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Friday, May 11, 2012

Tembeckjian's Corrupt 'Ethics' Crew Gets Judge to Resign

Town Justice Resigns OCA Job After Ticket-Fixing Determination
The New York Law Journal by Joel Stashenko  -  May 11, 2012

ALBANY, NY - A court system employee who provided training and support services for local municipal justices resigned yesterday after the Commission on Judicial Conduct recommended her removal as a part-time town justice for fixing traffic tickets.  Diane Schilling, an attorney, had been a part-time justice of the East Greenbush Town Court, near Albany, since 2002.  She also has worked in various positions for the Office of Court Administration since 2003, and since June 2009 she has served as the director of the Office of Justice Court Support, which provides training, education and support to local judges. She earned $115,000 in that position, and made $30,259 as a town justice.  "As an experienced judge and as an attorney with expertise in providing advice, support and training to local justices [Schilling] should have recognized and avoided any taint of favoritism," the Commission on Judicial Conduct said in a report released yesterday.

"Ticket fixing strikes at the heart of our system of justice, which is based on equal treatment for all," the commission observed. "As this Commission stated more than 30 years ago, ticket fixing results in 'two systems of justice, one for the average citizen and another for people with…the right 'connections.'"  While acknowledging that removal from office is an "extreme sanction," the commission concluded that the circumstances justified that action here.  "While we have duly considered the mitigation presented in this case, including respondent's public service, her previously unblemished record and her admission of wrongdoing, the nature and gravity of the proven impropriety in this case cannot be overlooked," the commission said. "As the Court of Appeals has stated, in certain cases, 'no amount of [mitigation] will override inexcusable behavior.'"

The commission found that Schilling violated judicial canons by fixing a ticket received in East Greenbush in 2009 by Lisa Toomey, the wife of Sand Lake Town Court Justice Paul Toomey, then director of the justice court support division where he was a colleague of Schilling.  The commission said Schilling engaged in a "substantial effort to accord favoritism" to Ms. Toomey by going to the East Greenbush police station the morning after she was ticketed for speeding to see if she could intercede.  The commission said Schilling also sent an e-mail to Mr. Toomey explaining her efforts on his wife's behalf and discussed the ticket with him in person.  The commission said that Schilling's actions led to the disappearance of all copies of the ticket, except the one held by Ms. Toomey, from the court system and police files.  The commission noted that Ms. Toomey had pleaded not guilty and attempted to handle the ticket in the regular manner. It found no wrongdoing on the part of either Toomey.  The commission added that Schilling knew from personal experience that a ticket could disappear because they let that happen in 2005 when she received a ticket from a state trooper who came to her office and took it back when he learned she was a judge.  The commission said that Schilling acknowledged to co-workers at the Office of Justice Court Support that she had gotten off on the speeding ticket.

"The impropriety was compounded by telling her colleagues in an agency which advises judges on the law of her experience in cooperating with an effort to have her own ticket voided after the trooper learned she was a judge," the commission held. "Under the circumstances presented, we agree with the referee's conclusion that the example set by respondent 'falls well short of the standard of behavior expected of a judge.'"  Schilling argued before the commission that she should receive only an admonition.  E. Stewart Jones Jr. and James Knox of the E. Stewart Jones Law firm in Troy represented Schilling. Neither immediately returned calls seeking comment yesterday.  Officials at the East Greenbush town court said yesterday they were unsure whether Schilling would contest her recommended removal by the commission. She has 60 days to do so in an appeal to the state Court of Appeals.  David Bookstaver, an Office of Court Administration spokesman, confirmed yesterday that Schilling has resigned her state job, but declined further comment.  The 10-member Commission on Judicial Conduct's ruling was unanimous except for commissioner Joseph Belluck, who took no part in the deliberations.  Ronald Younkins, director of operations for the OCA, said the Office of Justice Court Support was formed in 2006 to give logistical and, in some cases, financial, aid to the town and village courts.  Among other things, he said it administers the "j-cap" program under which local courts are given grants for equipment upgrades such as metal detectors and new computers.  The office also provides training to new town and village court justices, especially those who are not lawyers. Included in that instruction, Younkins said, is training on ethical issues.  There are about 1,200 town and village courts across the state with more than 2,000 justices on their benches.  Joel Stashenko can be contacted at jstasthenko@alm.com.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This 'judge' was a inside hack from day one. Why is she blamed for doing what they all do?

Anonymous said...

This was just the red herring that was removed for show by Tembeckjian's mob, while all the other rotten herring remain in the barrel. There is no supervision of Town Justices in New York State, just high paid hacks gouging at the public trough as supervisors.

Anonymous said...

So a female employee for the courts who actually did something wrong gets to resign..instead of OCA outright firing and devastating them.. for doing nothing but reporting discrimination, as is their usual MO!

Anonymous said...

Just wondering if they will ever stop the judges on Long Island from denying me access to the courts. Allowing my own estranged husband to answer my court filings for 12 years.
This is very unfair to myself my son who lived without any child support all those years. Talk about breach of fiduciary. This a a canyon. Ex has court filing access because he commits mortgage fraud for the Suffolk Judges etc. Each time he gets to answer my court filing. Judge gets a mortgage satisfaction. Rodriguez,Wilmott, Lynaugh, Molia, Kent, McNulty etc.attorneys William Sweeney,Fran Moss, Robert Dapelo,Wm.Miller,JIM O'Rourke,Dave Besso. Wilutis Karen.etc
Living in The Land of The Lost.

Anonymous said...

The TIP OF THE ICEBERG!

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