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Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tembeckjian Angered Over Thousands, but $40 Million Fraud OK


See Below how Bob Tembeckjian has a BIG problem with sloppy judicial accounting involving tens of thousands of dollars.....

STATE OF NEW YORK
COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL CONDUCT

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
In the Matter of the Proceeding
Pursuant to Section 44, subdivision 4,
of the Judiciary Law in Relation to
BRET CARVER,
a Justice of the Fremont Town Court,
Steuben County.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
DETERMINATION
THE COMMISSION:

Honorable Thomas A. Klonick, Chair
Stephen R. Coffey, Esq., Vice Chair
Joseph W. Belluck, Esq.
Richard D. Emery, Esq.
Paul B. Harding, Esq.
Elizabeth B. Hubbard
Honorable Jill Konviser
Nina M. Moore
Honorable Karen K. Peters
Honorable Terry Jane Ruderman

APPEARANCES:
Robert H. Tembeckjian (Kathleen Martin, Of Counsel) for the Commission
Honorable Bret Carver, pro se

The respondent, Bret Carver, a Justice of the Fremont Town Court, Steuben County, was served with a Formal Written Complaint dated June 18, 2009, containing two charges. The Formal Written Complaint alleged that respondent failed to deposit, report and remit town court funds within the time required by law. Respondent filed an answer dated July 27, 2009. On September 10, 2009, the Administrator of the Commission and respondent entered into an Agreed Statement of Facts pursuant to Judiciary Law §44(5), stipulating that the Commission make its determination based upon the agreed facts, recommending that respondent be admonished and waiving further submissions and oral argument. On September 23, 2009, the Commission accepted the Agreed Statement and made the following determination.

1. Respondent has been a Justice of the Fremont Town Court, Steuben
County since January 1, 2007. He is not an attorney.
As to Charge I of the Formal Written Complaint:
2. From March 2008 to August 2008, as set forth below, respondent
failed to deposit approximately $7,685 in court funds within 72 hours of receipt, as
required by Section 214.9(a) of the Uniform Civil Rules for the Justice Courts (22
NYCRR §214.9[a]).
3. From March 3, 2008 to March 24, 2008, respondent received $1,830
in court funds. Respondent deposited $1,680 on March 28, 2008; he did not deposit the
remaining $150 until September 2008.
4. From March 29, 2008 to March 30, 2008, respondent received $450 in court funds that he did not deposit until September 2008.
5. In April 2008 respondent received $1,295 in court funds that he did not deposit until September 2008.
6. In May 2008 respondent received $2,850 in court funds that he did not deposit until September 2008.
7. In June 2008 respondent received $2,190 in court funds that he did not deposit until September 2008.
8. From July 6, 2008 to July 14, 2008, respondent received $2,015 in court funds. Respondent deposited $1,925 on July 15, 2008; he did not deposit the remaining $90 until September 2008.
9. From July 21, 2008 to July 28, 2008, respondent received $640 in court funds that he did not deposit until September 2008.
10. In August 2008 respondent received $20 in court funds that he did not deposit until September 2008.
11. Respondent does not have a court clerk. Respondent himself receives court funds, issues receipts, marshals funds for deposit, prepares bank deposit tickets and deposits funds into the court bank account.
12. Between March 2008 and August 2008, the cumulative deficiency of undeposited court funds reached $7,685. Respondent kept these undeposited funds in a metal cash box in a locked file cabinet in his office at the court. No one else has access to this cabinet.
13. Respondent eventually deposited all of the funds referred to above, and there is no indication that funds were missing or used for inappropriate purposes.
14. Respondent was aware from the time he assumed his position as Fremont Town Court Justice that he was required by law to deposit court funds within 72 hours of receipt. He acknowledged during the Commission’s investigation that he was responsible for properly handling and depositing court funds and that he did not perform these duties in an adequate manner.

As to Charge II of the Formal Written Complaint:

15. From March 2008 through August 2008, as set forth in Exhibit 1 to the Agreed Statement of Facts, respondent failed to report and certify receipt of court funds to the Office of the State Comptroller and failed to remit approximately $11,290 in court funds to the chief fiscal officer of the Town of Fremont within ten days of the month succeeding collection, as required by Sections 2020 and 2021(1) of the Uniform Justice Court Act, Section 1803 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, and Section 27(1) of the Town Law.
16. Respondent acknowledges that his monthly obligation to report and remit court funds is not complete until: (i) a check for the funds has been delivered to the chief fiscal officer, (ii) the report has been received by the State Comptroller, and (iii) a certification of the report, signed by the judge, is received by the State Comptroller.
17. On July 28, 2008, the State Comptroller issued a notice to the Fremont Town Supervisor to suspend respondent’s salary pending the filing of reports.
18. On August 4, 2008, respondent electronically filed his report for the month of March 2008 with the State Comptroller, in which he reported that he had collected $2,280 in court funds. On the same date, respondent faxed a certification to the State Comptroller that certified that he had collected $2,655 in court funds for the month of March 2008.
19. Respondent filed his reports for the months of April, May, June, July and August 2008 on September 22, 2008. Respondent submitted certifications with his reports for April and May 2008, but failed to submit certifications with his reports for June, July and August 2008.
20. Respondent faxed his certifications for the months of June, July and August 2008 to the State Comptroller on January 28, 2009, one day after he appeared and testified before the Commission. He filed a corrected certification for the month of March 2008 on January 29, 2009. Respondent’s certification to the State Comptroller for March 2008 was received on January 29, 2009, 294 days beyond the time provided by the statutory requirement.
21. Respondent remitted court funds for March 2008 in the amount of $2,280 to the chief fiscal officer on February 17, 2009, 313 days beyond the time provided by the statutory requirement.
22. Respondent’s certification to the State Comptroller for the month of April 2008 was received on September 22, 2008, 135 days beyond the time provided by the statutory requirement. Respondent remitted court funds for April 2008 in the amount of $1,135 to the chief fiscal officer on September 29, 2008, 142 days beyond the time provided by the statutory requirement.
23. Respondent’s certification to the State Comptroller for the month of May 2008 was received on September 22, 2008, 104 days beyond the time provided by the statutory requirement. Respondent remitted court funds for May 2008 in the amount of $2,690 to the chief fiscal officer on September 29, 2008, 111 days beyond the time provided by the statutory requirement.
24. Respondent’s certification to the State Comptroller for the month of June 2008 was received on January 28, 2009, 222 days beyond the time provided by the statutory requirement. Respondent remitted court funds for June 2008 in the amount of $2,415 to the chief fiscal officer on September 29, 2008, 81 days beyond the time provided by the statutory requirement.
25. Respondent’s certification to the State Comptroller for the month of July 2008 was received on January 28, 2009, 171 days beyond the time provided by the statutory requirement. Respondent remitted court funds for July 2008 in the amount of $2,655 to the chief fiscal officer on September 29, 2008, 50 days beyond the time provided by the statutory requirement.
26. Respondent’s certification to the State Comptroller for the month of August 2008 was received on January 28, 2009, 140 days beyond the time provided by the statutory requirement. Respondent remitted court funds for August 2008 in the amount of $20 to the chief fiscal officer on November 28, 2008, 79 days beyond the time provided by the statutory requirement.
27. The State Comptroller ordered payment of respondent’s salary resumed on January 30, 2009.
28. Respondent failed to make timely deposits and to report, certify and remit court funds in a timely manner as a result of a new job as an emergency medical technician in the health and safety field at a private company, volunteer commitments with the town’s ambulance and fire department, and his efforts to start an online medication management system company. Respondent regrets and apologizes for his conduct and recognizes that his judicial duties take precedence over all other activities.
29. Respondent commits himself in the future to deposit court funds within 72 hours of receipt and to submit his monthly reports and certifications to the State Comptroller, and make remittances to the chief fiscal officer, within the first ten days of the succeeding month.

Upon the foregoing findings of fact, the Commission concludes as a matter of law that respondent violated Sections 100.1, 100.2(A), 100.3(B)(1) and 100.3(C)(1) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct (“Rules”) and should be disciplined for cause, pursuant to Article 6, Section 22, subdivision a, of the New York State Constitution and Section 44, subdivision 1, of the Judiciary Law. Charges I and II of the Formal Written Complaint are sustained, and respondent’s misconduct is established. The handling of official monies is one of a judge’s most important responsibilities. Depositing, reporting and remitting such monies promptly, in strict compliance with the statutory mandates, is essential to ensure public confidence in the integrity of the judiciary. The failure to comply with these mandates constitutes misconduct, even if there is no evidence that monies were missing or used for inappropriate purposes. See Matter of Minogue, 2009 Annual Report 138 (Comm on Judicial Conduct); Matter of Hrycun, 2002 Annual Report 109 (Comm on Judicial Conduct); Matter of Ranke, 1992 Annual Report 64 (Comm on Judicial Conduct); see also Bartlett v. Flynn, 50 AD2d 401, 404 (4th Dept 1976). All monies received by the court are required to be deposited “as soon as practicable” and no later than 72 hours after receipt, and reported and remitted to the appropriate authorities by the tenth day of the month following collection (Uniform Civil Rules for the Justice Courts §214.9[a]; Uniform Justice Ct Act §2021[1]; Town Law §27; Vehicle and Traffic Law §1803). Over a six-month period in 2008, respondent failed to deposit, report and remit court funds in a timely manner as required by law. Over that period, respondent received $11,290 in official monies but deposited only $3,605, resulting in a cumulative deficiency of $7,685 by September 2008. In four of those months, he made no deposits at all, although he had collected a total of $6,355. During this time, the undeposited funds were kept in a locked file cabinet in respondent’s office. Over the same period, respondent also failed to report and remit these funds to the appropriate officials on a monthly basis, as required by law. The electronic filing procedures, which are intended to make the process more efficient and give localities access to their revenues sooner, require a judge to transmit reports electronically to the Office of the State Comptroller, to submit an appropriate, signed certification, and to send a check for the total amount reported to the chief fiscal officer of the town. Here, the record indicates significant delays by respondent in performing each of these tasks. These derelictions, which led to a six-month suspension of respondent’s salary by order of the State Comptroller, resulted in significant delays in processing the monies collected by the court. Respondent’s neglect of these important duties is not excused by the demands of his employment or other activities. A judge’s official duties, including the judge’s administrative responsibilities, “take precedence over all the judge’s other activities” (Rules, §100.3[A]). In considering the sanction, we note that all the monies collected by respondent have been accounted for and that there is no indication that any monies were missing or used for inappropriate purposes. We also note that respondent has
acknowledged his misconduct and commits himself in the future to performing these important duties in a timely manner as required by law. By reason of the foregoing, the Commission determines that the appropriate disposition is admonition.

Judge Klonick, Mr. Coffey, Mr. Emery, Mr. Harding, Ms. Hubbard, Judge Konviser, Ms. Moore, Judge Peters and Judge Ruderman concur.Mr. Belluck was not present.

CERTIFICATION

It is certified that the foregoing is the determination of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Dated: September 30, 2009

Jean M. Savanyu, Esq.
Clerk of the Commission, New York State, Commission on Judicial Conduct

********************************************

STATE OF NEW YORK
COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL CONDUCT

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
In the Matter of the Proceeding Pursuant to Section 44, subdivision 4,
of the Judiciary Law in Relation to
DAVID M. TRICKLER, a Justice of the Birdsall Town Court,
Burns Town Court and Grove Town Court, Allegany County.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
DETERMINATION
THE COMMISSION:

Honorable Thomas A. Klonick, Chair
Stephen R. Coffey, Esq., Vice Chair
Joseph W. Belluck, Esq.
Richard D. Emery, Esq.
Paul B. Harding, Esq.
Elizabeth B. Hubbard
Honorable Jill Konviser
Nina M. Moore
Honorable Karen K. Peters
Honorable Terry Jane Ruderman

APPEARANCES: Robert H. Tembeckjian (John J. Postel and David M. Duguay, Of Counsel) for the Commission
Joseph G. Pelych for the Respondent

The respondent, David M. Trickler, a Justice of the Birdsall Town Court, Burns Town Court and Grove Town Court, Allegany County, was served with a Formal Written Complaint dated August 8, 2008, containing four charges. The Formal Written Complaint alleged that from 2004 to 2006 respondent failed to perform certain administrative responsibilities with respect to numerous cases as required by law. Respondent filed an answer dated September 22, 2008. On July 31, 2009, the Administrator of the Commission, respondent’s counsel and respondent entered into an Agreed Statement of Facts pursuant to Judiciary Law §44(5), stipulating that the Commission make its determination based upon the agreed facts, recommending that respondent be admonished and waiving further submissions and oral argument. On September 23, 2009, the Commission accepted the Agreed Statement
and made the following determination.

1. Respondent has been a Justice of the Burns Town Court since November 1980, a Justice of the Grove Town Court since November 1994 and a Justice of the Birdsall Town Court since January 2002. He is not an attorney.

As to Charge I of the Formal Written Complaint:
2. From on or about January 24, 2004, to on or about August 10, 2006, respondent failed to notify the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles to order the suspension of the driver’s licenses of 15 defendants in the Burns Town Court who did not pay fines imposed by respondent totaling $1,585, as set forth in Schedule A annexed to the Agreed Statement of Facts, notwithstanding that the defendants had not paid their fines for more than 60 days. Respondent was familiar with the requirements of Section 514(3) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law and his obligation to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles. Two defendants were charged with misdemeanors, Driving While Intoxicated and Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs.
3. In response to the Commission’s investigation, respondent has taken appropriate corrective action regarding the cases identified in Schedule A by collecting $725 in fines owed by defendants and properly notifying the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles to order the suspension of the drivers’ licenses of nine defendants who have failed to pay their fines.
4. From on or about May 21, 2004, to on or about June 11, 2006, respondent failed to notify the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles to order the suspension of the drivers’ licenses of 43 defendants in the Burns Town Court who failed to appear or answer in respondent’s court to 45 charges, as set forth in Schedule B annexed to the Agreed Statement of Facts, notwithstanding that the defendants had failed to appear or answer within 60 days of the court date set for their traffic charges. Respondent was familiar with the requirements of Section 514(3) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law and his obligation to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles. Five defendants were charged with the misdemeanor of Aggravated Unlicensed Operator in the Third Degree.
5. In response to the Commission’s investigation, respondent has taken appropriate corrective action regarding the cases identified in Schedule B by obtaining dispositions in 22 cases, collecting $1,410 in fines, and properly notifying the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles to order the suspension of the driver’s licenses of 23 defendants who failed to appear in respondent’s court to answer charges.

As to Charge II of the Formal Written Complaint:

6. From on or about July 15, 2004, to on or about April 8, 2006, respondent failed to certify to the Commissioner of the Department of Motor Vehicles that 16 defendants in the Burns Town Court had been convicted by respondent of 21 violations of the Vehicle and Traffic Law, as set forth in Schedule C annexed to the Agreed Statement of Facts. Respondent was familiar with the requirements of Section 514(1) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law and his obligation to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles. Two defendants were charged with misdemeanors, Driving While Intoxicated and Driving While Ability Impaired by Drugs.
7. In response to the Commission’s investigation, respondent has taken appropriate corrective action regarding the cases identified in Schedule C by reporting the case dispositions to the Department of Motor Vehicles.

As to Charge III of the Formal Written Complaint:

8. From on or about June 24, 2004, to on or about March 18, 2006, respondent failed to report and remit to the State Comptroller fines and fees in 20 vehicle and traffic cases in the Burns Town Court totaling $1,980.35 as set forth in Schedule D annexed to the Agreed Statement of Facts, notwithstanding that respondent was familiar with the requirements of Sections 2020 and 2021 of the Uniform Justice Court Act, Section 1803 of the Vehicle and Traffic Law and Section 27 of the Town Law.
9. In response to the Commission’s investigation, respondent has taken appropriate corrective action regarding the cases identified in Schedule D by properly reporting fines and fees and remitting appropriate funds to the State Comptroller’s Office.

As to Charge IV of the Formal Written Complaint:

10. From on or about January 3, 2004, through on or about September 10, 2006, respondent failed to record and issue fine and fee receipts to defendants in seven cases in the Burns Town Court, totaling $760, as set forth in Schedule E annexed to the Agreed Statement of Facts, notwithstanding that respondent was familiar with the requirements of Sections 99-b and 99-1 of the General Municipal Law and Section 214.11(a)(3) of the Uniform Civil Rules for the Justice Courts.

Supplemental Findings:

11. From in or about January 2004 through in or about September 2006, respondent performed all administrative duties in the Birdsall Town Court, Burns Town Court and Grove Town Court without the assistance of any court clerk.
12. From in or about January 2004 through in or about September 2006,
respondent reported to the State Comptroller’s office presiding over 332 cases in the
Burns Town Court. During the approximate same period, respondent presided over a total of 27 cases in the Birdsall Town Court and 26 cases in the Grove Town Court. There were no accounting deficiencies observed in respondent’s administration of the Birdsall and Grove Town Courts.
13. As a result of the Commission’s investigation of the matters herein, the Town of Burns has hired a court clerk and purchased a computer and printers to assist respondent with recordkeeping and financial management. Additionally, respondent has sought additional training in recordkeeping and financial management from the State Comptroller’s Office.
14. Respondent has been forthright and cooperative with the Commission’s investigation and has demonstrated a sincere commitment to rectifying past deficiencies by properly reporting defendants who failed to pay fines and fees or failed to answer traffic charges, and by working closely with his newly hired court clerk to implement appropriate policies and procedures to ensure compliance with timely and accurate reporting.
15. As a result of the Commission’s investigation of the matters herein, respondent has begun electronic reporting to the Department of Motor Vehicles and the State Comptroller’s Office.

Upon the foregoing findings of fact, the Commission concludes as a matter of law that respondent violated Sections 100.1, 100.2(A), 100.3(B)(1) and 100.3(C)(1) of the Rules Governing Judicial Conduct (“Rules”) and should be disciplined for cause, pursuant to Article 6, Section 22, subdivision a, of the New York State Constitution and Section 44, subdivision 1, of the Judiciary Law. Charges I through IV of the Formal Written Complaint are sustained, and respondent’s misconduct is established. Over a two and a half-year period, respondent failed to properly perform important administrative responsibilities. In numerous cases he failed to remit monies to the state in a timely manner, failed to report convictions in traffic cases, failed to record and issue fine and fee receipts to defendants, and failed to use available means to punish defendants who had failed to appear or pay fines in traffic cases, thereby depriving the state of funds that should have been collected. Such derelictions, which violate statutory and ethical mandates, constitute misconduct warranting public discipline. A town or village justice is personally responsible for monies received by the court (1983 Op. of the State Compt., No. 83-174). Fines and fees received by the court must be properly recorded and receipts issued for all such payments (Gen Mun Law §§99-b, 99-l; Uniform Civil Rules for the Justice Courts §214.11[a][3] [22 NYCRR §214.11(a)(3)]). In addition, fines and fees collected must be reported and remitted to the State Comptroller within the first ten days of the month succeeding collection (Uniform Justice Court Act §§2020, 2021; Vehicle and Traffic Law [“VTL”] §1803; Town Law §27), and convictions must be reported to the Department of Motor Vehicles (VTL §514[1]). In 43 cases respondent failed to perform one or more of these administrative duties, notwithstanding that, as a judge for more than two decades, he was aware of his obligations under the respective statutes. In addition, respondent neglected 58 motor vehicle cases pending in his court by failing to use the legal means available to compel defendants to answer the charges or to pay fines totaling $1,585 he had imposed. Section 514(3) of the Vehicle and Traffic Law requires a judge to notify the Department of Motor Vehicles of such derelictions so that the defendants’ drivers’ licenses can be suspended. By failing to do so, respondent permitted defendants to avoid legal process by ignoring the summonses they were issued or the fines levied against them. Such neglect is unacceptable since it promotes disrespect for the administration of justice, deprived state and local authorities of monies that should have been collected, and enabled defendants whose licenses should have been suspended to continue to drive for months or years. See, Matter of Roller, 2009 Annual Report 165; Matter of Brooks, 2008 Annual Report 89; Matter of Ware, 1991 Annual Report 79 (Comm on Judicial Conduct). In considering an appropriate sanction, we note that respondent’s lapses appear to be a result of poor management and there is no indication in the record that any monies were not properly deposited, were missing or were otherwise mishandled. The record also indicates that as a result of the Commission investigation, respondent has taken appropriate corrective action in the cases cited herein, and all monies have been accounted for. We also note that respondent has shown a commitment to avoiding such deficiencies in the future by seeking additional training in recordkeeping and financial management from the State Comptroller’s Office and by working with his newly hired court clerk to implement appropriate policies and practices to ensure that his procedures
are in compliance with the relevant mandates.

By reason of the foregoing, the Commission determines that the appropriate
disposition is admonition.


Judge Klonick, Mr. Coffey, Mr. Emery, Mr. Harding, Ms. Hubbard, Judge Konviser, Ms. Moore, Judge Peters and Judge Ruderman concur.Mr. Belluck and Judge Konviser were not present.

CERTIFICATION

It is certified that the foregoing is the determination of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

Dated: September 30, 2009

Jean M. Savanyu, Esq.
Clerk of the Commission, New York State, Commission on Judicial Conduct

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Jean M. Savanyu, Esq....

did anyone notice, there really is a Jean Savanyu, maybe she can work the Carver since he needs a clerk...
so now the judge can have a clerk!

Anonymous said...

Jean M. Sayanyu.. I know the name, she's signed a few of my complaint letters!!!! She belongs in Jail with the rest of them..BUT WHEN?

Anonymous said...

that is funny!
the Commission just spent all that time & money investigating a judge who needs a clerk!
Great work by the CJC!

puzzled said...

How can the Commission of lawyers judge a non-attorney Bret Carver? What legal standing do they have over a non-attorney?

Anonymous said...

maybe that is why our complaints keep getting rejected, some judges are not lawyers, and we know how they may have passed the judge test, and there actually is no board that reviews these complaints, it is just for information,
that makes sense,
Commission Judicates Criminals

ah duh!

Anonymous said...

Tembeckjian gets his cut so things continue. Perry always said keep those cards and letters coming and that is what every person in New York State that has been screwed by a lawyer or a Judge should do, file complaints and at the same time give a copy to all the media. Let the whole world know the corruption!

Anonymous said...

To above....an excellent, excellent, excellent idea..must be initiated behind the scenes so OCA doesn't start their phone call compaign to the editors of ALL the media outlets in NY state.....something they practice often.

I am in possession of several memos going back and forth from OCA about whether or not thay should contact the editor of an upstate paper about an aricle printed in their.... everybody's column....which features opinions, and this one was informing the public relative to a sitting judge and an unethical conduct he authorized....so not really sure how they intended to influence the newspaper to combat the facts....in a non media developed story.

Wisely OCA chose not to make that call...but certain they made a call realtive to the author and to block any further submissions!

Go behind OCA'S backs..... always to get at them and their vulnerabilities.

Anonymous said...

if we had a Public Corruption complaint Paper, none of this would happen, they would be exposed immediately!

Blog Archive

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:
         
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2