Wednesday, October 15, 2014

EOIR Refuses to Investigate Lying Adjudicator William Cassidy: DOJ Needs to Re-read Edward Coke

Edward Coke is the genius behind independent judicial review and thus the rule of law.  Familiar with the king's courts, Coke would recognize the immigration courts as a poor excuse for the real thing. (More at bottom)

New Filings in Lawsuit against EOIR for Bivens Remedy and Injunctive Relief

October 14, 2014, Case 1:12-cv-01352-ODE:

These are the most recent motions in the lawsuit I filed April 18, 2012 after receiving information proving that Atlanta's William Cassidy indeed ordered a guard over whom he had no legal authority to push me out of a building lobby where I was writing in my notebook.  Cassidy then lied about this in a formal response to his friend Gary Smith's sham investigation of my misconduct complaint.   (Immigration judges have no authority over building guards, so Cassidy and Smith decided to put together a record suggesting this never happened.)  

In Cassidy's sworn affidavit, produced after the guard confirmed Cassidy had ordered my removal, he no longer denies the order and is just silent on the event altogether.

A few highlights from discovery and filings not under any request for a protective order are: 

-The guard who initially accosted me admitted to the Paragon Security firm lawyers that Cassidy had told him to have me removed from the building;

-MaryBeth Keller, in charge of immigration judge misconduct investigations for EOIR, as soon as she received my formal complaint, called a meeting with the people whom Cassidy's pal Gary Smith was organizing to ban me from the immigration court to "avoid a right-hand/left-hand scenario," as she instructed in the email, and she assigned Smith to coordinate the sham investigation of my complaint. 

Even when confronted with clear evidence of Cassidy lying, and conceding that this was a concern, Keller is refusing to investigate at this point because of "litigation."  

Keller used to run EOIR's Office of General Counsel and her statement reflects the worst of professional ethics --one would think that especially someone who is employed by an agency of the Department of Justice would view verification of illegal conduct brought to the agency's attention by any means, especially a lawsuit, would be a reason for firing someone.  For Keller, it's a reason to sit on her hands.

It is a blight on the DOJ and the immigration courts that MaryBeth Keller is in charge of misconduct complaints; a cursory review of their incomplete release responsive to the lawsuit brought by AILA and Public Citizen shows she is running an operation that is largely toothless. Complaints take hundreds and even thousands of days between the date of the incidents and being closed.  If you want action, file your complaint against an IJ with the respective state bar and instruct them NOT to forward it to EOIR.  

Keller  is still a defendant in the lawsuit's claim for a Bivens remedy and injunctive relief; she, like Smith, are claiming that the job title "Assistant Chief Immigration Judge" gives them judicial immunity. Our filing yesterday explains why this position is ridiculous.  

-Gary Smith, who had spoken with Cassidy shortly after Cassidy ordered me pushed out of the building and presumably knew all along what happened, failed to obtain statements from the two eye-witnesses to Cassidy's order and exchange with me (Paragon guard Nathaniel Hayes and Cassidy's assistant), and did not acknowledge that other accounts contradicted the one Cassidy gave and backed up my account.  (Shortly after I filed my lawsuit Smith retired and is now living in Georgia; he also remains a defendant in the Bivens claim.)

-Frances Mooney said she also heard that Cassidy had ordered the guards to remove me from the building.  (Mooney was a defendant Judge Orinda Evans dropped from my lawsuit because my amended complaint didn't include enough details about her specific actions; that's too bad because the record shows she was using her KGB-like position of managing the immigration courts' building security and public affairs to try to ban me and admitted that the reason I was targeted for surveillance and banning was because of what I wrote.)

-Cynthia Long is still the court administrator in Atlanta.  A highlight was her claim that before I had ever set foot in that building she circulated an email to a bunch of folks in EOIR headquarters and all the staff and IJs in Atlanta announcing Mark Lyttle and I would be arriving and might try to observe hearings.  She acknowledged that "in the history of the world" she had never sent another such an email on the occasion of someone picking up a file.  And she acknowledged I was singled out for needing special permission to enter the immigration courts.

Long was also dismissed from the lawsuit because of lack of specificity in the First Amended Complaint but the email and deposition make it obvious she was involved in unlawful restrictions on my observing hearings throughout the entire time frame; the statements and actions of which her supervisors are well aware violate the regulations and the First Amendment. The Atlanta immigration court is an object of derision and, save the fact that Long used to work in Falls Church headquarters and is part of the crony culture there, her persistence in that position would be a mystery.

-Lauren Alder Reid, who runs the public affairs office under the supervision of Frances Mooney, is someone whom I rightly suspected also played a role in working to ban me from immigration courts.  I did not name her in my lawsuit because, unlike Cassidy, Smith, and Keller, she was the only one who turned over email responsive to my FOIA request before I filed the lawsuit and I was grateful to her for this. (This was before I was litigating under the FOIA statute.) 

Alder Reid's email gave me information I needed to file the complaint.  I think the reason she is the one who coughed up her email is that I had filed a misconduct complaint against her previously because she had been giving me the run around about the access policy for immigration courts and then when I finally FOIAd it and I learned she was the one the who wrote it I realized she'd been lying to me.  

Alder Reid claims that the OIG investigated my complaint and found it baseless; she said her source for this information was a telephone conversation with a man whose name she could not recall; I have a letter from OIG saying that they never conducted an investigation and referred my complaint back to EOIR, and I have a phone message recording on my answering machine I saved from EOIR saying the agency never investigated my complaint.

Alder Reid also claims that my misconduct complaint had nothing to do with her decision to turn over email and that this was just a result of her open and forthcoming habits. Based on releases in discovery I find this disingenuous.  Judge Evans denied the government's request for a protective order a while back but I'm not sure of the current status of some documents for which they have requested this since then and will wait before going into this further.

-Cassidy has withheld responsive email and also seems to prefer the phone to a digital trail.  But his pals sell him out:  immediately after hanging up, the folks with whom he speaks send emails to each other.  The picture that emerges is him coordinating with the court administrators Long and Ray Bethune to mask his hearings from me by not posting his dockets, or avoiding hearings when I'm around.  Again, his job security seems due to his longtime ties with folks in agency headquarters; other IJs have been forced out for less egregious actions.  One of the problems is that the misconduct complaints against him were for a long time handled by Smith and Keller, who were covering up violations much more egregious than those about which I was complaining.  

Finally, to Attorney Bruce Brown, for being such a smart guy and terrific attorney: Thank you!!!

 Coke was the Attorney General under Elizabeth and when he supervised the courts under James I he challenged the legality of a ruling in the King's court on behalf of James, and was fired.  But a few years later, from Parliament, Coke brought 23 corruption charges against his nemesis, the Royalist Francis Bacon, then Lord Chancellor (in charge of all courts).  The charges stuck and Bacon was fired and spent a brief time in the Tower of London.  Thomas Hobbes prepared Bacon's work for publication in the few years between the conviction and Bacon's death in 1626.  (I was just lecturing on Coke in my political theory class and was tickled to see my attorney Bruce Brown had referenced a decision by Coke in the motion below.)

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