the message than to hold scandal over the heads of those who have been directly involved in questionable acts.

      Do you think the chief could hold Kim Turner accountable for signing off on Montgomery’s fraud and only becoming a whistleblower as an answer to a more serious issue?

      Would it serve the council’s needs better to have the guillotine blade hanging over these two so that they could be better manipulated to serve the needs of the JC?

      If this is the case, the feds would define this as racketeering. And when the chief looks the other way and ignores the complaints, allegations and criticisms, going so far as appointing these individuals to oversight positions, one is left to question everything.

  26. JusticeCalifornia

    Interesting. I was unaware of that scandal. I googled and found this:

    http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/contra-costa-district-attorneys-race-is-ugly/Content?oid=1768843

    Of all the quality people in the branch to choose from, query why those associated in any way with dirty deeds and scandal are being appointed by Ron George to sit in an oversight position.

    LOL.

    Reminds me of when Ron George appointed a judge who had been publicly reprimanded by the CJP for backdating an order and lying about, to determine a CCP 170.1 ethical challenge of a Marin judge who, among other things, lied on the record.

    I think all of this goes beyond backscratching. As someone else on this blog recently suggested, at some point a RICO investigation and some indictments perhaps should be rolling out. If the branch is actively protecting and/or covering up unethical and perhaps — as in the Turner case– even criminal activity affecting the welfare of children–well, doesn’t that smack of conspiracy, obstruction of justice, violation of the public trust? I don’t know, I am not a criminal attorney. . .do we have any prosecutors out there who care to comment?

    Hey, what about the Chief? He’s the top dog for heaven’s sake, he must know the law! Maybe he would care to comment about his interesting choices. If it isn’t “birds of a feather flock together”, what is it?

  27. Wendy Darling

    “Of all the quality people in the branch to choose from, query why those associated in any way with dirty deeds and scandal are being appointed by Ron George to sit in an oversight position.”

    Why? Well, to get those very same people to do more of the Chief’s, the Judicial Council’s, and the AOC’s, dirty work (“wet work”), help the Chief Justice, the Judicial Council, and the AOC to cover it up, and give “plausible deniability” to those who are directing it to be done of course. And as for calling it “backscratching,” in organized crime it is more frequently referred to as “protection.”

    Look at these appointments, and quite a few others in the last year, and knowing their history and the scandal that trails behind them, and at the same time look at who the Chief Justice is protecting. The real motto of the AOC and the Judicial Council? “Protect the Chief.”

    No integrity.
    No ethics.
    No on George.

  28. JC, are you saying the GC applies to the retention of individual mediator’s personal files and notes regarding their mediations? I understand the retention regarding actual court files but personal files and notes? Just playing devils advocate here but it should be noted that John Montomgery eventually pleaded to one or more misdemeanor counts, I cannot recall how many. He did no jail time. He was not convicted of any felony. Perhaps he should have been but he was not.

    • JusticeCalifornia

      FC 1819 applies to “any record, paper, or document filed or kept in the office of the supervising counselor of conciliation”. And Govt. Code 6200 applies to “Any paper deposited in any public office”.

      As far as I can tell, Penal Code section 182 comes into play as well.

      Let me give you an example of the type of information in the Marin mediators’ notes and files, which may have been destroyed at Turner’s direction. This is an excerpt of a transcribed cross-examination of one of Marin’s most historically problematic Marin recommending custody mediators—who, by the way, is a mandated reporter:

      “Q. Did [child] tell you anything about any contact by his father? I was looking at your notes specifically and it looked to me like there was something about his father hitting him in the chest. Can you check your notes and see if there’s anything in there about that?

      A. “Sometimes he hits me in the chest. Sometimes it’s just playing around. Sometimes he means to.”

      Q. How come that didn’t end up in this report?

      A. Well, I mean the only thing I can think of is that if this did not rise to the level- that there’s ongoing abuse happening, again, I’m just going to try to capture what I think are the salient concerns in the report.

      Q. You were aware that mom was concerned about bruises on [child]; right?

      A. Yes, but I thought those were from when he was age 3. The pictures that she was showing me was when he was much younger. I would need to look back and see if she was actually saying that this is still an issue.

      Q. Did you ask [father] about whether or not he strikes [child]?

      A. No, I don’t have that as a specific question. Again, his interview was first, so–

      Q. Would that typically be a follow up question if the child says my dad hits me in the chest. Would that typically be a follow up question that you would ask a parent, do you hit your child?

      A. Again, it depends. If there’s not a CPS finding or some CPS involvement, if it doesn’t rise to that level, again, it just strikes me that there are so many back and forth allegations here.

      Q. Well, here’s [child] telling you that his father hits him, right, that’s really what [child] did, he said my dad hits me. Now do you think—

      A. Well, in the context that sometimes it’s playing around and sometimes he means to, so, you know, I, my sense isn’t that this is not, you know, a situation that the child is afraid of the father or feeling like—

      Court: My reporter needs to leave at 4:30 and I really expect that you would be done with Dr. Wu’s examination. I mean, I’ve given you a whole day.

      Attorney: You know, we’re at a disadvantage because [the mediator] didn’t read [mother’s] responsive declaration.

      Court: Oh, I think you’re doing fine in terms of bringing out things she didn’t consider.

      Q. I want to follow up on this issue though, because normally if a child tells you that a parent is hitting them, do you do anything about it? Do you question the parent about it normally?

      A. Again, not always.”

    • JusticeCalifornia

      Regarding Montgomery– let me first observe that you are correct, he cut a deal, and did no jail time. Can you imagine what that trial would have looked like? He knew where all the Marin court bodies were buried, and had publicly defended court misconduct for years.

      Montgomery’s case once again provides a stark reminder of how our CA “justice” system is presently working. Montgomery, a court protector, diverted over $650,000 in taxpayer funds to his live-in girlfriend; Richard Fine, a court critic, spent years trying to save the taxpayers money. Montgomery walked, Fine is now going on 17 months in solitary confinement, and as far as I know he hasn’t been convicted of any crime, misdemeanor or felony.

      This is shameful. The words kangaroo court come to mind.

      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:

      “A kangaroo court or kangaroo trial, also known as drumhead court-martial or Drumhead trial, is a sham legal proceeding or court. Kangaroo courts are judicial proceedings that deny due process in the name of expediency. The outcome of such a trial is essentially made in advance, usually for the purpose of providing a conviction, either by going through the motions of manipulated procedure or by allowing no defense at all.”

  29. RICO/SLAPP didn’t the US supreme court just limit the use of that a la the Jeffery Skilling/Enron matter?

    • Obi-Wan Kenobi

      RICO (Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization) is alive and well.

      SLAPP or Strategic Lawsuits against public participation (and anti-slapp statutes) are also alive and well.

  30. JusticeCalifornia

    Here is what I really love about those who are corrupt in the third branch. They have been hiding behind their black robes so long, and protected by top leadership and judicial immunity so long, that they just can’t see clearly. So they just keep acting stupidly. Publicly! To wit:

    Although Marin County judges and administration have long been aware of the problems with Marin Family Court Services mediators, here is an excerpt of a 2009 Marin Superior Court report, available on the court website:

    “Family Court Services provides free child custody and visitation mediation services. It does not require the assistance of an attorney. Mediation gives parents an opportunity to resolve child-focused disputes by reaching agreement about these issues. It is intended to help parents through difficult changes in their family structure with dignity and support. The mediators, all skilled professionals in the mental health field, have years of experience with children and can assist parents who need to make wise, but difficult, choices during stressful times. Family Court Services considers the safety of children as its highest priority”.

    Well, if public employees—say, Marin Family Court Services mediators (and those judges and administrators who are supposed to be monitoring them) are screwing up, and this is documented for years on end and reported up and down the judicial, executive, and/or legislative branches, and no one does anything about – in fact, they take active, “intellectually dishonest” steps , and illegal steps to protect it, what does that mean?

    Hmmmm…….what does “Respondeat Superior” normally mean, for people who are not protected by judicial immunity?

    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Respondeat+superior

    “The common-law doctrine of respondeat superior was established in seventeenth-century England to define the legal liability of an employer for the actions of an employee. The doctrine was adopted in the United States and has been a fixture of agency law. It provides a better chance for an injured party to actually recover damages, because under respondeat superior the employer is liable for the injuries caused by an employee who is working within the scope of his employment relationship.
    The legal relationship between an employer and an employee is called agency. The employer is called the principal when engaging someone to act for him. The person who does the work for the employer is called the agent. The theory behind respondeat superior is that the principal controls the agent’s behavior and must then assume some responsibility for the agent’s actions.

    An employee is an agent for her employer to the extent that the employee is authorized to act for the employer and is partially entrusted with the employer’s business. The employer controls, or has a right to control, the time, place, and method of doing work. When the facts show that an employer-employee (principal-agent) relationship exists, the employer can be held responsible for the injuries caused by the employee in the course of employment.
    In general, employee conduct that bears some relationship to the work will usually be considered within the scope of employment. The question whether an employee was acting within the scope of employment at the time of the event depends on the particular facts of the case. A court may consider the employee’s job description or assigned duties, the time, place, and purpose of the employee’s act, the extent to which the employee’s actions conformed to what she was hired to do, and whether such an occurrence could reasonably have been expected.”

    So while Ron George, and Kim Turner, and the Elkins Task Force, and others are hard at work trying to cover up third branch misconduct, I suggest that everyone involved in turning a blind eye to unabated third branch misconduct – despite their knowledge of same. . . study the doctrine of respondeat superior. . . .and RICO, GC 6200, PC 182, etc.. . . ..

    And the implications of the elimination of judicial immunity.

    • JusticeCalifornia

      Sorry, I forgot to mention the Commission on Impartial Courts, and Patricia Sepulveda.

  31. JusticeCalifornia

    So Ron George, and the Judicial Council, and Mary Roberts, and the Marin court: I am publicly calling you out.

    What are you going to do about Kim Turner?

    • Wendy Darling

      Is anyone in any position of authority that could actually do something about this, such as the District Attorney’s office, the California Attorney General, or the Department of Justice, investigating this, or even looking into it? Or is everyone in law enforcement still making the same mistakes as were done at the San Francisco Police Department regarding the ever expanding crime lab scandal?

  32. Wendy Darling

    Are you talking about judicial immunity regarding actions or conduct by a judge while acting in their judicial capacity?

    As for the actions or conduct of a judge when acting in an administrative capacity, such as Ron George in his administrative capacity over the AOC, or judges who sit on the Judicial Council, there is no “judicial immunity” for conduct or actions when acting in an administrative capacity.

  33. JusticeCalifornia

    Wendy, as I understand it, you are so right that administrative actions by judges are not protected by judicial immunity.

    As for law enforcement, the mother in the “hitting the chest” case reported to the sheriff’s department and D.A. in Marin County . The Sheriff’s department refused to take documents offered by the mother and her attorney, and said that “this is a Judicial Council matter” . The mother has a record of her criminal complaint about Marin Family Court Services, and the judge who allowed the misconduct.

    Regarding this recent Kim Turner record destruction mess—as far as I know, that hasn’t been reported to law enforcement, yet. . . . . .thus my comments about being frustrated. But, EVERYONE will be informed in the next week or two– after the Fourth of July holiday.

  34. Just Sayin'

    @JC, is there any such *real* proof of records destruction by the Marin court or any of its staff?

    Additionally, you previously have made reference to a power outage at the JC/AOC’s SF facility that happened to coincide with an announcement by the BSA to audit the Marin court. In your musings, you openly speculated and promoted the idea that the two were in some way connected. First, I suggest you do your homework on the power outage in question, which (if you checked) you would’ve discovered that the outage covered several square blocks in the Civic Center area. This situation deteriorated when, in the course of PG&E restoring power, the power grid at 455 Golden Gate–which happens to also house the Governor’s office, state legislators, state Attorney General (shall I go on?), as well as about half of AOC staff–blew, disabling the entire complex for several days.

    Your conspiracy theories are laughable in their very substance, but also doubly insulting given your passion for promulgating them. Further, getting off the soapbox, these incessant rants–regardless if they have merit–diminish your standing. After awhile, readers simply begin to tune out the “white noise” (Exhibit A: ComputerGeek.)

    That is not to say, of course, that your concerns aren’t valid.–I’m sure some of them are well founded. This forum is an excellent place to air these issues, to bring them out for wider absorbtion. There just isn’t a need, at least in this forum, to scream them from the mountaintops every day and twice on Sunday.

    • JusticeCalifornia

      Hi Just Sayin

      I missed this earlier comment of yours–sorry for the delay in responding. I sense you are a bit defensive.

      With all due respect, what do you mean by “real” proof that Marin records were destroyed? There is sworn testimony of a subpoenaed court mediator who showed up in court with no mediation files, and stated under oath that the mediation files had been destroyed, reportedly at the direction of Kim Turner– what else would you like?

      And what do you find laughable about the purposeful destruction of important court records, that relate to the safety of children, in the middle of a state audit, reportedly at the direction of a member of the California Judicial Council?

      Re the 455 Golden Gate event– I have never pretended to know the cause of the outage which took place hours after the proposed legislative audit of multiple courts was announced. Here is what the paper said:

      “According to a longtime employee within the building, the Department of Worker’s Compensation, the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals were all crippled by the outage. State employees – and litigants – showing up for Thursday and Friday court dates with the Supreme Court were sent home.”

      “A set of fuses was flown in from Oklahoma on Friday, and hectic repair work continued throughout the weekend (“Servers are down and they are trying to re-route and use generators” reported one employee on Sunday).”

      “By Monday, power had been partially restored to the building, but disarray continued. It is unknown if state servers sustained damage or lost data. Meanwhile, backlogged information retrieval jobs and re-filing of court dates are burdening already overtaxed workers.”

      “To make matters worse, the courts had just premiered a new all-computerized system sans the traditional last-scene-of-“Raiders of the Lost Ark”-volume of paper files.””

      (HMMMM. . . .after reading this blog, maybe Deloitte had something to do with that outage. . . .?)

      Just sayin, you seem to know a lot about this event, and maybe you can answer a ccouple of questions I have had. Was the state building outage actually a PG&E issue? (I did ask someone at PG &E that question, and the answer I got was “no”. ) And were court records “lost”? I have asked that question of AOC personnel before, and it has never been answered.

      Anyway, we all have our viewpoints, and we all have our issues. . .and some of us have seen unbelievable heartache, corruption and devastation in the third branch—and yes, sometimes we get strident and feel the need to scream from mountaintops. I was asked questions about the destruction of Marin records, and I answered, perhaps a bit heatedly (calling out the chief himself, and few others) . . . .and you did not like it. . . .that’s fair. I won’t take offense. But I am still calling out the chief himself, and everyone else who should be concerned and doing something about the purposeful destruction of important court records, reportedly at the direction of a member of the CA Judicial Council.

      • Wendy Darling

        Actually Justice California, it’s more like screaming into a hurricane. From the mountaintop your voice might actually carry and be heard. But screaming into a hurricane, there is no one to care about or listen to what you’re saying because the people who could actually do anything about it are too busy trying to find a rock big enough to crawl under and hide.

        Which raises another question: Why is the elected leadership in the State legislature up in Sacramento protecting the Chief Justice?

  35. Michael Paul

    Today, approximately one year after filing my first whistleblower complaint and one month after filing a taxpayer lawsuit, I was fired.

    For those of you in the Technical Services Group of information services, you will recall this afternoon’s meeting. I was asked to stay behind by Michael Derr (and you all witnessed it) to discuss the power distribution in the computer room. As you walked out, Mark Moore, Michael Guevara (HR) and Kyle Nishimura walked in.

    Power distribution in the server room played no part of this meeting.

    Mark Moore did all the talking and I was ambushed with a June 23rd email I wrote asking Steve Sundman if bid rigging could be happening on his mammoth lakes courthouse project as it looked like the legal definition of bid rigging to me.

    Mark Moore cited our December 15th conversation about whom to bring up improper conduct within the judicial branch and instructed me to follow the chain of command for such instances.

    I was fired for asking a project manager if bid rigging may be taking place . As a project manager, Mr. Steve Sundman was the correct place to ask this question and ask him to check to ensure this is not bid rigging. This is where the chain of command starts.

    Apparently, according to Mark Moore, I need to bring that kind of stuff up with he who coordinates fraud, waste and abuse and no one else and therefore, I am fired.

    Despite Mr. Moore’s protest, I did exactly as he has asked. I followed the proper chain of command in this instance.

    I really enjoyed working for the AOC even up until today. However, now is the time to move on and I’ll be a better person for it.

    Thank you for the opportunity to serve the people.

    • Excuse me, I was incorrect. The correct term I used was Bid Shopping, not bid rigging.

      Sorry for the incorrect term. The link in my name describes what I observed and properly reported.

  36. Michael,

    This sounds like wrongful termination to me, being that I have 10 years of HR experience.

    Mr. Moore needs to answer a few questions for a few of us in EOP. Why does he need an ipad? Second, why is it ok for him to inappropriately promote his BFF to “Acting” Senior Manager in a hiring freeze? How exactly is this person qualified? The corruption in this division is a disgrace to taxpayers, particularly the CCMS group. The entire CCMS group in the SF office are coveted and protected by the execs to a degree that sickens the rest of the staff. Sadly, they bleed incompetence.

    Michael, thank you for being moral and honest. Few people have your integrity and it’s a shame. Thank you for being a concerned taxpayer working in the public sector for more than politics, power, and a pension.

    You will be missed by many. We will wear our whistles proudly in your honor.

    • Judge_Dredd

      Contra view: Not all AOC employees support you or think you’re a martyr/hero.

      • Michael Paul

        Martyrs are people who die for a cause. Heroes save people. I am saving no one and dying for no one.

        What I am doing, what I have always concentrated on is ensuring ALL funds illegally paid to those who did public work on public projects are returned to the state and I’m not playing favorites.

        Rather than endorsing that course of resolution, the AOC has been toying with the AG’s office through the establishment of an Attorney-Client relationship/prvilege and playing favorites amongst the unlicensed contractors that should be sued.

        All I am doing is leveling the playing field and going every unlicensed contractor that I discovered was doing Judicial Branch work.

        Only those people who are corrupt enough to allow overpriced, sole-source, substandard work by unlicensed contractors at anywhere between 2 to 5 times the going rate need be concerned.

        Those individuals are likely hoping for a plane to fall out of the sky or a meteor to enter the atmosphere above me. I parted the black robe of silence and saw the B.S. and I cried foul.

        Someone mentioned looking into the company that delivers. I know all those gory details there as well so allow me to present that controversy.

        Soon.

    • Speaking of questions I’d like Mark Moore to specifically answer, here’s one.

      Why did he so actively pursue the spending of valuable California tax dollars to launch a pilot program for senior managers, assistant directors and directors to have their very own iPads?

      Then, when the idea was shot down by the folks in Business Services, he went on the holy warpath about it? Surely our tax dollars can be better spent! Surely the senior managers, assistant directors and directors can do their job without an iPad!? If Mr. Moore so badly wanted an iPad, why couldn’t he just purchase one himself, out of his $125+K salary?

  37. Mike, am sorry you were unjustly fired. I always thought you did the right thing. I am disgusted though not surprised that you were not supported when you asked the questions should be asked.
    Unfortunately the managers within AOC IS have no leadership skills and would rather put their energy into their silly school yard games than make the hard decisions they are paid to make.
    I have watched IS management nurture partnerships with vendors that are only to happy to steal as much money as they can from taxpayers and provide the most substandard of service to our courts. Diligent IS employees spend more time babysitting vendors so they will do half of what they are paid do. Little time is left in the day to do the job our taxpayers and courts deserve. Mark Moore does not know the half of it. He should really scrutinize the telcom provider that “delivers”.

    • Michael Paul

      Thank you for your kind words.

      Out of the 200 neon colored whistles that I purchased, I left the office with some 30 or so on the top of my cubicle. They were left there to assist us all in promoting change. Please, be a part of that change for your own sake.

      This is not the end, this is only the beginning of a new chapter in my life.

      I am grateful to many for the extraordinary opportunity presented to me by the Judicial Council and the AOC and the support, faith, and trust of my many team members in IS, ERS, Education, OCCM and the Appellate, Supreme and Trial Courts I have worked with statewide.

      Should you need a consultant to keep the AOC and their vendors honest, If you haven’t heard, I’m available. 😉

      • Michael Paul

        And to she who wore those neon whistles as earrings?

        I missed it, I was told about it and I thank you for it.

  38. JusticeCalifornia

    M.P., you said:

    “Apparently, according to Mark Moore, I need to bring that kind of stuff up with he who coordinates fraud, waste and abuse and no one else”.

    Was he saying you should have reported directly to Ron George?

    So you got fired for reporting to the wrong person. . . .the latest Turner court document destruction debacle (with the actual transcripts) was reported directly to George. And Lynn Holton. And past and current legislative members of the Judicial Council. And others, each day.

    Let’s see if anyone does anything about it– or if , under Ron George’s increasingly oppressive reign of this crumbling empire, only whistleblowers get fired (or sentenced to solitary confinement in perpetuity, or lose their children), while reported perps get to commit and cover up administrative misconduct, thwart legislative audits, obstruct justice, and otherwise set current top leadership policy for the CA judicial branch.

    Justice George? What say you?

    And Senator Corbett? Assemblymember Feuer? What are you going to do about this? You are current Judicial Council members, right? Remember the June 5, 2009 JusticeCalifornia bulletin you received, warning you about Kim Turner after she was appointed to the Judicial Council? Let me refresh your recollection, here is what it said, in pertinent part:

    “So, the question is, amid years of public outcry about corruption, irregularities and/or illegalities in the Marin and other state courts for example, see [websites omitted] and on the eve of a well-publicized request for an audit of the Marin Courts by the legislature, why did Chief Justice Ron George appoint Marin’s controversial Kim Turner, who was criticized by his own Administrative Office of the Courts, to be one of only 27 members of the Judicial Council? ”

    “Critics wonder: Is the Chief Justice trying to reward Ms. Turner for covering up irregularities in the Marin Court that the Judicial Council has known about for years, or, is he trying to intimidate legislators into abandoning the JLAC audit altogether, by forcing them to seek information from, and perhaps question the integrity of, a Judicial Council member?”

    Senator Corbett, and Assemblyman Feuer, now you have in your possession the testimony of Turner’s own employee, naming her as committing what appears to be a felony, that affects the integrity of the JLAC audit. What are you going to do about it? And what are you going to do to stop rampant third branch retaliation against whistleblowers?

    • Paula J. Negley

      You probably don’t have to worry too much about whistleblowers at the AOC anymore. The AOC got rid of all of them. And in doing so they have set an example of retaliation and fear in every AOC employee. No one at this point would dare speak up; the employees who might have ever thought of doing so are either too afraid or already fired.

      And as for Senator Corbett or Assemblyman Feuer, I expect they could care less about AOC employees. And neither, apparently, does anyone else in Sacramento.

      Proud to be a State employee working in the Judicial Branch? No. Ashamed to be a State employee, especially working for the current Chief Justice.

      • Sadly, Paula, it appears you are correct. If AOC employees truly had the protection provided to other employees across the state, protection they deserve but are being denied, just imagine the skeletons from the closet that would be revealed to the public.

        I still have hope that the honest Judges across the state (surely there are some left??) are watching, and taking notes as to the injustices that are being perpetrated by the very system that is SUPPOSE to serve and protect the people of the State of California. *ALL* of the people, without wrongfully excluding those that are employed by the AOC.

        The state legistature needs to get off their butts and address this whistleblower issue NOW. To do nothing means they are merely a supporter of such despicable behavior.

        I hope Mr. Paul goes for the jugular on this ordeal! The AOC seems to be inviting him to go for their neck in their usual arrogant style. Such bold arrogance is bred from possessing too much power without a monitoring system in place. Based on the small percentage of skeletons already let out of the closet, I think we can all agree this seems to be the case regarding the AOC, regardless of what it deals with, eh?

        “They are entitled” seems to be their ongoing motto!

        As to “Justice George”, that’s an oxymoron if I ever saw/heard of one.

    • Judge_Dredd

      You have nothing better to do at midnight on a Friday than post this? Sad.

  39. JusticeCalifornia

    I apologize in advance, Just Sayin. You and anyone else who thinks what is going on is laughable white noise, please just ignore my following 3-part observations.

    PART ONE

    As an 11-year judicial reform advocate, I believe we are all taking part in a painful but necessary third branch transformation.

    It has taken time to realize the current CA judicial system is not working. Way too much power, money, and influence have been placed in George’s hands, and George has actively created a massive empire that he alone controls without oversight– at the expense of the public and the integrity of the branch.

    To protect his $4 billion empire and unfettered power, George has surrounded himself with those who will support his agenda; nurtured along a huge network of lobbyists inside and outside the capital; encouraged self-serving third branch legislation—like SBX211; protected and promoted compromised (even corrupt) members of the branch; and ensured swift and brutal retaliation – all the way up and down the branch– against those who complain. Hello!!! This is what tyrants, dictators and despots with unfettered power do.

    There is a learning curve for the general population, and even those working within the judicial system. I, for one, knew nothing about judicial corruption until I began practicing in Marin County 11 years ago. I had practiced all over the Bay Area, won some and lost some, but the thought of challenging a judge for cause never crossed my mind. After witnessing the brutal, corrupt, destruction of families and children in Marin County, brought about by infamous Marin presiding judges who were clearly violating the law, and after watching the purposeful destruction enjoy protection and facilitation by Ron George, the Commission on Judicial Performance, and certain Courts of Appeal, I joined the ranks of determined Marin victims and advocates who were mobilizing and sharing stories.

    The protected third branch corruption obviously wasn’t just happening in Marin County, and it obviously wasn’t just happening in family law.

    By 2004-2005, under Ron George’s tutelage, the judicial branch had clearly lost focus of its purpose, as evidenced in the June 2005 Praxis report commissioned by the Judicial Council. That report revealed that fairness was at the very bottom of the list of statewide trial court objectives (less than one-half of one-percent), and diversity was second lowest (less than one percent). The report further revealed that AOC objectives tracked the trial court objectives—fairness and diversity were low on the AOC totem pole. And people were SPEAKING OUT—the report revealed that the public a) believes politics affects the outcome of cases, and b) desperately want and expect judicial accountability.

    • JusticeCalifornia

      PART TWO

      Did George listen, and give the public what they wanted? No. Like all good tyrants and despots, he went into defense mode. In November of 2006, he called together the state’s top judges and court executive officers, and unveiled his plan to secure the status quo. He mapped out a plan to deter judicial challengers, enlist public relations professionals, force judges to engage in public relations, and use lawyer-legislators and top bar members to promote the judicial agendas, speak in defense of the bench, and silence court critics.

      And as we can see, his handpicked CIC and Judicial Council and legislative lobbyists are implementing George’s plan, step by step. And when there is an attack on the branch—the wagons are circled, favors are called in, and the attacker is ridiculed and punished. Luckily, this is the United States, and sometimes this backfires.

      Backfire example: George threw a hissy fit and closed the courts one day a month, and invited angry litigants and court workers to vent at their legislators. That backfired, as EVERYONE inside and outside the branch (many of whom were already chafing at George’s heavy-handed arrogance and tactics), started looking at where George’s $4 billion is really going.

      Backfire example: Playing dirty and heavy-handed with AOC employees—and getting sued—and ending up with the AOC watcher.

      Backfire example: Playing dirty and heavy-handed with trial courts—and winding up with the ACJ.

      Backfire example: Appointing historically problematic people to top positions in his wobbling administration, and then having them commit foreseeable crimes against the public.

      Backfire example: Messing with people like Richard Fine, and promulgating self-serving legislation like SBX211. Richard Fine is sitting in jail, going on two years, although he or his supporters could simply pay the blood money and get out. 70-year-old Fine is making a horrifying point– and that is that our “justice” system is behaving no better than those we condemn for human rights violations around the world. How long are the LA courts going to keep him locked up in solitary confinement? It is obscene. It shocks the conscience. And let’s face it: SBX211 stinks. It reeks of judicial corruption.

      For example: Failing to understand that corrupt, broken family courts are churning out HUGE ranks of motivated court reformers.

      It starts as a whisper, and becomes a roar. . . . .

      • JusticeCalifornia

        PART THREE

        Just a few years ago, Ron George was considered the ultimate politician-jurist, with an eye on the U.S. Supreme Court. He was teaching other Chief Justices how to create a judiciary like California’s. Right now, he is the prime candidate for a book entitled “The Rise and Fall of King George, and the Biggest Judiciary in the Western World.”

        This has taken the time, effort, and blood of a lot of people—each doing what they can. That involves stories, and documentation of stories. Documenting takes time and fortitude– it means taking a bad story all the way through the system, to show that everyone who knew and should have done something didn’t — and to show that those who are daring to speak out are being retaliated against.

        After stories have been documented, and taken all the way up and down the line, and reported to all three branches of government—well, if nothing happens, and no one does anything, history tells us the people will do it.

        Revolution. That is where Ron George is taking his broken judicial branch, and the legislature, and the public. Step by step. But we are far beyond a whisper.

        Lots of people are on mountaintops, screaming.

        Unless Ron George steps down or is kicked out, and someone really good and ethical is selected to take his place and clean house, I do believe this is where we will eventually be:

        Because that is the process. That is how change comes about when those in leadership positions a) continue to actively engage in oppression, or b) facilitate it by running for cover when asked to stand up against it.

        By the way, no one should underestimate the power of what each has done, and what the AOC watcher is doing.

  40. Paula J. Negley

    PART ONE

    As our country has just recently celebrated the anniversary of America’s Independence from King George and Great Britain, this might be a good time to consider some modern day parallels to the events that led to the American Revolution.

    In response to armed resistance by American colonists for being denied democratic representation in the British Parliament (taxation without representation), King George issued the Proclamation for Suppressing Rebellion and Sedition, essentially declaring war on the pesky colonists for having the audacity to not obey his authority and submit to parliamentary supremacy. The Proclamation ordered British public officials in the colonies “to use their utmost endeavours” to suppress the resistance, including reporting and punishing anyone carrying on “traitorous correspondence” with the rebels.

    The Second Continental Congress issued a response to the Proclamation, which led to King George’s Speech From The Throne, stating rebellion was being fostered by a “desperate conspiracy” to create an “independent Empire” which was to be dealt with by armed force. The King ignored warnings from those in Parliament that he was driving the colonists towards independence.

    King George’s Proclamation and Speech from the Throne alienated colonists who were loyal to Britain and supportive of the King, including moderates in the Continental Congress such as John Dickinson, and ultimately led to the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. Many are familiar with at least some portion of the Declaration of Independence, and in particular the famous preamble which sets out the principles and ideals of the Declaration stating “We hold these truths to be self-evident” that people have certain “unalienable rights”, and should government, who govern only with the consent of the governed, violate these rights, the people have the right to “alter or abolish” that government.

  41. Paula J. Negley

    PART TWO

    Many, however, are much less familiar with an accompanying document to the Declaration: the list of America’s reasons why King George had become unfit to be their ruler.

    Here are a few excerpts:

    He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
    He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
    He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
    He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
    He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
    He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
    He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
    He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
    For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
    For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
    For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
    For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
    He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
    He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
    He is at this time transporting foreign mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty and Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the Head of a civilized nation.
    He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken captive of the high seas to bear arms against their Country, to become executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
    In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

  42. Paula J. Negley

    PART THREE

    A year later, in July 1777, America was on the eve of some crucial and pivotal points in the American Revolution, the most important of which were The Battles of Saratoga, which conclusively sealed the fate of British General John Burgoyne by superior American forces, which ultimately surrounded Burgoyne and forced him to surrender on October 17th. News of Burgoyne’s surrender was a moving cause in formally bringing France into the war as an American ally, and also resulted in Spain contributing to the war on the American side.

    After that, things were pretty much over for King George and the British Army.

    Something to think about with the general election quickly approaching in November.

    • Judge_Dredd

      News flash, Paula. You lost. Wah wah wah. Or is the federal bench in on it, too?

      • Paula J. Negley

        I can’t help but notice that you hide here under an pseudonym, which makes it convenient for you to engage in sniper fire from the perimeter.

  43. JusticeCalifornia

    Whoa there “Judge Dredd”.

    Had a few drinks have you?

  44. JusticeCalifornia

    Methinks the King George followers are getting a bit upset.

    • JusticeCalifornia

      Thank you Paula. Love these timely quotes:

      “He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.”

      “He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.”

      “Cruelty and Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy of the Head of a civilized nation.”

      “In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.”

      No on George.

  45. Good work JusticeCalifornia.

    “He has refused his assent to the Laws”: where is whistleblower protection for AOC employees?

    “He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for the establishing Judiciary Powers”: Why does the Chief Justice oppose passage of the Trial Court Bill of Rights?

    “We have petitioned for redress in the most humble terms”: Where is the accounting for over $ 190,000.00 in gifts given to the AOC? Why does the Judicial Council,in public session, allow only about 10 minutes for presentation of viewpoints that are not in accord with Judicial Council votes? And when judges do appear they are called “Mister”? Why are those who oppose the Chief Justice called “shrill”, “uninformed” and “clowns”? Why are those in the AOC who speak in opposition to the King fired or forced to retire?

    “He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone”: Only his handpicked minions are allowed on the Judicial Council and its Committees.

    …”for the tenure of their offices”: what about the attempt to have local presiding judges appointed by the Chief Justice?

    “He has erected a multitude of New Offices”: The AOC now has over 900 employees.

    This is only a start.

    There is a play, “The Madness of George III”, by Alan Bennett. It is engrossing and wickedly funny as reviewed by one critic. If you get an opportunity you should see it.

  46. JusticeCalifornia

    An interesting article. . . .one that hits a little too close to home, some might say.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Asia-Pacific/2010/0706/Why-Chinese-activist-Ni-Yulan-lost-nearly-everything

  47. JusticeCalifornia

    Wendy Darling asked this question:

    “Why is the elected leadership in the State legislature up in Sacramento protecting the Chief Justice?”

    I gave that some thought. I mean, after all, the chairs of the Senate and Assembly Judiciary Committees are members of the Judicial Council. Presumably, that is so the legislature can fulfill it’s obligation to monitor the judiciary and provide checks and balances.

    I did a little research, to see whether our elected officials/Judicial Council members have been attending Judicial Council meetings while the Judicial branch has been going .

    Here is a little summary:

    Judicial Council/legislative Members 2007-2010
    History of attendance at Judicial Council meetings

    2007: Senator Ellen M. Corbett, Assembly Member Dave Jones

    2/23/07: both absent
    4/27/07: both absent
    6/29/07: both absent
    8/31/07: both absent
    10/26/07: both absent
    12/7/07: both absent

    2008: Senator Ellen M. Corbett, Assembly Member Dave Jones

    2/22/08: both absent
    4/25/08: both absent
    8/15/08 both absent
    10/10/08: both absent
    10/24/08: both absent
    12/9/08: both absent

    2009: Senator Ellen M. Corbett, Assembly Member Mike Feuer

    3/12/09: both absent
    4/23-4/24/09: both absent
    7/29/09: both absent
    8/14/09: both absent
    10/23/09: Feuer absent
    12/15/09: both absent

    2010: Senator Ellen M. Corbett, Assembly Member Mike Feuer

    1/21/10: both absent
    2/26/10: both absent
    4/23/10: both absent

  48. JusticeCalifornia

    Sorry, I pushed “submit” while I was considering whether to say the judicial branch was going to “hell in a handbasket” (and then I thought–what does that mean?) and I started looking it up.

    Whatever phrase you use, I think it is a terrible waste to have legislators who are on the very elite Judicial Council, and who have the ability to oversee and participate in making judicial policy– simply go AWOL. It appears a number of ACJ judges and court reform advocates (myself included) have been to far more meetings in the last 7 months than the legislative Judicial Council members -combined– have attended in the last 3.5 years (one). Those meetings, and the information passed out at the meetings, are important.

    Whether they were absent or not, I do believe the Judicial Council member/ legislators are the ones who should be asked to account for what their Judicial Council — and what the head of their Judicial Council– has done and is doing.

    I think it’s probably fun and prestigious and warm and fuzzy to play patty cake with our charming chief when things are going well–it’s another story when he and the Judicial Council are being called out for very serious waste and misconduct.

    In all fairness to the chief–when the cat’s away, the mice will play. If the legislature wants to hand over $4 billion and then have their Judicial Council legislative representatives play hookey, well, maybe that should be taken up with the legislature, and especially the judiciary committees.

    Wendy, I would never have paid attention to and researched this if not for your question. Thank you. Another reason why this blog is so great. . .

  49. Wendy Darling

    So, in four years the two members of the State legislature who are also members of the Judicial Council, only one of them attended one meeting in four years?

    Well, that would certainly explain why no one up the State legislature had a clue about what is and has been going on at the Judicial Council and the AOC until the hearing in Sacramento last October.

    Don’t they get paid to attend those meetings? Isn’t it part of their public duties/public office? Maybe someone should ask them why they haven’t gone to these meetings. It’s as bad as Meg Whitman not voting for a couple of decades.

    Are any of these people up for re-election in November?

    Does the Chief Justice appoint these members to the Judicial Council too, along with everyone else? If he doesn’t, it might be a good idea to have Assemblymembers DeLaTorre, Lowenthal, or Strickland sit on the Judicial Council as a representative of the State legislature, because I don’t think the Chief Justice, the Judicial Council, or the AOC can pull the wool over their eyes any longer.

    But the elected leadership in Sacramento would also include the current Attorney General Jerry Brown. The AG’s office is suing the unlicensed contractors to recover the public funds they were paid but weren’t legally entitled to because they were operating without a license, and the AOC used them in violation of State law. I understand that Michael Paul is actually a witness for the AG’s office in that suit.

    But Jerry Brown and the AG’s office won’t touch the AOC for using those unlicensed contractors in the first place, or anything else going on at the AOC, or the Judicial Council.

    So, Justice California, the question remains, why is the elected leadership in Sacramento, including the AG’s office, protecting the Chief Justice?

    Doesn’t it concern anyone in any position of authority, including law enforcement, or the California Department of Justice, that all this misconduct is going on unchecked in the Judicial Branch?

    The demonstrated indifference from Sacramento gives the impression of tacitly approving, if not intentionally looking the other way, to the corruption going in the Judicial Branch.

    And how is the AG’s office going to explain away not doing anything about the firing of Michael Paul, when he is the one who blew the whistle on that unlicensed contractors scheme at the AOC in the first place? If it wasn’t for Michael Paul, the AG’s office would never have even known about the AOC using unlicensed contractors in violation of State law.

    Then again, maybe Attorney General Jerry Brown and the AG’s office would have preferred it if Michael Paul had never reported it.

    It wouldn’t be surprising at this point if Michael Paul does. Thanks for reporting fraud, corruption, and misconduct going on in your workplace, which happens to be in the California Judicial Branch. We appreciate it so much you’re fired. And oh, by the way, we still need you to testify for us so we can try and get back those public funds that your former employer at the Judicial Branch illegally gave to those unlicensed contrators? We’d appreciate it. And after all, it’s not like you’re busy or anything, seeing as you no longer have a job.

    No on George.

  50. Wendy Darling

    The shredders sure were busy today over at Death Star headquarters, especially on the 5th and 7th floors.

    One can only imagine what they’re trying to hide now.

  51. First of all, to those that know american/UK history, King George was as mad as a hatter. Perhaps our current “King George” is as well. Well, at least that is one excuse.
    Secondly, the AG is not going to do s**t about Michael as long as THE AG wants to be gov, so no doubt he has already been working out many behind the scene deals with King George in the event he may become gov. Croynism lives in american politics, oh my! Not to mention this issue is not even on the public’s radar, much less the antics of King George or the AOC. So why should the AG care?
    Lastly, as I have said before, King George is lying low (with the other slugs under rocks) so he will be retained. Again this issue is totally out of the public’s radar, so he will be retained.
    That my fellow bloggers is the unfortunate truth about american politics and the publics capacity to give a s**t about anything that does not affect them directly. Sickening I know. All that those of us who care can do: judges, justices, current and former AOC and court employees, attorneys, and informed members of the public is let others know how to vote when it comes to supreme court retentions in November.
    Judge Dredd, while I enjoy your comments, have you ever considered anti-depressants? You sure seem like you have a burr under your saddle about something.
    By the way, I heard that Superman is now 700 years old (no not since he came out in comics but since he was born). No wonder he can’t help truth and justice in the state of California. He probably is in a rest home in the midwest.

    • Courtflea,

      I always monitor/read this board, but don’t always post. Still, I appreciate insightful posts such as yours (and so many other contributors here whether I agree with them or not).

      You are SPOT ON with regard to this being totally off the public’s radar. The common folks have no idea of what is happening behind the scenes (robes?). They need and deserve to know that that these representatives have betrayed them instead of serving them.

      It’s time for things to change. A major “NO on George” mobilization of a public campaign variety!

      As Edmund Burke, the Irish political philosopher, said: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”….

  52. JusticeCalifornia

    Okay, I just tried to post the following but, because I included three e-mail addresses ( I think the limit may be one), my comment is awaiting moderation. So I will re post without the addresses, and send the addresses one by one. Here is my post without the e-mail addresses:

    “Perhaps the heat has been turned on. . . .for real.

    I sure as heck am sending out information, and perhaps others are too. . . .

    I suggest that if anyone in this big wide world wants to complain about, or demand action on, or request an answer or action regarding what the Judicial Council and Big Ron and the AOC have been and are doing, they contact legislators/Judicial Council members Senator Ellen Corbett and Assemblyman Mike Feuer (whose wife, by the way, is apparently a judge who benefits from the SBX211 legislation), and Assemblyman Dave Jones (current legislator and former Judicial Council member through 2008).

    We all feel the great pain of what is going on in the third branch, I think we should share. Our friends and family should share. A lot. Knowledge is power, and knowledge ignored by those in power is also power.

    I understand that legislators take, VERY seriously, calls and e-mails and letters from concerned CA citizens. And it is very concerning that these legislator/Judicial Council members have not been minding the store by attending Judicial Council meetings (thank you W.D.), thereby letting us all fend for ourselves, while they play footsie with Big Ron.

    Ellen Corbett (916) 651-4010 [email address deleted]

    Mike Feuer (916) 319-2042 [email address deleted]

    Dave Jones (916) 319-2009 [e-mail address deleted]

    You know, they have those stickers– “I voted”.

    Well, “I shared”, a lot, in the past week.

    • JusticeCalifornia:

      I, too, have shared quite a bit lately, and will continue to do so. In fact, don’t be surprised if you see me standing out on the PUBLIC streets outside of the AOC offices handing out flyers to the PUBLIC! As Paula has said in the past, it is the duty owed, and I’m willing to step up to the plate.

      • Michael Paul

        I will be more than happy to generously contribute time, effort, money and resources to make reforms that make sense to me happen.

  53. JusticeCalifornia

    By the way, my last comment was in reply to Wendy Darling’s last comment.

    Here is an example of what I have “shared” in various e-mails with Corbett, Feuer, and Jones:

    “Senator Corbett and Assemblyman Feuer were named last night in the AOC watcher blog as current Judicial Council members who should be held accountable for addressing whistleblower retaliation/protection issues in the third branch, and fellow Judicial Council member Kim Turner’s reported involvement in the illegal destruction of court records while the JLAC audit is ongoing. See:

    https://aocwatcher.wordpress.com/2010/06/15/discussion-thread-for-aoc-employees/#comment-3709

    Perhaps you should read this entire thread. And the other threads on this blog as well.

    The issues of judicial branch waste, corruption, misconduct and/or retaliation are not going away. You are Judicial Council members and the Judicial Council sets policy for the judicial branch in the State of California . If you do not agree with what is going on, and/or do not want to be lumped with all those perpetuating or protecting third branch misconduct/waste, you may want to step in right now and use your dual leadership positions as current (or, in the case of Dave Jones, former) Judicial Council and Judiciary committee members to provide accountability and protection for the public, and the integrity of the branch as a whole.

    I am requesting that you three, or the combined Judicial Council and Senate and Assembly Judiciary committees, ask the Attorney General and local Marin law enforcement (Sheriff and District Attorney) for an investigation into the Kim Turner record destruction matter. The rumored destruction of court records by Kim Turner and her employees has gone on for years — this is not the first such report.

    I am further suggesting that you take it upon yourselves to listen to, review, and refer to the proper authorities the complaints of third branch employees who report that they have been suffering and are continuing to suffer whistleblower retaliation. I further suggest you make time to meet with and consider complaints and concerns of members of the 58 county superior courts, before believing that Ron George is “speaking with one voice” regarding governance of the third branch, or supporting his claim that he is. He clearly is not. And for heaven’s sake, demand the “real numbers” on how much CCMS has cost– bottom line (something the AOC apparently has not yet revealed)– and find out what all the problems are, and when it is supposed to REALLY be launched, how much it is going to cost between now and then, and whether or not it is already outdated. You may also want to inquire about how much the third branch is paying in-house and private counsel to defend against lawsuits, challenges and reported misconduct involving third branch bench and administration members. And, while discussing financial matters, perhaps you should poll the public to see how they feel about having court services cut back, causing delays and jeopardizing their cases (for example, In Marin County Kim Turner is sending available court reporters to their offices to sit quietly, instead of being utilized in court to create records that can be used to memorialize what is happening—ask me for details), while $25 million is being spent to build a one-courtroom courthouse in Alpine County (the smallest county in the state, I understand), and $455 million is being spent on a new Sacramento courthouse.

    Taking these actions would be good government, and a great use of your leadership positions on the Judicial Council, and Judiciary committees. Ignoring or minimizing repeated reports of misconduct in the Judicial Branch, and refusing to take steps to implement responsible judicial oversight (such as Judicial Performance Evaluations) is not. As you are witnessing, the number of vocal concerned citizens inside and outside the branch is growing, not shrinking.

    Thank you.

    [name] for JusticeCalifornia

  54. JusticeCalifornia

    Senator Ellen Corbett. She has been intimately involved with the judicial branch for the longest period of time, of the recent legislative Judicial Council members. Since 2002.

    Ellen Corbett
    Assembly/Judicial Council Member
    2002-2004

    Senate/Judicial Council Member
    2007-present

    Ellen Corbett (916) 651-4010 Senator.corbett@senate.ca.gov

    • Wendy Darling

      If Corbett didn’t care enough to miss every Judicial Council meeting except one meeting in 4 years, why would she care now? Hasn’t Corbett already demonstrated her complete indifference regarding any accountability or oversight of the Chief Justice, the Judicial Council, and the AOC? She won’t even accept accounability for attending meetings that she was apparently responsible for going to as a representative of the State legislature. I can’t help but believe she’ll just blow off anyone who asks her about this.

  55. I’m afraid Courtflea has it right. The public a). doesn’t vote and b). doesn’t care about the branch’s problems. Those problems just don’t match the level of angst associated with falling home values, the loss of income/jobs, the increased cost of living, rising tuition, etc.

    • I truly believe that history will show otherwise. It’s all a matter of sales and marketing and getting the word out to the public in a form/manner that they can understand where they realize it DOES, indeed, impact their world!

  56. It is not my nature to be a pessimist, but reality can really suck. Hey, JC why not get those unhappy court reporters in Marin to get their powerful lobbists to take up the cause? They took on Ron O when he was in Alameda county and won, maybe they can take a part in deposing King George and if what you say about Admin in Marin, then that too. Why are they sitting on their hands during all of this hulllaballo that you describe in Marin?
    Mermaid has the right idea and the court reporters AND the unions have the $$. Even King George could not reduce the useage of court reporters via the legislature, that is one heck of a powerful lobby. so why aren’t they using it?
    By the way, were are the unions in all of this? While they are making concessions at the trial court and state level, why are they not pointing the fraud and waste in the branch…starting with the raises to the RADS and other managers in the AOC, CCMS, you know the rest, as they have in the past? Has anyone heard or are the unions just to0 worried about furloughs at the state level and too busy fighting the potential of state employees earning minimum wage? It would be interesting to know.

  57. Wendy Darling

    The shredders were still very busy today over at Death Star Headquarters.

    The AOC employees also got a memo today stating line staff employees should anticipate being paid Federal minimum wage due to the State not having a budget. No announced cutbacks to CCMS spending, executive parties or pay raises, and nothing indicating that any AOC executive, director, or management staff will be taking any kind of a pay cut, temporary or otherwise. To add insult to injury to the AOC line staff, the Apple One temp employees at the AOC will continue to receive their full salary when the AOC employees go to Federal minimum wage.

    And for the employees in IT, they all got informed that they are not permitted to speak to Michael Paul, anyone talking to Michael Paul is to be reported, and if Michael Paul calls anyone or any AOC employee calls Michael Paul that is to be reported too.

    You can almost hear the goosestepping in the hallways.

    No on George.

    • JusticeCalifornia

      a. Was that direction about not talking to Michael Paul put into writing?

      b. Who gave that direction?

      c. Was the limitation on communication limited to during work hours (as opposed to personal time–like breaks and lunch, before and after work), or was it general?

      • Wendy Darling

        a. Nothing in writing that anyone has seen; the employees in IT were just told. Besides, when does the AOC ever put something like this in writing? If it was put in writing, then they wouldn’t be able to deny it, or claim that what was said was “misunderstood” or taken out of “context.”

        b. Director of IT and AOC management.

        c. Not limited to work hours, just not allowed at all, but then again AOC employees are considered and treated like property, not people.

      • JusticeCalifornia

        This is amazing.

        The First Amendment–freedom of association:
        “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances”

        Is it possible you will need to seek international intervention for protection from Ron George’s AOC?

        http://www.hrea.org/index.php?doc_id=406#national

        This is not my area of the law, but I suggest a quick consultation with a good employment lawyer .

      • JusticeCalifornia

        “Alliance Supporter // June 29, 2010 at 7:59 am | Reply

        Newly-appointed judges at the Witkin College last summer were ORDERED not to speak to the reporters and to refer all inquiries to AOC spokespersons.”

        And how did I miss the above post by Alliance Supporter?

        I am rarely shocked, but I am shocked.

        I understand Marin County court employees were told to refer questions by the JLAC auditors to “admin”– that pales in comparison to these reports.

        We are seeing a dramatic and extraordinarily troubling pattern of behavior here.

        Just another day in the CA third branch.

        No on George.

    • Michael Paul

      “Alliance Supporter” has a few hidden gems that must have been awaiting approval.

      I have no comment with respect to any order that prohibits communications or any association with me as I believe that any such order speaks volumes of its own accord.

      • Michael Paul

        On further thought, It would be beneficial for the media, who will protect your identity, to know if any such instruction was issued.

        Just don’t use AOC resources to tell them.

  58. Very interesting Wendy and gee, what a suprise! With “the audit” coming up and any potential whistle blower lawsuits, the AOC must go through shredders like toilet paper.

    The goose stepping has been going on for some time especially in JC meetings, but now it is echoing ever louder through the halls of the Death Star. I am sure the mechanical breathing of Vader and his followers is heard as well, right down your necks. I hope the economy picks up soon so you all can shake off the cloak of the death star. You all have my sympathy and sorrow at having to work under this evil regime. May the force be with you.

    No on George and death to the evil empire.

  59. JusticeCalifornia

    An e-mail sent out on June 24, 2010, which remains unanswered:

    “Dear Justices George and Chin:

    I have searched for information regarding 2010 retention election committees for either of you, but couldn’t find anything.

    So, I have three inquiries:

    At present, are either or both of you planning to seek retention?

    At present, are either or both of you collecting campaign contributions?

    At present, do either or both of you have retention election committees?

    I asked Lynn Holton for this information, but she has not provided it.

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to answer these questions. ”

    My observation: If the Justices do indeed have committees/treasurers/fundraisers in place, and if they are indeed accepting contributions, it is most unseemly to keep it a secret from those directly asking these questions.

    Anyway, there are interesting things about this election.

    First, a Chief Justice who has adored and courted the spotlight is actively refusing to answer questions about his intentions.

    Second, there is an unusual wealth of ammunition in terms of financial waste, administrative screw- ups , shady appointments, self-serving committees, judicial council legislation (SBX211), fractured politics, and failed policies — all paid for by the taxpayers. No one will be able to say, when George loses, that the election was “issue driven” in terms of his voting record on the bench.

  60. Wendy Darling

    Justice California,

    If and when you get a response from anyone to those questions, please pass them along. Many of us have those same questions and would like to know the answers too.

    But I wouldn’t be holding your breath. So far the Chief Justice hasn’t shown any inclination to answer questions, just attack those who are asking them.

    No on George.

  61. JusticeCalifornia

    I believe that a) The November Supreme Court retention elections, and b) limitations on judicial immunity via initiative to gain meaningful oversight where virtually none presently exists, will effect radical changes in the CA judiciary.

    Re the former, I believe that we should stand ready to launch the internet public education effort as soon as George and Chin announce. Documents and links, writings and articles, should be a click away for curious voters. In addition, I think a (later) well-timed protest (peaceful and lawful of course) on the steps of the State building in downtown SF attended by lots of different existing groups and individuals who have suffered from third branch misconduct would make a LOT of people feel MUCH better about what has happened to them. This protest has already been discussed by some.

    Strong, ethical, reform-minded judges and those who know them should probably start thinking of what new leadership will look like, because no matter what happens with the election, George has lost respect, and his grip on the branch, and neither he, nor one of his trusted minions, can effectively guide it. The fact that in recent years top leadership has ruled by fear, retaliation and dissemination of misinformation speaks volumes. And, George’s comments about elimination of public initiatives, democratization of the Judicial Council, and the stupidity of the legislature, let us all know how he really feels.

    Re limitations on judicial immunity, some of us are working to move that effort forward and it is moving into the planning stages. We want it to be an intelligent, viable effort that will pass legal muster and challenges so we are taking a somewhat different approach than others who have tried. This will take a little time. I will keep you posted.

    There is safety in numbers. Some individuals are comfortable publicly stepping forward and leading the charge – others are not. I, for one, am not encouraging anyone to become a martyr or hero. Lots of things can be done without that, especially because it would appear there are already lots of people with public stories. Calling and writing individual letters and e-mails to our Governor and the legislature is the “American Way”. A group effort to remove a wayward justice or enact certain laws—is the “American way”. Participating in a peaceful, lawful protest (disguised if necessary, to protect identities)—is the “American Way”. Lots can and will be done.

    And, as this blog illustrates, continuing to document and report—to the extent one can safely and comfortably do it, is invaluable.

    • JusticeCalifornia: Ditto on everything in your most recent post here. With regard to myself, safety is not an issue, so I have no problem stepping boldly (peacefully, of course!) to the front of the line.

      As to your (our?) unanswered questions on the retention of Justices George and Chin, perhaps letters to the editors of various publications across the state would be in order? In my opinion, such an effort would be worthwhile for numerous reasons.

  62. When is the deadline for the justices to file their intent to be on the ballot for retention? Is there some type of requirement that justices make announcements to the press of their desire to be retained? Unless there is, I would not expect the CJ to come out from under that rock until after the election. And isn’t a justice’s term for 12 years? scary thought. Talk about empowerment for the evil empire’s king.

    JC keep us posted on any protest. If one occurs a few suggestions:
    A coffin should be carried with the words democracy in the judicial branch inscribed on it, another coffin could be inscribed with AOC employee whistle blowers. Perhaps someone could come dressed as a king George with Jerry Brown AG on a leash, and make a speach about why an absolute monarch is necessary over the judicial branch and why your locally elected judges are not capable of having a say in the running of the branch. maybe burn John Judnick in effigy. Dress up as bobble heads or hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil monkeys with the label judicial council members (this could also work for members of the legislature). Speaking of monkeys dress up as winged ones and label yourself a RAD! Wear business attire with a noose around your neck and label yourself AOC employee. Best yet, dress up as Darth Vader and label yourself Bill V. Have someone dressed as a trial court judge and put him in stocks to demonstrate the lack of freedom of speech and action for them.
    Gee JC, this could be fun!!
    Now what should be Ron O be….oh yeah, one of those B horror flicks evil clown. Nothing is scarier than a clown (Chuckie is a close second)! Last but not least, Justice Huffman in toga garb, complete with laurel wreath head gear, lounging on a vehicle borne by slaves (AOC staff) drinking wine and stuffing himself on other JC “donated” goods. Or maybe he should be playing a fiddle.
    The rest of us can just show up in chains as slaves to the crown.
    I should have been a party planner! 🙂

    • JusticeCalifornia

      I believe 8/15 is the deadline I will double check.

      Courtflea, I love your ideas. Some months ago I bought a terrific pimp-money jacket from the party store, and pimp accessories, thinking a Ron George mask and that jacket, waving a Justice For sale banner and $25,899 price tag around, would look great.

      I also did buy two different types of monkey masks, to illustrate the “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil” mentality going down.

      This is going to be quite an event. Timing is everything.

  63. Wendy Darling

    How about passing co;ored out flyers on certain days outside every California superior court statewide, and the federal courts too, in the morning, during the lunch hour, and at the end of the day, recommending “No on George” vote in the November election, with a list of reasons to vote NO against retention?

  64. Wendy Darling

    Typo correction: How about passing out colored flyers on certain days outside every superior court statewide …

  65. Absolutely *LOVE* the creative ideas here! I was also thinking thousands and thousands of these (see link below) being transported/parked across the state on a daily basis might be good…with the appropriate customized message, of course!

    In sales and marketing, they often say it takes THREE times to imprint into a consumer’s brain the appropriate association-connection to permanently burn a message into the memory bank.

    Just three times….

    http://www.carflag.com/

  66. JusticeCalifornia

    Yes, I envision local court reform advocates/volunteers and their friends and families downloading, printing, and passing out fliers at the local courthouses (those fliers should be carefully crafted marketing works of art) with a reference to the No On George public information website.

    Bumper stickers, buttons and car flags.

    The “No On George” theme on fliers and elsewhere could be a drawing of the SF State building draped with banners: “Justice for Sale”, and others. . . .and we could have those very banners at the protest.

    Of course the big weapon is the internet, and the list serves each reform organization/group/individual has.

    Woo hoo.

    🙂

  67. Wendy Darling

    How about “lawn signs”, window posters, bumper stickers, and buttons? A bumper sticker or shirt button that has a red circle with a red line drawn across it over the name of the Chief Justice and “No on George”.

    And in a symbolic nod to Michael Paul and other AOC whistle-blowers, how about passing out neon whistles with “No on George” printed on the whistle or the lanyard? I’d send one of those to every sitting member of the State Legislature, starting with Corbett.

    No on George.

  68. ConcernedReConsolidation

    The Recorder is reporting that C.J. George will NOT be seeking reelection and will instead be stepping down.

  69. Great ideas! Even if we just printed out the flyers (the cheapest method) and put them on car windshields, in addition to passing out in front of courthouses. Bumper stickers could be pretty cheap if bought in volume. I am sure the unions could assist in passing out to members and doing some of the leg work. Plus they know all of the rules about doing stuff like this in front of courthouses, what employees can and cannot do, etc.
    I think if nothing else, the flyers could get folks who know nothing of the branch to think “hey I saw that flyer, why not vote no on retention since I don’t know this George dude from adam anyhoo”. It would plant the seeds. Perhaps also this website could be noted on the flyer for those out of the loop to check out. JC you are on it with the OUTfits!
    Maybe the grim reaper should come with a sign saying he is looking for the anti-George.
    Not to mention we have to have goose steppers. Singing Springtime for Ron George and the JC (pardons to Mel Brooks):

    The judiciary was having trouble
    What a sad, sad story
    Needed a new leader to restore
    Its former glory
    Where, oh, where was he?
    Where could that man be?
    We looked around and then we found
    The man for you and me

    And now it’s…
    Springtime for Ron George and the JC
    The judges are happy and gay!
    We’re marching to a better way
    Look out, here comes Ron to raise our pay!
    Springtime for Ron George and the JC
    Long may his reign live on!
    Springtime for Ron George and the JC
    Watch out, Judges
    We’re going to go on tour
    Springtime for Ron George and the JC…..

    oy vay, have a good day 🙂

  70. OMG, our prayers have been answered? Check out the Recorder! it says Ron George will not seek relection in the fall!
    Someone who can access the article please post ASAP

  71. Click here for the Mobile version

    HOME | NEWS | CASES & COURTS | IN PRACTICE | SPECIAL REPORTS | LAWJOBS | EVENTS | ABOUT US
    NEWS
    Chief Justice Ronald George to Step Down

    California’s judicial leader says he won’t seek re-election this fall.

  72. The AOC sent out an announcement –

    The CJ will not file for retention and will retire at the end of the calendar year 2010.

  73. Wendy Darling

    Here is the announcement in 5 parts:

    I have informed Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger that I shall conclude my service as Chief Justice of California with my current term of office, and shall not seek re-election during the approaching filing period. On January 2, 2011, after 38 years’ service, including 19 years on the California Supreme Court, I shall leave California’s judiciary.

    It is with enormous gratitude for the privilege and opportunity to serve the people of California that I shall conclude my time in public office.

    My gratitude begins with the four Governors who respectively entrusted me with the responsibility of serving at each level of California’s court system: appointment by Governor Ronald Reagan to the Los Angeles Municipal Court in 1972, Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., to the Los Angeles Superior Court in 1977, Governor George Deukmejian to the Court of Appeal in 1987, and Governor Pete Wilson to the Supreme Court as an Associate Justice in 1991 and as Chief Justice in 1996.

    Most of all, I am grateful to have served each day with a group of colleagues — justices and staff alike — unmatched in their judgment, scholarship, professionalism, and collegiality. No person could ask for a more rewarding experience than engaging in a common effort to give meaning to the rule of law by collaboratively crafting judicial opinions which, by the conclusion of my term, will have spanned 50 volumes of the Official Supreme Court Reports, resolving issues important to all Californians and to the nation.

  74. Wendy Darling

    Part 2:

    I take great pride also in achievements on the administrative side of my duties as Chief Justice. It has been a great honor and privilege to lead, for 14 years, what is often recognized as the finest judicial system in the world and— with more than 1700 judges, hundreds of subordinate judicial officers, and 20,000 court employees — perhaps the largest. Heading California’s judicial branch and its efforts to carry out our mission of providing fair and accessible justice to all Californians has been a particularly rewarding experience during these times of great challenge, opportunity, and reform. My gratitude extends literally to thousands of persons — judges, court executives, lawyers and others — for their service on the Judicial Council, on its many advisory committees and task forces, and in the Administrative Office of the Courts, in strengthening the quality, independence, and accountability of our judiciary as a co-equal, separate branch of government.

    Since my appointment as Chief Justice, it has been my responsibility and pleasure to work with three governors — Governor Wilson, Governor Davis, and Governor Schwarzenegger— as well as successive Legislatures, in representing and administering our third branch of government. Each of these three governors, together with legislative leadership and our partners in the justice system, has been instrumental in making California’s court system what it is today, through the adoption and implementation of fundamental structural reforms that followed my visits to the courts in all of California’s 58 counties soon after I became Chief Justice: (1) vesting the responsibility for funding our trial courts in the state instead of the counties, (2) unifying California’s 220 municipal and superior courts into a single level of trial court consisting of one superior court in each county, and (3) transferring ownership of the state’s 533 courthouse facilities from the counties to the state, under judicial branch management. Added to these achievements are dozens of other improvements in our court
    system. These include jury reform, expanded interpreter services, accommodations for self-represented litigants, the launch of a statewide case management system, the development of court community outreach programs (including special sessions of the Supreme Court held around the state and focused on student participation), the creation of new judgeships, and an ambitious courthouse construction project to replace or retrofit unsafe facilities.

  75. Wendy Darling

    Part 3:

    My 70th birthday this year focused my attention on a question recently posed by my family: why file for re-election for another 12-year term, after having authored hundreds of judicial opinions and overseen major administrative reforms in the judicial system; what more do you hope to accomplish other than refining and preserving what has been achieved? Reflection convinced me now is the right time— while I am at the top of my game— to leave while the proverbial music still plays, and return to private life.

    It is both difficult and liberating to relinquish a position of responsibility in the public or private arena. I would find it impossible to cut back on what is virtually a daily full–time commitment to administrative and case-related duties. I have often said there are no greener pastures of employment that pose any attraction to me, but the prospect of leisure time devoted to family, reading, and travel is irresistible at this point in my life. Seventy years is not an age too old for a person to occupy the office I hold; at the same time, it is young enough to enable me to pursue the richness of a life outside the law that I relish having before me.

  76. Wendy Darling

    Part 4:

    Despite these considerations, I resolved that I could not in good conscience depart this post if California’s judiciary remained enmeshed in a severe budget crisis. But through the tireless and creative efforts of many individuals within and outside the judicial branch, the issues facing the courts have been resolved in a manner that will get us through the difficult budget year that lies ahead, without compromising our ability to provide the public with fair and accessible justice.

    And so, with fourteen years as Chief Justice— and soon reaching the third-longest service among those 27 individuals who since statehood have served in that role— I shall not be filing a declaration of candidacy for re-election during the 30-day period preceding the August 16, 2010 deadline provided by the California Constitution. It is now time for someone else to assume those responsibilities and, as I have done, to build upon the work of his or her predecessors. The Governor accordingly will have the opportunity to nominate, before September 16, 2010, my successor as Chief Justice in accordance with Article VI, section 16, Subdivision (d), of the California Constitution.

    It is with an enormous sense of gratitude for the opportunity to serve the people of California that I announce my intention to leave office at the expiration of my current term on January 2, 2011. I do so with complete confidence in Governor Schwarzenegger’s commitment to appoint a successor who meets the high standards reflected in the judicial appointments he has made during his tenure as Governor of California.

  77. Wendy Darling

    Part 5:

    The end.

    Anyone up for speculating how long Bill Vickrey and Ron Overholt will have a job at the AOC?

  78. uuuuhhhh lets see, Jan. 3? I think Ron may hang around for a bit but Bill V may even beat the Chief outa there!

  79. PS thank you Wendy for posting the info

  80. At the risk of sounding cynical –

    Do you really think that someone with as much political savvy as the CJ would resign without first cutting a deal with the Governator to protect his legacy? The CJ might not care about what happens to Ron and Bill after he leaves (although I think he probably does), but he would not leave if there was a possibility his successor would pull the plug on CCMS, $1,000 sq. ft. courthouses, etc.

    Hate to rain on the parade, but I expect whoever the Governor nominates will continue to carry out the policies of the current CJ. I don’t think Ron and Bill have much to worry about.

  81. Wendy Darling

    The State Legislature may have a thing or two to say about that appointment, and maybe even Jerry Brown. Especially after the audit report of the AOC audit by the State Bureau of Auditss gets released to the State Legislature.

  82. OMG that is the best news! Yes, much thanks to Wendy for the posting! Is it time to start a betting pool on the departure dates for Ron and Bill?

    While there would never be an admission to such, I have to believe the growing dissention played a part in the Chief’s decision.

    Now what? The last thing we need at this point is a duplicate of King George replacing him in this position.

  83. WBF, I hear you and we need to be careful what we wish for, but I think with all of the negative issues associated with the CJ, I think the gov would be wise to stay away from a clone. And I think he will not appoint a white male to the position. But then again, who knows with a lame duck? And Wendy is right, the gov can only nominate someone the legislature must approve.
    If I had a choice in the matter I would nominate Justice O’Leary from the 4th (?) district (it covers OC, Riverside, etc.). She is the greatest.
    My choice for the Bill V replacement the current supreme court clerk Fritz Orlich.
    But as we all know, who is nominated is based heavily on their political connections with the current gov, so we shall see. I just hope he realizes the branch needs a breath of fresh air and not a re-tread and that includes the former senator Dunn.

  84. Actually too WBF, if you look carefully, most of the AOC big guys Bill V and the RADS are at retirement age or older. Perhaps the pay raises to those folks was given in order to increase their retirement benefits? Not to mention Bill V, Ron O’s , and Sheila’s significant others have had major health issues. Like the CJ said, it is a good time to go when you are “on top of your game” ha! I think these folks will follow his example.

  85. Wendy Darling

    How about Judge Daniel Goldstein? Judge McCoy? Judge Loren McMaster? Judge Maryanne Gilliard? Judge Thomas Hollenhorst? Judge Charles Horan? or Judge David Lampe?

    • JusticeCalifornia

      Wendy you listed these ACJ judges. . .don’t forget Judge Mark Forcum.

      • Wendy Darling

        Not at all intentionally Justice California. Those were just the names I could think of from memory. I also neglected to include Judge Fall, who would actually be a great choice.

        The concern (fear) however is that it will be Justice Huffman.

  86. one more time sorry! I think the gov will be looking out for his OWN legacy not the CJ’s. What does he care what the now lame duck CJ thinks?

  87. JusticeCalifornia

    Congratulations everyone.

    And this is how change comes about.

    We cannot rest on our laurels. The next task is to find and help the governor and legislators appreciate that a fresh, ethical, strong leader is needed for this position. Not a tainted minion. Someone who can mend the branch. A minion would just inspire more blogs and further inflame the situation.

  88. I was wrong, the legislature does not have a vote when it comes to the gov’s nomination. Sorry see the state consitution. my bad

    • Wendy Darling

      That doesn’t mean that the members of the State legislature won’t have some input or influence on the appointment, especially after the audit report comes out.

      • JusticeCalifornia

        And especially if people write and call the Governor and the legislators, telling them that Justice Huffman would be a terrible choice for the branch at this time. What that would invite is a further fractured branch, and a trip down memory lane, much as has been discussed these past weeks and months, as the fight would be on to educate and urge voters to vote no.

        No, I think the nominee is going to have to be very carefully chosen, considering all suggestions and points of view.

  89. will the audit be out before the filing deadline? otherwise, the gov could appoint someone and that person alone would appear on the ballot. I agree, contact the govs office and your representatives

  90. There should be a high priority placed upon the appointment of a CJ that has no connection to George—-no due bills, owed favors, any experience serving as one of George’s court minions….This is an opportunity not to be squandered.

  91. Wendy Darling

    From the Sacramento Bee website:

    UPDATE 4:52 p.m.: Schwarzenegger issued a statement saying his office will begin immediately the search for a nominee, who must then be confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. Voters will decide Nov. 2 whether to elect the appointed justice for a full 12-year term.

    Schwarzenegger also thanked George for demonstrating “tremendous commitment to justice with extraordinary dedication to upholding impartiality under the law.”