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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Corrupt Tembeckjian Creating Numbers Again in Attempt to Show Worth

Commission Backs Removal of Justice in Last Days of Term
The New York Law Journal by Joeal Stashenko  -  February 14, 2012

A veteran upstate town justice with just weeks left in his term should be removed immediately for jailing defendants in five cases without affording them due process, the state Commission on Judicial Conduct has recommended.  The commission said in an opinio released Feb. 10 that Michael M. Feeder, a non-attorney justice in the Hudson Falls Village Court in Washington County, should be ousted for "precipitously" holding defendants in contempt and sending them to jail for their behavior in court in 2007 and 2008.  The commission ruled that Justice Feeder's conduct showed a "disregard of fundamental legal principles" that cast "serious doubt on his fitness to serve as a judge."  Justice Feeder has been a justice in the Hudson Falls court since 1999. He was also a justice of the Kingsbury Town Court, also in Washington County, from 1998 to 2005. Justice Feeder, who represented himself before the commission, does not have a listed telephone number in the Hudson Falls area and could not be contacted for comment.  In a concurring opinion, Commissioner Joel Cohen noted that the justice had told the panel he did not plan to run for reelection, and his term expires March 31.  Mr. Cohen said he wanted to make clear that there are some cases where the commission was willing to allow retiring judges "to walk off into the sunset without a public detailing of the embarrassing allegations and facts that might have led the Commission to prefer charges in the first place."

"The conduct of some judges against whom charges are brought simply does not warrant a public humiliation, if it is clear that the conduct was aberrational for him or her and it is clear that the respondent's days on the bench are essentially over," wrote Mr. Cohen, a partner in Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. But he said that the Feeder matter was not one of those cases.  "Here, a continuation and public resolution of these proceedings is necessary as a deterrent against this particular judge holding further judicial office, and a vehicle to help ensure that his unfortunate conduct will not be replicated either by himself or by others," he wrote.  The removal recommendation goes to the state Court of Appeals for a final determination.  If Justice Feeder does not challenge the recommendation within 30 days, by March 5, it will automatically take effect and bar him from ever holding judicial office again in New York state.  In one August 2007 incident cited by the commission, defendant Donald Hammond appeared before Justice Feeder for allegedly violating a village code against creating unnecessary noise.  Within a day of his court appearance, Mr. Hammon consumed at least 24 beers and several "shots" of alcohol and was "still under the influence" when he waived his right to counsel and pleaded guilty before Justice Feeder.  But the commission said that the judge did not consider Mr. Hammond's inebriated condition, his limited education or his history of learning disabilities in deciding that he was competent to plead guilty.  The commission found that Justice Feeder held another defendant, Joshua Belair, in contempt and sentenced him to 30 days in jail in August 2006, despite strong indications that Mr. Belair was intoxicated when he appeared in court on a disorderly conduct complaint. The commission noted that Mr. Belair was disruptive and shouted obscenities at the court before being ordered to jail.  Unrepresented by a lawyer initially, Mr. Belair had counsel at a hearing when he was released after nine days of incarceration, the commission said.

In another case, 16-year-old Anthony Genier Jr. was charged with endangering the welfare of a minor, a curfew violation and other violations. The commission said that when Mr. Genier appeared before Justice Feeder in 2008, the judge ordered him to stop talking.  A few minutes later, Justice Feeder sentenced Mr. Grenier to 15 days in jail for contempt for not silencing himself, "notwithstanding that Mr. Genier was talking quietly in the back of the courtroom" at the time, according to the commission.  In the fourth matter, the commission said Justice Feeder sent Thomas Butterfield to jail for 30 days on a contempt charge in March 2008 after Mr. Butterfield argued that a proceeding against him for burglary and other charges was a "God damn joke."  While Justice Feeder said he advised Mr. Butterfield that counsel was available to him and that Mr. Butterfield could avoid a 15-day contempt sentence by apologizing, Mr. Butterfield refused, according to the commission.  In yet another case, defendant Robert Syversen appeared before Justice Feeder on a charge of operating an uninsured motor vehicle. Mr. Syversen refused, initially, to provide information about the date of his birth and other personal identifying facts about himself, claiming that, "I'm a Christian and that violates my religious principles."  By the time he did supply the information, Justice Feeder had sentenced Mr. Syversen to 15 days in jail for criminal contempt, the commission said.  The charge, entered when Mr. Syversen was not represented by counsel, was excused upon his apology and the payment of a fine to the traffic violation and surcharges. "Viewed in their totality, respondent's handling of these matters showed a disregard of fundamental legal principles and casts serious doubt on his fitness to serve as a judge," the commission ruled.  It also noted that Justice Feeder had been censured in 2009 in an unrelated case because he failed to disqualify himself from several cases, including one in which he had assured the mother of a defendant before him in an ex parte conversation that things did not look bad for her son.  The commission also found that Justice Feeder had failed to disclose in some cases that he was a close friend of the village's assistant police chief.  "While the misconduct in the earlier proceeding is different from the conduct here, respondent's argument that he has learned from his past mistakes and desisted from particular acts of misconduct when they were brought to his attention is hardly reassuring," the commission wrote in the ruling released Feb. 10. "His apparent inability to recognize and avoid misconduct, to apply fundamental principles of law and to adhere to the high ethical standards required of judges demonstrates that he is unfit to serve as a judge."  In addition to Mr. Cohen, commissioners Thomas A. Klonick, Terry Jane Ruderman, Joseph W. Belluck, Richard D. Emery, Nina M. Moore, Karen K. Peters and Richard Stoloff joined in the ruling.  Joel Stashenko can be contacted at


Anonymous said...

The fact is this 'judge' should have been removed a long time ago. Why is the CJC wasting its time on this judge when he'll be off the bench in a few weeks? I don't get it. I guess the CJC gets to make a check in the judge removal column. Aren't there a lot worse judges on the bench that the CJC should be spending their time on?

Anonymous said...

Obviously a win, win for the CJC.

The judges will get his pension and the CJC will get their statistic.

No harm, no foul?

Anonymous said...

The clown, Mr. Cohen, sees aberrations as excuses for judicial misconduct. Again,this is another Tembeckjian joke, because the degenerate is leaving the bench in a month any way. Tembeckjian is the principle cause of judicial corruption flourishing and going unpunished in NY State. Tembeckjian is a devil incarnate.

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