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Alliance of California Judges, California Attorney General, California Bar Foundation, California Supreme Court, CaliforniaALL, Dan Maguire -- Yolo County Superior Court Judge, Dave Rosenberg -- Judge, Yolo County Superior Court, David Lampe, Douglas Winthrop, Douglass Winthrop, Judge Timothy Fall, Judicial Council, Judicial Council Watcher, Karen Bass, Maya Harris, Sonia Gonzales, Uncategorized, Willie Brown

A shadow syndicate shielded by judicial immunity?

A shadow syndicate shielded by judicial immunity?

watch?v=cjmv5_Op0X4&w=560&h=349

Tell me this does not describe the true purpose of CCMS deployed centrally….

The word racket is used to describe a business, syndicate or entity that is based on the example of the protection racket and indicates a belief that it is engaged in the sale of a solution to a problem that the institution itself creates or perpetuates, with the specific intent to engender continual patronage.

That sounds like the perfect description of CCMS to us. The AOC has been engaged in a ten year sale of a solution to a problem that they themselves created and have been perpetuating with the specific intent to engender the trial courts continual patronage. As illustrated by Sacramento, it includes a really expensive shift of funding from the trial courts to the AOC to support those underlying activities. The efforts of running it off a central server are about continued patronage and we’re going to surmise that when our friends at Deloitte got the full monty, the price tag for what the AOC wished to accomplish started climbing dramatically.

The AOC has perpetuated this problem for nearly ten years by discouraging all others from pursuing alternative solutions. They have perpetuated the problem further by shifting reserves that might have been utilized to pay for such an alternative system locally to pay for their grandiose pie-in-the sky that assures them a steady chunk of trial court funding for years to come.

If this is not the objective with CCMS, then the AOC should have no issue giving the application to trial courts to run the application locally. With ten years invested into this plan, they are not about to take their eye off the prize and give you, the trial courts, the application you already paid for. You must sign on to keep on paying the AOC by agreeing to centrally host CCMS or you’re not getting CCMS.

This is one area where, in the upcoming legislative session, we see an opportunity to define this application as the physical and intellectual property of the trial courts, the AOC and the Judicial Council. We believe that eventually the legislature will have to step in and kill the project or order the distribution of this application to each of the trial courts with an appropriate knowledge transfer. We gather that currently, the application trial courts paid for is either the physical and/or intellectual property of the AOC and/or the judicial council.

Demands that CCMS being hosted locally have been made by courts across the state as well as from the Alliance of California Judges. It is only the AOC and the Judicial Council, not anyone else that sees any need to run the application out of the California Courts Technology Center in Arizona. Any deviation from the AOC’s plan cripples this part of their planned syndicated racket.

The case for running the application locally are too numerous to mention. The most fundamental case for a local installation is “building from the foundation up.” The foundation being your local court. The cases that are heard in that local court and your local business processes should drive the front-end application design. The database across the entire enterprise, however should be as close to identical, field for field as possible and this could be achieved via a trial court working group and a knowledge sharing website. The theory behind an identical back-end design is that sooner or later, after all 58 of those foundations are built you can start working on merging data into a single statewide database.

The AOC perceives themselves to be that foundation via the CCTC and has been telling courts that their application drives process and that “a change in process is always difficult because it is difficult to learn something new, people resist change”

The verdict is out with the AOC now going hat-in-hand nine years too late, trying to win the support of small trial courts for central hosting, while the Judicial Council works its minions into Court Executive Officer positions to give them the power to execute on their racket in other courts regardless of impact. If they had any concern about impact, they would have solved Sacramento’s issues instead of covering them up by picking up the tab for awhile, while they closed the sale to other courts.

The impacts of running the application out of the CCTC are currently known by everyone. It is only the JC/AOC and their vendors that are saying anything different. Again, with ten years invested into this plan, they are not about to take their eye off the prize and give you, the trial courts, the application you already paid for. You must sign on to keep on paying the AOC by agreeing to centrally host CCMS. That is the definition of racketeering by any measure. Why are they doing this? Follow the money.

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We’re not sure how far back the criminal offenses committed by AOC personnel go. According to information supplied to us the first apparent crime was an embezzlement in the HR department of more than $100,000.00 by an individual by the name of “M” who self-identified himself to other Administrative Office of the Courts Human Resources employees as a “long time friend of Mr. Fuentes”. Most of the employees who expressed knowledge of these events no longer work for the AOC by design. This includes one Paula Negley and another Merilee Fielding and many, many others. In the first hearing with the Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review, Mr. Vickrey was asked about this embezzlement and why no one was prosecuted. Mr. Vickrey would lie to the Committee on Accountability and Administrative Review and indicate that the District Attorney, who is now Attorney General, declined to prosecute (a public corruption case involving a temp? Give me a break.)

One of the critical items required to prosecute a case is that someone must write up a crime report and someone else must submit it to the District Attorney, who at the time was Kamala Harris. Numerous parties have conducted public records searches with the San Francisco Police Deparment, the CHP, the JPU and the San Francisco Sheriff’s department looking for this crime report that Kamala Harris allegedly declined to prosecute. Not a soul has ever turned up any crime report in connection with this embezzlement of public funds. Questions about this crime report to Mr. Vickrey go unanswered.

This embezzlement and the protection racket established to ensure no prosecution for this offense took place is alleged to have intentionally been orchestrated by AOC’s senior management as to avoid any outside investigation.

The reason?

The work that “M” was hired for was to make a big hole in a budget disappear and is alleged to been worth more than double the underlying embezzlement. The difference is that this hole alleged to be needing filled in was one created by executive management and “M” was the right person to bury the discrepancy. A criminal was alleged to have been hired to conceal one crime against the state and committed another one against the state in the process. This might explain why no one was ever charged, this explains why there is no crime report, this might explain why there was neither an arrest, nor an investigation. The “first responders” at that time were the JPU who has a significant presence in the building. To better cover their proverbial butts in the future, the JC/AOC has hired “court security coordinators” to take care of matters in the manner in which they are told they will. No law enforcement agency has any record of any crime report and most of the CHP in that build ing are alleged to be avid readers of JCW. (Thanks ladies and gentlemen)

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In somewhat about the same time frame of these events above, three contractors were selected to maintain courthouses throughout the State of California. In Southern California, it was Jacobs Facilities, Inc that was awarded the contract. From day one, Jacobs subcontracted their contract to the “licensed to clean up a construction site” company of ABM and the two entities did business together under the DBA “Team Jacobs”. In the Bay Area/ Northern California region, it was a company named EMCOR and in NCRO it was Aleut Global Solutions that were awarded maintenance contracts.

From the onset of the contracts, there was discussion amongst OCCM personnel of one party taking over the whole statewide contract. Within a short time, the AOC quietly canceled EMCOR’s contract and replaced them with Team Jacobs. The whisper was that EMCOR was being terminated by the AOC for invoicing for work never accomplished. During this same period of time however, similar complaints were rolling in from SRO about “Team Jacobs” doing the same thing. The difference was that “Team Jacobs” was alleged to be even bolder than Emcor about it. Not only were they alleged to have been submitting invoices for work never completed but the cost of that work was off the charts anything remotely considered as value. This piqued the suspicions of many other people who work for the AOC that one contractor, where relatively small cheating was being conducted, was being replaced by another contractor whose reported cheating was on a grand scale. The issues weren’t limited to cheating though. Complaints were rolling in from the courts about the vendor in SRO. The AOC facilities management people across the region were writing them up for these complaints.

It got to a point where the service was deemed so bad by the facilities management administrators in the SRO region that the facilities management administrators across the entire SRO region wanted the vendor out. There were just too many problems, too many complaints and prices that were wildly unrealistic for services rendered.

All of this activity, including the SRO vendor themselves, was being shielded first at the Facilities Management Administrator’s boss in SRO, the JFI/Team Jacobs contract manager, one Ken Kachold. He ran SRO with an Iron Fist and as far as he was concerned, JFI could do no wrong, regardless of what the reports from the field were. He knew the reports because he required weekly meetings to go over the reports in detail. Mr. Kachold developed a protectionist / apologetic attitude towards the vendor and instructed his Facilities Maintenance Administrators to downplay widespread reports of dissatisfaction. In the face of all of these complaints, the AOC mysteriously cancelled Emcor’s contract and quietly awarded the BANCRO region to Jacobs. The complaints in BANCRO would then proceed to escalate dramatically about the same issues denoted in SRO. There was a different regional manager serving BANCRO and this is where FMU’s senior management from Sacramento (Stetson, Pfab and Willoughby) began “regulating” complaints against the vendor in Northern California.

During this entire time, Aleut Global Solutions, LLC had been performing work out of the NCRO region. While there was complaints about costs, there were very few complaints about the quality of their work. Much later into the contract, management issues at AGS turned into management headaches for the AOC.

It was in late 2006 that Michael Paul started making his inquiries as to the license status of “Team Jacobs”. In December of 2006, a subcontractor to Team Jacobs on the Larson Justice Center named AirMetrx out of Walnut, California approached Michael and indicated that he was working for and accepting payments from an unlicensed contractor who was ABM. The role of “Team Jacobs” was clarified as being an unlicensed joint venture at the time, with ABM having only a license to clean up a construction site. They had no legal authority to issue AirMetrx any contract for the building management system as this would be working outside of the scope of their janitorial license. Furthermore, the joint venture, purported to be Jacobs Engineering Group of Pasadena, California and ABM – had no joint venture license whatsoever. Yet as you can tell by the business cards and proposals posted on this site, they were operating precisely in this manner.

These matters, known by the entire management staff of the Office of Court Construction and Management, went absent any resolution for three years. When the AOC did do something about it, they called upon the AG’s office to rush out and file laswuits that lacked any meat whatsoever on the allegation bones to prevent and to be able to control any outside investigation. Initially, they filed lawsuits claiming the total paid the unlicensed contractors was 14 million. Since everyone knew that to be untrue, they upped the ante to 42 million and made “Team Jacobs” vanish off the face of the earth.

The problem here is that the AOC paid the unlicensed contractors somewhere north of three hundred million dollars according to our sources within the AOC. So why is the AOC declining to pursue $258 million dollars, especially when everyone knows that all monies were a result of gross overcharging? Part of this money paid the unlicensed contractors came from the trial courts, yet the contracts for work and contract maintenance and supervision, the responsible managing entity remained the AOC.

How much would you have to be paid to look the other way at overpaying an unlicensed contractor with state funds over a three year period?

How much would you have to be paid to allow even a licensed contractor to grossly overcharge you over that same period, while protecting the entity?

In short, we believe these affairs to be part of an elaborate kickback scheme involving members of the AOC and members of the judicial council, run over a period of years and consists of yet another element that we call racketeering.

Again, follow the money. Similar to the AOC bleeding trial courts dry on CCMS funding, the AOC has been bleeding trial courts dry on building maintenance, remodeling, modifications, etc as well as services provided to the trial courts by the vendors. As illustrated by both Jon Wintermeyer and Michael Paul, beating the vendors pricing by leaps and bounds was simple, but not in the best interests of those skimming from the public trough. This is why both of these gentlemen had to go as does anyone that agrees with them and comes to the same conclusions.

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The California Courts Technology Center was founded by the AOC to provide centralized datacenter services and technical assistance to the states trial courts. It is where the AOC has chosen to host Sustain, CCMS, Phoenix, CAFM and a host of other services like e-mail. Initially, this contract was let to Siemens and they operated a datacenter in Union City, California. When the contract came up for renewal, the AOC put it back out to bid and selected SAIC. Right after the selection of SAIC, Siemens personnel attached to the old CCTC started becoming managers, senior managers and assistant directors within the AOC information services department. A reorganization conducted at about the same time as the contract renewal added an extra layer of management called “Senior Manager”, a whole bunch of people throughout the AOC were then promoted to “Senior Manager” and all of those Siemens people suddenly had jobs open up for them in the AOC that did not exist prior to their Siemen s departures. Yes, in AOC Information Services, they actually created positions for four individuals that did not previously exist, with one individual filling a slot vacated by a retirement.

Just like the prices for other services, the prices of services from the CCTC are and have always been off the charts from both Siemens and SAIC. Those people who would have known this best all got management jobs within information services. Is this just a mere coincidence that all of this happened or was giving these people high level jobs within the branch a way of keeping them quiet? As we’ve said many times before, we’re not a believer of coincidences when it comes to the AOC and their operations.

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The destruction of court mediation records in Marin County was conducted while a BSA audit was pending to look specifically at this information as well as the case files for a certain number of cases within the courts. For nearly a year, the AOC, the Judicial Council and Court Executive Officer/ Judicial Council member Kim Turner pushed off BSA’s audit with flimsy excuses. Meanwhile they had turned on the shredders in Marin County, started removing mediation files from case files and started shredding them as these files were incriminating.

John Judnick, the resident judicial branch cleaner was sent up to Marin County to bless this destruction. And bless it he did. He chose to take the position that files that are an instrumental part of custody decisions are not part of the court case file and it was okay to destroy this incriminating evidence. This report would later be accepted by Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye as the legal standard. It is okay to destroy court mediation records because they are not part of the court’s official file (even though they are instrumental in the judges decisions)

This racket is a trade of favors. Kim Turner was involved in her boss extraordinaire’s steering of contracts to a live-in girlfriend and managed to keep her mouth closed about it. This is a quality valued by the Judicial Council so this put her on the fast track to leadership.

She had been competently protecting boss extraordinaire’s butt for years so she was the perfect choice to continue to protect the Marin judges and the Judicial Council.

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Patrick Missud is a lawyer-litigant that has a bend for a company named DR Horton that he and many others accuse of bait-and-switch mortgages. DR Horton is what we call a “frequent flyer” in legal circles. While they build houses and provide mortgages, their other calling is preserving their gains by allegedly retaining arbiter companies that consistently rule in their favor and against construction defects and mortgage fraud. Since these are settled in Arbitration, you never hear much about their activities but quite a lot of activity they have.

If these arbiter companies didn’t consistently rule in DR Horton’s favor, then DR Horton wouldn’t be choosing them, so says the allegations made in a federal RICO complaint against San Francisco Superior Court and ADR Services, Inc.

________________________________________________________________

We’re not lawyers. However, all of the activity listed above calls into question the legitimacy of California’s judicial branch of government. Most especially it calls into question the legitimacy of many acts undertaken by the Judicial Council and the AOC.

Is there a shadow syndicate at the JC/AOC hiding behind the robes of the judiciary?

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About Leslie Brodie

Leslie Brodie is a reporter, writer, blogger, activist, and a religious leader in the community.

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