A Maine State Senator, David Dutremble, Reports On The Judiciary Committee What The Public Has Witnessed For Years!

BDN reports “Public Lockout: From Deliberations by the Judiciary Committee of the Maine Legislature.

All legislative committees are mandated by Maine law to conduct hearings, deliberations, and work sessions in public.

But in a May 19 speech on the Senate floor, state Sen. David Dutremble (D-Biddeford) reported that the Judiciary Committee conducted such business in private over the weekend that started May 8. Its deliberations concerned the reappointment of controversial Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz – the judge who issued an illegal gag order in January – and whose reappointment was opposed by many members of the public.

Maine citizens deserve to know what transpired that weekend with their Judiciary Committee. Did the members, in fact, meet behind closed doors and/or have private conversations in violation of state mandates? A legislative inquiry into the actions of the committee is warranted to protect the interests of the public.

Here’s what is clear: Without a single comment or question, the Judiciary Committee on May 12 unanimously recommended that Moskowitz be reappointed. One by one, each committee member simply voted yes. Those of us who witnessed this were dumbfounded. It left us with the uncomfortable feeling that something was amiss. How was their unified position reached outside of public view?

This spring was the first time in 20 years that judicial reappointments were challenged. And many citizens vehemently and passionately expressed their opposition to Judge Moskowitz, as well as to Judge Patricia Worth before him. In both cases, the Judiciary Committee nevertheless unanimously recommended approval. And at least in the case of Moskowitz, committee members allegedly deliberated outside of the public’s view and earshot.

This is extremely concerning. State mandates requiring the utmost transparency are meant to protect us all.

Input from those who are consumers of the court system – not just lawyers who earn their livings in front of judges – must be heard. People also deserve to know that the systems set up to protect them are working as they’re supposed to. When systems become about protecting themselves instead of the citizens they were designed to protect, the delicate fabric and balance of our constitutional rights is put in jeopardy. Legislative maneuvers that eliminate transparency and thereby remove public oversight are the antithesis of a democratic society.

We urge the Maine Legislature to take action and give the public answers. When asked to explain how his committee could unanimously approve a judge with no public discussion whatsoever, the chair of Judiciary Committee, Sen. David Burns (R-Washington), responded that, “it is unfortunate that some individuals and legislators have tried to impugn the integrity of the committee members.”

Those who may dismiss this call for investigation, attributing it to “sour grapes” or “angry litigants,” demonstrate a lack of respect for the most essential principles that define our nation.

To date, the president of the Maine Senate, Michael Thibodeau, has failed to respond to requests for a public inquiry about the actions of the Judiciary Committee.

This raises additional concerns. Without a legislative inquiry and report, Maine citizens will be left to wonder if their legislative and judiciary truly are the separate branches of government that are fundamental to freedom and liberty. We need to know what our legislators are doing – and why they’re doing it.

If you agree with me on this, We urge readers to contact their legislator and request an investigation. Let’s just find out what happened.”

Read more HERE.

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While it took decades for a state representative to listen, then experience for himself, the egregious misconduct by member of the Judiciary Committee, the proof is in the pudding.

In rebuttal to the BDN’s report “This spring was the first time in 20 years that judicial re-appointments were challenged” is not correct. Several people testified before the committee in opposition to York County Superior Court Judge Arthur Brennan’s reappointment, less than 20 years ago.

“When asked to explain how his committee could unanimously approve a judge with no public discussion whatsoever, the chair of Judiciary Committee, Sen. David Burns (R-Washington), responded that, “it is unfortunate that some individuals and legislators have tried to impugn the integrity of the committee members.”

Senator David Burns was a member of the Judiciary Committee when former A.G. William Schneider was appointed to judgeship by Governor Paul LePage. Review “A System In Crisis” and you can come to your own conclusions as to the “criteria” used for confirmation of judges.
View HERE.  (Opposition to nomination begins at 46:14)

Phil Merletti Commentary on “A System In Crisis” – Judicial Confirmation Hearing of William J. Schneider, click here.

Related:

BDN reports “Maine Judiciary Committee Delays Reappointment Of Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz.”

“Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz was appointed to the District Court bench in January 2008 by Gov. John Baldacci after work as a prosecutor with the York County district attorney’s office. Gov. Paul LePage renominated Moskowitz to the bench last month along with eight of his colleagues.”

BDN reports ” A vote by the Judiciary Committee on the reappointment of the Maine judge was delayed Thursday until next week. Sen. David Burns, R-Whiting, chairman of the committee, said the delay would give District Court Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz and committee members an opportunity to read written testimony submitted before the hearing.

Burns said the committee would vote on Moskowitz’s renomination about 5 p.m. Tuesday.

More than half a dozen members of the legal community in Cumberland and York counties, including two district attorneys and a retired judge, spoke in favor of Moskowitz’s reappointment.

Moskowitz told the committee he wanted to keep his job.

“Like all people, I make mistakes,” he said. “You are all aware of my error issuing a controversial order. I sincerely regretted making that mistake. But I view my mistakes as a clear opportunity to learn and improve.”

Joshua Tardy, a Newport lawyer and former Republican legislator who is chairman of the governor’s judicial advisory committee, which vets judicial nominees, said the committee took concerns expressed about how Moskowitz handles family cases seriously.

“The committee felt an obligation to determine the veracity of the complaints about Judge Moskowitz,” Tardy told the committee. “I assure you that they have been taken seriously, and we have done our due diligence. We did not make a quick decision, but it was an easy decision once we had information.”

Moskowitz also was endorsed by the Maine State Bar Association and the Maine Trial Lawyers Association. The presidents of both organizations said they sought out members to ask about their experiences before Moskowitz and he was praised resoundingly.

Widespread reports from informants whom we know well have experienced in his court a repeated pattern of rudeness and disrespect, failure to follow the law.

The last time the committee rejected a nomination was in the late 1980s, according to Rep. Barry Hobbins, D-Saco, who has been a member of the Legislature since the 1970s.”

Read more HERE.

MPBN reports “Michael Welch, president of the Maine Trial Lawyers Association, said “We all make mistakes. How do you deal with it?” His organization endorsed Moskowitz’s reappointment because of his outstanding abilities as a judge.”

State Sen. David Dutremble, a Biddeford Democrat, says he had been approached by a number of people with complaints about Moskowitz and got no assistance from the Administrative Office of the Courts or the governor’s office when he tried to investigate those complaints. Dutremble was critical of the politics involved in judicial appointments.

“Attempts to escape politics inevitably result in heeding the advice of a narrow group of decision makers that express the opinions of special interests of segments. In Maine, the segment that votes on the judge is the bar – especially those members who are actively political within the bar,” Dutremble said. “The public and the ‘pro se’ users are excluded from the process.”

Read more HERE.

PPH reports “Attorney Joshua Tardy, who is chairman of Gov. Paul LePage’s Judicial Selection Committee, said his group conducted a thorough review before deciding to recommend Moskowitz.

“It was not a quick decision to be blunt, but it was an easy decision after all the deliberation. Judge Moskowitz is truly deserving of nomination,” Tardy said. “Our committee has received wide spread consensus and feedback that he is fair, that he is smart. He is honest. He is efficient.”

Other attorneys who spoke in favor of Moskowitz included David Levesque, president of the Maine State Bar Association; Robert Ruffner; Michael Welch, president of the Maine Trial Lawyers Association; Judy Potter; Kenneth Altshuler; Cumberland County District Attorney Stephanie Anderson; York County District Attorney Kathryn Slattery, Gerald Conley; Kristine Hanly; Diane Dusini; Robert Crowley, a retired judge; ; Ardith Keef and JohnWebb.

Notably, attorney Matthew Nichols, Webb’s law partner at Nichols and Webb, wrote a contradictory letter to the Judiciary Committee in which he said Moskowitz is “not a good judge.”

“If I had only my bad experiences with Judge Moskowitz, I would likely not be writing to you. But my own experiences have been echoed by countless other attorneys ranging from criminal defense lawyers, prosecutors, litigants and family law attorneys alike,” Nichols wrote in a letter dated May 4. “

The chairman of the committee, Sen. David Burns, R-Washington, on Thursday strictly enforced a three-minute time limit for testimony of Moskowitz’s opponents. But Burns allowed many attorneys in favor of Moskowitz to speak much longer.

Jerome Collins, who organizes an advocacy group called Maine Guardian Ad Litem Alerts, said he surveyed many citizens, as the Maine Bar Association, surveyed lawyers. He said citizens who appeared before Moskowitz who wanted to talk about him were those who felt wronged. He said that’s the opposite of lawyers who mostly only wanted to speak if they had something complimentary to say about the judge.

“What you really need is a legislative audit of the court to get the answer of what’s really going on. You need to conduct an in depth audit,” Collins said.

Other opponents who spoke against Moskowitz were Sen. David Dutremble, D-Biddeford; Falmouth activist Michael Doyle and Scarborough resident Robert Baizley.

None of the committee members asked Moskowitz any questions at the hearing.”

Moskowitz’s only supporter who was not a lawyer was Sen. Linda Valentino, D-Saco, who described herself as friends with Moskowitz.

Read more HERE.

CHANNEL 8 news report on Judge Moskowitz, view HERE.
A mistake? He’s sorry? Sorry doesn’t cut it!

Judge Moskowitz Finally Gets Caught By Someone Other Than FTM Running His Kangaroo Courtroom, click here.

Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz Apologized And Acknowledged That His Order Was Not Lawful, click here.

Judicial Confirmation Hearing – Judge Jeffrey H. Moskowitz Thursday, May 07, 2015, click here.

Maine Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz Comes Under Review At Public Forum, click here.

Public Exposure Moves Maine’s Attorney General Janet Mills,click here.

PPH Reporter Scott Dolan Presented With Freedom Of Information Award For Challenging Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz’s Gag Order, click here.

Judge Donald Marden’s Cabbage Is Shredded, click here.

Have You Been Harmed By Maine’s Judicial System? Click here.

IS THIS WHAT YOU WANT ON THE BENCH?

Maine Governor Paul LePage Makes Bid To Let Governor Pick Attorney General, Treasurer

BDN reports “Gov. Paul LePage has made good on his pledge to propose fundamental changes in the way the state’s constitutional officers — the attorney general, treasurer and secretary of state — are selected.

It’s a real power grab, says House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe, a Democrat from Skowhegan. “This isn’t the governor proposing to change these positions from, you know, legislative vote to popular vote,” McCabe said. “This is the governor taking on offices that are statewide offices and putting them under his appointment structure and making them part of his Cabinet.”

Senate President Mike Thibodeau, a Republican from Winterport, said the three proposals should not be partisan and should be considered on the basis of what is best for the state in the future. He expects the bills will be sent to the State and Local Government Committee for public hearings.” Read more HERE.

COMMENTARY –

Courtesy of Lise from Maine

Originally, the Attorney General was nominated and appointed by the governor with the advise and consent of the Council (see Art. 5, Section 8 of the “original” Constitution of the State of Maine) and operated under the control of the Executive department. The Council was unlawfully abolished in 1976.

The tyrannical legislature proposed an amendment in 1855 to bring the Attorney General under the control of the legislature, and it was unlawfully passed by the electors. In other words, the tyrannical legislature “stole” the ability of the governor with his council to select their own “field” person.

Remember, it is the governor who executes the laws (see Art. 5, Sec. 12) and originally the Attorney General was a “commissioned” officer who went into the “terrain” called counties and attended all court sessions to make sure that the laws were faithfully executed for the governor and represented the State if the State was a party to a cause. The AG also instructed the County Attorney if the county was a party to a cause. County Attorneys were unlawfully abolished in 1973.

Today, the Attorney General operates unlawfully from the Department of the Attorney General (see Title 5, MRS, Chap. 9, Sec. 191). There is NO such thing as a Department of the Attorney General related to the constitution. The AG is also mentioned in Article IX, Section 11 of the “statutory” constitution.

In Title 5, MRS, Chap. 5, Sec. 81 the Secretary of State operates unlawfully from the Department of the Secretary of State of which again there is NO such thing as that department as it relates to the constitution. In the “statutory codified” constitution of 2013 it mentions the Secretary of State in Article V, Executive Power, Part Second. This is a “contradiction” pertaining to the Department of the Secretary of State who acts “independently” in it and having the Secretary located in the Executive Department. It defies common sense.

The Treasurer of State is mentioned in Title 5, MRS, Chap. 7, Sec. 121 and in Article V, Part Third of the said constitution.

All three (3) public officers belong in the Executive Department. Not so today except the Treasurer.

What is Title 5, MRS? It is Administrative Procedures and Services. What does this show? That the “state” is actually an “administrative” state ONLY; it is a “statutory” state ONLY. It is NOT a constitutional state at all.

In Article III of the constitution it mentions ONLY three (3) departments: Executive, Legislative and the Judicial. Where is the Department of the Attorney General mentioned? Where is the Department of Secretary of State mentioned?

They don’t exist anywhere in the constitution, and it is fraud and treason.

No one can abolish the office of the Secretary of State and replace the said office with a lieutenant governor. This is another piece of fraud and treason. LePage would commit fraud and treason if he proposed this.

I believe that House Majority leader Jeff McCabe is off the wall. This is NOT a power  grab as all three (3) public officers are supposed to operate from the Executive department to begin with.

Senate President Mike Thibodeau states: “The three proposals should not be partisan and should be considered on the basis of what is best for the state in the future (emphasis is mine).” Is this guy for real? Is he off the wall, too? Of course, he is. Why is that? It should NEVER be “what is best for the state…” Instead it should be “what is best for the people.”

Lastly, why is LePage attending a republican governor’s association meeting in another state? Each State is supposed to be free and independent but that is not the case today.

Related: Talkshoe Radio – Office of the Attorney General and the 1855 Amendment, click here.

Where Did The Original Constitutional State Go? by Maine Author Lise Dupont. Click here.

Published in: on May 21, 2015 at 9:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Talkshoe Radio – Maine State Bar Association…100 Years of Law & Justice (1891-1991) (Part 2)

Wednesday, March 18, 2015
9:00 PM EDT

Call in Number: (724) 444-7444
Call ID: 27398#

Click here to join in online.

Part 2 – Archived program, EPISODE 57, click here.

Part 1 – Archived program, EPISODE 56, click here.

*Note: The Maine Supreme Court issued their opinion in the Question of Law presented to the court by Gov. LePage….We started the program with the opinion and didn’t get into the 100 Years of Law and Justice which ties in to the opinion. We will continue part 2 next week.

OPINION OF THE JUSTICES

100 Years of Law & Justice (1891-1991),  click here.

1891 Act Incorporating Maine State Bar Association, click here.

Talkshoe Radio – Maine State Bar Association…100 Years of Law & Justice (1891-1991)

Wednesday, March 11, 2015
9:00 PM EDT

Call in Number: (724) 444-7444
Call ID: 27398#

Archived program, EPISODE 56, click here.

*Note: The Maine Supreme Court issued their opinion in the Question of Law presented to the court by Gov. LePage….We started the program with the opinion and didn’t get into the 100 Years of Law and Justice which ties in to the opinion. We will continue part 2 next week.

OPINION OF THE JUSTICES

Click here to join in online.

100 Years of Law & Justice (1891-1991),  click here.

1891 Act Incorporating Maine State Bar Association, click here.

When Maine Leads The Nation

Courtesy of For The People

“Child pornography is, unfortunately, quite an active past time for MANY governmental leaders and officials. So much so, that our illustrious governor, Paul LePage, felt the need to issue an executive order on February 20, 2015, prohibiting Maine state employees from accessing pornographic or sexually explicit material on both state computers or devices even when they were off-duty on personal time.

This executive order is the first of its kind in the USA. It is a very sad state of affairs when a governor of a state has to pass an order to his state workers directing them that they can’t use state property to watch (and thus participating in) the abuse of children! Not only are our state employees corrupt, but they are also so sick minded, that an official order must be given to protect our children from the very people who are supposed to be protecting them in the first place!

And the reason for Governor LePage’s executive order shows further the corruption in the offices of Maine’s state officials. He has been waging a public battle with Maine’s AG, Janet Mills (D). Our state is the only state in the country where the attorney general is neither elected by the general population nor appointed by the governor. Here, the AG is elected, solely, by the state representatives. This is a huge problem in that it enables and protects massive state-level corruption among state legislatures who are protected against prosecution for their crimes under “prosecutorial discretion” by the AG they elected to office.”  Read more HERE.

 

This begs the question “where is accountability?” No official will address this issue! They are concerned with their “political career.” 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 attorneys. The Governor can issue all the executive orders he wants, nothing will change without accountability…they are quick to prosecute, persecute innocent victims, but continue to shield their own.

Are you comfortable paying the salaries of these state employees? Would you get away with this at your place of employment?

The original Constitution of the State of Maine (1820) states in part in Article V, Part First, Executive Power, Section 8: “He [Governor] shall nominate, and, with the advice and consent of the Council, appoint all judicial officers, the Attorney General, the Sheriffs, Coroners, Registers of Probate and Notaries Public……….” Read more HERE, and listen HERE.

Listen to interview with Rep. Rick Long, click here.

Related:  Public Exposure Moves Maine’s Attorney General Janet Mills, click here.

Talkshoe Radio – Discussion On “Brief” Dispute Between Maine Governor Paul LePage and Attorney General Janet Mills…Oral Argument

Wednesday, March 4, 2015
9:00 PM EDT

Call in Number: (724) 444-7444
Call ID: 27398#

Archived program, EPISODE 55, click here.

Click here to join in online.

Related:  Talkshoe Radio – Discussion on Governor Paul LePages’s Request For Opinion of the Justices With Phil Merletti and Lise DuPont, Author of “Where Did The Original Constitutional State Go?” Click here.
Wednesday, February 4, 2015 broadcast, Archived program, EPISODE 51, click here.

Talkshoe Radio – Update on Article V Constitutional Convention Forum and “Brief” Dispute Between Maine Governor Paul LePage and Attorney General Janet Mills, click here.
Wednesday, February 25, 2015 broadcast, Archived program, EPISODE 54, click here.

The “Brief” Dispute Between Maine Governor Paul LePage and Attorney General Janet Mills, click here.

Talkshoe Radio – Update on Article V Constitutional Convention Forum and “Brief” Dispute Between Maine Governor Paul LePage and Attorney General Janet Mills

Wednesday, February 25, 2015
9:00 PM EDT

Call in Number: (724) 444-7444
Call ID: 27398#

Click here to join in online.

Archived program, EPISODE 54, click here.

 

Related:  Talkshoe Radio – Discussion on the Article V Constitutional Convention with Special Guest Deborah Stevenson, click here.

The “Brief” Dispute Between Maine Governor Paul LePage and Attorney General Janet Mills, click here.

Talkshoe Radio – Office of the Attorney General and the 1855 Amendment

Wednesday, February 18, 2015
9:00 PM EDT

Call in Number: (724) 444-7444
Call ID: 27398#

Archived program, EPISODE 53, click here.

Click here to join in online.

The “Brief” Dispute Between Maine Governor Paul LePage and Attorney General Janet Mills

State of Maine 1855 Amendment

The “Brief” Dispute Between Maine Governor Paul LePage and Attorney General Janet Mills

Talkshoe Radio (February 4, 2015) – Discussion on Governor Paul LePages’s Request For Opinion of the Justices With Phil Merletti and Lise DuPont, Author of “Where Did The Original Constitutional State Go?” Click here.

Attorney General Janet Mills Asks The Maine Supreme Judicial Court Not To Take Action On Governor Paul LePage’s Questions, click here.

Documents:

Recording of oral argument on February 26, 2015

OPINION OF THE JUSTICES

Attorney General Janet Mills Asks The Maine Supreme Judicial Court Not To Take Action On Governor Paul LePage’s Questions

PPH reports “The governor has asked the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to weigh in on whether he needs permission from Janet Mills to hire outside legal counsel in some cases.

Attorney General Janet Mills is asking the Maine Supreme Judicial Court to take no action on Gov. Paul LePage’s query last month on whether he must seek permission from Mills to hire outside legal counsel in cases where her office declines to defend the administration’s position.

Mills argued in papers filed Friday that the state’s highest court should find that LePage’s “request for opinion” sent on Jan. 23 does not meet the legal hurdle for the court to even consider it. She also argued that one question the governor posed has already been answered by the court in a 1989 ruling and that the other is overly hypothetical.

Lawyers for the governor, however, argued in their own brief filed Friday that LePage is asking serious questions that require an immediate answer. They argue that the court should find that a “solemn occasion” – the required legal hurdle for the justices to hear the questions – exists, and that LePage should be allowed freedom to hire outside lawyers as he chooses.

LePage’s letter to the court asking for intervention in his dispute with Mills marks the first significant effort in the Republican governor’s administration to strip power from the Democratic attorney general, who is elected by the Legislature as the state’s top legal officer.

The court plans to hear arguments on the governor’s request on Feb. 26. Friday was the deadline for the two sides and any other interested party to file briefs for the court to consider before oral arguments. The sides have until Feb. 13 to file additional responses.”

Read more HERE.

BDN reports” Attorney General Janet Mills says the Maine Supreme Judicial Court should ignore questions from Gov. Paul LePage about whether he must continue seeking her approval before hiring outside lawyers to represent the state.

If the attorney general refuses to represent the state in court, the state must obtain her permission to hire an outside attorney.

Mills argued in her brief that state law and previous Maine Supreme Judicial Court opinions make clear that the attorney general is responsible for approving outside counsel to represent any state agency.”

Read more HERE.

A.G. Mills “is responsible for approving outside counsel” and “the state must obtain her permission to hire an outside attorney.”

Peter Brann also filed a brief into this case. Brann was “Assistant Attorney General and then State Solicitor in the Attorney General’s Office between 1981 and 1999. Peter Brann now a partner at Brann & Isaacson, which has been hired as outside counsel on behalf of the State, with the Attorney General’s written approval, in a number of matters.”

Brann states in his brief “Moreover, the Attorney General and his staff are not the equivalent of a private law firm.”

They get around it…..sure has the appearance that the AG has a “private law firm” in its pocket.

Is the “fix” in? Does Peter Brann stand to gain financially with the status quo?

Related:  Talkshoe Radio – Discussion on Governor Paul LePages’s Request For Opinion of the Justices With Phil Merletti and Lise DuPont, Author of “Where Did The Original Constitutional State Go?” Click here.

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