Monday, February 2, 2015

Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Shlomo Hagler Sued By Board of Bialystoker Synagogue (2013)

Is Shlomo Hagler related to Sheldon Silver?

Is he double-dipping?

Betsy Combier

Manhattan Supreme Court Judge Shlomo Hagler
‘Lot’ of anger: Landmark temple sues over property
A Manhattan judge was slapped with a $25 million lawsuit for his role in the potential sale of lucrative property adjoining a landmark institution once run by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
Bialystoker Synagogue

Fellow board members of the Bialystoker Synagogue are suing their president, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Shlomo Hagler, over a dispute involving an ­L-shaped lot at Delancey Street and Bialystoker Place and that’s been owned by the orthodox congregation since 1987.

In the suit, Baruch Singer and Lenny Greher claim that Hagler, the synagogue’s rabbi, Zvi Romm, and the chairman of its housing fund are barred from selling the property at 15-17 Bialystoker Place based on an April 2012 ruling by a Brooklyn rabbinical court.

A source close to the litigation told The Post the suit comes after the synagogue sold off a 127-unit ­affordable-housing building it owns on an adjacent lot for $28 million in January.

The orthodox congregation, housed in a 1826 fieldstone building that’s on the National Register of Historic Places, is primarily made up of Polish immigrants. It’s rumored that the building was a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Hagler took over as president when Sheldon resigned in 2010 following a rift in the congregation over women joining the leadership ranks.

Hagler declined to comment. The other defendants did not return calls for comment

Sheldon Silver, Manhattan Supreme Court Judges Shlomo Hagler and Martin Shulman: What is Going On With These Three?

That Sheldon Silver has control over NYC courts is nothing new. Is ManhattanSupreme Court Judge Shlomo Hagler a close relative of Silver?

Just askin'

Betsy Combier

Landlords have cases before Silver-linked judge

Sheldon Silver
Two Lower East Side landlords with ties to outgoing Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver have property-tax cases pending before a judge who owes his career to the disgraced Manhattan Democrat, The Post has learned.
Mark Miller and Sion Misrahi are also being represented by the law firm that allegedly funneled at least $700,000 to Silver in illegal kickbacks in a long-running corruption scheme, records show.
The judge presiding over their assessment challenges, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Martin Shulman, is a lifelong pal of Silver. He and Silver live in the same Grand Street building and pray at the same nearby synagogue.
“They’re friends who grew up together. Shelly pushed Shulman through to be a Supreme Court judge,” a judicial insider said.
Shulman also sits on a prestigious appeals court, the Manhattan Appellate Term. He was recommended to the court by a screening committee whose members include a Silver appointee.
Shulman is the lone judge in Manhattan who handles “tax certiorari” cases, in which owners challenge the official value of their real-estate holdings, which is used to calculate tax bills.
Feds say Silver illegally pocketed at least $700,000 in sham “referral fees” by steering business from two leading developers to a law firm specializing in tax-certiorari cases and founded by Silver’s former Assembly counsel.
Silver never listed the payments on disclosure forms, the feds say.
The law firm, identified by sources as Goldberg & Iryami, has 17 cases pending before Shulman, including three on behalf of Miller and Misrahi.
Miller, owner of the Miller Manhattan Property Group and the Mark Miller Gallery, is the second vice chair and former president of the Lower East Side Business Improvement District, which Silver showered with more than $450,000 in public money between 2003 and 2010, state records show.
The funding stopped when Gov. Cuomo began vetoing pork-barrel spending by Albany lawmakers.
When Miller stepped down as the business-improvement district’s president in 2013, Silver presented him with a plaque and an iPad.
He is challenging the $578,000 assessment on his six-story rental building at 256 Broome St.
Misrahi, also a business improvement district member, donated $300 to Silver in 2011 through his Brownstone Management Corp., campaign-finance records show.
He is contesting the $513,000 assessment on an 18-unit building at 188 Orchard St., as well as a $200,000 hike on another property at 11 Essex St.
Shulman didn’t return a request for comment, but court-system spokesman David Bookstaver said the relationship between Shulman and Silver didn’t create a conflict of interest.
“Because someone belongs to the same congregation, it would be far-fetched to say that would be a reason to recuse oneself from the case,” Bookstaver said.
Miller and Misrahi didn’t return messages seeking comment.
Manhattan Supreme Court, 60 Centre Street

Mehulic v. New York Downtown Hospital Index No.103297-2008

October 27, 2014, at 10 AM. The courtroom of Justice Shlomo S. Hagler (Part 17) in Court

Room 335 at 60 Centre Street, New York, NY 10007.

o I am a physician whistleblower who objected to improper and dangerous medical care that I observed at the labor and delivery department of the New York Downtown Hospital in 2007-2008. Many young mothers and babies died or were severely injured due to negligent care.

o After my multiple objections seeking to stop this negligence, I reported the whole matter several times to the New York Department of Health. Finally, on April 16, 2008, I received an email response from the DOH. That same day I was paged and told to go at once to the office of my boss, Allan Klapper, M.D. He threatened me that I would never practice medicine in this country again. Two days later I was fired by the hospital without explanation.

o Per my report , NBC News broke the story of a 16-year old teenager who was not pregnant but was given a caesarian section by these negligent doctors. Despite corrective measures that the hospital was supposed to implement, patients continued to die and in August of 2012 NBC News broke another story that 14 patients had unexpectedly died at the hospital and that an additional 40,000 medical mistakes made by hospital doctors were reported to the Department of Health and that the DOH was keeping these egregious cases of malpractice secret. In 2012 the hospital ended up with a deficiency of $40 Million. By July 1, 2013, the hospital closed both residency training programs (OBGYN and Internal Medicine) and its financial district and was acquired by the New York Presbyterian Hospital. The Government granted $125 million for the hospital’s reconstruction in 2013.

o I became aware of a long-term friendship and political alliance between Judge Hagler and Sheldon Silver, a member of the advisory board of the hospital and the Assembly Speaker of New York State. Judge Hagler is known as the surrogate son of Sheldon Silver. Moreover, Sheldon has received election contributions from the very same law firm that is representing the hospital in my case (Epstein, Becker &Green, P.C.).

o I also did not have knowledge that Judge Hagler’s brother Mendel Hagler was CEO of Gouverneur Hospital and his close personal and business relationship with Sheldon Silver, and his close ties with New York Department of Health which is involved in this action.

o I was wrongfully fired and unemployed for a year and a half because of the hospital’s slander and misinformation that it was spreading in a vendetta against me. In 2009 the hospital’s actions forced me to change my profession from Obstetrics and Gynecology to Family Medicine. I completed the Family Medicine Residency at the prestigious University of Southwestern Dallas, Texas, from July 1, 2009-June 30, 2012, with great success, awards and accolades.

o As soon as Judge Hagler took over 800 cases from Judge Goodman who retired (March 2012), my case was promptly heard on May 21, 2012. In every single hearing Judge Hagler has threatened me with sanctions and all my motions have been denied while all the defendant’s motions were wholehearted approved. I am the one who did the right thing and tried to protect patients; the hospital bosses are those who were negligent and reckless.

o There are numerous examples of the injustice I suffered in Judge Hagler’s court such as a revived confidentiality agreement that was made invalid ab initio by the prior judge. His actions also improperly placed my complete file under seal. He has unfairly placed me on a Temporary Restraining Order for more than two and a half years. Moreover, Judge Hagler disposed my case on February 6, 2014, and reactivated it only after my intervention. Judge Hagler denied my supplemental discovery which was essential to my case since the hospital closed their financial district and its residency programs. But at the same time per the opposing side’s demand, Hagler on three separate occasions ordered that the hospital could obtain my personnel file from the Tallahassee Memorial Hospital where I worked eight years ago without an issue. It was an unsuccessful fishing expedition on the part of my opponents to find something negative about me. Judge Hagler also ordered a third day of my deposition which is unheard of. I was grilled by the defendant’s counsels who tried to force me to admit to their false allegations.

o Such an amalgam of peculiar circumstances happened in my pending case and it cannot be explained by any reasonable person as anything else than rampant corruption, corruption that is preventing me, the whistleblower, and the public from obtaining justice. I had no choice other than to file a motion and demand Judge Hagler’s recusal since he never disclosed his relationships. His failure to act ethically by recusing himself has resulted in a grievous injustice.

o This is a true David v. Goliath story. Unfortunately as a whistleblower I do not have the legal right to have a jury trial at this time.

o If Hagler does not recuse himself he may stay as the trial judge. In that case, I will be crucified and the former hospital bosses who are responsible for criminal activities will come to the trial to feed him with lies and help him destroy my case.

o All public efforts to support justice are highly appreciated!


Dr. Sue Mehulic, M.D.

Sheldon Silver's Profile Has People On Both Sides.

Sheldon Silver
Sheldon Silver's wife Rosa was a public school teacher.

She did not teach, according to my sources. But she received a salary.

What's up with that, Preet?

Betsy Combier

Sheldon Silver: The man Upstaters love to hate


Michelle Breidenbach | mbreidenbach@syracuse.comBy Michelle Breidenbach | 
Email the author | Follow on Twitter 
on January 22, 2015 at 7:36 AM, updated January 22, 2015 at 8:05 AM
This profile of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is expected to be arrested today for failing to disclose payments from a law firm, was first published Feb. 23, 2003 in The Post-Standard. 
Sheldon Silver, speaker of the state Assembly, arrives at the State Office Building in Albany Jan. 8 for Gov. George Pataki's State of the State address.
Known as ''Shelly'' to some colleagues, Silver has been called both a ''tyrant'' and a ''gentleman.''
A Camillus woman whose daughter was murdered called his offer of sympathy cold, insensitive and self-serving.
Assembly Republicans call the state's most powerful Democrat autocratic, aloof and disconnected.
Salina's William Sanford, a Republican Assembly candidate last fall, wagged his finger at a roomful of North Syracuse senior citizens during the campaign and said, ''Sheldon Silver is a bad person.'' Many nodded in agreement.
None of this fazes Silver.
''Sticks and stones. Remember that expression?'' the Manhattan lawmaker said slowly, leaning back in the leather chair in his Capitol office. '''Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.' ''
Silver's friends and Democratic colleagues in Central New York describe him as warm, caring, religious, fair, a sports-fanatic, a gentleman who needles with polite jokes, a man they affectionately call "Shelly."
From the Mohawk Valley to the Finger Lakes, critics have called state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver a tyrant, an emperor, a con artist, and a power grabber.
"I think that there's a misconception of the speaker here in Syracuse that he is a tyrant of sorts, " said Assemblyman William Magnarelli, D-Syracuse. "I feel sometimes that he's just not seen the way he is. I think he's a very caring person, one who understands Upstate New York."
Silver says the criticism is Republican spin.
"It's generally, across the board, the Republicans have a stock campaign, and it's always about Upstate versus Downstate, trying to divide the state, " Silver said. "The governor is very, very partisan in this regard. They've used that on me as if I don't represent them."
Silver is now engaged in the role he is best known for Upstate: antagonist to Gov. George Pataki and the Republican-controlled Senate in the annual state budget ritual.
The cast of characters is familiar: Pataki, the Republican governor newly elected to his third term; Joseph Bruno, the Republican leader of the state Senate since 1995; and Silver, who has led the Assembly since 1994. They are the "three men in a room" who battle each other every year over the spending plan - and always manage to deliver it weeks or months after its April 1 due date.
As usual, Silver will champion what is perceived as the liberal, urban, Downstate position.
Asked what he stands for, Silver ticks off a list of programs that could be cut under Pataki's 2003-2004 budget proposal: "I stand for pre-K (kindergarten). I stand for after-school programs. I stand for (school) building maintenance. I stand for taking care of the elderly in their waning years as far as their health care is concerned. I think we should keep people out of nursing homes, in a cheaper way, with personal care, home care. That's what I stand for."
Man of few words

Silver's Capitol office is unmarked, hidden behind the ornate Assembly chamber. In the lobby there are chandeliers, leather chairs, small tables bearing wrapped mints and, for pleasure reading, a thick copy of the 2003 Legislative Digest, a record of the 226th legislative session.
Caught up in the lobby logjam recently were members of the state's most powerful public employees' and teachers' unions - there to "pick Silver's pockets, " as one lobbyist said to another.
Inside, Silver was seated behind a mostly bare desk in his bare-walled office with five phones, a small refrigerator and a cabinet holding two boxes of Raisin Bran.
"They all endorsed the governor in the election last November. The teacher's union. The police union, " Silver said after he had shaken the last hand and posed for the last photo. "They're all here, a lot of them saying, "What a mistake we made."'
Much of Silver's work is done this way, in private meetings and phone calls. Even when the 150-member Assembly is in session, Silver is in his office, while the speaker pro-tem runs the meeting.
Members use their time with him wisely. Constituents do their homework before presenting their proposals.
"He doesn't have a lot to say when you interact with him, but he's very smart. He has a very good sense of reading people and situations, " said Irwin Davis, executive vice president of the Metropolitan Development Association, a Central New York business development group. "At the end, in very few words, he tells you how it is."
As speaker, Silver has tremendous influence over state money and public policy decisions affecting the almost 19 million New York state residents. Yet Silver often fetches his own meals, insists on driving and opens doors for other people.
"You don't see him with an entourage, " said Assemblywoman Joan Christensen, D-Syracuse. "He's a very unpretentious guy. I don't think Shelly has been seduced by the leadership position."
That doesn't mean he's approachable. He speaks in a serious and slow monotone that is impossible for his colleagues not to imitate behind his back. He is formal in his dress and choice of words.
"He does not look like a warm person. So when he tells a joke, everyone looks around like, "What?"' Christensen said.
Silver, a lifelong resident of lower Manhattan, first came to the Assembly in 1976. He moved into various leadership posts dealing with election reform, crime, drug abuse and, finally, taxes and spending. He became speaker in 1994.
By the end of that year, state voters replaced Democratic Gov. Mario Cuomo with Pataki. The new speaker emerged from Cuomo's shadow as the new top Democrat in state government. In January, he won his fifth term as speaker.
Silver said his greatest rewards are these: He wins year after year. His Democrats win year after year, and increased their Assembly majority to 103 of 150 in the last election.
"I've obviously done the job successfully, " he said. "We're the largest majority perhaps in the last hundred years, if not longer."
Silver, the son of a Russian immigrant hardware store owner, and his wife of 35 years, Rosa, live in an apartment at 550 Grand Street, on the Lower East Side near the Williamsburg Bridge. They have four grown children - three accountants and a college student studying to be a teacher - and eight grandchildren.
Judy Mitrani has been a neighbor for 18 years and has known the Silvers for longer. If she had a problem with state government, which she hasn't, she said she would not go knock on his door. She would call his staff. That's what most neighbors would do, she said.
A two-minute walk from Silver's home is the Bialystoker Synagogue, where Silver worships. At the Orthodox Jewish synagogue, women sit in the balcony and men worship in pews below.
Religion is a significant part of Silver's life. In keeping with tradition, he does not work or travel on Friday nights or on Saturdays. He keeps kosher, often carting frozen meals to Albany restaurants, where the chefs warm them in their ovens.
Silver is known as a relentless fighter for New York City.
"You don't get elected speaker of the state Assembly until you get elected in your own district, " he says.
Yip Ly, who lives in Silver's district, stood outside Assembly chambers during Pataki's January State of the State address to advocate for rent control for New York City tenants. Here's his "city" view of Upstate:
"If New York City did not exist, New York state would not exist, " he said. "All our excess money from revenues coming out of New York City is coming up there, supporting your real estate, your school base, your tax base and all the municipal services, the library, senior citizens services. It goes on and on. New York City has never gotten their fair share."
Silver in many ways reflects the sentiment of his constituents.
"It's significant that the financial capital of the world happens to be in my district, " he said. "It's significant to the state that the district more than pays for whatever it gets from government."

Quietly helping CNY

When Silver wants to know what's going on in Central New York, he calls Davis, of the MDA; H. Douglas Barclay, the MDA president and a former Republican senator from Oswego County; or Stephen A. Rogers, editor and publisher of The Post-Standard, who heads a governmental relations committee for the MDA.
Silver also calls Syracuse University Chancellor Kenneth Shaw, Syracuse Mayor Matt Driscoll and mall developer Bob Congel of The Pyramid Cos.
Local leaders say Silver's deal-making is not as visible as it could be on some Central New York projects. In some cases, he chooses to keep it quiet. In other instances, he loses center stage to Pataki.
An example: When Excellus and Hartford Insurance threatened last fall to take 1,500 jobs away from downtown Syracuse because of a lack of parking, Driscoll got on the phone to Silver. Driscoll said it was the first time he asked for a favor from Silver.
Silver called Excellus Chief Executive Officer Howard Berman and asked him to call the mayor. He did. A deal was struck.
Pataki, on the election trail, joined Driscoll at a press conference to announce a $7 million state grant to build two parking garage projects that would keep the jobs downtown.
Silver did not attend.
"I don't want to lose sight of the fact that the city of Syracuse is represented by some very capable legislators and they deserve the praise, " he said.

Don't mess with Silver

Silver's bad rap among some in Central New York may stem from Downstate/Upstate prejudices. Maybe it's his personality.
"It might have something to do with a collision course with a man named Michael Bragman, " said state Sen. Nancy Larraine Hoffmann, a Democrat-turned-Republican.
Bragman, of Cicero rose to majority leader in the Assembly and in 2000 unsuccessfully tried to overthrow Silver. Bragman said Silver's leadership was out of date, ineffective and too tightly controlled.
In response, Silver stripped Bragman of his title and cut his office staff and perks.
"What I did to Mike Bragman? That's an old story, " Silver said. "I got more votes than he did. Mike Bragman chose to challenge me as speaker and I got more votes. Plain and simple. It was the end of the day. Mike Bragman was humiliated."
Two years later, the fallout was evident in the race between Sanford and Christensen. The two incumbents wound up in the same district after state legislators - with Silver's blessing - drew new district boundaries.
Sanford pitched himself as a reformer, willing to stand up to Silver.
In a debate, Sanford said, "I am running against Shelly Silver, and by running against Shelly Silver I am running against you. You had a very strong advocate in Mike Bragman, who did a very good job down there, but Mike is gone, and now your advocate is Sheldon Silver."
Christensen fired back, "That is a lie."
For her siding with Bragman, Silver had taken away Christensen's committee assignments and pay bonuses. But she found herself in the odd position of having to defend him. Silver sent her campaign staff and money.
Christensen won the election. Silver had the furniture and office supplies shipped from Sanford's district office to Albany two and a half weeks before his term came to a close.
But Silver still hasn't returned Christensen's committee posts and bonuses.
In 1998, Silver made the news in Syracuse as the man who stalled action on "Jenna's Law, " a bill to curtail parole for violent felons. Janice and Bruce Grieshaber, of Camillus, lobbied for the bill, named for their 22-year-old daughter, who was killed by a parolee in 1997 in her Albany apartment.
Janice Grieshaber said she remembers Silver as the cold man who left them waiting and hoping in Assembly chambers until midnight on the last day of session, while hundreds of other pieces of legislation came up for a vote. Finally, an aide for Pataki passed them a note that said there would be no vote that day on Jenna's Law.
The first time the Grieshabers met Silver, he told them he knew so exactly how they felt.
"He was talking about Jenna, " Janice remembered. "I looked at him and said, "Have you lost a child?' I knew he hadn't. What a stupid thing to say. It's the one thing people know not to say. As a mother of a murdered child, I don't even say that to other parents."
Christensen said Silver, like all leaders, expects a certain amount of criticism. "He doesn't care if people don't like him, " she said. "But he doesn't want people to hate him."
Silver says he is not worried about his image among Central New Yorkers.
"As long as the members keep getting re-elected, " he said. "Obviously, it doesn't affect Bill Magnarelli and it doesn't affect Joan Christensen. That's all that counts."
The man
Age: 59
Home: Lower East Side, Manhattan
Job: Assembly Speaker; personal injury lawyer.
Assembly salary: Base pay $79,500; speaker stipend, $41,500. He has not made his lawyer's salary public.
Political experience: Elected to Assembly in 1976; appointed chair of Assembly Ways and Means Committee in 1992; first elected speaker in 1994. Silver won the last two elections in his district with 93 percent of the vote in 2002 and 85 percent in 2000. He faced Green Party candidates.
Campaign account balance: $2.3 million
Education: Graduate of Yeshiva University and Brooklyn Law School
Family: Wife, Rosa, a public elementary school teacher, four children, eight grandchildren
The opinions
Here is a sampling of what some Central New Yorkers have had to say about Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in letters to The Post-Standard during the past three years:
"Silver has been a part of the troika that has delivered a budget late for 17 years. His heavy-handed control has delivered millions of our tax dollars to the Big Apple at upstate's expense. He appears to have a propensity to punish his fellow legislators for daring to represent their constituencies."
Patrick J. Ryan, Jamesville
"Silver is of that tired old left-wing liberal club that arrogantly believes they know more than we do. Their opinion of us lowly citizens is that we don't have the brains to handle such things as coming up with a good idea to help our state run smoother. Mike Bragman had some new ideas and look what happened to him - and he was one of their fellow Assembly Democrats. The powers that be did everything but order a hit on him."
Bill Iocco, Liverpool
"Sheldon Silver should have been gone years ago."
Thelma H. Snyder, Fulton
"We have to put a stop to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's authoritarian rule and his unwillingness to work with the governor and the state Senate to get things done. Silver is a key barrier to lowering taxes and spending in New York and getting on-time budgets."
Dave Traub, Cicero
"Oh, you foolish people of Central and Upstate New York! Beware of the two greatest con artists who ever prowled New York state: Carl McCall and Sheldon Silver."
Paul Esposito, Manlius
"Does Democracy exist in Albany or in any other form of federal, state, county or city government? I believe that the vile behavior of New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver has shown us, the taxpayers and voters, that these politicians care only about themselves. They practice and play games to enrich themselves like dictators."
Paolo Saltarello, Auburn
"We do not need a dictator. We want someone working for all the people, regardless of party. The game that Sheldon Silver is playing in Albany is not an example of the way our government should be working."
Ruth Harrison, North Syracuse
The power
Sheldon Silver is one of the three most powerful officials in state government, along with the governor and Senate majority leader. The Senate majority leader and Assembly speaker control the flow of legislation; distribute millions in campaign cash to colleagues; and decide on members' staff and supply allotments, committee chairmanships and lucrative stipends. With the governor, they also essentially decide the annual state budget.
Silver oversees a $102.5 million Assembly budget and shares responsibility with the state senate for a legislative budget of $16.7 million. He employs 26 people in his Albany and district offices and in the Assembly Majority press office. Including his salary, Silver's offices cost taxpayers $1,452,487.46 a year.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Crimes of Jonathan Lippman

Jonathan Lippman

Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman Must Be Investigated and Removed From the Bench, for deceiving the public and allowing absolute immunity to cove up and protect the Third Branch of our government.

Lippman Backs Reform of Grand Jury, Attorney Discipline

Read more:

He has allowed the Courts of New York to plunder estates, remove children from their parents, and deny anyone who has no money to pass under the table any due process rights to be made whole.

He is a disgrace to the State. Put him on trial.

Betsy Combier
Without a Prayer For Relief: The NY State Supreme Court is Bought By Guide One Insurance Company and a Church, Madison Avenue Presbyterian
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

Trish Lynch Loses Custody of Her 5-Year Old Daughter To Vincent "Vinny" Velella, Her Former Boyfriend, In Westchester County Family Court



William Galison
                                                               Blackstar News
                                                         32 Broadway, suite 511
                                                           New York NY 10004
To: Preet Bharara
United States Attorney
Office Southern District of New York
One St. Andrew’s Plaza
New York, NY 10007

April 3, 2013


                                  THE NOMINATION AND CONFIRMATION OF


This complaint regards crimes and corruption by Jonathan Lippman, Chief Judge of New York State, members of the NY State Senate Judiciary Committee and members of the NY State Judicial Nomination Committee, with the complicity of other government officials.  These acts constitute legislative election fraud among other crimes.

If any of the statements herein are false, Title18 USC; Section 1001, obliges you to arrest me for making false statements to a Federal Officer. Your failure to arrest me will represent your acknowledgment that the statements herein are true, in which case a failure to investigate these allegations would represent a dereliction of your duty.

The NY Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on
Judge Lippman’s Confirmation Was Fraudulent and Invalid. 

The process of Lippman’s nomination and confirmation to the Chief Judgeship of New York was illegal; rife with conflicts of interest, official fraud, and rampantviolation of the laws and rules of the Constitution of the State of New York. 

The New York Senate Judiciary Committee Failed to Uphold
Any of Its Duties in Regard to the Confirmation of Judge Lippman.

All Senate Committees, whether federal or state, have four cardinal duties in regard to public hearings:

            1) to announce hearings to the public with reasonable notice

            2) to gather information or evidence from the public and other sources

3) to evaluate the information and evidence and reach findings based thereon

4) to present their findings to the full senate to inform their vote

In their disposition of the confirmation of Judge Lippman, members of the New York Senate Judiciary Committee
 failed to uphold every one of these duties. Specifically:

1) The “Public Confirmation Hearing” was not announced until one day before the hearing, in violation of NY Senate rules which require a five-day notice.The announcement also did not mention that the public was invited, despite its being a “public hearing”.

The NY Senate FAQ page states:

All Standing Committees may hold public hearings. Assembly rules require that not less than two days notice of such hearings be given and the Senate rules require five days notice.”



The February 11th, 2009 hearing was announced
 exclusively on the webpage of the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 10th, 2009 , with no mention that the hearing was public. The hearing was not announced in any newspapers, or any radio or television broadcasts in New York State.

In fact, the February 10th announcement does not mention that anyone was invited, yet at least ten friendly witnesses were invited by the SJC to testify before the committee - none of them members of the Committee or the Senate - and dozens of Lippman’s supporters were present. Their testimony of the friendly witness unequivocally establishes that this was indeed a “public hearing”, despite the Senate’s violation of applicable rules. 

There are two kinds of hearings “Public” and “Not Public”. There is no provision in the Constitution for a hearing that is only “public” to selected individuals.

Tim Spotts, the assistant to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman John Sampson tried to convince this reporter that Lippman’s confirmation was “not a public hearing”, although the public was invited to testify. He went so far as to say that the confirmation hearing was not even a hearing. “It’s not a “hearing hearing”said Spotts, “it’s just a confirmation”.  Spotts was only truthful in his acknowledgement that Lippman’s confirmation was a fait accompli, and the confirmation hearing a sham. As transparent as his ruse was, Spotts must be prosecuted for misleading the public about the nature of the hearing. 

The “five-day rule” is no mere technicality; it exists to ensure that the public has enough prior notice to prepare statements and attend “public hearings”;
 a fundamental tenet of our democracy.

It is in violation of state senate rules to hold a public hearing with less than five days notice, and/or without public invitation. 
 On these ground alone, the confirmation of Jonathan Lippman is illegal and invalid.


2) The SJC failed to investigate allegations by opposing witnesses at the hearing.

Despite the absence of notice, three New York citizens, including Elena Sassower, 
 Director of the Center for Judicial Accountability (CJA), and Will Galison, CJA member and  Black Star News Journalist, learned of the hearing two days prior through an inadvertent leak by a Senate employee and attended the hearing as witnesses in opposition to Lippman’s confirmation. 

The testimonies of Sassower and Galison were videotaped.
 and were posted on the NY Senate website,  before being expunged from the official record. Fortunately, the videos were copied and are now posted on Youtube and elsewhere. The bias, bullying and intimidation against the opposing witnesses by the SJA are shockingly evident in these clips.


3) Selected Witnesses and reporters “friendly” to Lippman were secretly invited to the hearings in advance of, and to the exclusion of, the general public and press.


As mentioned above; aside from these three citizens, the hearing was attended exclusively by over 50 officials and citizens personally invited by Judge Lippman and Senator Sampson to either testify in Lippman’s favor or to applaud favorable testimony. As the announcement of the hearings did not mention that anyonewas invited, the friendly witnesses must have been personally invited by the Committee in advance of (and to the exclusion of) the general public.


It is unconstitutional to secretly invite “friendly” witnesses and “friendly” reporters to a public hearing without notifying the general press - and the general public - that the hearing is

4) The Senate Judiciary
 was denied access to criminal allegations and judicial conduct complaints against Lippman, which were under investigation at the time of the hearings.

The Commission on Judicial Conduct, whose sole duty is to investigate allegations of wrongdoing by NY judges, withheld from the Senate Judiciary Committeepending complaints alleging crimes by Judge Lippman. 

At least one and possibly more, judicial
 complaints against Lippman were pending before the CJC at the time of the hearings. It was the duty of the CJC to inform the SJC that these complaints were pending, and must be adjudicated before a confirmation decision could be reached.


Robert Tembeckjian, the Administrator of the Commission on Judicial Conduct was personally present at the confirmation hearings, but failed to inform the SJC about complaints of criminal acts by Lippman that were pending before his commission, even when they were referenced by the witnesses.  [Tembeckjian also applauded at the testimony of the friendly witnesses and mocked the opposing witnesses, in a display of bias in favor of the judge he is required by law to investigate.]

Without the benefit of the officially filed evidence against Lippman, the SJC was unable to render an informed decision on his qualifications for Chief Judge. Hence, their report to the full Senate was incomplete, inadequate and invalid.

[One month after Lippman’s confirmation, the CJC complaint was
 “dismissed without investigation” by Tembeckjian.]


5) The Senate Judiciary Committee failed to investigate evidence against Lippman which had been submitted directly to all members of the committee priorto the hearing.  

Two weeks prior to the confirmation hearings,
 documents supporting allegations of criminal activity by Lippman were sent to all 21 members of the SJC by opposing witness Will Galison. At the hearing, Galison asked which of the Senators on the SJC had reviewed the documents and allegations. The Senators refused to answer; one Senator leapt from his chair and yelled “That question is inappropriate!”, to which Chairman Sampson added “We’re the ones asking the questions here!”

Moreover, in violation of Senate rules, the Senate Judiciary Committee failed to review or investigate documentation of allegations against Lippman presented by the opposing witnesses who testified at the hearings. In addition to their 5-minute testimonies, the opposing witnesses offered the SJC copious documentation of their allegations against Lippman. In violation of their mandate, the SJC failed to review or investigate
 any of these documents before voting on Lippman’s confirmation.

No Time Was Allotted to Evaluate Opposing Testimony
In fact, so certain was the SJC that no opposing witnesses would appear or present evidence, (because they were not invited) that they did not allot any period of time to review or investigate potential opposing testimony The record shows that the hearing was allowed to continue until just before 11:00 - the final speaker being Lippman himself – and that immediately after Lippman spoke, the handful of committee members, Lippman and his admirers marched from the hearing room to the senate chamber, to address the full senate on the findings of the committee. Hence, none of the documentary evidence presented by the opposing witnesses was investigated or considered in the full-senate vote, as required by law..

6) The SJC failed to report the fact or substance of opposing witness testimony to the full Senate prior to the full Senate confirmation vote.

The transcript of Senator Sampson’s presentation to the full senate proves that he failed to inform the senate of any testimony by the opposing witnesses. Hence, the full senate was ignorant of the pending criminal allegations against Lippman and thus voted on incomplete and biased information. 

On each and all of the grounds cited above, the NY Senate confirmation of Jonathan Lippman is illegal and invalid, hence, Lippman is
 not the lawful Chief Judge of New York, and is not eligible for nomination for the SJI by the President in that capacity.

The New York Senate Judiciary Committee was Aware of
               Fraud in Lippman’s Confirmation and was Complicit in That fraud

Every member of the Senate Judiciary Committee that attended the hearing knew that it was in violation of Senate Rules, yet every one went along with the unlawful hearing without objection. Perhaps that is why more than half of the Committee members failed to attend this critically important hearing, and why no quorum of SJC members were present throughout the entire hearing.

The NY Senate Judiciary Committee Also Disregarded
Documented Evidence of Corruption in the Nomination of Jonathan Lippman.

The first step of an investigation into a nominee would be to examine the questionnaires he is required to fill out in application for his nomination. The questionnaire provided by the New York Commission on Judicial Nominations to all nominees asks the following question:

30(a) has any complaint or charge ever been made against you in connection to your service in a judicial office? Include in your response any question raised or inquiry conducted of any kind by any agency or official of the judicial system?

If the answer to subpart (a) is “yes”, 
 furnish full details, including the agency or  officer making the inquiry, the nature of the question or inquiry, the outcome and relevant dates

If Lippman filled out this sworn questionnaire honestly, he would have had to report the
 complaint filed with the Commission on Judicial Conduct by Will Galison. Receipt of this complaint was acknowledged by the CJC in a letter of January 28th, 2009; two weeks before the Confirmation hearing.

The allegations in the complaint that was pending before the CJC at the time of the confirmation hearing are extremely serious. They regard Lippman’s abuse of authority as Presiding Judge of the First Department, and blatant conflicts of interest and appearances of impropriety in the process of Lippman’s nomination.

The complaint alleges that as Presiding Justice of the First Department, Judge Lippman used his office to illegally protect a lawyer from disciplinary action. The protected lawyer was later found to be an intimate friend and business partner of one of the twelve members of the Judicial Nomination Commission (JNC); the body that nominated Lippman. 
Corruption of the New York State Judicial Nomination Commission
The letter that Mr. Brewington shredded alleges that: 

-       Judge Lippman knowingly violated Part 118 of the New York State Rules of the Chief Administrative Judge and section 90 of the Judiciary law

-       Judge Lippman refused to fulfill his duty to oversee the DDC

-       Judge Lippman ignored [Galison’s] lawyers’ letter proving that Mr. Friedman lied

      to a panel of Appellate Court Judges

-       Judge Lippman failed to enforce rules of the First Department which were altered byAlan Friedberg at the DDC.

-       Judge Lippman ignored criminal complaints against his Court Clerk, Ron Uzenski

-       Judge Lippman’s illegal favors to Leon Friedman were an effort to Influence the Commission on Judicial Nomination which in turn nominated him for the Chief Judgeship.

-       CJC Staff member Mr. Richard Emery is also a friend and colleague of Leon Freidman and must be recused from the adjudication of his case.

Why Lippman Needed to Subvert the Confirmation Process

There is a very good reason that Lippman and his conspirators in the SJC had to illegally limit the attendance of his confirmation hearings to Lippman’s friends and colleagues.  Had the confirmation hearing been announced to the public, the room would have been packed with citizens testifying of Lippman’s corruption and Lippman would have been rejected.

This was proven on 6/8/09 and 9/24/09, when hearings in Albany and Manhattan respectively were filled to capacity by victims of corruption by the attorney grievance committees and Committee on Judicial Conduct. 
 Dozens of documented complaints were filed against Lippman personally, and hundreds more against the agencies he supervised as Administrative Judge and Presiding Judge of the First Department. These complaints have never been investigated.

In light of the above, your office must undertake and investigation into the nomination and confirmation of Jonathan Lippman as Chief Judge of New York State. 

I look forward to hearing your response to my allegations and evidence above.


Will Galison
Reporter,, Blackstar News

cc: Milton Allimadi, Publisher Blackstar News

      Leslie Thatcher, Editor