DATELINE: April 1, 2012 — Lock Haven, Clinton County, PA.
President Judge J. Michael Williamson was taken from his chambers in handcuffs Friday morning, March 30th, 2012 by federal agents who arrested him for his involvement in a local drug ring. Although the judge had denied all allegations when similar drug charges surfaced several years ago—he had declared at the time that he was “appalled and affronted” that the FBI had been investigating him—a reliable source close to the current investigation has revealed that an unnamed participant in the drug ring is ready to swear under oath that he was the judge’s “mule,” ferrying him with large amounts of illegal substances for years.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment for nearly two decades,” stated a Lock Haven attorney, who asked that his name not be divulged for obvious reasons. “My legal confreres and I have been long laboring under the twisted lash of Judge Williamson’s arrogant, biased and vindictive decisions. We have found ourselves impotent in charging the judge with malfeasance for fear of his certain retaliation. When he ran for his position, he vowed that anyone who ran against him would suffer accordingly in his courtroom. Thus, he ran unopposed.”
Recognizing that they would be confronting an especially devious judge, the federal agents concocted a ruse to ensure that Judge Williamson would be in his chambers at the specific time designated for the arrest. They had flattered his legendary vanity by sending an announcement requiring him to make himself available for the presentation of the F. Foster Jenkins Memorial Award for Special Merit. He eagerly complied and was arrested on the spot only later learning the implications of the ruse. Not only was there no such award, but the bogus citation referred to Florence Foster Jenkins, generally agreed by music lovers to be the most execrable singer of classical music ever to foist herself upon the country’s concert halls.
Thus, the arrest was greeted by keen observers of the local judiciary in much the same manner that serious music lovers all over the world reacted to the news that Madame Jenkins would be terminating her lengthy career on the concert stage. As one observer put it: “You have to reach back to Jenkins’ unique career for an apt analogy that characterizes Judge Williamson’s distinctive contributions to the local judiciary.” Through the wonders of modern technology, here is a link to the renown singer demonstrating her special vocal talents as if in praise of the similar judicial achievements of Judge Williamson. In each case, neither singer nor judge has left any doubt as to how future generations will regard their characteristic performances. Here, their twin accomplishments sing out, as it were, with one voice, clear as a bell. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJ5uZv1pG8g
(From the opera LAKME, Florence Foster Jenkins attacks THE BELL SONG, one of the most difficult songs in the classical repertoire.)
When asked to support his views of J. Michael Williamson’s judicial misconduct, the attorney quoted above cited several instances of malfeasance on the bench. “On August 4, 1999, two PA Supreme Court justices went on record with the following statement (in J-14-1998: Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Appellee, vs. Barry Eugene Taylor, Jr., Appellant): ‘[We are] compelled to write separately to voice [our] concerns relating to the conduct of the trial court [i.e., Judge Williamson] in this case…. [which] is so egregious as to require comment. Where, during the course of the proceedings in a criminal trial, the judge makes known his concern about the assumed credibility of the defendant and puts forth the threat of retaliation at sentencing should the defendant testify, such action could create a chilling effect on the entire process, which is to be fair, free and open…. Unfortunately, the record in this case does not permit this Court to entertain the underlying issues of the trial court’s predisposition as it relates to credibility and sentencing. However, rest assured that at its first opportunity, this Court will do that which is necessary to protect the criminal justice system in this Commonwealth.’ In other words, the justices implied that the state’s criminal justice system needed to be protected from the kind of judicial misconduct exhibited by Judge J. Michael Williamson in the above case.”
The attorney continued: “A more flagrant example of Judge Williamson’s reckless behavior and retaliatory nature surfaced in 2009 after a director of youth services had asked the Judicial Conduct Board to investigate Judge Williamson for misconduct when he was accused of grabbing the neck of a 16-year-old rape victim, who was the subject of a case over which he was presiding, and snarling at her not to make him ‘look bad’ in court. The judge’s egregious misbehavior in this instance came shockingly close to assault and battery. Most complaints before the JCB are dismissed without much if any ‘investigation.’ In fact, the Board received FORTY complaints about the corrupt former Luzerne County judges Mark A. Ciavarella, Jr. and Michael T. Conahan during their careers but failed to act, finding that none of them warranted disciplinary action. These were the judges involved in the ‘kids-for-cash-kickback’ scandal that made Pennsylvania’s lax system for identifying and disciplining errant judges a world-wide laughing stock. However, the Williamson assault case was thoroughly investigated, resulting in the JCB’s issuing the judge a private reprimand—a statistical rarity and the Board’s most serious sanction short of filing charges in the Court of Judicial Discipline. A few months later, in a despicable act of retribution, Judge Williamson relieved the youth services director of his court-related duties for ‘contemptuous conduct’--refusing to meet with the judge in his chambers about their dispute over the disciplining of a probation officer and insisting that the judge meet with the director in his office and before witnesses of the director’s choice. Williamson deserves the contemptuous laughter of the gods for his accusing another of ‘contempt’ against him and his court while he himself indulges in unrelenting arrogant and contemptible behavior against those who come before him seeking the impartial administration of justice. Later, the director accused the judge of issuing a threat in a phone call concerning their dispute over the probation officer. Until the judge’s vindictive dismissal, the director had an unblemished record of over 38 years with court and social services.”
The attorney offered a more recent example, one to which the Judicial Conduct Board turned a deaf ear. “In a monstrous perversion of justice, J. Michael Williamson and his sycophantic junior judge, Craig P. Miller, separated a mother from her daughter on the totally unsubstantiated charges that the mother was an unfit parent and had been sexually abusing her daughter. (J-106- 2010) After the daughter had been subjected to numerous vaginal examinations that evidenced absolutely no abuse on the part of the mother, Judge Williamson detoured from his usually cretinous decisions in the case and finally ordered that there be no further such examinations. However, such a sane decision would not stand for long: Williamson later allowed ANOTHER such futile and harmful pelvic examination, thus demonstrating that not only does he ride roughshod over established law with his near-criminal exercise of ‘judicial discretion,’ but he couldn’t even follow HIS OWN ‘laws,’ so eager was he to wreak harm on the mother via her innocent child. Recognizing that she had no chance to rectify the situation as long as this judicial monster continued his tyrannical bias against her on the county bench, the mother moved out of state, hoping that this would at least prevent any more cruel vaginal examinations of her little girl. Not satisfied with what harm he himself could cause mother and child, Judge Williamson even suggested to the mother’s adversary that he have her arrested should she ever return to the county over which the judge presided. (Williamson feigned annoyance that the mother had “abandoned” her child when she left the state, but the real cause of his fury was that she had thus strategically removed herself from his tyrannical jurisdiction.) When she did return, she was arrested even though she had evidence on her that she had paid the fee that she had been accused of not having paid which supposedly justified the arrest. When the Pennsylvania Supreme Court later commented on this aspect of the case, it noted: ‘several months after the July 11, 2007 hearing, Father acted on Judge Williamson’s advice and had Mother arrested and incarcerated overnight on the very next occasion he observed her in Clinton County. While it is not an appropriate subject for this opinion, it is not at all clear from the record that the arrest was justified.’
Once the judge had had his way with her in matters pertaining to custody, the mother was then turned over to Craig P. Miller, the President Judge’s sycophantic junior judge whose typical brown-nosing posture sets him forever sniffing at Williamson’s hindquarters in hopes that some gust of wisdom from his superior might guide his unsteady decisions. Miller presided over the termination proceedings, and, as the PA Supreme Court later declared: ‘Judge Miller, who in examining the totality of the circumstances of Mother’s “abandonment,” apparently did not consider the potential appearance of impropriety by Judge Williamson against Mother. Indeed, without addressing her allegations of bias, Judge Miller faulted Mother for wanting to wait until Judge Williamson’s retirement before again availing herself of the Pennsylvania court system.’ The Supreme Court thus saw through Judge Miller’s craven sycophancy when he continued Judge Williamson’s vicious campaign against the mother by terminating her parental rights to her daughter. But the Supreme Court reserved its harshest comments for Williamson’s contemptible behavior as it decreed that neither judge should be allowed to sit on any further legal proceedings connected with the case. The PA Supreme Court faulted Williamson for permitting ex parte communication from the Father; ignoring ‘repeated warnings from [County Youth Services] regarding the falsity of Father’s and Stepmother’s allegations of sexual abuse by Mother’; declaring in court that ‘information placed on an advocacy website by Mother (and / or Grandmother) was “garbage…and if you continue to publish this kind of stuff, you’ll never see this child again” ’; advising ‘Father to have Mother jailed “the next time you find her in Clinton County,” due to Mother’s alleged failure to pay child support’; and failing ‘to enforce [his own] orders barring further pelvic examinations of L.J.B. against Father / Stepmother.’ ”
“It would appear then that the Supreme Court had forever removed Judge Williamson from perverting his court to harm the mother,” the attorney commented, “but such is the judge’s petty vindictiveness that he couldn’t resist one final act of revenge. As he presided one day in his courtroom, he knew that the usual confusing information that often misled litigants about which courtroom their cases were to be heard in would mean that the mother was likely to walk innocently and mistakenly into his courtroom that day. Gleefully, he waited to pounce! As he noticed the other participants in the mother’s case wrongly gathering in his courtroom, he did not trouble to inform them of their error; instead he simply bided his time until he saw the mother enter. Then he YELLED at her to vacate HIS courtroom, but he was so eager to chastise her that he mistook her lookalike sister for the mother, and his attack fell on the wrong person in a perfect image of his own brand of ’justice’ being ‘blind.’ ”
No doubt, as he sits in his cell awaiting trial on the drug charges, J. Michael Williamson will still be calling the shots, Gotti-like, back in his Court of Common Pleas. After all, Judge Miller is incapable of handling his own cases until he sniffs the air to see which way Williamson wants the judicial winds to blow. Furthermore, the senior judge knows that for all their posturing, the PA Supreme Court is unlikely to turn against him in the long run. Just look at the jaw-dropping way in which they mitigated their criticism of him in the case of the judicially abused mother and daughter: “At worst,” the Supreme Court justices wrote, “the facts suggest the development of an outright bias by Judge Williamson against Mother. We, however, have deep respect for all of Pennsylvania jurists, and specifically decline to reach that conclusion on this record.” In other words, because we have blind faith in ALL PA judges (they just can’t be as BAD as their critics say, can they?), we can’t bring ourselves to accept a judgement against Williamson compelled by the facts before us. And thus in their folly, Chief Justice Ronald Castille and his fellow PA Supreme Court jesters join J. Michael Williamson in a state-wide Confederacy of Fools, not just on this one day in the year but throughout the entire year as they continue to protect their fellow miscreants on the bench while undermining the public’s confidence by permitting a corrupt and predatory judiciary to exist, to fester, and to thrive.