Judge McMillan Joins J.A.I.L. - Part II
- J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California August 21, 2001Judge McMillan Joins J.A.I.L.(Part II)In Part I of this three Part series we told you that JAIL4Judges received a simple request that said, "I'd like to subscribe and my husband (a lone, honest judge) and I would like to become members. How do we sign up? Susan McMillan Sssswm@..."We informed you in Part I that in Part II we were going to report on some shocking facts that would defy all that we are taught to believe about our fair and open elective processes that the best man wins, and the man with the greatest votes prevails. Here we shall show you that the hub of our political process is run more by a mafia type mentality of threats, intimidation, and criminal acts of terrorism than by the ballot box.As a foundation, we would like to pose some questions to our readers. Let's suppose you received a personal visit from a candidate chairman who disagreed with your political views and threatened you and told you not to go to the polls on election day? And let's suppose that nonetheless this threat, you went to the polls anyway to vote. But when you arrived, you found guards who further threaten and intimidated you to not even try to vote because you are a non-supporter of their political candidate? And let's suppose you insisted, despite their "admonition" and got past them and voted for the candidate of your choice.Now let's suppose your candidate won the election, and because your candidate won, you were again visited in the middle of the night the night after the election with bricks thrown through your windows, your tires flattened, and other frightening terrorist acts committed upon you. Would you not say that this was an tolerable felonious criminal act of the most heinous nature that undermines the integrity of our entire elective process? Yes! We would all agree. Proof of this conduct would be the outrage of this nation.Now we have only one more "suppose" to make this reality to what you are about to read. Suppose this candidate you wanted to vote for was yourself, and you wanted to place your vote for your candidate who was challenging a long established incumbent judge who orchestrated this type of behavior. Would the same criminal conduct outrage apply?Now here is the story of Judge Matt McMillan, the judge of Manatee County Florida for the past three years, and his life of hell for daring to run his candidacy and win against the previous sitting judge of Manatee County, Judge George Brown.Our Judicial Horror Story (from the wife's point of view) as edited by Ron Branson.
Our life has been a nightmare since my husband decided to run for judge in our town where no lawyer had challenged an incumbent judge in over 30 years. He had no life-long aspirations of being a judge, but saw a system that was broken and thought he could help fix it.He challenged Judge George Brown for his seat by a common sense legal
reform platform. As the political campaign picked up steam, The Good Old Boy Club of Manatee County (a real club with an official membership consisting of local judges and politicians) sent a "messenger" to threaten my husband. That messenger was Paul Sharff, president of the Manatee County Republican Executive Committee, Jeb Bush's Campaign organizer.On that visit Sharff informed McMillan that his life would be ruined if he broke the "unwritten rule" that you don't run against a sitting judge. He told us that the entire political forces would rally behind Judge Brown and use their positions to insure Brown stayed in office. We were informed up front that we were not just running against Judge George Brown, but against every judge in town because sitting judges must be assured their jobs for life. He explained that they would not allow Matt to start a trend of judicial elections, and that they would destroy both of us if he did not withdraw.He told us that The Good Old Boy Club and Judge George Brown would call in every political favor, pressure people, politicians, and businessmen, including the sheriff and law enforcements, to ensure Brown's campaign victory and our defeat. He told us it would be "down and dirty" and that they would stop at nothing, including drugs planted on us, our phones tapped, and both our businesses ruined. He told us that they would use their contacts with the newspapers to discredit us, and that truth would be irrelevant. We would never work in Manatee County again.He suggested an alternative, that we might get the Good Old Boy's
Club's support if we chose another position, such as county commissioner, or waited for a judicial appointment. But running against a
sitting judge was totally out of the question.Silly naive kids that we were, we ignored his advice and chose to knock on doors, (5,600 in all). Our opposition did everything to get us to quit
except to burn a cross on our front lawn. Spray painting obscenities on our front door, pelting eggs at our vehicles, middle of the night threatening phone calls, slashing our supporters' tires, a brick through our office windows twice, frivolous bar grievances, and local media smears like you wouldn't believe.Just as Sharff stated, truth became irrelevant. We were permitted no interviews, no media coverage and Judge George Brown received the endorsement of every organization, every politician, every newspaper, and every organization, including the Fraternal Order of Police and the PBA. We were not even interviewed before the endorsements were granted, violating many of the organization's written by-laws. We neither solicited nor raised a dime from attorneys, while the Judge George Brown made his phone calls and raked in the legal community's bucks. The only supporters we had were the common people.
The day of the election, the incumbent and his supporters in the Good Old Boy Club and the Bar Assoc. spent the day blowing up balloons for his victory party. To their shock and amazement, Matt we won the election. They were beside themselves, as The Good Old Boys had never lost control of an election. As the election results were coming in, witnesses overheard them vowing "We'll see to it that McMillan never takes the bench."
Yes, and they got to work right away. They filed grievances with the Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) and the State Bar the day after the election and even before taking the bench, and have never ceased.With the help and assistance of all the local judges, my husband has been accused of everything in the book, namely using "deceitful campaign rhetoric that has impugned the integrity of the judiciary and eroded the public's confidence in the judiciary." That he is "beyond rehabilitation and unfit to hold office."
Never mind that in the three years he has been on the bench, he implemented all of the legal reforms he promised, and that the public has been absolutely thrilled with his conduct on the bench, and that he has received unprecedented praise from courtwatchers, Crimestoppers, homeowners associations, prosecutors, defense attorneys, victims, defendants, their families, and a variety of citizens groups. All that was irrelevant.
They set up a star chamber kangaroo court like no other. (There is no jury in a Judicial Qualification Commission proceedings). The charges
bore little resemblance to the actual campaign literature they relied upon.
The leaps of logic and twisting of words has to be seen to be believed.The courtroom citizen observers were stunned at the guilty-on-almost-all-charges verdict with recommendation for removal from the bench in spite of no evidence whatsoever of unfitness to serve, and the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.Matt presented a stream of lawyers who regularly practiced in front of him which testified what an outstanding judge he has been and that they
have never had reason to question his impartiality or fairness. The
prosecution could produce not a single witness to testify that he was unfit.
Chief Judge Tom Gallen, also a member of the Good Old Boy Club, who also had threatened my husband and I, admitted he had never observed my husband in Court, was the Judicial Qualification Commission's only witness as to his "lack of fitness."Talk about corrupt. When the Rule of Sequestration was invoked and Chief Judge Gallen was excluded from the courtroom during the trial as a witness, he ordered a county telecommunications worker to run secret microphone and video wires directly from the courtroom to his chambers so he could observe the trial before his testimony. The county worker who did the job came forward in the midst of the trial and testified of his orders by Chief Judge Gallen to run the wires to Gallen's office.But did that stop the Judicial Qualification Commission from relying on this justice-obstructing Good Old Boy member as their only witness to McMillan's "lack of fitness?" Of course not. Even after Judge Gallen was impeached on almost every statement he made, perjury and all, he remained their star witness. Truth and justice had no relevance, their minds were made up to railroad Matt. It was a "What need we of further witnesses" proceeding.If anyone compared the record and trial transcripts with the findings,
conclusions and recommendations of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, they would sit in utter amazement, and their mouth wide open.Of course, if you had been following the newspapers' version, whose editors also belong to the Good Old Boy Club, you wouldn't be the least bit surprised. They portrayed Matt McMillan worse than Timothy McVeigh, Ted Bundy, and Danny Rollins all rolled into one for trying to clean up the legal profession and our impeccable judiciary.Did I forget to mention that we later discovered that the threats delivered by the Good Old Boy messenger early in the campaign were actually accidentally caught on audio tape because my husband had been practicing a campaign speech into a tape recorder when Paul Sharff, the messenger, unexpectedly arrived at our office to deliver his message?After the campaign, when we found the tape and gave it to the US Attorney's Office. The entire threat was on the tape, and an investigation into Manatee County public corruption is ongoing.
Paul Sharff has taken the fifth amendment to every question asked, except name and address.Thus far, over 1000 citizens have filed amicus briefs with the Florida Supreme Court demanding that they allow Matt to retain his judicial seat and condemning the corruption of the local judiciary. These briefs decry the illogical and unfair findings and tactics used by the Judicial Qualifications Commission, which has ignored all other sorts of judicial misconduct, no matter how egregious, showing a double standard and a political agenda against Matt. You won't find mention of this unprecedented public outcry in the media and the newspapers. Only editorials like "McMillan should go." "The High Court must Restore dignity to the bench." "Unfit to Serve." "Good Bye McMillan."
The Florida Supreme Court has never once disagreed with the Judicial Qualifications Commission. We know they are not about to start now, even though a group of citizens calling themselves Florida Supreme Courtwatchers drove the 8 hours to Tallahassee and sat in the courtroom wearing "Keep Judge McMillan" tags the day of his oral arguments.
We should get a ruling any day. After he is disrobed, then the disbarment
proceedings will begin. The story just wouldn't be complete unless they
ended his legal career entirely for daring to run against a sitting judge.
These are only the highlights. If I gave you the details, you wouldn't
believe it. We have the tape, photographs, answering machine tapes, and the trial transcripts to document everything, lest people say "No. Not in America. This couldn't happen here."It is the Judicial Qualification Commission, that is designed to be a check against judicial corruption, that allows the corruption to continue. As long as they are in power, serving as the lapdog for powerful judges, whose misconduct they ignore, they will remove any political challenger who ever is naive or foolhardy enough to run against an incumbent judge and upset their cozy little Judge Club fraternity in the future. The Judicial Qualifications Commission has unchecked power, unlimited resources, and no obligation to be even remotely truthful or reasonable. Their secrecy enables them to get away with their corruption.Having read this expose about our so-called "elective processes" that claims to afford equal opportunity to all, we ask you to join the nationwide demand for a criminal investigation and a publicity blitz that will never quit. JAIL4Judges has been called upon to spearhead this publicity, and Judge McMillan is now advancing JAIL4Judges. He is publicly demanding a trial before a citizens' jury after the order advocated by J.A.I.L. for publicity, instead of the insider judges of the Good Old Boy network. He fully expects the establishment media to deride him publicly for demanding this. The more he is derided, the more publicity he expects to receive on behalf of JAIL4Judges. If you are an independent newspaper source, give Judge Matt McMillan a call. Everyone, report on this travesty. Schedule him on your radio shows, get him on your cable network shows. Let's keep this fire hot! Let his voice be heard! May he shake the foundations of our entire political system! (Stay tuned for Part III of "Judge McMillan Joins J.A.I.L.)Judge McMillan may be contacted for interview at (941) 751-0475, or by email at Sssswm@....
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