Thursday, May 11, 2006

The Connecticut Blog to defend and blast Connecticut?

I posted a comment in a thread regarding the benefit of leaving Connecticut here:

As of 11:00 AM EST and before, May 11, 2006, is down. It seems to go down when there are a lot of interest in posts blasting the abuse of Connecticut citizens, to the abuse of citizens all over the US, and even abroad.

The below was emailed to me this morning:

In a message dated 5/11/2006 9:02:46 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, [snipped] writes:
-----------------Forwarded Message:

Ct. Court Bigs Imploding ....

5/8/2006 12:40:47 P.M. Eastern Standard Time

To: [snipped]

OK for reprint after May 8, 2006
Reprint courtesy of Connecticut Law Tribune
HEADER: Cool Justice, May 8, 2006
HEAD: Toccogate Rx: Defrock Monarchs


Law Tribune Newspapers

The imperious Judicial Department is at it again.

The holy robes, so consumed with their power and control, thought they could get away with stealing public records from us.

They forgot, as they do all too often:

We are the citizens who own these records and they are merely the custodians we entrust with being our able and honest servants - wherever those genuine public-service types exist.

That's the crux of Toccogate.

The problems in the Judicial Department are not merely personal, they are institutional.

Former Chief Justice William "Tocco" Sullivan is just the poster boy for arrogance, incompetence and case-fixing.

It all started five years ago when a new attorney, Russell Collins, asked for what any citizen should be able to get promptly:

public records about pending cases.

Those records included docket numbers, charges and hearing dates. Of course, Collins was denied by the Tocco regime of the court system. That Collins is now a hero is a testament to Connecticut's totalitarian tendencies when dealing with public information.

Collins complained to the state Freedom of Information Commission, which ordered disclosure. The state Supreme Court initially supported that finding with a 3-2 vote, but Sullivan packed the court to change the score to 4-3 against disclosure.

Tocco did not think it would look very good for his hand-picked successor, Peter Zarella, to be against public disclosure, so he then delayed distribution of the opinion.

Tocco, of course, didn't do anything wrong. Connecticut judges never do anything wrong. They have the phony Judicial Review Commission to tell them so.

While the Legislature opens up the free flow of information in the courts, it should also disband the JRC, fire all its employees and start fresh with a viable means of accountability.

The Supreme Court decision hinged on a technicality, which Tocco exploited with flawed reasoning and a gross misunderstanding of the flow of information in a free society. The Tocco ruled that such public records are "adjudicative" or not covered by the FOI law - as opposed to "administrative," aka covered by the FOI law.

What's adjudicative about a court date or a docket number? Justice Richard Palmer - who agreed with Tocco on technical points - had the integrity in a concurring opinion to say that the Judicial Department should find a way to make these records accessible.

Toccogate, meanwhile, has become a statewide issue and fodder for the gubernatorial campaign. That's good. It's time to remove the last vestige of monarchy from our state government and establish actual accountability.

"The chief justice's misconduct has impugned Connecticut's entire court system and has badly damaged public confidence in state government," the Connecticut Council on Freedom of Information and the Connecticut Society of Professional Journalists said in a joint statement.

"Urgent action is required to restore that confidence and to enforce the public's right to know about government's least accountable branch."

The two groups called on the Supreme Court to reverse its decision. They also said the General Assembly should arrange quick passage of legislation requiring disclosure of all court docket information, past, present, and future; requiring complete public access to all judicial proceedings, including not only trials and pre-trial conferences but also conventions of judges and meetings of the Superior Court's rules committee; and requiring the recording and publicizing of the minutes of all discussions held and votes taken by such judicial conventions and committee meetings.

That's the least we can settle for in a free society.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Buy the great book,IMAGES AND FANTASIES isbn:0-9741906-0-8 VIA bURGUNDY bOOKS eAST hADDAM,cT.

Thursday, May 11, 2006 5:38:00 PM  
Blogger The Stark Raving Viking said...

What's in the book and why would you like me to read it?

Just curious.

Thursday, May 11, 2006 11:01:00 PM  

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