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Friday, February 22, 2008

More Selective Action by The Commission on Judicial Conduct (MORE, CLICK HERE)

Commission says Jung violated litigants' rights
The Daily Gazette By Jim McGuire - February 20, 2008
Panel orders judge's removal

Judge David Jung

JOHNSTOWN — The state Commission on Judicial Conduct on Tuesday ordered the removal of the Fulton County judge for violating the rights of five people he sent to jail in 2005, labeling his actions as "serious misconduct."

The commission's ruling was sharply critical of Judge David F. Jung's decisions to send people to jail for contempt when they were not present, or not represented by an attorney, or both. "In considering the appropriate sanction," the commission decision said, "we note that as a consequence of [Jung's] disregard of fundamental rights, five litigants were sentenced to significant terms of incarceration, and the record indicates that at least three of those litigants served several months in jail on the unlawful sentence he imposed."

The panel said Jung's "continued insistence that his actions were consistent with law and his insensitivity to the overriding importance of protecting the rights of litigants    as shown by his record, strongly suggest that if he is allowed to continue on the bench we may expect more of the same." To leave Jung in office, the decision said, "would continue to place the rights of litigants in serious jeopardy." A staff member in Jung's office referred a reporter to Jung's attorney, Vincent Capasso Jr. of Schenectady. Capasso was unavailable for comment Tuesday, a receptionist in his office said.

Commission Administrator Robert Tembeckjian said Jung will have 30 days in which to file a notice of appeal in the case. If he takes that option, Tembeckjian said, the state Court of Appeals would allow a month for each side to file briefs. With oral arguments to follow, a final decision could be delayed until June. While Jung could remain on the bench during that time period, Tembeckjian said, the commission uses its option in some cases to suspend a judge pending the appeal.

Jung's troubles began in 2005 when lawyers representing four of the people sent to jail filed appeals in state Supreme Court. Judge Richard T. Aulisi released the first two people after finding that Jung's actions violated their constitutional rights. Soon after, Judge Joseph M. Sise released two other people on the same grounds. Jung appealed Aulisi's decisions to the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court and lost. The Court of Appeals refused to hear his case.

Meanwhile, at least two lawyers involved in those cases filed complaints with the commission. Amsterdam lawyer Elmer Robert Keach III, who represented two of the people, declined comment Tuesday. James T. Murphy of Legal Services of Central New York, the lawyer who filed the first two petitions, was unavailable Tuesday for comment. While the four appeals were publicized, the commission's decision reveals there was a fifth case involving Jung in which a woman was refused an attorney and then sentenced to 90 days in jail for failing to pay child support.

"In five cases," the commission said, "[Jung] deprived litigants in Family Court proceedings of fundamental constitutional and statutory rights, including significantly, the right to be heard and the right to be represented by counsel, while depriving them of liberty and, in three cases, their parental rights. [Jung's] handling of these matters was patently lacking in fundamental fairness and showed a profound disregard for the rule of law and for the basic rights of the individuals before him. Such a systematic disregard of basic legal requirements constitutes serious misconduct," the decision said. The commission was also critical that in three cases Jung conducted hearings for litigants who were absent because they were in custody or jail and the court issued no orders to have them produced.

"[Jung] took no action to determine whether the parties had voluntarily waived their right to be present and to be heard when their parental rights were being litigated," the commission found. In several instances, those sentenced by Jung spent months in jail. The possible removal of Jung would create a vacancy to be filled by gubernatorial appointment. Gov. Eliot Spitzer is a Democrat and almost all the lawyers in Fulton County are Republicans.

Those interested would have to apply to Spitzer. To keep the job, the appointee would then have to run in the next election. Fulton County Republican Chairman Dexter Risedorph said a possible succession has not yet been discussed. Political observers in the county have mentioned the names of Edward Skoda and Arthur C. Spring — both of whom lost a close three-way race for county court judge in 2001. Judge Polly A. Hoye won the Republican primary in that race by fewer than 50 votes.

When Jung ran for his last term, he defeated Russell P. Martin in the party primary. Current District Attorney Louise K. Sira has also been mentioned as a possible candidate.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

As I see it, this judge may or may not have done something wrong. And if he did, some sort of action should be taken. I'm not sure removal should be the result, though. The outrageous disparity of action taken by the SCJC is itself criminal and worthy of inquiry by a federal monitor, and as suggested on this blog for attorney ethics committees.

The larger issue is the politically charged Commission on Judicial Conduct that overlooks actual crimes and drastically more severe actions by certain judges. But those other judges are friends of the SCJC and they are fully protected; complaints against protected judges always result in a form letter of denial to the complaintant.

It might better serve the public if the Administrative Judges and SCJC were available for immediate relief, input, guidance, review and monitoring, rather than waiting long after the fact of a judge's alleged improper actions. THIS WOULD BETTER SERVE THE PUBLIC.

The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct remains a dangerous joke, along with this state's various attorney ethics committees. Collectively, these groups have selectively enforced issues, and overlooked worse acts, resulting in the destruction of the public's trust, faith and confidence in its government.

Anonymous said...

It would be JUSTICE and THE PURPOSE OF THE STATE COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL CONDUCT, if they would even attempt to pursue the facts and complaints of the employees OF OCA that have the facts to EVEN FILE a complaint against a judge( esp if it ADMINISTRATIVE).I never had a chance to utter ONE WORD TO THEM ABOUT THE WNY ADMINISTRATIVE JUDGE OF THE 8 TH DIST...JUDGE SHARON TOWNSEND AND HER PARTICIPATION IN MY ALLEGED SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL ACTIONS. Chief staff atty JOHN POSTEL, ESQ, cut me off completely! The more interesting part of all of this is that in 1990, MR POSTEL OF ROCHESTER NY, HANDLED A MASSIVE, MEDIA EXPOSED 3 YR INVESTIGATION INTO A JUDGE'S MISCONDUCT,( WHO WAS REMOVED) WHOM HE HAD A PREVIOUS VENDETTA AGAINST! Well, I guess SHARON TOWNSEND WAS NOT ON HIS LIST,OR HE WAS ENAMORED WITH HER STATUS OR POLITICS CONTROLLED HIM....OR ALL OF THE ABOVE!
IF POSTEL EVER HEARD EVEN A LITTLE WHAT OF WHAT I HAD TO SAY...THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN BIGGER THAT THE 1990 CASE!
POSTEL KNOWS ME VERY WELL AND MY EXTREME INTEGRITY FROM THAT CASE , BECAUSE WE SPENT MANY HOURS DISCUSSING EVERYTHING INCLUDING MY PERSONAL AND WORK LIFE...FOR TRIAL PURPOSES...SO YOU CANNOT SAY HE WAS UNCONVINCED OF MY CREDIBILITY! THE STATE COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL CONDUCT IS MOST DEFINITELY POLITICAL AND CONTROLLED BY OCA! I SPEAK FROM INTENSIVE EXPERIENCE AND OBSERVATION...YOU JUST NEVER REALLY KNEW HOW SMART I WAS JOHN...I WAS WATCHING YOU AND EVERYONE ELSE ....THE WHOLE TIME...FOR THE FUTURE...BECAUSE I KNEW THERE WOULD BE A FUTURE...YOU NEVER HELPED TO STOP THE HARASSMENT I WAS RECEIVING FROM OCA FOR 18 YRS! NOW IT IS YOUR TURN TO EXPLAIN TO FEDERAL COURT WHY YOU BLEW ME OFF...AND LET ME HEAR YOUR EXPLANATION. Just remember JOHN that i have already done a thorough investigation and OCA is guilty of conspiracy and conspiracy to commit perjury....just to mention a little bit! I CERTAINLY WAS A PAWN IN YOUR GAME WAY BACK WHEN ... I WAS A YOUNG TRUSTING GOVERNMENT WORKER. I GUESS YOU FELT GOOD ABOUT MY INNOCENCE, BECAUSE IT WORKED TOWARDS YOUR SUCCESS! NOW I AM ALL GROWN UP AND CAN'T BE FOOLED BY YOU OR OCA!

former court empl said...

Did you know that New York Daily News reporter Barbara Ross is married to Robert Tembeckian, the head of the statewide state Commission on Judicial Conduct. Once the decision is made to go after a judge, Ms. Barbara starts feeding her cronies at all the local papers so that the judge gets ripped apart in the court of public opinion. Barbara did it to state court Judge Diamond. Now Diamond might not be the greatest judge around, but ONLY Judge Diamond's acts were attacked. Many other judges have done, and continue to do, worse things then what Diamond was ever accused of. IT'S called a set-up.... because..... they (OCA) will EVENTUALLY destroy you........

Anonymous said...

It is factual that THE NY STATE COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL CONDUCT only involves itself in cases where the judges they INVESTIGATE are not the most popular, are not very political and someone has mentioned to OCA that they want that judge's job, or they know that the media has already written an an article about their misconduct!
THE CJC AND OCA will destroy you if they can! Your best defense is to employ an investigator or plural at the time you believe they are targeting you and follow them like the dogs they are! What you turn up will surprise you and establish excellent discovery for the future and for their eventual demise...it is well worth it! If it appears expensive, it is worth a loan, to borrow from a rich friend (all reform organizations and lawyers suck and refuse to help, unless it becomes news..so forget them)or ask for a favor from a PI with collateral! Believe me...it is beyond well worth it and OCA will know someone is on their tale, and will back off of you. OCA fears being caught in their own game or having to explain things to a higher court.....DO IT! IT HAS ALREADY BEEN DONE AND SHOULD BE FRUITFUL VERY SOON, BUT YOU MUST ALL PROTECT YOURSELVES AND THE MORE FACTS ESTABLISHED, THE BETTER!

WNY ATTORNEY said...

As a practicing atty in WNY I am aware of SHARON TOWNSEND and the fact that she did steal the ASDMINISTRATIVE POSITION that she is now allegedly attempting to have the public view as an earned and deserved JUDGESHIP!
SHARON TOWNSEND employs a persona of sweetness and competence, but we all know better. Sharon Townsend has had many moments of inappropriatness in the courtroom, she was always late in FAMILY COURT...11:00 AM OR LATER, and has a very tight relationship with the conservative party, which has an extremely shady reputation in WNY! I know for a fact, she threatened to have a female atty, employee arrested for a bogus situation. When this atty, countered her threat and allegations, TOWNSEND backed down and just fired her over some petty crap that all of her other chief clerks are guilty of and much more...but they had the democratic or conservative party covering their butts!
So, SUMMONING ALL OF MY legal expertise, I second the motion to have this female thief...TOWNSEND, investigated and I know several other attys who would concur! Let us put in qualified, non-political, experienced and ethical people as district judges, assuring WNY we are in non-corrupt hands! HERE..HERE!

Anonymous said...

WHAT IS JUDGE DIAMOND'S FIRST NAME?

Anonymous said...

CHEAP?

Anonymous said...

THIEF?

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See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:


               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
         
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