Thursday, October 9, 2008
In Our Opinion...
Governor Paterson Must Work To Restore The
New York State Courts In His Selection Of A New Chief Judge
Governor David Paterson is confronting more than his share of governmental crises. Very much on the minds of New Yorkers is the current acute financial downturn affecting most regions of the country. However, the problem is more strongly impacting New York State, directly and indirectly, because Wall Street is housed within New York City, as are all of the World’s major financial traders and insurers. Revenues, and consequent tax contributions from the financial and real estate sectors, are dramatically off, further burdening residential taxpayers, particularly with respect to the funding of public education.
There are serious infrastructure needs as well; roads, water and sewer systems that are falling apart. High on the list in the lower Hudson Valley, of course, is the building of a new Tappan Zee Bridge, carrying a staggering price tag.
As daunting as all of the above-mentioned problems may be, each of them are amenable to solution with the coming of more favorable financial circumstances that most observers expect over time. However, there is one crisis which Mr. Paterson must acknowledge, and deal with straight-away, and that is the crisis in our Courts.
It is fair to state that there is scandal on a major scale in the Courts of New York State, in every part. Countless individuals and families continue to suffer the consequences of cronyism, case-steering and fixing, as well as collegial cover-ups and decision-making. The Matrimonial Part of State Supreme Court has become a money-minting machine where lawyers, law guardians, law secretaries, and yes, judges as well, materially benefit
from often unjust, family-destructive decisions almost always skewed to the desires of the monied spouse. Forgery and fraud, deletions from, and additions to, official files within the custodial care of county clerks are not uncommon.
Family Courts, in many instances, are run as mind-boggling, dictatorial fiefdoms where Child Protective Workers, diabolical relatives, without standing, and individuals who have no lawful business coming between a loving parent and child, often have far too much say and influence. The veil of secrecy that frequently cloaks Family Court cases often serves to conceal unjust rulings and actions by judges with cruel personal agendas.
Then, there is the Criminal Part, the prosecutors’ playground, where elected district attorneys and their all-too-willing henchmen; assistant district attorneys, medical examiners, rogue police, and forensic technicians, frequently perceive, and engage in, their activities, not as a search for truth, but rather, as a publicly-financed opportunity for self-promotion and perpetuation. They are, in fact, engaged in knowingly and maliciously
prosecuting, convicting, and sending innocent persons to prison for sport, and, then, working for years to keep them there.
The appointment of Judith Kaye Chief Judge by Governor Mario Cuomo was, perhaps, his most serious mistake in office. Surely, it has been the one with the most detrimental impact on the lives of more New York families than any other.
Governor Paterson must reach out for a truly dedicated Chief Judge, one who will not be bound and inhibited from really making over the system. As it stands now, too many individuals have lost confidence in our Courts and, sadly view them as the inequitable places they truly have become.
In law school, we learned that New York Law was so highly regarded throughout the country and, indeed, throughout the world, that it was the traditional law stipulated in many international corporate contracts for conflict resolution. We must restore our Courts to the high level of our Law.
Governor Paterson must be willing to look past political considerations and obligations. It was that kind of thinking that created a Court of Appeals that wouldn’t deal with the Depraved Indifference Murder ‘Monster’ for 37 years, and, still hasn’t fully dealt with it. The People of Westchester are only too well-aware that we cannot continue to accept a Judiciary from which results, such as Jeffrey Deskovic, Richard DiGuglielmo, Jing Kelly, Anthony DiSimone, and the Tom Carvel Estate cases, to name but a few, continue to emanate.
Our Readers Respond...
County Employee Takes Issue With Actions Of DA DiFiore
I am asking you to look into a rumor which has been floating around certain County offices. The rumor is about Janet Di-Fiore, the Probation Department and the support of her choice for Deputy Commissioner.
It was known for about a year that there would be an opening for Deputy Commissioner in the Probation Department. There were three potential candidates. One was clearly supported by DiFiore, the second by the Commissioner, and a third, supported by people in the Department.
The third candidate appeared to be the strongest. He had seniority in the Department, a Ph.D. in Criminal Justice, and was widely recognized as an expert in the use of computers in law enforcement. In addition, he had FBI certification as a firearms trainer and administrator. He was a key contributor to Department firearms training. He helped to initiate firearms safety programs. His personal record was very clean.
During the past holiday season, he left a party. Soon after leaving he felt the effects of alcohol. Rather than endanger himself or others, he pulled to the side of the road and went to sleep. He was then aroused from his sleep and arrested for DWI. From the beginning, upon learning of his arrest, the DA insisted this incident was to be treated as a felony. She cited MADD as demanding this treatment. At no time did she disclose her interest
in discrediting this individual to support her candidate.
As the DWI process went forward, reviews of this individual did not support the weight of a felony prosecution. The DA was immoveable. We were told that even the judge in this case commented on the severity of the felony charge as insisted upon by the DA’s Of-fice.
The appointment process for Deputy Commissioner has gone forward and, needless to say, the third candidate did not get the position. There are some questions that remain. Did the DA and MADD send a message to all potential DWIs not to pull to the side of the road if you find yourself impaired? The DA was well acquainted with the third candidate; why didn’t she allow the DWI process to recommend charges or simply announce her conflict of interest in this case? Is she sending a message to all County employees of her personal power and animosity?
Did Janet DiFiore morally and ethically abuse the power given to her in order to further her own personal goals?
Anonymous Westchester County Employee