Is There Collusion Between the Judiciary and Legislature? Did Frank Williams Sell His Soul to the Devil to Ensure Judicial Funding? You Be The 'Judge'…
Chief Justice Frank Williams as quoted in ProJo Article June 18, 2004:
“The Mission of the Judiciary has been and continues to be the administration of justice with honor for all Rhode Islanders.” “…I feel obligated to address what I believe is an unfair cynicism promulgated by The Journal…The suggestion that the judiciary and a supreme court justice would "cut deals" with lawyer/legislators who vote in favor of our budget is inflammatory and without any factual basis. “
The objective of this Website is to make Rhode Islanders aware of the collusion that occurs
between the Judiciary and the State Legislature to the detriment of the 'Good Citizens' of RI.
Based on a recent decision that was rendered by the Supreme Court, one can come to two conclusions;
1) The RI Judiciary is totally inept and incompetent, or 2) they are totally corrupt and are willing to put their own financial well being ahead of the law to curry favors from a powerful politician.
In either case, the fact remains that our Legal System, at least in Rhode Island, does not work.
My attorneys and my brother Alan (The co-plaintiff in this case) believed otherwise, yet the decision this Court rendered, has unfortunately, proved me right. A first year law student could have done a better job.
It goes without saying that Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowtiz was accurate in his assessment of the sad state of affairs of our judicial system. It is truly a tragedy of epic proportions.
The problem started in 2001 when Sen. Stephen Alves, after declaring loudly at a West Warwick Democratic Town Committee meeting, that he was “going to shut the Palazzo’s up” for writing Letters to the Editor that he didn’t like and then proceeded, against the advice of his attorneys, to file a Defamation suit against us and the Kent County Times (Civil Action KC01-1030). It is important to note that all information published was gleaned from the press and minutes of various town meetings, and was well documented. Simply stated… His case was a sham.
The Defamation suit was heard in Kent County Superior Court with Judge Nettie Vogel presiding. Judge Vogel decided it should be handled as three separate cases. She rendered a Summary Judgment declaring Alan’s portion to be a SLAPP suit and dismissed my case, and the KC Times, without prejudice. My attorneys believed that my decision was rendered in error, as it was no different in content than Alan’s, and should have been treated the same.
Alves, not one to accept defeat, appealed this decision to the Supreme Court which agreed with Judge Vogel and remanded the case back to Superior Court. Judge Vogel ruled that Alves should pay attorney’s fees that amounted to about $17,000 at that point.
During the travel of this case Alves filed 19 specious motions and kept amending his complaint, and adding bogus affidavits from allies of his, including one from now Justice Francis X. Flaherty. This was done in a lame attempt to prolong the inevitable and cause us to waste more money defending ourselves from his idiocy and push us into bankruptcy. He even offered to dismiss the suit if we paid him $5,000.
Due to Alves’ never ending manipulation of the legal system, Alan’s legal fees now approached $47,000 of the over $100,000 that was expended in defending ourselves.
The case was now heard before Judge Rogeree Thompson who boldly announced that our attorney’s were "too expensive" and should be negotiated with Alves’ attorney or she would rule closer to $20,000.
We discussed this with our attorney who advised us to accept the negotiated $34,000 and recover the remainder in a SLAPP-Back suit. I received $1,700 as payment for my having to reschedule his deposition three times due to his ‘hectic schedule’. This was not a settlement for the case as his new lawyer, Chris Friel, claimed before the Court.
What I find amazing is the fact that Alves’ attorney, John D. Lynch of the law firm Lynch & Friel, proclaimed in the media that "the suit was a learning experience for Sen. Alves and he should have never filed suit to begin with”. This pronouncement by Attorney Lynch seems to be ignored by the members of the Supreme Court which obviously had its own agenda.
We filed our SLAPP-Back suit in 2005 to recoup the remainder of our legal fees. The case was scheduled to be heard by Judge Thompson but was mysteriously rescheduled, with two days notice, to Judge Melanie Thunberg, who is well known for coming into Court totally unprepared. What I find very odd is the fact that only two cases were on her docket that morning, ours and some college students with a minor dispute. Alves’ entire family was present for the hearing, something that only occurs when he is confident of a victory. Coincidence? I think not.
The hearing took all of ten minutes and was thrown out on 'shaky' legal ground. It was that Judge Thunberg 'didn't have a clue' as to the meaning of the SLAPP Statute. We would never have our day in court.
It came as somewhat of a shock to us as we had the best attorneys in the state build a 'rock solid' and 'righteous' case against him. It became clearly obvious that 'The Fix' was in.
My brother, believing in the system, decided we should appeal to the Supreme Court. Little did we realize how deep into Sen. Alves pockets the Judiciary had its’ hands. He had held their budget hostage before… He even publicly pronounced that “Frank Williams had enough money to start the new Kent County Courthouse; He just didn’t have enough money to finish it”. That is a veiled threat if I ever heard one.
There are many forms of corruption besides receiving a cash filled envelope. Would one conclude that ruling in favor of a politician that has control over your budget or your husband’s financial well being to be corruption?
Last year Chief Justice Frank Williams received over $70,000,000 for a new Lincoln Courthouse and a big bump in his budget, while the state is sadly facing a whopping $600,000,000 deficit. It certainly sounds like a 'deal was cut' to me.
Now can anyone honestly tell me that there is no collusion between the Judiciary and the Legislature?
Chief Justice Williams isn’t about to step on Sen. Alves toes. In reality he should be distancing himself from him, as his reputation has made Alves a Pariah in the Senate due to the release of information concerning Operation Dollar Bill.
It appears, for all intents and purposes, the Court had already reached a decision before the case was even argued. Justice Williams asked about the demeanor of the litigants… “Is it akin to the Hatfield and McCoys? I would truly like an explanation of that remark and what it has to do with the case?
Then we have the ego-centric Justice Goldberg, who was clearly on Alves side. Her husband is a lobbyist and obviously doesn’t want any friction between him and Sen. Alves. Justice Goldberg even had the temerity to intimate that Alves should pursue getting ’his’ money back for having to defend himself and wondered if he had ‘suffered’ as a result of this lawsuit. What?
I respectfully ask the Court… Where are my Rights as a citizen of this state? Where is my Due Process?
All I asked for was my day in court… But, unfortunately, I am not in a position to grant these Deities any financial favors so I will be relegated to obscurity.
As the saying goes… ‘In Rhode Island It’s all about the money" and Money speaks louder than Integrity, Honesty, and Justice.
I had the intestinal fortitude to address the corruption that is prevalent by some members of the Senate…
Obviously Chief Justice Williams and his colleagues cannot , nor will not, do the same?
God help us all. Abe Lincoln must be spinning in his grave.