Thursday, October 10, 2013

LC Comm'rs: We Don't Need No Steenkin' Tipstaffs

Northampton County Bulldog Ron Angle made a stink about tipstaffs during consideration of the 2011 Budget in Northampton County. But even he backed off pretty quickly when judges agreed to cut their budget on their own. It''s a losing proposition to pick a fight with a separate branch of government, and one that can send you to jail.  So I was astonished last night to see Lehigh County Commissioners go directly against the recommendations of President Judge Carol McGinley. Six of them reduced her tipstaff budget by $140,000, effectively depriving the courts of four aides.

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.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

Get ready Bernie,three of the Republicans running for Northampton County Council are Teabaggers. By the way, why not ask Peg Ferraro why she bought her Tea Party sweatshirt but hides it when the baggers are not around??

Bernie O'Hare said...

That kind of assertion has zero credibility unless you identify yourself.

Anonymous said...

Why do you continue to pretend that three of the Republican county council members are not tea party guys. For Christ's sake, even members of the group will tell you they are.

Your uncle can call himself your aunt but he still has a penis!

Anonymous said...

Good for Ott and company.

Anonymous said...

Biased much Bernie?

Anonymous said...

A guy stands up to judges and you take your dolls and go home. In NorCo they work part time and abuse taxpayers every day with this shit. Tipstaffs are overpaid coffee fetchers who are absolutely unnecessary. Look at Koury in Easton. How the hell did he land that job? Was it advertised? Or was it a gift to a friend? Yeah. We know how this works. Life is tough, Bernie. Change your tampon and wear a panty liner. Please continue to wail about LC. Your crying makes my coffee taste better in the morning. What a sniveling little dope you are.

Anonymous said...

hmmm. i'm pretty damn liberal, but the Judges do not speak ex cathedra.

Last time I checked, the federal bench don't use tip staff-they're law clerks handle those duties.

(internal conflict---distaste for the judiciary battling with contempt for the tea party....must resist...)

Anonymous said...

I don't understand your distain for these tea party assholes. You more than anyone else promoted some of these tea baggers for public office. You continuously defende some of these clowns. Let's pick one individual out of that lot and discuss him.
Mr. Mazziotti.
You endorsed the guy Bernie. On your blog you promoted him. He was Stoffas right hand man and chief bean counter. He was at the Helm of the finance department in Northampton County while the band waas playing and the "Swaption" was sinking. He is now a nut case tea bagger in Lehigh County and now you want the courts to "SUE DEM BASTARDS". He didn't change colors over night. Let's see, a finance director who shows his real colors, a Human Services Director who says Charter restrictions doesn't pertain to him, A Court Services director who violates employees rights, A public works director who doesn't fight for capital improvements and lets the bridges under his care deteriorate.....Aw shucks, just sue the Bastards.

Anonymous said...

I thought you were a big tea party guy? But then again, you were the biggest anti-Callahan guy too before you totally flip-flopped on that too.

Anonymous said...

7:52 - Yes, BOH repeatedly posted entires on the blog pushing tax cuts as being critically important. Any time any sort of increase was needed to fund anything, BOH was against it.

Now he's trying to distance himself from these kooks.

Anonymous said...

I can see one thing here. When Bernie wakes up from his nap, some of these comments will be censored by the Blog Administrator.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Look, this post is not about me. I understand you are drven by hatred, but some people are actually interested in the issues.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Biased much Bernie?"

Yeas, I don't like assholes. You should know.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"hmmm. i'm pretty damn liberal, but the Judges do not speak ex cathedra."

I have never been accused of being too kind to judges. But when they speak about their own functions at budget time, they pretty much do speak ex cathedra. They are a separate and independent branch, and if the Comm'rs interfere wity that, they will find themselves on the wrong side of a lawsuit they will use. Ott pretty much showed himself both as (1) a liar and (2) an arrogant disdainful person who could not even be respectful to the president judge, probably bc she is a woman. God help LC with these loons.

Bernie O'Hare said...

7:52, When a tea party person says something right, I will note it. Vic DID say something i could agree with last night, and i will be pointing it out. I disagreed with every one of the votes I saw, but what he said happens to be more important than those votes and I will talk about that tomorrow.

The votes are insane and mean-spirited, will hurt morale and will not solves the problem Vic identified.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"A guy stands up to judges and you take your dolls and go home."

I;'ve seen people stand up to judges. I've stood up to judges. My dad has stood up to judges. Ron Angle has stood up to judges. Ott did not stand up to a judge; he demeaned her. Then right after telling her how concerned he was by what she told him, he voted against her. Big mistake.

Anonymous said...

You vote for Tea-Baggers and this is what u get... Wait until Scott Ott wins executive

Anonymous said...

tipstaffs job for the day "where should we get lunch from today.?

Anonymous said...

Ron Angle st5ood up to Judges, O'Hare Sr. and Jr. stood up to Judges. Some people some times are never heard of again after standing up to God.
Ask Jim Gregory. He stood up to God who happened to be one pissed off Judge,

Anonymous said...

Yeah Ron Angle stood up to the Judges until the President Judge stood and spoke and then old Ron spent the next ten minutes kissing hizzoners ass.