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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Grigg Grates on DA

Blogger's Note: This story was written on Monday night. I wondered why I got no comments at dinner with a friend last night, who told me he never saw it. I forgot to publish it. 

Sherwood Grigg and Donald Trump have at least one thing in common - scalps on which even the most brutal Comanche would take a raincheck. Their noggins look more like furry steamed lobsters than actual human heads. Trump has spent an entire Presidential race demonstrating there's little inside his. Over the years, Magisterial District Judge Sherwood Grigg has proven that he's a tad odd himself.

Forget those evil Islamic immigrants or dirty Mexicans. Our real menace? Old guys who insist on dying their hair a weird shade of orange.

They both apparently get it at Mark Thatcher's ColorRite plant in Upper Mount Bethel. Yamaha, Sukuki, Trump and Griigg.

Ask for Off-Road Orange.

I'll stop talking about Trump now because I'm hoping he appoints me his Press Secretary. This post is really about Grigg, known to people in the slate belt as Griggy. You might find him at the Mount Bethel Diner, where he speaks out of turn about the cases before him. You might find him at the Bangor Elks.You might even bump into him in Atlantic City.  But he tries to stay away from courtrooms. They make his orange head hurt.  

District Attorney John Morganelli blasted him on Monday over the way he handled, or more appropriately, failed to handle a sex crimes case brought against New Jersey teacher Joshua Mohlman. This teacher allegedly carried on seven-year long affair with a former student, starting when she was just 14. During the Preliminary Hearing before Grigg, Assistant DA Anthony Casola chose to use hearsay evidence of the victim's statements,just like in the Cosby case. But Grigg refused to listen, continued the matter and told Casola to produce a brief explaining why hearsay is admissible.

Hearsay evidence in preliminary hearings is admissible because the Supreme Court says it is, according to rules adopted in 2013 and a 2015 Superior Court decision. A senior Magisterial District Judge is bound by those courts, whether he likes it or not. Now that there's a new Supreme Court, that rule might very well change to give defense attorneys the right to confront accusers. In fact, let's hope it does. But there's no denying that the rule in place right now.says hearsay (out of court statements offered to prove the truth of the matter asserted) may be used to prove any element of an offense.

"Hearsay evidence is absolutely 100% admissible at preliminary hearings and there can be no dispute that is the law," said Morganelli, who is rightfully concerned about subjecting the victims of sexual offenses to even more humiliation.   .

Grigg seemed to have little regard for her. He was more worried about an accused child predator.

Morganelli was also miffed that some local news accounts suggested the matter was continued because his office was unprepared.
"Yesterday's delay ... was completely unnecessary and was the result, not of the Commonwealth not being prepared, but the result of a district judge not knowing the Rules of Procedure or the law.Unfortunately, I am advised there are other district jidges that also refuse to follow the Rules of Evidence and procedure and somehow [are] putting their own judgment in place of the judgment of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Superior Court .... ."
Instead of getting a brief from the DA, Grigg will be getting a memo from President Judge Stephen Baratta. According to Morganelli, he consulted with Judge Baratta, who agrees with the Commonwealth's position.
"It is very frustrating to pick up the newspaper and read a story that seems to suggest - no offense to the press - that somehow, the District Attorney's office was not prepared to move the case forward and the judge making statements in the newspaper stating such things as, 'In all my years as a judge, I've never done this.' Well, that may be,but things have changed since 20 or 30 years ago."  
Originally a Justice of the Peace, Grigg was first elected in 1969. Prior to that, he was a county assessor. Grigg is the mini-judge who administered a bizarre and rambling oath to Ron Angle when he was sworn in last year as an interim school director.

Before the school board meeting started, he explained to the person seated next to him that he had come to swear in the new appointment, but refused to bring his robe. Then he added, "If a certain person is nominated and elected, I'm out of here because I don't get paid to do this."

He was referring to Angle, and had spent the day lobbying agaonst him, which is completely improper for a member of the judiciary.

Why does Griggy have such a hot not for Angle? Maybe because he lost his home to Angle when the bank foreclosed on him. Instead of blaming Angle for his financial predicament,  he would do better to spend a little less time at the Bangor Elks.

People who do business in his slate belt courtroom report his rulings have grown more inexplicable in recent months Last year, he threatened harsh sanctions against Portland's Billie Golden for maintaining a junk yard. He made these threats ex parte from the Mount Bethel Diner, after finding Billie guilty and before imposing sentence.

Now he's instructing DAs to file briefs and is going against rules that have been in place for three years.

It's time for Griggy to step down.


Anonymous said...

"Why does Griggy have such a hot not for Angle"

Why do you have such a hot nut for Angle? You love the guy, in a weird way. You have two separate posts bragging about how the guy takes over property form people. He built an empire on the misfortunes of others. You celebrate that? Apparently your hot nut knows no bounds.

Anonymous said...

Yes.. to be removed from further bench duties. He is a mess and has been for quite some time now. The police of the Slate Belt area are fed up with him and his antics. he has sold his favors and has no shame about it. he has abused his ofice and the robe he sometimes wears. Pity Todd Strohe was taken from us and his family so young because he forced Griggy off the bench and into forced retirement. Grigg's bouts with alcohol and compulsive gambling are no secret here. He is a disgrace and needs to be censured and barred from further judicial duties. Enough already.

Ramma Ramma Ding Dong said...

Ah, my kind of jurist. Wish we had him in Lehigh county, so we could support his decisions.

Bernie O'Hare said...

5:03, You are so full of hate that you don't understand friendship or see that nether of these posts is really about Ron.

Anonymous said...

How did the citizens allow Pennsylvania Courts to take away 6th. Amendment protections

Bernie O'Hare said...

That's a fair question, and I agree that the 2013 rule is unconstitutional and is contradicted by other rules. But that is not a call for a magisterial district judge to make.

Anonymous said...

Why is this Griggy lady still sitting on the bench? This whole senior magistrate thing is a scam.

Anonymous said...

Will tune in again on 7/1. Rooting for an Angle Free Friday.

Anonymous said...

Bernie, Thanks for Your opinion on the 6th. Amendment. I also thought D.J.'s were not to decide Constitutional Issues.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I agree the rule needs to change. I questioned the DA about this pretty closely and even he seemed to agree that it is not a great rule. But it is the rule, and MDJs may not decide constitutional questions.

Emest said...

Yes, Bernie, the entire Slate Belt knows GRiggy and Ron. GRiggy is an alcoholic and big time gambler. Will do whatever someone pays him todo.. And did you know he's the only D J that requests to be paid for his mileage from home to work n a weekly basis? Yes, he would call me weekly to see if his check was mailed. It's hard to believe he s a Sr judge! A Greddy Sr Judge.

Anonymous said...



This story has it all.... Bad Mark! Angle AND GRIGGY! What a better cast of characters could the Slate Belt outdo with this line up?

Weeeeeeee Really!

Anonymous said...


Sherwod R. Grigg is a HOT MESS and should retire! Your right on the mark (No pun intended for the Good or Bad Mark or any other Marks-)with your assessment of him in general.

For any one in his role as a Judicial member to sit in MBD (aka Mount Bethel Diner ) with cohorts Toni Lynch, Joe-the Catholic, Wayne-the Lutheran, Bad Mark, The Emperor Ron Angle, etc and toot about pending and current Judicial cases is very sad and not acceptable.

Sherwood's personal struggles and life have been in newspapers columns before from his ex-wife's garage door to several other major fiasco's.

The swearing in of Mr. Angle was again just another embarrassment to the long list as he made a total ass of himself in front of the entire School Board and community at that meeting.

Sherwood you need to retire and move along. Don't keep embarrassing yourself with this continued nonsense.

Unfortunately we are judged by the mistakes we make along the journey and not by all the god we have done. Sherwood has also done some very good things as well which wont get mentioned here on the cyber blog.

At the way your going Sherwood, you and Charley Sheen can trade notes-

Anonymous said...

I don't think I would want or vote for Morganelli as PA AG after this. Hearsay evidence ALONE should not be enough to proceed to trial especially coming from a cop. We don't need someone who is willing to trample our rights...enough is enough

Anonymous said...

The person who prosecuted the case against Mr. Golden might tell you (if you asked him) that before he arrived, Mr. Golden had uttered a profanity in the courtroom. Judge Grigg was furious that his courtroom had been disrespected and refused to allow Mr. Golden to defend himself against the charge. The prosecution offered their evidence, Judge Grigg began to administer the sentence, when Mr. Golden asked if he would get a chance to speak. No, you will not, the judge said and then sentenced him $50.00 a day dating back over a 3 year period, a $54,750 dollar fine. The Judge later vacated his decision explaining that it wasn't the court's problem, but a community problem. The Judge went from declaring "guilty" without allowing a defense to a "don't bother me with this old problem" non-decision that served no one at all.

American Justice - Griggy Style.

Anonymous said...

After reading The Pennsylvania Constitution it reinforces My opinion that the State Courts ruled against the both the Federal and State

Bernie O'Hare said...

That may very well be, and I happen to think it's a bad rule, but MDJs do not decide constitutional questions.

Anonymous said...

Looks like Grigg is having a BAD HAIR DAY!

Anonymous said...

Bernie O'Hare shame on you! You will probably delete this but I don't agree with the personal attack on Sherwood Grigg. Yes pick his decision apart and to not agree with his rulings that's ok but someones hair etc is not Okay. For he who has not sinned cast the first stone- Yes, Sherwod has his misgivings and don't WE ALL? The attacks on his hair color or person like that is not acceptable. We are all only human with faults and feelings-

Do you know about the veterans golf outing annually he plans and runs for wounded soldiers that has donated THOUSANDS and all his fund raising over the years with the ELKS? How about the money raised that supported the Halloween parade etc and candy sales that helped local kids? He also has made some directions in people's lives that have straightened them out and pout them back on the right path.

You will never hear the good of what someone does just the bad to tear them down. Sherwood has done alot for many here in the community and didn't get elected for 30 years by not being a part of the community and you wont hear of it.

How about a kinda and gentle cuddle bear Bernie O'Hare once in a while?

As for Sherwod Grigg? No one man is perfect nor without a flaws including you and I-

Anonymous said...

never knew what a MORON was until I met Sherwood Grigg..............

Anonymous said...

Bernie is free to wage ad hominem attacks because it's his blog. Better that he do it in the open than in the dark corners that "mainstream" journalists do.

It sounds like Mr Grigg is a douche bucket. No amount of good can undo small amounts of bad, especially those judges who can negatively impact our lives.

Anonymous said...

Judge Grigg and Ron Angle are two sides of the same coin.

Anonymous said...

This is a very good likeness to one of allentowns appointed DJ's and by the way he was a former prez counsil court jester for Allentown's one and only indictable mayor?!($ I always loved the ones that ended up purple and like a turban they wrap there rug around there hole head?!($
RE:publican redd no party afilliation

Peter J.Cochran said...

Bernie-I worked as a State CONSTABLE and would bring defendants in to D.J. Griggs office on night duty. He was always on the side of the law --and I mean CONSTITUTIONAL lAW, If somebody was leaning on a defendant they had to really have their facts they thought they had in order. The DA asst.IN THIS FILE was just relatively probably out of diapers when this experience was happening with me in court room -don't take it personally- Get a grip.

Anonymous said...

Whatever you do, don't call him Ma'am Lol

Anonymous said...

Since we're deciding who should & shouldn't be a judge, let's take this same angle towards the local cops. I can think of one specifically that needs an exit.

Where's THAT article?

Bernie O'Hare said...

To whom do you refer?