Finally the Cries of Victims of Government Corruption Have been Heard by a Handful of Members of the Senate
For at least a decade, hundreds if not thousands of Pennsylvania citizens, have been struggling to have their voices heard by their government. Pennsylvania has become known not only throughout the nation, but around the world for its epidemic of judicial corruption. Calls to the Governor, the Judicial Conduct Board, the FBI, the Ethics Commission, the Auditor General- have all fallen on deaf ears leading citizens to believe that the entire government had been compromised.
However, five state Senators- John Yudichak, Rob Teplitz, James Brewster, Anthony H. Williams and Mike Folmer have apparently been working quietly in the background to make major changes in Harrisburg. Senators Teplitz, Yudichak and Brewster submitted Senate Bill 1328 on June 23, 2016 to the Senate State Government Committee for a Constitutional Convention, the only solution that would provide sweeping, comprehensive change. Without a doubt the section most in need of drastic change contains the provisions of the Judicial Branch and its Judicial Conduct Board. Not surprisingly that Senate Committee is chaired by two other Senators that have been at the forefront of attacking judicial corruption – Senator Anthony Hardy Williams and Michael Folmer. They spearheaded a bill to stop the seizing of assets before people are convicted of crimes- a no brainer. In fact it was shocking to find out that this was a standard practice throughout Pennsylania.
No doubt their intention is to address the much needed restructuring of the Unified Judicial System created by Article V Section 10(c) and the subsequent 1993 Amendment with Section 18 that created the Judicial Conduct Board, that has been a complete failure and embarrassment to the Commonwealth. It has been 40 years since the last Convention of 1968- that resulted in a rogue Judicial Branch, that defies the checks and balance of our democracy. The public record shows that the proposed structure of a “self-disciplinary” agency was vehemently opposed at a sparsely attended forum in 1993.
This autocratic court system in Pennsylvania gave rise to the Kids for Cash Scandal, Porngate, the removal of three Supreme Court Justices, the termination of the entire Philadelphia Traffic Court Bench- just to mention the few most widely known fiascos. Other lesser known albeit just as damaging are the multiple counties that allowed cases to be delayed for decades causing massive damage to an untold number of families in the domestic relations jurisdictions- most prominently Montgomery and Westmoreland Counties. Many of these delays are alleged to have been intentionally machinated by complicating cases to increase revenue for the local courts and legal industry- causing bankruptcies and home foreclosures that continue due to judicial-attorney collusion and negligence. However, these injustices have gone widely unreported in the media, which has focused on the criminal justice system that is equally as decayed as the civil justice system.
Now finally there is hope that Article V Sections 10 and 18, will be repealed, or at the very least- rewritten to demand that judges be made accountable to the citizens, that the judicial branch observe the checks and balance system and that they no longer be allowed to operate in secrecy, which has plagued the state with one scandal after the other.
It is interesting to note that it was not proposed by either the House or Senate Judiciary Committees. Senator Stewart Greenleaf has been cited as a major obstacle to judicial reform, whose family law firm- Elliot Greenleaf LLC, has suspiciously been awarded tens of thousands of dollars in state contracts by the Judiciary during his almost 30 years controlling the Senate Judiciary Committee. It is also interesting to note but not surprising. that of the five Senators pushing for Constitutional changes- only one- Senator Teplitz- is a lawyer.
But for those caught up in the corruption – the 2018 proposed date will seem like a millenium to wait. Pennsylvania Court Watch will be vigilantly monitoring the progress of this Bill, and reporting on members of the General Assembly who attempt to impede its passing.
And Pennsylvania can thank former Attorney General Kathleen Kane, for if she had not released the rancid emails that exposed the true nature of the men running the Judicial Branch, it is unlikely that any of these Senators ever would have initiated this effort to return integrity to our government. Only the “Porngate” scandal got enough attention; not even 6000 innocent children going to prison in the Kids for Cash disaster was enough to get our government to wake up and do their jobs. As Thomas Jefferson said over 150 years ago – “Judges are as honest as other men and not more so…”