The judicial council’s blessing of overtly criminal acts, committed right under everyones’ nose and in plain sight was what got us riled enough to do something about it, enough to do something to expose it and enough to do something about bouncing those out of office those that had anything to do with it. Our position is that just because no one exists to prosecute a criminal act does not make it any less of a criminal act. Ignoring the criminal act does not make it less of a criminal act.
Just because the act happened in the judicial branch, a branch of government that lacks effective checks and balances by the other two branches of government, a branch that lacks any internal controls that would bring anyone to justice over criminal acts does not make these criminal acts any less of a criminal act. The challenge is that most of us can place our finger directly upon pertinent sections of California code that defines specific judicial branch undertakings as criminal acts. The destruction and/or modification of court records. The use of unlicensed contractors. Overpaying those unlicensed contractors for work performed. Endorsing a company that has been sued by many for their lack of coding competency, is many years late on application delivery with costs that are spiraling out of control. A CCMS application that will make violating the law effortless. Some of the world’s most expensive public buildings on a per square foot basis. Exemptions to the public contract code. SBx211 prosecution exemptions that are so broad in scope that it could be argued that kickbacks from any of this that originated as public funds could be construed as an official act. No transparency. No accountability at any level. Hundred thousand dollar embezzlements (that we know of) go without prosecution. Likely much more embezzlement or kickbacks that are off everyone’s radar that represent the part of the iceberg hidden under water. Conflicts of interests that are ignored. Assigned judges that have been assigned for eighteen consecutive years. A finance director that jumps ship when all fingers point his way.
And you want to continue to believe that this is all coincidence? All a mistake, all a minor oversight?
The facts of the matter are that everyone is witnessing a train wreck of epic proportions in motion. Some wish to discount everything written above and side-step the issues. ABC News statewide has produced and compiled about thirty stories related to all of this. Courthouse News has compiled over thirty stories relating to all of this. We have produced over two hundred stories relating to all of this. We are all in universal agreement, standing by, documenting and reporting while this all plays out. We’re standing by because we can’t get the information necessary to do our jobs. Nobody is willing to publicly go on record and say “this was an unlawful act” other than whistleblowers. Judges certainly can’t do this. Attorneys are at risk if they do do this. Legislators won’t do this. Yet there are billions of dollars in taxpayer funds that are at stake. Taxpayer funds that can keep courts open and accessible to the public. Taxpayer funds that can be better spent if controls involving transparency and accountability were in place. Taxpayer funds that might be saved if the same open government laws that apply to everyone else apply to the judicial branch acting in an administrative capacity.
There’s another aspect rarely mentioned. Being an accessory to a crime because it happened in your office, under your watch and all you did was ignore it. You didn’t ask the difficult questions, get straight answers or hold anyone accountable. You swept it under the rug with another version of the truth.
This is just some of the reasons why we see our chief justice involuntarily leaving office next year.
While judges across this state can see the same things we all see, how are those judges reacting to them? Respectfully submitted for your consideration: If these judges don’t see the problems it is because they are most likely an integral part of the problem and in that we have a real problem indeed. Most government agencies would have cleaned up all of these problems by admitting fallibility, holding people accountable and changing their ways, yet this government agency goes to unusual lengths to convince others that there is nothing wrong, that all is well, that $1,900.00 per square foot actually equals $637.00 per square foot. That CCMS is and has been on track and is and has been well managed. That it is perfectly legal for the court clerk to have no control over their court records located in Arizona. That there is more to changing a light bulb for $300.00-$2,500.00 than meets the eye. That there is no merit whatsoever to any whistleblowers’ complaints. That district attorney turned attorney general doesn’t prosecute public embezzlement cases. That it is okay to modify or destroy court records. That it’s perfectly okay to knowingly steer obscenely priced work to unlicensed contractors. That it is perfectly okay to have the investigator of these acts be the guy who reports to the department head or judicial council member that committed them.
When there is no line in the sand, when there is no margin of accountability whatsoever, it is not just an individual that becomes the subject of the attack for it is not just the individual that is perpetuating malfeasance. It is the institution itself that comes under broad attack, causing everyone to question everything. This, in turn causes intense media scrutiny because we can all see the elephant in the room.
The public doesn’t care much about judicial branch cuts because that lack of care is their way of taking their pound of flesh out of a system that took a pound of flesh out of them, sending that ticket out to collections, suspending their license, etc because they had to accept a job that was a fraction of what they were paid before or they loathed to spend several days in line to try and resolve it, which might be more expensive than the civil assessment and ticket combined. The public has no love for trial courts.
Unlike other media companies, we’ve endeavored to suggest resolutions. The Alliance of California Judges has endeavored to suggest resolutions. There appears to be a lack of willpower to get together, mobilize and impose these resolutions.
The number of people who have RSVP’d our meeting request to organize as a force can be described as very disappointing, yet about two hundred people in the surrounding area stand to lose their jobs in 27 or so days. Not a single one of those individuals losing their jobs has RSVP’d. If you are available next Wednesday @7:30 PM and can travel to downtown Oakland, we want to hear from you. Send us an email at email@example.com this weekend.