Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Is McCarthyism Alive and Well in Maine Government - the Reappointment of Hon Patricia Worth

The unanimous vote by the Judiciary Committee of the Legislature (3-24-2015) to recommend the re-appointment of Judge Patricia Worth strikes many people as incomprehensible in many respects. Not only is it a bad decision but the process has many troubling constitutional features.
  1. We are told that Joshua Tardy, Esq., and/or others associated with him, conducted some sort of investigation of the court records of each person who testified against Judge Worth on Thursday, March 19th. If this is true, it sets a chilling precedent for others testifying before a legislative committee. Is it a new standard to investigate people who offer public testimony in a legislative hearing, or is it restricted to the Judge Worth hearing? As a rule, people can testify on almost any subject in legislative hearings without needing to be vetted by anyone. Do those testifying before the legislature now need to be "vetted" by the likes of Mr. Tardy? Where is the law, the precedent, the constitution on these issues? We suspect nowhere, AWOL!
  2. This investigations of witnesses was done without knowledge of those testifying that an investigation was a part of the deal, if they had the nerve and courage to testify. They were not told that their court records from the court they were complaining about would be provided by the court and used as evidence against their character
  3. It is a universally well-known truism that two sides to every question. Why did these reported investigations apparently aimed at proving testifiers to be liars, not allow those secretly accused a chance for rebuttal as a part of a fair process?
  4. It appears to us that that court records were used as the source of data. Because of the massive nature of family court records, The reviewer of 4-5 records would need an editorial “heads up” pointing to the “good parts”. One wonders who might have directed and focused the review? Good courts have good records; bad courts have bad records. Maine courts are notoriously primitive in their record keeping. Paper records in manilla files in cardboard boxes is the mantra for Maine's courts. Are these records accurate? Have all sides looked at them? Is it appropriate to introduce legalistic evidence-stacking like in a court trial - into a legislative hearing without warning or precedent? A legislative hearing does not usually function as a trial of any sort.
  5. Why are Mr. Tardy, the Governor and the Judicial Branch using such offensive techniques in a legislative hearing? In effect they are an attack on the credibility of witnesses; perhaps permissible in a court of law, but for a LEGISLATIVE HEARING? Do they want the public to speak out about judicial abuse? Do they want to intimidate people? Do they support the 'status quo'? Is the current ‘status quo’ of the family court system, a system Maine can be proud of? Is it the system they want?
  6. Is it Mr. Tardy's role, as the Governor’s Chairman of the Judicial Appointment Committee, to defend Judge Worth and attack any public criticism? Is this his mandate from Gov. LePage? Is this process appropriate to be carried out in a legislative hearing? Is this normal ‘modus operandi’ for a legislative hearing that an Executive Branch committee head should “vet” those testifying to legislators? Constitutional boundaries?
  7. Why hasn’t judge Worth ever issued a 'sua sponte' complaint of criminal abuse in the Tardiff case, if there is real abuse of his ex and their child as inferred by Mr Tardy? If Mr. Tardiff (one of those investigated) is really an abuser why just keep him on the rack and keep squeezing ever more money from him? Why does she reportedly violate state and federal guidelines for child support? Why no plans for reconciliation? What exactly is the danger this court sees from Mr Tardiff?
  8. Please, remember, Judge Worth is the only judge whose re-appointment is opposed in the 3 years since there was an grass roots entity doing public oversight. Why is she the only one opposed by that entity? What are her short comings in need of correction? Or are there none?
These questions beg for an audit of this court and this judge. Not an ersatz "trial" by innuendo of “victims” in a legislative hearing. Investigating those who testified was a violation of public trust in a legislative hearing and deeply offensive to those who had the courage to speak out with the hope of improving Maine's crumbling, dysfunctional family courts.

Does our government want the people to let it know of problems. Or is it happy with silence?

No comments:

Post a Comment