Inappropriate Response – An avocation of the depraved

Posted on June 30, 2011

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Throughout history and time, inappropriate response has always served as an avocation of the depraved. This remains as true today as it did two thousand years before Christ was born.

Inappropriate response is what law enforcement often utilizes to determine as to if additional investigation is warranted. A good portion of those people who appear before judges do so because there was a measure of inappropriate response. 

A little over two years ago today, two events would change the history of California’s judicial branch forever. Both events can be measured by inappropriate response. In the first event, Jack Urquhart, an 11 year veteran of the Administrative Office of the Courts would leak a memo out to the press about an $86,000.00 meeting held at the San Francisco Hilton. This two day inappropriate response conference paid for by the taxpayers was held at the behest of former Chief Justice Ronald George to discuss the challenges the judicial branch faces in these difficult economic times.

A truly Marie Antoinette moment for the current leadership of California’s judicial branch that did not go unnoticed for it invoked an inappropriate response. Since these matters bare so much resemblance to events that led up to the French Revolution, we’re going to be making a few comparisons.

People throughout the entire judicial branch took note of this conference as did the press and the public – and they were outraged that the leadership of California’s judicial branch paid for hotels, rooms, meals and cocktails to conduct a conference at a swanky hotel when the Administrative Office of the Courts had adequate and capable facilities.

This conference, which was compared in some circles to Antoinette’s purchase of Chateau de Saint-Cloud was deemed equally as improper and earned both Antoinette and the AOC a well deserved reputation as licentious spendthrifts more concerned about their personal comforts than practicalities like the public debt they were racking up with reckless disregard; behavior that continues to this very moment.

Shortly thereafter, the first California edition of the libelles was released in the form of AOC Watcher. Unlike the libelles of french nobility, California’s version of the libelles lacked debasing that wasn’t earned, making broad and accurate comparisons between King George III with similar devastating effect. It was tantamount to lighting the fuse of not just an american revolution, but the current California judicial branch revolution.

One of those who took note of California’s version of the libelles was an AOC Senior Technical Analyst named Michael Paul who for years had witnessed suspicious and grossly overpriced construction activity being conducted by unlicensed contractors. At first, Michael tried to utilize AOC Watcher to convince the management of the Office of Court Construction & Management that they were standing on a thermonuclear landmine with their activities, which would garner the second inappropriate response. That response was simply to ignore the issues and conduct business as usual, wasting taxpayer dollars on a scale exceeding even the United States Air Force’s purchase of $600.00 hammers and $2,000.00 toilet seats.

The difference, however was in the law, for while nothing protected the United States Air Force from having to purchase and pay for $2,000.00 toilet seats  legal precedence in California law had been well established by King George himself! These unlicensed contractors should be working for free and the AOC was funneling them tens of millions of dollars in shoddy, grossly overpriced work and paying them.

While Michael Paul would continuously challenge the legality and the pricing of these unlicensed entities, the AOC would continue to steer work to them which culminated in Michael Paul’s escalation of matters. At about the same time that Michael Paul escalated his complaint to the ironically named fraud, waste and abuse coordinator, he would also begin to copy the Federal Bureau of Investigation regarding his various findings.

An improper response was again registered with no movement against the unlicensed contractors. They continued to be steered millions of dollars of sole-source overpriced work when they lacked any contractors licenses. Instead, the Office of the Confidential Fraud, Waste and Abuse Coordinator would ask Michael Paul to provide evidence of these affairs. While the lack of a contractors license was ample reason to proceed, Mr. Judnick would indicate he needed more evidence. The problem, yet another inappropriate response was that nearly as fast as Michael turned this evidence over, it began to disappear out of the public domain. Little known to the AOC, Michael Paul had already assigned staff out of his own media group to conduct research and investigation into these affairs on a full time basis while he performed his work for the AOC. They would produce hundreds of pages worth of evidence out of the public domain prior to its eventual disappearance.

Frustrated with inaction, impropriety and malfeasance, Mr. Paul escalated his complaint further through his information systems management that included Michael Derr, Kyle Nishimura, Tino Albiento and Mark Moore. Not only was he escalating this matter, he was asking for a qui tam release to go after the unlicensed contractors himself. His complaint took this route on the advice of a manager in the finance department. The next inappropriate response was that Mr. Paul was told that the AOC Board of Directors met specifically about his email requesting a qui tam release on October 13th. On October 14th 2009, Michael would be verbally notified by another manager in the finance department that “this goes all the way to the top” implicating Chief Justice Ronald George, Justice Richard Huffman and Executive Director William Vickrey. He was further told that if he valued his life, his freedom and his job, he needed to immediately withdraw his complaint. It was on this day that Michael Paul walked an extensive evidence file over across the street to the FBI field office at 450 Golden Gate Avenue for the first of three meetings.

This request for a qui tam release evoked yet another inappropriate response and was stonewalled for about 2 1/2 months with no answer forthcoming. However, in the meantime, Michael Derr, Michael Paul’s manager would issue his own inappropriate response by verbally instructing Michael Paul that he had no choice but to utilize the unlicensed contractor “Team Jacobs” for part of his own data center remodeling project.

That work was to include the major electrical work of installing a data center sized UPS, wiring up and re-certifying an existing generator and running the power to a new electrical box in the server room. The Office of Court Construction & Management’s inappropriate response was to “commission a study” which was nothing more than a $10,000.00 paid estimate of what it would cost to do the work. In response, Michael Paul obtained a free estimate from a licensed contractor – Cupertino Electric – that was a fraction of what “Team Jacobs” was going to charge.

Knowing it was in clear violation of Business and Professions code for state employees to utilize unlicensed contractors, Michael Paul cited the law (B&P 7012.15(e)) and declined to obey the unlawful instructions of Michael Derr via email, copying about a dozen parties that had attended a kickoff meeting where Michael Paul had reviewed the proposal.

I suppose if I were part of a criminal enterprise pigging out at the public trough, I might also be inclined to declare Michael Paul “unmanageable” because he refused to obey instructions, regardless of how unlawful they may have been. It disturbs the gravy train and we can’t be having that!

Michael Paul would continuously quiz both John Judnick and Michael Derr regarding his complaint, the unlicensed contractors and his request for a qui tam release to no avail. No answer would be forthcoming.

Meanwhile, what Michael Paul’s staff turned up was that the contractor for the NCRO region, Aleut Global Solutions was also unlicensed, wrapping the entire state from border to border with unlicensed contractors being steered the work on a no-bid basis and being paid an obscene amount of money for questionable work. He kept this close until early December 2009 when he wrote a series of letters to current legislators, the Chief Justice and the heads of the AOC – again requesting a qui tam release to go after the unlicensed contractors.

The AOC’s inappropriate response was to contact Peter Krause of the Attorney General’s office (formerly an attorney with the Judicial Council of California) and have him rush into court and file a lawsuit that had no meat whatsoever on the allegation bones. Initially, it was filed against only one entity; Aleut Global Solutions.

On Michael’s birthday, December 10, 2009, two things would occur. One, Mr. Judnick would meet with Michael Paul and lawyers Nancy Hersh and Patricia Hough. While Mr. Judnick purported to meet with Michael Paul to discuss what else he discovered, his inappropriate response was failed to ask even a single question. When asked to produce the contract for the unlicensed contractors, John Judnick’s inappropriate response indicated that the contract had over six hundred amendments and would require legal review before it could be released. The second thing was that no lawsuit was filed against “Team Jacobs”. Upon the appearance of the first article on the subject in legalpad, a legal blog maintained by the recorder newspaper, Michael Paul would fire the first shot that would rock the foundation of an entire branch of government.

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Obstruction of Justice/Destruction of Court Records

In 2009, Senator Mark Leno requested from and was granted a joint legislative audit committee/BSA audit of a few family courts. Every court, except for Marin would comply with the audit. In Marin, current judicial council member Kim Turner would provide an inappropriate response to the audit by holding off the auditing team long enough to destroy incriminating evidence found inside the files of court records, thereby obstructing the intended purpose of the audit.

The purpose of this audit was the legitimate checks and balances activity of our state legislature. They were doing their job by ensuring the family courts were following the law. Nearly a year after holding off the auditors to ensure that there was no trace of the records in question, the auditors are permitted to peruse sanitized files. When Justice California and the Center of Judicial Excellence cried foul, John “the cleaner” Judnick would be dispatched from his cushy 7th floor office to Marin County to provide an inappropriate response and bless the destruction as legitimate government activity when everyone outside the judicial branch universally condemned the action. Mr. Judnick and the lawyers tasked to defend the judicial branch in the AOC’s Office of General Counsel would produce an opinion that amounted to an inappropriate response that blessed the destruction, indicating that the mediation records contained in court files that a judge relies upon to make life-altering decisions was, in fact, not a part of the court record!

At the time Justice Cantil-Sakauye of the third district court of appeals would later provide an inappropriate response and accept the report as the chair of the Accountability & Efficiency committee. While she should have rejected it and condemned the behavior, she wanted to show that she could be a corrupt team player. She would then submit this wishful thinking to the entire judicial council for their acceptance. King George’s inappropriate response would be careful to distinguish acceptance of the report from approval of the report when, in fact acceptance was approval.

To abbreviate this post quite a bit because we could write for days on the subject of an inappropriate response that warrants an investigation, the nature of the Judicial Council and the AOC as comprised is little more than an inappropriate response to every negative event they cause or participate in, causing everyone to wonder how this could continue and sully the institution of the judiciary. Of course, no one exists in state government willing or able to investigate or prosecute any of this.

Across the nation, similar inappropriate response has resulted in federal prosecution and it is about time the FBI started doing their job regardless of the consequences.