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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Moonlighting Judge Faces Disciplinary Charges...(CLICK HERE FOR FULL STORY)

In fairness to the corrupt judges in New York State, we present the following AP report about a Massachusetts probate and family court judge, who is facing disciplinary charges, and which is yet another example of the national problem concerning corruption in states' courts. A judgeship is not a free pass to violate the law......MORE......

Judge Accused of Moonlighting, Faces Disciplinary Charges

The Associated Press By Denise Lavoie
October 22, 2007

BOSTON -- A state commission filed misconduct charges Monday against a Plymouth County probate and family court judge, accusing him of violating judicial rules by running a real estate business and collecting fees as an attorney while serving as a judge.

The Commission on Judicial Conduct said Judge Michael Livingstone engaged in a pattern of misconduct that also included sending an improper letter threatening to evict a tenant and failing to disclose income from his business activities to the State Ethics Commission.

Livingstone admitted he made some errors but denied he ever acted dishonestly.

"Judge Livingstone is a very hard-working, conscientious probate judge who is widely respected. None of these charges have anything to do with what he did on the bench," said Livingstone's attorney, Michael Mone.

The commission cited Livingstone's role in High Low Properties, a real estate partnership that owns properties in New Bedford. The commission said that after Livingstone was appointed a judge in December 2002, he remained a general partner of High Low but asked his business partner, Raymond Hotte, to take over managerial responsibilities for the two apartment buildings owned by the partnership.

Livingstone filed a sworn affidavit saying he had not been actively involved in the management of the properties for years and that Hotte was responsible for all tenant-related matters.

The commission said both those statements were false because Livingstone had had an active role in managing the properties since late 2004, when he and Hotte had a falling out and Hotte quit.

The charges against Livingstone grew out of the investigation of two complaints — one filed by Hotte and one filed by the Supreme Judicial Court.

The commission cited a letter Livingstone wrote to a tenant in which he said he would not pay her utility bills and would have her evicted from her unit if she did not pay her rent.

The commission said that it is against state law for a landlord to intentionally fail to provide water, heat, light power or gas.

"The fact that Judge Livingstone is a judge makes his improper threat to (the tenant) even more serious, given the potentially coercive effect of his letter," the commission said in its written charges.

In a written response, Mone said Livingstone acknowledges that the wording of the letter "may have been inappropriate" but said it "was never intended by him to be a threat."

Livingstone, who had his own law practice in New Bedford before he became a judge, entered into an agreement with another attorney, Jane Warren, who said she would pay him 25 percent of the fee she received from his divorce clients and 50 percent of the fee from his estate clients. Under the arrangement, Warren paid Livingstone approximately $49,000 from 2003 through 2006.

The commission said the agreement and his failure to disclose that he shared fees with an attorney violated the rules of conduct for judges.

Livingstone said payments he received from Warren were part of a buy-out of his law practice and not a fee-sharing arrangement.

Mone also said that Livingstone performed some management duties for High Low only because his partner had quit.

"Judge Livingstone attempted to maintain the High Low properties so that tenants would receive utilities and services that they required and did so only because Mr. Hotte, without notice, had abandoned his duties with regard to the management," he wrote in the response.

The commission has asked the state Supreme Judicial Court to appoint a hearing officer to preside at a public hearing on the charges. The hearing officer will then make a recommendation to the commission on possible sanctions, which could include a fine, reprimand or censure. The Supreme Judicial Court makes the final decision on judicial sanctions.


Anonymous said...

sack this idiot ..... it's all about the money that's why they want these jobs and they get to wear black bath robes.

Anonymous said...

You are right...they are bathrobes...many do not wear clothes underneath them. Do you wonder why? i wear clothes underneath my coat!

Anonymous said...

this guy should be put in jail

Anonymous said...

He is called Iron Mike because he doesn't listen and rule without prejudice.

Anonymous said...

If MA doesn't want this guy, we'll take him in NY. He's our kind of judge.

Anonymous said...

The Family Court System is and continues to be the most corupt, pathetic, bottom-feeding group of "public servents" on the planet. Any yes, Hillary will love this guy - "come on down" !!

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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
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               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2
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