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Judge McMillan Joins J.A.I.L., PT III

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  • jail4judges
    J.A.I.L. News Journal ____________________________________________________ Los Angeles, California September 14, 2001
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 14 12:59 AM
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      J.A.I.L. News Journal
      ____________________________________________________
      Los Angeles, California                                      September 14, 2001 
      J.A.I.L. calls attention to the need for your donated items or certificates of service to auction off at our Barbecue By The Sea, Saturday, September 22nd in Pacific Palisades. Please contact Doug Johnson at (818) 895-1239 to arrange for your donations. Please contribute to the cause of freedom for your country.
       

       
      Judge McMillan Joins J.A.I.L., Pt. III
       
      From the publication of Pt. I and Pt. II, J.A.I.L. has been asked by Mrs. McMillan to publish a couple of retractions. They are as follows:
       
      There are some things you said in your editing that aren't true and have to be corrected.  We don't want to be accused of acting the way the newspapers have acted, playing fast and loose with the truth.  The Chief Judge, Gallen, is an admitted member of the Good Old Boy Club, BUT he never threatened either of us.  Did a lot of unseemly, things, but never threatened us.

      Also the county worker who was ordered to run the wires only said he received
      orders from "Court Administration" to run the wires to Gallen's hearing room.
      He didn't say the orders came directly from Gallen, although Gallen is the
      top guy at Court administration and obviously ordered it.  
       
      Please accept our apologies for these incorrect statements. 
       
      To update our J.A.I.L. News Journal readers about the corruption in politics in Florida, in Pt. II of our expose we told of the threat Judge Matt McMillan received upon deciding to run for judge of Manatee County, against a sitting judge, Judge George Brown, a long time incumbent.
       
      The 6/23/01 article in the NewsCoast recaps it well in its article, "Power brokers or social club?" by Eric Alan Barton.
       
      Bradenton- Working in his yard one night about a decade ago, Joe McClash was puzzled why a couple dozen of Manatee County's most influential men were pulling up to his neighbor's home.
       
      A new county commissioner at the time, McClash nosed around and found out that the sheriff and a few judges and big-time, businessmen had stopped by the home of R.B. "Chips Shore, the clerk of courts, for a private meeting of the Manatee Social Club.
       
      Better know as "The Good Ol' Boys Club," the invite-only group of about 25 men, who include several of the county's top politicians and powerful businessmen, meet behind closed doors eight times a year for dinner and cocktails.
       
      Despite his high place in local politics, McClash, now the Manatee County Commission chairman, says that was the only time he heard of the club - exactly the anonymity its members want.
       
      Then in 1998, a candidate for Manatee County judge claimed that Paul Sharff, a man who appeared to be representing the Manatee Social Club, warned him against running with the club's support and painted it as a political machine that secretly controls the county.
       
      After that candidate won and later got embroiled in an ethics complaint, Sheriff Charlie Wells and Chief Judge Thomas Gallen admitted in testimony that a group dubbed the "Good Ol' Boys" exists and that they are members. Yet they disagreed with the perception that the club is a political machine. ....
       
      The club's members adamantly insist they don't conspire to control the county's politics or use their influence to bully political newcomers, as Judge Matt McMillan, now suspended from office, alleged. ....
       
      When McMillan was considering running for county judge in 1998, he got a visit from Sharff, a real estate property manager who is now chairman of the Manatee County Republican Executive Committee.
       
      Sharff warned McMillan that the candidate and his wife, Susan, would "pay for it" if he challenged incumbent George K. Brown. ....
       
      "There is a group in this town that runs this county, and they call themselves the Good Ol' Boys, and they're a real club with real meetings and an official membership, and you have to be invited to go," Sharff told the McMillans, according to Susan McMillan's testimony about the discussion.
       
      Sharff initially denied the comments. When he heard that the McMillans had recorded the conversation, he admitted that he made the statements but said he was mistaken about the club. ....
       
      The Manatee Social Club has representatives from every arm of government. from the legal branch are Sheriff Wells, State Attorney Earl Moreland, Florida Highway Patrol Maj. Ron Getman, Clerk of Courts Shore and Chief Circuit Judge Thomas Gallen. Members in politics include Sarasota-Manatee Airport Authority member McClure, Mayor Poston and former mayor Evers. ....Hilliard and others declined to give a list of the members...
       
      Moving on, we thought it appropriate to present to you the below publication of the August 28, 2001 Bradenton Herald in its entirety where Judge Matt McMillan, now a part of the J.A.I.L. movement spreading across the county, demands a jury hearing after the order of that proposed by J.A.I.L.
       
       

        
         
      Tuesday, August 28, 2001
      Judge fighting removal from bench

      By IRINA SLUTSKY BRADENTON - Despite the Florida Supreme Court's order last week that Manatee County Judge Matt McMillan be removed from the bench, he is not willing to give up his job.Filing a 41-page brief Monday, McMillan made an unorthodox request to the state Supreme Court to grant him "a trial by an impartial jury of citizens" or "an independent review of the record by an impartial panel of citizens who are not political appointees and have no
      connections with the judiciary or the Florida Bar."

      McMillan is not asking for a rehearing in front of the Judicial Qualifications Commission, as is the normal procedure. McMillan said the JQC is not impartial in its recommendation to the Supreme Court to remove him from office."The JQC is a biased organization," McMillan said in a telephone  interview with the Herald. "I'll take an unbiased anyone to look at the evidence in my case.

      "McMillan promises in his motion that he "will abide by the findings and
      recommendations of such an impartial jury or panel without further appeal."

      Brooke Kennerly, an attorney with the JQC, said she could not comment on the
      motion until she had been officially served with the document. Kennerly said
      the JQC would have 20 days to decide if a response to McMillan's motion is
      necessary.

      McMillan, who already has cleaned out his office at the Manatee County
      courthouse, said he changed his mind about continuing his fight to remain a
      judge after "hundreds and hundreds" of supporters contacted him, urging him
      not to give up.

      Susan McMillan said she and her husband were aware that their request for a
      trial in front of a panel of citizens was unusual. If the state Supreme Court does not grant McMillan's request, "We are not interested" in a rehearing before the JQC, she said.

      As to whether he wants to be back on the bench, McMillan, on paid leave since
      Jan. 24, defers to God."I honestly don't care," McMillan said. "I'm open to
      whatever God tells me to do."

      McMillan, who was voted into office in 1998 and became a judge in January
      1999, had been on the bench only six months when the JQC filed charges that
      he violated judicial ethics during his winning campaign against incumbent
      Judge George Brown. The Supreme Court upheld the JQC's findings and on Aug. 16 ordered McMillan removed from office.

      "I thought it was over already," said Mark Lipinski, a local attorney who authored the 1998 complaint against McMillan for election campaign violations that officially began the investigation into McMillan. "After all is said and done, I find it sad that Judge McMillan could not end his judgeship with a little class and dignity," Lipinski said.

      McMillan supporter Joseph Mammina said he was happy McMillan is still
      fighting."There was a total injustice here," Mammina said. "He should absolutely get an impartial jury to review his case, but he won't get an impartial jury in this county."

      McMillan had 15 days after Aug. 16 to ask for a rehearing. In his motion,  McMillan dissects the Supreme Court's 27-page order line by line."The court
      has failed to conduct an independent examination of the record," McMillan
      wrote. "The court ignores evidence of pressure, intimidation, and threats. .
      . . The court relied upon evidence demonstrated to be false."McMillan finds
      the JQC unable to make a fair judgment regarding his fitness for office."The
      current system is unfair to both the judges that are accused and to the citizens," McMillan said.

      The charges against McMillan stemmed from his win over Brown and from his
      actions as judge after the campaign. One principal charge was that McMillan
      violated judicial ethics by presiding over a drunken-driving case in which he
      was a witness.

      Brown, accused by McMillan as being part of a good-ol'-boy system, said
      Monday he did not want to comment on pending litigation.In the Supreme
      Court's conclusion, the seven justices concurred McMillan did not have the "cold neutrality of an impartial judge" and created a case "where the personal political aspirations and subsequent vindictiveness of an individual judge have been allowed to tarnish the robes of justice."

      McMillan disagreed."Prestige, power, and money mean nothing to me," McMillan said, adding he wants nothing but to be judged by people who have no stake in whether he remains a judge or leaves the office.

      He writes in his conclusion of the motion, "Should the voters determine me unfit, let them vote me out during the next election."But for now, McMillan's fate once again rests in the hands of the Florida Supreme Court.


       
      Then it is interesting how that Judge McMillan sets history by being the first judge ever in Florida to be removed off the bench for his campaign speech.

      By CRAIG PITTMAN
      © St. Petersburg Times, published August 17, 2001. The decision marks the first time a Florida judge has been kicked off the bench for verbally
      attacking an incumbent. Three years after Manatee County's voters elected Matt McMillan a judge, the Florida Supreme Court booted him from the bench...
       
      The truth of the matter is that if Judge McMillan were to again run for the office of judge, he would probably be elected by the people again. We ask, how widespread is this type of control of local politics throughout the country? We are lead to believe that the election process is fair and open to all who wish to run, and may the best man win, but it is? Judge McMillan challenges such assumption, and if he is correct, we are here witnessing a very serious felony in progress.
       
      To contact Judge McMillan for an interview, write Sssswm@....


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