Thursday, October 10, 2013
LC Comm'rs: We Don't Need No Steenkin' Tipstaffs
Judge McGinley told Commissioners why they are needed, in an effective presentation. She pointed out that they make judges more efficient, increasing their productivity by 10 per cent. Tipstaffs prevent jurors from seeing a defendant escorted down a hallway in handcuffs, which is automatic grounds for a mistrial that cost between $100,000-500,000. They help judges when dealing with always contentious domestic disputes, which can result in violence. They're there to find missing lawyers, or to communicate with other courtrooms. They help keep the place from falling apart when between 50-100 DUI cases are called.
After hearing Judge McGinley's presentation, Scott Ott pretended that he was shocked to learn that tipstaffs perform these functions, and suggested that perhaps McGinley could use three more. She responded that she knows things are tight, and just wants to be able to keep what he has.
Ott then complimented Judge McGinley's youthful appearance, which in that setting was a rather strange and somewhat demeaning and sexist thing to do to a President Judge.
Then, Ott disingenuously went along with Lisa Scheller's motion to reduce the funding for tipstaffs by $140,000, right after insisting to Judge McGinley that he was genuinely concerned that she needed more tipstaffs. Percy Dougherty, Mike Schware, Tom Creighton and Vic Mazziotti also went along with the cut.
Even Angle would back off when a President Judge tells him he or she needs something. That's a separate and independent branch of government. I thought the way Judge McGinley was treated was completely disrespectful. These Commissioners are apparently unaware that the Court could just turn around and sue for this funding and get it. It has happened in other counties. So can District Attorneys, as John Morganelli recently demonstrated in Northampton County. Judge McGinley showed them respect by coming there, hat in hand, to make her case. In return, she was insulted, at least in my opinion.
I was so disgusted after this that I left.
I was there to see whether they would award a no-bid contract to Magellan, but I can only take so much tea party nonsense.