Judges have gone wild against Whistleblowers
"Corruption of the best becomes the worst."
- "Corruptio optimi pessima."
Washington-Whistleblower advocacy groups have joined in an unprecedented cooperation to protect Judicial Integrity. These groups, including the International Association of Whistleblowers (IAW), the Atlanta Whistleblower Coalition and Georgians for Justice have joined to hold judges accountable a top priority.
In the end, judges are the gatekeepers who frequently deny whistleblowers access to courts. Regardless of laws passed, if courts are hostile to whistleblower rights, society suffers. Whistleblowers may be looking out for society, but who is looking out for whistleblowers?
Leaders of the movement agreed that this is the most difficult challenge that persons of conscience face. Court misconduct can be deadly. When judges permit hospitals or defense firms to cover up, then taxpayers and citizens are left unsafe, and people die.
In the Godfather, Vito Corleone carried judges in his pockets "like so many nickels." What chance do average whistleblowers have when powerful corporations are pulling judicial puppet strings?
In the most extreme example, Georgia judicial misconduct has led both the Wall Street Journal and Forbes to declare, "Georgia judges have gone wild." Prime examples include judicial misconduct and criminal conduct in the Georgia / Fulton County Superior Courts. As it stands, more than 24 Georgia Judges have had to resign for violations of ethics, and for even wrongful execution orders.
Just last week, the FBI agreed to intervene. Brian Lambkin, who heads the FBI office in Georgia,has announced this week that it was opening a large investigation into judicial corruption. Larkin elaborated:
"It impacts the everyday system. It's not just a dirty law enforcement officer that might be shaking you down," he said. "You're talking about people that you elect to an office to represent you who try to line their pockets."
The Associated Press GREG BLUESTEIN writes that the situation is serious:
Lamkin will personally sign off on the investigations before they go forward, and high-profile cases will be approved by FBI officials in Washington, he said.
"The reason is a corruption investigation can ruin reputations," he said. "These are not quick hits. We will use sophisticated techniques and undercover operations to really go after these. That's why the individuals that work these have to be patient."
Lamkin wouldn't say how large the team is, but he said he's assigned about 40 percent of the staff in the bureau's white-collar crimes unit to the mission.
The move was welcomed by government officials, who believed state and local funding cuts over the last few years have eroded other investigations.
"I just appreciate it. One of the frustrations you hear is that with the state budget cuts, you don't have the resources to hire more investigators," said state Rep. Joe Wilkinson, who chairs the House Ethics Committee. "This brings another much-needed level of scrutiny to the system."
Fulton County Sheriff Ted Jackson, who has asked the FBI to investigate deputies at the Fulton County Jail for wrongdoing, applauded the new oversight. That probe led to charges in June against four guards accused of smuggling drugs and cell phones into the jail.
"The FBI has been working with us to rid this agency of corruption and investigate other crimes involving civil rights," said Jackson, a former FBI agent himself. "This effort is beneficial to the public by rooting out corrupt activity which costs taxpayers."
The new squad was formed as rounds of budget cuts have depleted key state investigative agencies.
The Judicial Qualifications Commission nearly ran out of money in December to investigate judicial misconduct, but state lawmakers gave it a financial boost this year.
The agency has forced several judges to resign, and recently recommended that a north Georgia judge be ousted from the bench after concluding that he pointed a gun at himself in the courtroom and berated his boss in a bizarre televised rant.
And the Georgia Ethics Commission, which investigates finance complaints and registers lobbyists, has been rocked by deep funding cuts even as it takes on more duties. The commission's director resigned after a dispute over the agency's budget and the status of several cases involving Gov. Nathan Deal. And it went from fielding three investigators in 2008 to none now, said William Perry, the director of Common Cause Georgia.
"Our state is cutting back on monitoring elected officials and their ethical behavior, so we welcome the fact that the federal government is stepping up," he said.
Lamkin still remembers the first corruption case as a field agent. It involved a food inspector who took $1,000 to look the other way at a Virginia naval base. It may not seem like a lot of money, he said, but don't try to tell that to a sailor who ate the tainted food.
"We don't take this lightly," he said. "These are truly the types of investigations that are being done in the back room. And the circle of friends is very small. In order to penetrate that inner circle, you've got to have a strong and tenacious group to develop the intelligence."
By cutting fraudsters off from special favors from judges, we can and must protect the United States. People's lives are at stake. No more profit before patients. We urge newspapers everywhere to reprint this article, and for all citizens to join this campaign. We need everyone! No federal dollars without real accountability. Good faith is the essential prerequisite for public support.
Do we want Vito Corleone to control US justice? Are citizens finally going to unite for justice for all?
The IAW urge all citizens to reprint this article everywhere, and to join the fight for better hospital safety.
Calling all citizens who can describe judicial misconduct. Come to our meeting. Tell us your story. Judicial misconduct cannot be allowed to stand!
Now, do not allow more misconduct. Stand up!
Please contact the following immediately:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE