Naming Justice George’s Successor

By now everyone has heard the news that King Chief Justice Ronald George will be retiring January. Now the guessing game of whom the Governator will appoint has begun. So far the one name that keeps coming up is that of Justice Carol Corrigan who was appointed to the state supreme court by the Governator himself.

Here’s a rundown of the process for appointing George’s sucessor courtesy of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Naming a successor

The process of appointing Chief Justice Ronald George’s successor:

Candidate chosen: Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger must choose a candidate by Sept. 15, after a confidential review by the State Bar’s Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation.

Confirmation: The candidate will seek confirmation from the Commission on Judicial Appointments, consisting of George, Attorney General Jerry Brown and appeals court Justice Joan Dempsey Klein of Los Angeles, the state’s senior presiding appellate jurist.

Election: If confirmed, the candidate will go on the Nov. 2 ballot for a 12-year term beginning in January, when George’s term expires.

Justice promoted: If Schwarzenegger chooses a current justice to be chief justice, he would nominate that justice’s successor, who would go through the same confirmation process.

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273 responses to “Naming Justice George’s Successor

  1. Yikes, if the gov appoints an existing supreme that still gives Herr Huffman a chance to weasel in. Or some other prototype like Ardiz. ugh!
    I do not know Corrigan, but I do know one thing and their are studies to support it, women do generally have a more positive consensus type of management style. Ok I know you just have to get past the aborrations like Kiri Torre…..
    I still think the gov is too smart to appoint someone that would come with a lot of negative baggage. And I hope our judiciary is going to let the gov know who those are. We don’t need another King/Queen, we need a President or a RHPM.

  2. Wendy Darling

    A consensus builder who will understand that the time to democratize the Judicial Council and the administration of the Branch has come, a true leader who has the ethics and integrity to firstly and always will set the example and lead the way, who others can serve on behalf of the public with honor, who will not simply say one thing but do another, but will act for and demand true accountability and authentic transparency, first of themselves, as well as of the Branch, the Judicial Council, and the AOC.

    Any nominees?

  3. Hon.Mark Forcum

  4. Michael Paul

    Whomever it is must not be willing to accept the status quo with respect to the AOC or their ongoing operations. They must be willing to look into the impropriety and ask for a lot of resignations. Particularly, CCMS, Court Construction and Court Management are all bleeding cost centers where significant savings can be achieved.

    Let the Attorney General investigate and prosecute fraud, waste and abuse and lose that ironically named “office of the fraud waste and abuse coordinator” that really does what his title says he does.

    I’m a solutions designer that the AOC has relied upon for the past 8 years. A difference of opinion as to the expenditure of public funds does not make me the enemy, rather it’s an expression of my grave concern for the process.

    I’m no less concerned as a private citizen.

    The only judges I get to know are a result of my lead foot and courthouse design meetings so I’m no help in suggesting a nominee.

    • Michael Paul

      Actually, that’s not entirely true.

      I did some yard work for Quentin Kopp when I was much younger, followed his career for awhile and developed a respect for his work and ethics over the years. It seems he’s retired now and chairman of the California High Speed Rail Authority. (talk about really cool projects / techie heaven for a person like me.)

      I think he might make a good Chief Justice if he was willing to step out of retirement.

  5. At the present time, I, too, am unable to suggest any specific individual. However, having said that, any member of the Alliance of California Judges that appears on a ballot would get my YES vote and support!

  6. JusticeCalifornia

    No one is commenting on the apparent number one contender Justice Corrigan, so I will.

    I hesitate to do this because I do not know Justice Corrigan, but let’s face it, we are picking our next Supreme Court Chief Justice.

    The information below is from a Petition for Review of a denial of an appellate writ that was presented to Justice Corrigan, and she summarily denied the Petition, along with all other members of the Supreme Court. In fact, in every single recent egregious Marin custody case that I know of, she and all members of the Supreme Court have summarily voted to deny Supreme Court review of any kind.

    Names and case numbers are blocked:

    “[Mother], an unrepresented single black mother with no funds, now faces lawless Judge Adams, incompetent Dr. Wu, the millionaire father, his lawyer Beth Jordan, who saved Judge Adams and Dr. Wu from an embarrassing MCBA inquiry into Case No. Two, and his expert, in a three-day custody trial that will commence March 24, 2008, and that pretty much everyone expects to end like Case No. Two. Judge Adams has set the stage, and is perfectly poised to strip custody of [Mother’s] son from his financially disadvantaged mother of color, and give him to his multi-millionaire white bipolar father, who reportedly enjoys being paid to perform as a male stripper and erotic model, and who has told the child’s mother she is “so black” he could beat her and no one would know. And the Marin County Superior Court beat goes on, unabated, ignored.

    [Mother’s] Petition for Writ of Mandate was assigned to the third division of the first district court of appeal, as was Case No. One, [S******]. Justice William McGuiness, Justice Peter Siggins, and Alameda Court Judge Jeffrey Horner participated in the decision. Judge Horner was specially assigned by Chief Justice Ron George to hear the case as an appellate justice pro tem. Judge Horner was with the Alameda District Attorney’s office from 1966-1981, and 1982-1986, and therefore was co-workers with Justice McGuiness from 1973-81, and 1982-83; with Justice Parrilli from 1974-1980, and from 1983-85; with Justice Corrigan from 1975-1981, and 1982-86; and with Justice Chin from 1970-72. Judge Horner’s daughter, Catherine, works at the Alameda District Attorney’s office along with Justice Chin’s son, Jason. Judge Horner was appointed the Alameda bench in 1990. Judge Horner sits on the Alameda bench with Justice McGuiness’s brother, Robert McGuiness and Judge Morris Jacobson, from Case No. One. Judge Horner sat on the Alameda bench with Justice McGuiness from 1990-1997; with Justice Parrilli from 1990-1995; and with Justice Corrigan from 1991-1994.

    Justice Siggins was appointed to the appellate bench from a field of candidates that included Marin County Superior Court Presiding Judge Lynn Duryee. Justice Siggins, in his prior capacity as advisor to the Governor, was copied by Petitioner’s appellate counsel on letters she wrote to the Governor while Judge Duryee’s appellate application was pending, about the problematic behavior of Judge Duryee in Case No. One (S148***.)

    Thrown into the above mix are the interesting facts that:

    a. [Mother’s] first challenge of Judge Adams in this case was assigned by Chief Justice Ron George to Napa County Superior Court Judge Francisca Tisher for review and decision (Appellate Record, p. 528). Judge Tisher is one of the very, very few California judges who has been publicly admonished by the California Commission on Judicial Perfomance. She was admonished in 2004 for backdating an order, and lying about it on the record (Appellate Record, pp. 444-446).

    While the first disqualification request was pending before Judge Tisher, Judge Adams secretly contacted and arranged for another Marin bench officer, namely Commissioner Beverly Wood (herself subject of much controversy about cronyism-see Appellate Record pp. 449-556) to hold an impromptu unnoticed temporary custody hearing, and adopt the controversial recommendation of Dr. Wu that was supposed to be the subject of the three day custody trial. Commissioner Wood did adopt Dr. Wu’s recommendation, over [Mother’s] strenuous objections, without reading the court file, and without allowing [Mother] to cross-examine Dr. Wu about the recommendation. Judge Adams thereafter lied on the record about having the conversation with Commissioner Wood (accusing [Mother’s] appellate counsel of “making that up”) and Commission Wood lied in her order after the impromptu hearing about reading the court file. When [Mother’s] appellate counsel read the transcript of Commissioner Wood admitting to her secret conversation with Judge Adams, Judge Adams threatened to have [Mother’s] appellate counsel removed from the courtroom by the bailiff. These actions, in conjunction with others, led to the filing of [Mother’s] second disqualification request, which is subject of this Petition for Review.

    b. Although Justice George’s decision to assign the first disqualification request based on Judge Adam’s judicial misconduct to Judge Tisher–herself subject of discipline for Judicial misconduct–was unusual, and perhaps inexplicable, it was not unprecedented. Justice George made a similarly unusual assignment of a Code Civ.Proc. Section 170.1 challenge in Marin Superior Case no. FL 034*** (Appellate Record, pp. 505-525.) In that case, he had assigned a 170.1 challenge of Marin Judge Lynn Duryee to San Francisco Judge Donna Hitchens, although Judge Duryee and Judge Hitchens are colleagues, comprising two of only three trial court judges on the editorial board of the California Courts magazine. Just as it makes no sense to assign an ethical challenge of one judge to another ethically challenged judge, it makes no sense to assign an ethical challenge of one judge, to a close colleague of that judge.

    c. In December, 2006, Brad Campbell, head of the Assigned Judges Program at the Administrative Office of the Court, provided data to Petitioner’s appellate counsel about statutory disqualifications of California judges pursuant to Code Civ. Proc. Section 170.1 and 170.6 from 1999 through 2006. That data omitted any reference to Marin County, and would have left the reader with the impression that no such challenges had been filed in those seven years (Appellate Record, pp. 512-525.) Of course it is clear from the information in this Petition for Review alone that this was not true. Case No. One (S148***) arose from Marin Case FL 12***, and the 170.1 challenge filed against Judge Sutro in August of 2006; and the above-mentioned Marin Superior Case no. FL 034*** challenge of Marin Judge Duryee was assigned to her California Courts editorial board colleague, San Francisco Judge Hitchens, in early 2006. In fact, a complete and accurate independent review of Justice George’s orders assigning out the 170.1 challenges of Marin County judges from 1999 to the present will undoubtedly confirm what lawyers and litigants have been reporting to the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court for years: that Marin is a “hot spot” of problematic judicial behavior.

    It is obvious that “the deck has been well stacked” against the protective mother in this Case No. Three, as it was against the protective mothers in Case Nos. One and Two. It is clear that “the handwriting is on the wall” in this Case No. Three, as it was in Case Nos. One and Two, and, notwithstanding [Mother’s] legitimate request for disqualification of Judge Adams because Judge Adams has lied on the record, carefully made sure [Mother] remains without legal representation, and repeatedly failed to follow the Rule of Law in this and other cases, Judge Adams is about to dispense her special brand of justice, violating [Mother’s] federal and state due process rights in the process, just as she did in Case No. Two.

    It appears that Federal and State law require that this Court ensure that [Mother’s] due process rights to a fair and impartial judge be protected, and if this Court disagrees, as it appears it did in Case Nos. One and Two, Mother respectfully requests that this Court render a written opinion explaining its disagreement.”

    P.S. The information about this and other of our horrific Marin custody cases has been provided to our Governor and most of our legislators.

  7. FWIW, I know a lot of the people mentioned in these posts. I have known Carol Corrigan for over 30 years, on a first name basis. She was a deputy DA in Oakland when I started practicing law there. She’s as honest as the day is long. And to the extent anyone has suggested there is anything wrong with Jeff Horner, that is way off base. I tried cases against him when he was a deputy DA and have dealt with him later while he was a judge sitting in Oakland on the Alameda County Superior Court, including in regard to a death penalty case where he was the trial judge. His integrity is above reproach.

    While it may be fun to call Ron George “King George,” when it comes to CCMS I continue to believe he has simply been misled by those around him in whom he imposed trust. He doesn’t understand IT and, in particular, the writing of modern software. He relied on people that he thought knew what they were talking about. When you start asking probing questions of those who have given him advice on the subject, I think you will find that none of them have any substantial knowledge of the subject themselves. And therein lies a major source of the problems.

    • ComputerGeek,

      While I do agree that Justice George had no choice but to rely upon others in areas where he possesses no understanding (i.e. IT matters), it does not excuse him turning a blind eye, whether it involves CCMS or the numerous other issues at hand.

      I trust my employees in many things but, still, ultimately, I am the one held accountable for my employees’ activities performed on my behalf of my organization.

      What about probing questions asked directly of the Chief? One needs to only look at the Chief’s responses, many of which have been made quite public and some, in my opinion, have been wholly inappropriate, to see that this clearly involves much more than the Chief simply being misled.

      In particular, out of frustration due to the fact that nobody would listen, I know of several AOC whistleblowers who have gone DIRECTLY to the Chief with matters. Rather than the Chief taking an interest in investigating these issues within his own house, as he should have done, he turned a blind eye, and tossed these AOC whistleblowers to the wolves.

      Turning a blind eye is the point JusticeCalifornia was trying to make in her post. We need a leader who refuses to look the other way while injustices are being perpetrated within their very own organization!

      While I realize the CCMS fiasco is the main one that has garnered your interest, believe me when I say the problems within the AOC and Judicial Council run much deeper than merely CCMS.

      Sadly, there is a culture of denying the apparent if it doesn’t color the subject in a positive light. These type of denials are an insult to me, and should be to every single California citizen.

      We need a true leader, not a rubber-stamp follower!

      • Mermaid, you definitely make some valid points. And you are correct that I have stayed out of discussion of any matters besides CCMS.

        As far as the answer to all this goes, I wasn’t a fly on the wall so I don’t know who told Ron George what about CCMS. If I were looking into this as a news media inquirer, I would want to know who the advisers were and what they said. Then I would turn to each of the advisers in turn and inquire about their IT knowledge. I’m going to make an educated guess from prior experience with such matters that the advisers will turn out to have virtually no knowledge of the subject matter about which they advised Chief Justice George. I found a similar situation when I probed a computer project that had been in the news repeatedly because it was so awful it provoked a public outcry and demonstrations by workers who were forced to use the software. I spoke with a person who had been intimately involved in writing the RFP. It turned out she had no knowledge of how to write modern software. I don’t mean just a little short on the required knowledge, I mean zippo.

    • Wendy Darling

      It’s not just CCMS. The Chief Justice was directly and concurrently informed about many, if not all, of the issues that have appeared here over the past year. Especially about the problems, unethical conduct, and abuses going on in the AOC, and in particular in the HR Division under current Director Fuentes and Assistant Director Couch, and nothing was done about it except to fire or otherwise get rid of those who brought it to his attention.

  8. Michael Paul

    According to a Recorder article this morning, Kennard, Baxter and Werdegar all say “no thanks” to CJ position.

    An interesting name of another person whose career I have somewhat followed over the years would be Tom Campbell.

  9. JusticeCalifornia

    The point of the filing the above-quoted Petition for Review (a pro bono endeavor, knowing the chances of success were far less than 5%), and the referenced Cases One and Two, all involving CCP 170.1 challenges for cause (which are almost never granted), was to illustrate gross judicial misconduct at the Marin trial court level in three distinct CCP 170.1 cases, taken all the way to the Supreme Court, so, at times just such as these, no one along the way could say they didn’t know. Also memorialized was Ron George’s assignment of 170.1’s to inappropriate judges (thereby actively tainting the 170.1 review process, and allowing the perpetuation of judicial misconduct), the interconnections of those involved in the decisionmaking and review processes in a couple of the cases (so many former Alameda County prosecutors!), and the fact that the AOC is actively disseminating misinformation about CCP challenges of problematic judges.

    This was a document and report endeavor. As a result of that endeavor, Carol Corrigan cannot say she didn’t know the facts about Cases One, Two and Three, or Ron George’s inappropriate 170.1 assignments, or the AOC dissemination of misinformation– and those facts are not pretty.

    I am not saying the people named above are bad. I am saying they know and have known about judicial misconduct in the CA judiciary, and nothing was done to stop it.

    Going along to get along is not a sign of leadership.

  10. Yes Computer Geek, Mermaid is spot on. Once he figured out he had been mislead or badly advised to the tune of a BILLION dolllars, some heads should have rolled. However, Bill V is a micromanager extrodaire so I cannot believe he did not know what was going on in his own house. And well to get to the Chief you gotta go through Bill. So who is doing the bad advising here? I just can’t believe the Chief did not know what was going on once all of the dissent became so vocal.

    • I can’t deny that you may have a point. I’m just hesitant I guess to find guilt without knowing all the facts. I admit I have been surprised that George didn’t make further inquiry when things started to go south.

  11. from the LA Times:

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/editorials/la-ed-george-20100716,0,4678400.story

    REad it all the way through, the last paragraph is the best.

  12. In spite of all of our concerns about the future, I can’t help but have a Wizard of OZ song stuck in my head: Ding dong the wicked witch is dead! And the great and powerful OZ has been exposed for what he is…just a human behind the curtain pretending to be the all powerful. 🙂

  13. JusticeCalifornia

    Courtflea, I am with you. Had a celebration dinner with friends tonight, and have been pondering the issue of — what next?

    And then I started thinking– if there is to be a changing of the guard, let’s think about who has been calling the shots.

    Ron George and.. . . . . . . . . . . .crucial right hand man Ming Chin.

    If you want to make a clean sweep, you cannot clean half the floor, and leave the other half muddy. The mud will inevitably be tracked all over the clean floor.

    Besides Ming, have we heard of any other of the Supremes courting the press and legislature and marching lockstep with Ron in such a public way? No — (although Justice Moreno chairs the Judicial Council’s Bench-Bar-Media Committee which is part of Big Ron’s blemished brainchild, conceived at that 11/2006 summit.) Any other justice who took such big campaign money, and has been fighting for the disgusting big campaign money for Supreme court justices? No. Any other associate Supreme so publicly willing to do Big Ron’s bidding? No. Any other justice so intensely in on this CCMS debacle? No.

    It has been the Ron and Ming show. Ron lays down the idea and Ming presents it to the Judicial Council, the legislature, and whomever else it has to be presented to. Maybe we ought to look at that. And, Ming will have supporters from the old administration. . . .who will be depending upon and supporting him so they can stay afloat and employed.

    Can you spell f-r-a-c-t-u-r-e-?

    Left to their own devices, focused on the law and the Code of Judicial Ethics, without Ron and Ming, but with a new leader (perhaps even Corrigan, IF and ONLY if she has the balls and independence for the job and has learned that turning a blind eye won’t cut it) and a fresh face (an ACJ judge?), I suspect our Supreme Court and court administration would be very different. Just a thought.

    Bottom line. . .in thinking about change, and who to elevate or bring in, I do not think we should forget who else has to move out.

    On the bench, and in administration.

    There are so many possibilities, and wonderful opportunities for positive change.

    Ming, make it easy on us all, and don’t run.

  14. JusticeCalifornia

    No on Ming.

  15. Michael Paul

    When the people lead, the leaders will follow.

    Mahatma Ghandi

  16. JusticeCalifornia

    Hey y’all, if you have an opinion, now is the time to share (Michael Paul, Mermaid, Wendy Darling , courtflea, SF Whistle, Computer Geek and I are doing our part on this thread!).

    The judicial branch is going through an enormous change, and all ideas should be presented and considered.

    From metnews:

    “During George’s tenure on the high court, the judiciary, like all California agencies, has suffered severe cutbacks, especially in the last few years. For the first time, state courts were forced to close their doors one day per month, and George’s support of a costly new computer system and several construction projects were criticized by some judges.

    The Alliance of California Judges, a group that has openly challenged centralization of the state’s judiciary, said in a statement:

    “The Alliance of California Judges wishes Chief Justice Ronald George all the best in his retirement. The Alliance of California Judges believes it is imperative that the next Chief Justice democratize the Judicial Council. The Alliance will continue to seek transparency and accountability in the expenditure of public funds, to promote the rights of the trials courts, and counsel movement away from an overly centralized bureaucracy. We would also urge the next Chief Justice to insist that keeping our Courts open to the public is the first priority of the Judicial Branch.”

  17. Well, you know me, I always have an opinion 🙂
    But hot damn (oh yeah, the US supreme court said that is ok now) for the ACJ!! I hope they send their cards and letters to the gov and the legislature! Good show!

  18. Michael Paul

    I’m confused about the process.

    To appoint a chief justice, doesn’t the first chief justice need to leave the office?

    If so, wouldn’t the appointment be effective January 3rd with a follow-up confirmation vote?

  19. JusticeCalifornia

    As I understand it, the Governor has until September 16 to nominate a candidate, who must be confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments. That appointee must then appear on the ballot at the next general election, and is subject to a yes/no vote. If the appointee does not receive a majority of the votes, the Governor may appoint someone else, subject to confirmation by the Commission on Judicial Appointments, who will serve subject to retention election at the next general election.

    RELEVANT PORTION OF CALIFORNIA CONSTITUTION:

    ARTICLE 6 JUDICIAL

    SEC. 16.

    (a) Judges of the Supreme Court shall be elected at large and judges of courts of appeal shall be elected in their districts at general elections at the same time and places as the Governor. Their terms are 12 years beginning the Monday after January 1 following their election, except that a judge elected to an unexpired term serves the remainder of the term.

    (d) (1) Within 30 days before August 16 preceding the expiration of the judge’s term, a judge of the Supreme Court or a court of
    appeal may file a declaration of candidacy to succeed to the office presently held by the judge. If the declaration is not filed, the
    Governor before September 16 shall nominate a candidate. At the next general election, only the candidate so declared or nominated may
    appear on the ballot, which shall present the question whether the candidate shall be elected. The candidate shall be elected upon receiving a majority of the votes on the question. A candidate not elected may not be appointed to that court but later may be nominated
    and elected.

    (2) The Governor shall fill vacancies in those courts by appointment. An appointee holds office until the Monday after January 1 following the first general election at which the appointee had the right to become a candidate or until an elected judge qualifies. A nomination or appointment by the Governor is effective
    when confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments.

    • JusticeCalifornia

      Anyone please correct me if I am wrong. Judges?

    • After doing my own research, that is also how I understand it, JusticeCalifornia. A very short time window, indeed. Maybe too short for this year’s election using the existing process?? (Perhaps this is the point Mr. Paul was making in his original post? Hey, I’m sometimes slow, but I *DO* get there eventually!)

      I also have another concern here which is tied into this issue. Twelve years seems like a L-O-N-G time! There are several case scenarios running in my mind, some pretty and some downright ugly.

      Not knowing ahead of time what kind of performance we might expect by the individual sitting in this most important position of Chief Justice and ESPECIALLY with regard to the administrative duties and responsibilities over the judicial branch (emphasis added!), if it’s merely a continuation of the status-quo, why would the good citizens want to endure such a long prison sentence? What option or opportunity for change can possibly take place during that 12 years?

      Considering the monumental importance of this selection, I surely don’t want to see a “rush job” done on this! Now is the time to TAKE THE TIME and do it right!

  20. Wendy Darling

    Thank you, Judge Horan.

  21. JusticeCalifornia

    Yes, thank you, Judge Horan. For what it is worth, I read the provision the same way the Governor does—the nominee must be on the November ballot.

    Other Sunday morning musings about this interesting and important moment in time:

    Three Ca Supreme Court justices were/are up for retention election this year.

    George (who is not running). And Chin and Moreno – and, as far as I know, neither has declared. I cannot imagine Moreno retiring, but Chin is another story.

    If Chin runs, there will be an ugly battle based on his questionable actions taken in lockstep with Ron George — which will besmirch George’s carefully crafted public retirement persona and throw all of the current judicial branch controversy even more into the public’s field of consciousness. Further, Chin’s retention could exacerbate, rather than heal, the division and dissatisfaction within the branch.

    Realistically, Moreno may be at risk of an issue-driven conservative attack based on his Prop 8 vote.

    If Chin doesn’t run, the Governor will have two slots to fill — George and Chin. The pundits are saying the Governor will select non-controversial nominees, to avoid an ugly November battle and the possible creation of the opportunity for the next Governor to make these appointments.

    Certainly, all of this is being considered, at the highest levels.

    I have my own thoughts about these and other scenarios but am going to keep them to myself for now.

    I have, however, been drafting a new JusticeCalifornia bulletin for dissemination to our legislators. Here is the proposed final paragraph (a work in progress), about what we need in a new Chief:

    “Do not forget that the new Chief must have: a) first and foremost, impeccable integrity; b) an unbridled respect and love for truth, justice and the law, and a consistent record of adherence to the Rule of Law and Code of Judicial Ethics; c) solid professional credentials and experience; d) a commitment to serve the public by embracing transparency, accountability (something the public has long been demanding), and fiscal responsibility; e) an open mind, and the leadership and collaborative skills necessary to mend the current rift within the Judicial branch; and f) the ability to win the trust, confidence and votes of the public, come November.”

    Suggestion/Improvements regarding this work in progress are welcome.

    • Wendy Darling

      By embracing and practing transparency, accountability, and fairness, within the Branch, especially within the administration of the AOC from the top down, including the executive office, all AOC directors, assistant directors, managers, and supervisors. And the ethics, integrity, leadership, and ability to win and deserve the trust, confidence, and respect of Judicial Branch employees, especially within the AOC.

  22. Wow, yes, thank you VERY MUCH for your post, Judge Horan!

    Not only is it nice to know that others are continuing to read this blog, but I would have otherwise missed that story!

  23. JC, I think you should add the democratization of the Judicial Council, limit all terms of those appointed by the democratized council. e.g. no more Mings and Huffmans on the council forever.Also and I am not sure how you would phrase this, they need to clean house at the admin level at the AOC for a fresh start. And with that would come the elimination of the role of the RADS. If is still a good idea to maintain regional offices fine, but put an office manager in charge not a Director. As part of that too would be an internal operational and fiscal audit of the AOC which would be just good business practice so the new chief would not be tainted by the old regimes ways. And lastly support whistleblower protections for all branch employees. If there is to be oversight for whistle blowers complaints (at least within the AOC) it should be comprised of an outside committee of Judges, Administrators, attorneys, HR specialists, industry experts, etc. to review and investigate such complaints.
    Maybe all of that is getting to detailed to put in your letter, but just some ideas.

  24. JusticeCalifornia

    Thank you for the suggestions.

    Query: what exactly would “democratization of the Judicial Council” look like and entail? How would it be done? Maybe an ACJ judge and/or others could explain how that would work, practically speaking, in the best of all possible worlds.

    Or, if those questions have already been answered, maybe a direction as to where that information could be found?

    • JusticeCalifornia:

      I’ve been pondering your query of “what exactly would ‘democratization of the Judicial Council’ look like and entail? How would it be done?”

      I’m no legal or political expert, but this seems like a rather complex question that really can’t be fully answered at this point.

      First, one might say that the Judicial Council and the AOC is one and the same in many aspects based on the way things have operated in the past. (and even currently?) In my humble opinion, there needs to be a much clearer distinction between these two entities.

      Secondly, and more important in my mind, in order to apply the appropriate treatment to any ailment, we must first have a full, accurate diagnosis, no? At this point, we see many, many symptoms of the disease that has been allowed to grow, for one reason or another, within the judicial system body.

      However, until exploratory surgery is performed to shed some “sunshine” light on exactly where the tumor originates, how does one know exactly where to cut to remove the cancerous tumor(s)? [Please pardon the medical analogy, but it works for me!]

      I see and hear of movements being made towards this goal of transparency discovery, so perhaps it’s only a matter of time?

      Whatever changes are made, in a nutshell, I personally hope they pursue the elimination of isolation and insulation.

      No more isolation environments that discourage, prevent or prohibit a prudent system of checks and balances, with proper monitoring and accountability.

      No more insulation that provides endless exclusions, exceptions and loopholes allowing for the breaking of laws and/or violations of policies.

  25. To me and I am not a judge, the democritzation of the JC would mean that each 58 courts , including the appellates and the supremes nominated their choices. The CJ would chair. One court one vote. As it is now, folks could be nominated or submit their own nominations. Nominations for non judges could be done the same way by one vote per court. All terms would be limited. No policy decisions for the branch would be made with out council approval and the approval of PJ’s from the trial/appellate and the supremes. I also think court administators should have the right to vote as well. I also think if you stack the JC or other committees by each counties population, you will just return to the elitist rule model. This is not the house of representatives, it is more like the senate to me.

    • Wendy Darling

      In the houses of the State legislature, each elected sitting representative only has one vote, regardless of the size of the constituency that elected them to office. The heads of the Senate or Assembly don’t appoint or control who the elected sitting and voting members of the State legislature, and neither should the Chief Justice of the Judicial Branch.

      As a “co-equal” branch of State government, the same should be true of a democratized Judicial Branch, which is governed by the Judicial Council, along with co-equal accountablility and transparency. The judges of the superior courts are the elected representatives of the people in the Judicial Branch (court executive officers are not, which is not to say that they could not still serve on the Council, but in a capacity appropriate to their non-elected status). As the elected representatives of the Judicial Branch, it would be on par with the State legislature to have those duly elected judges vote on the sitting members of the Judicial Council, with advice from their respective courts and court administration.

      As a co-equal branch of State government, a democratized Judicial Branch/Judicial Council should also be required to have reporting and accountability to the State legislature, which if I remember correctly is something the ACJ has proposed.

      Co-equal branch of State government, co-equal democratization, co-equal transparency and accountablity.

      And please don’t forget the AOC employees. Many of them, too, have helped and continue to help in bringing this important reform to the Judicial Branch. Please don’t make their efforts and sacrafices forgotten and meaningless.

  26. JusticeCalifornia

    W.D., I don’t think ANYONE underestimates at all what the AOC employees have sacrificed and done to bring about judicial reform. Last night I was reading the initial stories on AOC Watcher, and it is clear that employees and what they were going through inspired this blog. Employees have done and said what others could not.

    The employees, AOC watcher, the ACJ, court victims and advocates and everyone else who had the courage to speak out can all bask in this moment.

    It was a perfect storm. Although the chief has his PR people going full time right now, I personally believe we all made a little bit of history in encouraging Ron to retire.

    And having top leadership wake up every day not knowing who or what they were going to read about on AOC Watcher. . . . .

    I for one will never, for the rest of my life, forget that we were planning the No On George effort, and that wonderful masked protest, the morning of the day he announced. Although his retirement was clearly already in the works, it was a magical moment.

    However, the job isn’t done. Lots of things are going to happen in the next year. It would be foolish for anyone to believe new leadership can hope for a successful administration if they try to maintain what has been an oppressive and often punitive regime/status quo.

    This wonderful blog (thank you AOC Watcher)– read by current top leadership, and perhaps new leadership– is a great place to plant seeds of change, gather support for that change, and memorialize change. It is sort of like an online community suggestion box/ bulletin board/newsletter.

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh, I think the current Governor and the current Chief Justice completely underestimate the value and contribution of the AOC employees, including the ones who have helped bring about this opportunity for postive change, reform, and democratization of the Judicial Council and the AOC. In all likelihood, they both could care less, and to the current Chief Justice it seems pretty clear that AOC employees fall somewhere significantly below “ants” who should just be stepped on, gotten rid of, and thrown in the trash.

      Who knows what the current Attorney General thinks about this issue, but so far the office of the current Attorney General hasn’t seen fit to do ANYTHING about the serious problems in the Branch, and especially within the AOC. Yes, the AG’s office has brought suit against the unlicensed contractors, but look at what had to happen for the AG’s office to do that, and for which Michael Paul was punished and fired. And he’s a witness in that very case. But as for holding those within the AOC responsible for permitting the use of those unlicensed contractors, or doing an outside investigation? Forget it; the AG’s office won’t touch it.

      Given that these are the very same 3 persons who sit on the Committee for Judicial Appointments and are the very same 3 persons who will ultimately make the decision of who is nominated and put on the ballot for voters to vote on, I think AOC employees have good reason to be concerned that once again they will just get thrown under the proverbial bus as quickly as possible for the sake of political turf advantage. There is a real and genuine concern that as long as everyone else who has some power and political cache gets what they want politically speaking, the AOC employees who have no power at all and no real voice within the administration of the Branch and the AOC, will be forgotten once again and just get tossed aside as necessary collateral damage, nothing positive will change for them, and would probably just continue to get worse. At this point, they have no reason to believe or think anything different.

      • Michael Paul

        Please review Government Code 12653. I believe any reasonable person would come to the conclusion that equivalent protections were already well in place in my case, without any judicial branch exemption – and it didn’t matter.

  27. Wendy Darling

    And that’s the point.

    It should have mattered, and it didn’t. Not just for you Michael Paul, for others as well. And the fact that this is the Judicial Branch and the Administrative Office of the Courts behaving this way is shameful and disgraceful.

    Now is the time for it to matter. Now is the time for a new Chief Justice for whom it WILL matter, a Chief Justice who won’t accept that kind of conduct on any level from the executive, administration, and management within the AOC, a Chief Justice who doesn’t just pass off their administrative duties regarding the AOC and the AOC employees as a meaningless annoyance. A Chief Justice who doesn’t permit or tolerate the punishment and humilation of AOC employees, or violating fundamental policies or the law to do so.

    It should have mattered, and it didn’t. It’s time now that it did and that this is never allowed to happen within the Branch, and especially within the AOC to AOC employees. ever again. Ever.

    • Michael Paul

      This is what makes me curious to know what the ACJ’s blueprint for whistleblowers is because having the law in place is obviously not good enough.

      If the ACJ had the right to define whistleblower process for AOC employees already and I was an AOC employee who discovered a fraud being perpitrated upon the Judicial Branch, what would their blueprint be for the actual process?

      Would an allegation of contract fraud continue to start with Mr. Judnick, who happens to work for Mr. Nash, whose department oversees the contracts?

      Following the process recommended by the AG’s office – Fraud, waste and abuse complaints are managed by the Human Resources Department of the AOC.

      Should I avail myself of the process of going to Mr. LARTD and ask him if he could look into my complaint only to be informed that my career is ‘stagnant’ and I need to forget about what I learned or better yet, should I look forward to be summoned by armed guard to his office and fired?

      Not only are the laws broken, the process is broken.

      If anyone else can define an acceptable process that isn’t bleeding conflicting interests I want to know what that might look like.

  28. JusticeCalifornia

    Does anyone have access to this?
    By Mike McKee and Cheryl Miller | 7/16/10 2:40 PM
    The Recorder takes a closer look at eight individuals with a reasonable shot at succeeding Ronald George, including Andrea Hoch, the governor’s legal affairs secretary.

  29. I too would like to see the recorder article.
    I don’t know if any of you have been around long enough to remember that a consulting group call Becker and Bell (I believe) was brought in to talk to employees of the AOC about job satisfaction, how the work/workplace could be imrpoved etc. I am sure there was more to it but i was not privy to that info. Well, the study was completed but never left the CJ’s or Bill’s office. The staff or the courts never heard about the results. My point being is that in addition to the audits I suggested earlier when a new chief comes on board is that they immediately do a similar study and use it as a tool on how to improve/change or at least get a realistic view of what is going on at the AOC so they can make some intellegent decisions.

  30. JusticeCalifornia

    “They Could Be Chief – a look at eight possible contenders to succeed Ronald George:
    Carol Corrigan; Ming Chin; Carlos Moreno; Brad Hill; Andrea Hoch; Peter Siggins; Bonnie Dumanis; Tom Campbell”

    I haven’t read the above Recorder article but I read another one about the same names — Adam Schiff and Clark Kelso were also named.

    Courtflea, I wonder how many of these folks would perform the kind of inquiries you have suggested– and which ones would most embrace a change in how things are done.

    Say, didn’t Judicial Council member Brad Hill spend the night in the Presidential Suite last year?

    • Michael Paul

      Who on this list would be considered an “insider”?

      Drop those names and who is left?

    • JusticeCalifornia

      By the way, my reference to Judicial Council member Brad Hill and the presidential suite was regarding that now infamous $80,000-plus shindig the Judicial Council gave, to discuss the sad state of financial affairs.

  31. JC since I don’t know most of these folks and it appears they must be “insiders” I doubt they would perform the audits, etc. that I mentioned.
    But! I am not going to get bummed here as we are all going to send our cards and letters to the legislature and the gov, so we will not have a repeat of the madness.

  32. JusticeCalifornia

    Courtflea, and everyone else interested in this issue– CALL the governor, AND send cards and letters. Time is of the essence.

    Re Michael Paul’s comments:

    No one is speaking up yet in response to your query. Let me be the first.

    FWIW, my own very personal opinion, at this moment:

    I personally know (and have the documents proving) that Corrigan, Chin, Moreno, and Siggins have been aware of court misconduct, but as far as I can tell haven’t been on fire to do anything about it. Nothing at all.

    Corrigan is probably the least controversial of the Supremes. (Plus, she went to, and is on the board of, Holy Names, where I spent my freshman year. She attended before I did, but when I went–2 nuns with Ph.D.s for every 12 or so students– amazing, disciplined academics. . . .made Stanford seem rather easy. Parents, check this place out! Oh, and my freshman English teacher there encouraged me to consider law. . . .so, getting back on topic. . .)

    Chin, and Hill (“groomed” by George, according the the article I saw) would undoubtedly continue business as usual. Status Quo. Problems in the branch, what problems? We SWOV– or else.

    Hoch I do not know much about, but wouldn’t she have a huge conflict regarding the court furlough lawsuits, and wouldn’t the Governor know that? Wouldn’t that look self-serving? Just asking.

    Dumanis– if you google her you will read stories about how she is powerful and you better not cross her– but I daresay at this point we need open minds and bridgebuilders, not take-no-prisoner generals and kings . No offense—take-no-prisoners may work for law enforcement, but I, for one, have seen and heard enough about judicial retaliation, and my-way-or-the-highway third branch policies, under George’s reign.

    Campbell?

    Many, many years ago, in my pre Marin/activist days , before I was a lawyer, I passed out leaflets for T.C.

    And that is my very personal review of the 8 candidates the Recorder apparently says have a “reasonable shot” .

    • You were a lawyer?

      • JusticeCalifornia

        Am. There are a number of us on this blog, I understand.

        More importantly,what are your thoughts about the alleged nominees? It’s ok if they are subjective (mine obviously are!)– what is your personal opinion?

  33. Michael Paul

    It seems to me it takes an outsider, a known straight shooter and a reasoned politician to work through the difficult road ahead for our next chief justice. That just keeps leading me back to tom campbell.

  34. Wendy Darling

    Posted today, 7/20/2010, on CalLaw, from TheRecorder:

    Capital Accounts: Jerry Brown Could Face Tough Choice on Chief Justice
    Cheryl Miller
    The Recorder
    July 16, 2010

    SACRAMENTO — A funny thing happened on Jerry Brown’s road back to the governor’s office: California’s chief justice threw the Democratic candidate an unexpected campaign curveball.

    Not sure if Brown sees any humor in Ronald George’s retirement announcement. He didn’t return a phone call on the topic last week. But George’s move clearly puts Brown in a political bind at a time when he’s running neck-and-neck with megamillionaire Republican Meg Whitman.

    As attorney general, Brown serves on the Commission on Judicial Appointments, the panel that will confirm or veto Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s nominee to succeed George. Serving with Brown will be the state’s senior appellate presiding justice — Joan Dempsey Klein of the Second District Court of Appeal, a Brown appointee — and, ironically, Ron George.

    Those three, or perhaps just a majority of two, will decide who leads California’s courts for a 12-year term, longer than Brown or Whitman will serve as governor.

    Or maybe they will decide who won’t be the next chief justice.

    “It would not surprise me at all if Jerry Brown was a very hard vote to obtain because he may desire to have it go back and perhaps have the appointment himself,” said Sheldon Sloan, a former State Bar president who is now of counsel at Los Angeles’ Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith.

    But is it that simple politically? What if Schwarzenegger nominates a fire-breathing conservative or, in what could be a worst-case scenario for Brown, a jurist with a clear record of opinions unfriendly to organized labor?

    Brown and Klein could vote no. But that would undoubtedly leave him open to a barrage of attack ads, financed by the free-spending Whitman, slamming him for being soft on crime. Or a union lackey. Or that same aging ex-governor who appointed Rose Bird to the high court.

    And then there’s the practical question: What if the Commission on Judicial Appointments does reject the candidate? Does Schwarzenegger get to nominate another candidate? Would he have time before his term in office expires? George and his colleagues on the Supreme Court may have to decide the answer, if it comes to that.
    “I don’t know if there’s anything explicit in the Constitution that resolves the issue that if for some reason, the person nominated isn’t confirmed by the Commission on Judicial Appointments or the people don’t confirm,” said California Supreme Court Justice Marvin Baxter, who was Gov. George Deukmejian’s appointments secretary. “What happens? I don’t know what happens.”

    The governor’s attorneys say that if the appointment commission doesn’t confirm a candidate by mid-September, Schwarzenegger will not have the opportunity to nominate someone else. Instead, the next governor would make an appointment once George’s term expires on Jan. 2, gubernatorial spokeswoman Rachel Arrezola said Friday.

    As if things weren’t already perplexing enough, there’s the matter of getting a nominee’s name on the ballot in time. The state Constitution says Schwarzenegger has until Sept. 15 to choose a chief justice. Assuming the Commission on Judicial Appointments confirms, the nominee goes before voters at the next general election on Nov. 2.

    But state law requires the secretary of state to publish a list of certified candidates on Aug. 26. And election officials start mailing ballots to military and overseas voters on Sept. 3. Ballot printing work starts earlier than that. If nothing changes, that’s a lot of nominating and confirming work that needs to take place quickly.

    Shannan Velayas, a spokeswoman for the secretary of state’s office, said staffers are researching the issues and potential options, including the use of a supplemental ballot.
    “The deadline is the constitutional deadline [of Sept. 15],” Arrezola said. “But we’re working with the secretary of state’s office and working to nominate the most qualified person as quickly as possible.”

    Recorder senior writer Mike McKee contributed to this story.

  35. Well, JusticeCalifornia, I was told who you were but your name doesn’t show up on the State Bar Web site. So I’m surprised to hear you are an active member of the bar. Maybe I was given incorrect information about your identity. I have spoken with a number of AOCWatcher bloggers on the telephone since I’ve made no secret about my identity and a number of people have called me to chat. I’ve heard a number of interesting viewpoints and bits of information (primarily relating to CCMS) that people didn’t want to post.

    I don’t have any particularly strong views about any of the other six justices. I understand three want no part of the CJ job, probably because it’s just a major hassle and also probably because whoever inherits the position will immediately be on the hotseat with respect to a pile of issues they didn’t create, including, but not limited to CCMS. I know Carol Corrigan from many years ago and I imagine she could handle the job well. I really don’t know about anyone else one way or the other. We’ll just have to wait and see.

    • JusticeCalifornia

      I’m there, and have been for a long time. You must have incorrect information about who I am. 🙂

      Yes, the next CJ has a lot on his or her plate.

      But people shouldn’t wait–they should be burning up the phone and fax lines telling the Governor and their legislators what they do and don’t want in a new CJ.

      Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
      State Capitol Building
      Sacramento, CA 95814
      Phone: 916-445-2841
      Fax: 916-558-3160 ( new number )

  36. Nathaniel Woodhull

    I know it’s been a while since I posted on the site, but I did need to comment on Jonathan Shapiro’s “editorial” in the Daily Journal today about the best choice to replace the retiring CJ. Mr. Shapiro suggested Terry B. Friedman as the new CJ. After picking myself up off the floor from laughing for 20 minutes, til tears came to my eyes, I was finally able to compose myself.
    Let’s remember, Mr. Friedman was the one who decided to become a judge after term limits were imposed on the Legislature. He was able to change the timing on implementation of JRSII until after he was elected to the LA Court, so he would be subject to the much more beneficial JRS I system. Mr. Friedman, along with Jim Mize, was/were responsible for the wholesale takeover of the CJA by the Chief and AOC. It took a few moments, then I noticed that Mr. Shapiro is the head-writer for the NBC comedy starting this fall. That explains the joke!

    • Wendy Darling

      Welcome back, Judge Woodhull.

      Unfortunately Judge Woodhull, it won’t be a joke and we won’t be laughing if Friedman is actually put forward as the nominated successor to the office of the Chief Justice. Or a few other names that have been suggested either.

      After all, looking back over the last two or three years, and especially the past twelve months, how many of us would have ever thought or believed that what has come to light about the abuses and misconduct going on in the Judicial Branch within the AOC, the Judicial Council, and the office of the Chief Justice, would have had to happen at all, much less reach these extremes, before anyone would do anything about it?

      And to the ACJ: though many, if not most, may never know it, the people of the State of California owe you a profound debt of thanks and gratitude for your integrity, diligence, and courage, for resisting to “speak with one voice”, and for remembering the duty of your respective offices.

      Many among us here know that you and others have worked quietly, steadily, and ethically behind the scenes to restore honor and credibility to the Judicial Branch. Thank you and your efforts will not be forgotten.

  37. Well, lets add Judge Friedman to our letters/emails to the gov, etc. as a no no, like Justice Ming and Huffman.
    Ditto Ms. Darling.
    However, Crikey it is probably a long list of those that have drank the coolaid.

  38. JusticeCalifornia

    It is true, it won’t be funny if a Ron George II is nominated and approved for the November ballot.

    The beauty of the koolaid is that those who have partaken have usually been very loud about their support of the chief, and have left their imprint on what many now recognize as failed policies and projects.

    Just as we were ready to move with a “public education program” on Ron George, we should be ready to do the same with a Ron George II. We will have a short time frame, but it is possible.

    I do hope the CJ, the Governor and the AG realize what a bruising fight will do to an already weakened branch, and take steps to mend, not break it.

    And let’s be real. A big old pre-election downtown protest about judges and judicial corruption will affect the new CJ, whether or not he or she wins, as well as the entire branch; the Republican Governor, who may be viewed as going along with bad acts of the judicial branch and could cast doubt on whether Republican Whitman will do the same thing, and the AG, who wants to be governor. It’s a real big mess.

    The branch is undergoing a massive and natural change. There has been an unexpected and unintended concentration of power at the top, and what many view as egregious abuses of power at the top that has trickled down, coupled with a pronounced lack of transparency and accountability. A correction is necessary and WILL take place, one way or the other.

    People will look back at this moment in time, and how it is handled, by those with the power to nominate and approve the next CJ.

    It looks like another perfect storm is brewing, and if it hits, everyone will be dragged into the fight. All three branches. The status quo is not all right. Many have said it, in many different ways. More say it every day.

    Let’s hope a reasonable, forward looking choice is made, so the branch and everyone else can move forward and focus on positive change, rather than months or years of speculation, and further bitter turmoil.

  39. I would suggest that someone who has it goin on like JC or many other of my fellow bloggers (Omerta , mermaid, etc. where are you great writers?)put together a letter that we can all use to send to the gov, etc. That would be most helpful for challenged folks like me. I can’t even post a blog response without a typo….please save us! 🙂 I just made it barely through 3rd grade.

  40. JusticeCalifornia

    Dear Chief Justice George:

    The California Judiciary, the largest in the Western World, is at a crossroads.

    You are still the leader. What you decide to do now may actually be the most important decision you have ever made. And you know that. You go to sleep every night knowing that, and you wake up every morning knowing that.

    You dedicated your life to the branch, and never expected it to end this way. Your ego is bruised, and you want to strike back, but you know it really isn’t about you. It is about what this decision means for the branch, the largest in the Western world.

    While you have done truly amazing things for the branch, you also know, intimately and personally, the protected abuses that have taken place under your watch, and your administration. You (and many) know, and some have documented, that you have supported and protected the compromised and/or corrupt — in your administration, and in the trial courts.

    You haven’t been truthful about that, with many of those who fervently support you.

    You have responded to criticism by listening to, surrounding yourself with, and protecting people who told you what you wanted to hear, and who were willing to brutalize critics, which was a big mistake. You appointed the corrupt and/or compromised to key positions in your administration, to further your goals, which was a big mistake.

    And you underestimated and tried to suppress the growing outcry and opposition, and call for change and accountability, which was the biggest mistake of all.

    As a result, your damage control people –which include not just your paid PR people, but also those who have known, admired and worked for and with you for many decades–have been working overtime to defend you, for a while now.

    You actually know that what is taking place right now is natural, and right. You know it is time to pass the gavel. You are torn between doing it gracefully, or vengefully. You must do it gracefully.

    And if you are so close to the whole thing you don’t know that or see that, well, those many ethical supporters of yours who, by virtue of their support, have gone down or are going down with you, and those who have been on the fence and recognize impending disaster when they see it, and those who have seen it and warned you all along, know it.

    It is time to pass the gavel to new and different, ethical and forward thinking, leadership, gracefully. And if you cannot do it, then others must do it for you.

    Your last decisions, as Ron George, Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court, will define who and what you are, and what you have done for (or against) the branch.

    Hero, or Nero?

  41. JC: While I support the message and hope the CJ follows your counsel, I question the God-like narrative device, which presumes to know the mind of another human being (“but you know …” “You also know …”). Good try, but I don’t think so. Better send your letter to the AOC’s Editing and Graphics folks. They’ll fix it up.

    • JusticeCalifornia

      perhaps I took a bit too much artistic license.

      ah, well, it’s the thought that counts

  42. Nathaniel Woodhull

    The Sacramento Bee says it is Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye from the 3rd District. Great choice!!!

  43. JusticeCalifornia

    What say you, AOC people?

    I personally don’t know much about her, other than that she is on the Judicial Council. I seem to remember a quote or interview from some time back, I thought relating to the alliance. Maybe not, maybe it was someone else. I will do my research.

    • Michael Paul

      She doesn’t come across as being too receptive to the JC/AOC critics in Mr. Lee’s piece.

      I’ll leave it at that.

  44. Michael Paul

    She states: “Everything is vetted, everything goes out for public comment, we seek public comment on every- every proposal, every rule, every idea”

    • Without doing further research [yet], this public comment she made is what vividly sticks in my mind. At least for me, personally, I remember when viewing the video of her statement, the manner and tone used in conveying these words seemed overly exaggerated in style as if she was appalled that people would believe otherwise (hey, she did major in rhetoric at UC Davis, did she not? Just saying.)

      If she currently continues to believe this statement she made [and I’d love to know, wouldn’t you?], then that would, undoubtedly, be an issue for me in light of facts that have surfaced that show to the contrary….

      Apparently, one of her favorite sayings, as she told The Bee in 2005, is:

      ‘There is no one truth, only versions of it.”

      I suggest the truth is much like being pregnant. Either you are, or you aren’t……

      What “version” of the truth did she rely on when making the public statement as posted by Mr. Paul above? What “version” of the truth does she currently believe in? These are but some of the many questions I’m asking myself.

      • Wendy Darling

        ‘There is no one truth, only versions of it.”

        Sounds like a new version of “truthiness.”

  45. yada yada. But what else is she going to say on camera when she still is on the JC. I say who knows what she will do? Maybe she kissed up to move ahead in order to make positive change when and if she got there. Nathaniel what makes her a good choice? can you elaborate?

    • Yes, I, too, am curious as to Nathaniel’s comment that she is a good choice. I’m all ears and attempting to keep an open mind in earnest.

  46. this update from the LA Times:

    Santa Clara University Law Professor Gerald Uelmen, who examined her appellate rulings, said there was “nothing of consequence that would tell us much about her orientation.” He said she probably was chosen for her administrative and lobbying skills, not her judicial writings.

    “I really see Ron George’s hand in this … ,” Uelmen said. “I don’t think it’s her reputation as a legal scholar that got her the appointment, but rather her experience in dealing with court administration issues on the Judicial Council and her experience in dealing with the legislature and the governor.”

    [Updated, 10:50 a.m.: Court of Appeal Justice J. Anthony Kline, a Jerry Brown appointee who serves in San Francisco, praised the selection of Cantil-Sakauye. He said she is considered highly organized, congenial and a fast learner who understands the need for judicial independence.

    “My guess is that her values and judicial opinions will be similar to those of Ron George,” said Kline, a liberal Democrat. “I see her as a moderate.”

    UC Davis Law School Dean Kevin Johnson said she has “devoted an incredible amount of time” to a campus program that encourages socially disadvantaged students from low income families to go to law school.

    “She is very self made, a hard worker, but I never get the sense of an edge—that I did it, everybody else should be able to do it,” Johnson said. “It is more that she wants to inspire.”

    Johnson called her “a careful, thoughtful, very moderate, mainstream jurist” who is “fair but perhaps somewhat conservative” on law and order issues. He predicted she would build coalitions on the seven-member court, which has three justices who are considered conservative and three who are more liberal.]

    In addition to her administrative work on the Judicial Council, Cantil-Sakauye has served as president of the Anthony M. Kennedy American Inn of Court, which is dedicated to promoting civility, ethics and professionalism in the law.

    Chief Justice Ronald M. George, who is retiring in January, recently appointed Cantil-Sakauye to head a Judicial Council committee charged with overseeing the operations of the Administrative Office of the Courts, which runs the court system.

    Her nomination must be affirmed by a three-member panel headed by George and then by voters in November. Such nominations are usually routinely approved.

  47. excuse the multiple posts but does this mean that Mike Roddy will be the next Bill V? Those SACTO ties are there and he has the street cred (aka butt kissing)with the Chief…..very interesting.

  48. Wendy Darling

    Ron Overholt attended a meeting of the AOC’s Executive Office Program (EOP) this afternoon around 3 p.m. and told the AOC employees in attendance that Governor Schwarzenegger’s nominee for Chief Justice, Tani Cantil-Sakauye, sits on the Judicial Council and “we’ve known her for about 5 years”, she is an advocate for CCMS and defended CCMS in the media with Justice Hill, that the employees don’t need to “worry about Bill and I”, they “know Tani” and we work very well with her, and he and Bill “aren’t planning on going anywhere.”

    Overholt was also asked about the cost and funding of the various courthouse construction projects, and Overholt indicated it was just going to be business as usual as far as courthouse construction.

    So, apparently, as indicated from the proverbial horse’s mouth, nothing is changing here and it’s Ron George II.

  49. dem0cracy supporter

    So is Tani Cantil-Sakauye better or worse than Corrigan?

    It’s not a done deal.

    Anyone have candidate proposals?

  50. One Who Knows

    How much longer are they going to continue the farce that is CCMS?

    They have blown a BILLION dollars already and could have been up and running with plug and play systems that were offered and rejected by then IT/CCMS Queen Sheila (then Gonzales) Calabro.

    Even if it ever gets up and running, it will still require that the company that “designed” it will have a permanent crew on salary at AOC forever.

    What a farce!!!

    Why doesn’t the legislature really investigate this mess?

    Pete Wilson inherited a crummy IT system that didn’t work regarding DMV; they tried to make it work, then just jettisoned it.

    That’s what Chief Justice-designate Tani needs to do with the CCMS mess. Kill it, and get a plug and play that works.

    Most executives that take over a new spot run an audit of all programs, etc. to isolate their predecessor’s mistakes and not be blamed for them; will she be smart enough to do this?

    Art Scotland is close to her; maybe he’ll give her some good advice.

  51. This most historic event underscores the need, and tremendous opportunity to focus the attention on the Judiciary upon an ballot initiative to limit judicial opportunity.

    Please consider how different all the above posts would be if the voters of this State had the opportunity to demand the accountability that limits upon immunity would create? We would not be speculating about how Cantil-Sakauye is likely to function in her new role if the underlying expectation was simply to follow-the-law. A ballot initiative that limits immunity is the ONLY vehicle that will result in our system returning to the intended design of “checks and balances”—

  52. Wendy Darling

    Posted today, July 25th, 2010, in the Recorder, the on-line website for CalLaw:

    Viewpoint: Ronald George Is a Chief Justice to Emulate
    Arturo J. González
    The Recorder
    July 23, 2010

    Like many Californians, I was surprised and somewhat disappointed by Chief Justice Ronald George’s recent announcement that he would not be seeking re-election to his seat on the California Supreme Court. His decision will mean a loss for California and its residents, but his remarkable record shows that he certainly has earned the time he seeks to spend with his family, to read and to travel.

    Chief Justice George is well-known for his extraordinary administrative skills and his efforts to transform the California judiciary into a truly co-equal branch of our government. The chief is also rightfully respected for the numerous path-breaking decisions he has penned during his tenure.

    His shoes will be difficult to fill. Chief Justice George has done a masterful job of balancing the many diverse and competing views of our sitting justices. Like Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, our chief justice has frequently cast the critical swing vote on many 4-3 decisions. In other cases, he has used his persuasive and personable talents to forge a majority of more than four.

    These accomplishments are the marks of a strong leader who has made an important positive difference to his state and its people. They are the deeds of someone who has deftly and expertly commanded the big stage of our government.

    Less well-known, however — but at least equally important — are the immense contributions the chief justice has quietly and modestly made to programs like our nationally recognized pro bono services program, the Volunteer Legal Services Program of The Bar Association of San Francisco (VLSP), and our Barristers Club.
    Chief Justice George recognizes that as the top jurist in our nation’s most populous state, his unique position transcends politics and carries enormous responsibilities. When he speaks, people listen. If he attends a function, it must be important.

    Among the numerous events our chief has attended over the years are many of BASF’s programs to serve those less fortunate. His advocacy for pro bono work has spanned a range of efforts and made an indelible impact on access to justice in California. Year after year, he cheerfully assumes a major role in VLSP’s Outstanding Volunteer in Public Service reception, where he personally recognizes VLSP volunteers for their dedication to representing low-income clients. His commitment to promoting pro bono work both through VLSP and statewide is evident in his support of pro bono initiatives throughout California, and his adroit focus on making deep and meaningful change in the fairness of our judicial system.
    For more than 25 years, our Barristers Club, a group composed of attorneys in their first 10 years of practice, has hosted our Judges’ Reception. The reception is BASF’s leading event for bringing together members of the bench with practitioners in a casual setting. Each year, for the many years he has participated, the chief justice has been the first judge to R.S.V.P. More importantly, he also typically is the first jurist to arrive; and he stays the length of the event, kindly engaging with everyone and anyone who approaches him.

    He didn’t have to do any of this. We all know the extreme demands on the chief justice’s time and attention. He could easily have politely declined our invitations due to his heavy workload, and we would have understood. But he did not decline. Time and again he has generously and unassumingly given of himself. I do not think there is a way to measure adequately the impact his commitment has had on our attorney volunteers who help those in desperate need of legal assistance, or on our newest attorneys, who have had the opportunity to interact so freely with a lawyer at the pinnacle of our profession.
    At its gala in 2008, the BASF Foundation named Chief Justice George a Champion of Justice, the highest honor our foundation bestows upon members of the Bay Area legal community. It did so in recognition of his long-standing work as chief justice to expand access to justice for all California residents, protect and advance civil rights, and ensure the fair administration of our courts and judicial system, as well as for his steadfast support of our programs over many years.

    Mr. Chief Justice, you’ve done, and continue to do so much for our profession, and for the people we serve. You have set a high bar for your successor. At The Bar Association of San Francisco, we hope that the next chief justice will be as good a friend to us as you have been over many years. We thank you for your service and for the great example you have set for all of us.

    Arturo J. González is president of The Bar Association of San Francisco and co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s litigation department.
    The Recorder welcomes submissions to Viewpoint. Contact Sheela Kamath at skamath@alm.com.
    views of our sitting justices. Like Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, our chief justice has frequently cast the critical swing vote on many 4-3 decisions. In other cases, he has used his persuasive and personable talents to forge a majority of more than four.
    These accomplishments are the marks of a strong leader who has made an important positive difference to his state and its people. They are the deeds of someone who has deftly and expertly commanded the big stage of our government.
    Less well-known, however — but at least equally important — are the immense contributions the chief justice has quietly and modestly made to programs like our nationally recognized pro bono services program, the Volunteer Legal Services Program of The Bar Association of San Francisco (VLSP), and our Barristers Club.
    Chief Justice George recognizes that as the top jurist in our nation’s most populous state, his unique position transcends politics and carries enormous responsibilities. When he speaks, people listen. If he attends a function, it must be important.
    Among the numerous events our chief has attended over the years are many of BASF’s programs to serve those less fortunate. His advocacy for pro bono work has spanned a range of efforts and made an indelible impact on access to justice in California. Year after year, he cheerfully assumes a major role in VLSP’s Outstanding Volunteer in Public Service reception, where he personally recognizes VLSP volunteers for their dedication to representing low-income clients. His commitment to promoting pro bono work both through VLSP and statewide is evident in his support of pro bono initiatives throughout California, and his adroit focus on making deep and meaningful change in the fairness of our judicial system.
    For more than 25 years, our Barristers Club, a group composed of attorneys in their first 10 years of practice, has hosted our Judges’ Reception. The reception is BASF’s leading event for bringing together members of the bench with practitioners in a casual setting. Each year, for the many years he has participated, the chief justice has been the first judge to R.S.V.P. More importantly, he also typically is the first jurist to arrive; and he stays the length of the event, kindly engaging with everyone and anyone who approaches him.
    He didn’t have to do any of this. We all know the extreme demands on the chief justice’s time and attention. He could easily have politely declined our invitations due to his heavy workload, and we would have understood. But he did not decline. Time and again he has generously and unassumingly given of himself. I do not think there is a way to measure adequately the impact his commitment has had on our attorney volunteers who help those in desperate need of legal assistance, or on our newest attorneys, who have had the opportunity to interact so freely with a lawyer at the pinnacle of our profession.
    At its gala in 2008, the BASF Foundation named Chief Justice George a Champion of Justice, the highest honor our foundation bestows upon members of the Bay Area legal community. It did so in recognition of his long-standing work as chief justice to expand access to justice for all California residents, protect and advance civil rights, and ensure the fair administration of our courts and judicial system, as well as for his steadfast support of our programs over many years.
    Mr. Chief Justice, you’ve done, and continue to do so much for our profession, and for the people we serve. You have set a high bar for your successor. At The Bar Association of San Francisco, we hope that the next chief justice will be as good a friend to us as you have been over many years. We thank you for your service and for the great example you have set for all of us.
    Arturo J. González is president of The Bar Association of San Francisco and co-chair of Morrison & Foerster’s litigation department.

  53. lickspittle.

  54. JusticeCalifornia

    Giving credit where credit is due: I believe Ron George did a lot of good things for the branch.

    I also believe that he did a lot of bad things for the branch; that the due bills will be coming in for years; and that the current lack of trust and confidence in the branch (public and otherwise) is due to a) his refusal to entertain views that conflict with his own; b) his complicity in covering up third branch misconduct; and c) his absolute refusal to allow the implementation of any reasonable oversight and accountability measures. This less attractive side of the George saga will inevitably be reported, after George and his posse are out.

    It is time to move on.

    • Paula J. Negley

      Some of us might say that the current Chief Justice forgot the duty that is owed.

  55. JusticeCalifornia

    And which duty might that be ? (there are so many that have been forgotten.)

  56. Paula J. Negley

    Justice California:

    If you go back in the archives of the AOC Watcher to November 2, 2009, you will see a posting from the The Watcher titled Op-Ed: To Know The Meaning of Things, which is a copy of a letter I submitted to the Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review at the hearing regarding the AOC late last year.

    In that letter I spoke of a judge whom my father worked for and with for many years in the Superior Court. I once asked this judge a question about the responsibilities his position,
    and the importance of the response he gave to that: “Mine is not a duty of convenience or of expediency, but of first to reason, and from there to fairness and to justice, and if that requires a longer or more difficult path, then that is the duty owed.”

    Michael Paul remembered that duty when he reported the use of the unlicensed contractors, as did many others who once worked at the AOC.

  57. Paula J. Negley

    (Note to self: proof read twice when not wearing glasses.)

    In that letter I spoke of a judge whom my father worked for and with for many years in the Superior Court. I once asked this judge a question about the responsibilities his position and the importance of the response he gave to that question: “Mine is not a duty of convenience or of expediency, but of first to reason, and from there to fairness and to justice, and if that requires a longer or more difficult path, then that is the duty owed.”

  58. Paula, Themis bless him.

    Justice G. has his own karma to live with.

  59. JusticeCalifornia

    Today I sent an e-mail to the assembly and senate judiciary committees, demanding attention to judicial branch matters. . .after all, these are their problems, this is what they (not we!) are elected and paid to deal with, and they can be held accountable if they don’t. Paula, I was inspired by what you wrote, but thought I might be a bit more direct, since your eloquence was apparently lost on the audience.

    And I was cleaning up tonight–putting away documents, papers, Judicial Council binders and reports, and the 1998 Ron George campaign contribution information.

    I wonder how many people have living rooms strewn with documents and evidence and reports and other “proof”–whose lives have been touched by branch corruption and who have worked to get Ron George out and/or the branch cleaned up. Quite a few, in all walks of life, all throughout the state, I imagine.

    Anyway, as I was putting things away, I had the most overwhelming feeling that there has been a shift, that it is really over, that things will never be the same, and the clean-up has begun.

    Let’s see. . . .

  60. Two words come to mind as I read Mr. Gonzalez’ moving tribute to King George…..sycophantic blather.

    It is often said that “it’s good to be the king”….CJ George had a long —unfettered–unchallenged reign. CJ George had no need for accountability, no requirement for much more than lip-service and posturing at anything passing for transparancy.

    All of Mr.Gonzalez’ platitudes about the largess of CJ George reminds one of how Pablo Escobar, noted Columbian drug lord is also remembered for his great philanthropy…..

    I find Justice California’s activism in writing the legislature refreshing and commendable—sadly I spent just enough time in this branch to state with certainty that nothing happens through legislation without being politically expedient for those in charge of management of the process. There is little, or nothing to be gained by our esteemed Assemblymembers or Senators in assuming a leadership role in the change to the Judicial branch that is essential—-most simply stated, there is nothing in this for them. Any notion of causing greater transparancy and accountability in the Judiciary might reflect upon them—and the last thing the legislature wants is to cause a larger conversation about accountability….this might lead to a greater understanding of the role of the “third house” in the functions and operations of our great State.

    A brief review of the history of California holds that most of the truly significant legislation accomplished has been through the initiative process—

    I am well aware that I am far too repetitive–BUT—the most meaningful significant change that could ever be hoped for—and realistically accomplished will be—-LIMITS UPON JUDICIAL IMMUNITY THROUGH INITIATIVE—-

  61. Paula, it may be true that the Legislature and governor could figure out some way to curb the expenditure of money by the judicial branch on CCMS (although that’s an interesting question because the judicial branch internally decides how to apportion funds granted to them by the Legislature and governor) but they show no inclination to do that. I tried and tried to get the attention of people in the Legislature but got nowhere. It simply doesn’t matter to them that a case management system could be created quickly and inexpensively. There are obviously other factors in play besides saving money and getting the job done right. The October hearing was apparently just for show. I note that the chair of the Assembly committee involved was running for Insurance Commissioner. I suspect he just wanted publicity.

    Even people on this blog don’t believe what could be done. I’m not aware of a single person who even tried out demonstration software I posted to the Web.

    I have thrown in the towel.

  62. Computer Geek—

    I find your response so very honest and refreshing. Your clear frustration reflects integrity and passion with regard to something simple —-CCMS is obviously a huge mistake that no one will ever take responsibility for.

    REALITY is that all branches of our pathetic three-legged stool run from any suggestion that “the buck stops here”….

    PLEASE—-anyone—cite a clear example of anyone in the Judiciary–Legislature–Governor’s Office—stepping up and stating “we made a mistake…”…..”there is a problem”….”funds were mismanaged”…”WE ARE RESPONSIBLE”….these are all words that do not exist in the State government vocabulary-

    ComputerGeek— Please do not “throw in the towel”–We all need to continue all energies and efforts to DEMAND accountability….the AOC MUST take ownership of foolish decisions such as CCMS. Throwing-in-the-towel only serves to further support, permit and enable the notion that there is no accountability—

    I commend you—-I am absolutely convinced (without a complete understanding) that if your solution was provided the opportunity of a respectful,proper audience that you provide a convincing proposal—

    Please—maintain your commitment to solve problems— despite our culture of corruption and incompetence—We need you—

  63. Computer Geek: ditto on SF Whistle comments.
    The initiative idea is a good one. perhaps we should be focusing on folks that have the money to support and influence that process: The open government folks like Francke and the press.
    http://calaware.typepad.com/about.html

  64. Thank you SF Whistle and courtflea for the words of support. But what exactly am I to do? I think I’ve tried everything. I have no doubt I could quickly write all the necessary software to make superior court cases totally electronic but so what? If the leaders came to me and asked me to just do it, fine. But that hasn’t happened.

    Ask yourself a simple question. Who do you know in state government that could influence this process and who would actually be interested? If you can identify such a person, have them call me. I have utterly given up trying to find an honest, conscientious politician or other leader.

    I’m sorry if that sounds defeatist but I have been at this a long time and gotten absolutely nowhere.

    P.S. If you know of such a person in the government of another state, have them call me. Would I do a project to make the court records of Nevada or Oregon or Minnesota electronic at a tiny fraction of what has been spent on CCMS just to totally embarrass our local leadership into using some common sense? In a heartbeat.

  65. Computer Geek Darlin, if I knew someone like that, CCMS and a lot of other things would be dead or changed. Everyone I used to know like that, that I had admired and trusted to do good for the good of the branch, and that could have made something happen at that level (at least in California) have all partaken of the kool aid: gone to the dark side.

    PS: I should say that there are still foks out there that I admire and trust, but they have either left the branch or retired in disgust.

    I just keeping waiting for that “Superman” to appear. I think he will one day, and in what guise I don’t know, but I don’t think we should give up at the very least, hope.
    Like many of the bloggers here, I think that this blog (and many of the bloggers)played a part in the changes that happened and will continue to happen in the future.

    • Well courtflea darlin, as Johnny Cash would say, you got to know when to hold ’em and know when to fold ’em. And right now, certain people such as Justice Huffman, Justice Chin, Sheila Calabro, and others hold all the cards. And they control who gets to play in the game. They’re playing poker with the taxpayers’ money and they’re not going to do too well but they’ve got me beat, at least for the moment because everyone ignores my cards. I can’t get in the game to compete. So it’s time to fold up shop and stop trying. Maybe in a year or two common sense will prevail. Maybe it won’t.

      If you or anyone else happens to know some superior court that wants to buck the AOC and try out truly modern software, have them call me. But I’m not going to hold my breath. Better to just spend my spare time in the back yard hitting golf balls and watching the deer.

  66. A dream is a wish your heart makes
    When you’re fast asleep
    In dreams you lose your heartaches
    Whatever you wish for, you keep
    Have faith in your dreams and someday
    Your rainbow will come smiling thru
    No matter how your heart is grieving
    If you keep on believing
    the dream that you wish will come true

    I’ll miss you computer geek

  67. JusticeCalifornia

    courtflea, you’re the best.

    I totally agree with you, and I remain an eternally optimistic pollyanna.

    Therefore, now that Big Ron is (almost but not quite) gone, I have been directing my keen eye and computer keyboard toward the CA assembly and judiciary committees, for the past week. And also Senator Darrell Steinberg, who at the 2006 judicial summit told the judiciary to deal with court critics and challengers by “building as big a wall as possible and playing defense”.

    In my continuing effort to document and report, and change things.

    And I suggest that others on this blog who are so inclined (for whatever reason) do the same. Because the legislature is essentially signing over blank checks to Ron George and his minions, without any checks and balances, on the taxpayer’s dime.

    Here is what you do: get the list of members of the CA senate and assembly judiciary committees. Get their e-mail addresses. And send them e-mails or letters. Tell them what you want.

    Focus on Senator Corbett and Assemblyman Feuer–they are the chairs, and the legislative members of the Judicial Council.

    So they cannot say they didn’t know. And so they can be held accountable.

  68. I applaud your efforts and I hope they work but I have previously contacted all those people and more. No one seems interested in a solution to the CCMS problem. We see it as a problem. They see it variously as an opportunity to manage a big important project, act like a big shot, take influence money, and get votes from those ripping off the government.

    In an honest competition, the AOC/Deloitte crew would lose quickly. But they have rigged the game. They decide who gets to compete. And they decide what wins. How can you compete in that environment? If you a midget, and you’re staging a world championship basketball competition, and you keep out everyone over four feet tall, you control the outcome. And don’t let someone like Willie Mosconi, Jackie Gleason, or Luther Lassiter into your local pool hall’s 9-ball tournament.

    Now if there was a contest, and it was to simply decide which software/approach would best help superior court employees do their jobs, and the judges were the employees who would use the software day-to-day, then the game would be over almost before it started. Arrange that and you will have a solution almost instantly.

    I can’t get in the competition. I’m excluded. I can’t even get officials/politicians to look at what could be done. But when people look, it’s a different story. Very recently, an attorney who just retired from a county public defender job in Southern California moved up here, decided to do some appellate work, heard about my compensation claim software for appointed criminal appeals, and came over to my office to look. He saw everything. He decided to buy all of the software applicable to appointed appeals. What he saw included an item that he didn’t buy because it isn’t designed for what he will be doing but it is part of what I set up for trial courts. And I have put it up on the Web. And I mentioned it here previously. How many of you tried it out?

  69. P.S., if you’re looking for e-mail addresses, remember that hearing the Assembly Committee on Accountability & Administrative Review held last October? The one with the crowd that overflowed into the hallways? Well the staff aide on that item is Mark Martin. If you can get him and them interested in an actual solution, you’re way ahead of me.
    mark.martin@asm.ca.gov

  70. —When I contemplate what I would most want legislative judiciary committees to know —I find myself unable to muster much in the form of pollyanna optimism…

    I find myself feeling a lot like “telling them what I want” is an academic exercise that might cause me to feel some measure of closure, or emotional release….but is likely to accomplish as much as having that metaphorical final conversation with the girlfriend that left me?

    Our governmental systems are established as change-resistant organisms. CJ George has had many years within which to entrench and institutionalize corruption and insular functions. CJ George artfully crafted a system that truly does value the word accountability. His notion of accountability however, was in reverse. Our judicial system today functions in a fashion wherein accountability tracks back to him and his office—rather than a system that is accountable to voters.

    California truly is a wonderful magical place. I am a California native…my deceased parents were likewise born in California. I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel and live and study abroad and still find myself in love with this State.

    California, is, as a State —-in crisis—Our legislature has managed to bankrupt what is often referred to as the 8th or 9th larget economy in the world.

    I do not have much confidence that this same body of elected managers have the skills essential to solve our financial debacle. Sadly. I have even less confidence that telling judiciary committees what I want to see happen with our corrupt, tragically broken judicial system will result in any meaningful change. I do not see this as a viable route to bringing about the change that must occur. I do not want to see families ripped apart….I want to see an end to runaway Judge that feel a sense of entitlement and have no need to do the one thing that should be done in a court room—FOLLOW THE LAW..

    Picture if you will, a huge super-tanker crossing an ocean at full speed…This vessel has virtually no ability to do something seemingly very simple–turn around, reverse course.

    Our systems are as responsive as the super-tanker. The turnaround..reversal of course are not operations that our systems respond to.

    The only change we can “dream” of will be incremental, measured in fractions at a time that we beg for wholesale-fullscale-throw the bums out remodel of the entire system.

    CJ George may well be on his way out—HOW MANY YEARS will be required to remove the institutionalized functions he has crafted over his many years on the thrown?—

    Despite the fact that our court system is waist-deep in sewage it will take years to drain-the-swamp.

    JusticeCalifornia—-I have all the respect in the world for your energy, enthusiasm, efforts and optimism. I do believe that this board has made a significant contribution to “change”….I am quite certain that your unrelenting hard work, dedication and “documenting and reporting” has made a difference.

    I do not believe I am young enough to witness significant change that will be accomplished through your strategy of holding legislative members “accountable”…..

    —–I actually do wish I could “believe”
    —–Courtflea, I wish I could “dream”…

  71. Michael Paul

    Nearly eight months ago, Senator Ellen Corbett and her staff on the Senate Judiciary committee received from me a significant amount of materials that would lead any person to believe that the AOC/JC has serious, serious issues in their maintenance and construction of courthouses.

    No action whatsoever ensued with Ms. Corbett.

    Living in her district, I am contemplating running for her office since she has virtually abdicated her JC responsibilities.

    Sure, she has a war chest of nearly a millon dollars, but when her constituents are informed that she has been looking the other way for the past eight months while this has unfolded…………
    ……. and introduced a law to strip the citizenry of their ability to gather signatures in the initiative process shortly after CJ George’s comments about the dysfunctional initiative process…….. and has made only one JC meeting in six years as the chair of either the Assembly or Senate Judiciary committee, she has all but abdicated her responsibilities of serving and protecting the people she represets.

    In 2008, there were a couple of “shovel ready” courthouse projects that would have qualified for federal stimulus dollars and American Reinvestment and Recovery Act funds to build them. Indeed across the country, other courthouse construction projects qualified for this funding.

    To qualify for this funding though, there were some strings attached.

    The projects were required to have effective checks and balances in place and laws that would hinder or prevent fraud, waste, abuse and public corruption. To qualify for this funding, many state legislatures across the country moved mountains to pass those laws so that they could qualify for this funding.

    In California, this would have required that the Judicial Branch to either drop their exemptions under PCC 10335.7 and GC 70374 or move all of the courthouse construction to DGS who is not exempt from California’s fraud, waste and abuse laws, better known as public contract code to qualify for stimulus funds.

    It was not the intent of the legislature to legalize the defrocking of the taxpayer by unlicensed contractors, yet creating the largest unregulated public works agencies nearly overnight and exempting them from those laws designed to protect and preserve public funds was beyond stupid and in my opinion, those citizens should rise up as they did in the city of Bell, California, take action and demand change.

    Rather than subject themselves to these important laws that protect the taxpayers, the AOC, JC and our legislature chose to do absolutely nothing.

    Why subject yourself to California and Federal fraud waste and abuse laws for a paltry 50 to 100 million for shovel-ready projects when you have 5 billion with no strings attached?

    If this wasn’t and doesn’t serve as the reddest of flags throughout california and a cautionary tale of what can happen when you give 5 billion dollars to anyone with no strings attached, then I don’t know what would be.

    Not one single federal courthouse is owned by our federal judiciary. Rather, every courthouse is built, owned, operated and maintained by the U.S. General Services Administration.

    I should know, I used to work for GSA.

    As it is with the federal government, so should it be with state government. Given our 19 billion dollar deficit, courthouses that are closing across the state, a measurable slow-down in economic activity in the 2nd quarter of this year, it is wholly concievable that another round of economic stimulus funding to put people to work on these public works projects might come around. Regardless, the whole process needs to be re-evaluated by a party independent of the judicial branch.

    If there is to be a next round of federal ARRA dollars to put people back to work, next time around if there is one, the AOC will have many many more shovel ready projects that could benefit from federal funding.

    State monies not spent on all of these projects could concievably fund trial court operations.

    But to qualify for this funding will take some courage. The courage to stand up to the Judicial Council and AOC and move the Office of Court Construction & Management and all SB1732 personnel and SB1407 projects over to the Department of General Services where these laws protect the taxpayers.

    Regardless, we as citizens can easily see that courthouse construction is partly need and partly judicial branch politics, with those on the inside gaining the greatest of rewards.

    I do not deny the need for a new Markleeville courthouse. I know a new Markleeville Courthouse is essential. They can’t plug in a desk fan without blowing the fuses, the facility is too small and doesn’t come close to meeting any reasonable sense of security.

    After all I have witnessed, all the evidence I have gathered and disseminated, all that I have presented to our legislators, the media and the press, what is clear to me is that the whole court maintenence, operations and construction to be managed by the experts over at DGS and that the Judicial branch, not unlike the federal judiciary and its relationship with GSA, be tenants in DGS owned, built and operated buildings.

    If one doubts that this solution is workable, might I remind you that the AOC, the first district court of appeals, the second district court of appeals and the third district court of appeals all occupy buildings built, managed and operated by DGS.

    So if you have a chance to write a letter to the press or letter to your legislators, please consider what I have written here today and be a part of the changes that are required to restore confidence in the process if not the branch itself.

    • Michael Paul

      Clarification is always good for the soul.

      1. The Judicial Council of California was granted 8 sub-grants. The requirements for a sub-grantee are different from an “implementing agency” In the case of the eight grants listed, these eight grants were made to the California Emergency Management Agency (the implementing agency) and sub-grants were made to the Judicial Council. For court construction the implementing agency is the JC/AOC.

      2. Markleeville would have been on my top ten list for construction and would already be under the hammer.

  72. Wendy Darling

    Well said and well done, Michael Paul.

  73. I guess I can begin to believe again because I have had the benefit of a change of scenery for the last few months. Lucky me!

    However, I still think we should work on the Terry Franckes of the world for awhile in addition to the the legislature. While I have had disagreements with his positions in the past, he has been at times successful in bringing “sunshine” to government agencies and I really think that the judicial branch is a big burr under his saddle. Sometimes fanatics like him can be usefull in getting a job done.

    I still wonder, where is the main stream press in all of this? I mean if the little city of Bell in So Cal is such a big deal, you think the LA Times, Orange County Register, the Mercury News, the CoCo Times, SF Chronicle or the Sacramento Bee would love to sink their teeth into this one. I know newspapers have been cut way back, but you think the revelation of the tons of judicial branch scandals would inmprove their readership. Frankly, California is such a huge state, you would think even CNN or Fox might be interested or a major TV network. It seems to me that in the past when newpapers have done “investigative” reporting on judges schedules, trips to the bar or golf club at lunch (or the rest of the day for that matter), judicial retreats, speaking fees, trips paid for by the private ADR firms, etc. they have made it headline news….and that is National Enquirer stuff! Not nearly the hard news value of what is going on in our branch today under our current CJ. If they can afford that type of “investigative” journalism, why not the big stuff? I know Michael, you say it is to big but why don’t the swallow the proverbial elephant a bite at a time?

    Hey JC and Michael, I agree with you on the US Courts model, at least for facilities. Takes us back to the centralization model however, if you could get the right person to run it, it could work. If I recall correctly, didn’t the last Administrative Director retire/quit over the crap that Circuit Justice Alex K…whatshisname was doing with porn, etc. on his court computer…bypassing safe guards againts such action put in place on court computers? I believe he suggested what the Justice did was criminal. That is the kind of guy/gal the CA courts need.

    And perhaps some of you whistle blowers should collaborate on a book or article about scandals in the branch and the AOC? You all have the documentation and the great stories to tell. Maybe that could kick off some interest by the press.

    PS I forgot to give credit to Cinderella for the “believing” lines 🙂

  74. Michael Paul,

    Your activism is an inspiration—-I will walk precincts for you—I look forward to learning of your campaign.

    Your news about Senator Corbett’s response to your letter writing —does not fuel any new enthusiasm on my part to start writing letters…let’s save the forests…

    I believe a well-crafted judicial immunity ballot initiative could likely be drafted as Judicial Reform —–we urgently need a radical overhaul of the whole branch—-for that matter a lot of new faces in the legislature would be welcome as well—

    I read today that if a State were placed in Federal Receivership it could conceivably be declared a “failed State” and be declared a territory—-? Are we there yet?

  75. Michael Paul

    I also used to work in the news division of a major broadcast network.

    With all this free time on my hands lately, I’ve found myself working with them a whole lot more.

  76. Michael, you certainly are a renisance man! You go boy! Don’t forget the book idea.

  77. Michael Paul

    It is incumbent upon all parties to also bring up these issues and other issues up with the press.

    It’s simple enough to verify most all of what I’ve presented. It is easy for a reputable reporter to cover the story only to have their bosses hammered with complaints from those who wish to silence the messenger. This has already happened to several reporters covering JC stories and other reporters have been warned off or re-assigned.

    Protect the press. Give them the information they need to do their job. They in turn will protect their sources – people just like you.

  78. Speaking of ongoing issues—

    Mr. Fine is still sitting in jail—-Here I go again mentioning accountability—-who is responsible for this?

    http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/realityzone/UFNCaliforniaImplodes.html

  79. The Accountability Committee is still looking at these issues. The State Auditor has begun its CCMS Review. There will be a new CJ who will not be as personally invested in these statewide initiatives and therefore, hopefully more receptive to differing views.

    Let your legislators and the media know about your concerns. If you work within the branch, ask your colleagues if they will do the same. We are all taxpayers and should be concerned if public funds are not being spent wisely. I think it is way too early to throw in the towel.

    • I wouldn’t expect too much out of the State Auditor on CCMS because bear in mind that the real underlying problem is technological and I doubt they have any staff who are knowledgeable about how to write modern software. They will only look at the $$ and likely will be in the dark about the software.

  80. JusticeCalifornia

    I agree with WBF. As I reported, this past week I have been writing furiously to the Senate and Assembly judiciary committees, and our local Marin elected officials. About all sorts of things we have discussed on this blog. (Richard Fine, AWOL legislative Judicial Council members, CCMS, ridiculously expensive courthouses, judicial retaliation against whistleblowers and court critics, destruction of Marin custody records during the JLAC investigation, Judicial Performance Evaluations, etc.).

    Documenting and reporting, so they couldn’t say they didn’t know.

    Well, somebody I wrote to apparently did something about at least one of those things. . . .I personally received confirmation of a new official investigation.

    More to come about that, in the next week.

    Meanwhile, I am going to say it again– we have to document and report. Demand action. Turn up the heat on those who are supposed to be (and are elected and paid to be) protecting the public. I believe focusing on the people who are directly involved with the judicial branch (the judiciary committees, and especially the Judicial Council representatives) and your local elected officials (state representatives and board of supervisors) are the best places to start.

    So what if you wrote before? So did I. Write again.

  81. Rumor has it that there may be a legislative hearing on the courthouse construction costs issue in August. I’m only interested in the CCMS issue, which may or may not also be inquired into, but I’ll just pass this along.

  82. JusticeCalifornia

    Michael Paul has rocked the courthouse construction issues. . .

  83. JusticeCalifornia

    I am observing this. The ACJ is fighting tooth and nail, valiantly, for county benefits for judges. I don’t blame them, or the CJA, which is also fighting for these benefits.

    But CA judges are the highest –let me repeat HIGHEST — paid in the country. And that is without county benefits.

    Ultimately, we all know it ain’t gonna fly with the public.

    No offense meant, I hope none taken. It is what it is.

  84. JusticeCalifornia

    And I hope Ming Chin won’t try to hang onto his seat, by hanging onto his fellow bench members, and Tani. . .

    That would be a great disservice to the branch.

    And why can’t I find, anywhere, anything about Ming’s retention election committee?

    Ming, please bow out gracefully, and don’t take us by surprise.

  85. JusticeCalifornia

    And where is the Moreno announcement? Why the drama-trauma for George advocates Chin and Moreno?

    Just tell us straight up, are you running?

  86. MC certainly sounded like a Justice seeking retention in late May?

    http://www.sonomacountybar.org/?p=319

  87. Please note that Ming and CJ George have both expressed concern about ballot initiatives. They have both spoken of the process as if it is a threat to them —-They should both be thanked for clearly articulating the strategy they fear most–

  88. Here’s more Ming Chin—In this article MC is quoted providing testimony at Judicial Committee hearing that he is close to opposing Judical retnetion elections—He stops short of proposing an alternative….I assume a lifetime appointment would be acceptable?

    http://www.gavelgrab.org/?cat=750

  89. Wendy Darling

    Posted today, Monday, August 2, 2010, on Legal Pad, the legal blog for CalLaw:

    Rose Bird Makes Campaign Appearance
    [Greg Mitchell]

    Meg Whitman’s campaign released a new ad Friday called “Judicial Failure.” The news of Ron George’s retirement is a convenient reminder, the narrator says, of the governor’s important role in selecting judges — and a good hook for linking Brown to Rose Bird. Brown named Bird, who at the time had no judicial branch experience, to the chief’s job in 1977 only to see her voted out of office by irate voters nine years later.

    Not surprisingly, the ad details how Bird overruled every death sentence to come before her.

    But the ad also asserts, with undated, unexplained attribution to the Los Angeles Times, that Brown was known for “cronyism and lack of quality” in his judicial appointments, and suggests many of his judicial appointments were given in exchange for campaign funds.

    Mitchell’s article has a link to the campaign ad, titled “Judicial Failure” followed by “California cannot afford four more years of failed Jerry Brown leadership.”

    Has it occurred to the anyone that it was Pete Wilson, former governor and current campaign manager of candidate Meg Whitman, who appointed the current Chief Justice to the State Supreme Court? The same current chief justice under whose failed administrative leadership of the Judicial Council and the AOC everything with unlicensed contractors, unreported and unprosecuted embezzlement of public funds, runaway court construction costs and public works projects, sole source no-bid contracts, numerous ethical and misconduct violations, and more has happened. Just seems a bit hypocritical.

  90. JusticeCalifornia

    Yes Wendy, but here is the really interesting thing. The Whitman campaign is using a timely hot topic: public anger at the judiciary. Isn’t that interesting?

    By the way, how is the climate over there at the AOC?

    • Wendy Darling

      The closest comparison, at least in the HR Division, is it’s like working in a morgue. Actually, a real morgue would probably be a better and happier place to work, for obvious reasons.

  91. Anger and even outrage will be the theme and strategy of many campaigns this Fall—voters are angry and there is a great frustration and anger in response to the perception that all branches of government operate with no thought of accountability…

    Voters do not like things done to-them….but are accepting and desirous of things being done for them…or with them.—With regard to the Judicial Branch we want jurists that follow the law—NOT make law—

  92. Michael Paul

    I want to thank those people who forwarded items to the credentialed press with “Ask Michael Paul about this” after ensuring they will pass it along and ask me about it.

    They are protecting their sources and I am getting the information. Please, keep it coming and thank you!

    I also wish to thank those people who have recently come forward to tell their own stories (and are no longer with the courts or the AOC) and have provided their own evidence of gross overcharging of the local trial courts.

    It just goes to show that not only was the taxpayer getting screwed but so were the local trial courts who were paying for some of these services.

    Again, thank you and please keep whatever you believe is important coming.

  93. Michael Paul

    Questions for AOC employees to ask their directors and management in those mandated monthly divisional meetings that were rolled out after the AOC had realized it lost control of the message, with all of these negative press stories.

    1. With over a half billion dollars in shovel-ready courthouse projects and hundreds of millions of dollars worth of deferred maintenance on courthouses inherited from counties across the state, why did the AOC not apply directly for federal stimulus dollars?

    2. If the federal government is not willing to use federal tax dollars known as stimulus funds to fund any of this hundreds of millions of dollars of deferred maintenance or a half billion dollars worth of shovel-ready courthouses, why should the california taxpayer, who is looking at a 19 billion dollar deficit in Sacramento, put one more dime into court construction?

    3. Wouldn’t it be a more prudent use of taxpayer funds to turn over ownership of and move all court construction and management over to DGS?

    4. Is there any plans to change the whistleblower process? Right now, it appears that we’re being steered to a phone number so that there is no material proof of our complaints. Can we have an entity outside of the AOC and Judicial Council organization to receive and investigate complaints?

    5. I’ve looked at the policies and procedures written in my employee manual for managing the complaint process within the AOC. I’ve noticed that these complaints stop at my division director and can go no further – but decisions may be appealed as high as a regional director. Why is it that no one at the top of the food chain, you know, Mr. Vickery or Mr. Overholt can be found nowhere in this process?

    6. When there are literally thousands of documents and proposals, estimates and contracts between “Team Jacobs”, the AOC, the trial courts and the counties, why is it that we no longer speak of “Team Jacobs” and simply refer to them as “Jacobs”?

    7. With over 200 staff lawyers and a known reputation for sending litigation out of house to private attorneys, why did the AOC go to the only authority in California with the power to investigate criminal acts, the Attorney General of the State of California and ask to become their client in a lawsuit against the unlicensed contractors? Was it to tie the hands of the AG’s office from investigating these acts under Attorney Client Privilege?

    • Michael Paul

      It is times like these where I miss my good friend Judge Dredd.

      Please, Judge Dredd or Mr. Vickery or Mr. Overholt, please answer these questions because not only do I want to know the answers to to all these questions but the 37.5 million people you purport to provide access to and be fair with also want to know.

    • Michael Paul

      8. Why was the Office of Emergency Response and Security wise enough to circumvent applying directly for stimulus funds and go to the California Emergency Management Agency for a sub-grant and yet not a dime was secured for any other project?

      9. Does Mr. Vickery, Mr. Overholt and Mr. Willoughby have any intention of resigning their posts for screwing the people of california?

    • Michael Paul

      10. There is currently no public/private partnership in california government that has realized any savings. Indeed, what we have to show for our forays into public private partnerships is a billion dollar high school built on toxic grounds and the most expensive toll road in America that was delivered years late and over budget. What assurance do we have that the long beach ppp isn’t going to suffer the same fate as the other ppp projects? Can you post all documentation for this project online and be transparent and accountable?

  94. PattyJaneSmith

    Friends,

    Word on the street is that Assembly Member DelaTorre’s Accountability Committee will be holding a follow-up hearing to the October ’09 oversight hearing on the AOC. I understand the focus will be on CCMS and facilities spending. I’ve heard the hearing is scheduled for next Wednesday, August 11.

    • Michael Paul

      I would ask that the committee on accountability and administrative review demonstrate that there are checks and balances and refer these matters to U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.

    • Michael Paul

      Confirmed. Next Wednesday, August 11th, room 437 at 9AM. It appears I may be a witness and that this may change. Regardless, I have been asked to be there.

  95. I assume people have seen the news10 July 18th investigative report on CCMS in the San Diego courts. Interesting contrast between what Roddy says and what employees say.

  96. Michael Paul

    I like Mr. Roddy’s answer. “My concern (is my job after buying into this pig in a poke) is how they performed on my contract and in my court, and I’m quite satisfied with their performance (even though the delivery date has been pushed back eight times and is currently 4 years late and I can’t point to a project of this magnitude that deloitte has ever completed before someone sued for fraud.)

    From a skateboard to a car? How about from a skateboard to a surfboard? Hang ten in the parking lot dude?

    CCMS is hanging one limb higher than the fraud and false claims currently being paid by the AOC with respect to those whose contractors licenses never existed and still don’t exist.

    I’m not going to take on CCMS. I have bigger fish to fry.

  97. Michael Paul

    http://www.wastewatchers.ca.gov/

    Go to suggestions. Go all the way down to the bottom and then scroll up one page. It isn’t that the Governor doesn’t know, it’s that he can’t do anything about it.

  98. JusticeCalifornia

    The Marin superior court is undergoing two audits. The JLAC audit of the family court, and an AOC audit regarding the alleged destruction of family court mediation records while the JLAC audit was underway.

    7/30/10

    “Dear [attorney]:

    This is to inform you that Presiding Judge Terrence R. Boren of the Superior Court of Marin County has requested an investigation into the alleged improper destruction of court records at the superior court. The investigation will be conducted by Internal Auditing Services of the Administrative Office of the Court, and is expected to be completed by the middle of August.

    Philip R. Carrizosa
    Office of Communications
    Judicial Council of California – Administrative Office of the Courts”

  99. Wendy Darling

    The AOC investigating itself again, that should have the usual predictable results — nothing done, no responsibility, no accountability, no transparency, just excuses and cover-up, and it won’t even be a surprise if/when Kim Turner just gets a promotion on the Judicial Council with the new administration in January.

  100. JusticeCalifornia

    Yes, that is true, the AOC is investigating its own.

    To put this in perspective, the last time Judge Boren asked for an internal audit by the AOC, Montgomery was ousted.

    I don’t really see how the destruction of mediation files while the audit is going on can be sugar-coated at this point. Unless the AOC wants to lose whatever credibility it has left, with the legislature, the branch , and the public.

  101. Wendy Darling

    If it can be “sugar coated”, the AOC will surely find a way, especially to evade any accountability for themselves or those they want to protect, for whatever reason.

    As for losing “whatever credibility it has left”, what credibility could that possibly be? The same crediblity the AOC relied on in trying to deny they were, and still are, continuing to hire while at the same time claiming there was/is a “hiring freeze” at the AOC (soft hiring freeze, hard hiring freeze, hiring freeze in theory, not in reality …), or the Vickrey’s/the AOC’s credibility in promising documents requested by the Assembly Accountability and Administrative Review committee that Vickrey/the AOC still haven’t provided some 10 months later, or how about their credibility for using unlicensed contractors in violation of State law, or for firing AOC emplolyees for reporting msconduct by AOC management, or that CCMS works great, or … so much else.

    One can only conclude that those who intentionally deceive, mislead, cover-up, are untruthful, or act unethically or dishonestly, don’t usually care much about credibility and if they can sugar coat something in order to escape any accountability for themselves or their actions they will find a way to do so, especially at 455 Golden Gate Avenue. It’s almost an art form at this point.

  102. Ha! This is just the last ditch efforts of a “desperate man” to show the legislature that the AOC can police its own. As I have said from the beginning of this blog, how can AOC staff that knows nothing about court operations, accounting or the statutes supporting what courts do, do an audit of trial courts??? A bunch of BS if you ask me

  103. JusticeCalifornia

    I am trying to post a story from the Marin IJ, and twice it hasn’t gone through– maybe because I included the link. So here is the story without the link:

    Marin County is scrapping its $30 million computer system.

    • Wendy Darling

      And it’s about time. At least Marin County is smart enough to know when to pull the proverbial plug and stop the thievery.

      But in their infinite arrogance and stupidity, the AOC will just keep dumpung money into CCMS and telling everyone how wonderful it works, or will work, or might work someday, or could work if the State legislature would just give the AOC more money, or if ….

      • Michael Paul

        The irony of all of this is that the ron ron and bill show with special guest sheila went on a DC junket to secure federal funding for CCMS…..

        ….And when federal funding for court construction is presented on a silver platter, no junkets required, they turned their backs on it.

        I know from experience that John Judnick wouldn’t have a clue if you gave him one. John has already been informed on what he is authorized to find. Ms. Turner has nothing to worry about. She’s a JC member and a member of the AOC oversight committee. Any finding that would tarnish that appointment is not an authorized finding.

  104. Michael Paul–

    I love your use of “not an authorized finding” however I am inclined to agree with JC in the notion that the Marin Court investigation presents problems looming too large to hide. This is one that will most certainly yield a result–
    There has been a decision made within the bowels of this evil, corrupt organization that it is time to throw a body out of the getaway car to slow down the pursuit.

    If anyone in Marin County happens to see Kim Turner doing errands you can assume she is shopping for luggage and off to see a travel agent.—her passport should be surrendered—and NOT to the court clerk—

    • Michael Paul

      I would normally concur, however, I am watching the AOC’s own attorney arguing in court that the contracts that the AOC is currently paying on are invalid and yet despite this position, the AOC is still ordering work to be done and still paying for that work – on a contract their attorney is saying is invalid under B&P 7031.

      Go figure.

      • Michael Paul

        California Business & Professions Code § 7028.15 prohibits unlicensed contractors from
        participating in public works.

        It is a misdemeanor for any person to submit a bid to a public agency in order to work as a contractor without being licensed, unless very specific exceptions apply. If there is a previous conviction for bidding on public works without a license, the court will impose a fine of 20 percent of the aggregate sum of the cost of materials and labor furnished and the cost of completing the work to be performed or four thousand five hundred dollars ($4,500), whichever is greater, or imprisonment in the county jail for not less than 10 days nor
        more than six months, or both.The bid submitted to a public agency by an unlicensed
        contractor is considered nonresponsive and is automatically rejected by the public agency. Any
        contract awarded to, or any purchase order issued to, a contractor who is not licensed is void.

        Had they placed the void contracts out to bid I would have never filed a taxpayer lawsuit.

        Instead, they continue to receive and pay upon false claims submitted to them.

      • JusticeCalifornia

        Michael, when did this all first come to light– about the unlicensed contractors? Who was told, and when?

      • Michael Paul

        I started asking about it in late 2007. A contractor told me he told everyone up the OCCM chain of command about it. He believed he was avoiding being charged with a felony under public contract code 10282.

        I then started discussing this with everyone up the chain of command some time in 2008. In July of 2009, John Judnick started his yet to be completed “investigation”.

        In October of 2009, I escalated it up the chain of command asking for a qui tam release to go after the false claims.

        In December of 2009, I escalated it up to Chief Justice George, Bill Vickery and Ron Overholt and a few days later, Peter Krause of the AG’s office files suit, Overholt says he is having the AG look into how this could have happened and Krause sends me an email indicating he wants more information but cautions me and says he is working for the AOC.

        In March (?) 2010 I hear the void contracts have been “transferred” to licensed affiliates and the payments have resumed.

        In June, after weighing the situation for a little while, I filed a taxpayer lawsuit to ensure the law was enforced instead of ignored and to recover what is now around 40+ million dollars.

        These are all approximate dates…and events.

  105. JusticeCalifornia

    Re the AOC audit–I think they have to be careful about trying to cover up anything.

    At what point is the line crossed (or has it already been crossed) into RICO and other obstruction of justice charges?

    As part of a document and report effort, other transcripts of mediation testimony have been disseminated, wherein a Marin mediator and the supervisor testified that Marin Family Court Services does not know or follow state laws and procedures. All of this was reported to Kim Turner, the Marin bench, the Commission on Judicial Performance, the CA Court of Appeal, the CA the Supreme Court –several years ago. Kim Turner was told, and did nothing. The Marin Court was told, and did nothing. The higher courts were told, and did nothing.

    Everyone also knew about Turner’s problematic actions regarding Montgomery, and otherwise.

    No one did anything about it until the legislature was told and the JLAC audit was approved.

    The destruction of incriminating Marin mediation custody records doesn’t come as a surprise, out of nowhere. It is a calculated act of damage control, pure and simple.

    It also appears to be in violation of a whole bunch of laws.

    Several months ago Boren at best was dismissive about, and at worst covered up, a Marin case wherein an attorney complained that the court register of actions and minute orders from June, 2009 were changed in January 2010 by someone at the court with access to the computers — without any notice to the parties or counsel, or notation in the record. Of course, such changes undermine the validity and integrity of all Marin registers of action and minute orders– if they were tampered with in one case–in how many others have they been tampered with? Boren did nothing.

    So the fact that Boren was forced to seek an AOC audit on this destruction of records issue is of significance.

    Let’s see.

  106. I agree—how does anyone begin to make sense of this type of inconsistency and tragically bungled mismanagement?–It defies explanation other than what appears to be the manifestation of an operative strategy and assumption that they would never have to answer for these actions.

    We see once again—arrogance and a mistaken certainty that there is no such thing as accountability. They are also convinced that “investigations” that are internally commissioned and tasked are always the solution….more eyewash for the public and with the passage of time no one will remember the issue?

    As we witness this sinking ship watch for the scramble for life jackets….each day there are more aspects of this that remind one of James Cameron’s movie, Titanic…..everyone was certain that the ship was unsinkable?

  107. JusticeCalifornia

    Check out the Marin IJ story, hot off the press:
    “Document Purge in Marin Family Court Draws Scrutiny”

    Apparently the AOC is going to say no laws were broken. Of course they are. The AOC was INVOLVED IN THE DECISION TO DESTROY THE FILES.

    “Boren said the document destruction was part of an effort to preserve the court’s limited storage space, and that Turner had vetted the document destruction with the AOC beforehand. Nevertheless, the policy was terminated in mid-October over concerns about how a document purge might look in the midst of the closely-watched legislative audit of the family court.

    “I think it was stopped because of that possibility,” said Boren, who was not presiding judge at the time. “If we had it to do over, we probably wouldn’t have done it that way.”

    Can you say “obstruction of justice”?

  108. Michael Paul

    All the more reason for the investigator to be an independent investigator.

    I used to have a 3 inch thick file that initially was labeled “false claims”.

    I re-labeled it “18usc1961”

  109. JusticeCalifornia

    Actually, this is pretty darn great news. We had one smoking gun (the transcript) and now we have another:

    An admission that the AOC conspired with CA Judicial Council member Kim Turner to destroy incriminating family court documents while the legislative audit was pending. The third branch no longer has any moral standing to demand anyone to comply with any document demand, ever. Oops! We destroyed the records, just like the AOC and Kim Turner!

    Just wait till I start posting what was going on in the top courts JUST BEFORE this document destruction. Woohoo.

    Someone really ought to take a very close look at that “freak power surge” in 2008, after the possibility of the audit of 8 courts was initially raised– when everyone was sent home, and fuses had to be flown in from out of state (excuse me?), and the hope was “no documents were lost”.

    And re the state’s review of CCMS, and the reported AOC lack of documents about the real cost because they didn’t keep normal records? Let’s check into that too.

    I expect that this family court document destruction mess is the first of many embarrassing third branch (criminal obstruction of justice?) unveilings and I also expect that Ron George’s head was the first of many that will roll.

    And if the ethical members of the branch do not step forward, and stop this, we should vote out every single judge up for retention election, or re-election, until the branch is cleansed of its patently corrupt members.

    Enough already.

  110. JusticeCalifornia

    Carlos, Ming–you knew about the problems, you voted not to review them–did you know about this AOC/Kim Turner conspiracy to destroy records related to the problems?

    And, are you going to run?

  111. Wendy Darling

    No on C & M.

  112. JusticeCalifornia

    No on C & M.

    And everyone else who has facilitated, and/or is facilitating, and/or is covering up, this apparently BP-sized third branch corruption hemorrage in the largest judiciary in the Western world.

  113. JusticeCalifornia-

    Your statement about “ethical members of the branch” is powerful and very important.

    IF—and IF is a valid question—there are any “ethical members” within the branch it is time for them to announce their outrage–it is time for them to become a part of the solution. IF —those that regard themselves as “ethical” decide they can remain silent—-they become a part of the corruption.

    This is the time for ethical, honerable members of the branch to be counted and state their intentions—JOIN in a solution—

    Voters are outraged—furious—we have NEVER seen an election cycle that reflects a higher emotional response to arrogance and the shrug-of-shoulders and eyewash that our elected representatives muster to respond to consituent outrage.

    It is very-very clear that MANY have knowledge of conduct and events that can not be regarded as anything other than corruption. Another word that begins with C is “conspiracy”. It is difficult to not see RICO statutes being invoked…All “ethical”members have the choice of taking the high road—or joining the RICO crowd–

    It seems we have once again been deceived by the promise of an “AOC audit–AOC investigation”. It is clear that “authorized finding” (thank you Michael Paul) is the operative term for conclusive findings. The outcome of the audit is a foregone conclusion before the audit is commenced. THE FIX IS IN—THESE AUDITS are a sad pathetic joke upon a wannabe-trusting population..

    NO MORE—-NO MORE—IT IS TIME TO TAKE TO THE STREETS___

    IF—-IF—-(GOD FORBID)___The Marin document destruction investigation results in findings that uphold PJ Boren’s statements about it “probably being a bad idea and—responding to a storage problem”….I CALL FOR A VERY—VERY PUBLIC PROTEST—Boren and Turner need to be measured for orange jumpsuits….

    IT IS TIME TO SHOW-UP IN SAN FRANCISCO

    ETHICAL MEMBERS NEED TO STAND UP AND BECOME A PART OF THE SOLUTION–

    • Wendy Darling

      More immediately, it is time to show up in Sacramento next Wednesday, August 11, at the 9 a.m. hearing regarding the AOC at the State Capitol before the Assembly Committee for Accountability and Administrative review.

    • JusticeCalifornia

      San Francisco Whistle

      I daresay if orange jumpsuits are going to be measured, it will go far beyond Turner and Boren–I mean, after all, isn’t it, and hasn’t it been, the Ron, Ron and Bill show?

      And secondarily, all those who kiss and cover the RRB butts?

    • Michael Paul

      SF Whistle,

      There are a whole lot of ethical members of the branch who are powerless to act or must act indirectly, quietly or behind the scenes as to not run afoul of their immediate employer or judicial cannons.

      As outrageous the thought is that Ms. Turner would seek the AOC’s permission & consent at all to destroy these records and that the AOC would give this consent and permission after being notified of a pending JLAC audit that it appears they tried to stall while destroying records, this represents the sheer arrogance of the AOC management.

      Not the AOC’s workers, not superior court workers and not the judges of this state. Most of these people are professionals doing the best job they can. However, there are more than a few bad apples and if it wasn’t evident before it should be evident now.

      This is why everyone on the Judicial Council member and every AOC employee the rank of Manager or above should submit their resignations effective January 1.

      • JusticeCalifornia

        It isn’t arrogance. It is criminality. A Judicial Council member and the AOC conspired to thwart a legislative audit designed to protect the public (and most especially children) by destroying key evidence.

        Everyone involved in the destruction of these records needs to resign immediately. Verna Adams, Kim Turner, and every single person at the AOC and in the branch who knew about it, and approved it. EVERYBODY.

        And for heaven’s sake, taxpayer money better not be used to defend these criminals, for perpetration of these crimes against the public.

  114. ABSOLUTELY—-

    ACCOUNTABILITY is a great word—-REVIEW is a wonderful word–

    IT IS TIME for these words to have meaning and significance—-It is time to DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY

    I will be there August 11—9 am

  115. JusticeCalifornia

    Yes, AOC, let’s see your “final report”. We are all watching and waiting.

    And don’t forget a thorough factual explanation, and a legal analysis of Family Code section 1819(b); and, with that special provision in mind, Government Code section 6200; and also, Penal Code sections 182 and 96.5.

    Then, think about RICO.

    And while you are in that reflective mode, think about what you all knew about the Marin Family Court mediators, Judicial Council member Kim Turner, and Marin Judge Verna Adams, presiding judge at the time the record destruction was ordered. Think about what was reported, to the Commission on Judicial Performance, the Elkins Task Force, the First District Court of Appeal, and the CA Supreme Court before or in the Summer of 2009, right before the destruction of Marin Family Court mediation records. It is all documented, in writing and on tape (for the Elkins Task Force), and in the record (for the high courts).

    And then, dare to send out a self-serving report about how the destruction of records was legal, ethical, moral, or in any way acceptable.

    We are not talking about money here. We are talking about the safety of children, and the Constitutional rights of parents to parent their children.

    And we are also talking about the integrity of the branch as a whole.

    Time to fall on your swords, and turn in your mass resignations, or let the branch go down in flames.

  116. Michael Paul

    18usc201,18usc1029,18usc1341,18usc1343,18usc1503,18usc1510,18usc1511,18usc1512,
    18usc1513. They all equate to 18usc1961 and I’m just waiting for the hammer to fall. It’s not a matter of if, it is a matter of when.

    My friends at the AOC have denied me an electronically exported copy of my entire email file known as a .pst. They will only provide me a specific copy of email if I can clearly identify what I am asking for, claiming “We are unable to determine wheather these judicial administrative records can be made available to you”

    This concerns my own AOC email being refused me under Rule 10.500, public access to judicial administrative records.

    While I forwarded all email of concern to external accounts that paint the big picture, Mr Guevara of HR has also sent me a letter demanding I return all records, email, proposals, quotations, etc, etc be they in electronic or printed form and to retrieve any documents from anyone I have disseminated them to. The top of that list would be the FBI, the assembly committee on accountability and administrative review and various government officials.

    I sent a letter to the FBI. If they agree to return the documents to me, I agree to return the documents to the AOC.

  117. Wendy Darling

    A Nation’s Strength
    by Ralph Waldo Emerson

    What makes a nation’s pillars high
    And it’s foundations strong?
    What makes it mighty to defy
    The foes that round it throng?
    It is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
    Go down in battle shock;
    Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
    Not on abiding rock.
    Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
    Of empires passed away;
    The blood has turned their stones to rust,
    Their glory to decay.
    And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
    Has seemed to nations sweet;
    But God has struck its luster down
    In ashes at his feet.
    Not gold but only men and women can make
    A people great and strong;
    Men and women who for truth and honor’s sake
    Stand fast and suffer long.
    Brave men and women who work while others sleep,
    Who dare while others lie…
    They build a nation’s pillars deep
    And lift them to the sky.

    – Ralph Waldo Emerson

  118. JusticeCalifornia

    Okay. I will tell a little story of corruption.

    Part One:

    I posted this before: this is they type of information that the AOC and Judicial Council member Kim Turner conspired to destroy, that is (was?) in the Marin Family Court Services mediation custody files, that is NOT in the regular court files:

    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

      Part two:

      Opening passage in an appellate pleading filed last Summer, just before the reported destruction of Marin mediation files, regarding Marin Family Court Services misconduct:

      “It is a dangerous thing for a Court of Appeal to approve purposeful, repeated, and prejudicial conduct of Family Court Services personnel and a trial court judge, charged with deciding such a tender and important subject as the custody of a young child.”

      This is especially so when the Court of Appeal is on abundant notice that the problematic behavior of the judge and/or Family court personnel in question may not be confined to one case, but instead may be systemic.
      [cites to the appellate record about systemic misconduct].”

      “When faced with patently problematic or illegal conduct of a judge or court personnel, it is far easier to simply refuse to discuss or address the
      illegal conduct, than to acknowledge and correct the damage done to the victims of court misconduct. In such thorny cases, it is far easier to ‘shoot the messenger’ than deal with the message”.

      • JusticeCalifornia

        And check this out from a subsequent CA Supreme Court filing seeking relief stemming from Marin Family Court Services misconduct, pending in September, 2009, with relief denied the end of September (the VERY same time the decision was apparently made by the AOC and Judicial Council member Kim Turner to destroy Marin Family Court Services mediation files relevant to the JLAC investigation):

        “Public Concern and Protection. Violation of state laws and procedures by local family court judges and court personnel is a topic of great public concern in California at present. To wit:

        “On April 6, 2009, mothers, fathers, children, family law professionals, and advocates travelled from all over the state of California to San Francisco, to give public testimony about their experiences in family court to the
        Judicial Council’s Elkins Family Task force. The taped testimony had a common theme: that is, that parents are being deprived of the custody and care of their children via expensive litigation proliferated by judges, minor’s counsel, court mediators and evaluators that are refusing to follow state law.

        “In April of 2009 the Marin Court issued a ‘Report on Family Court’ in which it acknowledged that the Marin family court has a decade-old problematic reputation which included ‘concerns about judicial officers including allegations of judicial bias and cronyism; failure to adhere to law, rules and court procedures; reliance on questionable reports and approval of excessive fees for experts who were friendly with bench officers, excessive legal fees to favored attorneys and general violations of the Judicial Canons of Ethics.’ In that same report, the Marin Court informs the public that it relied on its mediators for information, and it assures the public that those mediators are ‘skilled professionals’. Relevant excerpts from that report are attached as [Exhibit].

        “On July 1, 2009, the state Joint Legislative Audit Committee voted to investigate the family court in Marin and Sacramento counties. This has been the topic of numerous news articles, including but not limited to the Marin Independent Journal [Exhibit], and a July 6, 2009 Recorder article [Exhibit] hereto). The Marin paper notes that the audit will ‘focus on the use, and potential misuse, of court-appointed specialists in family-law disputes, such as mediators, investigators and therapists.’ The Recorder reported that State Auditor Elaine Howle said her office ‘will review how courts appoint mediators, attorneys and staff in custody cases; what level of training those appointees have; whether there is a process for litigants to object to the use of a particular appointee; and how or if those appointees are evaluated by the courts’. The Recorder article reported as follows:

        ‘The Judicial Council does not oppose the audit, but warned that reviewing case records will be costly and time-consuming and, based on what evidence was presented or allowed in a particular case, may not offer a complete picture to investigators.’

        ‘We can fully acknowledge that trial courts can err in their application of the law to the facts of the case, but the Court of Appeal is the appropriate forum in which to challenge those mistakes”, Judicial Council attorney Tracy Kenny wrote in a letter to the audit committee.’

        “In this case, Mother did, in fact, repeatedly seek protection for herself and other Marin Family Court parents via multiple requests for writ relief from the Court of Appeal and Supreme Court.”

      • JusticeCalifornia

        Reflect for a moment on the magnificent recognition of the Judicial Council that the “regular ” case records may not tell the whole story in custody cases, found in that July 6, 2009 Recorder quote:

        “The Judicial Council does not oppose the audit, but warned that reviewing case records will be costly and time-consuming and, based on what evidence was presented or allowed in a particular case, may not offer a complete picture to investigators.”

        And reflect on the significance of the AOC and Judicial Council member Kim Turner purposefully conspiring to destroy mediation records that WOULD offer a more complete picture to the JLAC investigators regarding what historically problematic Marin Family Court Services mediators did or did not do in certain cases.

      • Wendy Darling

        Considering it was/is the AOC’s Office of General Counsel (OGC) advising Kim Turner and the Marin Court regarding the JLAC audit, so along with orange jumpsuits (and the related accessories of handcuffs and indictments), someone might want to think about notifying the State Bar, because unless something has recently changed, advising someone to commit a felony isn’t covered by “attorney-client privlege”.

  119. Wendy Darling

    Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.
    — Mark Twain

  120. JusticeCalifornia

    As I review my correspondence about Marin destruction of records, I have to wonder who knew, and when they knew, the AOC participated in the destruction. Here is why I wonder:

    It would be ridiculous to ask an identified rapist to investigate and report on the rape, or an identified embezzler to investigate and report on his embezzlement.

    It is as ridiculous to ask the AOC to investigate and report on an alleged crime that the AOC has taken part in—especially one involving a conspiracy to destroy evidence while an official state investigation is underway.

    No, crimes are supposed to be investigated by law enforcement.

    And while the investigation is going on, it is ridiculous to leave admitted perpetrators/conspirators in positions of official power, so he/she/they can do more harm, or further impede official investigations.

    That is common sense, right? That is why for the last month I have repeatedly requested that Judicial Council member/Senate judiciary committee chair Senator Ellen Corbett, and Judicial Council member/Assembly judiciary committee chair Assemblyman Feuer, request a CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION into the Marin document destruction, and I have the correspondence to prove it. Was the request made?

    While we wait for that answer, let’s all look forward to this much-anticipated AOC report, by Judicial Council member Turner’s reported co-perpetrators/co-conspirators. One thing is for certain–it isn’t going to be the last word on this issue, and, by issuing it, I wonder if the AOC is waiving the fifth amendment privilege of everyone involved? Something to think about. . .

    And, in the meanwhile, here is a little light reading:

    July 10, 2010, e-mail to Judicial Council members Corbett and Feuer, and Assemblymember Dave Jones, asking for a CRIMINAL investigation, and other things:

    “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”

  121. JC, Don’t forget that John Mendes was a JC member when an AOC audit was released and accusations where made against John by the AOC that caused his judges to fire him to save their own behinds (in my humble opinion). So Kim Turner being a JC member does not give her immunity…..especially if her judges need a scape goat.

  122. I don’t think the OGC would advise Kim Turner to do something against the law per se. what I know is the AOC attorneys know nothing about court operations and their interpretations of the statutes are usually incorrect because these guys are idiots. Nor do they have the ability to see the big picture. Ah duh, an audit is being conducted so maybe we should think twice about destroying these records at this time due to what could be seen as an apperance of inpropriety? Doh! I’d rather be in pro per than have AOC counsel represent me.

  123. Wendy Darling

    Considering that Corbett, Feuer, and Jones didn’t attend but one meeting of the Judicial Council between all three of them in years, it would seem that they have already clearly demonstrated that they could care less about misconduct, corruption, and retaliation going on in the Judicial Branch, much their total and complete disdain and disinterest about actually doing anything about it, or taking any action to intervene or hold anyone responsible, is it a safe bet that you haven’t actually gotten a response back from any of them?

    As for John Mendes, the AOC and the Judicial Council went after him after Mendes didn’t follow the Chief Justice’s “Speak With One Voice” commandment and started asking some questions of the Council and the AOC that the Council and the AOC didn’t want asked, much less want to answer.

    Just like so many others …

  124. How about Assemblymember Leno?–

    The conduct of Kim Turner and others was designed and undertaken to frustrate and control the audit that he was intrumental in causing—The acts of Kim Turner potentially make a mockery of the audit…

    It seems to follow that if Leno was sincere and not in this becuase he felt it politically expedient he should be enlisted to be all over getting to the bottom of the implications of destroying documents germane and likely essential to the audit…?

    • Wendy Darling

      The acts of Kim Turner – and the AOC – potentially make a mockery of the audit, and potentially make a mockery of the AOC and the California judicial branch as well.

  125. JusticeCalifornia

    “The AOC conspired with Judicial Council member Kim Turner to destroy Marin family court evidence while an official state investigation of the Marin family court was pending.” That is surely a tiny tip of the iceberg.

    Let’s all look at the big picture.

    What we have here is a bona fide smoking gun regarding one aspect of current third branch misconduct claims. It is a VERY serious smoking gun, because it involves an official state investigation regarding the safety of children. If top court leadership is going to sacrifice the safety of young children to cover up third branch misconduct, well, nothing is sacred.

    In other words, it is foolish to think that the AOC has only blessed the destruction of incriminating Marin child custody records.

    As I recall, the AOC didn’t hand over proper CCMS records, especially regarding cost, for that first audit, right? We have no idea what they are doing with the JLAC audit. . . . but now we sure know how they feel about destroying relevant records.. . . .no problem. What about that Shapiro fund, and the courthouse construction issues, and whistleblower litigation, and other litigation involving the third branch? And say hey– does anybody know the status of the Sacramento family court mediation files?

    “The AOC conspired with _______ to destroy evidence while [an official state investigation ] [a JLAC audit] [discovery] was pending.”

    I will wager there is any number of blanks that can be filled in.

    Kim Turner participated, but she alone didn’t make a mockery of the judicial branch. Longtime top leadership (RRB) did, by facilitating corruption, and then using people like Turner and Fuentes to do the wet work.

    I believe RRB has also made a mockery of the entire legislature, and the public, by encouraging everyone to just “trust them”.

    So anyway, I do hope everyone is getting their information together for the August 11 hearing. With a summary of all relevant facts and tabbed supporting documents, and timelines showing who was told what, and given what, when. Document and report.

    I personally think that, as the judicial corruption hemorrhage continues, and spreads, and infects the legislature and the executive branch, many will be looking to Corbett and Feuer for answers as to WTF happened here. Undoubtedly many were relying upon them for guidance on third branch issues. As Judicial Council members/chairs of the judiciary committees, were they asleep at the wheel, while nestled in Big Ron’s warm embrace?

    I believe that what is about to go down is going to change the way things are done, in all branches. It is going to become very clear to legislators that a) it is irresponsible to hand over $4-5 billion in taxpayer money without demanding and ensuring that meaningful oversight measures are in place; and b) perhaps some of the most egregious ethical and legal violations have been committed by third branch members.

  126. JusticeCalifornia

    BTW.

    Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock.

    Richard Fine, disbarred for complaining about illegal Sturgeon payments, and complaining about SBX211, is in his 18th month of solitary confinement– and, as far as I know, he has never been charged or convicted of anything.

    Someone correct me if I am wrong.

    And that, my friends, is how the public (and the world) is eventually going to view our CA third branch. Punish and lock up court critics, while top leadership and its corrupt minions play favorites, and commit egregious crimes against the public and children, with impunity– and all at the expense of the CA taxpayers.

    And that, my friends, is the MINIMUM standard by which those who are involved in third branch corruption, and/or those who know about but protect third branch corruption, will be judged.

    Woo hoo.

    • I was under the impression Mr. Fine was disbarred for repeatedly contemptious behavior rather than the items you mentioned.

      • JusticeCalifornia

        As I understand it, his repeated challenges of judges pursuant to CCP 170.1, based on his claims they were taking illegal payments from LA County (the Sturgeon payments) and therefore had no authority to hear cases involving LA County, are what took him down.

        And are what is keeping him in jail.

        And, wasn’t the State Bar lawyer involved in the Fine proceedings also involved in one or more of the lawsuits Fine had? Sheldon Sloan? I seem to remember that.

        And didn’t those involved in that horrific case he had give last minute donations to Ron George in 1998? I seem to remember that, too.

        Anyway, I am sure when Fine gets out, he will have a LOT to say about it all.

    • Just to refresh my memory, I went back and glanced over the 35 page Opinion and Order from September 2008. That order included involuntary inactive enrollment, which was followed later by disbarment. I don’t see any reference to any of the items you mentioned, just a recitation of repeated challenges, etc. to judicial officers. Some of the actions were obviously contemptuous so the resulting order is no suprise at all. I haven’t read any material concerning whatever led to incarceration other than an order finding contempt of court which led to five days in jail. Do you have a link to such pleadings/orders etc.?

      • JusticeCalifornia

        For information, go to the Full Disclosure Network.

        They have done a lot of coverage on Fine. In fact, I came in this morning to find an e-mail about the very thing I just mentioned a little while ago:

        “Los Angeles, CA – Prominent multi-millionaire developers and philanthropists Pat and Jerry Epstein have apparently disregarded
        L A Superior Court Judge David Yaffe’s admission of “Fraud Upon The Court” in the Marina Strand Colony II vs County of Los Angeles Case No. BS109420. They have instructed their attorney to press the court to keep the 71-year-old disbarred attorney, Richard Fine, in “coercive confinement” indefinitely. One of Epstein’s attornies, Sheldon H. Sloan, was President of the State Bar as the disbarment proceedings against Fine took place during the Marina Strand development case. Fine is challenging the disbarment from his jail cell. Judge Yaffe’s admission has rekindled hope that Fine would soon be released.

        EPSTEIN’S LAWYER WROTE IN FILING DATED 7-30-10:
        “I am certain that absent his (Fine’s) continued confinement he will never submit to questioning, and my client will never be able to recover the Judgment.” Fine has contended the order was illegal due to the judge’s failure to disclose illegal payments from a party to the case (L.A. County was partners with Epstein Family on the development).”

        I believe both Epstein and Sloan donated to George in the very, very last days before his 1998 retention election. I will check.

        BTW, being intimately familiar with CCP 170.1’s, orders granting or denying them are not appealable. They are only subject to writ review, and as we all know, writs are summarily denied over 95% of the time, with no discussion of the facts, law, or merits of the case. This doesn’t stop the lower courts from using writ denials as “proof” that the Court of Appeal found that the 170.1 has no merit.
        In one case where the judge denied a 170.1 herself (which happens a lot), I actually preserved the 170.1 issue for appeal by seeking a writ and then a petition for review– both of which were summarily denied–and then raised the disqualification issues on appeal. Still, in an unpublished decision, the Court of Appeal steadfastly refused to address the merits (facts or law) regarding the disqualification. “Too bad for you, we aren’t going to talk about it!!! ” was the gist of the decision.

        In this manner, bad behavior of judges never sees the light of day. The judges are insulated from high court review and written discussion of what they have done.

        The law should be changed, to require a written high court decision on the merits, if high court review regarding disqualification for cause is sought.

        Between the secrecy and extraordinarily low percentage of Commission on Judicial performance actions regarding complaints against judges, and the lack of availability of an appeal regarding challenges for cause, there is virtually no effective oversight of judges.

        Do you think Fine’s endless incarceration is appropriate? Have you ever seen anything like it before, in your career?

  127. Is it possible that the audit was also a charade?

    As Justice California points out—these acts have been carried out in the course of a JLAC audit—–

    Is it not a reasonable expectation that those that have conducted the audit should be outraged and screaming?—-This casts a huge cloud over this “audit”….It is clear that it was NOT the audit that uncovered the facts regarding the destruction of these documents.

    Now—as a direct consequence of an attorney “documenting and reporting” the facts related to this deliberate attempt to hide information–obstruct justice are known—

    It appears that rather than responding to these facts with outrage—-the JLAC position is going to be that of how to accept the cover up and assist in containing the damage?

    Kim Turner—the AOC—the JLAC auditors need to know this is not good enough–they will NOT get away with this–NOT put a lid on this.

    If the JLAC auditors do not act upon this information appropriately they become participants in what is already a large group of conspirators—-

  128. Where is the location of the hearing on Wednesday? If someone has an address, I can google the directions. Thank you
    I am sure it is in the capitol building but I just want to check to be sure. And is there a hearing room or do they conduct the hearing on the floor?

  129. Michael Paul

    10th and L street, 4th floor, expect a little more coverage than the calchannel this time around.

  130. Thank you Michael. I’d also like to clairify one thing: not every attorney in the OGC is a total idiot. There are a few amazing brilliant and wonderful exceptions, that I have worked with and love. I am sorry I painted all of them with the same brush!! my bad!!!

  131. PS what is the appropriate attire? A berka? A ski mask? A ninja suit? A lone ranger mask? 🙂

  132. Michael Paul

    Court appropriate attire is fine courtflea.

    If you’re a judge, court exec or judicial council member being flown in to sing the praises of the AOC’s $2,000.00 light bulb swaps, $500.00 to empty an ash tray or 8 million in billing to allegedly man a remote building when in reality that building is only staffed by one person, if you’re being flown in to defend courthouses that cost more per square foot than any other public building on planet earth, why stimulus dollars are good for the rest of california but not california’s judicial branch, why hyper-inflated bid rigging from a sole source entity followed by bid shopping post award even though these things cheat the taxpayers and would be illegal and get people put behind bars for long prison stints if it weren’t a judicial branch project but still are a really swell idea, the suggested attire is a professionally tailored nomex suit and depends undergarments.

    You’ll be able to tell AOC management from the rest of the crowd because their nomex suits and depends undergarments will be monogrammed with the wearers initials.

    • Michael Paul

      For any idiot that would construe that as a threat, the flames will be coming from the assembly committee on accountability and administrative review and the press, not me.

  133. Michael Paul

    By the way, nice article in The Recorder today by Judge Lampe.

    Viewpoint: AOC Bureaucracy is bad for state courts.

    It’s a free article so even those of us who are unlawfully fired can see it.

  134. JusticeCalifornia

    Great Recorder article. And timely.

  135. Wendy Darling

    Published today, August 9, 2010, in The Recorder, the0n-line publication of CalLaw:

    Part One:

    Viewpoint: AOC Bureaucracy Is Bad for State Courts
    Judge David R. Lampe
    The Recorder
    August 06, 2010

    The Alliance of California Judges has wished Chief Justice Ronald George the best upon his retirement and commended him upon his tireless advocacy for the California judiciary.
    News articles have assumed that centralized statewide administration of the courts is somehow part of Chief Justice George’s legacy.

    By law, there is no “centralized statewide administration of the courts.” Government Code §77001 mandates a “decentralized system of trial court management.” Notwithstanding, a central bureaucracy has grown that undermines this democratic form of governance.

    The Constitution states that “[i]n each county there is a superior court of one or more judges.” The autonomy of the county courts was recognized by the Legislature in the Lockyer-Isenberg Trial Court Funding Act of 1997. That law required the Judicial Council to adopt a Trial Courts Bill of Financial Management Rights. The Judicial Council never adopted this Bill of Rights.

    In June of 2009, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the statewide agency tasked with assisting the trial courts, proposed a trailer bill that eliminated the autonomy of local courts. Our organization arose to counteract this tendency to eliminate judicial independence. Judges are not administrative officers tasked to apply regulations set by an administrative body. Every judge of this state is an independent constitutional officer with the duty to apply reasonable judgment under principles of stare decisis to the disputes in their courtrooms. If in error, a judge’s decision is to be examined by appropriate appellate process. Central administration has turned the AOC and its overseeing body, the Judicial Council, into a quasilegislature, with task forces, advisory committees and review of judicial authority by an administrative general counsel’s office. This trend is contrary to the spirit of the common law, and it must be reversed.

  136. Wendy Darling

    Part Two:

    The overreach of this bureaucracy has been expensive. Consider the following.

    The AOC has conceived of a vast Court Case Management System that has already cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars diverted from the operating revenue of the trial courts. It is now estimated that this system will cost at least $1.7 billion. Many criticize the system as failed. Its future is unfunded. There are no resources to deploy it.

    As of April, $480 million has already been spent on CCMS. After seven years of development, the system runs only a small portion of case management in each of only seven counties — Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Ventura. In Los Angeles the system only operates in one small courthouse, processing roughly EIGHT small claims cases per day. Sacramento has reported significant problems with CCMS directly related to connection to the central data management server (CTCC) in Tempe, Ariz., which is a hallmark of the CCMS proposal. These problems are sufficient to cause Sacramento to demand revisions that allow for local control of its case management data.

    Recently, the Office of the Chief Information Officer stated that the AOC has not performed a proper business case for the CCMS project that assesses complete baseline costs. The OCIO added that the business value achieved is unclear, that project management is driven by the multinational product vendor (Deloitte) rather than the AOC, and that the AOC does not have appropriate project management practices in place. The OCIO has opined that if courts do not agree to implement the system, its value will be limited.

    There are other serious problems with leaving administrative decisions solely in the hands of the AOC.

    In addition to creation of a troubled computer system, the AOC has undertaken a $5 billion construction program. Many of our court buildings are in need of significant repair, maintenance and replacement. The AOC proposes in the current budget to administer $240 million for acquisition, planning, construction, operations and maintenance of our courthouses. The AOC has also proposed more than $1 billion in bond funds this fiscal year for court construction. However, the AOC has designed new courthouses priced at up to $1,700 per square foot. Recently the federal GAO has criticized construction of a courthouse in San Diego, because it cost $800 per square foot. These projects must be re-evaluated.

    The AOC asserts that it is not subject to the public contracts law. It has entered into contracts with an entity not licensed, and which is the current subject of a whistle-blower lawsuit by an AOC employee as well as action by the California attorney general. Examples of extraordinary maintenance costs surface daily.

    The AOC is a bureaucracy that has grown too large, too obscure in its processes and too immune from oversight. This agency has doubled in size in the past five years with more than 900 employees, one-third of which make more than $100,000 per year, with no direct adjudication function. The AOC continued to hire, and continued to give raises, as the court financial crisis loomed.

  137. Wendy Darling

    Part Two:

    The overreach of this bureaucracy has been expensive. Consider the following.

    The AOC has conceived of a vast Court Case Management System that has already cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars diverted from the operating revenue of the trial courts. It is now estimated that this system will cost at least $1.7 billion. Many criticize the system as failed. Its future is unfunded. There are no resources to deploy it.

    As of April, $480 million has already been spent on CCMS. After seven years of development, the system runs only a small portion of case management in each of only seven counties — Fresno, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Ventura. In Los Angeles the system only operates in one small courthouse, processing roughly EIGHT small claims cases per day. Sacramento has reported significant problems with CCMS directly related to connection to the central data management server (CTCC) in Tempe, Ariz., which is a hallmark of the CCMS proposal. These problems are sufficient to cause Sacramento to demand revisions that allow for local control of its case management data.

    Recently, the Office of the Chief Information Officer stated that the AOC has not performed a proper business case for the CCMS project that assesses complete baseline costs. The OCIO added that the business value achieved is unclear, that project management is driven by the multinational product vendor (Deloitte) rather than the AOC, and that the AOC does not have appropriate project management practices in place. The OCIO has opined that if courts do not agree to implement the system, its value will be limited.

    There are other serious problems with leaving administrative decisions solely in the hands of the AOC.

    In addition to creation of a troubled computer system, the AOC has undertaken a $5 billion construction program. Many of our court buildings are in need of significant repair, maintenance and replacement. The AOC proposes in the current budget to administer $240 million for acquisition, planning, construction, operations and maintenance of our courthouses. The AOC has also proposed more than $1 billion in bond funds this fiscal year for court construction. However, the AOC has designed new courthouses priced at up to $1,700 per square foot. Recently the federal GAO has criticized construction of a courthouse in San Diego, because it cost $800 per square foot. These projects must be re-evaluated.

    The AOC asserts that it is not subject to the public contracts law. It has entered into contracts with an entity not licensed, and which is the current subject of a whistle-blower lawsuit by an AOC employee as well as action by the California attorney general. Examples of extraordinary maintenance costs surface daily.

  138. Wendy Darling

    Part Three:

    The AOC is a bureaucracy that has grown too large, too obscure in its processes and too immune from oversight. This agency has doubled in size in the past five years with more than 900 employees, one-third of which make more than $100,000 per year, with no direct adjudication function. The AOC continued to hire, and continued to give raises, as the court financial crisis loomed.

    Our courts are still in crisis. Even if the judicial budget is adopted as proposed, many courts will have to continue to furlough employees and deal with critical staff shortages, curtailing essential services, even if the doors of the court are technically “open.”

    Our trial courts must have a greater voice in the way our courts are run. Our trial court funding system was designed for local courts to be independent. Instead, statewide administration has become autocratic and insular. The Alliance of California Judges seeks to ensure that the system operates as envisioned, with trial courts playing a co-equal role in court administration. It is for this reason that we ask the Legislature to promptly enact a Trial Court Bill of Rights that will help clarify the boundaries between local and statewide administration. When trial judges accept the responsibility for administration of the local courts, voters and taxpayers will be reassured that judges who stand for election in their counties will take care over the prudent administration of justice.

    The Alliance of California Judges looks forward to working with the new chief justice to ensure these aims. In this way, all voices will be heard, and the public will be reassured that decisions will be made upon the greatest consensus of elected judges.

  139. —-What an insightful article—

    ….”The AOC is a bureaucracy that has grown too large, too obscure in its processes and too immune from oversight.”

    It is time for the imposition of OVERSIGHT and ACCOUNTABILITY

  140. Thanks for the post Wendy.
    Michael, will this hearing be televised or streamed on the web? Thank you

  141. Interesting the meeting tomorrow is not posted on the committees website. Is there a reason for that? Michael, I answered my own question.

  142. Michael Paul

    There is a reason for that. 🙂

  143. okey dokey not suprised. But it seems awful strange that they can get away with not noticing the meeting. Like isn’t that against the Brown Act open meeting laws? Does that also mean they will try to close to the public? Are you guys sure this meeting is happening? Ron is a lame duck now. why would the committee stick their neck out to essentially break the law or otherwise subject themselves to negative scrutiny? I don’t know, whatcha guys think? Michael, whatsup?
    Correction: I should have said the meeting on Wednesday.

    • Michael Paul

      Envision how notice can be effected under the following guidelines, then look at the Cal Channel’s scheduled broadcast for midnight, 12AM on August 12.

      Under the Brown Act an agency must:
      post notice and an agenda for any regular meeting (§§ 54954(a), 54954.2(a)); mail notice at least three days before regular meetings to those who request it, (§ 54954.1); post notice of continued meetings, (§ 54955.1); deliver notice of special meetings at least one day in advance to those who request it, (§ 54956); and deliver notice of emergency meetings at least one hour in advance to those who request it.. (§§ 54956, 54956.5)
      notify the media of special or emergency meetings if requested, (§§ 54956, 54956.5); allow media to remain in meetings cleared due to public disturbance. (§§ 54957.9)
      hold meetings in the jurisdiction of the agency except in limited circumstances, (§§ 54954(b)- (e)), and in places accessible to all, with no fee. (§ 54961(a))
      not require a “sign in” for anyone. (§ 54953.3)
      allow non-disruptive recording and broadcast of meetings, (§ 54953.5(a)), and let the public inspect any recording made by the agency of its open meetings. (§ 54953.5(b)) The agency may destroy recordings it made after 30 days. (§ 54953.5(b))
      allow the public to address the covered board at regular or committee meetings on any item in the agency’s jurisdiction not addressed by the agency at an earlier open meeting.. (§ 54954.3(a))
      conduct only public votes, with no secret ballots. (§ 54953(c))
      treat documents as public “without delay,” if distributed to all or a majority of members of a board before or at the meeting, unless they are also exempt under the Public Records Act. (§ 54957.5)

    • Hi, courtflea. The meeting has been listed for some time now on the Legislature’s hearing listings. I plan on going.

  144. Michael Paul

    According to construction cost estimating guides, the most expensive public buildings in California are jails and juvenile detention centers.
    Stanislaus has announced a new 60 bed juvenile detention center for $510.00 per square foot. L.A Police’s new metropolitan detention center, 70 million, 172000 square feet 410.00 per square foot – and it remains empty because the city can’t afford to staff it.

    This would be a concern for new courthouses as well. As I sat in construction meetings throughout the state a common ripple in courthouse construction was what the counties needed to do to staff the additional buildings or what it woud cost the county to integrate their own operations and business processes into the buildings. As court layoffs and shutting courthouses down last year commenced, it became obvious that the counties were not alone with regard to their staffing concerns, the courts were equally as concerned. They were just less vocal about it. It also became obvious to me that these issues weren’t being addressed by the AOC. We were being sent into design and develop courthouses, in some cases, everyone around the table was wondering how they were going to staff them. This doesn’t appear to be a part of the AOC’s plans other than at some future date someone would ask for the budget to staff the buildings. Would it be prudent for all justice partners involved to know with certainty what it is going to const to staff these facilities and where that source of funding is coming from and having it all identified in advance of design and construction? Will opening a new centralized AOC courthouse result in the shut down of other facilities in the county to staff the new courthouse? How is this going to impact the community that is losing a courthouse?

    My point is that the decision to build courthouses was made before our current economic climate gutted our ability to pay for them and staff them. Times have changed. The AOC can’t afford to fund its current deferred maintenance, yet wishes to build new courthouses that, in some cases nobody can afford to staff without impacting other established operations.

    This represents only part of the issues with new court construction but they are significant enough to cause re-evaluation of every project until the funding soures for fully staffing the projects is evaluated

    +++++++++++

    On the issue of costs:

    Think of yourself as a business person, say, a contractor. You find out that the budget for the Markleeville courthouse is $26.37 million dollars to build less than 15,000 square feet. The AOC approaches you with such an offer. Are you going to turn them down?

    • My apologies for picking on Markeeville. Alpine County is awe inspiring and a frequent recreational destination. Pay them a visit and I’m sure you’ll agree.

  145. Michael,
    As a builder—it would be intimidating and more than a bit disconcerting to see a per square foot budget that would equate to replicating the Palace of Versailles—It also seems that a “budget” does not mean much to an AOC project?—-If one experiences cost overruns you just ask for more money from the bottomless pot o’gold?

  146. Heads up my AOC Watcher friends! Check out KGO-TV Channel 7 (ABC – San Francisco) 6 o’clock news this evening (Tuesday, August 10th, 2010) for the lead news story on……[insert drum roll here]…..the AOC!

  147. JusticeCalifornia

    AMAZING STORY!!!
    Michael Paul and the ACJ rocked.

    • So are you going to attend the hearing tomorrow morning?

      • JusticeCalifornia

        CG, I cannot but have drafted and am sending a JusticeCalifornia letter regarding the issues and requesting a full investigation, and I urge anyone else who cannot go to do the same. The meeting agenda and information is detailed and on the California State Assembly Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review website. Are you going, to urge investigation into CCMS alternatives?

    • Can someone post a link to the story?

      Thanks.

  148. Not on line yet apparently. Keep checking http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/index

  149. It’s on there now. Very good. Great job Michael!!

  150. great news piece—-Michael you’re a hero—

  151. Try this. Direct link to the story, I think.

    http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/state&id=7603881

  152. Today’s accountability hearing will be well attended by ACJ directors from around the state. I hope anyone who can watches the hearing–they usually play it on the government Cal channel, I believe. I’m in trial so can’t catch a peek, but would welcome any reports from the scene or from t.v. Thanks a million.

  153. No reports on the hearing today? Guess the dark side prevailed over the force once again?

    • Wendy Darling

      Television media from San Francisco (Vic Lee/Channel 7) and Sacramento were apparently there – might suggest you watch the 11 o’clock news …, also it was broadcast on the Cal channel and might be replayed on the Cal channel tonight at midnight.

    • Michael Paul

      The dark side prevailing seems to be a correct assessment.

  154. Thanks Wendy. I was planning on checking the Cal Channel. Just was hoping to hear from our fellow bloggers that were there, to get their take on the hearing. I am keeping my fingers crossed that it went well for the alliance and best of all the CJ and his cronies sucked 🙂

  155. JusticeCalifornia

    No comments yet!
    I will be the first.
    Caveat: I watched/listened via webcam as it went in and out, and I was working.
    The AOCorruption sounded OK I suppose– except about the bottom line of anything–lots of waffling going on–this is the weak spot, the achilles heel–NO FIRM BOTTOM LINE ABOUT ANYTHING FINANCIAL (what does that $1.3 billion include?). NOTHING. Also, the whiney excuse that the judicial branch never had to answer to anything before was pretty interesting. Somehow, a bunch of savvy wealthy older jurists/administrators claiming “we are financial reporting virgins and no one ever told us we had a budget” doesn’t play very well, for a brainy branch in charge of $5 billion in taxpayer funds.
    The public comments were great. Everyone made their case very well. I have found that when people are quickly shut up, they have hit a nerve. Keep hitting the nerve.
    And everyone should follow up, just like the committee suggested. Paula, Michael, CG.
    The ACJ were especially effective. The best idea of the day–in fact one to rally around– is a MORATORIUM, NO MORE SPENDING UNTIL WE HAVE THE ANSWERS. MORE SPENDING OF TAXPAYER FUNDS WITHOUT ANSWERS IS IRRESPONSIBLE. And that should apply to CCMS, and the new court construction. NOW.
    MANY on the committee were refreshingly tough, but there was some residual deference to the AOCorruption, which did filibuster. There was also an uncomfortable sense that certain legislators are worried this mess has gone so far , and so much money has been spent, that it may be too late to turn back. I think that is in large part due to the OCIO’s refusal to be really honest and take a hard line (time to put pressure on the OCIO. I’m in.) The OCIO report makes it VERY clear that the AOCorruption has fallen down in EVERY important and responsible category with respect to CCMS, and red flags are flying all over the place, but today there was an OCIO a) refusal to talk bottom line (“we leave that to the legislators to decide the value”) and b) a sense that, being new to Big Ron’s seductive smile and warm embrace, they were a little too enthralled with the fantasy (and it is just a fantasy) that RRB and the AOCorruption is actually listening to, and heeding, anything they say.
    So that left the committee in a bit of a bind.
    The OCIO was saying “Oh yes, the AOCorruption is listening to and agreeing with everything we say”, while those of us who have watched and listened for so many years, know that RRB and the AOCorruption are buying time, and seducing and kissing OCIO butt, and letting their wise suggestions go in one ear, and out the other.
    Bottom line: this is an education process.
    Many on the committee get it. But they need backup.
    So I personally believe we should target the OCIO, and DEMAND that they get, from the AOCorruption the invoices, receipts, and proof of payments, and the answers–with back up–to all the questions they have posed.
    Because they won’t/cannot. Because the AOCorruption cannot afford it. Just like the Marin Family Court –which talked a great game about “best practices–bring on the audit!!!” ultimately couldn’t afford it.
    And because the AOCorruption has probably destroyed CCMS and other records.
    Focus on the bottom line, the achilles heel. What was the bidding process? Show us the bids.
    And show us how much it has cost. Who made the decisions. When, how, why. And show us the invoices, receipts, payments.
    Show us the invoices, receipts and payments.
    Show us the invoices, receipts and payments.
    Show us the invoices, receipts and payments.
    Remember, the AOCorruption has not answered these questions about anything: how much has it really cost so far, and how much will it really cost, and why is it costing so much? And it is irresponsible, especially in these trying economic times, to buy anything without the answers to those questions –and especially with taxpayer funds.
    MORATORIUM.

  156. Wendy Darling

    Apparently the hearing made the evening broadcast news in Sacramento …

  157. ABC News follow-up report ran at 6PM, may also been seen on Kofy 20 and @11PM on Channel 7.

    Or watch the webcast… http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/state&id=7605730

  158. CBS 13 Sacramento (multiple stories in the streaming video)
    http://cbs13.com/local/court.spending.audit.2.1854846.html

  159. Thank you JC!
    That is soooo funny/amazing/disgusting that they played never having to answer to anyone card. How about following their own financial policies and proceedure manual that they forced on the courts? Not to mention, there are public accounting policies and proceedures like: financial documents should be retained for 5 years….so they are saying this is like the fox guarding the proverbial henhouse? They tell the trial courts they must release information even though the courts are not subject to the public records act and they say the courts need to be more transparent? How can they have been saying to this same committee that the AOC and the JC is “transparent” and use this lame excuse? Sorry, I am sputtering here.
    I am going to pop my corn and a beer and watch the news/CA channel. I would have been there myself if I could have turned into a fly on the wall.

    PS JC who did the talking the CJ? Ron O the clown or Mr. Bill? Just curious. Especially since Mr. Bill has been MIA for so long, at least publicly.

  160. http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/story?section=news/state&id=7605730
    here is the link for the 11 oclock news on the hearing

  161. PS that clip made me want to shove Ron O the clown’s shoe into his mouth/a** (pardon me) after the comment on judges disagreeing about CCMS. Arrogant SOB. Payback is going to be hell for that guy
    And by the way, great job Michael and you Judges out there. Keep on it!!
    Waiting for the 12 am show next

  162. The various stories would have gotten little traction if it wasn’t for the AOC’s own media group. AOC Pravda is larger than most modern news organizations and were tasked in a coordinated effort to complain to editors about any story that portrayed the AOC and Judicial Council in a negative light. Certain editors and news directors have shared this AOC information and communications and at least with those editors and news directors, the gloves are off. AOC Pravda’s tactics are also being shared around the state amongst other news editors and directors.

    Was it just me or was Mr. DeLaTorre suggest he was going to wait for the results of my lawsuit to understand how the laws need to be changed.?

  163. JusticeCalifornia

    I think he ultimately said he would try to act earlier than the four or five years or so your lawsuit could go on.

    • Ultimately he did but the thought that somehow I have become some law enforcer by proxy only because no one else has the political clout or willpower when everyone can list the laws being broken is a little backwards and disturbing.

      Where is the moral authority to adjudicate and prosecute any unlicensed contractor in the state if you are not prosecuting your own? To borrow lyrics from Don Henley, The man with a briefcase can steal more money than any man with a gun…so gimme, gimme what you got.

      If the AOC and AG are unwilling to go after every dime paid under the existing void contracts and instead, settle this matter for pennies on the dollar in alternative dispute resolution, step aside and let me take care of it. Let a jury decide what a strong public policy against the use of unlicensed contractors means.

      I have feelers in all the right places. One of those feelers is tied to Jacobs who is speaking with absolute certainty about being awarded the renewal of the contract this fall because the fix is in.

      Absolute certainty about being awarded the contract in the fall because the fix is in?

      Where exactly is the fix?

      Well, I’ve got a $5,000.00 cash reward for the first person who can detail the fix in a manner that I can prosecute it.

      My email is michael_paul@michaelpaul.net or block your caller ID and call me at 510-684-8706 and I will detail to you how you can deliver that information to me through the press and protect your anonymity.

      The AOC has the right to use convenience of the government to keep competent AGS and Jacobs people on the task to maintain the structures operations during the transition to another contract servicing entity. What’s not crystal clear (and should be) is that all of those “Team Jacobs” people that don’t really exist collect their paychecks from ABM. Jacobs is merely an additional layer of management collecting management fees and performance based bonuses and likely represents the 30+% premium one sees on their work.

      One last thing. Mr Whilloughby claimed that he was maintaining California courthouses for $2.45 per square foot per year.

      Bullshit.

      Since its inception, FMU has blown through over 300 million dollars. While I am unsure of where all that money went only about 40 million dollars is being attributed to the unlicensed contractors, yet the unlicensed contractors were often the sole source for most of this work.

      What gives?

      Show me your books Mr. Whilloughby.

      • Michael Paul

        For those that are math challenged:

        Mr. Willoughby pointed to what it costs to maintain his real estate portfolio. $2.45 x 19 million square feet would be $46,550,000 he would be paying these entities per year to maintain that portfolio.

        His own words.

        These contracts have been in place going on 4 years. 7.9 million dollars was given to Jacobs just on Larson Justice Center alone, which alone would represent around 25% of the entire amount that the AOC is filing suit over.

        Could it be possible to sue someone that you were in collusion with for just a fraction of what you really paid them, say, 32 million rather than, say, 100-300 million and then settle the matter in ADR so you could keep most of your ill gotten gains?

        I’m sorry, the math does not compute. Someone needs to show me what I am missing.

  164. I live in outer space so my cable/dish does not carry the CA channel. I guess I will have to wait until the hearing comes out on DVD 🙂

  165. There were some things that really bothered me about the hearing yesterday (it seemed that many hard questions that should have been asked were not!), but the most glaring concern that I had was what was missing in the final recommendations. Off the top of my head, with only 4 recommendations being made in the end (correct me if I’m wrong here), it would seem that recommendations pertaining to the Judges Bill of Rights were missing, as well as addressing some much needed thorough auditing related requests pertaining to the facilities management, to include issues related to the use of unlicensed contractors. Most notably in my mind, was the lack of action taken regarding the AOC’s alleged exemption from public contract code!!!
    Isn’t it the responsibility of the legislature to protect the public by passing laws to this means?? Instead, I got the distinct impression that it wasn’t high on their priority list which just floors me!
    The legislature’s failure to jump on this particular issue is like sending a message to the AOC that it’s okay to cross lines that would be considered unacceptable for any other entity. What’s up with that??

    • Correction: Judge’s Bill of Rights should be Trial Court Bill of Rights! (so sorry!)

      (This recently changed blog format/theme doesn’t seem to be very user friendly for me…lots of lag when typing)

  166. Well Michael, you were there what do you think?

  167. Michael Paul

    Hi Courtflea,

    Mr. Vickery managed to say very little and used a whole lot of words and time to say it. Due to a pending lawsuit, everyone else was mute about the many issues I raised which I found disappointing. I think that because I’m discussing issues as a litigant, I am taking them off the table for discussion by others. Perhaps I’ve performed a disservice to the branch and the state by calling attention to these issues by litigating them but its my hope that a little bad tasting medicine will eventually heal the patient.

    On the issues of court construction & management, it suffices to say that we’re all being seriously victimized. As the ACJ has pointed out and the legislature recognizes, these are utimately issues of governance and in the current governance model, Mr. Vickery and crew are untouchable and accountable to no one, they control 5 billion dollars in construction money and a 4.4 billion dollar annual budget and appear to be all but immune to the laws that govern the rest of us. Nobody elected them but by a secret vote of the Judicial Council taken by email, they run the entire judicial branch.

    This will be my last post for quite awhile as I’ve accomplished putting a microscope on the issues. Unfortunately I did so in a way that apparently court and judicial branch officials – and apparently our legislature – cannot comment on as issues of pending litigation. If they cannot discuss it directly then I don’t understand how it can get fixed. Regardless, keep the dialog up and I’ll go back to lurking and looking for a job.

  168. Michael Paul

    ….and flying.

  169. Listened to KFI 640 am on the way home from work last night. The guy subbing for John and Ken interviewed Assemblyman De la Torre. The interview did not paint the AOC in a very favorable light.

    Wish John and Ken would follow-up. This is s story right up their alley.

    • But the $64,000 questions is whether or not Mr. De La Torre will actually do anything. Time will tell. Like Michael, I feel I have done what I can. I offered to write prototytpe software to show them what could be done. If they don’t take me seriously, so be it. I’m going into hibernation for the winter and plan to concentrate on important things like golf and bowling.

  170. Thank you Michael for your input and good luck to you in your job search. We all thank and salute you for what you have done and what you are doing. I pray you will prevail.

    Not suprised at Mr. Bill, standard delivery. What is amazing is that he is back in the limelight. Does this mean he may survive? hmmmm

  171. Could one of you bright bloggers please explain where it says that the AOC is exempt from the public contracting code? Is there a law that actually says they are exempt or does the AOC simply proclaim that they are exempt? Is legislation needed in this area?

    • Michael Paul

      1. Government code 70374 (b)(2)
      2. Public Contract Code 10335.7
      And an email from the second in command at the office of court construction and management Mr. Robert Emerson who shot down a money saving idea by claiming exemption to public contract code – and the suggested savings.

      Was that the intent of the legislature to exempt the AOC and their contractors from California’s fraud, waste abuse and public corruption laws and the resulting fraud, waste abuse and public corruption I’ve outlined, documented and filed suit over?

      I don’t think so. Nonetheless, legislation is needed to repeal these two codes. I find it hilarious that when I worked with the trial courts, they got 3 bids for everything. When I worked for OCCM there were no bids, only paid studies with estimates attached.

  172. JusticeCalifornia

    I daresay the sh** has hit the fan with respect to the Marin document destruction debacle.
    Kim Turner and her AOCorruption (what a great and fitting name for some of these characters) accomplices need to be removed, quickly.
    My regret about yesterday was that I was not at the Sacramento hearing to tell the committee that, given the blatant and concerted efforts of a Judicial Council member and the AOC to thwart the Marin JLAC audit, the committee should not be holding its breath about getting complete, valid data about CCMS via the JLAC CCMS audit.
    I want to know what Big Ron and the entire Judicial Council intend to do about Judicial Council member Kim Turner, and her AOC cohorts. I expect they better do something or they are going to look like they ALL approved this. They SWOV, right?

  173. There is a single word that captures and serves as whatever possible explanation might be available for this conduct: ARROGANCE—

    How does one begin to explain a “budget” that numbers in billions of dollars that is accountable to no one—?–It is the fervent belief on the AOC that it answers to no one because it is empowered and enabled to direct and dictate rather than be accountable, transparant…..there is a fine old explanation for why a dog licks it’s genitals—“because it can”…The AOC is comfortable with indefensible conduct “because it can”…

    We all seem to be engaged and struggle with the same challenge—wrestling with an expalanation for the inexplicable…

    ALL of Sacramento is broken—looking to the same Assembly / legislature that can not pass a budget— for AOC solutions seems a classic fools-errand.

    The California State Legislature currently enjoys a 9% approval rating–

    The time is NOW to reform the Judicial Branch through initiative—The expectation that we can look to the Legislature to “fix” anything is ridiculous.

  174. JusticeCalifornia

    MARIN CLEARED IN FILES DEBACLE
    By Amy Yarbrough
    Daily Journal Staff Writer

    Marin County Superior Court officials did nothing illegal by destroying mediators’ files while undergoing a legislative audit reviewing how it appointed mediators in child custody matters, state administrators concluded.
    In a report made public this week, the Administrative Office of the Courts said that Court Executive Officer Kim Turner did not err in directing staff to dispose of family court mediator files last fall, noting that the files aren’t considered official court records.
    “There is nothing that appears to be illegal concerning the destruction of mediator working files, or the destruction of any ‘handwritten notes’ prepared by mediators in family law matters included in those files,” John Judnick, senior manager of the AOC’s Internal Audit Services wrote. “Mediator working files, including any ‘handwritten notes,’ are not considered ‘court records’ according to statute and the [California Rules of Court] and therefore not subject to court record retention requirements.”
    The AOC began its investigation at the request of the Superior Court’s Presiding Judge Terrence Boren after a local attorney, Barbara Kauffman, sent letters to AOC staff and legislators alleging that key family court files had been destroyed unlawfully.
    In an e-mail Thursday, Kauffman said the AOC’s report ignored the fact that having access to mediators’ notes and files can be vital during court proceedings. She also cited a section of the California Family Code, which she said requires documents in child custody or visitation mediations to be kept until the child turns 18 years old.
    “The Marin Court intentionally and purposefully destroyed relevant evidence – namely incriminating mediation files – during a pending legislative audit investigating claims of mediation misconduct,” Kauffman wrote. ” Having seen firsthand what is in the mediation files … I find this destruction to be unethical at best, and dangerous and illegal at worst.”
    Despite Kauffman’s claims, Judnick said Turner’s decision to get rid of the records had to do with space concerns, rather than hiding evidence from the State Auditor.
    “In my interview of Ms. Turner, she stated that she did not consider this request in conjunction with the [Bureau of State Audits] audit,” Judnick wrote, “but it concerned the volume of boxes stored by the court [containing] mediator working files and notes dating back years.”
    According to the AOC report, the files were discarded between Sept. 2 and Oct. 16, 2009, months State Auditor Elaine Howle launched an audit looking into how both Marin and Sacramento county superior courts selected court appointees. The audit was spurred by allegations by some critics that there are conflicts of interest between judges and appointees on both courts and that courts have ignored claims of abuse. That audit is still underway.
    In the AOC report, Judnick wrote that Turner asked the agency’s Office of General Counsel on Sept. 2 for advice as to whether she could get rid of the mediators’ files. She was told that while reports mediators submit to judges in custody cases must be retained, it as up to local courts to decide whether to keep the notes and case files used to generate those reports. Even so, an AOC employee later told Turner to start keeping the files again due to Howle’s audit.

    I think maybe Judicial Councilmember Kim Turner didn’t tell Johnny everything. . . . .so it’s a darn good thing some people document and report, so loudly, to so many people.
    Who would have thought the CA judicial branch may eventually be on a par with the Enron/Arthur Anderson case?
    Well, stay tuned, folks.
    We are in for a WILD ride.

  175. JusticeCalifornia

    Sorry, there should have been an “end quote” after “Even so, an AOC employee later told Turner to start keeping the files again due to Howle’s audit. ”
    The remarks about Turner and Johnny are mine, all mine.

  176. JusticeCalifornia

    From Wikipedia
    The crime of obstruction of justice includes crimes committed by judges, prosecutors, attorneys general, and elected officials in general. It is misfeasance, malfeasance or nonfeasance in the conduct of the office. Most commonly it is prosecuted as a crime for perjury by a non governmental official primarily because of prosecutorial discretion. Modern obstruction of justice, in United States jurisdictions, refers to the crime of offering interference of any sort to the work of police, investigators, regulatory agencies, prosecutors, or other (usually government) officials. Often, no actual investigation or substantiated suspicion of a specific incident need exist to support a charge of obstruction of justice. Common law jurisdictions other than the United States tend to use the wider offense of Perverting the course of justice.
    Generally, obstruction charges are laid when it is discovered that a person questioned in an investigation, who is not a suspect, has lied to the investigating officers. However, in most common law jurisdictions, the right to remain silent allows any person questioned by police merely to refuse to answer questions posed by an investigator without giving any reason for doing so. (In such a case, the investigators may subpoena the witness to give testimony under oath in court) It is not relevant if the person lied to protect a suspect (such as setting up a false alibi, even if the suspect is in fact innocent) or to hide from an investigation of their own activities (such as to hide his involvement in another crime). Obstruction charges can also be laid if a person alters or destroys physical evidence, even if he was under no compulsion at any time to produce such evidence.

  177. JusticeCalifornia

    Federal (google the title):

    “Obstruction of Justice: an Overview of
    Some of the Federal Statutes that Prohibit
    Interference with Judicial, Executive,
    or Legislative Activities
    December 27, 2007

    Summary
    Obstruction of justice is the impediment of governmental activities.

    Introduction
    Obstruction of justice is the frustration of governmental purposes by violence, corruption, destruction of evidence, or deceit.

    Pages 16-17

    Obstruction by destruction of evidence (18 U.S.C. 1512(c)).
    The obstruction by destruction of evidence offense found in subsection 1512(c) is the creation of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act,68
    and proscribes obstruction of federal administrative, judicial, or Congressional proceedings by destruction of evidence.69
    More specifically, subsection 1512(c) provides that
    I. Whoever
    II. corruptly
    III. A.1.alters,
    2. destroys,
    3. mutilates, or
    4. conceals
    B. 1. a record,
    2. document, or
    3. other object, or
    C. attempts to do so,
    D. with the intent to impair the object’s
    1. integrity, or
    2. availability for use
    E. in an official proceeding, or
    IV. otherwise
    A. 1. obstructs,
    2. influences, or
    3. impedes
    B. an official proceeding, or
    C. attempts to do so
    shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.70

    As is generally true of attempts to commit a federal offense, attempt to violate subsection 1512(c) requires an intent to violate the subsection and a substantial step toward the accomplishment of that goal.71

    As for the necessary nexus between the defendant’s destructive conduct and the obstructed proceedings: “the defendant’s conduct must ‘have a relationship in time, causation, or logic with the [official]. . . proceedings’; in other words, ‘the endeavor must have the natural and probable effect of interfering with the due administration of justice.’”72

  178. Wendy Darling

    What a surprise – not. The AOC again investigates itself and … once again excuses itself and those who did what the AOC told them to do of any accountability or misconduct, legal, ethical, or in any other way.

    It would be nice to think that someone in some position of authority would do something about this, but it’s just wishful thinking, a complete waste of time. The current chief justice, the judicial council, and the AOC hold themselves above the law, and will permitted to violate the law at will and no one with any enforcement authority will do anything about it, not the Attorney General’s office. the Department of Justice, the State Assembly, the State Senate, local DA’s, nobody. Internal judicial branch misconduct and corruption being sanctioned by the judicial branch itself, and not one law enforcement agency, not one person or department with oversight or enforcement authority even cares, will intervene, or even investigate.

  179. JusticeCalifornia

    CA Penal Code section 182 is interesting.

    (a) If two or more persons conspire:
    (1) To commit any crime.
    (2) Falsely and maliciously to indict another for any crime, or to procure another to be charged or arrested for any crime.
    (3) Falsely to move or maintain any suit, action, or proceeding.
    (4) To cheat and defraud any person of any property, by any means which are in themselves criminal, or to obtain money or property by
    false pretenses or by false promises with fraudulent intent not to perform those promises.
    (5) To commit any act injurious to the public health, to public morals, or to pervert or obstruct justice, or the due administration
    of the laws.
    (6) To commit any crime against the person of the President or Vice President of the United States, the Governor of any state or territory, any United States justice or judge, or the secretary of any of the executive departments of the United States.

    They are punishable as follows:
    When they conspire to commit any crime against the person of any official specified in paragraph (6), they are guilty of a felony and
    are punishable by imprisonment in the state prison for five, seven,or nine years.
    When they conspire to commit any other felony, they shall be punishable in the same manner and to the same extent as is provided for the punishment of that felony. If the felony is one for which
    different punishments are prescribed for different degrees, the jury or court which finds the defendant guilty thereof shall determine the
    degree of the felony the defendant conspired to commit. If the degree is not so determined, the punishment for conspiracy to commit the felony shall be that prescribed for the lesser degree, except in the case of conspiracy to commit murder, in which case the punishment shall be that prescribed for murder in the first degree.
    If the felony is conspiracy to commit two or more felonies which have different punishments and the commission of those felonies constitute but one offense of conspiracy, the penalty shall be that prescribed for the felony which has the greater maximum term.
    When they conspire to do an act described in paragraph (4), they shall be punishable by imprisonment in the state prison, or by
    imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
    When they conspire to do any of the other acts described in this section, they shall be punishable by imprisonment in the county jail
    for not more than one year, or in the state prison, or by a fine not exceeding ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that
    imprisonment and fine. When they receive a felony conviction for conspiring to commit identity theft, as defined in Section 530.5, the
    court may impose a fine of up to twenty-five thousand dollars
    ($25,000).
    All cases of conspiracy may be prosecuted and tried in the superior court of any county in which any overt act tending to effect the conspiracy shall be done.
    (b) Upon a trial for conspiracy, in a case where an overt act is necessary to constitute the offense, the defendant cannot be convicted unless one or more overt acts are expressly alleged in the
    indictment or information, nor unless one of the acts alleged is proved; but other overt acts not alleged may be given in evidence.

  180. JusticeCalifornia

    And Penal Code section 96.5 is also interesting:
    a) Every judicial officer, court commissioner, or referee who commits any act that he or she knows perverts or obstructs justice, is guilty of a public offense punishable by imprisonment in a county jail for not more than one year.
    (b) Nothing in this section prohibits prosecution under paragraph(5) of subdivision (a) of Section 182 of the Penal Code or any other law.

  181. JusticeCalifornia

    I do believe the RRB Titanic is about to hit a great big, well- documented Marin County iceberg.
    Who would have thought?

  182. JusticeCalifornia

    All ye who align with lawbreakers, better abandon hope now. Get ready to squeal, or pay the price.
    I have Marin court corruption documented up one side (and I do mean all the way up), and down the other.

  183. Judnick needs to shut the f**k up. what a pawn/lickspittle/bootlicker/a**hole

  184. JusticeCalifornia

    So what is the “official position” of the 27-member CA Judicial Council and current California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ron George?
    Does the CA Chief Justice (knowing what he knows, and what I know he knows) and the JC members (knowing what they know, or should have known by virtue of their positions on the JC, and what I know they should know) support Judicial Councilmember Kim Turner’s destruction of Marin County Family Court Services records?
    Let’s see. Tell us

  185. JusticeCalifornia

    And hello Patricia Sepulveda, and all other members of the 1st district Court of Appeal. I am very ready for everyone to review your (alleged reach-around) decisions about the Marin family court issues. My personal opinion is: Shame on you.
    But for purposes of this increasingly-hot topic, here is the question: Do you support CA Judicial Councilmember Kim Turner’s destruction of Marin Family Court Service’s records, thereby depriving JLAC auditors of what many claim are incriminating Marin Family Court Services information?
    Tell us. Let’s see. We want t o know.

  186. JusticeCalifornia

    And finally. . . . .
    Does the CA Supreme Court support the AOC/Judicial Councilmember Kim Turner’s purposeful destruction of Marin Family Court Services documents while a JLAC audit of Marin Family Court Services incompetence/misconduct is pending?

  187. JusticeCalifornia

    oops. I forgot to specifically mention JC members/legislative members/keepers (or violators) of the public trust, Senator Ellen Corbett and Assemblymember Mike Feuer.
    Do you two (who have been apprised of judicial misconduct for a while now) support the CA AOC/Judicial Councilmember Kim Turner’s purposeful destruction of Marin Family Court Services documents while a JLAC audit involving allegations of Marin Family Court Services incompetence/misconduct is pending?
    Tell us. Yes or no.

  188. JusticeCalifornia

    Damn. I forgot to mention the Marin County Board of Supes, and the Marin County District Attorney’s office, both of which have been the recipients of so many Family Court complaints.
    Do they support the CA AOC/Judicial Councilmember Kim Turner’s purposeful destruction of Marin Family Court Services documents while a JLAC audit involving allegations of Marin Family Court Services incompetence/misconduct is pending?
    Tell us. Yes or no.

  189. Michael Paul

    The California Judicial Council Democratization Project was launched as a cause on Facebook last night.

    Mr. Bill and RonO did not leave the assembly committee hearing for more pressing business. The cowards left the hearing to go watch it remotely so they wouldn’t have to face an angry public.

    They then circulated a disinformation email to “AOC Users-All” praising the virtues of OCCM’s wasteful spending and further stating “Following the conclusion of the formal part of the hearing, there was testimony from members of the public where some incorrect information was shared. We are providing corrections and documentation regarding this information for inclusion in the official record of the hearing”

    Uh-huh. Sure.

    Be sure to provide that to your employees as well because at this point, Charles Manson has more credibility than you two clowns.