5 Justices Recuse in Ex-Georgia Perimeter President’s RICO Case Against Regents Stephen Humphreys has been fighting a string of adverse trial and appellate court rulings against his client, former Georgia Perimeter College President Anthony Tricoli, who was ousted amid claims he mishandled millions in college funds. By Greg Land

Stephen-F-Humphreys-Article-202005061514
( Stephen F. Humphreys, Atlanta. (Photo: John Disney/ ALM) )

https://www.law.com/dailyreportonline/2020/05/06/5-justices-recuse-in-ex-georgia-perimeter-presidents-rico-case-against-regents/

5 Justices Recuse in Ex-Georgia Perimeter President’s RICO Case Against Regents
Stephen Humphreys has been fighting a string of adverse trial and appellate court rulings against his client, former Georgia Perimeter College President Anthony Tricoli, who was ousted amid claims he mishandled millions in college funds.
By Greg Land | May 06, 2020 at 03:16 PM

Update appended below:
Five of the state’s Supreme Court justices recused from a case centered on a yearslong battle between a former college president whose claims he was ousted as part of a cover-up of millions of dollars siphoned off by the University System of Georgia that has grown to include allegations of fraud and racketeering involving the state attorney general’s office.

Former Georgia Perimeter College President Anthony Tricoli and and his lawyer, Athens solo Stephen Humphreys, have been consistently stymied by lower court rulings, and the appeal the justices will hear ostensibly only involves a $6,675 sanctions order levied by a DeKalb County judge.

Humphreys is hoping he will at last get his chance to lay out what he considers insurmountable evidence of wrongdoing by the university system, Board of Regents and attorney general’s office, aided by the acquiescence or bias of jurists at every level.

Humphreys sought the recusal of all nine justices last month for a variety of reasons: Some had already ruled against him as Court of Appeals judges, others in declining to hear prior appeals as justices.

Justice Sarah Warren is a former Law Department attorney, he noted, and Justice Nels Peterson was once legal counsel for the state Board of Regents.

A two sentence order issued Monday said Justices Peterson, Warren, Charles Bethel, John Ellington and Carla Wong McMillian have decided to recuse. Chief Justice Harold Melton and Justices David Nahmias and Michael Boggs declined to do so.

Humphreys said that, while he welcomes the recusals, he must wait and see whether the court will agree to hear his appeal.
“They denied review the first time, even though the Court of Appeals initiated summary judgment on their own, with no notice or opportunity for us to respond,” Humphreys said.

“I’m arguing they illegally denied cert the first time under the summary judgment statute, and that they have to review it.”
“Of course, they’ll have to round up some judges first,” said Humphreys, who brought aboard criminal defense specialist Bruce Harvey to assist with the case in 2018.

Humphreys also is representing the plaintiffs in a Fulton County case asserting that the university system and former state Attorney General Sam Olens conspired to force out former Kennesaw State University President Daniel Papp so that Olens could take that job, which he held from 2016 to 2018.

That case was also dismissed and the justices denied cert in March, but Humphreys has a motion pending asking that the case be consolidated with Tricoli’s at the high court.

A spokeswoman for Attorney General Christopher Carr declined to comment.
The case began with Tricoli’s forced ouster in 2012 after auditors said more than $16 million had gone missing. The sum in question was later reduced to about $10 million.

Tricoli sued the Board of Regents and its members along with other system officials and Olens for claims including fraud, breach of contract and violations of Georgia’s Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, arguing he was set up as the fall guy for a scheme to loot Georgia Perimeter’s reserves.

The state responded with a motion to dismiss, arguing among other things that the RICO statute contained no express waiver of sovereign immunity for the state and that Tricli had produced no written contract.

DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Daniel Coursey dismissed the suit, ruling the tort claims were barred by the Georgia Tort Claims Act’s sovereign immunity provisions, as were the RICO claims.

Tricoli appealed, but the court’s seven judges upheld Coursey’s dismissal in 2016.

Writing for the majority, Judge Gary Andrews wrote that Tricoli’s RICO claim “is an imaginative theory of recovery to assert against the state itself, but that is about all it is—imagination. The Georgia RICO Act does not express any waiver of sovereign immunity.”

The judge also wrote that, while Coursey had ruled on the state’s motion to dismiss, Tricoli had introduced evidence that he did have a written contract, thus changing the motion to one for summary judgment.

“Tricoli’s submission of documentary evidence in response to the motion to dismiss constituted, in effect, a request to convert the motion into one for summary judgment and waived the notice requirement for such a conversion,” Andrews wrote.

Presiding Judge Yvette Miller dissented, taking issue both with the court’s conversion of Coursey’s order changing the motion to one summary judgment and with its assertion that the RICO statute shielded state actors under sovereign immunity.

“The trial court did not convert the motion to dismiss into a motion for summary judgment,” she wrote, and “could not do so without providing Tricoli with notice.”

She also said the RICO act did not have to include specific “magic words” waiving sovereign immunity.

“The RICO statute includes government entities in its definition of enterprise, and it specifically provides a private individual with a civil remedy for RICO Act violations,” Miller wrote.

The Georgia Supreme Court denied cert on Tricoli’s appeal, as did the U.S. Supreme Court.

Humphreys then filed a motion asking Coursey to set aside his ruling dismissing the case.

Coursey denied the motion, and a lawyer with Carr’s office followed up with a motion for sanctions against Tricoli and Humphreys for filing it.

Coursey wrote the motion was “riddled with expansive and baseless assertions that display stubborn ignorance and purposeful disregard for the facts and the law.” The judge levied a $6,657 sanction based on the time Senior Assistant Attorney General C. McLaurin Sitton spent responding to the motion.

Humphreys appealed that order and, while it was pending, filed a supplemental brief alleging massive fraud by the university system involving federal grant money, to which the state never responded.

After hearing oral arguments—which included then-Judge McMillian chiding Humphreys for using his time on a “rant” unrelated to the issues at hand—the Court of Appeals affirmed Coursey’s order in October.

In his December application for cert to the state Supreme Court, Humphreys came out swinging: “This case is Georgia’s Watergate, only worse—by at least a billion dollars in fraud by state government officials,” he wrote.

“This case has got the documented crime,” he continued. “It’s got the cover up. It’s got the attempt to evade the most fundamental law of the land, not just by a cabal within the executive branch of state government, but taking in the Georgia judiciary, which has gone so far as to give a free pass to witness intimidation and whistleblower retaliation.”

Update:
Humphreys disputes that the only issue he has asked the Supreme Court is whether he should have been sanctioned for asking Judge Coursey to set aside his order dismissing the case.

“That is the only issue on which the AG responded,” said Humphreys, noting that he raised other matters and filed three supplemental motions that the Court of Appeals also dismissed.

“[T]he AG’s failure to respond on those issues does not mean they are not before the court on my petition,” said Humphreys in an email.

According to the brief the state filed with Supreme Court, the issue before the justices is: “Whether the Court of Appeals correctly affirmed the trial court’s exercise of discretion in sanctioning Petitioner and his counsel, Stephen Humphreys, for filing a motion to set aside a judgment that had been affirmed on appeal and which motion the trial court found devoid of support in fact and law

Fact!

legal15

Too, whenever you file a case, you need to do everything, as if you plan to appeal. Every case goes to appeal, unless it is so shitty a case that it don’t warrant an appeal. Everything you do in your case should prepare for an easy appeal, you have to be diligent, as if you are the one being sued, and you have to do plenty of discovery if you want anything from the opposing party, and the most important thing, is you have to follow the Rules of Civil Procedure, Uniform Superior Court Rules, the Court’s Rules and all Orders.
If any of the above things have not been followed to a “t” then you have made it hard for yourself, and will most likely loose the case. If you have planned to appeal, which should always be done, then it will be easier and less costly to appeal.

Damn, that’s good, I am going to post.

29f1d974578c240cfb0796b6b0f3da48449903f1

Man accused of stabbing mother to death in DeKalb County

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One of my people was represented by this guy, and he stole $45,000.00 of her settlement. She and some other victims testified in Court a couple weeks ago. He was sentenced to 30 years, with 15 to serve. He was supposed to turn himself in 02/01/2019. He did not show up.

CRIME
Man accused of stabbing mother to death in DeKalb County
Police are still looking for the son, who now faces a murder charge.
https://www.11alive.com/article/news/crime/man-accused-of-stabbing-mother-to-death-in-dekalb-county/85-60b7a143-0ff4-4d79-9a25-ba9121de2b4c
Author: WXIA Staff
Published: 10:08 PM EST February 2, 2019
Updated: 10:49 PM EST February 2, 2019

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — A man accused of killing his mother in a vicious attack is now wanted by DeKalb Police.

Around 9:30 a.m. Saturday, police said Shirley Merritt’s son, Richard Merritt, stabbed her to death inside of her home located on Planters Row.

Merritt is 44 years old, about 5 feet 10 inches tall and 175 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. Police have issued a warrant for his arrest on a charge of murder.
More News

He may be driving his mother’s brown 2009 Lexus RX350 with a Georgia tag reading CBV6004.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Richard Merritt is asked to call the DeKalb County Police Department at 770-724-7850 or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477 (TIPS).

Judicial Corruption In GA Has Not Changed At All, The Judges Now Are As Corrupt and Probably More Corrupt Than in 2015 When This Article Was Written!

An article from 2015:

Justice for judges: You have the right to remain silent, your honor

   

https://www.myajc.com/news/local/justice-for-judges-you-have-the-right-remain-silent-your-honor/x4ICZOux5H5B5MVG6LCeaJ/

Posted: 1:06 p.m. Wednesday, July 29, 2015


More than five dozen Georgia judges have stepped down from the bench in disgrace since the state’s judicial watchdog agency began aggressively policing ethical conduct eight years ago.

More lately, however, the jurists aren’t just leaving the court in disgrace. Some are leaving in handcuffs.

Earlier this month, former North Georgia magistrate Bryant Cochran was sentenced to five years in prison by a federal judge who said Cochran had destroyed the public’s faith in the judiciary. In June, a one-time influential chief judge from Brunswick was indicted by a Fulton County grand jury. And a specially appointed district attorney is now considering similar charges against a former DeKalb judge.

These criminal prosecutions were brought after the state Judicial Qualifications Commission launched investigations of the judges. Instead of being allowed to step down from the bench and return to a law practice, these judges are hiring criminal defense lawyers.

“I don’t remember seeing anything like this — so many judges facing criminal prosecution,” said Norman Fletcher, former chief justice of the Georgia Supreme Court. “I do think it puts a black cloud over the judiciary.”

 

Cobb County State Court Judge Glover Retired, crooked as they come.

DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Becker forced off the bench, one of the most corrupt.

Georgia Supreme Court Barnes, allows and participates in the corruption.

DeKalb County Probate Court Judge Jeryl Debra Rosh, was corrupt when she was a clerk, ruling in place of Judge Marion Guess, with his knowledge, and even more corrupt as Probate Judge, retired early.

 

Georgia’s Supreme Court Fails Again

It never ceases to amaze me. How do Supreme Courts decide which petitions for certiorari they will grant?

Georgia’s Supreme Court this year, passed to Court of Appeals, almost all of the last kind of cases that you could directly appeal to Georgia Supreme Court. I have no idea what they do now. Sure, they still take death penalty cases, some criminal cases, but other than that, who knows what they do.

There was a Petition for Certiorari filed due to the fact that Judge Hunter in DeKalb County Superior Court, had ruled that service of process at the Courthouse was proper service. That only goes totally against all rulings ever since that law was put into place. The man, was at the Courthouse to testify, the process server came up to him, right outside of the courtroom where he was to testify. The process server threw the papers down at the man’s feet, laughed and said “Now Your Served!” and ran off. DeKalb County Superior Court’s Judge Hunter, said that that had been proper service.

In Georgia, like in most other states, when you are at the Courthouse, to give testimony, of any kind, you are 100% privileged from service. No if’s and’s or but’s.

Ga. Process And Service § 4:2
Georgia Process and Service with Forms
Database updated November 2015
Philip Weltner II
Part II. SERVICE
Chapter 4. Service In General
§ 4:2. Privilege from service
Even if a defendant is served with process in accordance with the mandated procedures, that service may nonetheless be invalid if the defendant is privileged from service. The Judiciary Act of 1799 stated that “all witnesses going to, attending on, and returning from any of the said courts, shall be free from arrest or any civil process.” While this provision is declaratory of the common law privilege, it is not exhaustive of all the exemptions from service recognized in this state.1
Any witness going to, attending, or returning from an appearance in court is privileged from service of process, even if he appeared voluntarily and not pursuant to a subpoena.2  The privilege applies to all aspects of the judicial proceeding.   Thus, a nonresident who is a party to a suit pending in another state and who comes into Georgia under stipulation of counsel solely for a deposition is immune from service.3
This privilege does not apply to a resident defendant in a criminal case.4  A nonresident criminal defendant, however, is immune from civil process in two situations. First, a nonresident who is in Georgia under extradition proceedings is not subject to service in a civil action until he is convicted or, if acquitted, given a reasonable opportunity to return to the state from which he was extradited.5 Second, a nonresident who voluntarily appears in a criminal proceeding in this state, and thus saves the state the expense, delay and uncertainty of an extradition hearing and thereby promotes the orderly, expeditious and unobstructed administration of justice, is given immunity.6
A nonresident witness does not waive his immunity by availing himself of the Georgia courts. The use of the courts does not constitute a waiver.7

1    Ewing v. Elliott, 51 Ga. App. 565, 181 S. E. 123 (1935).

2    O.C.G.A. § 24-13-1; Fidelity & Cas. Co. v. Everett, 97 Ga. 787, 25 S.E. 734 (1896).

3    Ewing v. Elliott, 51 Ga. App. 565, 181 S. E. 123 (1935).
Husband did not waive service of an ex parte family violence protective order when he appeared in court to answer petition, as he had not been served with a copy of the petition itself. Attempts to serve him in court and afterwards in the court parking lot were inadequate. Husband argued the long-standing rule that a suitor or witness in attendance upon the trial of any case in court is privileged from arrest under any civil process, and is exempted from the service of any writ or summons upon him or them while in attendance upon such court, or in going to or returning therefrom. See Steelman v. Fowler, 234 Ga. 706, 217 S.E.2d 285 (1975). The later judicially-created exception from this rule for nonresidents who are in the state temporarily for some purpose other than to appear in court as a party or witness does not apply here, even though Husband was a nonresident in the state to appear in court as a party, because the rule is intended to insulate a party in attendance from service in a new action, and although the action had previously proceeded ex parte, the action was new to Husband, who appeared solely to contest the initial service. Loiten v. Loiten, 288 Ga. App. 638, 655 S.E.2d 265 (2007).

4    Warren v. Hiers, 105 Ga. App. 202, 124 S. E. 2d 445 (1962). This rule had been based on the law that a defendant could not be a witness in his own case. Now, however, pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 17-7-28 (GCA § 27-405), a defendant can be sworn and testify in his own case just like any other witness. Accordingly, resident criminal defendants, even though they now may be sworn as witnesses in their own cases, are not immune from service of process while in court. Payton v. Green, 179 Ga. App. 438, 346 S. E. 2d 884 (1986).

5 Uniform Criminal Extradition Act, O.C.G.A. § 17-13-45 (GCA § 44-425).

6    White v. Henry, 232 Ga. 64, 205 S. E. 2d 206 (1974).
The term “nonresident” refers only to nonresidents of Georgia, not nonresidents of the county in which the trial of the criminal defendant is proceeding. Payton v. Green, 179 Ga. App. 438, 346 S. E. 2d 884 (1986).

7     Word v. Word, 236 Ga. 100, 222 S. E. 2d 382 (1976); Steelman v. Fowler, 234 Ga. 706, 217 S. E. 2d 285 (1975); Couture v. Couture, 242 Ga. 11, 247 S. E. 2d 751 (1978).

End of Document
© 2016 Thomson Reuters. No claim to original U.S. Government Works.

OCCUPY.COM Expose Courts Blocking the Public From Sitting In On Trials In Georgia Courts, What Better Way to Show How Corrupt The Courts Are?

OCCUPY.COM EXPOSES GEORGIA’S COURTS DENYING THE PUBLIC ACCESS TO COURT PROCEEDINGS!

I am quite pleased that someone took notice. The Judges in Georgia are akin to little despots. No doubt, a Judge is God in their Courtroom, but they don’t have the right to Deny the public access, so that they can violate one’s Civil and Constitutional Rights while they sneakily do it.

accused flanked by attorneys at sentencing court

EXPOSED: GEORGIA’S COURTS ARE BREAKING THE LAW BY DENYING PUBLIC ACCESS
TUE, 9/24/2013 – BY TANYA GLOVER

Courtrooms aren’t just a place where justice is served and legal decisions are made. They are also a place for the public to go and see how the justice system works: people enjoy viewing trials and hearings, even if they have no personal stake in them. Viewing public trials is the public’s legal right.

However, revelations by a judicial oversight commission in Georgia show that numerous judges in the state, including some in Atlanta, are violating the law by denying public access to courtrooms in cases ranging from bail hearings to standard trials.

There are some cases in which closing courtrooms to the public is legal, and the circumstances for this are carefully outlined in official Georgia State documents that make the points for legality clear. But according to a recent report in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, investigations by the state’s judicial oversight commission found the practice of sealing off courtroom access widespread across Georgia — and in most cases, illegally.

Instead of typical open courts, there are now signs posted on courtroom doors stating access is denied to either the general public or specific groups of people, including kids. Bailiffs sometimes stand in place of the signs, blocking entry to the court despite people’s legal right to go in, said Robert Ingram, an attorney from Marietta, Ga., and chairman of the state’s Judicial Qualifications Commission.

“We’ve had our own investigators and commissioners go out and visit a courtroom and they have been greeted by a bailiff or a deputy sheriff and been told to state their business or otherwise they don’t need to be there,” Ingram said.

But why the closed rooms and bans on view judicial proceedings in the first place? Under Georgia’s law, closing off or banning someone from the courtroom can be done at a judge’s discretion. For instance, an unruly or disruptive person, whether child or adult, can be removed. Or there may be a case not considered proper for people under the age of 18 to attend.

More often, however, judges these days claim they are keeping out the public because of lack of space in the courtroom. One instance that put this closed court behavior in the spotlight was the jury selection for Andrea Sneiderman, in which DeKalb Superior Court Judge Gregory Adams lifted the public ban stating that people who wished to be present for the selection had the right to do so.

Seemingly arbitrary court closures by judges in the Peach State are nothing new. Back in 2011, Barbra Mobley, a DeKalb County State Court Judge, resigned after investigations were launched by the Judicial Qualifications Commission alleging that her court featured bailiffs questioning people illegally about why they wanted to observe the cases on the docket.

The phenomenon is occurring statewide. In both Crisp and Ben Hill counties, the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) filed suit against the practice of closing courts to the public. In those counties, it’s been common that courts remain closed off even to the family members of both victims and the accused, other than their attendance at guilt pleas during the trials’ conclusions.

Further investigations have showed that closed courts are more common than first thought. According Gerry Weber of SCHR, this is causing a major problem with transparency. “A closed courtroom is one that is less accountable to the public. What is done behind closed doors can be different to what is done in the cold light of day,” he said.

Many judges are following the closed court lead, including Judge T. Jackson Bedford of the Fulton County Superior Court, Judge Clarence Seeliger of the DeKalb County Superior Court, and Judge Patsy Porter of Fulton State Court. Attempts by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution to contact these servants of the people were unsuccessful, as were the attempts made by Occupy.com.

There are some positive signs as well, however. Judge Christopher Brasher of Fulton Superior Court says he was unaware that the practice of closing courts was occurring in his courtroom, and quickly put a stop to it. Brasher attributed the action to “overzealous deputies, who provide security and order.” He has since ordered that no one be keep out of the court, and that no signs excluding any specific group be put up without his written consent.

Judges Todd Markle and Robert McBurney, both of Fulton Superior Court, say they were not aware the public was being deterred with signs from entering their courts, and that this step was taken without their permission. However, there is debate about the judges’ knowledge of the situation. Each county sheriff’s department is responsible for court security, and Fulton County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Tracy Flanagan says they do not make or affix signs nor are signs permitted without the consent of the presiding judge.

The Judicial Qualifications Commission issued an opinion on the matter, from the commission’s director Jeff Davis who said massive amounts of complaints have come from the public about access to courtrooms. “Our efforts to educate judges about these issues have resulted in the type of response we would have anticipated,” said Davis.

“Judges are complying with the opinion and modifying practices accordingly. Since the issuance of our Opinion, we have been encouraged by the response of judges and the willingness to bring their courts into full compliance with the law.”

Corrupt Judge In DeKalb County Georgia Superior Court, Judge Cynthia J Becker In the Spotlight!

Of all the times I have bitched about DeKalb County and Georgia Courts being corrupt as hell, I ain’t the only one saying it!  I knew that GA Power bought and paid for Judge Becker in DeKalb County Superior Court.  It was a cut and dry case, we won.  GA Power claimed to have an easement over our property.  They had a document that had the wrong Land Lot and wrong District, the street was spelled wrong.  She would not rule on the document, and GA Power claimed that we wanted a ruling on the ultimate issue.  There was only one issue, whether or not they had a legal easement.  The didn’t.

In the end, Becker gave GA Power easement over our whole property, when we had been dismissed with prejudice two years before she ruled.  She only dismissed with prejudice because she would not grant recusal, and she ended up being named a defendant in our Federal Court case.  She can’t rule over our property, when there is no longer a Plaintiff, and the case was not an in rem case. I am curious how much she was paid to do all that she did to us.

Now… check this out:

From:  http://www.ajc.com/news/news/breaking-news/judge-in-dekalb-schools-corruption-case-responds-t/nh4f4/

Judge in DeKalb schools corruption case responds to criticism

Free access to myAJC for AJC subscribers.

EXPLORE

DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Cynthia Becker on Monday acknowledged that she was the subject of a state judicial investigation but she also disputed allegations that she had met improperly with attorneys for a former school construction official and her ex-husband who were convicted of racketeering.

Becker has been at the center of a back-and-forth of rulings, orders and motions concerning her decisions in the misdemeanor case against former DeKalb School Superintendent Crawford Lewis and the felony cases against Pat Reid and architect Tony Pope, who prosecutors said manipulated school construction projects to enrich themselves. The State Court of Appeals has weighed in several times in response to orders Becker has issued and motions filed by District Attorney Robert James, who accused the judge of 14 years of improprieties.

It began when Becker refused to support a plea deal of 12 months probation in exchange for Lewis’ truthful testimony against Reid and Pope; Lewis struck the deal to avoid a possible felony racketeering case and decades in prison. Becker sentenced Lewis to jail, instead of probation, because she said she did not believe him, setting of the flurry of legal filings over the past year.

 

Last Friday, James wrote a filing with the Georgia Court of Appeals that Becker was biased and had tipped off defense lawyers before throwing out Reid’s and Pope’s convictions and ordering the two released from prison immediately. That would give Pope’s lawyers a chance to recall their notice of appeal and replace it with a motion for a new trial, which would keep the case under Becker’s control.

On Monday, in a statement emailed to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Becker responded to some of those criticisms.

Becker said there was nothing improper about contacting Reid’s and Pope’s attorneys because she was only asking for information about where they were serving their prison sentences so she would know where to send the order that they be released pending a new trial.

Becker overturned their convictions because she said they were based on testimony she thought was untruthful, but the state Court of Appeals followed up by saying her order should not be enforced until a hearing.

In her statement, Becker ticked off the allegations raised in the DA’s filing but she also acknowledged that the Judicial Qualifications Commission was investigating “the procedural actions in case.” But she learned of the JQC review weeks before the back-and-forth that started with the court of appeals last month. She did not elaborate on what issue was before the JQC and she declined to comment beyond what she had written.

“To my knowledge, prior to last week, no allegations of misconduct had been filed by anyone,” Becker said.

Becker wrote that the district attorney had filed a “written, supposedly confidential, complaint with the JQC” that the media reported. “The confidentiality of that process has been breached by others. I stand by my decisions and I will accept any lawful correction of any purported errors,” Becker wrote.

The Court of Appeals said Becker had to list the reasons she believed Lewis lied during his testimony, which she did in a subsequent order. The DA countered in another brief, saying she did not give specifics.

“I have, in each and every case before me, made findings of fact based on the evidence as I heard it,” Becker said. “I have then applied the law to those facts in making my decisions. I have never considered the position any individual held, who the lawyers were, the socio-economic status, political agendas or any inappropriate matter. I have made decisions based on the law, period.”

Becker then writes about conversations she had with Reid’s and Pope’s lawyers before she issued an order overturning their convictions and setting a new trial. Becker ruled that the two should be released from prison in the meanwhile. Reid was sentenced to 15 years and Pope was serving eight years. They were convicted of manipulating school contracts to benefit Pope and his firm.

“I called their attorneys to verify the exact locations of each defendant,” Becker wrote. “It was important that the orders (for their release) go directly to those prisons…. There was no need to involve the DA’s office in that procedural communications, just as there had been no need to involve the attorneys for Pope and Reid months earlier when the district attorneys and defendant Lewis’ attorneys met with me in my office with the proposed plea deal.

She wrote that while some had said this issue could end her judicial career, it has long been her plan to resign from the seat she has held 14 years because she is getting married next spring.

“I am happily exchanging the very public life of a judge for a very private life with my husband,” Becker wrote.

The judge said she will give the governor “my letter of resignation after closing out professional obligations later this year as planned.”