AUGUST 27, 2014
Clear the Bench Arizona announces its mission and call to action
PHOENIX – Clear the Bench Arizona is seeking to make a difference and expose the issues and concerns involving the judicial and state bar systems. Its mission statement is:
"Toward the end that the Arizona judiciary remains impartial, apolitical, and able to dispense justice, we are organized to hold all judges, courts, commissioners, court officers and personnel accountable to the People and Constitutions of Arizona and the United States."
On October 1, 2014, the organization will begin publishing information on judges that are up for retention and setting its first meeting of the Arizona Judicial Advisory Board, an independent group of people who will take in complaints from the public, investigate and make recommendations to the legislature for possible impeachment. Clear the Bench will also provide information regularly on its website so voters can have another source to determine the retention of judges until the election of judges can be reinstated in all counties in Arizona. The existing Commission has repeatedly ignored valid complaints on judges.
In addition to addressing the current corruption in the system by a small but powerful group of individuals, Clear the Bench has two main goals it believes are necessary to achieve future justice in the system– the election of judges in all jurisdictions and the abolishment of the "non-profit" State Bar of Arizona.
Clear the Bench Arizona is a growing organization that unites people from all over Arizona and from all walks of life, political positions and educational levels. Most of those involved have been victims of the system and want accountability. What members have found is that there is a small group of people controlling the legal system and profiting from their actions. The names of these people and the information are already in the hands of those at the state and national level and we are continuing to provide information as it comes in. Additional information about the statements below can be found on the website or obtained through documents we can provide. Attorneys in Arizona are afraid to represent victims due to the corruption in the Arizona State Bar and with select judges and they have gone so far to disbar attorneys who have tried to come to the clients' aid after they were victimized. The message has been clear- cross us and we will destroy you. Clear the Bench Arizona is fighting back!
The Arizona Supreme Court is attempting to deflect scrutiny by creating the 'move along, nothing to see here' commissions, offices or committees including the Independent Bar Counsel office. The "Independent Bar Counsel" has already been ignored in order to execute a politically motivated attack on an attorney that represented parties against former State Bar President Edward Novak, a person that appears regularly throughout state bar and court committees including the recent appointment as Chair of the committee that decides who gets admitted to practice law in Arizona. Ed Novak represented Arthur Anderson in the Baptist Foundation litigation.
After getting wind of numerous efforts in the works to disband the State Bar of Arizona, a Task Force was formed to "study" the structure but as usual, the same players are placed on the group, such as Novak, likely guaranteeing their interests will continue to be protected. Betsey Bayless, who led the "criminal defense fund" for Donald Stapley, Jr. while he was a sitting supervisor and she was being paid to head the Maricopa County Integrated Health System and Grant Woods, attorney for Conley Wolfswinkel, are also part of that Task Force as are John Phelps and Justice Rebecca Berch who brought in out of state "attorneys" to pursue the former Maricopa County Attorney.
The "Attorney Regulation Advisory Committee" has the very person who "decides" attorney discipline, Judge William O'Neil, as its Vice Chair. William O'Neil has been involved in numerous questionable dealings himself as detailed in the Arizona Republic and refused to remove himself from the disciplinary proceedings against the former Maricopa County Attorney and his assistants including filing false or misleading pleadings about his involvement in related investigations. He has disbarred or suspended numerous attorneys including targeting attorneys based on his religious beliefs except has spared a few represented by insiders including Novak, putting his friends on panels without disclosing their relationship.
Other information of note that Clear the Bench is actively pursuing at all levels includes:
• Judge Sally Duncan, up for retention in November, magically appeared to take over for another judge on the civil case filed by Lisa Aubuchon and David Hendershott. Despite Duncan having lunch and talking about the case with former Judge Gary Donahoe, who Aubuchon and Hendershott investigated and attempted to prosecute, Duncan remained on the case and threw out every claim, finding them all frivolous and awarding $185,000 to Novak and his Polsinelli firm despite the claims being viable and the black letter law that does not allow attorneys to collect fees for themselves. She was also "randomly" appointed to hear a recent case involving Aubuchon.
· Former Judge Gary Donahoe was everywhere he isn't supposed to be! Gary Donahoe, who had criminal charges against him stayed by Judge O'Neil, then trial judge on his case, magically appeared on a probate case, finding the attorney for one of the parties in contempt of court. That attorney represented a party, Bill Lund, who used to be business partners with Conley Wolfswinkel but had a falling out. Donahoe was the same judge that picked up cases not assigned to him and ruled in Wolfswinkel's favor as well as stopped the investigation into Novak and others involved in the $350 million criminal court tower.
• Judge Donahoe arrested one of the Lund's attorney's for refusing to disclose attorney client privilege information.
• Judge Donahoe had ex parte communications with court· appointed experts but failed to disclose it to the Lunds' attorneys.
• Judge Donahoe and Judge Myers have conspired to keep Brad Lund a "ward" of the state for almost five years knowing that he has been found by two court appointed Dr.'s to be competent in order to allow Cracchiolo and Murphy to take financial advantage of Bill • Lund's daughter who has brain damage.
• Judge Donahoe is friends with Cracchiolo, Wolfswinkel and Stapley.
• Commissioner Lindsey Ellis oversaw the decimation of several probate estates that allowed attorneys to drain money from the wards and funneled the money away from the vulnerable adults and relatives. A Superior Court judge has ruled she acted unethically but there's no evidence she was biased. Legal research confirmed that former Commissioner Lindsay Ellis committed "fraud on the court."
• Christopher Perry - he's no longer a lawyer but just plays one in the judicial system. Perry, an attorney that assisted in Judge O'Neil's mother in law's short sale that resulted on O'Neil getting the property, was allowed to practice law while in prison for killing a person while Perry was drunk. After the retroactive disbarment order, Perry is practicing law at Shapiro, Van Ess, Sherman & Marth, LLP, as O'Neil and the Arizona State Bar turn a blind eye. He continues to be listed as an active attorney. The website contains up to date information about their activities.
• Friends of DARE was formed while William O'Neil was employed with the Pinal County Court as a judicial officer. The information is oddly missing from the online Arizona Corporation Commission website and the "articles of incorporation were inadvertently destroyed" according to the Corporation Commission. Despite the entity dissolving legally in 1991, it continues to operate as of recently and has received funds from the court and county attorney related to RICO seizures. The output of the company went primarily to four Casa Grande Police Officers including John Ellsworth who is running for Justice of the Peace and O'Neil does not list the entity on his "resume." It is one of many companies that have money flowing through them with possible illegal money laundering.
• Mark Salem, appearing on numerous attorney disciplinary panels with William O'Neil, and numerous committees including the Probate Oversight Committee, put together and maintained a website defaming the person who had criticized William O'Neil publicly.
Judge· O'Neil is the fox guarding the hen house. Judge O'Neil had Robert Gallo, his next door neighbor and friend, sit on at least five panels that disbarred or suspended attorneys and O'Neil never disclosed their relationship. O'Neil's son was recently appointed as a judge in Casa Grande despite not even practicing for 5 years!
• Judge O'Neil stopped a State Bar investigation into the ethical violations of Dan Cracchiolo and Brian Murphy to keep the truth from coming out and he has allowed them to continue their interstate conspiracy, fraud and theft against the Lund family. This complaint also includes the Lund's attorney client file at JSS being wrongfully given to Cracchiolo and Murphy and their actions being condoned by Judge Robert D. Myers who is a friend of Cracchiolo.
· Judge Robert D. Myers refused to allow a daughter to visit her mother when the mother had appointed her daughter to be her conservator and guardian if she ever needed one. Myers made sure that the daughter had no access to her mother in order to cover up the negligence of the probate court. The mother almost died at the hands of the "care givers" at the nursing home but the probate court did nothing. Families are being separated and financially ruined. Directives, Trusts and Wills are not being followed by the probate court and estates are being pillaged by the attorneys and judges.
• The family of the ward believes Judges/Commissioners Edward Bassett, Dean Fink, Stephen Kupiszewski failed to require pre-approval of expenditures from the Trust & Estate of Eleanor R. Ball by rubber stamping the inventory of expenditures, failure to require an estate plan and failure to hold an evidentiary hearing on 10 specific issues raised from a forensic audit that has never had an opportunity to make it to court. They believe these violations starting in 2004 leading to the death of the ward in 2006. The Arizona Republic covered the Story.
• Juvenile court concerns abound regarding rights of families and secrecy in proceedings when taking children
There are many victims of the Arizona courts. Transparency and accountability for the judges who make life decisions for the citizens of Arizona is more important than the accountability of the citizens.
They hold themselves on a higher level than the citizens and they must set the example of honesty.