The Piercing Truth

This is right from the dictionary and seems to describe Albuquerque, Berry and Schultz. Fascism (f ash ,izem) noun An authoritarian right wing system of government and/or social organization. (in general use) extreme right wing, authoritarian, chauvinistic and/or intolerant views or practices. Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one group over another, national, ethnic, especially social strata or monetarily; a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach. Compliments of one of our Eyes

Mar 4, 2008

Manifest Necessity

"Manifest necessity" - it sounds like some political philosophy or foreign policy. Unfortunately, it was the actual reason given by Judge Benjamin Chavez for the recent dismissal of a DWI case being heard in his courtroom.

The facts of the case are fairly simple. According to police reports, Alicia A. Cleary was arrested May 9, 2007 for Aggravated DWI (3rd or Subsequent), Leaving the Scene of an Accident, and Careless Driving. She had been observed hitting a pole on Academy and APD issued an attempt to locate bulletin on a Corvette last seen headed East on Academy with debris hanging from the vehicle.

Not too long after the advisory the Corvette was observed turning West on Osuna Rd from Eubank. APD officer Locke followed the Corvette to an apartment complex just West of Osuna where he initiated a traffic stop. At the time there was a male driving the vehicle who exhibited signs of intoxication. He told the officer that Cleary had been driving and had hit a pole on Academy - an assertion that was confirmed by Ms. Cleary.

A DWI officer was called and a DWI investigation ensued whereby Ms. Cleary was administered a field sobriety test which according to police records, she failed. Ms. Cleary later refused to take a breathalyzer test but was arrested on the strength of the failed field sobriety test.

Ms. Cleary wisely obtained defense council (which by the way we recommend). You see this wasn't Ms. Cleary's first rodeo, at the time she had 2 prior DWI convictions and 4 prior arrests. The attorney chosen to represent Ms. Cleary was David Crum.

So far, there really isn't anything particularly remarkable about this case. We've got a defendant with 2 priors grinding her way through the system that lands her in court February 28, 2008.

Our Eyes tell us that the case proceeded normally right up until the prosecution rested. At that time Defense Attorney Crum objected to the state not calling any witnesses from the car - which by the way they don't have to do. The state is only required to call witnesses for their case. They are also required to turn over any and all evidence in the state's possession to the defense.

The defense has the ability to call any witnesses including any passengers that may have been in the vehicle at the time of the alleged DWI. Therefore it is not incumbent upon the prosecution to call witnesses for the defense.

You'd think that there would be a short discussion of the motion, it would be denied and the trial would proceed normally. In this case, you'd be wrong. According to court documents, Judge Benjamin Chavez declared a mistrial for "manifest necessity."

We're still trying to figure out what the heck that's supposed to mean, but there might be a clue in the fact that it appears that attorney David Crum is a financial supporter of Judge Chavez's campaign for District Court Judge.

It seems that Chavez (the one in a robe, not the one from on high), has decided to set his sights on District Court. Our Eyes tell us that David Crum has been a supporter of the judge in the past and was all set to host a fundraiser for Chavez that very night.

If true, Judge Chavez's necessity has become manifest with a questionable decision involving a habitual offender for an attorney who's supporting him financially. At best the decision creates an appearance of impropriety. At worst, he could be guilty of misconduct. After all, there's very little difference between fellow Metro Court Judge J. Wayne Griego fixing tickets for family and friends and Judge Chavez apparently having an alternate and personal consideration when issuing a mistrial.

We understand that MADD was in the room and that they were well... not happy. We'll see if anything comes of this but if true, we certainly wouldn't want to see Chavez continue in Metro Court much less District Court.

17 comments:

HenryBowman said...

One begins to wonder if there are any judges in this state who are not corrupt. Did we import all these crooks from the Cook County (IL) judicial system, or is New Mexico simply just as bad in terms of corruption?

On a slightly different topic, has anyone investigated the Mighty Alcalde to see if the company that runs the red-light scameras has been contributing to his campaign (or, perhaps, to him directly)?

Anonymous said...

Ben Chavez was born into his spot. His father bought him into the spot he is in. Judge Chavez is bought and paid for. Marty is bought and paid for to. He buys cheap equipment because the contract comes from one of his buddies. How sad that the police deapartment is full of such "yes sir" people. Will anyone stand up for themselves and tell Ray and Marty that they are pieces of crap

Anonymous said...

Simple idea - in keeping with judicial ethics why didnt either
A) The judge recuse himself for the appearance of impropriety that would arise
B)The attorney to disclose the relationship to the DAs office

Anonymous said...

To "yes sir"

It's more like: "yes sir, which way do you want me to kiss your ass today"??????????

I don't understand why the Mighty Mouse's "at will" employees have no balls, or ovaries for that matter. What are they afraid of, not having that super big pay check?

To: simple idea:
Why would a corupt judge recuse himself? And why would a corupt lawyer tell the corupt DA's office anything?

To the first post: You are soooo right on the money!!

Anonymous said...

Judge Chavez is a highly dedicated, trustworthy and honorable jurist. This assault on the Judge is groundless and clearly shows a bias against legal due process. Had the blogger set in the courtroom he would have heard the prosecution attempt to shift the burden of proof from the prosecution to the defendant. In our system you are innocent unless the state can prove guilt, not the other way around. There is nothing in the court's order that prohibits the prosecutor from refiling the case. Due process is not a luxury it the foundation of our legal system and protects us all. Thank you Judge Chavez.

Anonymous said...

to the above poster:

So it was just a coincidence that Crumm help to host the fundraiser that night? and that is ethical?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Bowman: I checked www.followthemoney.com and unfortunatley could not find a connection. It said the Dem. party gave Marty all of his contributions. THis site tracks all sources of contributions for candidates around the country.

Anonymous said...

To "Judge is a highly decicated...

Does that include when he's sitting for Jason Daskalos?

Anonymous said...

I would be interested in hearing the actual record of the argument. I can't imagine how a mistrial would be justified with the information presented. It's possible, though.

However,the "thank you Judge Chavez" comment doesn't address the very serious appearance of impropriety that stems from him not recusing himself under the circumstances. If he really was attending a fundraiser at any point put on by the attorney appearing in front of him, it is a serious problem. He can not accept any money from an attorney appearing in front of him. As a judge he is responsible for both what he does and how it looks. By failing to recuse himself, it looks bad. That in itself is a violation of judicial ethics. Not exactly honest and trustworthy if you can't follow simple rules of ethics.

Anonymous said...

DUE PROCESS??? Horsesh*t. You're either a mouthpiece for the crooked judiciary or a complete idiot. (I'm guessing that you're both.) We're not buying it. The public knows and understands due process, and no amount of snake oil sales will convince us that what went on had to do with due process rather than financial contributions and illegal conflicts of interest. Judges here do it all the time - they own property together, co-own businesses, are married to each others' relatives. They get away with it because the Judicial Standards Commission and the Attorney General do nothing in response to complaints. Wait, I take it back - they do something - they retaliate against the complaintants! Here's a nice Latin term that the judges have conveniently forgotten: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? "Who will guard the guardians?"

Anonymous said...

If you like the antics of Judge Chavez, you'll LOVE the new candidate for DA, Lisa Torraco. I urge the Eyes to look into her past conduct in the courts.

Anonymous said...

Hey, if you are talking about a bought po$ition, then by all means you got to look into Clyde "Mr. Turner Branch son in law" Demersseman.

HOW MUCH OF DADDY WARBUCKS MONEY DOES IT COST TO BE A JUDGE???

Anonymous said...

What about this other liberal idiot judge that found that a DWI checkpoint can be racial profiling if you put it in the wrong neighborhood? That guy is a bigger idiot than this crook.

Anonymous said...

The Judicial Code of Conduct, a set of ethics laws for judges from the New Mexico Rules, Annotated (NMRA) 21-800 states that:
Candidates for judicial office . . . shall not personally solicit or personally accept campaign contributions from any attorney, or from any litigant in a case pending before the candidate. Contributions from attorneys and litigants shall be made only to a campaign committee . . . Campaign committees shall not disclose to the judge or candidate the identity or source of any funds raised by the committee.

This rule is in place to address this issue. And while a complaint may not do anything, enough complaints might.

As far as Judge DeMersseman goes, he's been defeated TWICE in elections and the governor CONTINUES to appoint him to open benches!! I'm pretty sure that the young people assisting on his campaign were paid to collect signatures (but that's just my impression from seeing them at events).

The candidates that are running against current sitting judges are people who think that the current system (the "boys club") doesn't work. They are committed to justice and have been excluded because they are NOT part of the club. If you really want to make a difference, don't vote for any sitting judges during the primary and vote NO to retention in November for the other judges. But do your homework. There ARE judges that are fair and equitable and are NOT in the club.

Anonymous said...

I second the recommendation from an earlier post to look into the antics of Atty Lisa Torraco, both in and our of the court room. She is an attention hungry snake, looking to attach her name to any legal/criminal/judicial/etc matters that can give her public notarity. Her claims of having an honest desire to defend and seek (supposedly)untainted and unbiased justice for the community, only comes second to her perverted greed and any possible financial gain.
Torraco a true defender of truth and justice. . . if the price is right. I believe her exact statement was, "Justice Is Green". If for no reason beyond her warped (at best) outlook on what motivates the finding/defending “JUSTICE” she should be investigated and deemed unfit to even run for public office. With the already uncontrolled prevalance in these, the days of 'pay-offs' and 'kick-backs', sometimes termed 'Campaign Contributions”, compounded by the current corruption of our "elected" officials (known by us as "higher ups") we already can't get rid of, the last thing any of us should want is another greedy, narcissitic CONARTIST to serve as yet another corrupt politician. Especially considering she would be the authority that determines the ultimate destiny of our cases. She will turn out hard work and authority into nothing more than a joke, all while taking the money to pad her pocket, no mater where it comes from.
Get Real Torraco!! Your shady antics have not gone unnoticed and I believe I can stand for my comrades in my comments and disgust for your actions. Run for District Attorney? Please! You should sanctioned, investigated and DISBARRED!

Anonymous said...

Typical Leftist above--a lot of huffing and puffing (and spelling and grammatical errors) and innuendo and name-calling but no facts of the matter. . . .Because there aren't any to give. Lisa is a so far superior to "Daskalos" Brandenburg only a fool supporter of the criminal element would write the garbage in the above post. Torraco for D.A!

Anonymous said...

funny thing is this was a closed court case none ove this was supposed to even get out hmmm hopes she sues who ever posted this... you guys are idiots try finding the cases that are the methcooks that got away