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Topic: Rough times for Circuit court Judge
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El Supremo

Just days before Circuit Court Judge hayman remarried, he was hit with a paternity suit. This following the controversy about his involvement in trying Flint Attorney Lubkin and the whole magistrate argument between Hayman and Ted Jankowski.

12-305642-DP JUDGE NEWBLATT FILE 08/17/12


P-23306 810-234-3300

Num Date Judge Chg/Pty Event Description/Comments

---- -------- ---------- ------- ---------------------------------------------


RECEIPT# 00368717 AMT $80.00








Post Wed Sep 19, 2012 4:14 pm 
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Ted Jankowski

Ya know,,, I've known about this two days after it happened. But really didn't feel ones personal Life needed to be brought out like this. On another note. It wasn't just me that found a problem with the illegal appointment of the magistrate. The city was in the process of taking him to court over it. But dropped it when she quit and moved away. Didn't want to waste taxpayer money. Still the Flint journal didn't cover the story. Just like they basically covered up His removal as Chief Judge for the Flint Courts.
Post Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:57 pm 
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El Supremo

It depends on the allegations which I understand comprise more than paternity.

When one is a public person, their private issues become public. Especially when that individual is a judge and he is held to a higher standard.
Post Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:39 pm 
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Ted Jankowski

This seems strange... I'm actually sticking up for his private life remaining private.. When he illegally appointed a Magistrate if I remember correctly you where in his corner. he he It just seems strange LOL
Post Wed Sep 19, 2012 11:49 pm 
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El Supremo

The initial filing is 50 pages in length and has some devastating allegations.
Post Thu Sep 20, 2012 10:23 am 
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El Supremo

Paternity suit seeks $4 million from Genesee County judge known for scolding absent fathers

Published: Friday, September 21, 2012, 7:00 AM

By Ron Fonger | rfonger1@mlive.com

FLINT, MI -- A judge known for speaking out on the importance of men being responsible fathers has been sued by an attorney who claims he fathered her two children, then shirked his responsibilities to provide for them.

Attorney Denise Ketchmark filed the lawsuit, claiming she and Genesee Circuit Judge Archie Hayman carried on a secret love affair for nearly two decades, a relationship that she says ended just last month, days before Hayman remarried.

The lawsuit seeks a judgement of more than $4.1 million against Hayman, including $100,000 a year in neglect and abandonment for each child for each year of their lives and $100,000 a year for each year of her relationship with him.
She also wants Hayman to begin paying her $2,000 a month for child support and expenses.

The lawsuit claims that Hayman wanted to keep the relationship a secret from his family and the legal community.

The judge believed that his relationship with Ketchmark "must be kept a secret... because the African-American community would be in an uproar, while he was running for office, to learn that he (had) chosen a white woman as his exclusive, significant other," according to the lawsuit.

The case, which has been transferred to Oakland County after a Genesee County judge recused himself, also seeks a finding that Hayman is the father of the children -- now 6 and 13.

In an answer to the lawsuit, Hayman says he has had a "professional relationship, political relationship and a close personal friendship" with Ketchmark and acknowledges that he signed an affidavit of parentage to allow Ketchmark's children to receive medical benefits from Genesee County.

Hayman referred all questions to Jack Belzer, a Mundy Township-based attorney representing him in the case. Belzer said the situation is "more involved and complex than it appears on its face."

Belzer would not elaborate on the relationship between Hayman and Ketchmark, but said there's a good chance at least one of Ketchmark's children was conceived through in vitro fertilization.

"We're real confident at least one of the children is going to turn out not to be his biological child," Belzer said. "All the information (known today) was not known at the time" Hayman signed the affidavits of parentage.

Hayman said in an answer to Ketchmark's lawsuit that he signed the affidavits "since no father had claimed paternity."

Ketchmark said Thursday that Hayman was her only sex partner for the past 19 years and said, "my body has never underwent an in vitro fertilization."

The Flint-based attorney's lawsuit criticizes Hayman's lack of emotional and financial support of her children even though the judge tells others how critical fathers are in the lives of their children,

In rejecting a plea agreement for a man who owed $530,000 to 13 different mothers of his children in 2010, Hayman called himself "a firm believer that children have a right to support from both their parents."

Last month, Hayman told The Flint Journal that the lack of male role models makes young men more likely to turn to crime and violence.

Ketchmark said in court documents that the judge "should be embarrassed by the fact that he has emotionally, legally and financially abandoned these two children as he sentences criminal defendants in his courtroom on a weekly basis and asks these criminal defendants where their" fathers are.

"That is a hypocritical approach to judging criminal defendants when this defendant's own children can't answer that same question about their father," the complaint says.

An Oakland County judge has yet to rule on Hayman's request that the entire court file be suppressed from public view "due to the positions of the parties and the risk of this information being used in a manner to cause further embarrassment and humiliation to the defendant."

Hayman has also requested that portions of the lawsuit, including Ketchmark's contention that the pair have had an "ongoing and continuous romantic and sexual relationship since November 15, 1993," be stricken from the complaint "due to the fact they are irrelevant, immaterial, impertinent, scandalous, and indecent matter."

Ketchmark said she agonized over filing the lawsuit but said in the complaint that she has consistently asked Hayman for money to support the two children and "his only comment is that 'he will have to do better.' "

"I've hesitated for 13 years," Ketchmark told the Flint Journal. "It was not an easy decision, but a necessary one."

Both Ketchmark and Hayman said their relationship has never spilled into the courtroom because of a standing order that has been in place since 1994. Both said Ketchmark has never practiced in Hayman's courtroom.

Chief Genesee Circuit Judge Richard Yuille could not be reached for comment on the lawsuit.

In addition to giving Ketchmark less than $5,000 over the past 16 years as support for the children, according to the complaint, Ketchmark said Hayman has neglected his children, making excuses why he cannot attend activities they are involved in or functions at their schools.

Both children refer to Hayman as "Archie" and neither has asked if the judge is their father, according to the complaint.

"At preschool for both children and now at school for both children, they state, 'I don't have a dad' to teachers and to other students," the lawsuit says.
Post Fri Sep 21, 2012 6:59 am 
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El Supremo

If he now claims he is not the father would this be fraud? ".....Ketchmark and acknowledges that he signed an affidavit of parentage to allow Ketchmark's children to receive medical benefits from Genesee County

I had this same question!
Post Fri Sep 21, 2012 7:04 am 
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Ted Jankowski

This doesn't surprise me. Especially, after the Favilla-Terry mess he created. I always wondered abt the relationship between those two there also. Sam and Cynthia are now separated. Don't know if they have divorced by now or not. However, a judge clearly violating state law for his former judicial law secretary like that and then her leaving the area in such a quick manner. Just points to something out of place.

Also, Are we sure Ketchmark never had a case in Hayman's court? If this went on for 19 years.. It seems strange that she would never have a case before him. But I guess it's possible.
Post Fri Sep 21, 2012 1:21 pm 
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Ted Jankowski schreef:
Also, Are we sure Ketchmark never had a case in Hayman's court? If this went on for 19 years.. It seems strange that she would never have a case before him. But I guess it's possible.
It's true, and it's addressed in defendant's answer in the pdf file on mlive.
Post Fri Sep 21, 2012 8:26 pm 
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El Supremo

Ron Fonger | rfonger1@mlive.com

You can read the initial complaint filed by Denise Ketchmark and Judge Archie Hayman's answer to it here:
Post Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:08 am 
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El Supremo


Hayman's response has released a fury of anger. The restated allegations available in the Oakland County Court are far more extensive and damaging to the judge and his reputation.

Hayman's response appears to further acknowledge parentage. He states Ketchmark agreed to never ask for child support for the girl and denied to allow him to him visitation with the boy as he had his other out-of wedlock son with him.

He did ask for suppression of the case, but I do not see any hearing regarding this issue.
Post Sat Sep 22, 2012 7:16 am 
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El Supremo

Judge Not: Judges Benched for Personal Misconduct

by Gary Hunter & Alex Friedmann

They decide hot-button topics ranging from abortion and racial discrimination to religious freedoms and contested elections. They can put you in prison or vindicate your civil rights. They can even sentence you to death. Who am I talking about? Judges.

Of all the public officials involved in the justice system, including the police, prosecutors, prison guards and parole officers, judges wield the most influence and power. Presumably, then, when we entrust members of the judiciary with such power we expect them to follow the law and conduct themselves in an ethical and professional manner.

Unfortunately that is not always the case, as demonstrated by the following recent examples of judicial misconduct.

Federal Judicial Hijinks

On February 6, 2008, Massachusetts U.S. Bankruptcy Court Judge Robert Somma, 63, was pulled over following a minor car accident and charged with driving while intoxicated. He was wearing high heels, stockings and a cocktail dress at the time, and the arresting officer noted that the judge had to retrieve his drivers license from his purse.

The following week Somma pleaded no contest to the misdemeanor charge; his license was suspended for a year and he was ordered to pay a $600 fine. He tendered his resignation two days later. However, after more than 200 attorneys signed on to a letter of support submitted to the First Circuit Court of Appeals, Somma sought to rescind his resignation.

He made a mistake; he took responsibility for it, said First Circuit Executive Gary H. Wente. Ultimately, though, Somma agreed to step down. The United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and Judge Robert Somma have agreed that he will not resume service on the United States Bankruptcy Court for Massachusetts but is leaving to pursue other endeavors, the Office of the Circuit Executive wrote in a terse statement issued May 30, 2008.

Somma is now employed at the Boston law firm of Posternak Blankstein & Lund, as senior counsel. While he was not charged with ethical misconduct, apparently his penchant for crossdressing and drunk driving was too much for the dignity of the federal courts.

The resignation of another federal judge, U.S. District Court Judge Edward W. Nottingham, became effective October 29, 2008. Nottingham, who served as the chief judge for the District of Colorado, came under fire when a messy divorce settlement with his third wife revealed salacious details about his personal life, and his problems steamrolled from there.
The first of four complaints against Nottingham was related to his admission in his divorce case that he had spent $3,000 during a single night at a strip club. Complaint number two was lodged by a disabled attorney who blocked Nottinghams car with her wheelchair after he parked in a handicap parking space. The attorney said Nottingham identified himself as a federal judge and threatened her. He was fined $100 for the incident.

A third complaint accused Nottingham of soliciting prostitutes using his court-issued cell phone and visiting an escort services website while at work. He was also accused of lying to investigators about the accusations.

On October 10, 2008, a fourth complaint was filed after a prostitute testified that Nottingham was one of her clients and had asked her to lie to federal authorities investigating their relationship.

Although Nottingham referred to the issues raised in the complaints as private and personal matters involving human frailties and foibles, he announced his resignation on October 21, 2008. The misconduct charges were then dropped by the Judicial Council of the Tenth Circuit as being moot. The Council noted that the former chief judge may have made false statements during the disciplinary investigation, but he was not criminally charged. See: In re: Nottingham, Judicial Misconduct Complaint No. 2007-10-372-36, et al. (Judicial Council of the Tenth Circuit).

Nottingham said he was embarrassed and ashamed for any loss of confidence caused by [his] actions and attendant publicity, and apologized to the public and the judiciary.

The former chief judge, who was dubbed Judge Naughty by the local press, is now in private practice in Denver. He still faces an ethics complaint filed with the Colorado Attorney Regulation Counsel. Judge Nottingham had been appointed by president George H.W. Bush and was generally fair in lawsuits filed by prisoners.

As more details of his sexual proclivities circulated in the local media, judge Nottingham held a bench trial on one of the last cases before he resigned which was a lawsuit brought by federal prisoner Mark Jordan challenging the constitutionality of the Ensign Amendment, the statute which bars federal prisoners from receiving sexually explicit materials in the mail. He quickly upheld the statute. Apparently it is immoral for prisoners to look at pictures and cartoons depicting nudity while judges consort with prostitutes with impunity until their spouses file for divorce.

U.S. District Court Judge Samuel B. Kent, 59, of the Southern District of Texas, also brought unwanted scrutiny to the federal bench. On Sept. 28, 2007, Kent received a three-page reprimand and 120-day suspension with pay from the Fifth Circuit Judicial Council, stemming from a complaint of sexual harassment. See: In re: Complaint of Judicial Misconduct against United States District Judge Samuel B. Kent, Docket No. 07-05-351-0086 (Judicial Council of the Fifth Circuit).

Kents case manager, Cathy McBroom, accused the judge of touching her in a lewd manner without her permission on several occasions. The abuse began after Judge Kent returned to work intoxicated. He attacked me in a small room not 10 feet from the command center where the court security officers worked, McBroom stated. He tried to undress me and force himself upon me, while I begged him to stop. He told me he didnt care if the officers could hear him because he knew everyone was afraid of him.

McBrooms request for harsher sanctions against Judge Kent was denied by the Fifth Circuit in December 2007. Dissatisfied with the light punishment imposed by the appellate court, McBroom hired Houston attorney Rusty Hardin.

On August 28, 2008, Kent was indicted on one count each of abusive sexual contact, attempted aggravated sexual abuse and obstruction of justice. Kents secretary, Donna Wilkerson, claimed that the judge had sexually abused her, too, and Kent was indicted on three additional counts on January 6, 2009. He was the first federal judge to ever be charged with sex-related offenses.

Kent later pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators. Although the sex charges were dropped, he admitted that he had engaged in nonconsensual sexual conduct. Kent received a 33-month prison sentence on May 11, 2009; he was also fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $6,550 in restitution to his victims. See: United States v. Kent, U.S.D.C. (S.D. Tex.), Case No. 4:08-cr-0596-RV. He was given the opportunity to further reduce that sentence by one year if he sought treatment for alcoholism while in prison.

Kent then announced his retirement from the bench due to disability alcoholism and mental illness. By retiring rather than resigning, he would be able to continue receiving his $174,000 annual salary. However, the Fifth Circuit refused to grant him disability status, stating a claimant should not profit from his own wrongdoing by engaging in criminal misconduct and then collecting a federal retirement salary for the disability related to the prosecution.

After members of Congress demanded that he resign or face impeachment, Kent agreed to step down effective June 2, 2010, which would have allowed him to collect his salary for another year while he was incarcerated. Unsatisfied, the House unanimously voted to impeach him, and Kent resigned effective June 30, 2009 before the Senate could consider the articles of impeachment.

It is now time for justice: justice for the American people who have been exploited by a judge who violated his oath of office, stated U.S. Rep. Lamar Smith.

The lenient punishment initially imposed by the Fifth Circuit, and the secretive manner in which it was issued, caused some critics to question the conduct of the appellate court. Prior to the complaint against Kent, of the 671 judicial complaints filed in the Fifth Circuit from 2000 to 2007, none resulted in formal discipline.

Another federal judge in the Fifth Circuit, Louisiana U.S. District Court Judge G. Thomas Porteous, Jr., 62, also faces impeachment. As part of a judicial disciplinary investigation, Porteous acknowledged that he had filed a bankruptcy proceeding under a false name, made false statements, concealed assets and gambling debts, and solicited and received money and gifts from attorneys who had cases pending in his court.

Judge Porteous was also accused of misconduct in a bankruptcy trial, in which he denied a motion to recuse based on his relationship with lawyers in the case and failed to disclose that the lawyers in question had often provided him with cash.

On September 18, 2008, the Judicial Council of the Fifth Circuit issued a public reprimand and suspended Porteous from hearing any cases for two years. The Council had previously found that he had engaged in conduct which might constitute one or more grounds for impeachment. Although Judge Porteous was not charged with any criminal wrongdoing, the Judicial Conference of the United States recommended to Congress that he be impeached.

The House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to proceed with an impeachment investigation, and the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution on January 13, 2009 (H.Res. 15) that authorized the Committee to determine whether Porteous should be impeached and removed from office. In May 2009, U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise urged the Judiciary Committee to act swiftly to complete the investigation, following a three-month delay due to a conflict of interest involving the private attorney appointed to oversee the impeachment process.

Until he is impeached, Porteous remains a federal judge and continues to collect his full salary. In defending against the disciplinary complaint, Porteous claimed he had alcohol and gambling problems, as well as a genetic pre-disposition to depression, which contributed to his misconduct.

The issues raised in the complaint against Judge Porteous were discovered during an FBI investigation of Louisiana state court judges (where Porteous served for 10 years before joining the federal bench), dubbed Operation Wrinkled Robe. See: In re Complaint for Judicial Misconduct against U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous Jr., No. 07-05-351-0085 (Judicial Council of the Fifth Circuit).

Most recently, Alex Kozinski, 58, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, was admonished on June 5, 2009. Kozinski was accused of having sexually explicit photos and videos on his publicly-accessible website, including a photo of naked women on all fours painted to look like cows, a video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal, and a graphic step-by-step pictorial in which a woman is seen shaving her pubic hair.

Kozinski said the risqu material, which was never meant to be publicly available, consisted of files he had received in e-mails from friends and acquaintances over many years. The files were stored on a personal computer at his home that was connected to the Internet using web server software. It was not intended to be a public website, and site visitors had to know the specific folder where the images were located in order to access them.

The admonishment was handed down by the Judicial Council of the Third Circuit since there was a conflict of interest in the Ninth Circuit. The Council found no ethics violations as a result of Kozinskis conduct, but said he had exercised poor judgment by failing to take safeguards to prevent the sexually explicit material from becoming publicly accessible, and that his carelessness was judicially imprudent.

Ironically, at the time the inappropriate online content was reported by the Los Angeles Times on June 11, 2008, Judge Kozinski was overseeing a high-profile obscenity trial.

Due to the resultant publicity he declared a mistrial in that case. Kozinski himself asked the Council to investigate the explicit photos and videos on his website, and apologized for causing embarrassment to the federal judiciary. See: In re Complaint of Judicial Misconduct, No. 09-08-90035 (Judicial Council of the Third Circuit).
State Court Corruption

State court judges are far more numerous than federal judges, and consequently there are more incidents of misconduct among the state judiciary. The following examples are only some of the cases reported within the past year.

In August 2008, the Montana Judicial Standards Commission heard testimony against Lincoln County Justice of the Peace Gary D. Hicks, alleging that he demanded sexual favors from defendants in exchange for lighter sentences.

Nine women testified before the five-member Commission. They accused Hicks of demanding sex in exchange for leniency, making inappropriate comments about their looks, and even stopping by their homes on occasion. There certainly was a sense that if they had sex with him, theyd be treated with leniency in his court, said Steven C. Berg, an attorney appointed to investigate the allegations.

The Commission recommended in October 2008 that Hicks be removed from the bench. He was ordered removed by the Montana Supreme Court on December 30, 2008, after the Court found the accusations had been proven by clear and convincing evidence.

In the meantime Hicks had filed two lawsuits against Lincoln County, accusing the county commissioners of slander and causing him emotional distress, and arguing the county was required to cover his legal fees. The county settled the latter lawsuit and agreed to pay Hicks $40,000.

New York Family Court Judge David F. Jung was removed from the bench by order of the Court of Appeals New Yorks highest state court on October 28, 2008. Jung had repeatedly held hearings in which he revoked defendants parental rights, even though he knew they were incarcerated and could not appear in court. In several cases he sentenced the defendants in absentia to more jail time.

It was Jungs policy that prisoners would not be produced for a proceeding unless [they] specifically asked to be produced; however, incarcerated defendants were not informed of that policy and Jung said they had to learn about it by word of mouth. He also enforced a policy that imposed strict deadlines on defendants who requested representation by public defenders. In one case he sentenced an illiterate and learning disabled woman to 180 days in jail after her request for counsel was made too late.

The Court of Appeals found that such policies resulted in gross and repeated deprivation of the fundamental right to be heard.... Jung argued, unsuccessfully, that his actions were within the wide discretion afforded to Family Court judges. See: Matter of Jung, 2008 NY Slip Op 08155, 11 NY.3d 365 (NY Ct. Appeals 2008).

In December 2008, a federal grand jury indicted former New York Third Judicial District Supreme Court Justice Thomas Spargo, 65, on charges of attempted bribery and attempted extortion. The state Commission on Judicial Conduct had ruled in 2006 that Spargo should be removed from office because he handed out coupons for free gas and coffee and bought drinks for voters during one of his election campaigns. He was also accused of trying to shake down attorneys for contributions to his legal defense fund.

Spargo was removed from the bench after the Court of Appeals found he was an active participant in raising funds for his personal benefit from lawyers with cases before him. His federal prosecution is still pending. See: United States v. Spargo, U.S.D.C. (N.D. NY), Case No. 1:08-cr-00749-GLS.

This case should demonstrate that the FBI will pursue all allegations of judicial corruption vigorously, as public corruption violations are among the most serious of all criminal conduct and can tear at the fabric of a democratic society, stated FBI special agent John Pikus.

On December 10, 2008, South Carolina County Magistrate Judge William E. Gilmer, 61, was arrested and charged with filing a false police report. Gilmer had filed a report with the Honea Path Police Department in August 2007, claiming he received a threatening phone call from someone who said Gilmers wife was having an affair. He later admitted there had been no phone call or threat.

This incident should not have ever happened. You expect a report made by a County Magistrate to be true, stated police chief David King.

On January 6, 2009, Hinds County, Mississippi Circuit Court Judge Bobby DeLaughter was indicted by a federal grand jury on felony counts of conspiracy, fraud and harassment of a witness. DeLaughter, a former prosecutor, is accused of making favorable rulings in a high-stakes case in exchange for being considered for an appointment to a federal judgeship.

DeLaughter is perhaps best known for his successful 1994 prosecution of white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith for the civil rights era murder of Medgar Evers. Is it ever too late to do the right thing? For the sake of justice and the hope of us as a civilized society, I sincerely hope and pray that its not, he said at the time.

According to federal prosecutors, DeLaughter was improperly influenced by attorney Richard Scruggs who is currently serving a 7-year prison sentence for bribing two judges, including DeLaughter in connection with a multi million-dollar asbestos litigation fee dispute between Scruggs and a former business partner. DeLaughter allegedly had ex parte communications with Scruggs legal team and issued rulings in his favor; the judgment in the case saved Scruggs an estimated $15 million.

In return, Scruggs encouraged his brother-in-law, then-U.S. Senator Trent Lott, to nominate DeLaughter for a federal judgeship in the Southern District of Mississippi. Scruggs and his associates also reportedly hired one of DeLaughters close friends, paying him $1 million to influence the judge.

In a motion to dismiss the criminal charges, DeLaughters attorneys argued that Lotts consideration of DeLaughter for a lifetime appointment to the federal bench was worth nothing of value, and thus no crime was committed. The motion was denied and DeLaughter is scheduled to go to trial on August 17, 2009. He remains free on $10,000 bond.

Florida Second District Court of Appeal Judge Thomas E. Stringer, 64, resigned on February 10, 2009 following a tabloid-style scandal related to his involvement with a stripper named Christy Yamanaka. It is axiomatic that Judge and Stripper showing up in a headline is never a good thing, especially if you happen to be the Judge, wrote a columnist for the Tampa Tribune.

Yamanaka claimed that she and the married judge had been romantically involved, that he helped her hide assets from creditors by depositing her income in his bank accounts, and that he had put her up in an apartment rented under his name. She went public after Stringer allegedly failed to repay $50,000 that he had borrowed from her.

Misconduct charges were filed against Stringer with the Judicial Qualifications Commission, but were dropped after he resigned and agreed to never serve as a judge again. He now draws retirement benefits of $8,069 per month.

Erie County, New York Supreme Court Justice Joseph G. Makowski, 55, agreed to resign on February 20, 2009. Makowski allegedly tried to help a female attorney friend avoid a DUI charge by submitting an affidavit in her case that conflicted with witness accounts. The attorney eventually pleaded guilty to DUI and tampering with evidence; Makowski, who recanted his affidavit, was not charged.

PLN previously reported on the embarrassing antics of former Mobile County, Alabama Circuit Court Judge Herman Thomas, who resigned in October 2007 after being accused of paddling or whipping male prisoners on their buttocks and making them perform sex acts. The sexual misconduct allegedly took place in a small storage room in Thomas judicial chambers, where semen stains were found. [See: PLN, Feb. 2008, p.30].

On March 27, 2009, Thomas was arrested on 57 counts that included kidnapping, sodomy, sex abuse and extortion; the charges involve nine victims, all current or former prisoners. His attorney described the prosecution as racism at its very finest. Thomas is black, as are all of the victims cited in the indictment. He has pleaded not guilty.

Another Mobile County Circuit Court judge, Joseph S. Johnston, stated in a March 9, 2009 order that Thomas had used his office to threaten criminal defendants with jail time, penitentiary time and probation revocations if they did not engage in sexual acts with him. Thomas has appealed that order, saying it is based on allegations and innuendo and rumors.

Former Pennsylvania Superior Court Judge Michael T. Joyce, 60, was sentenced to 46 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $440,000 in restitution on March 12, 2009, following his conviction on eight counts of mail fraud and money laundering last November.

Joyce was found guilty of lying about or exaggerating his neck injuries resulting from a car accident in order to collect insurance money, which he used to buy real estate, a Harley Davidson motorcycle and a partial interest in an airplane. He reportedly played golf, went scuba diving and took lessons to obtain a pilots license during the time he claimed he was injured.

Joyce had resigned from the bench in 2007 following his indictment; he reported to prison in April 2009. Despite his conviction, he will receive an $82,000 annual pension because the insurance fraud was not related to his employment as a judge. See: United States v. Joyce, U.S.D.C. (W.D. Penn.), Case No. 1:07-cr-00031-MBC.

On April 15, 2009, Christopher Sheldon, a Superior Court judge in Riverside County, California, agreed to resign and accept a public censure from the Commission on Judicial Performance. The Commission found that Sheldon routinely left court early, often before noon, and said his practice of working part-time while being paid a full-time salary is utterly unacceptable and casts disrepute upon the judicial office.

Sheldon had been disciplined previously for neglecting his work duties. His resignation is effective October 23, 2009, which will give him 20 years on the job and make him eligible for a full judicial pension.

Jacquelin Gibson, 57, a part-time Juvenile Court judge in Fulton County, Georgia, was arrested in May 2009 on a misdemeanor charge of battering her 92-year-old mother, Eula Mae Gibson. According to police reports, the judge and her brother tried to remove Eula from the home of one of Jacquelins sisters as part of a long-running family feud.

Their mother didnt want to leave and a struggle broke out, resulting in a battery charge against Jacquelin Gibson and disorderly conduct charges against three of her family members. Eula stated that Jacquelin had injured her, and said I dont want her to go to jail, but she has to be punished.

Judge Gibson has taken a leave of absence from her courtroom duties pending the outcome of the misdemeanor battery charge. She rejected a plea bargain that would have required her to attend anger management counseling.

On June 18, 2009, Texas District Court Judge Woody Ray Densen, 69, was indicted on a felony criminal mischief charge for allegedly keying a neighbors SUV. Densen, who serves as a visiting judge in the Houston area, was videotaped walking behind his neighbors vehicle and making contact with it. A surveillance camera was set up after the SUV was repeatedly scratched, resulting in $3,000 in repair bills.

Lastly, the Arizona Commission on Judicial Conduct announced on June 25, 2009 that Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Howard D. Hinson, Jr. had agreed to resign from office, effective September 30, to resolve disciplinary proceedings against him. Judges in Arizona are required to rule on matters within 60 days and certify they do not have any past-due cases in order to receive their salaries. Hinson admitted that he had issued late rulings in 25 cases and submitted inaccurate salary certifications 11 times over a three-year period.

The Commission also recommended that Judge Hinson be publicly censured; the Arizona Supreme Court will decide the outcome of that recommendation.

A Myriad of Judicial Misconduct

In addition to the above examples of judicial misconduct, PLN has recently reported on two Pennsylvania state court judges who pleaded guilty to accepting bribes in exchange for sending juveniles to private detention facilities [PLN, May 2009, p.20]; on the indictment of several judges in Georgias Alapaha Judicial Circuit and Fulton County on charges ranging from human trafficking to extortion [PLN, March 2009, p.48; July 2008, p.36]; and on Texas Court of Criminal Appeals judge Sharon Keller, who faces ethics charges before the Commission on Judicial Conduct after she prevented attorneys for a death row prisoner from filing a last-minute after-hours appeal, resulting in his execution [PLN, July 2008, p.22] (see related article in this issue of PLN).

In rare cases, judges are disciplined even when they try to improve the justice system as when St. Lucie County, Florida judge Cliff Barnes filed a mandamus petition to reduce overcrowding in the local jail. The Florida Supreme Court issued a reprimand, stating Barnes had clearly crossed the line between what is appropriate and what is not. [PLN, June 2009, p.21].

A significant problem with the current method of judicial discipline is that the disciplinary councils or other investigative bodies are usually composed of judges who pass judgment on their peers and often do so in secrecy with little or no public oversight. Such self-regulation results in a perception that complaints against judges are not taken seriously, and this perception is bolstered by the statistical outcome of judicial complaints.

For example, 1,163 complaints were filed against federal judges from October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2008, and 759 complaints were concluded during that time period.
The vast majority of the concluded complaints 742 were dismissed, nine were withdrawn, and only four resulted in any type of disciplinary action (including one public censure).

The statistics in state courts are similar. In California, 909 judicial complaints were filed in 2008 and 892 were concluded. Of the concluded complaints, only 34 (3.8%) resulted in punishment ranging from advisory letters to removal from the bench. New Yorks Commission on Judicial Conduct received 1,923 complaints last year, a record number. Of those, around 3% led to discipline, including 33 letters of caution and 26 formal charges.

Such infrequent punishment may embolden judges who engage in misconduct and encourage those who otherwise would not commit unethical or illicit acts. Further, many of the commissions that oversee judicial complaints can only impose discipline on sitting judges, and at most can order or recommend removal from the bench. Judges who resign or retire while facing misconduct charges can avoid disciplinary sanctions altogether, and sometimes retain full retirement benefits.

Judicial immunity, a legal construct that protects judges from civil liability for acts taken as part of their judicial duties, may also contribute to misconduct because it removes a safeguard that otherwise would force judges to consider the consequences of their behavior in terms of personal accountability.

Despite the sparse number of judicial complaints that are upheld, judging from the above examples it is apparent that state and federal judges are not immune to criminal acts, lapses in judgment and outright stupidity not unlike many of the defendants who appear before them in court, who are routinely convicted and sent to prison.

Sources: National Law Journal, www.law.com, www.boston.com, www.abovethelaw.com, Washington Post, www.judicialaccountability.org, www.knowyourcourts.com, Denver Post, www.judgewatch.org, www.victimsoflaw.net, Houston Chronicle, Associated Press, CNN, The Recorder, New York Times, New York Law Journal, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Judicial Business of the U.S. Courts (2008 Annual Report)
Post Sun Sep 23, 2012 6:14 pm 
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El Supremo

Genesee County won't kick children off judge's insurance

Published: Monday, September 24, 2012, 11:00 AM Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012, 2:48 PM

By Ron Fonger | rfonger1@mlive.com

GENESEE COUNTY, MI -- Two children at the center of a lawsuit filed against Circuit Court Judge Archie Hayman will continue to be insured by the county -- at least for the time being.

County Board of Commissioners Chairman Jamie Curtis said today that officials will operate under the assumption that an affidavit of parentage signed by Hayman in 2011 is true and that a 13-year-old girl and 6-year-old boy are entitled to the insurance.

Flint attorney Denise Ketchmark filed suit against Hayman on Aug. 17, claiming she and the judge carried on a secret love affair for nearly two decades and that Hayman is the children's biological father.

The lawsuit claims Hayman should pay more than $4 million in child support and damages for neglect, abandonment and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

After the lawsuit was filed, Hayman's attorney said he and the judge are "real confident at least one of the children is going to turn out not to be his biological child."

If that's the case, attorney Jack Belzer said the children can't continue to receive the county insurance.

Belzer said Hayman believed the affidavit to be true at the time he signed it but said new information has come to light that has created doubts.

"If they are not his biological children, there's no decision for him to make" because the children would no longer be eligible for the benefits, Belzer said today.

Hayman claimed the children as his own when he signed them up for the county health benefits and "at this time there is no proof the children are not his," Curtis said.

"We're going to treat it as valid because of the petition he signed," Curtis said. "Until it's shown differently, we are going to continue to insure those children."

The county is not investigating the matter but is monitoring the civil case against Hayman to determine whether the insurance should be revoked, Curtis said.

Two years ago, an audit showed 150 county government employees had ineligible dependents receiving benefits and employees were given several opportunities to provide documents proving that those dependents were eligible.

The county eventually took away benefits from 40 children and spouses of employees who were collecting insurance they weren't entitled to but didn't discipline the workers.

Hayman is known for speaking out on the importance of men being responsible fathers, but Ketchmark's lawsuit claims he failed to support his two children with her, contributing a total of less than $5,000 to the children throughout their lives.

The initial complaint as well as Hayman's reponse can be seen here.
Post Mon Sep 24, 2012 6:44 pm 
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El Supremo

Genesee Circuit Judge Archie Hayman wants DNA tests to prove paternity

By Ron Fonger | rfonger1@mlive.com
on September 27, 2012 at 4:30 PM, updated September 27, 2012 at 10:41 PM

GENESEE COUNTY, MI -- Genesee Circuit Judge Archie Hayman wants DNA testing to determine whether he is the father of two children born out of wedlock.

And he wants the results of that paternity testing sealed from public view.

But the Flint attorney suing the judge for more than $4 million in child support and other damages says not so fast.

Flint attorney Denise Ketchmark opposed both of Hayman's requests in filings today, responding to a flurry of motions filed by Hayman's attorney in Genesee Circuit Court Wednesday.

Ketchmark's lawsuit claims she and Hayman, who is known for speaking out on the importance of men being responsible fathers, carried on a secret love affair for nearly two decades and that the judge shirked his financial and other responsibilities to the children.

Her lawsuit also claims Hayman "has transmitted the Plaintiff a sexually transmitted disease (Human Papillomavirus Infection)," but the judge says in a filing that "it is not true that the Defendant has any HPI virus or any other sexually transmitted disease."

Hayman's new motions ask Oakland County Judge Cheryl A. Matthews to dismiss the lawsuit, revoke affidavits of paternity that he signed, strike "scandalous" and other pleadings filed by Ketchmark, and seal the case file from public view.

"The pleadings have numerous allegations ... that are scandalous and improper and show disrespect for (Hayman) as a judge, the entire legal system and the courts ... and serve no legitimate purpose," the motion to seal the case file says."The public nature of this case would only serve to embarrass the legal community and hold the entire profession and the courts up to ridicule."

The same motion claims Ketchmark "attempted to extort certain monies and actions from" Hayman before she filed the original complaint for child support and other damages.

Ketchmark's filings today oppose sealing of the case file, saying the public wants to know if Hayman committed insurance fraud by claiming her children as his own to collect health insurance for them.

The judge has not admitted paternity in any filings tied to the lawsuit and his attorney has told The Flint Journal, Were real confident at least one of the children is going to turn out not to be his biological child."

Ketchmark has asked that the judge deny Hayman's request for DNA testing, saying he waived the right to blood or genetic tests to determine if he is the biological father when he signed the affidavits of parentage.

Hayman claims in a court filing that the affidavits were obtained "because (Ketchmark) hid the truth of the children's paternity" and were obtained by misconduct and duress.

Ketchmark said Hayman is required to seek revocation of the affidavits of parentage before the court can consider DNA testing.

"(Hayman) did not contest the parentage of the minor children while (Ketchmark) agreed to have sexual intercourse with him. It was only after the Plaintiff ended the relationship on Aug. 17, 2012, that the Defendant now doubts parentage," the filing says.

A hearing date in Oakland County, where the case was transferred, has been set for Oct. 10.
Post Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:06 pm 
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El Supremo


So is the Flint Journal - and other local media - going to do the right thing and challenge Archie Hayman's attempt to close this case from public view?

This is a classic case where the news media must step up and do its duty as a public watchdog and fight any efforts to seal the file or close the courtroom.

I think it's unfortunate that Hayman is caught up in this scandal, but it will become much worse in a hurry if this proceeding becomes cloaked in secrecy because it will undermine citizen confidence in the courts. Judges need to be held to the same standard of public accountability as any other citizens. We cannot have a system of secret justice for the privileged and powerful. Secret court proceedings of any type are offensive to freedom and democracy.

There's a very legitimate question of overwhelming public interest here - did the former Chief Judge of Genesee County Circuit Court commit a felony crime in this case by fraudulently obtaining taxpayer-financed medical benefits for children that were not his? This cannot be swept under the rug, no matter how much Hayman would like it to go away.

The public has a bona fide right to know here, and the local news media needs to mount a court challenge to any efforts to seal these proceedings. This really is a critical test for the Flint Journal - is it a watchdog with teeth or a hapless lapdog? The Flint Journal - and the local TV stations - need to pool resources and fight to preserve open access to the record and proceedings. I'll personally pony up a financial contribution to help, so my money will be where my mouth is.

Pat Clawson
Swartz Creek, MI
Post Thu Sep 27, 2012 10:09 pm 
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