|Judge Zito in shorts instead of a robe,|
poses with five cops who never claimed he was biased.
According to The Scranton Times, the entire region should have standing in a landfill expansion dispute. Never mind the law. Columnist Chris Kelly kicks things up a notch. He has published two columns. In his first, The Jurist Puzzle, he suggests that Zito is biased because he represented several landfills when he practiced law.
Using that logic, I could argue that he should never sit in judgment of a criminal case because he represented numerous criminal defendants and was once the County's Chief Public Defender. Cometo thinkof it, judges who served as prosecutors should never hear criminal cases, either.
What really seemed to piss Kelly off is that Judge Zito refused to discuss his decision with him. Let me get this straight. After insinuating that a judge is biased and in the pocket of Louis DeNaples, Kelly thinks that same jurist should pick up the phone for an ex parte conversation with him about a matter that is still before him?
Are you out of your mind, Chris? One too many Texas wieners?
It gets better. In a second column, entitled It Keeps Piling Up, Kelly concludes that Zito must be biased because a landfill opponent in Williams Township says so. He complains again that Zito refuses to engage in ex parte communications. He apparently made no effort to get other opinions.
Kelly could easily have learned that Zito was a fierce advocate for whomever he represented. He could have learned that Zito distinguished himself as the Chief Public Defender, representing clients who had nothing. Or that he represented one of the region's most difficult clients, Northampton County Council, with ease. He could have learned that Zito represented wealthy people but also represented numerous Slate Belt clients who had nothing. He could have learned that Zito, despite his senior status, is still considered the hardest working judge in Northampton County. He could have learned that Zito is considered a fine judge by lawyers in and out of the county. He could have asked the attorney representing Friends of Lackawanna why no bias claim was made.
But that would be journalism.
I can, and have, taken judges to task at times. But Kelly's Kommentary is as kooky as the landfill he despises so much. .
Kelly must want to be a bottom-feeding blogger like me. Many are called, but few are chosen.