Saturday, June 27, 2009

Gang Culture Evolves: To Organized Crime as Police Report Crime Down: Video Series Preview (11 min)

Los Angeles, CA As a part of an on-going series on Gangs and Gang Crimes , the Full Disclosure Network® presents an exclusive 11 min preview of Part 6 and 7 featuring retired 33 year veteran LAPD Lieutenant Gary Nanson, who was in charge of gang operations for the LAPD in the San Fernando Valley.

Lt. Nanson describes how the gang problem has exploded, out of control, over the past three decades, while police officials have continued to report that crimes are down. By using inaccurate statistics and ignoring the gang evolution into major organized narcotic trafficking the culture of gangs has moved into white collar crime.

In the one hour interview Nanson details how gang members are removing tattoos, driving middle class sedans and dressing “like us” while perpetrating white collar crimes such as:

  • Identity Theft
  • Business Extortion
  • Medical Fraud
  • Credit Card Fraud
  • Counterfeit DVDs, designer fashions

The culture of gangs includes the following mainstream-like traditions that are passed on for generations:

  • Gang Language
  • Rap Music
  • Gang Movies
  • Gang Fashion Clothing
  • Gang Signs

Lt. Nanson relates how the gang lifestyle has exploded and imported throughout the United States to other countries.

The two half-hour segments with Lt. Nanson will also be featured on over 40 cable television systems in California, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Arizona and more.

Copies of the DVDs of the entire gang series are available for purchase from the Full Disclosure Network “buy our programs” link at the top of the home page.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Monday: L A County Supervisors to Give Judges $Millions More Illegal Payments?

County Budget Approval Process Revealed

Los Angeles, CA This Monday, June 22, 2009 the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors is poised to approve untold millions of dollars of what has been ruled as illegal payments to Superior Court Judges in an obsure Agenda Item listed on Page 9 Section V as " Other Budget Items" No. 17 #7 that reads:

......"For the purposes of Government Code Section 29125, Trial Court Operations shall constitute a single budget unit within the General Fund, with separate cost centers maintained for individual court Districts and Central Court Operations. Authorize the Chief Executive Officer and the Auditor-Controller to make appropriation adjustments between the above mentioned cost centers within the Trial Court Operations budget unit “without any monetary limitation”.

When the Full Disclosure Network requested supporting documentation for this agenda item from the Administrative Office of the Board, Amy Bennett informed us “there is no supporting documentation” and she went on to say of the authorization that “this is a boilerplate paragraph that has been used previously.”

Without supporting documentation it is difficult to determine just exactly how the County Administrative Officer and Controller will spend the $238,154,000 for Trial Court Operations as shown in Budget Summary (page 60.1) FY2009-10. This is especially curious since the 1997 enactment of the Lockyer-Isenberg Trial Court Funding Act when the state assumed primary responsibility for funding of the trial courts, with counties providing maintenance of effort (MOE) payments.

This could explain how the judicial double benefits were mysteriously appropriated in the amount of approximately $300 million to L.A. Superior Court Judges over the last 20 years. A Fourth District 4th Appellate Court decision (Sturgeon vs County of Los Angeles) held that the double judicial benefits were illegal and was affirmed when the Supreme Court refused rehearing even with letters of support from such notables as major law firms, all the special interest and ethnic Law Associations and Bar Associations, the L. A . County District Attorney Steve Cooley and the Public Defender.

“Because the County has paid these benefits for more than twenty years, virtually all judges came onto the Superior Court expecting to receive them. Taking them away now unfairly changes the salary –and-benefits packages after the fact and indisputably will force some judges to leave the Superior Court for far more lucrative positions in the private sector to become private judges or to return to their former jobs in the public sector.”

In an April 2009 interview with Attorney Sterling Norris, Full Disclosure® learned about the circumstances of how Judicial Watch had tried to obtain discovery from the County in the Sturgeon case Here he describes how he attempted to learn who authorized the illegal judical payments in excerpts below from the cable television interview:

NORRIS: We tried and tried in discovery to seek where and when these benefits were approved. And of course, it is our contention that nobody ever did. --We asked, in our discovery, is there any meeting wherever this was discussed, by the supervisors, or in session, in secret session, even then, we were given nothing by the County in terms of discovery. The only thing they said, well, there there's a final budget. All they had titled on it was Judicial Benefits, no meetings. no approvals, just Judicial Benefits. And that was like a spike on the final budget. That was the only thing that the County gave to us for justification of where did this money came from.

And of course, the Court of Appeals, in San Diego that gave us our victory, they asked many of those questions of where did this money come from? What bill? What authorization? And of course, we hope in our new litigation to exclude the bill (SBx2 11 Judicial Benefits, described by the Judicial Council as “legislative authorization” for the double benefits that were held illegal in the case of Sturgeon vs County of L.A.)
because of the violation of the extraordinary session and several other factors……. When that bill was passed up there, the only court in this state that benefited was L.A. County. None of the rest of the judges across the state had any, anything to do with that. And the Sturgeon case only dealt with L.A. County. Almost the last statement the court made at the Court of Appeals was that we express no opinion as to other counties, as to other benefits that they may receive.

DUTTON: In that immunity legislation (SBx2 11 February ‘09) that you're challenging, did it grant immunity to others besides the judges?

NORRIS: As I read the bill, it would grant immunity to everybody involved in that, the supervisors, the county counsel, anybody else involved, in those monies.

DUTTON: You mean like the County Controller that writes the check?

NORRIS: Could very well be. And of course, that's outrageous. I mean, what you're writing a blank check to acquit all these people of wrongdoing? See this to me goes to the audacity of the judiciary. Not only to go out seeking this money, but then to put in immunity and excuse (themselves) from liability clauses into that legislation. I think it smacks of the lack of integrity and to say the judges are doing this. It's kind of like AIG, and some of these great corporations that failed us during this recession. They knew way before, and I have to believe these judges knew well before 10 years that there was a problem here. And they should not have been in that arena.

On July 13, 2009 there will be a Los Angeles Superior Court hearing in the Sturgeon vs County of L. A case. At which time the Judicial Watch organization is seeking an injunction to prevent the county from making further payments to the Judges. On that day Special Appellate Court Justice James H. Richman from San Francisco will again preside, due to the fact that all the L.A. Superior Court Judges have disqualified themselves from hearing the case as they have received payments from the County that were ruled illegal.

In a telephone interview from his L.A. County Central Men's Jail cell, disbarred attorney Richard I Fine told Full Disclosure " the county benefit payments to the Judges are nothing more than a pretext to influence the judges to decide cases in favor of the County." Fine, has been in jail for over 110 days for contempt of court following his attempt to disqualify Judge David Yaffe from sitting on a case that involved L. A. County, an interested party in the case.

In reference to his Motion To Set Aside the Disbarment Judgment and the Writ of Habeas Corpus (for immediate release) Mr. Fine reports that "neither the California State Bar, Judge Yaffe or the Superior Court filed opposition to the argument there has been denial to due process by sitting on cases involving the county, when they have received money from L.A. County. CV-09-1914 CW-JFW and CV 08-2906 JFW(CW).

Both Mr. Fine and Sterling Norris of Judicial Watch maintain that the County payments to the Judges are "unearned" payments, contending the Judges do not have a contract to perform services with the County of Los Angeles, yet they have been paid. According to Fine, the judicial payments are in violation of Federal Mail Fraud Law, 18 USC 1341, 1343, 1346 covering the intangible right to receive honest services.

Article 6 Section 19 and 20 of the California Constitution states that the Legislature shall set the compensation and retirement benefits for the judges. Mr. Richard I Fine told Full Disclosure he is waiting to see if the County is going to authorize the Chief Executive Officer and the Controller to set the compensation for Judicial Benefits in Los Angeles County.

When asked why he has not been released from jail on a Writ of Habeas Corpus, Mr. Fine responded: "I am still sitting here because the Magistrate Judge has violated Federal Law 28 us 2243 that says when we filed our Writ, it should have issued, but she failed to do so. "

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Los Angeles Times, Judicial Bias, United States Supreme Court & The Case of Richard I Fine: New Online Video Here


Los Angeles, CA As a part of an on-going series entitled “Judicial Benefits & Court Corruption”, the Full Disclosure Network® presents the fifth segment in its' entirety, online for Internet viewers. The half-hour program is also featured on over 40 cable television systems in California, Washington D.C., Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Arizona and more.

A June 7, 2009 Los Angeles Times article entitled “LAWYER TAKES A STAND FROM HIS CELL” provoked response and criticism from supporters of jailed Anti-Trust Attorney Richard I. Fine who is being held in civil contempt of court for over 100 days in L.A. County Central Men's Jail. Fine was arrested following his attempt to disqualify L. A. Superior Court Judge David Yaffe from sitting on a case where Fine contends the Judge was biased. In the case Marina Strand Colony II Homeowners Association vs County of Los Angeles, Fine objected to Judge Yaffe having not disclosed illegal payments from L.A. County who was an interested party in the case. Featured in the online video, taking the L. A. Times to task, are court critics Fred Sottile, John Rizzo who had been interviewed for the Times article.

Providing background and perspective on the issue of judicial bias and the recent U. S. Supreme Court ruling in Caperton vs Massey is prominent Appellate Court Attorney, Robert S. Gerstein, Ph.D. who is an Emeritus Professor in Political Science at UCLA. He describes the recent case that overturned a West Virginia Supreme Court decision where one of the Justices had received a $3 million campaign contribution from one of the parties in the case and who went on to vote in favor of the contributor.

At the end of the video viewers are asked to respond and leave their comments online or to a 1-800-867-7777 number regarding the practice of Judges receiving payments or contributions from interested parties in litigation before them.
Judicial Benefits & Court Corruption Pt. 3 Judicial Payments & Non-Disclosure (8 min)
Judicial Benefits & Court Corruption Pt. 1 Richard I Fine Interview Part 1 (28:30)
Judicial Benefits & Court Corruption Pt. 2 Preview 8 min Richard I Fine

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Fear Rules in Los Angeles Court System: Anonymous Attorney Speaks Out


Great work. You may be on the way to another Emmy. I could say that what you reveal is shocking, but I am getting used to it after 44 years of practice. From your story I am not clear what the 9th Circuit did. There is apparently no case number there and no formal order. If the District Court is doing nothing, what will make them act?

We attorneys live in an atmosphere of fear. There seems to be more interest in maintaining the appearance that our legal institutions are just, than in allowing a critical examination of cases, where they appear not to be. The California Supreme Court in Fine’s Bar case is an example. The California Supreme Court failed to review his case and issued no opinion much less a well reasoned one. What this does is lead to arbitrary action.

Fine appears to be in a legal no man’s land, where he has been judged by Judges, whose partiality is questioned, under laws which are not defined, under opinions which are not published, and with reasoning which is not disclosed, in a system where decent persons are afraid to speak out.

What appears to be the case here as in many others, is if those in authority can’t get a person for the legal action the person did, they will spend millions to uncover something to get him or her for something else. Fine’s case appears to be a simple one where he has failed to answer questions at a debtor examination, based on a judgment, which either has not been appealed or for which there is no stay pending appeal.

Ordinarily a judgment creditor has a right to collect a judgment and the debtor examination is part of the process. I am sympathetic to Fine. He has some interesting constitutional issues to address, but my question is whether he is addressing them in a proper manner. What is wrong here, is that he is jailed during a protracted process to wear him down, to restrict him from preparing his case, and by isolating him from the tools by which he needs to prepare his case.

Why can’t he get a stay from the District Court? Why can’t the District Court stay proceedings in Superior Court and release Fine pending its review? If the District Court won’t grant a stay but won’t rule, it might be appropriate to seek a mandate in the Court of Appeals for it to rule one way or the other. What appears strange is that apparently this is what the Court did by a phone call rather than a formal order. Why?

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Breaking News: U S. 9th Circuit Court to Free Richard I. Fine?


Los Angeles CA. After 93 days in L. A. County Central Men's Jail on a Civil Contempt of Court sentence, prominent Anti-Trust attorney Richard I. Fine has had enough. He has finally taken matters into his own hands by filing with the U. S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr. Fine is representing himself "in pro-per" and has now been assigned a file number and placed on the official Court PACER website where the next steps in his on-going battle with the California Superior Court will be posted for all to see.

According to Mr. Fred Sottile, Volunteer Staff Coordinator for the FREE RICHARD FINE committee, the 9th Circuit Court Clerk "Bradley" contacted him by telephone today, June 3, 2009 , regarding the following actions of the Court saying, "Because this Writ should have been handled by the lower (Central District) Court, and because it was their responsibility to act on the original Habeas Corpus filing, we are returning the $455 filing fee as it would be improper for us to accept it."

U.S. Court of Appeals Ninth Circuit
File No. 09-71692
and the parties listed as follows:

(Sheriff of Los Angeles County has custody of prisoner)

(23 U.S. C. 2241)
And Request For Immediate Release
after 90 days of unlawful incarceration

Sentence Date: March 4, 2009
No bail, no hearing date, indeterminate duration
After a plea of Not Guilty
Finding by judge without a jury

GROUND ONE: Violation of 5th Amendment and 14th Amendment (denial of due process) by having violated 28 USC Sec 2243

SUPPORTING FACTS: A petition for writ of Habeas Corpus was filed on March 20th, 2009 (Case# 09-CV-1914-JFW(CW) Magistrate Woehrle violated 28 USC 2243 by not ordering a response "forthwith" and instead waiting 18 days until April 7 to order respondent, Sheriff of Los Angeles County to respond to the petition.

The Sheriff did not identify any "interested party" other than the Sheriff and Petitioner on his notice of interested parties. He responded by claiming he did not have sufficient information to respond. His attorney claimed contact with the attorney for the Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles and Judge Yaffe who indicated that they would respond if "directed" to do so by the Court.

On April 23, Magistrate Woehrle directed the Superior Court of the County of Los Angeles to respond to the Petitioner by May 1, 2009. Such date of May 1, 2009 was greater than the 20 days allowed for a response to the petition under 28 USC 2243. Further, the Superior Court and Judge Yaffe were not within the Jurisdiction of the Federal Court as they had never appeared in the case.

The Superior Court and Judge Yaffe filed a response on May 1, 2009 and did not file a notice of interested parties or a notice of intervention. The response did not address the substance of the petition. Neither the response of the Sheriff nor the response of the Superior Court and Judge Yaffe addressed the petitioner's Ex Parte application for immediate relief filed April 9, 2009 to which Magistrate Woehrle ordered a response by both of them. As of May 30th, 2009, Magistrate Woehrle has not issued the writ of Habeas Corpus despite the fact that no opposition has been filed to the Petitioner by the Sheriff, the Superior Court or Judge Yaffe.

In summary, under the requirements of 28 USC Section 2243 the Court should have either awarded the writ on March 20th or March 21st or "issued an order directing the respondent to show cause why the writ should not be granted" on such days. The writ or order to show cause should have been directed to the Sheriff of Los Angeles County as the person who had custody of Petitioner Fine. The Sheriff "shall make a return certifying the true cause of the detention" within three days unless for good cause additional time not exceeding twenty days is allowed." This means that the Sheriff had to respond by April 11th at the latest under the statue, and that the Superior Court and Judge Yaffe would also have had to respond by such days.

The statute further provides "when the writ or order is returned, a day shall be set for hearing, not more than five days after the return unless for good cause additional time is allowed." This means that the hearing date should have been set for April 16th , at the latest. Petitioner is still incarcerated and has now been incarcerated for approximately 90 days without any substantive opposition to the petition and without any certification of the true cause of detention and without any hearing date being set. By these actions Magistrate Judge Woerhle and Judge Walter have violated the 5th and 14th amendment and 28 USC section 2243. The petition must be immediately granted and petitioner set free.

GROUND TWO: District Court Judges are themselves violating the law.

SUPPORTING FACTS: An original Writ of Habeas Corpus is being filed with the 9th Circuit because it cannot be filed in District Court. The District Court Judges are the ones now violating the law, 28 USC Section 2243, and the rights of the Petitioner . The District Court cannot hear the matter as the District court is biased and has conflicts of interest.

GROUND THREE: District Court refused to accept the writ without discarding all previous Habeas Corpus pleadings and filings; thus prolonging Petitioner's incarceration.

SUPPORTING FACTS: The District Court was presented with a federal writ. It was marked as received by the District Court but not filed. Petitioner has been illegally incarcerated for 90 days as retaliation by Los Angeles Judges for exposing illegal payments to 1,600 California Judges. Petitioner's disbarment appeal is also before the same District Court, Judge Walter is denying Petitioner both his civil liberties and his livelihood; contributing to his own illegal retaliation against Petitioner.

State Court appeal not allowed under CCA Sec. 1209, Writ of Habeas Corpus to California Courts is exactly the sole remedy which was fully exhausted. Moreover, since incarceration on March 4, 2009 Petitioner has been denied all access to writing materials and to all written materials and legal documents. He was allowed into the library once in two weeks. This Writ of Habeas Corpus is based on Magistrate Woehrle's refusal to follow the requirements of 28 USC Sec. 2243.
(The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals posted on their Website receipt of the above Writ , a copy was provided to Full Disclosure by Mr. Fred Sottile of the FREE RICHARD FINE Committee who prepared and filed the document at Mr. Fine's direction)
Exclusive Full Disclosure Network video interview with Richard I Fine here.