Monday, August 31, 2015
Sam Murray Kicks Off Judicial Quest
This weekend, in the midst of splendid weather and a bevy of beauties, Easton Attorney Sam Murray kicked off his race to be elected Northampton County's next judge. He did so from Missy Rudas' back yard, in a speech that told voters that they have a very clear choice. One is a man who has practiced law for 32 years, including ten as a Juvenile Hearing Officer. The other is a man whose rash judgment has cost Northampton County taxpayers nearly $300,000. One believes in due process, the most important quality in a judge. The other has been found to violate this basic right. One of them follows the Home Rule Charter. The other defended the Exec's decision to hire a public relations consultant and even advised him to go ahead and borrow $20 million to balance the budget.
Murray came out swinging. Though most judicial contests are sleepers, this one promises to be quite interesting. He spoke out quite forcefully about how Jill Mancini, a former Assistant NorCo Solicitor, was fired by Murray's opponent, Vic Scomillio, just two days before Christmas.
Though Scomillio was not yet in office as County Solicitor, he fired her anyway. By cellphone. From a car. In a call that kept fading in and out. He even sent a Deputy Sheriff up to collect her card key at the end of the day. A federal jury would later determine that in doing so, Scomillio violated this person's rights to due process. He failed to provide this person with notice or an opportunity to be heard, instead acting precipitously.
That's why a judge exists. He is there to provide notice and an opportunity to be heard.
Scomillio's error will cost taxpayers at least $300,000.
When finally sworn in, Scomillio would go on to argue that it was perfectly legal for Executive John Brown to have taxpayers pay for a public relations consultant to shovel propaganda at us. He even advised brown he could borrow $20 million to balance the budget, in clear violation of the Home Rule Charter.
People need to know these stark differences before they decide on who they want to elect as a judge to ensure their own due process rights.
You can see my pictures from this event here. As a matter of full disclosure I support Murray for judge and have contributed to his campaign. I will attempt to be fair to Scomillio, but his violation of due process disqualifies him in my mind.