Giuseppe Sandro Mela.
Di questi giorni stiamo assistendo ad un revival di un fatto accaduto molti anni or sono, ma che è presentato come se fosse attuale. Per di più è presentato come se fosse un caso politico.
Cercheremo di fare una qualche chiarezza in un oceano di disinformazione.
Nel luglio 1903 Lincoln Steffens pubblicò una serie di cinque articoli sulla corruzione nel Municipio di Philadelphia.
«All our municipal governments are more or less bad, and all our people are optimists. . . .Philadelphia is simply the most corrupt and the most contented»
Questi articoli concorsero a formare le base delle successive azioni politiche e giudiziarie, perché portarono a sentenze riprese dalla giurisprudenza.
Il 31 gennaio 2013 lo Swartz Campbell pubblicava questo titolo:
«It has been coming for some time. Nine present and former Philadelphia Traffic Court Judges have been indicted today with conspiring to fix traffic tickets. The best line so far, from the court’s administrative Judge, Gary Glazer: “This court has unfortunately become the whoopee cushion of the judicial process in this city” A copy of the indictment can be found here. -Josh J.T. Byrne, Esquire»
Il 1° febbraio 2013 il giornale The Legal Intelligence usciva con il seguente titolo:
«Nine former and current Philadelphia Traffic Court judges have been charged by federal prosecutors with conspiring to fix traffic tickets»
Il 15 settembre 2013 il giornale Upi usciva con questo titolo:
«PHILADELPHIA, Sept. 15 (UPI) — Authorities said that federal prosecutors and FBI agents have subpoenaed financial records from five Philadelphia judges as part of an intensive investigation.
The officials and lawyers also interviewed judges and obtained campaign-donation records, the Philadelphia Inquirer said.
The focus of the investigation is unclear, but sources said authorities asked about fixing cases and giving campaign donors favors.
Authorities said the prosecutors subpoenaed the financial disclosures of Municipal Court Judges Joseph O’Neill, Dawn A. Segal, and Craig M. Washington, Common Pleas Court Judge Angeles Roca and Municipal Court Judge Joseph C. Waters.
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office declined to comment.
“We can neither confirm nor deny the existence or non-existence of an investigation,” she said.»
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Queste scarne citazioni, riportate virgolettate, dovrebbero essere sufficienti per documentare come il caso di corruzione dei giudici sia nato quattro anni or sono, ossia durante l’Amministrazione Obama, che non risulterebbe aver cercato di ostacolare l’iter giudiziario.
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Il 20 dicembre 2016 il The Washington Times pubblicò il seguente articolo:
«PHILADELPHIA (AP) – The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline has ordered two judges removed from office for violating judicial ethics.
The Philadelphia Inquirer (http://bit.ly/2ho2d5Q ) reports that the disciplinary court found in October that Common Pleas Court Judge Angeles Roca intervened in a tax case involving her son. In July, the court said Municipal Court Judge Dawn Segal committed seven ethics violations, including bringing the court into disrepute.
Lawyers for both judges, who have been on unpaid suspension, say they are appealing Friday’s ruling to the state Supreme Court.
Roca’s attorney, Samuel Stretton, said Tuesday that the disciplinary court ignored case law and treated the two cases too similarly. Segal’s lawyer, Stuard Haimowitz, said the court apparently took a “get rid of them all” approach rather than considering his client’s conduct and precedent.»
Sempre il 20 dicembre 2016 il Philly Com riportava:
«Two more Philadelphia judges have been kicked off the bench, the latest development in an FBI probe of judicial corruption here.
The Pennsylvania Court of Judicial Discipline ruled on Friday that Municipal Court Judge Dawn Segal and Common Pleas Court Judge Angeles Roca be removed from office for their involvement in separate case-fixing schemes.
Lawyers for both judges say they are appealing the decisions to the state Supreme Court.
In October, the disciplinary court found that Roca had unethically intervened in a tax case involving her son by calling then-Municipal Court Judge Joseph Waters Jr., who reached out to Segal, who then reversed herself and issued a ruling favorable to Roca’s son.
Waters was sentenced in January 2015 to two years in prison for fixing cases on behalf of campaign donors and political allies. He was released about a month ago.
In July, the court found Segal guilty of seven violations of judicial ethics rules, including bringing the court into disrepute.
“I got something in front of you at 1 o’clock today,” Waters told Segal in an intercepted 2011 phone conversation in which he asked for favorable treatment of a politically connected defendant appearing before her.
“Oh, OK. OK,” Segal responded, according to the disciplinary panel.
Wiretaps also captured Segal telling Waters she had helped him with her rulings.
In Segal’s case, the court acknowledged that Segal had been approached by Waters, “a corrupt judge.” And, the court said, Roca at first had only sought advice from Waters before the conversation extended to intervening in her son’s case. But neither judge stood up to Waters, the court said.
“As we have said in more detail in prior decisions, when it comes to corrupt acts and the derogation of a fair and just judicial process, a judge must have ‘the willingness to stand up for what was right and buck a corrupt tide,'” the court wrote in both rulings.
Roca and Segal, both Democrats, had been on unpaid suspension. If the rulings stand, they would be ineligible to hold judicial office in the future.
“I’m very disturbed by the decision,” Roca’s attorney, Samuel Stretton, said Tuesday.
Stretton said he was appealing the ruling because the disciplinary court ignored case law and treated Roca’s and Segal’s cases too similarly.
Segal’s lawyer, Stuart Haimowitz, said he also is appealing.
“Judge Segal expected to be sanctioned for what she did. We hoped and expected the Court of Judicial Discipline to have considered Judge Segal’s actual conduct and its own precedent when it imposed its sanction,” Haimowitz said in a statement Tuesday. “Instead, it appears it took a ‘get rid of them all’ approach. In so doing, the citizens of Philadelphia County lost a good judge.”
Stretton and Haimowitz had sought suspensions for the judges.
In addition to Waters, who pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud, Municipal Court Judge Joseph O’Neill pleaded guilty in May to federal charges connected to the judicial case-fixing scandal.
O’Neill admitted he lied to FBI agents who were investigating special treatment he gave to a Democratic fund-raiser in 2011, at Waters’ request.
“He’s a friend of mine, so if you can, take a hard look at it,” Waters told O’Neill in a conversation caught on an FBI wiretap.
“No problem,” O’Neill replied.»
Da questo articolo si evincono molte informazioni:
«In October, the disciplinary court found that Roca had unethically intervened in a tax case involving her son by calling then-Municipal Court Judge Joseph Waters Jr., who reached out to Segal, who then reversed herself and issued a ruling favorable to Roca’s son.»
«Waters was sentenced in January 2015 to two years in prison for fixing cases on behalf of campaign donors and political allies. He was released about a month ago»
«In July, the court found Segal guilty of seven violations of judicial ethics rules, including bringing the court into disrepute»
«Roca and Segal, both Democrats, had been on unpaid suspension. If the rulings stand, they would be ineligible to hold judicial office in the future»
Come nota a margine, segnaliamo come il Giudice Dawn Segal avesse anche altri legami interferenti la propria attività giudiziaria, come riportato dal giornale Pgn:
«Segal, an open lesbian, was removed from the bench in December, after discussing three cases pending before her with then-Municipal Court Judge Joseph C. Waters Jr., who had an interest in the cases»
Il nove maggio 2017 il caso del Giudice Angeles Roca fu discusso in sede della Corte Suprema della Pennsylvania, come riportato dal giornale specialistico Law 360.
«The Pennsylvania Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday accusing a state judicial ethics panel of improperly veering from prior precedent as it meted out punishments in December to permanently remove a pair of Philadelphia County judges from the bench following a case-fixing scandal.
Samuel Stretton, an attorney representing one of the two judges, told the justices that the state’s Court of Judicial Discipline should be bound by stare decisis, or the precedent it set in prior cases, when calculating appropriate punishments for judges found to have violated state ethics rules. ….
it wasn’t enough to save their jobs in light of the nature of the transgressions.»
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È nostro logico convincimento come non esistano sistemi perfetti, nei quali tutte le persone si comportino onestamente e correttamente. Sarebbero pure utopie, spesso sbandierate al solo fine di mascherare illeciti e reati perpetrati.
Ciò che a nostro sommesso parere è decisamente più importante, è la concreta possibilità che il Cittadino possa portare in giudizio un Giudice, con la certezza che, ove le sue motivazioni siano fondate e documentabili, quel Giudice tragga le conseguenze dei propri atti.
Similmente, altrettanto fondamentale reputiamo la possibilità di ricorrere in appello per ottenere un nuovo giudizio.
Infine, dato non certamente scontato a livello mondiale, riteniamo segno evidente di civiltà che la presenza della pubblica accusa sia sempre controbilanciata da quella di un avvocato della difesa, con diritti paritetici. Ci si rende conto che sembrerebbe essere stata pronunciata un’enorme banalità, ma guardandosi con attenzione in giro ci si renderebbe conto che anche questa è una pia speranza, una vera e propria utopia.
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Ciò premesso, alcune considerazioni.
Quello presentato è soltanto uno dei tanti casi accaduti e che stanno accadendo.
Prendiamo atto come i giudici di matrice liberal ed eletti tra le file dei democratici sembrerebbero essere particolarmente predisposti ad utilizzare la propria posizione a fini personali ed a tutela delle direttive ricevute dal partito.
Questo accade anche nelle corti federali di alcuni dei quattordici circuiti nei quali è suddivisa l’America.
In ogni caso non condividiamo per nulla lo strepitio di questi giorni, in accordo al quale il caso esaminato sembrerebbe essere nato ieri, come un fungo dopo la pioggia. I reati sono reati, indipendentemente da chi sia stato a compierli.