Monday, April 27, 2015
A Letter For Bill Blake
April 23, 2015
Easton, PA 18045
Attorney William Blake
Bethlehem Pa 18020
Dear Attorney Blake,
It is my understanding you are an official ballot candidate for the vacancy of Magisterial District Judge at District Court 03-2-03 in Bethlehem Township. As a concerned citizen and resident of Bethlehem Township, I am writing on behalf of myself and a number of other Bethlehem Township resident voters to inquire whether you have obtained a Formal Opinion from the Judicial Ethics Committee of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges in regard to your eligibility to actually serve as the District Judge in Bethlehem Township if you were to be elected.
My concern is I am aware that your brother, Sgt. Rick Blake is a high ranking supervising officer in the Bethlehem Township Police Department, and your wife, Assistant District Attorney Kristine Blake is a practicing prosecutor in Northampton County and both of these relationships present a conflict of interest. Has the Judicial Ethics Committee of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges rendered an opinion informing you that you can preside over any and all Bethlehem Township Police Department criminal cases? It is my understanding that District Court 03-2-03 will only be covering Bethlehem Township Police Department matters starting January 1, 2016. If the relationship with your brother being a sergeant supervising officer conflicts with your ability to oversee and make judicial decisions in a non-bias manner how will you even be able to preside over any criminal matters that would come before you if elected as District Judge? Additionally, your wife is a member of the Northampton County District Attorney’s Office and is responsible for prosecuting cases that will come before you if elected as District Judge, how is this not another conflict regarding your ability to preside as District Judge? Is there a formal opinion from the Judicial Ethics Committee of the Pennsylvania Conference of State Trial Judges in regard to these conflicts of interest?
If you have not officially requested a Formal Opinion in regards to your eligibility to actually serve as the District Judge in Bethlehem Township, I ask you do so immediately. These conflicts pose a great concern to me and other voters of Bethlehem Township and the residents of the community where we live. As a judicial candidate, I believe you have an obligation to get a formal opinion. The voters should be asked to consider only those candidates who are free of any conflicts of interest or appearance of conflicts of interest in the primary and general election, to preserve the sanctity of the criminal justice system.
Concerned Bethlehem Twp. Citizen
Cc: Morning Call, Express Times,