Monday, August 28, 2006

Did Northampton County Judge Try to Alter Remark That Juvenile Was Getting Break Because of His Race?

Photobucket - Video and Image HostingLast week, the Express Times published a verbatim transcript of Judge Moran's comments, during a court proceeding, in which he in effect told a young man he was getting a break because he is white. In the ensuing firestorm, Moran acknowledges he "might" have been "inarticulate." After that, both The Express Times and Morning Call published identical op-eds from the judge that are just as "inarticulate." In this epistle, Moran brags about giving speeches and claims to have been a mentor to Hispanic children.

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.


LSTresidentPIA said...

Don't we all try to cover are tracks when we've made a mistake? Human nature.

Bernie O'Hare said...

To LSTresidentPIA, I believe that's exactly what happened.

Chris Casey said...

To err is human
To Forgive divine
To put one's foot in their mouth..
well that's human too.
I'm just bothered by the lawyers who appear before him sucking up to him and singing his praises.
It smells of trying to influence proceedings in the court, with questionable ethics outside it,
but that is just my opinion.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Chris, So far, there are letters from 5 different lawyers in the Express Times, ALL who appear regularly before Moran. I have to wonder whether this little letter writing campaign is an orchestrated attempt at damage control.

I am also VERY concerned that Moran may have altered his original statement for the official record in this matter. That's another attempt at damage control, too, but that allegation really bothers me. I've heard reports about this from several people, but I have not seen it yet. I believe these sources or I would not be saying anything right now.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Chris, What I also find interesting is that no judge has tried to defend Moran.

Chris Casey said...

Perhaps those judges realize that fools rush in...
or perhaps actually came to the conclusion that it's better to keep quiet and be thought stupid, than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Chris, I removed all doubt a long time ago.

r.moshki said...

Knocking Judge Moran for not hiring on the basis of race is a reach.

in fact, it's a non-sequiter.

Bernie O'Hare said...

To r.moshki, The fact that someone has never hired a black or Hispanic clerk or tipstaff does not, by itself, mean anything. I agree. But when someone beats his breast and claims to be giving speeches and mentoring, I think it's a fair question.

Anonymous said...

On February 28, 2006, in Orphans Court, Judge William Moran decreed 81-year-old Plainfield Township resident Anna Mae Kessler meantally incompetent.

He based his decision on psychiatric examinations of Anna Mae when she had only 20% of her hearing capacity.

Judge Moran and Senior Judge James Hogan, the county's motions judge, denied Anna Mae a continuance beyond February, allowing her the opportunity of consulting a hearing specialist and of being outfitted with a hearing-aid prosthetic.

Judge Ed Smith was also involved in Anna Mae's case, though Givens doesn't know the exact nature or the extent of that involvement.

Anna Mae's court-appointed attorney, Easton lawyer Henery Newton Jr, Esq., was severely incapacitated on the day Anna Mae appeared before Judge Moran, stricken with laryngitis so disabling he could hardly speak.

In fact, Newton that fateful day, like Judge Moran, was "inarticulate."

After decreeing Anna Mae non compos mentis, Judge Moran assigned Easton Attorney Timothy Prendergast Esq. as her "permanent guardian," succeeding Easton Attorney Robert Glazier Esq. as Anna Mae's "temporary guardian."

Easton Attorney Theresa Hogan Esq. may have been involved in the transfer of the power of attorney (POA) from Anna Mae's niece to Attorney Glazier.

Attorney Hogan had on accason acted as Anna Mae's lawyer.

As Anna Mae's newly appointed guardian, Prendergast denied Billy Givens, then an announced independent candidate for Pennsylvania Governor, the opportunity to file an appeal to Judge Moran's ruling on Anna Mae's behalf.

As a candidate for public office, Givens had become concerned about the mushrooming assisted-living facilities in the so-called Lehigh Valley, like the one in remote Bushkill Township where Anna Mae is confined.

Givens was also concerned about the wasting of senior citizens' estates: Anna Mae has lost her social security, pension, and stock-dividend funds, her automobile, and even her house at 574 Bangor Road, Plainfied Township, that was auctioned off.

Most of all, Anna Mae has lost her freedom.

Finally, Givens was concerned because he knows that the trend today in elder-care by caregivers is to provide that care in the elderly person's home.

r.moshki said...

Point granted re. the posturing about race by Moran.

Also, the post by Anon which mentioned mentioned Billy Givens was written by 'Billy Givens'?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Oh that was Billy for sure! His style is unmistakable and inimitable.

r.moshki said...

Oh that Billy!

And didn't we know that Paul Carpenter, professional irritant, would come to the aid of Judge Moran?

Comparing illegal aliens to Italian-American citizens in Hazleton was another of Paul's recent gems. The guy gets paid to do one thing, annoy and anger people.

Pretty good gig.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I annoy and anger people, too. But I don't get paid and don't have to try.

Anonymous said...

Judge Moran ruled on my case today without even letting me speak. He let the other attorney speak and then made his ruling. He should be disbarred as far as I am concerned. It is interesting to see all the problems he has caused. I am not surprised he is a racist. This makes me want to move out of Northampton County.

Anonymous said...

Northampton County is corrupt. That corruption begins with Judge Moran. I am contacting the bar association and asking they investigate this matter.