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Friday, June 11, 2010

Senior Judge Franciosa Disenfranchises Slate Belt

"You're cunning; you'll figure it out."

According to Northampton County Council Prez Ron Angle, those are the words Court Administrator James Onembo used when discussing Senior Judge Franciosa's confusing missive filed late yesterday afternoon. If Angle refuses to give up his school board seat by Monday, Franciosa has decided to let him keep his Council seat, but he won't be able to participate in any way. So effectively, if Angle refuses to step down, Judge Franciosa has left the Slate Belt without any representation on Council, disenfranchising 1/4th of the County.

This was the most ridiculous argument DA John Morganelli advanced during Wednesday's stay hearing, but it's the one Franciosa bought.

What's even more amazing is that County Council - which never was even a party to these proceedings - is somehow barred from appointing someone to fill the void left by Angle. In addition to thumbing their noses at Slate Belt voters, Franciosa and Morganelli have completely gutted Home Rule Charter provisions concerning Council vacancies, destroying the very document they claim to be protecting.

Franciosa takes "judicial notice" that Council has previously gone for extended periods with a vacant slot, but no vacancy has ever lasted longer than thirty days.

People of good will can certainly have different views about the dual office prohibition in the County's Home Rule Charter. But Franciosa's over-reaching Order, which attempts to bind someone not a party to the proceedings, smacks of bias. Morganelli's antics, in which the dual office prohibition is ignored for Democrats while enforced against a Republican, demonstrates his bad faith. Finally, Onembo's snide comment to Angle pollutes the entire bench.

An angry Ron Angle told Express Times reporter Doug Brill, "It's pretty evident Judge Franciosa is senile, and it's pretty evident (President) Judge (F.P. Kimberly) McFadden is looking the other way because she knows it."

Incidentally, Angle is due in Court today on an unrelated matter. His judge? Franciosa.

I'm sure he'll get a fair shake now.

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

calling a judge senile and accusing another of looking the other way.

A better man would have said that he disagreed and would appeal but that he respects the judicial system. of course, that would not be Angle. Anybody else, you would blast for being classless and disrespectful to the courts.

angle could have played this so well that he made morganelli and the judges look pathetic, but instead he is playing the same game. he could have positioned himself to be county executive in a few years.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, Morganelli and the judge do look pathetic. But I'll also ageree that Ron should have kept that "senile" remark to himself. He pretty much does not give a damn whether he gets elected county exec in the next few years. That's him at his worst and him at his best. You'll always know what's on his mind.

Judge Franciosa has always been very bright, but I have to say that a decision imposing conditions on council, which was not a party to this litigation, is clearly error. So is the decision to disenfranchse 1/4 of the voters on County issues. He takes "judicial notice" of a fact not in evidence, without being asked by either party, and is wrong about that fact. He pats himself on the back for his "painstaking" work. I will scan and post this opinion over the weekend. It truly is goofy.

I am sure Monahan will make this part of the record on appeal because it helps establish the bias claim.

Onembo's remark may have been intended to soothe Angle, but it had the opposite effect. He has also made a statement to the media earlier, stating "you can't win" with Angle. That's an unusual stance for a representative of the judiciary to take.

Anonymous said...

"An angry Ron Angle told Express Times reporter Doug Brill, "It's pretty evident Judge Franciosa is senile, and it's pretty evident (President) Judge (F.P. Kimberly) McFadden is looking the other way because she knows it." "

And this is the very same judge that overturned the Bethlehem Township Zoning Hearing Board's denial of the Prison expansion, Twice! Then, amazingly, Angle supported the Franciosa decision. Hipocrisy at its best out of Northampton County.

Bernie O'Hare said...

He defended the decision, but not the opinions. Those opinions were bizarre, too. In fact, one of the reasons why there had to be a second decision is precisely bc the first opinion was so bizarre.

Anonymous said...

Morning Bernie, if one is a county council member and truly cares about his or her seat reflecting not just a district but the county in its entirety, our Slate Belt will still be represented until all aspects of this debacle are clarified. Council appears to be open in its thinking and actions.

Bernie O'Hare said...

The good will of council incumbents, unfortunately, is irrelevant. What matters is far more basic. First, there is the right to vote, the most basic of all rights. Second, there is the plain language of the HRC, which gives the people, and not some judge or DA, the right to elect their representative.

DA Morganelli and Judge Franciosa have thumbed their noses at both.

Anonymous said...

Isn't the more accurate headline "Given the choice,Man elects to Disinfranchise Slate Belt"

For being senile, it was a brilliant decision on the part of the court. Angle holds the key to the prison cell. He prefers the drama to avoiding the trauma of his temporary banishment from Council.

Of course, the underlying issue and the present quandary were both created by him. It could have been decided 10 years ago but for some unknown reason it was not. (perhaps you as a fawning disciple are allowed access to the inner workings of his mind on this point.)

This is wonderful fodder for your blog. Rule of Law 2; Angle 0

Anonymous said...

Disenfranchising 17 people, a few rusty cars, and 23 chickens? Too bad.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Angle did not craft that Order. It is Franciosa, and not Angle, who has disenfrancvhised slate belt voters. And what kind of person thinks it is brilliant to impose an order disenfranchising 1/4th of the county's voters.

Angle stepped down 10 years ago to avoid the litigation. Ten years later, he had an opinion from a county solicitor and knew there would be no challenge from the school board or council. he had no idea that Morganelli, who previously said he would not waste prosecutorial resources on these matters, to prostitute himself.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Disenfranchising 17 people, a few rusty cars, and 23 chickens? Too bad."

And this is how Morganelli view Slate Belt voters? This is how Lamont McClure's party views slate belt voters? Looks like you're hoping to lose all Democratic seats, unless you're counting on Franciosa to negate those votes, too.

Anonymous said...

How many times can I see people misspell "hypocrisy" before I lose my mind?

Anonymous said...


And this is how Morganelli view Slate Belt voters? This is how Lamont McClure's party views slate belt voters? Looks like you're hoping to lose all Democratic seats, unless you're counting on Franciosa to negate those votes, too.


Don't know about Morganelli but the people whose taxes finance the Slate Belt's existence do. And they aren't all Democrats.

Lighthouse said...

1. looking at the applicable sentence in Section 104 of the HRC, I can actually see three different ways it could be read if one thinks like a lawyer. I guess after all of this is done, perhaps the County should look at using Sec. 1206 to amend 104 to clarify it since this is not the first instance of it being invoked.

2. Anon 7:49's comment was similar to what I was thinking when I chuckled reading the original "senile" quote.

3. However, for both Ron Angle and Bethlehem Twp, I guess a quote from JFK applies:

"Americans are free, in short, to disagree with the law--but not to disobey it. For in a government of laws, and of men, no man--however prominent or powerful--and no mob--however unruly or boisterous--is entitled to defy a court of law."

Anonymous said...

See jury nullification.

Anonymous said...

"It is Franciosa, and not Angle, who has disenfranchised slate belt voters."

If Angle gives up one position this is all over. It is he who started this mess.

He will continue to waste the counties resources and taxpayer money for his own gain. I hope it is only a matter of time until he gets whats coming to him!!

Anonymous said...

The incoherent opinion seems proof that the guy is in the early stages of some form of dementia. Having some family experience with dementia, it's remarkable how strong the denial defense can be in the early stages. Reagan was slipping while his finger was still on the button. Judges should be forced to retire and not participate as stand-in senior judges, before they start to make poor rulings, and then drool and shit their pants.

Anonymous said...

"Angle said the court has no right to dictate to County Council how to handle a vacated seat. Asked what he would do by Monday, Angle said, "The bigger question here is, what is the Supreme Court going to do about Judge Franciosa being incompetent and still sitting as a judge?""

If Angle is correct, then the Bethlehem Township Board of Commissioners should have appealed Franciosa's two time overturn of the Township Zoning hearing board on that Prison!!!

Anonymous said...

the Slate Belt? maybe, Monroe will buy it. All the slate is gone, replaced with New Jersey garbage.

Anonymous said...

http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-angle-news-conference-20100611,0,5882229.story

"Anybody else, you would blast for being classless and disrespectful to the courts."

"Angle is going to have to resign from the School Board or he is going to get teh boot from county council. no appeals court is going to stay the matter."

Told ya. Angle can't fight legal battles with Morganelli and judges the same way he fights with McHale and Dertinger.

So, when Angle starts trying to cut funds from the courts and the DA's office, are you going to call him on classless retaliation as you rightly called Morganelli this time around?

Anonymous said...

BOH @ 8:38am said:

"Angle did not craft that Order. It is Franciosa, and not Angle, who has disenfrancvhised slate belt voters. And what kind of person thinks it is brilliant to impose an order disenfranchising 1/4th of the county's voters.

Angle stepped down 10 years ago to avoid the litigation. Ten years later, he had an opinion from a county solicitor and knew there would be no challenge from the school board or council. he had no idea that Morganelli, who previously said he would not waste prosecutorial resources on these matters, to prostitute himself."


Yes, Angle stepped down 10 years ago to avoid the litigation, and this time he did not and, thus, it is Angle who is responsible for the disenfranchisement of the Slate Belt. He took the first step. His actions led to the decision. Can he take personal responsibility for nothing?

Angle's misjudgment does not put the blame on Morganelli. Angle took a calculated risk and it blew up in his face (and the people he represents). Again, this is not being done to him, he set off the chain of events by his actions.

With that said, isn't this good for Angle IF he is correct. If he does nothing he is temporarily off County Council. But if he wins on appeal he is back. Essentially, Franciosa has set up a situation where if his ruling is upheld, Angle is out of one of the positions as of Monday. But if Angle is found correct and the appeal is successful, then he will be back.

That, to me, does not seem bizarre, that appears to be quite fair.

Anonymous said...

As you have previously stated, Ron Angle knew this was an issue for the past 10 years. In the time that he has sat on County Council has he tried to address this through legislation (as you have previously suggested is the proper way to resolve the ambiguity of the HRC)?

And, if the answer is "No," why did he decide to litigate instead of legislate?

Anonymous said...

doesn`t matter anyway...Angle resigned from the school board today

Anonymous said...

Deleting posts about your mancrush.

Hypocrite

Anonymous said...

Ohare deletes anything that does not support his beloved patron saint Angle.

Anonymous said...

The portion of your 7:09 attack on Franciosa (at least the part which is not an opinion) is off-base, according to the law in PA: A judge may "sua sponte" (without being asked by either party), take "judicial notice" of a fact not in evidence, and can even be chastised on appeal by the Supreme Court of PA for failing to do so.

Anonymous said...

Rule of Law Prevails; Litigant lodges personal attack on Judge who has temerity to rule against the beacon of truth and hope for mankind.

Franciosa should be commended for rendering a legal decision knowing what would surely follow. Accusations of senility, incompetence and bias. Bravo for not succumbing to this little pocket dictator.

Judgment reserved on appellant courts; If the lower court decision upheld then the ready made excuse has been established - my remarks criticizing the judiciary make it impossible for any court to judge me fairly.

Has the out of county judge appointed to hear the Will case been trashed yet? If a favorable ruling occurs, then he is an excellent jurist. If not, then senility and bias will be at work again.

Why do bad things always happen to good people?

Anonymous said...

DOWN GOES ANGLE! DOWN GOES ANGLE! DOWN GOES ANGLE!

The crowd goes wild!

A legend in his own mind, Angle hits the mat after a devastating uppercut by Franciosa.

Punch drunk, Angle staggers into council chambers where he incoherently introduces an ordinance to amend the county home rule charter allowing him to hold any office he chooses, including Sith of the Dark Lord.

"Roll call Mr. Flisser."

The motion fails 5-4 after which Darth Angle cuts down his opposition with a light saber. "In the world I live in" he growls "that being a planet far, far away judges and the rule of law are but a tool of the Jedi and no match for the POWER of the Dark Side."

Obi-Wan Onembo, watch out!

Anonymous said...

Fundamentally, he is a corrosive force attacking the rule of law. True to form, he engaged in a predictably vicious ad hominem attack. The resignation likely renders his appeal moot and the "bizarre" decision prevails. On to the next crusade! Amend the Charter.

The only thing predictably bizarre in this matter is Angle's behavior. While he of course has the right to disagree with and criticize the unfavorable decision, he is incapable of saying so without attacking the integrity and competence of the judge. Why is that? Because of the person he is. Apologist and sycophant that you seem to be, you can't bring yourself to concede this central point. Given any true power he would abuse it for his own ends. His conduct in the course of this case simply proves this point once again.

Anonymous said...

You can have an opinion on whether Mr. Angle is worthy of serving both positions. I amsure he would be equally passionate about both, however isn't the Charter pretty clear that one could not hold two elected offices? If not, please help me understand.

If the Charters intent is pretty clear, I would even extend this to appointments to an elected office. Here is why. Lets say the person appointed to Angles seat serves one month and decides to resign. What if Angle is appointed to the vacancy left by an appointed school board member. In this situation, the office is sill elected, however the position is appointed.

I have yet to see an argument what the ambiguity is? Maybe I do not have all the information, however, the peoples intent should be upheld. If the Charter is dated or vague, please follow the appropriate procedures to amend or clarify the intent.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Apologist and sycophant that you seem to be, you can't bring yourself to concede this central point. Given any true power he would abuse it for his own ends."

I cerainly do admire Ron Angle. I also consider Senior Judge Franciosa's inexplicable decision and conduct from the bench on Wednesday to be bizarre. But Angle at his worst does engage in these ad hominems. I've never defended that kind of behavior from anyone. I find it especially repellant when it comes from anionymous sources, which indicates cowardice. I've seen plent of anonymous ad hominems heree attacking Angle. They go unnoticed. But Ron's statement about a judge, who has powers of contempt, are denounced.

I've previously stated I do not consider Juidge Franciosa to be senile or incomptetent, even though he went thru a stop sign in Wilson last week and practically got himself creamed, which is the talk of the courthouse. Hell, I sometimes go through stop signs, too, although I may be senile.

Having said that, I do consider Franciosa biased. That was the point of two motions asking Franciosa and the entire bench to disqualify itself. Now we have precisely the kind of harm complained about in those motions. The Court has put itself in the position of alienating the President of a County Council who has already said he wants to cut costs.

Now you're talking about Angle's appeal being moot before it's even been filed. How the hell would you know about a mootness argument? The only persons who could be thinking about that would be lawyers, and lawyers closely connected to the case. You should try your cases in a courtroom, not here.

You conclude by worrying about what Angle would do if he had "real power". As the leader of the 7 Rs on County Council, he has real power right now, and that is what rally worries you and Morganelli. That's why you need to cut him down. He might succeed. He might stop all the runaway county spending, especially by the courts. Does the Court really need all that imported bottled water? Should judges really have two butlers, i.e. tipstaffs? Should the county foot the bill to pay for secretaries to senior judges that we do not need? These questions are being asked and hat is why Angle is being marginalized.

The attempted coup has already failed. You've just made him more popular, especially in the Slate Belt, which the judge and DA were all for disenfranhising.

Morganelli should never expect to get a single vote from that region of the county ever again.

Judicial integrity in Northampton County has also suffered. The Court ashould never have decided this case. One need look not further than Onembo's "cunning" remark to see the evidence of bias.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 12:56,

You may be making fun of Angle, but funny is funny. Well done!

Bernie O'Hare said...

Anon 6:35 AM,

Courts should always be reluctant to assume facts not in evidence. Their role is nreutral, not partisan. if they start looking for facts to justify an argument, they became advocates instead of judges. I got Garb reversed on this basis.

Moreover, a judge should never take judicial notice of a fact that is not a fact. In this matter, Franciosa takes judvual notive that County Council has gone extended periods with less than a full complement. That's untrue. Council has never gone longer than 30 days without appointing someone to a vacancy, and primarily to keep the courts from sticking their noses in where they don't belong.

So, without being asked by either side, Fanciosa pulls a falsehood out of thinm air and uses it to justify an opinion that is already logically challenged.

LoveIT said...

Angle quits the school board!!!! It is a win for the law and the people.

The bully gets put in his place. I am upset he will be wasting taxpayer dollars in an appeal, but it is a great day in NorCo!!

tinkerbell said...

"Disenfranchising 17 people, a few rusty cars, and 23 chickens? Too bad."

lol, you left out the double-wide, 2 pink flamingos, and the case of keystone light...actually, it wouldnt even be keystone light, just a bunch of cheap cans that say "BEER"

Anonymous said...

So Mr. Ohare, lets not mention that Judge Franciosa went through a stop sign, heaven forbid, we say that has any thing to do with incompetence, right Bernie.

If Angle is such a servant of the people and a force for good, your claim about cutting costs in the Court is interesting. You are clearly inferring, Hell you are saying, that this will influence Angle and his robots on County council. You also are clear that the DA, will feel the wrath.

So just so we are clear, you are bringing up a totally unrelated incident about Judge Franciosa, because it shows he is not in your opinion incompetent.

You indicate Angles Court loss means trouble for the Courts and DA in the budget this year because Angle is the leader of 7, well actually 6, Republicans. In your words Angle would put the citizens of Northampton County in jeopardy of underfunding the protective services of law and order for his own personal revenge. Since he has never cut their costs in his 10years on Council, this position would be very obvious. You have clearly put out his threat to the Courts and the DA. Interesting.

I will take any bet you want to lay that John Morganelli gets more than a single vote in Region four. I have it from reliable sources that more than one person in region four believes in the Rule of Law more than the Rule of Ron.

Your post was a portrayal of a bitter vengeful man that would put the people of the County in jeopardy in order to gain revenge.

Veritas

Bernie O'Hare said...

Instead of calling yourself a noble name like Veritas, you should call yourself what you are, Anglephobe.

The word being passed around late last week was that Judge Franciosa sailed thru a stop sign in Wilson, oblivious to the danger he was causing himself and others. I do not consider that evidence of anything, and state that. I bring it up, and only in a comment, to make clear that can happen to anyone, including me. Franciosa was being Franciosa. He is neither senile nor incompetent.

What I am not inferring, but what I have been saying all along, is that Angle's Council intends to reduce county spending. The Courts will not be spared. That has never happened before bc zAngle has never been President of Council before and never had 7 votes. Get ready.

This is precisely why Angle twice asked the Court to recuse itself from this matter.

In a council meeting concerning cost savings measures, Onembo was present and offered nothing. So I suspect the offer is going to made for him. I, for one, do not think judges need tipstaffs. They are nothing more than glorified butlers. Deputies can perform that task.

No secretarial services should be provided to the senior judges. We can't stop the PJ from bringing them in, but we can make our sentiments known by refusing to fund their support staff.

There are NINE judges on the bench. That's more than enough.

Their budget, like every department, is going to get very close scrutiny.

As for Morganelli, the idea of disenfranchising the slate belt is all his. He chose to personalize this matter by opposing the stay request. Of course he will still get some votes. But I can guarantee you he will be crushed in the slate belt if he runs for anything in NC.

People already think whatever they're going to think about Angle, and he doesn't really care. So this, just like the stupid will claims or the stolen cigar claims and all the other goofy claims made about him, mean nothing.

But Morganelli can be and is bleeding from this mess. So are the Courts. The integrity of the courts, in particular, took a very big hit. The bias is palpably obvious.

Anonymous said...

Bernie you have never expressed your concerns about court staff like tipstaffs and some other items before. It would appear your feelings tend to follow the grudges of Angle.

You can't really get angry at people. You may call them Anglephobes but you do come off as his Minister of Propaganda.

You will reverse your own positions to be in line with Angle.

I think Bill White nailed it when he said the Emperor has no clothes. All of Angles wounds are self-inflicted. His massive ego has and will continue to bring about a circus atmosphere in Northampton County all in order for him to be the center of attention.

This will be crunch time for county Council. We all know Dowd and Cusick will follow Angle like trained puppies but will the other Council members come off as noting but some Angle cows waiting to be herded into their pens.

Hopefully, they can see the truth and think for themselves. Time will tell.

Bernie O'Hare said...

In a 2001 LTE addressed to the ET, I referred to tipstaffs as butlers.

I have been highly critical of spending for county judges since I began blogging.

http://lehighvalleyramblings.blogspot.com/2006/08/northampton-county-pampers-judges-at.html

Anonymous said...

"I have been highly critical of spending for county judges since I began blogging."

And you have been felating Angle since you bagan blogging as well.

Bernie O'Hare said...

It's ironic how people who condemn Angle's boorish behavior are actually much worse, at least if they can be anonymous cowards about it.

Anon Coward said...

I have told you several times, if you don't want us to post anon..then don't give the option.

It is you that continues to hide behind his computer and call people names for simply doing what is asked of them. And that is to comment on the topics at hand.

I am sure it is much easier for you to call people cowards when they are not standing right in front of you.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I've told you before that I have nothing against anonymous comments. I have something against the anonymous cowards like you, who hide behind a cloak of anonymity to launch vicious personal attacks.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Stnad right in front of me. You're sucjh a coward you'll never ID yourself. I'm at Paneras off 512 and will be there until 9 PM. Come and confront me, if you dare.

Anonymous said...

Please, are you like one of those homeless guys that buys a coffee and sits and uses the free wi-fi all day. Please say you are not one of those dudes.

By the way Bernie, the reasons some folks stay anonymous are because they fear getting sued by
Angle or losing a job like he threatened the Court workers on Friday.

You have nothing to lose, so you don't worry about such things. You have no job and you own nothing.

That is your advantage. Who the Hell would sue you?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Come and stand right in front of me like you just threatened. I told you I am at Panera off 512 and will be there until 9 PM. You can come in and call me a homeless person to my face and I can rsspond accordingly. I'm waiting. After that, I'll be home. Drop by, coward, and confront me personally.

Anonymous said...

"I told you I am at Panera off 512 and will be there until 9 PM."

You don't even pay for your own internet. Who stays at Panera for 4 hours at a time? They should kick you out.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You said you wanted to stand right in front of me and I'm giving you a chance to do so. I've told you where I am and how long I'll be there. But as I suspected, you're too much of a pussy to stand up to a real man, just as you're too much of a pussy to sign your name to your hatred.

Go crawl back under your rock.

Anonymous said...

I am sure your agenda would be to get out the flip cam and gain another topic for your blog.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Come over and you'll discover my agenda. You are the one who said you want to confront me. Where are you, coward? Collecting another unemployment check?

Anonymous said...

I am very much employed, which is only part of the reason I can't come to your squating place. I don't need to go to public places and use their internet, and bath in their facilities. I pay for my own.

Why would you be at Panera for 4 hours? Really?

Bernie O'Hare said...

"I am very much employed, which is only part of the reason I can't come"

I can see how employed you are. I am using a service Panera happly offers its customers, whle you are commenting on blgs wle very much employed, stealing fromyour boss.

So in addition ot being a coward, you are a thief.

Anonymous said...

Calm down boys calm down.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I'm a s calm as could be, and am making my points becase I know a person too cowardly to identify himelf also lacks the courage to confront me like a man. This person is also apparently a thief, stealing from a boss who expects him to be working. But that's probably a lie.

So we've got a coward, thief and liar. Those are the kinds of people who oppose Angle and Stoffa.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, any visitor?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Nope.

Anonymous said...

Bernie on a lighter note [perhaps] whatever happened to Monica Lewinsky`s blue dress ?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Morganelli has it. He's going to claim an Angle connection next.

Sanctifying Grace said...

Bernie,

While you are at it, any ideas on who killed JFK?

Peace, ~~Alex

Bernie O'Hare said...

Probably Angle.