Hall of Fame

Welcome to the Judicial Council Watcher’s 

Judicial Branch Hall of Fame
How did your name get here?

You promoted transparency or accountability or made an extraordinary effort to save the branch money.

AOC Watcher – Do I need to explain why?

Glen Burris is the retired San Diego Superior Court Attorney-turned-cartoonist that brought us this little tidbit.
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This section is dedicated to AOC and Court employees who sacrificed their careers to highlight issues of wrongdoing.

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Former AOC Employee Merilee Fielding – reported embezzlement / Was fired for it.

Former AOC Employee Jack Uruquart – leaked information about an expensive shindig to the press – an expensive shindig paid for by you and I to discuss the states’ financial challenges and how they will cope.

Retired AOC MEP Engineer Dennis Leung – Promoted the concept that the judicial branch should only take on building technology it can afford to support. Attempted to get a grip on and by extension, place cost controls on automated building management systems being inherited from the counties and move them to a lower cost non-proprietary model. Promoted the use or Recovery Act funds to fund most of it. Had he executed on his plan, the judicial branch would have had the most energy efficient real estate inventory in the State of California.

Former Contra Costa County Facilities Director Jon Wintermeyer – Saved the AOC over a million dollars on a variety of projects. Mr Wintermeyer worked with Mr. Paul on the East Contra Costa County Courthouse. Shortly after Mr. Paul went public, Mr. Wintermeyer’s boss, Kiri Torre (see digital purgatory) placed Mr. Wintermeyer, who was complaining of many of the same issues Mr. Paul brought up on administrative leave pending an inconclusive investigation. Comparing notes months later it became apparent to both gentlemen that Mr. Wintermeyer was let go so that he wouldn’t be comparing notes with Mr. Paul, who already went public.

Former AOC employee Paula Negley – Tried to challenge men in her office being paid more than women in her office doing the same job. She also blew the whistle on an HR embezzlement.  She was fired for turning over evidence in discovery that was left in her office and that could have only been produced by one of her bosses. While her case was improperly dismissed by a federal judge admirer of our former chief justice, Paula is appealing her case.

Former AOC employee Uzoma Okoro – Refused to steal from one court project to pay for court maintenance on another project. Exposed the use of bundling projects together to hide true costs while charging those bundled projects to unrelated facilities modifications or individually appropriated courthouse construction projects.

Honorable Mention- Dana Terrell a retiree of the Contra Costa County Courts. She wrote a scathing open letter published here that blasts the wrongful terminations made in the Contra Costa County Courts.

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This section is dedicated to those in the legal profession who take on the system, win or lose

Dr. Richard I Fine – Challenged a judge overseeing his case because the judge had accepted payments from one of the parties involved. Mr. Fine became the first political prisoner of California’s judiciary and it is our aim to ensure he is the last.

Please note: This entry is being disputed and I welcome the education I hope will accompany the dispute. If you believe Mr. Fine should not be here, lay it out in a fashion that a reporter can even understand.

Dr.  Emad Tadros took on the diploma mill credentials exhibited by a Dr. Stephen Doyne in court. Unfortunately, the system had placed so much reliance on Mr. Doyne’s credentials and held him out in such high esteem for years that they couldn’t bring themselves to acknowledge there was a problem and dismissed Tadros’s suit..

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This section is dedicated to legislators who have had enough and have taken decisive action to reign in the AOC and the judicial council

Assemblymember Bonnie Lowenthal – Ordered an audit of CCMS. Created legislation to grant AOC and Court Employees whistleblower protections. Continues her work on AOC transparency and accountability. Called for the termination of William Vickrey over gross mismanagement of the AOC and in particular, the California Case Management System.

Assemblymember Audra Strickland  Co-sponsored legislation to grant AOC and Court Employees whistleblower protections.

Assemblymember Jeff Gorell  Sponsored legislation to subject AOC’s construction funds to the public contract code. Later, the AOC lobbyed him to withdraw his legislation.

Assemblymember Charles Calderon, Sponsored the Trial Court Rights Act of 2011 in an effort to bring some effective governance that is sorely lacking at the state level back down to the trial courts where it belongs.

Assemblymember Ricardo Lara – Called for the termination of William Vickrey over gross mismanagement of the AOC and in particular, the California Case Management System.

Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher – Promises the AOC will be getting extra attention from the committee on accountability and administrative review this year. Does not buy the bill of goods the AOC is pedaling.

Assemblymember Luis Alejo – for urging his fellow lawmakers to pull the plug on CCMS funding

Legislative Aide Mark Martin of the Assembly Committee on Accountability & Administrative Review for his work with the committee.

Legislative Director Samuel Chung for his invaluable contributions in subjecting court facilities funds to the public contract code.

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This section is dedicated to judges and justices who have taken decisive action to reign in the AOC and the Judicial Council

Judge Dan Goldstein – Continuing to highlight issues with construction costs and CCMS

Judge Tony Maino – Continuing to highlight issues with construction costs and CCMS. Questioning the 250+K Shapiro administration of justice fund. Questioning the efficacy of the CCMS boondoggle.

Judge Charles Horan – Continuing to question the AOC and judicial council about all of its activities, including court construction costs, a lack of AOC oversight, CCMS, serious issues with branch governance, the use of unlicensed contractors, the unethical use of “pravda” the internal AOC ministry of disinformation and promoting the Calderon trial court bill of rights.

Judge Steve White – Continuing to highlight the issues facing CCMS as well as highlighting ongoing (insane) maintenance expenditures and branch governance issues.

Judge Maryanne Gilliard – Continuing to question the AOC and judicial council about all of its activities, including court construction costs, a lack of AOC oversight, CCMS, serious issues with branch governance, the use of unlicensed contractors, the unethical use of “pravda” the internal AOC ministry of disinformation and promoting the trial court bill of rights.

Judge Tia Fisher – Continuing to highlight both the lack of transparency and accountability surrounding the CCMS program

Judge David Lampe – Continuing to push forth a trial court bill of rights and reigning in the wayward AOC.

Judge Stephen Czulegar – Calling for a change of leadership in the AOC after warning them for many, many years about issues with CCMS.

Judge Kevin McCormick – Highlighting CCMS’s space shuttle costs / criticizing the well to do employees of the AOC for using government funds to buy iPads they don’t need.

Judge David Wesley & Judge Burt Pines – The only two judicial council members who would vote to preserve access to justice and keep the courts open in the July 22nd 2011 Judicial Council meeting.

Judge Katherine Feinstein – For addressing the Judicial Council and calling for an end to CCMS and the diversion of construction funds to support court operations. Saying it like it is gets high marks at JCW so calling out CCMS as a boondoggle and a fiasco hit the mark

Judge John Kennelly – For putting tiny Sierra County on the map with this factual statement ” I have really been struggling with signing off on this letter.  Basically, I am struggling with our continued arrogance and demands when we should be apologizing and taking responsibility for the situation we have created, just like the lecture we give criminal defendants who appear in front of us.”  More of this letter can be found in the following post.

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These distinguished jurists came forward in public comment and urged the implementation of all of the recommendations of the Strategic Evaluation Committee.  Each of their names is a link to their public comment regarding the Strategic Evaluation Committee Report, hosted on and courtesy of the Administrative office of the Courts in case the links or page should change.

Hon. Rolf M. Treu, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Charles A. Wieland, Superior Court of Madera County

Hon. Stephen Pfahler, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Michael B. Lewis, Superior Court of Kern County ( a must read)

Hon. David R. Lampe, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Frederick Rotenberg, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Jeffrey G. Bennett, Superior Court of Ventura County

Hon. Cory Woodward, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Thomas S. Clark, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Lester E. Olson (Ret.), Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Daniel S. Lopez, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Leland H. Tipton, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Patrick Marlette, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Robert A. Dukes, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Candace J. Beason, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Kathleen M. White, Superior Court of Yolo County

Hon. Dan Thomas Oki, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Herbert J. Exarhos, Superior Court of San Diego County

Hon. Jon Stuebbe, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Michael G. Bush, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Jaqueline Stern, Superior Court of San Diego County

Hon. Brett London, Superior Court of Orange County

Hon. Alan S. Rosenfield, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Ronald L. Bauer, Superior Court of Orange County

Hon. Ernest Sawtelle, Superior Court of Sacramento County

Hon. Mildred Escobedo, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. David G. Brown, Superior Court of San Diego County

Hon. Carla M. Singer, Superior Court of Orange County

Hon. Kenneth C. Twisselman II, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Michael Duggan (Ret.)

Hon. Julie Conger (Ret.), Superior Court of Alameda County

Hon. Michael Latin (Ret.), Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Runston Maino, Superior Court of San Diego County

Hon. Earl H. Maas III, Superior Court of San Diego County

Hon. Bobbi Tillmon, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Superior Court of San Mateo County, by Hon. Beth Labson Freeman

Hon. Louis Etcheverry, Superior Court of Kern County

Hon. Charles E. Horan (Ret.), Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Mark Tansil, Superior Court of Sonoma County

Hon. William Barry, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Karen Nudell, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Donald S. Kennedy, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

Hon. Lauren Weis Birnstein, Superior Court of Los Angeles County

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Other meaningful contributors

BSA’s Elaine Howle – Did a wonderful job on the CCMS audit and refused to sugar coat.

Karen Covel, a partner with Lauer Georgatos & Covel, for keeping the new math wizards in the AOC’s finance department honest in a series of stories done for Courthouse news.

“J. Doe” of the Orange County Superior Court for their anonymous and frank asssessment of the Court Case Management System program with respect to their comments to the Bureau of State Audits.

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Reporters, Commentary, News Coverage and Blogs

Maria Dinzeo (Reporter) and Bill Girdner (Editor) of Courthouse News for their coverage of the AOC and Judicial Council

ABC News, Channel 7 San Francisco & Reporter Vic Lee for continuing coverage of the AOC and Judicial Council

ABC News & News 10 San Diego for continuing coverage of the AOC and Judicial Council

San Diego Union-Tribune for continuing coverage of the AOC and Judicial Council

Reporter Amy Yarborough for her early coverage of the AOC and Judicial Council. While we would wish to give credit to her rag, they re-assigned Amy off of covering the AOC and Judicial Council. We think that was a bad move on their part.

Columnist Lois Henry of the Bakersfield Californian has brought amazing clarity to many of the issues facing the judiciary.

Terry Francke & Calaware for following up on the Saldivar investigation (Court uses double standard to protect its own)

Calitics – The progressive blog for California politics for assisting us in spreading the word

Cal_Politics & Martell Thornton – Owner, ThorntonStrong Communications for spreading the word.

There are more coming and nominations are welcome.

23 Responses “Hall of Fame” →

  1. Jon Wintermeyer

    February 18, 2011

    For the record, there are numerous items I have done to benefit both the AOC and the CC Court and the savings for them both are over a million dollars in savings during the time I worked for the CC Court. However, this doesn’t cut me any favors or forgiveness with either group, because I did it for best value of the tax dollar spent and I am brutally honest and outspoken to waste and questionable actions which I see occur in my presence and I tell the people accountable what I have observed. I have much to tell and will forward my stories and documents starting next week. As you heard from Tiffany Martindale in her comments this past week, I had much to offer to both the AOC and the CC Court.

    Reply

    • Michael Paul

      February 18, 2011

      This will be fun. 😀

      Reply

    • SF Whistle

      February 18, 2011

      Thank you in advance for your courage–

      Reply

    • SF Whistle

      February 18, 2011

      Richard Fine needs to be placed on this list—A special place—

      Reply

      • JusticeCalifornia

        February 18, 2011

        I agree.

      • While I have put Mr. Fine on the list, I’ve been notified that he should not be there and that this entry is a disputed mistake.

        I’m a reporter, so I welcome any education layed out in terms that even a reporter can understand that explains to me why Mr. Fine’s incarceration and disbarment was just. The dispute thus far lacks the foundation to remove him. Arguments for and against can be posted or emailed. Emailed submitters will be kept strictly confidential of course. Thanks in advance for your arguments and the opportunity to learn.

    • Welcome to JCW Mr. Wintermeyer! I’ve obtained some of your documentation already. We’re glad to have you on board and look forward to your participation in educating California about how their court construction programs are being robbed – by a company that purportedly doesn’t exist.

      Reply
  2. Please welcome “J. Doe” from Orange County to JCW’s hall of fame under “Other meaningful contributors” When and if J. Doe becomes known to JCW publicly, the name will be changed.

    Reply

  3. Ben S.

    July 23, 2011

    I nominate Emad Tadros MD for standing up to Stephen Doyne and San Diego Court Judges for the Public’s Best Interest in exposing the con-artist fraud, the violations of rules of court, and the violations by the Court on the entire County of San Diego, and for that matter the State. You can read more and see more about him at http://www.thepubliccourt.com Do not think for a second that his case is about himself, he is a very ethical, moral Doctor and person in general.

    Reply

  4. Michael Paul

    July 23, 2011

    Wesley, Pines, Feinstein & Uzoma Okoro are also noms I toss up for consideration. I saw the substantial check Mr. Tadros wrote for doyne’s apparent musical credentials as the evidence suggests. It’s a shame that people who question the legitimacy of authority in the judicial branch are expected to pay a steep price but it’s been pretty consistent that way from my research. It is a sad threat to democracy.

    Reply
    • Not knowing if I even qualify to give a second – I do indeed! And I would add Kathleen Russell and – as Zorro-like and mysterious as the “Blind Bulldog,” – “Justice California,” who ever he/she/they happen to be…

      Research… yes. Research also, the doable epidemiology of “high-conflict” cases and look at the vortices… they are protracted boils in need of healing, not cosmetics. There are probably many evidences of “smoking guns,” drunk-officers, robed-penis-pumping judges, budget-gobbling AOC’rs abusing we, the mere indicator species of unnecessary heartbreak, imputed poverty and protraction. Powerless to protect our kids from court-abuses, the “Best Interest of the Child,” is but a propaganda-prop for many cowards with the power to abuse, enable and to be protected from transparency, oversight and malpractice accountability. In spite of our anger, I still believe this is a real disease that can find remedy beyond the rationalization of indulgence, profit & prestige.

      The brave ones mentioned in JCW today, and the unnamed, TRUE servants to their oaths (and HIGH-compensation/perquisites), I think deserve honors beyond what can possibly be given in this finest of forums and outreach. In contrast to the illegal-abduction and significant loss of my dear child, the honored herein, will have this mere dad/citizen’s sincerest regard, heart, home and vote. The truly honorable, the ACJ and JCW, have given us the hope to keep in the fight, for our little family to one day reunify, and to continue after, spreading the hope to our fellow mortals. Thank you all for being brave when doing so can meet retaliation beyond we meet every day in our local, insulated Family Law Industries.

      I sound my warrior’s yawp over the homes of our citizenry, “Huzzah!” to all our heroes herein!! (paraphrased/plagiarized, Walt Whitman) I cry now, at the bravery and hope…

      Alan Ernesto Phillips
      Shasta County, CA
      https://plus.google.com/115902390478619061589/posts?hl=en

      Reply
  5. Any seconds to Tadros, Wesley, Pines, Feinstein & Uzoma Okoro? JCW wishes to move more towards a more democratic benevolent dictatorship so your input is appreciated.

    Reply

  6. Mermaid

    July 24, 2011

    Does a third only count on a 3-leg stool? *lol* I feel these people have earned this recognition.

    Reply
  7. The latest nominations have been entered into the hall of fame.

    Reply
  8. As a former employee of the Judicial Council/AOC, I can attest to the hostile work environment created by Mr. Ernesto Fuentes and supported by Bill Vickrey and Ron Overholt. These men should NEVER be allowed to receive the significant benefits and pensions they stand to receive. Mr. Ernesto Fuentes is a ruthless, mysoginistic disgrace.

    Congrats to Vic Lee for following the corruption, but let’s add Matier and Ross to the case!

    Reply
  9. Thank you Dr. Tadros for exposing Dr. Doyne’s false credentials. I still have hope that Jason Forge of the US Attorney’s Office in San Diego will include Family Court “high conflict” cases in his prosecution of the International Baby Selling Ring that operated for 6 years within the Family Court. High conflict cases are churning for excessive fees and excessive periods of time simply to loot the litigants. It is operating consistent with an unregulated boiler room. The tainted attorneys need to be prosecuted for the racketeering that is ongoing. Unfortunately this billion dollar industry has nothing to do with the best interest of the children but everything to do with the best interest of a group of attorneys working in collusion with other “professionals” to line their pockets. A simple audit of the “high conflict” cases would uncover the racketeering. This pattern of “high conflict” cases being churned should be generating an investigation. I appreciate Dr. Tadros’ bravery and integrity. His exposing the false credentials unfortunately seemed to be of no surprise to the crooks in family court who are using children as commodities and stealing from litigants. God Bless America!

    Reply
    • Hear, hear!

      I have followed in humility and awe the brave and epic journeys of warriors like Dr. Emad Tadros, Dr. Tilahun Yilma, former court mediator, Ms. Emily Gallup and the “Blind Bulldog.” While I am no scholar nor academic, I know selfless, non-politicized bravery – serving the TRUE best interest of children – when I see it! In fact, Blind Bulldog called the “RICO card” a few years ago and was laughed at: No one is laughing at that brave citizen-journalist now…

      The “trickle-down” dysfunction from the judicial branch hits we mere mortals very hard, too. 335 DAYS ago today, we saw my oldest-daughter ILLEGALLY abducted from this protective parent and her 9-year-old sibling… “No Contact Allowed.” In part, because of personal-retaliation, with the overarching corruption, notorious enablement of abuse of programs (i.e., assigned judges like 18-year poster child, PREJUDGING Jack Halpin), self-protective architecture and institutionalized laziness of the like-minded and heart-less judiciary, and its cross-systems colluders. In spite of the evidence and specific points of complaint, the AOC, JC and the “chief-let” simply respond to points not articulated – thereby “dodging” while procedurally “responding.” Next! Cha-ching. Those procedural-abuses leave us tax-paying mortals and our children shredded… unable to pay for deserved appellate remedy. Corrupt judges know that a pro per litigant will not find an attorney to risk an appellate process pro bono. Slam-dunk-dysfunction!

      Were it timely possible, I would proudly go so far as to nominate:
      Dr. Tilahun Yilma (Yolo County), Ms. Emily Gallup (Nevada County) and “Blind Bulldog” (Shasta County)!!

      Long live the JCW… there is much left to be done.

      In profound and humble gratitude,

      Alan Ernesto Phillips
      https://plus.google.com/115902390478619061589/posts?hl=en

      Reply
  10. Judicial Council Watcher is proud to enter a net new 41 members to the JCW Hall of Fame for their comments on the SEC committee recommendations, along with links to their comments. You might be asking yourselves why we’re not entering the SEC members themselves. That is because the report is incomplete from our view and their recommendations are only a first step. Virtually no recommendations were made with respect to the office of court construction and management – where the other half of the financial issues are outside of the CCMS boondoggle.

    Reply
  11. The following comment was posted on http://www.thepubliccourt.com at the main page’s comments by Ron Rice. Take note that Vince Scalise is the one who signed Stephen Doyne’s bogus Diplomate credential.

    As of this my posting here, Judge Rhanda Trapp has ordered a cumulative total of civil court and appeal court $283,532.95 Antisalpp attorney fees to Doyne for blowing the whistle on the Court and Doyne for violating rules of court, and for exposing that Doyne has FRAUD Credentials.

    Ron Rice posted on http://www.thepubliccourt.com, August 17, 2012 at 11:42 am (UTC -7)

    Dr. Tadros:

    I was with Dr. O’Block from 1993-1996 when the ABFE was set up as a handwriting/document examiner organization. Soon he came up with the name: American College of Forensic Examiners (ACFE). I have documents in my possession in support of the allegations below.

    I was a Diplomate, Life Member, Chair of the Ethics Committee, Chair of the handwriting profiling committee and National Training Director (Handwriting Profiling) under the various names O’Block called the organization.

    Sounds funny now, but from 93-96, with no other reliable “handwriting” organization around – this was a big thing within the handwriting profiling and examination community.

    I along with Bob Phillips and Vince Scalise (sic) were the key people who had a credible name and reputation O’Block depended upon to get the ABFE up and running.

    WE worked our self nuts trying to establish a reliable organization until we caught him “selling” certifications to certain individuals who were not qualified to be certified as a Handwriting Profiler or Examiner or (at that time) pseudo-Document Examiner.

    With O’Block, despite our complaining, it was always the “buck.” Basically, it was an ongoing battle trying to stop him from “selling certificates.” Since Bob lived in PA and Vince in NY and me in MA; it was most difficult to catch O’Block plying his con game. He would tell Bob one thing, Vince another and me.. well, I guess you get the idea.

    Long story how the organization was initially structured. Bob Phillips was the first to catch O’Block selling certificates. I have a newspaper article about O’Block selling a certificate to a blue collar worker with no association with the handwriting organization or community. Bob tried to tell me but, I could not see it for whatever reason. Soon, Vince and I caught him and, following other personal reasons, I resigned in 1996. Vince passed on in 1997. Bob had resigned in either 1995 or 1996.

    My personal knowledge and experience with O’Block was sobering: he is an unbelievable liar, schemer, sneak and coward. I can assure you that I am not the only one who harbors these convictions.

    I may be wrong, but some one had informed me that he has some credentials as a religious preacher. I do not know this for sure. However, if so, it would appear to be a typical final act of a scoundrel.

    In closing, here you are in 2012 trying to expose this man and his diploma mill organization. Bob, Vince and I tried during the 93-96 time period. No success.

    As long as people can purchase false credentials for $350.00 +, O’Block will continue. I always said it will only be a matter of time before he sells certificates to Certified Forensic Bar Tenders; Certified Forensic Elevator Operators; Certified Forensic Sex Addicts; Certified Forensic Frauds.

    Good luck with your on going battle.

    Ron Rice

    Reply
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