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Time For Sickles & Pitchforks?

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    J.A.I.L. News Journal ____________________________________________________ Los Angeles, California August 2, 2001
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 2, 2001
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       J.A.I.L. News Journal
      ____________________________________________________
      Los Angeles, California                                             August 2, 2001 
      Time For Sickles & Pitchforks?
       
      What you are about to read, while lengthy, will have you in stitches with the humorous sarcasm. Mr. Loeber lays a foundation with a published news article about a New York judge convicted of multiple counts of theft, and launches out into dissecting it to the Nth degree. You'll love it!
       
       
      THE TIMES HERALD RECORD
      Middletown, NY
      Tuesday, June 19, 2001
       
      Town of Newburgh justice is disbarred in theft from law firm NEWBURGH: Judge Timothy Tamsen is disbarred for theft. The town's other judge is in hot water, too. 
         
      By Timothy O'Connor   The Times Herald-Record   toconnor@...
         
         Town of Newburgh Justice Timothy Tamsen has been disbarred for stealing money from a law firm where he worked for 10 years. The now ex-lawyer can still sit on the Newburgh bench. But an investigation by the state's Commission on Judicial Conduct is likely. The commission has the power to kick judges off the bench.
       
      A spokesman for the commission, Gerald Stern, has declined comment. Tamsen's woes follow close on the heels of the May 25 arrest of his fellow Newburgh Judge Jeffrey Werner on charges of drunken driving. Werner's case is still pending and he has removed himself from all drunken driving cases in the Town of Newburgh.
       
      The Newburgh court is the 17th busiest in the state and third busiest in the county. It handled 19,640 criminal, civil, and traffic cases last year, according to Elizabeth Seabright, Newburgh Town Court administrator. A lawyer since 1985, Tamsen, 42, was bounced from the bar last week when the Appellate Division of the 2nd Department of the state Supreme Court upheld six charges of theft and one charge of dishonesty levied by the Grievance Committee for the 9th Judicial District.
       
      The Appellate Division agreed with the grievance committee's findings that on six occasions between May 1995 and February 1996 Tamsen took fees totaling $2,500 for himself. The fees were supposed to go to the firm of Neuman and Tamsen. Tamsen was not a partner in the firm, Peter Neuman said yesterday. He said Tamsen worked for the firm from 1986 until April 1996. Neuman said he did not file any complaints with the Grievance Committee about Tamsen."It's a sad day when any attorney loses his privilege to practice law," Neuman said. "I feel sad for him."Tamsen did not return messages seeking comment yesterday. But in the Appellate Division's decision, he said he was intimidated by Neuman, and likened their relationship to one of "domestic abuse" with Tamsen as the victim. He said he did not know he was not a partner in the firm.
       
      Judges are not required to be lawyers, said Diane Lundin, the principal law clerk to Administrative Judge Francis Nicolai, the judge who oversees the judicial district that includes Orange County. If Tamsen left the bench, Nicolai would appoint another judge to the town, provided the Town Board requests it, Lundin said. 
       
      Tamsen's situation "obviously presents ethical issues and problems," she said. "But there would be no automatic repercussions for disbarment."
       
      Telephone 845-341-1100 or 800-295-2181 outside the Middletown area.
      40 Mulberry Street * PO Box 2046 * Middletown, NY 10940
      Copyright June, 2001, Orange County Publications, a division of Ottaway Newspapers, Inc., all rights reserved.
       

       
      Let's See If I Understand This...
      by Ron Loeber
       
      A man is found guilty of robbing someone six times and lying once.  And those who found him guilty are the men and women of the State  government who, based upon their superior intellect... ability to reason... knowledge of the law... integrity and honor, have risen to a most distinguished and esteemed position in our society...  The Black Robed Society... those fair-minded men and women we have grown to love and trust. 
       
      And what did they do with this thief and liar?  Did they cut of his hand or his tongue?  Did they put him in a pillory in the Public Square exposing him to public scorn?  Did they throw him in jail?  No.  They took away his license to steal.  I guess its okay to steal from citizens and clients... but not your own kind.  How can this be?  Aaaah... I see.  The crook not only had a license to steal, but he was also a member of the Black Robed Society. 
       
      I wonder what would happen to you or I if we robbed from local businesses in Newburgh, New York six times? So now the people of Newburgh have an acknowledged criminal as well as an accused drunk dispensing justice in their fine town. 
       
      And how much justice did that crook and accused drunk dispense?  Well, according to the official Keeper of the Record, the crook and accused drunk dispensed 19,640 instances of justice in a year.  And according to the same Keeper of the Record, they have built Newburgh's local Criminal Court into the 17th largest Justice Dispenser in the state.  Is this a contest?
       
      But what does this mean?  Lets take a look.  I don't know the average fine for those 19,640 cases.  But I'm told that a seat belt fine is $50 and speeding is $90.  And I have it on good authority that cops like to present more than one ticket on each case that requires a Justice Dispenser.  So lets just guess that the average fine was only $100 per case.  Wow!  That's $1,964,000.00 a year. 
       
      But wait.  What about the surcharge?  I'm told there is a surcharge of $35 per ticket.  Lets see... $35 x 19,640 = $687,400.00.  And $1,964,000.00 + $687,400.00 = $2,651,400.00.  Holy Smokes!  That's a huge Justice Dispenser.  Doesn't it make you wonder if their Oath of Office is sworn to the people, or if it is sworn to the public treasury?
       
      But wait.  I wonder how long it took the crook and the accused drunk to dispense that much justice.  I don't know how many hours a week the Town of Newburgh holds court, for the Keeper of the Record didn't tell us.  So lets just assume that the crook holds court 2 nights a week and the accused drunk does the same.  And lets just say they do what they do from 7 PM to 11 PM.  But everyone needs a couple of weeks vacation a year, even a crook and an accused drunk.  So 50 weeks a year of whatever they doo-doo in court figures out to 800 hours a year, or 48,000 minutes a year for 19,640 cases.  Gosh, that figures out to less than 2.5 "Minutes of Justice per case".   Incredible!  And it also figures out to $2,761.87 "Dollars of Justice per hour"...  and it is all being quietly lifted from the wallets of the hard working people in Newburgh by an acknowledged crook and an accused drunk.  That's a pretty big Justice Dispenser. 
       
      What I can't figure out is why the peasants aren't storming the castle with pitchfork and sickle in hand.  Just how much justice can they afford?
       
      I have said for a long time that we have a system where law and procedure are being used as a revenue generating device for the public treasury.  The above is just an illustration.  But those figures are all based upon hearsay and speculation.  I wonder if any of the local civic minded hard working citizens would take it upon themselves to send a Freedom of Information Request to the Keeper of the Record, Elizabeth Seabright, and then send me a copy.  Then we would have accurate figures for the people to consider.
       
      But we have been getting sidetracked.  The law pertaining to judicial conduct requires that our judges be above reproach.  If anyone thinks that statement to be untrue, you should contact your servant in the Legislature and ask him or her for a copy of the "Rules Governing Judicial Conduct"... and read them.  They are not all that big, but they are impressive.  Our judges hold a special position of trust and honor in our society and the people have a right to expect our judges to live an exemplary life and set the standard for the rest of us to emulate.  And if they can't do it... or won't do it... or just plain fail to do it... they shouldn't be there. 
       
      We didn't draft them into the job... they volunteered.  And we ought to un-volunteer them. The people of Newburgh have a problem... and an embarrassing problem to say the least  They have an accused drunk and an acknowledged crook as Justice Dispensers.  But all is not lost.  New York State government has gone to great lengths and great expense with your tax dollars to protect us from having to put up with such riff-raff.  We have the NYS Commission on Judicial Conduct, an entire state agency, headed up by Gerald Stern in a real nice office in New York City to look out for us.  And "...an investigation by the Commission on Judicial Conduct is likely".  "Likely"?  If Mr. Stern was on the ball an investigation would be one hell of a lot more than likely... it would be damn certain.  And so would some other things. But Mr. Stern has a problem.  The Newburgh judiciary "obviously presents ethical issues and problems....  But there would be no automatic repercussions [from Mr. Stern's watchdog agency] for disbarment."  
       
      How the hell can Mr. Stern allow an acknowledged crook, a criminal, to remain on the bench and not look like the fox guarding the chicken coop?  And how the hell does he justify removing a couple of bums who are lifting $2,651,400.00 a year from the people in one little town for the benefit of the public treasury unless "Administrative Judge Francis Nicolai, the judge who oversees the judicial district", has a friend he can appoint and upon whom he knows he can rely to maintain the revenue flow for the public treasury. 
       
      On the other hand, how the hell can Mr. Stern kick Timothy Tamsen off the bench for stealing a paltry $2500 from a bunch of damn lawyers when he has a judge by the name of Joe Teresi who repeatedly and willfully throws citizens in jail illegally (www.scjc.state.ny.us/teresi.htm) and then only "censures" dear Ole Joe. 
       
      To censure a judge is little more than the hurling of a word into the wind... and it isn't even a 4 letter word.  Good Ole Joe's "censure" was nothing more than official Notice to all judges not to shaft the citizens blatantly. Perhaps the sickles and pitchforks aren't such a bad idea.
       
      Ron Loeber,
      Lt. NYJAILer-In-Chief
       
      For those who would like to see Ron Loeber in live action via video tape, we suggest you order a copy of the May 19th, 2001 production of the First Annual NY JAIL Lock-Up in Schenectady, NY. Also on this video  you will see JAIL4Judges' number two man, J.A.I.L. Lt. Commander-In-Chief Attorney Gary Zerman.
       
      While these messages are very good and challenging, the editing leaves a lot to be desired. If you are looking for a professional quality grade production, then this tape would not be for you.  Send $20 to NY JAIL4Judges at:  P.O. Box 193, Knox, NY 12017.
       


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