PPH reported “Maine attorney general enters fray over divorce case. In an unusual step, Attorney General Janet Mills has joined a vitriolic email exchange over the judicial branch’s appointment of a Cumberland County judge to be deputy chief of Maine’s District Court.
The appointment this week of Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz drew some heated opposition, most vocally from Lori Handrahan, a former Maine resident. Moskowitz presided over Handrahan’s bitter divorce and child custody case, which began in 2008, and ruled against her in several court orders.
After the announcement of Moskowitz’s appointment Tuesday, Handrahan sent dozens of mass emails and hundreds of tweets from several Twitter accounts to dozens of members of the Legislature and the media, demanding a federal investigation into what she called Moskowitz’s misconduct. She included a link to an online petition she started, calling for his removal from the bench.
While many state officials ignored the messages, Mills said she decided to respond, sending an email Wednesday that included Moskowitz’s May 2012 court order revoking Handrahan’s parental rights for her failure to undergo therapy for a “narcissistic personality disorder.”
Mills’ email went to the same list of legislators and media.
“I thought that since I was getting inquiries, I should give some context,” Mills said late Thursday afternoon, when asked in a phone interview why she would respond in such a public manner to Handrahan’s email.
“While this Office was not involved in her custody dispute, this decision, which is a matter of public record, may help you put into context the communications you have received from this individual,” Mills wrote in her email.” Read more HERE.
Now for the rest of the story…..
This newspaper article begs the question as to why A.G. Mills would “jump into the frey?” It also requires additional reporting on what the PPH left out. A.G. Mills’ conduct appears to attempt to discredit Lori Handrahan in an effort to protect the misconduct of Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz.
A.G. Janet Mills should be taking care of the peoples’ business. Notice and Demand to A.G. Janet Mills,which was brushed under the rug. Click here. This is a matter of public trust and public interest. Yet, Janet Mills took no interest in this issue!
Jim Burke, a professor at the University of Maine School of Law,is absolutely correct in stating “People should be informed (about) who are the public servants who are working for them.” But try and get the mainstream media to report on this!
“Mills’ email drew quick criticism from state Rep. Lisa Villa, a member of the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee, who said Thursday that she is considering calling for a formal inquiry into citizens’ complaints that may have been filed against Moskowitz. In her opinion, “there are too many unanswered questions for (her) to be swayed by one document that doesn’t address some very disturbing issues.” “Villa, a Democrat from Harrison who ran for office on a platform of family court reform, said she took no position on Handrahan’s case but believes that complaints against judges are too often ignored.”
“The Senate chair of the Judiciary Committee, Linda Valentino, D-Saco, disagreed that legislators should be inquiring about judges’ qualifications. As chairperson of the Judiciary Committee, I don’t have a position. I don’t feel it is within the purview of the Judiciary Committee,” Valentino said. “I don’t feel this is a legislative issue. I feel this is a judicial issue.” She feels it’s a judicial issue, but not within the purview of her committee??
Re the Judiciary Committee:
The Judiciary Committee members’ task is to hear public testimony as to the honesty, integrity and qualifications of attorneys who are nominated by Governor LePage to be appointed and confirmed as Judges.
It is time for Maine people to see how the Legislators conduct their own actions of ignoring public presentations of written evidence and how they believe in their own favoritism of fellow legislators and Lawyers.
On March 11, 2014 a confirmation hearing was held on the nomination of former A.G. William Schneider. Sufficient documented evidence, as to Obstruction of Justice and cover up by A.G. Schneider, was submitted to the members of this committee. View video of this hearing ““A System in Crisis” and watch this travesty of public trust. (Opposition to nomination begins at 46:14) Click here.
With the documented evidence in their hands, ALL members of the Judiciary Committee voted in the affirmative as to confirmation of William Schneider.
Why did Rep. Lisa Villa, a member of the Judiciary Committee, not call for a “formal inquiry” into complaints against William Schneider? She had more than “one document.”
Would you not agree that the conduct of the members of the Judiciary Committee commands removal?
Mary Ann Lynch stated “she was unaware of any formal complaints against Moskowitz or any other judge” filed with the Committee on Judicial Responsibility and Disability. Cabanne Howard, the committee’s executive secretary, states “all of the complaints filed with the committee are confidential unless the committee decides to charge a judge in the Supreme Judicial Court.” Members of this committee include judges/attorneys. Is this NOT a conflict of interest?
The Committee on Judicial Responsibility and Disability is a Personal appointment which does not require a public hearing or approval of the State Legislature. If Governor LePage’s priority is to “put Maine people ahead of politics”, he must remove the members with this committee.
Augusta has all of its “bases” covered…to include the courtrooms… with its “revolving door policy.”
Until the status quo changes, there will be no justice within Maine’s judicial system.
Where is the media coverage on this?
Related: Falmouth Today reports “A.G. MILLS’ CONDUCT THIS PAST FRIDAY RAISES QUESTIONS”, click here.
Research has revealed that Maine judges must be commissioned…and they are not! No commission = no oath of office = no judicial power. Read more HERE.
For more information on this subject type in “Lise from Maine” in the search section of this blog. Lots of information and discussion in the comments section.