Friday, May 3, 2019

Why did the chicken cross the road?

To become a judge.

Who wouldn't? 

Once you get in, you're basically there for life, able to indulge yourself with all of your pet peeves and biases. 

Guaranteed pay - no worries about having to secure clients or rely on assigned counsel. 

Healthcare. Pension. Easy hours. (Less than a 40 hour work week most of the time.) Guaranteed vacations. All state and federal holidays off. 

And you don't even have to work much while "at work" - a staff of clerks and court personnel to manage all the paperwork and even write your decisions for you. (About the only thing you might have to do yourself is wipe your butt.)

It used to be said of teachers - "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach."

I assert that this more accurately describes judges. If a practitioner of the law were truly successful, they would be practicing. 

But that takes initiative, perseverance, confidence, charisma, and intelligence. 

These are qualities sorely lacking in many judges. Yet the mediocrity characteristic in the judiciary gets rewarded. 

If you play the game, you get "promoted" - being moved to progressively higher levels of court.

It would be great if all of us could score this type of employment - who wouldn't want to "work" without doing anything?

But this is one of the reasons that there are so many complaints about the justice system and the judiciary - after all, at this point most decisions handed down are subject to the whims and foibles of these mediocre malcontents.

Do the research for yourself, don't take my word for it!

Six Degrees (or less) of Separation

Since the chatterverse (FB, Twitter, etc) has been in full gear about Jefferson County, NY lately, maybe a history lesson is in order.

Arthur Shawcross is the focal point, at least as far as I know.

Back in 1972, Jack Blake was one of my 5th grade classmates at Wiley School in Watertown, NY. He was the first verifiable victim of Arthur Shawcross. Jack had a magnetic personality - mischievious with strong leadership qualities. We (his classmates) only knew that he went missing from school soon after our class picnic at Thompson Park. And then the following fall, our teacher explained that he had been murdered and gave us a redacted version of what had happened.

But Arthur Shawcross was never convicted of Jack's murder. He was only charged with the death of his second victim, Karen Ann Hill from Rochester. The district attorney at the time was Hugh Gilbert, the Assistant District Attorney was Bill McCluskey. (If that last name sounds familiar, keep reading.) According to some reports, Bill McCluskey was the one who struck a deal that allowed this miscarriage of justice.

Flash forward to 9th grade - our classmates due to graduate together included Leo McCluskey (yes, same name as the ADA for Jack Blake's murder because he is Bill McCluskey's son). Leo broke into the home of Dr. David (Sandy) Gregor and stole a handgun, but somehow forgot the ammo or didn't know how to use it properly. Leo then went down the street to the home of now Judge Hugh Gilbert, and strangled Holly Gilbert, Hugh Gilbert's wife, with a pair of her pantyhose.

Arthur Shawcross was released from prison in 1987 - the same year I started my first professional careeer. During that career, I had multiple encounters with and interactions with multiple members of the Shawcross family.

Bill McCluskey had other children besides Leo, he had twin sons, one of whom is now a judge in Jefferson County, NY.

Isn't life odd the way things circle around?

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Castle Doctrine and

Picture this:

You and a close friend have a turbulent parting of the ways, and during the divide, one of their monogrammed items is left inside your house.

Rather than contacting you and making arrangements for the return of the item, they break into your home, change all the locks, and implement a code based security system for entry.

Once they have taken over your home, they decide that anything in your house is theirs.

You contact the appropriate authorities, and after investigating, they inform you that your friend was well within their rights, since it is their monogrammed item.

However, the monogram is merely initials, and doesn’t even specify your former friend’s name.

A similar episode just happened to me recently.

My GoDaddy account was hacked by a former business/relationship, simply because he didn’t want to request a transfer of a domain which theoretically names his business.

However the name is not unique or uncommon, and even his IT professional who runs the network and VoIP phones for his company has said that the domain is NOT the one used by the company in print, social media, printed company materials,and advertising.

Once inside my account, he has claimed that he has full rights to the other domains within the account, as well as all the account records dating back years before we developed any type of relationship.

GoDaddy’s response has been equally culpable, to say the least. They not only allowed him access to my account, they have failed to reinstate my ownership.

Additionally, they have failed to turn over any of the other domains that I held in the account.

Apparently they don’t care about legalities, non-tangible possessions, or failure to obey telecommunications law.

All GoDaddy is focused on is soaking up as much money as they can from their users. And they saw an easy mark in this guy.

He actually bragged about “spending a few hundred dollars” after one phone conversation with GoDaddy customer service.

No wonder they are aiding and abetting a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(2) and 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(4), after all, more money for them.

He is gullible to say the least, and believes anything even a barely adequate salesman tells him, so he is an easy mark for the seasoned professionals at GoDaddy.

My thoughts? A person’s home is their castle and they have the right to defend it - so I am enlisting the assistance of law enforcement at all levels possible.

What’s mine is mine, and not his to illegally seize, especially when he never made the appropriate request for transfer of the domain in question.

Normally, extreme measures are left for when you have exhausted all remedies on an increasing basis with no results. Apparently the policies in place at GoDaddy are mere “window dressing” and aren’t even taken seriously by their own employees.

That’s okay, break USC and it can be referred to Federal agencies such as DOJ and FBI. And since I actually did follow all the protocols requested by GoDaddy, with no results, escalation is a natural consequence.

Let the chips fall where they may.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Delta is the New United

What are some of United Airlines claim to fame in recent years?

  • Overheating infants to the point of hospitalization by flight delays.
  • Pushing elderly people to the ground.
  • Losing pets, mixing them up and sending them across the globe, or actually killing the pets.
  • Literally stealing a toddler's seat and reselling what had already been paid for.
  • Assaulting a doctor and forcibly removing him from a flight in favor of airline employees.
  • Threatening to cancel flights when customers record incidents.
  • Imposing dress codes on the fly to ban passengers using benefits.

All these are incidents that made headlines for United Airlines, and made people realize that even though they paid money for a service, the employees can act capriciously and make false claims to deny even paid customers access to flights.

Well move over United - Delta Airlines is taking a page out of your poor customer service handbook!

On Sunday I was flying to West Palm Beach, FL from Syracuse, NY and was treated to an example of this nonsense.

I have been a TSA PreCheck traveler for over two years, and have frequent flyer accounts set up for all the major airlines that include my Trusted Traveler Number.

When  I examined my boarding pass in the Delta app, I realized that somehow the TSA precheck hadn't been issued on my flight.

En route to the airport, I called Delta to correct the situation - something I had previously done on several occasions with American Airlines, successfully I might add.

Imagine my surprise when the online agent told me that I would have to "check in again" on the app in order to get the boarding passes fixed.

Even more amazing - this was the message that I got from the app for my flight. Needles to say, my boarding passes had completely disappeared from the app and I was unable to retrieve them.

When I informed the online agent of this issue, she told me that I would be able to print them at the self-service kiosk or with the agent at the counter.

For those of you wondering why this was an issue - you cannot go through TSA without a valid boarding pass, which the Delta online agent had managed to delete from my app.

Guess what...the advice the online agent gave me did NOT work!

The kiosk gave me the same message as my app.

When I tried to get assistance from an agent at the counter (three of them were chit-chatting with each other and not paying attention to whether customers needed assistance) I was also in for disappointment.

I had to loudly say "I beg your pardon! Could someone print my boarding passes?" before I got any of them to notice me.

Meanwhile, time was running short.

The agent who reluctantly agreed to help me listened to the problem, and then told me that he "wasn't allowed to print boarding passes".

I once again explained that a Delta online agent had deleted my boarding passes from the app and that I wouldn't be able to go through TSA without them, and he said "Why didn't you just go through without TSA PreCheck?"

Somehow he didn't comprehend that a Delta agent deleting my boarding passes meant that I wouldn't be able to get through TSA at all.

I asked him if he realized that not having boarding passes was a problem, and once again asked him to print my boarding passes as the online agent had deleted them.

He said he would call upstairs and ask for permission, but stated that he "Didn't have to print them."

After he called and printed them and handed them to me, he stated "The door closes in 10 minutes, so you'd better hurry," and I held back on the obvious - that he had taken more than 10 minutes to provide any customer service...add on the kiosk failure time and we were up to 15+ minutes of delay BY DELTA!

As I left, I stated "I have never had to deal with this shit from American Airlines," which led to the agent telling me "Don't swear at me or we don't have to let you fly!"

Nice! Apparently these days you aren't allowed to offer a critique of failed customer service without the airlines denying you travel.

When I went upstairs, the gate agent told me that "I didn't have to allow your boarding passes to be printed!" and "I don't have to let you fly because you swore at my agent downstairs!" and he followed me halfway down the boarding ramp repeating those phrases.

Meanwhile, not only wasn't I able to recover my initial flight boarding pass, I couldn't recover the connecting flight boarding pass through the app or via computer.

So, let's clarify the situation:

  1. In the past I have called American Airlines and had my TSA PreCheck number added and my boarding passes reissued via the app with no problems whatsoever.
  2. I called Delta Airlines and attempted to have my TSA PreCheck added which reuslted in a Delta Airlines agent deleting my boarding passes.
  3. The app would not allow me to recover the boarding passes.
  4. The self-service kiosk would not allow me to print the boarding passes.
  5. The desk agent initially refused to print the boarding passes, and then threatened to not let me fly.
  6. The gate agent threatened to not let me fly.
  7. Delta followed up by asking me to complete a survey...seriously?
If I worked at Delta Airlines management/customer service I would be far more concerned about the following issues:
  • Why did the online agent delete the boarding passes?
  • Why did the online agent not realize that there would be an issue with the kiosk or the desk agent?
  • Why did the desk agent not willingly and cheerfully print the boarding passes without arguing?
  • Why is it "wrong" to give a critique of customer service that involves an accurate description of the process?
Frankly, what I went through with Delta was a load of crap...feces...excrement...shit! They were at fault in the process and failed to remedy the situation in a timely and stress free manner for the customer.

My recommendation? Don't fly Delta Airlines unless you have no other options!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

It Goes On and On and On...!

And the latest from the Appellate Court that oversees the Bully on the Bench has found yet another issue with his court actions and the actions of the district attorneys that practice there.

Not surprisingly, once again an "underdog" is victimized in his courtroom.

All your political opinions regarding illegal aliens aside, what type of justice do we have as a nation when we deny due process rights to any person?

Yet this judge has now added a whole new category to his bullying victims. Previously it was those with depression (Jon Massey), those with developmental disabilities (Paul Priest), and children with disabilities (Nick Nicorvo Part I and Part II). Now he has been shown to use his power to bully illegal aliens (Juan Medina).

This is just part of the Appellate Court decision that returned the case to the judge to be reopened. (The full Appellate ruling can be read by clicking on "Juan Medina" above.)

Who is the "County Court"? That would be the judge himself. Part of his duties are to fully explain the consequences of any guilty plea. Yet the judge failed to do so.

Which means, if nothing else, additional taxpayer cost.

But let's look at this in the perspective of the previous four articles. This is the same judge who has repeatedly violated state statutes in order to prosecute defendants beyond what is allowed by law.

Once again, incompetence or arrogance? You be the judge!

It is time to stand up, speak out, and expose corruption!

Friday, October 2, 2015

Oops! He Did It Again!

In "Bully on the Bench" I wrote about a judge who either is so incompetent that he doesn't know what he is legally able to do, or is so bound and determined to make a name for himself (by persecuting prosecuting those least able to defend themselves) that he ignores the statutes which he is supposed to uphold.

However now it appears that the second option is more likely, as it has happened once again. (Fool me once, shame on me, fool me twice, shame on you!)

There is an all new postscript to the story of Nick Nicorvo. The original entry about Nick's story, "Echoes", gives the details of how this victim of bullying was subjected to further abuse by the same judge who presided in "Bully on the Bench".

Since that point in time, Nick was sentenced by this judge AS AN ADULT, to serve 1-3 years in state prison. His offense (the only one on his record, not even having school disciplinary issues to his name) was at age 15, and despite the fact that he went on to graduate from high school early with a Regent's Honor Diploma while he was incarcerated, the judge decided to "throw the book" at him.

Interestingly enough, during the process of carrying out the sentence, something unusual happened. In New York, those sentenced to state prison are normally sent for a few days or more to a facility for processing and evaluation before ending up at their final destination.

When Nick was sent to Auburn Correctional Facility (a maximum security state prison) for this phase of his sentence, a records review demonstrated that he was a child in the eyes of New York State at the time of his crime and arrest, and the judge was NOT ALLOWED by statute to sentence him as an adult, especially to serve time in state prison.

So Nick is being returned to Jefferson County for more appropriate sentencing that reflects his juvenile status.

Now if this were a one-time incident of a judge making a mistake, it wouldn't be so worthy of notice. However, as detailed in "Bully on the Bench", this same judge who violated the rights of this autistic boy, also violated the rights of a developmentally disabled man.

And both of this incidents occurred after he violated the rights of Jon Massey. This same judge misapplied the "Rape Shield Law" to prevent Jon from presenting a true defense. He is also the same judge who allowed multiple issues arise during the course of the prosecution of Jon's case (see "Nerd Law and Legalese") that were questionable at best.

And finally, this is the same judge that dismissed the indictment and sealed the record upon Jon's death (as is appropriate under state law), yet once the time period had passed for Jon's family to file an appeal on his behalf or to file a wrongful death lawsuit, he selectively unsealed the "guilty" verdict to further abuse Jon's family (and under state statute such an order is supposed to come from a higher level judge).

At this point, the citizens of Jefferson County, NY should be questioning every case that has come before this judge. It has become crystal clear that his actions don't arise out of ignorance, they are the product of his arrogance.

It is time to stand up, speak out, and expose a corrupt system!

Nick Nicorvo's family is hoping to bring him home for Christmas. Click here for a link to their GoFundMe page.

Monday, August 24, 2015

How Far Will They Go? (Snitch Part Two)

On Friday, October 17, 2014, the largest weapons arrest in Jefferson County, NY history was made. (Click to read the full article.)

The only reason these weapons did NOT end up in the hands of drug dealers or other criminals was because of the efforts of a long-term "snitch" for the local police agencies. (This was actually the same CRI mentioned in the blog entry Snitch.)

The two "gentlemen" attempting to broker the weapons had contacted him to find them a buyer.

The snitch promptly began contacting anyone and everyone he knew in law enforcement in an attempt to set up a sting to get these "fine upstanding citizens" and the weapons off the streets.

He texted a Sheriff's deputy, but she was on the way out of the country on vacation and unable to do anything.

He called his probation officer, who initially ignored the report/request. (Interestingly enough, one of the young men arrested on the weapons charges is the nephew of that probation officer.)

He continued to contact any and every law enforcement contact he could, until finally he received a response.

But in the meantime, the two young men were getting suspicious and anxious. They told the snitch that they wanted him to prove that he was capable of doing the buy, and that he only had a few hours or they would go elsewhere.

So he borrowed $200 from a family member, bought an unloaded gun for "Mr. Big" to inspect, and put it in the locked gun safe at his house.

Before he had a chance to blink, the local task force produced the $5K for the rest of the buy and had him set up a deal. The snitch was the third man in the car, sitting in the front seat with a loaded hand gun pointed at him from the rear by one of the two arrested.

When the arrest went down, as part of his statement he informed the officers about the gun in his locked safe and he took them to retrieve it.

However, the "snitch" had unfortunately testified on behalf of his mother three and a half months earlier in the Family Court aspect of the Jon Massey Case.

As retaliation for his efforts in exposing the fraud, false allegations, and wrongful prosecution that resulted in the death of Jon Massey, the district attorney and the judge decided to "throw the book" at the snitch. In fact, they "fast-tracked" his case.

Meanwhile, the two weapons thieves are still in jail awaiting trial. And the primary witness against them? The "snitch" who is well within his rights to plead the Fifth Amendment and refuse to testify for the people responsible for ongoing harassment of his family and friends.

That could result in two high level criminals going free.

Or maybe this was the plan all along - after all, it wouldn't look good for the nephew of a probation officer to be convicted of the "largest weapons bust" in Jefferson County history. Far better to continue to harass a family to cover up a wrongful action that resulted in the death of an innocent man, as well as irreparable harm to multiple children.

It is time to stand up, speak out, and expose corruption!