Really? How about being a mentor to a black or Hispanic lawyer, judge?
Although he's been on the bench since 1987, Moran has yet to hire a single black or Hispanic tipstaff or clerk. In fact, the only black lawyers I know in Northampton County government have been hired by the DA's office.
And now the pity party is starting. Although The Express Times courageously condemned Moran's remarks for undermining public confidence in the judicial system, others are rushing to his defense. Lawyers who regularly practice before Moran (and depend on his good graces) are lining up, with letter after letter, to tell us he's a swell guy. And I have been accused of "smearing" a judge who unnecessarily indicted the entire judicial system in the context of a single judicial proceeding.
Before we all start sobbing about poor misunderstood Judge Moran, I have a question - what did he really say? There may be three different versions. The Express Times has the original transcript, but "inarticulate" Moran took it upon himself to change some of the wording in the original transcript to water down his original comments and change their tenor. Now a judge can change spelling and correct grammar, but changing the substance of a transcript is prohibited. As powerful as they may be, judges have no authority to rewrite the record. So in addition to making a terribly stupid and offensive statement, Moran may have tried to cover it up. I don't know about you, but I think that's worse than the original offense.
Late Friday, I tried to get my dirty little hands on the filed transcript, but no one seems to know where it is or if I can have it. Maybe judges have magic wands that can make these things disappear. I'll try and find it today and let you know tomorrow. It's at times like this that I wish I were a reporter instead of some cranky old title searcher trailing toilet paper from my shoes.
I'll check in tomorrow unless someone waves a magic wand and I disappear. I'll also let you in on some disturbing details in Moran's bizarre judicial conduct, something that needs to be addressed before someone gets hurt.