Monday, January 26, 2015

Sheldon Silver, Arrested For Corruption, Still Makes a Deal Assembly Democrats Cannot Refuse

Errol Louis

Sheldon Silver’s army of enablers 

Excuses and more excuses from Assembly Democrats

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
 
Monday, January 26, 2015, 6:53 PM

LINK

Far more alarming than the evidence of dedicated, long-term sneak-thievery by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is the haplessness of his liberal Democratic enablers — and their inability over many years to denounce shifty, unprincipled behavior even when a loud chorus of public voices has done just that.

Nearly all of state’s editorials boards are crystal clear: Strong calls for Silver’s resignation have been voiced by the News, along with the city’s other major dailies, the Staten Island Advance and papers in Buffalo, Syracuse and Rochester. In public opinion polls dating back to 2013, a majority of New Yorkers have said they’d like to see Silver gone.

And that was before his arrest.

But to their lasting shame, many of those who claim the mantle of political leadership have lost their political and ethical bearings, stumbling and grasping in every direction except the right and obvious one: not only deposing Silver as speaker but also swiftly enacting reforms to prevent any repeat of the shame that engulfs the capital.

I recently asked one longtime assemblyman what he thought of the 35-page criminal complaint filed against Silver, which is replete with detailed, credible allegations of extortion and bribery gathered and sworn to by the FBI. We all know that Silver is innocent until proven otherwise, I said; but don’t the accusations bother you?

“I'm not a legal expert,” said the pol, who has spent more than a decade writing laws for the rest of us to follow.

That sad cop-out was scarcely better than the comment from Assemblyman David Weprin of Queens — the son of former Speaker Saul Weprin — who might not have actually read the complaint before offering a novel theory. “In my opinion, it seems to be a financial disclosure mistake,” he told a newspaper.

Give Assemblyman Dick Gottfried of Manhattan credit for at least reading the charges before reaching an equally preposterous conclusion. “I’ve read the complaint,” Gottfried said to City and State newspaper. “To me, it’s distressing that in this country you can end up in handcuffs based on these kinds of flimsy, unsubstantiated allegations.”

Gottfried hinted that Silver is the victim of an unspecified conspiracy. “Many of us, based on decades of political observation, think not only Speaker Silver, but his predecessors, are often easy targets because they challenge entrenched power in New York, whether it’s entrenched economic power or political power,” he added.

Keep in mind that Gottfried and Weprin are concocting defenses that neither Silver nor his attorneys have offered. Silver never claimed to make a “financial disclosure mistake” in explaining why a law firm paid him $3.8 million in referral fees.

Whenever asked about it over the years, the speaker claimed he represented simple folk who needed legal help from time to time — which, according to the U.S. attorney, was a brazen lie; investigators combed a decade’s worth of cases and could find exactly one person represented by Silver.

As for challenging entrenched power: It hardly needs mentioning that Silver is only one year shy of becoming the longest-serving Assembly speaker in New York history, and that he has, from his lofty perch as one of the famed “three men in a room” who negotiate state budgets, personally overseen passage of well over $1 trillion in spending.

Gottfried’s insinuations echo the fanciful notion — put forth by statements of support from the Working Families Party and Mayor de Blasio — that Silver is so indispensable to the protection and advancement of liberal political causes that left-leaning New York simply cannot do without his leadership.

Nonsense. As the old saying goes: The graveyards are full of indispensable people.

More to the point, Silver’s liberal armor has some noteworthy dents. He appears to have worked to keep a 30-acre site, the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, undeveloped for half a century, after more than 1,000 low-income families, mostly Latino, had been removed.

As a New York Times investigation concluded, actually building long-promised affordable housing on the site “would have altered the demographics of the neighborhood and put Mr. Silver’s political base in question.” So he stalled it.

And there's the infamous deal in which Silver killed the commuter tax in pursuit of a minor political win upstate. Since the 1999 repeal, New York City has lost an estimated $10.6 billion — money that would come in handy to fund public schools and other programs cherished by his liberal supporters.

If ever there was a time to call your local Assembly member and sound off, this is it. They badly need to hear some voices outside the bubble of Albany, where cowardice and confusion reign.

Louis is political anchor at NY1 News.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New Jersey RICO cases Will Name Chris Christie as a Defendant

 I hope this starts a radical overhaul of family courts around the country. I had a matter in the Manhattan Surrogate's Court which led to my heart almost failing on July 22, 2006. As I did not die (obviously), I decided I would help anyone fight the RICO in ALL the Courts.
Convicted Late Senator Guy Velella
RICO in the New York State Unified Court System: How the Courts Steal Your Property, Your Children, and Try To Destroy Your Life...And How You Can Stop Them

Betsy Combier

Chris Christie named in two lawsuits alleging violations by Family Courts

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie

Chris Christie has been named as a defendant in two cases that are part of series of lawsuits across the country where serious concerns about violations of citizens’  rights in family courts are under scrutiny.
CALIFORNIA
An upcoming civil RICO lawsuit to be filed on behalf of the watchdog group Family Court Accountability Coalition (FCAC) will allege that a feeder system created by the Sacramento County Bar Association Family Law Division, in conjunction with several powerful judges, creates a racket which chooses favored divorce lawyers and makes sure those lawyers get favorable rulings in Sacramento County family court rooms.
In 1991, Judges Vance Raye and Peter McBrien, formed the Family Law Executive Committee (FLEC) to help deal with family law cases in Sacramento County family courts. This FLEC would be a group of lawyers, according to the upcoming suit, chosen by the Sacramento County Bar Association’s family law division which would act as judge pro temp on certain family law cases and in exchange, the suit will allege, the lawyers chosen for this task would be given favorable rulings, deserved or not, when they appeared in divorce court in their regular roles.
One of the most high profile case examples of this scheme which will be featured in the suit is that of Ulf Carlsson who appeared in front of Judge McBrien and whose story received significant media attention culminating with a lengthy feature in the documentary Divorce Corp.
Carlsson told RebelPundit his judge was McBrien and that not only did he lose every single motion and hearing in his divorce but the judge awarded his ex-wife all their marital assets.
About five years ago, an appeals court reversed the decision but only because during one hearing the judge simply left the court room while Carlsson’s side was presenting their case, a blatant violation of due process.
Carlsson said while everyone told him the decisions themselves were egregious, the appellate court didn’t have the power to overturn them and only overturned his case on due process violations.
Carlsson said he was forced to move back to Sweden, where he was born, after thirty years in the USA and receiving multiple “credible threats” on his life.
Carlsson said he’s developed PTSD as a result of the corrupt court process.
NEW JERSEY
In New Jersey two concurrent RICO lawsuits will allege systemic bias against women in two counties of that state and Governor Chris Christie will be a named defendant in both cases.
First, in Bergen County a lawsuit led by Karin Wolf, including more than forty women, will allege that courts ignore abuse on a widespread basis–be it sexual, physical, verbal, or emotional–and instead label women making these allegations as parental alienators or as having a variety of mental illnesses or defects.
Wolf told RebelPundit that the purpose of these false diagnoses is to goad protective mothers like herself to fight false allegations in court, creating a perpetual legal process and a plethora of legal fees.
Wolf’s lawsuit will allege that Christie has culpability because he appointed a number of the judges implicated and because he’s been made aware of the widespread abuse but failed to act.
Kevin Roberts, Governor Christie’s Press Secretary, directed all calls to the state’s Attorney General’s (AG) office, which declined comment.
In nearby Monmouth County, another lawsuit, led by Rachel Alintoff will include seven women in total–five of whom spoke with RebelPundit. Alintoff was featured in a 2012 New York Post article in which nine women made allegations of gender bias against Monmouth County Family Court Judge, Paul Escandon. Judge Escandon will be a named defendant in the upcoming lawsuit and his office declined to comment when reached by phone.
In each case the women described a phenomenon psychologists refer to as Gaslighting, based on a 1944 film which won an Academy Award for Ingrid Bergman.
Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer
 Gaslighting is “a form of mental abuse where information is twisted/spun, selectively omitted to favor the abuser, or false information is presented with the intent of making victims doubt their own memory, perception and sanity.”
Karen Welch told RebelPundit that starting in 1997 and continuing until 2010, she was stalked by an individual associated with her ex-husband. The court, rather than accepting her allegations, said she was making it up because of a mental illness.
In Alintoff’s case, she was diagnosed by the court-appointed psychologist, Dr. Patricia Baszczuk, with “cyclical outbursts” disorder, a disorder which appears to have been coined by Basczcuk and has never been used widely. This so-called diagnosis was used to take custody Alintoff’s son away from her.
Alintoff said that Dr. Baszczuk will be a named defendant and she didn’t respond to an email for comment. Alintoff said she had a one-on-one meeting with Governor Christie about a year ago–about her case–in which Christie promised to examine her case personally; Christie’s Press Secretary Roberts didn’t respond for comment on this meeting.
Wolf and Alintoff told RebelPundit they have also both spoken with the FBI.
All of the women interviewed for both New Jersey lawsuits said they believe they suffered from PTSD as a result of their experience.
Susan Skipp, whose story was featured in a previous RebelPundit expose, is the only litigant not to file a RICO suit. She told RebelPundit that based on her research of precedent she didn’t believe it was feasible to prove RICO, and instead filed a civil suit, which alleges civil rights and Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) violations and is seeking $300 million in damages.
Skipp, who has been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which she developed as a result of the stress of the legal process, said rather than having those ailments be accepted and receive accommodations, the judge in her case, Lynda Munro, and the Guardian ad Litem, Mary Brigham, accused her in open court of having an unspecified and untreated mental illness.
“The defendant testified that she looked forward to this counseling. If the court takes her at her word then she cannot help herself in her conduct and this is an unaddressed mental health concern,” Judge Munro said of Skipp during one court hearing.
Rather than allowing her to continue treatment with her own therapist, Skipp said that Judge Munro told her that if she saw a psychologist of Munro’s choosing–at a cost of about $3,000 monthly–she’d be allowed to see her children for a few hours a month.
“This is a common scam,” Skipp told RebelPundit, “Order litigant to buddy, buddy gets 175 a week or more- can’t claim on insurance because no diagnosis.” Skipp said, “(It) goes on for years because it’s an order, and also violates ADA law because a person has a right to have a trusting relationship with her therapist.”
Skipp hasn’t seen her children since the end of 2012.
Judge Munro, who retired from the bench in 2014, didn’t respond to an email at her current employer, the Pullman and Comley Law Firm. Ms. Brigham also didn’t respond to an email for comment.
CONNECTICUT AND PENNSYLVANIA
The allegations made by Alintoff and Wolf are similar to an expose in 2012 by Keith Harmon Snow, that included Susan Skipp’s case in which he alleged that Connecticut family courts painted mothers as crazy in an attempt to feed children into a pedophile ring; Snow believes his expose also uncovered a criminal enterprise:
The family court system in Connecticut, as around the country, involves multiple corrupt organizations where profit motives and personal connections dictate how and why decisions are made, and these are decisions that have altered and ruined the lives of many families, esp. many children in custody cases. A racket is ‘a service that is fraudulently offered to solve a problem, such as for a problem that does not actually exist, that will not be put into effect, or that would not otherwise exist if the racket were not to exist’ and this is exactly the case with court-related organizations such as Department of Children and Families; National Council of Children’s Rights; the court-sanctioned institution of Guardian Ad Litemand all its related training offices.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is Arrested For Corruption

Now it's time for Andrew Cuomo, too.
Sheldon Silver

Sheldon Silver, Speaker of New York Assembly, Is Arrested in Corruption Case
LINK
The powerful speaker of the New York State Assembly, Sheldon Silver, was arrested on federal corruption charges on Thursday, sending shock waves through the political establishment and upending the new legislative session.
 
Mr. Silver, a Democrat from the Lower East Side of Manhattan who has served as speaker for more than two decades, surrendered to F.B.I. agents early Thursday morning in Lower Manhattan.
Mr. Silver, before entering 26 Federal Plaza, said, “I hope I’ll be vindicated.”
The investigation of Mr. Silver began after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in March abruptly shut down an anticorruption commission he had created in 2013.
The federal inquiry, led by the United States Attorney for the Southern District, focused on payments that Mr. Silver received from a small law firm that specializes in seeking reductions of New York City real estate taxes.

READ MORE »

 

Sheldon Silver to be arrested

Sheldon Silver, the longtime speaker of the New York state Assembly, is expected to be arrested on corruption charges by federal authorities on Thursday after prosecutors subpoenaed records in a probe of undocumented payments he received from a law firm, sources said.
Silver, a Manhattan Democrat who has served as speaker for more than 20 years, is expected to be charged following an investigation sparked when Gov. Cuomo abruptly shut down an anticorruption commission he had created in 2013, sources said.
The specific details of the charges were not clear, but sources said that it was related to money Silver received from a small real-estate tax law firm.
The firm, Goldberg & Iryami PC, made the payments over about a decade, but Silver failed to list the income on his financial-disclosure forms, sources told The Post.
As speaker, Silver controls which legislation can be voted on, and has broad powers over the state budget.
Silver, 70, has been criticized by opponents for wielding too much power, and has been ensnared in controversy.
The FBI and prosecutors from Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara’s office began an investigation into the undisclosed money in December.
The prosecutors were looking into exactly what Silver did to earn the money, sources told The Post in December.
The probe came after an investigation by Cuomo’s Moreland Commission panel, which was looking into corruption in Albany when the governor shut it down.
One of the issues that the panel was looking into was how state lawmakers earn income from their non-government jobs.
Silver is a personal-injury lawyer associated with the high-profile law firm Weitz and Luxenberg.
Goldberg & Iryami specializes in an arcane form of law known as “tax certiorari,’’according to the New York Times.
That involves challenging real-estate tax assessments and seeking reductions for developers who own residential or commercial property.
The firm appears to have only two lawyers, according to the Times.
The newspaper said, that since 2001, the firm and its principals have made six donations to Silver, totaling $7,600.
The most recent was in February, when it gave him $1,800, according to the report.
The Times added that the law firm has sought tax reductions for many properties on the Lower East Side, which is the area Silver represents.
In addition the financial controversies, Silver also became entangled in the Vito Lopez sex-harassment case when it became public that the speaker had hired two firms to defend the disgraced former assemblyman, spending nearly $700,000 in public funds.
Silver — who could not be reached for comment early Thursday — was nearly ousted as Assembly speaker by his fellow Democrats in 2000, when they unexpectedly challenged his leadership position. The coup failed.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Jonathan Turley: Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz is Sued For Defamation in the Epstein "Sex Slaves" Scandal

Dershowitz Threatens To Sue Victim’s Attorneys For Defamation . . . Attorneys Respond By Suing Him First

image.hml
Paul Cassell
 
AlanDershowitz2
Alan Dershowitz

We previously discussed the threat of retired Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz to sue Utah Law Professor and former federal judge Paul Cassell (and his co-counsel Bradley Edwards) for defamation for papers mentioning him in revelation to the sex trafficking scandal of Florida financier Jeffrey Epstein. The lawyers sought unsuccessfully to depose Dershowitz who has been accused of being one of the men who were given underaged girls to sleep with by Epstein. At the time, I wrote that Dershowitz’s statements themselves could be viewed as defamatory and actionable. It appears that Cassell and Edwards were thinking the same thing. They have now sued Dershowitz for defamation.

Dershowitz also made a rare threat of a bar complaint over his representation of a client in the notorious case of billionaire and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. Even more rare is the source of the threatened complaint: retired law professor Alan Dershowitz of the Harvard Law School. Epstein is good friends with Bill Clinton and Duke of York Prince Andrew, 54, who have been mentioned in litigation over allegations of the use of underaged “sex slaves” and Epstein’s alleged penchant for watching (and filming) people having sex with these girls.

Dershowitz says that the sex claims are a “completely, totally fabricated, made-up story” and that he is an “innocent victim of an extortion conspiracy.” I noted that the reference to extortion itself could be viewed as defamatory since it makes the lawyers active participants in such extortion and any such statements made in public would be unprotected by privilege governing statements in court.

Cassell and Edwards however did not respond in kind and said that they would confine their statements to court filings “out of respect for the court’s desire to keep this case from being litigated in the press.” They noted however that they have “tried to depose Mr. Dershowitz on these subjects, although he has avoided those deposition requests. Nevertheless, we would be pleased to consider any sworn testimony and documentary evidence Mr. Dershowitz would like to provide which he contends would refute any of our allegations.”

As I mentioned, it is hard to see how it is a disbarring offense or defamation for these attorneys to reference the allegations of their client in court papers, particularly given the immunity protection afforded from allegations in court. However, in addition to the extortion reference, Dershowitz said “I’m planning to file disbarment charges against the two lawyers who signed this petition without even checking the manifests of airplanes or travel itineraries, et cetera.” Thus, he has made public comments (outside of protected court statements) linking the lawyers to extortion and unprofessional conduct, both per se categories of defamation. He is also quoted as calling Cassell and Edwards “sleazy, unprofessional, unethical lawyers” who should have known that their client is “lying through her teeth.” Once again, the reference to being “unethical” can be alleged to be more than opinion. It is stating something that can be challenged as factually false and per se defamatory.
Jeffrey_Epstein_at_Harvard_UniversityDershowitz claims to be “thrilled” by the lawsuit but I would be less excited.
It would have been better to try to sue for an out-of-court statement for defamation in his own
right. After all, Dershowitz is insisting that he only went to Epstein’s island home once and was
with his family the whole time. That is the type of claim that makes for a serious defamation
action if the flight manifests and other documents support him.
Jane Doe #3 alleges that Epstein ordered her to have “sexual relations” with Mr. Dershowitz on
the businessman’s private plane and on his private Caribbean island. However, she also says
that she was ordered to have sex with Dershowitz at Epstein’s homes in New York City and Palm
Beach.
Now, instead of fighting of the stronger ground of his own claimed innocence, he will have to
defend against raw and frankly ill-considered statements about counsel for the accuser. Moreover, Cassell and Edwards will go get what they long sought: Dershowitz in deposition under oath.
As expected the complaint (below) zeros in on out-of-court (and unprotected) statements,
particularly in a CNN interview. Notably, the complaint takes a minimalist approach and does
not go into detail on the specific statements. While many lawyers prefer to state the minimum,
this is a bit more of a bare bones complaint than most would file in this type of case. The
complaint references the public comments generally as part of Dershowitz’s “a massive public
media assault on the reputation and character” of counsel.”
A review of the CNN interview shows a target rich environment for a defamation action
against Dershowitz. Indeed, I may be playing this interview in this year’s torts class on both
attorney privilege and per se defamation. Here are some highlights (the highlights are my own:

 
Well, Dershowitz has the “legal forum” that he was seeking, but he will be on defense. There is a material difference in how you attacks such statements and I think this is not the ideal context for Dershowitz. However, it is likely to get rougher before it gets better. Dershowitz will likely feel obligated to follow through with a bar complaint, creating a three-front battle between the original civil action, the new civil action, and the bar action.
Both Cassell and Dershowitz would be considered public figures under New York Times v.
Sullivan. Public officials are placed under a higher standard for defamation in the case: requiring
a showing of actual malice or knowing disregard of the truth. This constitutional-based standard
is designed to protect free speech, particularly when directed against powerful politicians. Of
course, these people are not public figures in the United States and some do not hold public
offices. However, the same standard applies to public figures.

The public figure standard was established in Curtis Publishing v. Butts (1967). The case involved
a March 23, 1963 edition of The Saturday Evening Post alleging that former University of Georgia football coach Wallace Butts conspired with University of Alabama coach Paul “Bear” Bryant to
fix a 1962 football game in Alabama’s favor. In a 5-4 decision, Chief Justice Warren wrote a concurrence that extended the ruling in New York Times v. Sullivan on public officials to public figures. He found the same reasons for applying the higher standard to public officials as present
in cases involving public figures:
 
Indeed, the case is filled with public figures and one (Epstein) who could be viewed as so
notorious and sleazy as to be “libel proof” — or someone who has no reputation to lose.
Ironically, Bill (and by extension Hillary) Clinton and Prince Andrew are likely the least thrilled by the new development. These actions mean more depositions and more investigation when they thought that the generous immunity deal had effectively tied off or limited their exposure in this case.
Here is the defamation lawsuit.

Bill Clinton identified in lawsuit against his former friend and pedophile Jeffrey Epstein who had 'regular' orgies at his Caribbean compound that the former president visited
multiple times
LINK

Jeffrey Epstein

  • The former president was friends with Jeffrey Epstein, a financier who was arrested in 2008 for soliciting underage prostitutes
  • A new lawsuit has revealed how Clinton took multiple trips to Epstein's private island where he 'kept young women as sex slaves'
  • Clinton was also apparently friends with a woman who collected naked pictures of underage girls for Epstein to choose from
  • He hasn't cut ties with that woman, however, and invited her to Chelsea's wedding
  • Comes as friends now fear that if Hillary Clinton runs for president in 2016, all of their family's old scandals will be brought to the forefront
  • Epstein has a host of famous friends including Prince Andrew who stayed at his New York mansion AFTER his arrest
A new lawsuit has revealed the extent of former President Clinton's friendship with a fundraiser who was later jailed for having sex with an underage prostitute. Bill Clinton's relationship with Jeffrey Epstein, who served time in 2008 for his illegal sexual partners, included up multiple trips to the onetime billionaire's private island in the Caribbean where underage girls were allegedly kept as sex slaves.
The National Enquirer has released new details about the two men's friendship, which seems to have ended abruptly around the time of Epstein's arrest.
Tales of orgies and young girls being shipped to the island, called Little St. James, have been revealed as part of an ongoing lawsuit between Epstein and his former lawyers Scott Rothstein and Bradley Edwards.
It is unclear what the basis of the suit is, but they go on to call witness testimony from some of the frequent guests at Epstein's island to talk about the wild parties that were held there in the early 2000s.  Flight logs pinpoint Clinton's trips on Epstein's jet between the years 2002 and 2005, while he was working on his philanthropic post-presidential career and while his wife Hillary was a Senator for their adopted state of New York.
'I remember asking Jeffrey what's Bill Clinton doing here kind fo thing, and he laughed it off and said well he owes me a favor,' one unidentified woman said in the lawsuit, which was filed in Palm Beach Circuit Court.
The woman went on to say how orgies were a regular occurrence and she recalled two young girls from New York who were always seen around the five-house compound but their personal backstories were never revealed.
At least one woman on the compound was there unwillingly, as the suit identifies a woman as Jane Doe 102.
She 'was forced to live as one of Epstein's underage sex slaves for years and was forced to have sex with... politicians, businessmen, royalty, academicians, etc,' the lawsuit says according to The Enquirer.
Epstein's sexual exploits have been documented since 2005, when a woman in Palm Beach contacted police saying that her 14-year-old daughter had been paid $300 to massage him and then have sex.
The claim prompted a nearly year-long investigation that led to the eventual charge of soliciting prostitution which came as part of a plea deal. He spent 13 months of a 18-month sentence in jail and remains a registered sex offender.