Wednesday, 01 October 2014 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

Notice to the President: Your Nominee to the State Justice Institute Is Corrupt

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 17:58 By Will Galison, SpeakOut | Press Release

URGENT NOTICE TO THE PRESIDENT

OF THE UNITED STATES, THE FBI AND CONGRESS

REGARDING CRIMES AND MISCONDUCT BY JONATHAN LIPPMAN:

NOMINEE FOR BOARD OF DIRECTORS: STATE JUSTICE INSTITUTE

On May 23rd, 2012, President Obama announced his nomination of New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman to serve on the Board of Directors of the State Justice Institute.

Opponents of judicial corruption in New York State, were shocked by the announcement, having witnessed Lippman's relentless, corruption-ridden rise to power in the New York State Judiciary, culminating in his illegal ascension to Chief Judge in 2009.

The object of this report is to inform the President, the Congressional Oversight Committees, and the FBI of Judge Lippman's legacy of corruption, in order to convince them that the confirmation of Judge Lippman would be detrimental to justice for all Americans.

Specifically, this report calls for:

  • the President to withdraw the nomination, and in lieu of that;
  • the Congressional Oversight Committees to examine the evidence and testimony against Judge Lippman and his administration, and addition to the above;
  • The FBI to investigate Judge Lippman and his colleagues for corrupt and criminal acts against the people of New York and the United States.

The Urgency of this Matter

The urgency of this notice lies in the fact that Lippman has been "fast-tracked" through the confirmation process, and is scheduled to be confirmed by a cursory "voice vote" without scrutiny by the Senate Judiciary Committee during this session of the Senate. The confirmation vote could be held as early as September 11th.

What is the State Justice Institute?

According to the SJI webpage: http://www.sji.gov/about.php :

"The State Justice Institute (SJI) was established by Federal law in 1984 to award grants to improve the quality of justice in State courts, facilitate better coordination between State and Federal courts, and foster innovative, efficient solutions to common issues faced by all courts."

Insofar as corruption is one of the most common issues faced by all courts, Judge Lippman is uniquely unqualified to foster innovative, efficient solutions.

SJI Executve Director Jonathan Mattiello Has Refused

To Accept Evidence of Crimes and Corruption by Jonathan Lippman

On August 31, 2012, The Center for Judicial Accountability asked if the SJI would like to receive documented evidence of criminal wrongdoing by Judge Lippman, including official complaints and pending lawsuits alleging criminal acts. After a moment of reflection, Matiello replied "no", explaining that the FBI had done a background check on Lippman, and "if the FBI cleared him, that's good enough for me".

With all due respect to Mr. Mattiello's confidence in the FBI, and with sincere appreciation of the FBI's extraordinary record of law enforcement, disasters have occurred because the FBI either overlooked, ignored, or suppressed information provided by the public. Some recent examples include the Fort Hood Massacre, the Madoff Scandal and the training of the people who flew planes into the World Trade Center. The FBI depends on tips and evidence from citizens, which is why there are "wanted posters" in post offices and a "tip line" on the Bureau's website. A certified fax containing the allegations in this report was received by the SJI on 9/12/12.

Mr. Mattiello's refusal to accept evidence against a nominee for his organization raises troubling questions about his personal integrity, and his true intentions regarding the integrity of the SJI.

The FBI Either Overlooked or Suppressed Reports of Fraud

in the Nomination and Confirmation of Lippman for Chief Judge of New York

What makes Mr. Mattiello's refusal to accept evidence even more egregious, is that, the FBI has in fact been apprised, repeatedly, of rampant corruption by Lippman and his administration. In a January 10, 2010 phone call and a letter sent five days later to Manhattan FBI Supervising Agent of Public Corruption Brian Nadeau, Truthout reporter Will Galison not only spelled out corruption by Lippman but offered to provide hard evidence to the FBI. Agent Nadeau's refusal to accept evidence or to follow up on Galison's allegations indicates either a stunning lack of diligence or an intentional enabling of the corruption:

"Dear Agent Nadeau

I was pleased to receive your phone call on 1/10/10... but our conversation left me with several questions and concerns.... I informed you that I possess direct evidence and documentation that the Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman had engaged in quid pro quo exchanges of illicit favors with members of the Judicial Nominating Committee responsible for his nomination. You fell silent for a moment but did not even ask me what evidence I have."

Other Official Complaints to the FBI Regarding Crimes by Judge Lippman

Over the past two years there have been other official complaints to the FBI regarding serious crimes by Judge Lippman. One complaint, from Kevin Mckeown, regards complicity in a plot to illegally wrest control of a hundred-million dollar estate from its rightful executors.

Another complaint by McKeown, sent to the US Senate, states:

"I have personal knowledge of Jonathan Lippman, in order to protect political supporters in New York, covering-up a fraud involving over $100,000.00 in stolen 9/11 donation monies, and that further defrauded an insurance company that partially paid out on the loss. To date, those stolen donation monies have NOT been repaid.

Murdered Whistleblower Sunny Sheu's report to the FBI

Galison was not the only person to report Lippman's corruption to the FBI. In the fall of 2009, Queens resident Sunny Sheu sent documentation to the FBI regarding a mortgage fraud that resulted in the loss of his home, and mentioned Lippman in connection to the case.

The FBI did not investigate Sheu's allegations against Judge Lippman. Nor did they investigate Sheu's brutal murder several months later, the theft of his body by the NYPD, his illegal cremation, or the NYPD's cover up of the Queens Medical Examiner's determination of death by "Blunt force trauma to the head with skull fractures and brain injuries" and his ruling of the manner of death as "undertermined", mandating an investigation.

The Confirmation Vote on Lippman Must be Postponed Until After the

Complaints to the FBI Have Been Investigated. None Have Been Investigated Thusfar.

The complaints to the FBI must be considered by the Senate as sworn affidavits. Making a false complaint to the FBI is a federal felony punishable by imprisonment. Because none of the complaints mentioned herein have yet been investigated by the FBI, the allegations are unopposed. Indeed, the allegations of fraud in the nomination and confirmation of Lippman as Chief Judge of New York, were reported to the FBI less than a week ago.

Confirmation of Lippman for the SJI position, before these criminal allegations have been investigated, would be grossly irresponsible and violative of the Rules of the US Senate.

Had the FBI Investigated Official Complaints

Against Lippman, What Would They Have Found?

A cursory FBI investigation of Lippman would have discovered, at the very least, the evidence of misconduct by Lippman that are detailed in this report:

  • proof that Lippman's nomination and confirmation to the Chief Judgeship of New York State were achieved by fraudulent and illegal means.
  • scores of uninvestigated, documented complaints submitted to the New York Senate Judiciary Committee regarding corruption by Lippman, the officials he appointed, and the agencies he oversaw.
  • at least seven sworn affidavits documenting crimes and corruption by Lippman, the officials he appointed, and the agencies he oversaw, filed with the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Courts, at their request.
  • at least one complaint alleging election fraud by Lippman, filed with the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct, and never investigated.
  • over 40 pending federal lawsuits against Lippman - in his official capacity -citing corruption and/or official misconduct, and scores more that had been dismissed on technicalities rather than on their merits.
  • implication of Lippman in the mortgage fraud case of Sunny Sheu, an anti-corruption whistleblower whose violent death has been covered up by the NYPD, FBI and others.
  • implication in a scandal involving a $40 million theft of property and funds
  • a report by the judicial watchdog group, the Center for Judicial Accountability, demonstrating unconstitutional abuse of power by Lippman as Chief Judge.
  • allegations of unethical behavior by Lippman in the New York media

The US Senate Judiciary Committee and House

Oversight Committee Must Review the FBI Files on Judge Lippman.

If the following information is not in the FBI file, it means that either:

  1. the FBI did not diligently investigate public complaints against Lippman , or;
  2. the FBI concealed information from the Whitehouse, Congress and the SJI

The New York Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on

Judge Lippman's Confirmation were Fraudulent, Criminal and Invalid.

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

      1. to announce the hearing 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, 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. The announcement also did not mention that the public was invited.

In violation of New York Senate rules, which require a five-day notice for public hearings, the "Public Hearing" on Lippman's Confirmation was not announced until one day before the 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 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 presence establishes that this was indeed a "public hearing", despite the Senate's violation of applicable rules.

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. Fortunately, the videos were copied and are now posted on Youtube and elsewhere. The bias and bullying against the opposing witnesses by the SJA is shockingly evident in these clips.

Although Lippman addressed the Judiciary Committee after the testimony of opposing witnesses (for which he was present), he failed to respond to any of the allegations made against him by opposing witnesses.

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.

Other than these three citizens, the hearing was attended exclusively by about 50 officials 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 anyone was invited, the friendly witnesses must have been personally invited by the Committee in advance of, and to the exclusion of, the general public.

There was also no Senate press release informing the media of the hearing. Only journalists from select newspapers were invited, virtually all of whom neglected to report on the testimony or even the presence of the opposition witnesses.

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 public.

On these grounds alone, the confirmation of Jonathan Lippman is illegal and invalid.

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 Committee pending complaints alleging crimes by Judge Lippman.

At least one (that of Mr. Galison) 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.

Incredibly, 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 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 and invalid.

On these grounds alone, the confirmation of Jonathan Lippman is illegal and invalid.

[One month after Lippman's confirmation, the CJC complaint was "dismissed without investigation" by Tembeckjian. Dismissing a factual complaint without investigation comprises official misconduct, a crime under New York law]

5) The Senate Judiciary Committee failed to investigate evidence against Lippman which had been submitted directly to all members of the committee prior to 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!"

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.

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.

On these grounds alone, the SJC vote confirming Jonathan Lippman is illegal and invalid.

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 these grounds alone, the full senate confirmation of Jonathan Lippman is illegal and invalid.

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 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

When this appearance of impropriety and conflict of interest was exposed to all twelve members of the JNC in a letter of 11/20/08, the only response from the commission was a recorded phone message left on Galison's answering machine by JNC member Fred Brewington: "This is Fred Brewington. You sent me an email concerning... the JNC... Please do not send me any more information concerning this, and the information you did send me I'm going to shred at this point. Thank you."

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.

[It should be noted that according to the Daily News, at the time of Lippman's nomination, CJC member Richard Emery also sat on the State Ethics Commision which was the only New York Government agency that oversaw the CJC -the ultimate conflict of interest.]

Complaint to the US House Judiciary Committee Regarding Lippman's Crimes

In a December 4th, 2008 meeting with victims of NY court corruption under Lippman's administration, House Judiciary Committee Counsel Eric Garduno requested follow-up information including "(i) a ...summary of individual claims; (ii) an Exhibit A containing a list of attorney, public officers, and members of the judiciary involved; (iii) an Exhibit B containing sample(s) of incontrovertible evidence; (iv) an Exhibit C containing a witness list; and (iv) an Exhibit D describing the particular blocking factors in each individual matter."

In a follow up letter to Counsel Garduno, one of the complainants, Stephen P. Lamont, wrote:

Still further, it should be clear that the particular matters DO NOT pertain to a single case or group of related cases, but are widespread in nature and pertain to a systemic cause of concern in the State of New York. Moreover, the matters have documented countless examples of the abuse of process, ignorance of the rule of law, and denial of due process combined with a complete defiance of all rights afforded to the litigants under the Constitution of the United States.

The House Judiciary Committee later informed the witnesses that their investigation had been aborted, but gave no explanation.

New York's Popular Outrage Against Judge Lippman:

The 2009 Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings on Judicial Oversight.

Four months after the confirmation hearings, on June 8th and September 24th of 2009, John Sampson, as Chairman of the SJC, convened public hearings on the so-called "ethics oversight bodies" of the NY court system, specifically the various Departmental Disciplinary Committees (DDC) which oversee lawyer ethics, and the Commission on Judicial Conduct (CJC) which oversees the ethics of Judges.

The DDC of the First Appellate Division (Manhattan and the Bronx) had been under the direct supervision of Jonathan Lippman during his tenure as Presiding Justice of the First Appellate Division from May 2007 to February 2009 and all of New York's DDCs had been under his general supervision during his eleven-year tenure as Chief Administrative Judge, from 1995 to 2007.

The hearings, which were held in Albany and New York City respectively, were filled to capacity by hundreds of citizens who submitted documentation, and delivered searing testimonies of the rampant corruption by the DDCs and CJC.

Witnesses included lawyers, sitting judges, and even former employees of the oversight agencies with direct knowledge of the corruption within them. Some witnesses testified against Lippman directly. Dozens of others complained about the First Department DDC, and its director Alan Friedberg, who was appointed by Lippman, and under the oversight of Judge Lippman, in his capacity as Presiding Justice of the First Appellate Department.

One of the witnesses was a sitting New York Supreme Court Judge, The Honorable Duane Hart. His complaints were aimed at Robert Tembeckjian, administrator of the CJC, and Alan Friedberg, Chief of the First Department DDC. As the video of his testimony shows, Judge Hart did not mince his words:

  • "I guess the best way to describe the way Mr Tembeckjian and Mr Friedberg ... run their little shop is: they marked the deck, they shaved the cards, then they started to cheat." (1:26:25 in video)
  • "They don't give you discovery or they give you doctored discovery"
  • "The only reason ... that Robert Tembeckjina isn't the sleaziest person I've ever met is because I met Alan Friedberg."

Another witness, Christine Anderson, a former investigating lawyer with the First Department DDC, testified that she was "terminated for internal whistle-blowing" about favors by the DDC to "connected" lawyers and firms. She also claimed that she was victim of racial bias at the DDC. Her "termination" for whistle-blowing was approved by Judge Lippman in his capacity as Chief Administrative Judge.

The only positive comments about the ethics oversight committees were from their own directors, including Tembeckjian and Friedberg.

Under Lippman's Chief Judgeship, The SJC Ethics

Hearings Were Aborted and All Testimony Ignored

Because of the huge turnout at the hearings, the vast majority of witnesses were denied the opportunity to testify on the two dates, so future hearings were scheduled in Manhattan, along with hearings in other areas of New York State.

However, despite the overwhelming public response to the hearings, and despite the denial of many witnesses' chance to testify, all future hearings were aborted, without notice. No explanation was given then for their cancellation and none has been given to this date.

Moreover, none of the evidence of abuses by the disciplinary bodies presented in the hearings has ever been investigated by any state or federal agency. None of the witnesses have ever been contacted by the senate to follow up on or verify their complaints and nothing has been done to remediate the abuses reported by these citizens.

Video of the SJC hearings on ethics oversight can be viewed in full at:

http://www.judgewatch.org/web-pages/judicial-discipline/nys/nys-sjc-hearing.htm

Pending Federal Lawsuits Against Judge Lippman

The questionnaire provided by the New York Commission on Judicial Nominations to all nominees also asks the following question:

d) during the past ten years, have you been a party in any litigation other than an article 78 proceeding against you as a public officer? If so, state the facts, provide the relevant dates and provide a copy of the complaint and any judicial decision on the action.

If Lippman filled out this sworn questionnaire honestly, he would have reported at least 40 pending federal lawsuits against him in his official capacity, and scores of other lawsuits that had been adjudicated, though many on technicalities rather then on their merits.

The Center for Judicial Accountability's Lawsuit against Lippman

Perhaps the most inclusive and revealing lawsuit was filed by the Center for Judicial Accountability (CJA), and regards the Commission on Judicial Compensation, which was convened by Judge Lippman, Governor Cuomo, House Majority Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, to evaluate the constitutionality of a pay raise for judges of the New York judiciary.

The Commission was mandated to investigate and report on "all appropriate factors" involved in evaluating the constitutionality of a judicial pay raise, but according to the CJA's lawsuit, they did not investigate or report on several extremely appropriate factors, including:

  • The testimony documentation of corruption of the "ethics oversight bodies" gathered (but ignored) by the SJC at the aborted 2009 public hearings and at the JCC's own public hearings of July 20, 2011 (which were not mentioned in the JCC's report)
  • The generous "non-salary benefits" that judges enjoy, including health care, pension etc.
  • The documented conflicts of interest regarding members of the JCC.

The JCC could not, and did not, deny that the state of ethical oversight or non-salary benefits are "appropriate factors" in evaluating a pay raise, but nevertheless the pay raise was passed and signed based on the report that ignored these factors. Hence, the CJA complaint asserts that the legislative and executive branches (Cuomo, Silver and Skelos) unconstitutionally colluded with the judiciary (Lippman) to force through a judicial pay raise.

Sunny Sheu's Lawsuit against Judge Lippman and Joseph Golia

In August 2006, mortgage fraud (and soon to be murder) victim Sunny Sheu sued Judge Lippman and Joseph Golia, who had been appointed by Lippman, in federal court.

Sheu's ten-year battle with official corruption was chronicled in a recent article published by Truthout. Sheu, a mortgage fraud victim in Queens NY, alleged that Golia, the judge in his foreclosure case, was complicit in the fraud. Sheu complained about Golia to Chief Administrative Judge Lippman, citing fraud, harassment, intimidation and racial bias.

According to the suit, Lippman knowingly overlooked falsified records altered by Golia to cover his wrongdoing.

The sole relief that Sheu requested was that Golia be recused, that Lippman select another judge to replace him, and that the case be reopened. Despite allegations of bias and corruption, Sheu's case was dismissed on the grounds of "judicial immunity".

In January, 2009, after being kidnapped and threatened by the NYPD, Sheu asked the FBI for witness protection and later posted a video on Youtube predicting that he would be killed by Golia. On June 23rd, 2010 Sheu announced that he had uncovered evidence of financial fraud by Golia and three days later was found dead. The Medical Examiner ruled the cause of death "blunt force trauma to the head with skull fractures and brain injuries" and demanded an investigation, but there has been no investigation by the NYPD or the FBI.

Incredibly, after Sheu's death the house was returned to Sheu's estate by the bank, indicating that Sheu's ten-year battle with the court was a horrific miscarriage of justice at best and at worst a mortgage fraud conspiracy involving the NY judiciary, NYPD, rogue FBI and others.

The FBI's egregious mishandling of the Sunny Sheu case:

On April 4th, 2010, Sheu wrote to FBI Special Supervising Agent Rachel Rojas "[Lippman appointed] Judge Golia sent two NYPD detectives from the Queens DA bureau to kidnap me, intimidate me and threaten that if I filed a complaint against Golia I would be in serious danger... Despite these threats, I filed a complaint with the NYS Ethics Commission of the NY Unified Court System, alleging that Judge Golia had made substantial misrepresentations on his Financial Disclosure Forms over seven years of reporting...

Therefore, I am officially requesting a witness protection protocol to ensure my personal safety until and while this matter is being prosecuted."

When the FBI ignored his evidence and his request, Sheu also posted a video on Youtube predicting that if he were killed, it would be at the hands of Judge Golia.

Two months later Sheu was found dead of "blunt force trauma to the head", according to Queens Medical Examiner Michael Greenberg, whose ruling of an "undetermined" manner of death mandated an investigation.

In an August, 2010 phone conversation; New York FBI Chief Janice Fedarcyk was informed of the entire case . To date, neither Sheu's violent death, nor Golia's alleged financial fraud has been investigated by the NYPD or the FBI, and neither Fedarcyk or anyone from the FBI has responded to witnesses who have offered material evidence regarding the case.

The NYPD has ignored FOIL requests and appeals for information on Sheu's death in violation of FOIL law. The only legal remedy against violation of FOIL law is to file an article 78 action, at a cost of $20,000 to $40,000 dollars and a commitment to years of litigation. The NYPD's defense, on the other hand, would be paid for by New York taxpayers and would be appealed up to the Court of Appeals where it will finally be adjudicated by .... Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.

Moreover, the New York Office of Court Administration - headed by Lippman during most of the years of Golia's alleged fraud - has illegally denied the public access to Golia's financial disclosure forms, while making available the financial disclosure forms of every other employee of the NY Unified Court System.

The story of Sunny Sheu's death and the ensuing cover up are detailed in an article published by Truthout on August 23rd, 2012

Criticism of Judge Lippman in the New York Press

Had the FBI would merely searched the name "Jonathan Lippman" in Google News they would have found many articles in prominent New York Media accusing Lippman of unethical and illegal acts in his various jobs in the New York Judiciary. See Appendix: Criticism of Judge Lippman in the New York Press, below.

In Conclusion:

In light of the documented evidence proving criminal acts by Judge Jonathan Lippman in his capacities as New York State Administrative Judge, Presiding Justice of the First Department, and Chief Judge of New York State, Lippman's confirmation must be either withdrawn by the President or blocked by Congress, and in either case must be investigated by an independent special task force.

In light of the proof that Lippman's nomination and confirmation to the Chief Judgeship of New York were ridden with crimes and corruption, Judge Lippman must be immediately impeached from that position under federal law.

In light of the documentation provided herein, failure of the United States government to block the confirmation of Judge Lippman would represent intentional complicity with crimes and corruption against the people of the United States of America.

I swear that every statement in this report is true to the best of my knowledge, and request permission to testify under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Congressional Oversight Committeee.

Signed,

Will Galison

Member: Center for Judicial Accountability

Reporter: Blackstar News, Truthout

9/10/12

Appendix:

The February 11th Village Voice cover illustration for Wayne Barrett's article; Paterson Duped Again: Shelly Silver Gets Childhood Pal Jonathan Lippman State's Top Courts Job, shows Lippman's champion NY Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver tying a blindfold over the eyes of then Governor David Paterson. It is meant to illustrate how Jonathan Lippman was nominated for Chief Judge through unethical manipulation.

Excerpts from Wayne Barrett's Village Voice 2/11/09 expose of Lippman : Paterson Duped Again: Shelly Silver Gets Childhood Pal Jonathan Lippman State's Top Courts Job:

"The story of how Lippman reached this pinnacle has its shabby side. He exudes an above-politics reform aura, but he did not climb to the top of the state's judiciary without making some stops in the dark along the way. His ally, Silver, helped clear that path to power, working a system whose anti-democratic ways have been rebuked by two federal courts."

"Jonathan Lippman will soon preside over the most complicated and significant cases in New York, even though he's never practiced as a private attorney.... "

"...he was the only candidate in the state running for Supreme Court who couldn't be voted against. Lippman was on all five ballot lines: Democratic, Republican, Working Families, Conservative, and Independent. In fact, he had refused to allow his name to be put in the nomination unless every party backed him for the seat, which is the top trial court of the unified court system."

"[County judge Joseph] Alessandro, had been found "not qualified" by the Bar Association and was dogged by tawdry tax and lawsuit charges. The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct is still investigating those charges, and Alessandro, who did become a Supreme Court judge, is now facing possible severe sanctions. Yet it was Lippman's demands that would put Alessandro on the bench."

Expose Corrupt Courts' article on the Ramos/ Weissman Scandal: Evidence of Lippman's involvement in a 40 million dollar estate scam.

On March 1, 2011, The anti-corruption blog Exposecorruptcourts.blogspot.com ran an article entitled Chief Judge Lippman Must Step Aside Pending FBI Probe alleging that Lippman was complicit in a massive estate probate scam involving $40 million dollars. The gist of the story is that as Administrative Judge Lippman gave an illegal waiver to a fellow judge in order to allow him to become the co-executor of an estate worth over 40 million dollars:

ExposeCorruptCourts.blogspot.com - March 1, 2011:

The Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in Manhattan, Janice K. Fedarcyk, has been asked for a "follow-up meeting" in the alleged $40 Million Dollar Fraud involving New York's top judge, Jonathan Lippman. Appellate Division Associate Justice, Charles Ramos, and Chief Administrative Judge Ann Pfau are also named in the allegations that highlight the widespread illegal "money-grab" in and around New York's legal system.

The correspondence also formally requests that New York Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, appoint a Special Counsel to investigate Judge Lippman's involvement in the $40 Million Dollar Scam, along with "other criminal acts [involving Judge Lippman] to be supposedly presented... before March 10, 2011..." The heavily redacted correspondence also brings to the top FBI official in Manhattan, Ms. Fedarcyk, the well-known, and sadly accepted, fact that New York State's "'ethics' oversight structure is itself corrupt" and in desperate need of a massive cleansing.

One former New York State Court employee who read the correspondence, and who asked not to be named, said that, "The entire New York State Court system needs an overhaul- an enema, if you will. I would conservatively estimate financial fraud and mismanagement at about $250 Million in the OCA $3 Billion enterprise. When I was around courthouse budget talks, we actually had trouble coming up with things to waste money on because if you didn't act like you needed more money, your courthouse budget might actually NOT get an increase- and that's a no-no..."

The New York Times on Judge Lippman's powers of intimidation

Willam Glaberson, (not to be confused with Willam Galison, co-author of this report) has been covering the courts for the New York Times for decades, and knows the courts and their officials as well as anyone.

In his May 6, 2012 article The Power Players of New York: New York Courts Glaberson writes: "Some judges and lawyers fear Judge Lippman because he knows the administrative machinery that court officials can use to punish and reward."

What could Glaberson possibly mean by this statement?

The only legitimate machinery that exists to "punish" lawyers is the DDC, and the only legitimate machinery that exists to "punish" judges is the CJC and under law "court officials" should have no more access to these agencies than the general public.

So what does Judge Lippman "know" about these agencies that the general public doesn't know? The record shows that that what Lippman knows is that he can illegally influence them to harass, sanction and fire lawyers and judges he does not like and to protect lawyers and judges that he does like. Lippman's personal protection of Leon Friedman and the CJC's persecution of Judge Hart demonstrate that he does precisely that.

http://www.villagevoice.com/2009-02-11/news/paterson-duped-again-shelly-silver-gets- childhood-pal-jonathan-lippman-state-s-top-courts-job/

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2009/02/wayne_barrett_h.php

http://risingtimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/yonkers-confidential-the-judge-allesandro-saga/

http://www.newyorkcourtwatcher.com/2009/02/new-york-court-of-appeals-chief-judge.html

http://governmentrico.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/ny-chief-judge-jonathan-lippmans-decision-endangers-parental-rights/


This article is a Truthout original.

Will Galison

Will Galison is an internationally known musician with many recording and performing credits. Will became a part-time journalist after being a victim of judicial corruption and discovering that no mainstream media was writing about the subject and no government agencies were challenging it. The murder of his colleague Sunny Sheu inspired Will to join up with Milton Allimadi, publisher of the Black Star News, to investigate and report on the death of their mutual friend.


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Notice to the President: Your Nominee to the State Justice Institute Is Corrupt

Wednesday, 19 September 2012 17:58 By Will Galison, SpeakOut | Press Release

URGENT NOTICE TO THE PRESIDENT

OF THE UNITED STATES, THE FBI AND CONGRESS

REGARDING CRIMES AND MISCONDUCT BY JONATHAN LIPPMAN:

NOMINEE FOR BOARD OF DIRECTORS: STATE JUSTICE INSTITUTE

On May 23rd, 2012, President Obama announced his nomination of New York State Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman to serve on the Board of Directors of the State Justice Institute.

Opponents of judicial corruption in New York State, were shocked by the announcement, having witnessed Lippman's relentless, corruption-ridden rise to power in the New York State Judiciary, culminating in his illegal ascension to Chief Judge in 2009.

The object of this report is to inform the President, the Congressional Oversight Committees, and the FBI of Judge Lippman's legacy of corruption, in order to convince them that the confirmation of Judge Lippman would be detrimental to justice for all Americans.

Specifically, this report calls for:

  • the President to withdraw the nomination, and in lieu of that;
  • the Congressional Oversight Committees to examine the evidence and testimony against Judge Lippman and his administration, and addition to the above;
  • The FBI to investigate Judge Lippman and his colleagues for corrupt and criminal acts against the people of New York and the United States.

The Urgency of this Matter

The urgency of this notice lies in the fact that Lippman has been "fast-tracked" through the confirmation process, and is scheduled to be confirmed by a cursory "voice vote" without scrutiny by the Senate Judiciary Committee during this session of the Senate. The confirmation vote could be held as early as September 11th.

What is the State Justice Institute?

According to the SJI webpage: http://www.sji.gov/about.php :

"The State Justice Institute (SJI) was established by Federal law in 1984 to award grants to improve the quality of justice in State courts, facilitate better coordination between State and Federal courts, and foster innovative, efficient solutions to common issues faced by all courts."

Insofar as corruption is one of the most common issues faced by all courts, Judge Lippman is uniquely unqualified to foster innovative, efficient solutions.

SJI Executve Director Jonathan Mattiello Has Refused

To Accept Evidence of Crimes and Corruption by Jonathan Lippman

On August 31, 2012, The Center for Judicial Accountability asked if the SJI would like to receive documented evidence of criminal wrongdoing by Judge Lippman, including official complaints and pending lawsuits alleging criminal acts. After a moment of reflection, Matiello replied "no", explaining that the FBI had done a background check on Lippman, and "if the FBI cleared him, that's good enough for me".

With all due respect to Mr. Mattiello's confidence in the FBI, and with sincere appreciation of the FBI's extraordinary record of law enforcement, disasters have occurred because the FBI either overlooked, ignored, or suppressed information provided by the public. Some recent examples include the Fort Hood Massacre, the Madoff Scandal and the training of the people who flew planes into the World Trade Center. The FBI depends on tips and evidence from citizens, which is why there are "wanted posters" in post offices and a "tip line" on the Bureau's website. A certified fax containing the allegations in this report was received by the SJI on 9/12/12.

Mr. Mattiello's refusal to accept evidence against a nominee for his organization raises troubling questions about his personal integrity, and his true intentions regarding the integrity of the SJI.

The FBI Either Overlooked or Suppressed Reports of Fraud

in the Nomination and Confirmation of Lippman for Chief Judge of New York

What makes Mr. Mattiello's refusal to accept evidence even more egregious, is that, the FBI has in fact been apprised, repeatedly, of rampant corruption by Lippman and his administration. In a January 10, 2010 phone call and a letter sent five days later to Manhattan FBI Supervising Agent of Public Corruption Brian Nadeau, Truthout reporter Will Galison not only spelled out corruption by Lippman but offered to provide hard evidence to the FBI. Agent Nadeau's refusal to accept evidence or to follow up on Galison's allegations indicates either a stunning lack of diligence or an intentional enabling of the corruption:

"Dear Agent Nadeau

I was pleased to receive your phone call on 1/10/10... but our conversation left me with several questions and concerns.... I informed you that I possess direct evidence and documentation that the Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman had engaged in quid pro quo exchanges of illicit favors with members of the Judicial Nominating Committee responsible for his nomination. You fell silent for a moment but did not even ask me what evidence I have."

Other Official Complaints to the FBI Regarding Crimes by Judge Lippman

Over the past two years there have been other official complaints to the FBI regarding serious crimes by Judge Lippman. One complaint, from Kevin Mckeown, regards complicity in a plot to illegally wrest control of a hundred-million dollar estate from its rightful executors.

Another complaint by McKeown, sent to the US Senate, states:

"I have personal knowledge of Jonathan Lippman, in order to protect political supporters in New York, covering-up a fraud involving over $100,000.00 in stolen 9/11 donation monies, and that further defrauded an insurance company that partially paid out on the loss. To date, those stolen donation monies have NOT been repaid.

Murdered Whistleblower Sunny Sheu's report to the FBI

Galison was not the only person to report Lippman's corruption to the FBI. In the fall of 2009, Queens resident Sunny Sheu sent documentation to the FBI regarding a mortgage fraud that resulted in the loss of his home, and mentioned Lippman in connection to the case.

The FBI did not investigate Sheu's allegations against Judge Lippman. Nor did they investigate Sheu's brutal murder several months later, the theft of his body by the NYPD, his illegal cremation, or the NYPD's cover up of the Queens Medical Examiner's determination of death by "Blunt force trauma to the head with skull fractures and brain injuries" and his ruling of the manner of death as "undertermined", mandating an investigation.

The Confirmation Vote on Lippman Must be Postponed Until After the

Complaints to the FBI Have Been Investigated. None Have Been Investigated Thusfar.

The complaints to the FBI must be considered by the Senate as sworn affidavits. Making a false complaint to the FBI is a federal felony punishable by imprisonment. Because none of the complaints mentioned herein have yet been investigated by the FBI, the allegations are unopposed. Indeed, the allegations of fraud in the nomination and confirmation of Lippman as Chief Judge of New York, were reported to the FBI less than a week ago.

Confirmation of Lippman for the SJI position, before these criminal allegations have been investigated, would be grossly irresponsible and violative of the Rules of the US Senate.

Had the FBI Investigated Official Complaints

Against Lippman, What Would They Have Found?

A cursory FBI investigation of Lippman would have discovered, at the very least, the evidence of misconduct by Lippman that are detailed in this report:

  • proof that Lippman's nomination and confirmation to the Chief Judgeship of New York State were achieved by fraudulent and illegal means.
  • scores of uninvestigated, documented complaints submitted to the New York Senate Judiciary Committee regarding corruption by Lippman, the officials he appointed, and the agencies he oversaw.
  • at least seven sworn affidavits documenting crimes and corruption by Lippman, the officials he appointed, and the agencies he oversaw, filed with the House Judiciary Committee, Subcommittee on Courts, at their request.
  • at least one complaint alleging election fraud by Lippman, filed with the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct, and never investigated.
  • over 40 pending federal lawsuits against Lippman - in his official capacity -citing corruption and/or official misconduct, and scores more that had been dismissed on technicalities rather than on their merits.
  • implication of Lippman in the mortgage fraud case of Sunny Sheu, an anti-corruption whistleblower whose violent death has been covered up by the NYPD, FBI and others.
  • implication in a scandal involving a $40 million theft of property and funds
  • a report by the judicial watchdog group, the Center for Judicial Accountability, demonstrating unconstitutional abuse of power by Lippman as Chief Judge.
  • allegations of unethical behavior by Lippman in the New York media

The US Senate Judiciary Committee and House

Oversight Committee Must Review the FBI Files on Judge Lippman.

If the following information is not in the FBI file, it means that either:

  1. the FBI did not diligently investigate public complaints against Lippman , or;
  2. the FBI concealed information from the Whitehouse, Congress and the SJI

The New York Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on

Judge Lippman's Confirmation were Fraudulent, Criminal and Invalid.

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

      1. to announce the hearing 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, 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. The announcement also did not mention that the public was invited.

In violation of New York Senate rules, which require a five-day notice for public hearings, the "Public Hearing" on Lippman's Confirmation was not announced until one day before the 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 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 presence establishes that this was indeed a "public hearing", despite the Senate's violation of applicable rules.

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. Fortunately, the videos were copied and are now posted on Youtube and elsewhere. The bias and bullying against the opposing witnesses by the SJA is shockingly evident in these clips.

Although Lippman addressed the Judiciary Committee after the testimony of opposing witnesses (for which he was present), he failed to respond to any of the allegations made against him by opposing witnesses.

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.

Other than these three citizens, the hearing was attended exclusively by about 50 officials 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 anyone was invited, the friendly witnesses must have been personally invited by the Committee in advance of, and to the exclusion of, the general public.

There was also no Senate press release informing the media of the hearing. Only journalists from select newspapers were invited, virtually all of whom neglected to report on the testimony or even the presence of the opposition witnesses.

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 public.

On these grounds alone, the confirmation of Jonathan Lippman is illegal and invalid.

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 Committee pending complaints alleging crimes by Judge Lippman.

At least one (that of Mr. Galison) 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.

Incredibly, 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 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 and invalid.

On these grounds alone, the confirmation of Jonathan Lippman is illegal and invalid.

[One month after Lippman's confirmation, the CJC complaint was "dismissed without investigation" by Tembeckjian. Dismissing a factual complaint without investigation comprises official misconduct, a crime under New York law]

5) The Senate Judiciary Committee failed to investigate evidence against Lippman which had been submitted directly to all members of the committee prior to 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!"

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.

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.

On these grounds alone, the SJC vote confirming Jonathan Lippman is illegal and invalid.

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 these grounds alone, the full senate confirmation of Jonathan Lippman is illegal and invalid.

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 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

When this appearance of impropriety and conflict of interest was exposed to all twelve members of the JNC in a letter of 11/20/08, the only response from the commission was a recorded phone message left on Galison's answering machine by JNC member Fred Brewington: "This is Fred Brewington. You sent me an email concerning... the JNC... Please do not send me any more information concerning this, and the information you did send me I'm going to shred at this point. Thank you."

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.

[It should be noted that according to the Daily News, at the time of Lippman's nomination, CJC member Richard Emery also sat on the State Ethics Commision which was the only New York Government agency that oversaw the CJC -the ultimate conflict of interest.]

Complaint to the US House Judiciary Committee Regarding Lippman's Crimes

In a December 4th, 2008 meeting with victims of NY court corruption under Lippman's administration, House Judiciary Committee Counsel Eric Garduno requested follow-up information including "(i) a ...summary of individual claims; (ii) an Exhibit A containing a list of attorney, public officers, and members of the judiciary involved; (iii) an Exhibit B containing sample(s) of incontrovertible evidence; (iv) an Exhibit C containing a witness list; and (iv) an Exhibit D describing the particular blocking factors in each individual matter."

In a follow up letter to Counsel Garduno, one of the complainants, Stephen P. Lamont, wrote:

Still further, it should be clear that the particular matters DO NOT pertain to a single case or group of related cases, but are widespread in nature and pertain to a systemic cause of concern in the State of New York. Moreover, the matters have documented countless examples of the abuse of process, ignorance of the rule of law, and denial of due process combined with a complete defiance of all rights afforded to the litigants under the Constitution of the United States.

The House Judiciary Committee later informed the witnesses that their investigation had been aborted, but gave no explanation.

New York's Popular Outrage Against Judge Lippman:

The 2009 Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings on Judicial Oversight.

Four months after the confirmation hearings, on June 8th and September 24th of 2009, John Sampson, as Chairman of the SJC, convened public hearings on the so-called "ethics oversight bodies" of the NY court system, specifically the various Departmental Disciplinary Committees (DDC) which oversee lawyer ethics, and the Commission on Judicial Conduct (CJC) which oversees the ethics of Judges.

The DDC of the First Appellate Division (Manhattan and the Bronx) had been under the direct supervision of Jonathan Lippman during his tenure as Presiding Justice of the First Appellate Division from May 2007 to February 2009 and all of New York's DDCs had been under his general supervision during his eleven-year tenure as Chief Administrative Judge, from 1995 to 2007.

The hearings, which were held in Albany and New York City respectively, were filled to capacity by hundreds of citizens who submitted documentation, and delivered searing testimonies of the rampant corruption by the DDCs and CJC.

Witnesses included lawyers, sitting judges, and even former employees of the oversight agencies with direct knowledge of the corruption within them. Some witnesses testified against Lippman directly. Dozens of others complained about the First Department DDC, and its director Alan Friedberg, who was appointed by Lippman, and under the oversight of Judge Lippman, in his capacity as Presiding Justice of the First Appellate Department.

One of the witnesses was a sitting New York Supreme Court Judge, The Honorable Duane Hart. His complaints were aimed at Robert Tembeckjian, administrator of the CJC, and Alan Friedberg, Chief of the First Department DDC. As the video of his testimony shows, Judge Hart did not mince his words:

  • "I guess the best way to describe the way Mr Tembeckjian and Mr Friedberg ... run their little shop is: they marked the deck, they shaved the cards, then they started to cheat." (1:26:25 in video)
  • "They don't give you discovery or they give you doctored discovery"
  • "The only reason ... that Robert Tembeckjina isn't the sleaziest person I've ever met is because I met Alan Friedberg."

Another witness, Christine Anderson, a former investigating lawyer with the First Department DDC, testified that she was "terminated for internal whistle-blowing" about favors by the DDC to "connected" lawyers and firms. She also claimed that she was victim of racial bias at the DDC. Her "termination" for whistle-blowing was approved by Judge Lippman in his capacity as Chief Administrative Judge.

The only positive comments about the ethics oversight committees were from their own directors, including Tembeckjian and Friedberg.

Under Lippman's Chief Judgeship, The SJC Ethics

Hearings Were Aborted and All Testimony Ignored

Because of the huge turnout at the hearings, the vast majority of witnesses were denied the opportunity to testify on the two dates, so future hearings were scheduled in Manhattan, along with hearings in other areas of New York State.

However, despite the overwhelming public response to the hearings, and despite the denial of many witnesses' chance to testify, all future hearings were aborted, without notice. No explanation was given then for their cancellation and none has been given to this date.

Moreover, none of the evidence of abuses by the disciplinary bodies presented in the hearings has ever been investigated by any state or federal agency. None of the witnesses have ever been contacted by the senate to follow up on or verify their complaints and nothing has been done to remediate the abuses reported by these citizens.

Video of the SJC hearings on ethics oversight can be viewed in full at:

http://www.judgewatch.org/web-pages/judicial-discipline/nys/nys-sjc-hearing.htm

Pending Federal Lawsuits Against Judge Lippman

The questionnaire provided by the New York Commission on Judicial Nominations to all nominees also asks the following question:

d) during the past ten years, have you been a party in any litigation other than an article 78 proceeding against you as a public officer? If so, state the facts, provide the relevant dates and provide a copy of the complaint and any judicial decision on the action.

If Lippman filled out this sworn questionnaire honestly, he would have reported at least 40 pending federal lawsuits against him in his official capacity, and scores of other lawsuits that had been adjudicated, though many on technicalities rather then on their merits.

The Center for Judicial Accountability's Lawsuit against Lippman

Perhaps the most inclusive and revealing lawsuit was filed by the Center for Judicial Accountability (CJA), and regards the Commission on Judicial Compensation, which was convened by Judge Lippman, Governor Cuomo, House Majority Speaker Sheldon Silver and Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, to evaluate the constitutionality of a pay raise for judges of the New York judiciary.

The Commission was mandated to investigate and report on "all appropriate factors" involved in evaluating the constitutionality of a judicial pay raise, but according to the CJA's lawsuit, they did not investigate or report on several extremely appropriate factors, including:

  • The testimony documentation of corruption of the "ethics oversight bodies" gathered (but ignored) by the SJC at the aborted 2009 public hearings and at the JCC's own public hearings of July 20, 2011 (which were not mentioned in the JCC's report)
  • The generous "non-salary benefits" that judges enjoy, including health care, pension etc.
  • The documented conflicts of interest regarding members of the JCC.

The JCC could not, and did not, deny that the state of ethical oversight or non-salary benefits are "appropriate factors" in evaluating a pay raise, but nevertheless the pay raise was passed and signed based on the report that ignored these factors. Hence, the CJA complaint asserts that the legislative and executive branches (Cuomo, Silver and Skelos) unconstitutionally colluded with the judiciary (Lippman) to force through a judicial pay raise.

Sunny Sheu's Lawsuit against Judge Lippman and Joseph Golia

In August 2006, mortgage fraud (and soon to be murder) victim Sunny Sheu sued Judge Lippman and Joseph Golia, who had been appointed by Lippman, in federal court.

Sheu's ten-year battle with official corruption was chronicled in a recent article published by Truthout. Sheu, a mortgage fraud victim in Queens NY, alleged that Golia, the judge in his foreclosure case, was complicit in the fraud. Sheu complained about Golia to Chief Administrative Judge Lippman, citing fraud, harassment, intimidation and racial bias.

According to the suit, Lippman knowingly overlooked falsified records altered by Golia to cover his wrongdoing.

The sole relief that Sheu requested was that Golia be recused, that Lippman select another judge to replace him, and that the case be reopened. Despite allegations of bias and corruption, Sheu's case was dismissed on the grounds of "judicial immunity".

In January, 2009, after being kidnapped and threatened by the NYPD, Sheu asked the FBI for witness protection and later posted a video on Youtube predicting that he would be killed by Golia. On June 23rd, 2010 Sheu announced that he had uncovered evidence of financial fraud by Golia and three days later was found dead. The Medical Examiner ruled the cause of death "blunt force trauma to the head with skull fractures and brain injuries" and demanded an investigation, but there has been no investigation by the NYPD or the FBI.

Incredibly, after Sheu's death the house was returned to Sheu's estate by the bank, indicating that Sheu's ten-year battle with the court was a horrific miscarriage of justice at best and at worst a mortgage fraud conspiracy involving the NY judiciary, NYPD, rogue FBI and others.

The FBI's egregious mishandling of the Sunny Sheu case:

On April 4th, 2010, Sheu wrote to FBI Special Supervising Agent Rachel Rojas "[Lippman appointed] Judge Golia sent two NYPD detectives from the Queens DA bureau to kidnap me, intimidate me and threaten that if I filed a complaint against Golia I would be in serious danger... Despite these threats, I filed a complaint with the NYS Ethics Commission of the NY Unified Court System, alleging that Judge Golia had made substantial misrepresentations on his Financial Disclosure Forms over seven years of reporting...

Therefore, I am officially requesting a witness protection protocol to ensure my personal safety until and while this matter is being prosecuted."

When the FBI ignored his evidence and his request, Sheu also posted a video on Youtube predicting that if he were killed, it would be at the hands of Judge Golia.

Two months later Sheu was found dead of "blunt force trauma to the head", according to Queens Medical Examiner Michael Greenberg, whose ruling of an "undetermined" manner of death mandated an investigation.

In an August, 2010 phone conversation; New York FBI Chief Janice Fedarcyk was informed of the entire case . To date, neither Sheu's violent death, nor Golia's alleged financial fraud has been investigated by the NYPD or the FBI, and neither Fedarcyk or anyone from the FBI has responded to witnesses who have offered material evidence regarding the case.

The NYPD has ignored FOIL requests and appeals for information on Sheu's death in violation of FOIL law. The only legal remedy against violation of FOIL law is to file an article 78 action, at a cost of $20,000 to $40,000 dollars and a commitment to years of litigation. The NYPD's defense, on the other hand, would be paid for by New York taxpayers and would be appealed up to the Court of Appeals where it will finally be adjudicated by .... Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.

Moreover, the New York Office of Court Administration - headed by Lippman during most of the years of Golia's alleged fraud - has illegally denied the public access to Golia's financial disclosure forms, while making available the financial disclosure forms of every other employee of the NY Unified Court System.

The story of Sunny Sheu's death and the ensuing cover up are detailed in an article published by Truthout on August 23rd, 2012

Criticism of Judge Lippman in the New York Press

Had the FBI would merely searched the name "Jonathan Lippman" in Google News they would have found many articles in prominent New York Media accusing Lippman of unethical and illegal acts in his various jobs in the New York Judiciary. See Appendix: Criticism of Judge Lippman in the New York Press, below.

In Conclusion:

In light of the documented evidence proving criminal acts by Judge Jonathan Lippman in his capacities as New York State Administrative Judge, Presiding Justice of the First Department, and Chief Judge of New York State, Lippman's confirmation must be either withdrawn by the President or blocked by Congress, and in either case must be investigated by an independent special task force.

In light of the proof that Lippman's nomination and confirmation to the Chief Judgeship of New York were ridden with crimes and corruption, Judge Lippman must be immediately impeached from that position under federal law.

In light of the documentation provided herein, failure of the United States government to block the confirmation of Judge Lippman would represent intentional complicity with crimes and corruption against the people of the United States of America.

I swear that every statement in this report is true to the best of my knowledge, and request permission to testify under oath before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Congressional Oversight Committeee.

Signed,

Will Galison

Member: Center for Judicial Accountability

Reporter: Blackstar News, Truthout

9/10/12

Appendix:

The February 11th Village Voice cover illustration for Wayne Barrett's article; Paterson Duped Again: Shelly Silver Gets Childhood Pal Jonathan Lippman State's Top Courts Job, shows Lippman's champion NY Assembly Leader Sheldon Silver tying a blindfold over the eyes of then Governor David Paterson. It is meant to illustrate how Jonathan Lippman was nominated for Chief Judge through unethical manipulation.

Excerpts from Wayne Barrett's Village Voice 2/11/09 expose of Lippman : Paterson Duped Again: Shelly Silver Gets Childhood Pal Jonathan Lippman State's Top Courts Job:

"The story of how Lippman reached this pinnacle has its shabby side. He exudes an above-politics reform aura, but he did not climb to the top of the state's judiciary without making some stops in the dark along the way. His ally, Silver, helped clear that path to power, working a system whose anti-democratic ways have been rebuked by two federal courts."

"Jonathan Lippman will soon preside over the most complicated and significant cases in New York, even though he's never practiced as a private attorney.... "

"...he was the only candidate in the state running for Supreme Court who couldn't be voted against. Lippman was on all five ballot lines: Democratic, Republican, Working Families, Conservative, and Independent. In fact, he had refused to allow his name to be put in the nomination unless every party backed him for the seat, which is the top trial court of the unified court system."

"[County judge Joseph] Alessandro, had been found "not qualified" by the Bar Association and was dogged by tawdry tax and lawsuit charges. The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct is still investigating those charges, and Alessandro, who did become a Supreme Court judge, is now facing possible severe sanctions. Yet it was Lippman's demands that would put Alessandro on the bench."

Expose Corrupt Courts' article on the Ramos/ Weissman Scandal: Evidence of Lippman's involvement in a 40 million dollar estate scam.

On March 1, 2011, The anti-corruption blog Exposecorruptcourts.blogspot.com ran an article entitled Chief Judge Lippman Must Step Aside Pending FBI Probe alleging that Lippman was complicit in a massive estate probate scam involving $40 million dollars. The gist of the story is that as Administrative Judge Lippman gave an illegal waiver to a fellow judge in order to allow him to become the co-executor of an estate worth over 40 million dollars:

ExposeCorruptCourts.blogspot.com - March 1, 2011:

The Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI in Manhattan, Janice K. Fedarcyk, has been asked for a "follow-up meeting" in the alleged $40 Million Dollar Fraud involving New York's top judge, Jonathan Lippman. Appellate Division Associate Justice, Charles Ramos, and Chief Administrative Judge Ann Pfau are also named in the allegations that highlight the widespread illegal "money-grab" in and around New York's legal system.

The correspondence also formally requests that New York Governor, Andrew M. Cuomo, appoint a Special Counsel to investigate Judge Lippman's involvement in the $40 Million Dollar Scam, along with "other criminal acts [involving Judge Lippman] to be supposedly presented... before March 10, 2011..." The heavily redacted correspondence also brings to the top FBI official in Manhattan, Ms. Fedarcyk, the well-known, and sadly accepted, fact that New York State's "'ethics' oversight structure is itself corrupt" and in desperate need of a massive cleansing.

One former New York State Court employee who read the correspondence, and who asked not to be named, said that, "The entire New York State Court system needs an overhaul- an enema, if you will. I would conservatively estimate financial fraud and mismanagement at about $250 Million in the OCA $3 Billion enterprise. When I was around courthouse budget talks, we actually had trouble coming up with things to waste money on because if you didn't act like you needed more money, your courthouse budget might actually NOT get an increase- and that's a no-no..."

The New York Times on Judge Lippman's powers of intimidation

Willam Glaberson, (not to be confused with Willam Galison, co-author of this report) has been covering the courts for the New York Times for decades, and knows the courts and their officials as well as anyone.

In his May 6, 2012 article The Power Players of New York: New York Courts Glaberson writes: "Some judges and lawyers fear Judge Lippman because he knows the administrative machinery that court officials can use to punish and reward."

What could Glaberson possibly mean by this statement?

The only legitimate machinery that exists to "punish" lawyers is the DDC, and the only legitimate machinery that exists to "punish" judges is the CJC and under law "court officials" should have no more access to these agencies than the general public.

So what does Judge Lippman "know" about these agencies that the general public doesn't know? The record shows that that what Lippman knows is that he can illegally influence them to harass, sanction and fire lawyers and judges he does not like and to protect lawyers and judges that he does like. Lippman's personal protection of Leon Friedman and the CJC's persecution of Judge Hart demonstrate that he does precisely that.

http://www.villagevoice.com/2009-02-11/news/paterson-duped-again-shelly-silver-gets- childhood-pal-jonathan-lippman-state-s-top-courts-job/

http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2009/02/wayne_barrett_h.php

http://risingtimes.wordpress.com/2009/02/25/yonkers-confidential-the-judge-allesandro-saga/

http://www.newyorkcourtwatcher.com/2009/02/new-york-court-of-appeals-chief-judge.html

http://governmentrico.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/ny-chief-judge-jonathan-lippmans-decision-endangers-parental-rights/


This article is a Truthout original.

Will Galison

Will Galison is an internationally known musician with many recording and performing credits. Will became a part-time journalist after being a victim of judicial corruption and discovering that no mainstream media was writing about the subject and no government agencies were challenging it. The murder of his colleague Sunny Sheu inspired Will to join up with Milton Allimadi, publisher of the Black Star News, to investigate and report on the death of their mutual friend.


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