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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Nostalgically, One Last Rigged Supreme Court Judge Election...(CLICK HERE FOR FULL DETAILS)


Ah, the good old days: controlling judicial elections by manipulating the names on the ballots, and by providing voters with limited information. Some say the scheme was perfected in Westchester County. One New York federal judge said the state wide judicial election stunts are unconstitutional-- and the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals agreed. And soon the United States Supreme Court will have a say in exactly how corrupt the New York state judicial elections have been....MORE....

A good New York Law Journal article by Daniel Wise follows below. More on this soon...

Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2007
p. 1, col. 4

Late Entry Into Race Kept Them Off List Of Screening Panel ‘Qualified,' Hopefuls Say.


TWO JUDGES who are likely candidates for Supreme Court in the Ninth Judicial District, were not on a list of candidates found qualified by a court system-established panel because they decided to become candidates after the screening panel's deadline. The two candidates - Ninth Judicial District Administrative Judge Francis A. Nicolai and Westchester County Court Judge Rory J. Bellantoni- were not on the list of candidates released by the screening panel for candidates in the Ninth Judicial District on Friday.

Under court rules establishing the new screening system, only the names of candidates who are found qualified are released. The rules specifically bar the panels from providing information as to whether candidates who are not named were found unqualified or declined to participate in the process. Candidate participation is voluntary.

Judge Nicolai said in an interview that he had entered the race after the screening panel's deadline and had not submitted an application because he believed that the panel would not accept it. JudgeBellantoni, who also entered the race late, said that he had contacted the panel but had been told it was too late to apply. Asked about the panel's policy on late applications, Matthew G.Kiernan, the panel's interim director, said he was precluded from commenting by "the confidentiality of the review process."

Republican and Democratic Party leaders in the five Ninth Judicial District counties identified Judge Nicolai, a Democrat and JudgeBellantoni, a Republican, as among the six candidates for three court vacancies their two parties are likely to select at their nominating conventions next week. The other four likely candidates were all found qualified by the court system panel, which is formally called the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission for the Ninth Judicial District.

They are incumbent Supreme Court Justice William E. Sherwood and Christine P. Krahulik, a Family Court support magistrate, the likely Republican nominees, and Rockland County Surrogate Robert M. Berliner and Orange County Surrogate Elaine Z. Slobod, the likely Democratic candidates. The Ninth Judicial District covers Rockland, Orange, Westchester, Putnam and Dutchess counties.

The deadline for applying for review for all five judicial districts within the Second Department, including the Ninth District, was set for July 2 (NYLJ, June 13). In interviews, both Judge Nicolai, who was elected as a County Court judge in 2004, and Judge Bellantoni said that they are seeking to fill the vacancy that was created by the resignation of Justice Lawrence I. Horowitz while he was under investigation by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct (NYLJ, July 18, 2007). Although Justice Horowitz resigned on June 20, the vacancy that arose from his resignation was not officially created until July 14, both Judge Nicolai and Judge Bellantoni said. It was not until the end of July, Judge Nicolai added, that he decided to run for the vacancy, and he formally notified the Office of Court Administration of his intent to do so after lining up political backing. Judge Bellantoni said that it was not until mid-August that he had decided to pursue the vacancy.

Judge Nicolai said that he had not sought to be interviewed because by the time he decided to make the race the screening panel's July 2 deadline had passed. If there had been an opportunity to be interviewed, he said "I would have been the first to attend-it is the policy of the court administration that candidates should be", interviewed and I am a strong supporter of that policy."

Judge Bellantoni said that he had contacted personnel from the review committee trying to arrange an interview but had been told that it was too late and that there would be no negative ramifications from his not being on the list because the process is voluntary. "I want to be interviewed and have been interviewed by dozens" of panels reviewing judicial qualifications in the past, he said.

Reginald Lafayette, the chairman of the Westchester Democratic Party, called both Judge Nicolai and Judge Bellantoni well regarded jurists and said that he did not expect the absence of their names from the list of qualified candidates would cause either of them any political problems. In fashioning a system for the screening of judicial candidates seeking to be elected, the court system adopted a recommendation of a panel appointed by Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye to suggest reforms to shore up public confidence in the state's elected judiciary (NYLJ, Feb. 7, 2006).

The 180 members of the 12 panels, one in each of the state's judicial districts, were appointed in February (NYLJ, Feb. 9, 2007). Each panel has 15 members, 10 appointed by the chief judge and a presiding justice of the Appellate Division, and five by bar association leaders.


Anonymous said...

Let the voters be fooled ! Let the voters be damned! Elections in the 9th Judicial District under King Nicolai are about power for personal greed- has been for a while. What's the problem? He spreads the fruits around nicely to his buds.

Anonymous said...

I'm very proud that our own Westchester judges (which includes the local Administrative judge!) and their involvement in such a scandal to fix judicial elections. Yep, there's no other way to describe it: they've been FIXING elections.

I'm so proud. Nice job, you bums!

Anonymous said...

Nicolai must be losing it…getting old, I guess. Or he’s simply tired from steering and fixing so many cases over the years.

Anyway, the Frank Nicolai I know would have secured (read: bully) himself a cross-endorsement!! Come on Franky, get with it. Step away from the spaghetti and get that cross-endorsement!

Anonymous said...

I can't stop laughing over what Nicolai did to Larry Horowitz. First Frank sent a letter saying Larry was a great judge, etc. Then, behind the scenes Frank tells everyone that Larry's gotta go. Frank then urges Larry to resign, so to avoid really big problems down the road which, Franky will take care of. Big Frank needs to get a supreme court seat back around his fat ass. For retirement purposes.... Nicolai out did himself with Horowitz.

Hey Larry, does Frank take your calls anymore?!?

Anonymous said...

no one would believe what some of these Judges are like.....Nicolai & Bellantoni are both hacks

Anonymous said...

I disagree that Bellantoni should be mentioned as being in the same hack pit with Nicolai. Truth be told- Bellantoni is a decent guy, and would probably cheer Nicolai's downfall and the end of Frank's corrupt back stabbing and case fixing. Actually, half the court house would cheer the removal of Nicolai....

Anonymous said...

the fish rots from the head - which is NICOLAI

Anonymous said...

they can"t helpthemselves. greedy for power and money.bad people giving judges and the laws a bad name.

Anonymous said...

These bums will not give up willingly

Anonymous said...

Because of elections, you will NEVER see Ann Pfau do a thing about the corruption. Live with it.

Anonymous said...

they have toooooo much to lose, think of all that money - they don't want anything to change

Anonymous said...

New legislation that election rigging carries a penalty of treason against the country, city or state that it is committed in should prevent this. The death penalty or 25 to life will help prevent much of this. There can be no democracy with election fraud and from looking at the effects of election fraud from Bush we all can learn two things, it can be the worst thing for the world as a whole and the Supreme Court of the United States picked the worst, most dishonest, most dangerous to civil rights, most laughed at by foreign nations President ever. All of this country’s current mess and New York’s alike has been created by election fraud, committed by lawyers, judges, politicians and those who think they are above the law which has thus lowered citizen confidence in a government run by schmucks and war mongering criminals who gained power through corrupt elections. If it continues, the citizens will soon revolt on the government, as this blog proves and those who were above the law will be stomped to death by the people. History is littered with dead corrupt government employees at all levels that have the boot print of the people smashed upon their heads. Lace up New York.

A final word that may help increase integrity with the public is conduct voting with a mass of checks and balances, using the highest tech and lowest tech methods to count votes and preserve those records for checking later in the event a dispute arises later. Everyone who votes should have record of their vote and be required to send a copy of their record in a prepaid envelope. When electronic records are created, a full print record for every digital entry should be mandated. Counting should be digital at first, with a full auditing by hand count that should follow to verify the results in time. Penalties of voting fraud by both citizen and government officials should be beyond hefty. The vote is the most sacred part of a citizen’s rights in a democracy, from the highest public office to the lowest, it must be protected or else we will be in the mess our country and states are now in, where government has been stolen and run amuck where government officials lie, change laws to allow human torture, churn legal cases, pardon felons condemning covert CIA agents, go to war on falsified propaganda and fraudulent papers, allow for perjuring Attorney General’s, etc..

What this country and New York et. al. need is law and order and that starts with strict election laws at every level and more damning penalties for violating them, not less. The fact that this country is pretty convinced that fraud occurred in the Presidential election and was aided and abetted by the legal community sends the worst signal to the People in the history of the country. If I had esq. after my name, I certainly would begin fearing the backlash and start selling insurance.

Anonymous said...

These snakes never met an election that they couldn't rig

Anonymous said...

Why is former Judge Sherwood still working in the ninth district when he was voted out in November ? Could it be to secure a nice big fat pension ?

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