Foundation for Litigant Parity
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
WRITE-IN CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR
MAKES A LAST DITCH EFFORT FOR JUDICIAL REFORM TO
LAMONT, GRIEBEL AND STEFANOWSKI
Write-in candidate for governor, Lee Whitnum, along with her lieutenant governor co-runner Jacey Wyatt, have no illusions of winning but have dedicated their write-in candidacy as a last ditch effort to garner the attention of the three front runners to Whitnum’s 20 bills to clean up the Connecticut Judiciary.
“Jacey was gracious enough to put her name along with mine on the write-in form. This last ditch effort is for the front-runners Ned Lamont, Bob Stefanowski and Oz Griebel, to please listen," said Whitnum who cared less about the job as governor and more about cleaning up the state so that “no one experiences the torture and injustice I endured.”
“If Connecticut’s judiciary was as evolved as Alaska’s I never would have been a six-year victim of powerful people,” said Whitnum who spoke extensively on the campaign trail about the injustice in the courts, the inability to fire bad judges; and the way to fix it. The press had accused her of avoiding the major issue: the economy. Whitnum disagrees, “Corruption is the reason for our decline.”
Whitnum explains, “The press and the three front runners seem to be oblivious to the degree of corruption at our judiciary and state agencies and how much it is a contributing factor to Connecticut’s overall decline “ said Whitnum pointing to the “Site Selection Guild.”
The “State Selection Guide” is a well-respected annual publication and conference and a source used by many corporations to decide a new business location. Whitnum explains that the need to “’…eliminate dysfunction in government…’ is tantamount to bringing investment.
“The guidelines state, ‘eliminate dysfunction in government’ as the most important factor in bringing jobs to a region,” said Whitnum who believes that removing corruption would also keep people here. “Connecticut is corrupt as hell; no Corporation is going to invest millions in a state where the court system is a wild-card.”
Whitnum claims her 20 bills will establish systems that currently do not exist, are dysfunctional or have purposefully been stripped from the state such as the Grand Jury in 1984. Whitnum claims the lack of checks-and-balances is what destroyed Whitnum’s life and the lives of others at the hands of dishonest judges.
“I was targeted for my public political stands, for others it is for racial prejudice, or just because a judge can,” said Whitnum who claims at one point she was facing 14 years in jail for nine charges.
In court documents Whitnum claims she was unlawfully charged with crimes that were either not crimes or crimes allegedly orchestrated by John Whalen of the Statewide Prosecutor’s Office at the behest of a powerful member of the Jewish Community to punish Whitnum, a member of the peace community, critical of Zionism, AIPAC and the US Funding of Israel.
“I lived for years believing Whalen was going to railroad me into jail,” said Whitnum who was 53-years-old at the time, a teacher with no priors when the highest level of power in the state was sent to prosecute her. Whitnum was never convicted of any of the crimes pursued by Whalen but it didn’t stop the press from smearing her or Whalen from torturing her with endless criminal court appearances - 41 appearances over the course of 3 ½ years.
“I was not allowed to work as a teacher with pending criminal charges, it cost me three years of salary and I’ve never bounced back. I felt every right I had by statute was denied by judges. Judge Hernandez and Judge Wenzel followed superstar prosecutor Whalen’s lead,” said Whitnum who submitted 4 Motions to Dismiss with evidence but could not get them heard on the merits. Whitnum plead Accelerated Rehabilitation for first time offenders.
"I took a plea deal for crimes I did not commit, could prove I did not commit, but no one would listen," said Whitnum.
“The bottom line is that judges in Connecticut have no incentive to do it by the book because there is no enforcement against bad behavior. Judges get rubber-stamped in every eight years regardless of how many times they violate Connecticut General Statues or the Practice Book. They get a job for life. It is a cliché but - absolute power corrupts absolutely.”
Whitnum claims Connecticut is a state completely run by influence peddling which is why it is ranked 49th, adding “The new governor needs to realize the severity of the problem, how corruption and lack of progress has contributed to our overall decline.”
“Everything you hold of value is not safe in Connecticut,” said Whitnum. “Your assets, the custody of your children, your business, your freedom. Justice does not currently prevail here. You think you have rights as a senior, forget it, read the Marilyn Plank case.”
Whitnum claims Connecticut is full of ‘useless appeasement organizations’ designed to look like they are actually doing something. “It is the pretense of justice and no real justice happening. Whitnum categorizes the Judicial Review Council (JRC), the Claims Commission, and the Appellate Court which only answers 20% of cases as ‘useless appeasement organizations.’
“The JRC is powerless, its sole purpose is to make judicial ‘recommendations’ every eight years. Oh please – that is useless, a sadistic judge can do a lot of damage in 8 years. In Alaska The People can recall a bad judge immediately. If we’d had Alaska’s laws I wouldn’t have gone through the torture I endured,” said Whitnum who is referring to the Alaska Constitution which grants The People, the ability to recall a judge. “This power forces judges to act properly while in office.”
Whitnum also blames our lack of evolution on Connecticut being an original 13 colony. “King James was our first ruler; he could chop your head off without due process. Other states were not established during king’s rule and do not suffer with ‘Sovereign Immunity’ run amok,” said Whitnum. “This 'land of steady habits' needs to evolve.”
Whitnum says her life was destroyed by Connecticut judges. Despite being married to man worth $5 million Whitnum was awarded not even a dime and kept from her infirmed husband for four years until his death in what Whitnum calls ‘the railroaded divorce.’ Whitnum blames all of her woes in family court and criminal court on one person: Jane Emons.
Whitnum alleges in court documents, Emons violated her right to conciliation, due process production of financials and other rights. And that Emons then allegedly falsely claimed Whitnum rang her bell and ran on the early morning of June 22, 2013 - a charge Whitnum calls an "absolute lie." Whitnum could prove her innocence, with phone records, but none of the criminal court judges would hear a motion to dismiss.
“God was with me, I was two hours away in New York City that night. Any other night and I’d have no alibi and I’d be in prison now, which is damn frightening,” said Whitnum who was denied the right to sue the state by the Claims Commission; her testimony disputing that decision is on Youtube. She continues to seek justice against Whalen and Emons in Superior Court as she has filed an Application for Investigation under CGS 54-47c to prove alleged criminal frame by Emons and Whalen but so far no judge has convened a three-judge panel.
“I believe Emons set out to destroy my life for political reason and I believe I can prove it, but despite CGS 54-47c which claims I have the right to seek investigation, I can’t seem to get a judge to act. No surprise there,” said Whitnum. “The law exists only if there are judges willing to enforce it.”
Apparently Emons destroyed more lives than just Whitnum’s. Recently for the first time 275 years a judge was not rubber-stamped in by the Legislature. Due to overwhelming complaints by parents kept from children, people aggrieved, members of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus and lawyers, the Legislature in March 2018 refused to vote to reconfirm Judge Jane Emons. One group of parents had actually funded a billboard against Emons reconfirmation.
“It took a herculean effort by many, many aggrieved people to get Emons out of power; it shouldn’t have been so hard for The People to get rid of a bad judge,” said Whitnum adding, “8 years is too long to wait.”
Whitnum says her nightmare would never have happened if she lived in Alaska as The People can disqualify a judge for any reason. “The ability to ”peremptorily disqualify” is a right The People of Alaska have that we don’t.”
“At the start Emons denied my right to conciliation with my infirmed husband who was being kept from me by his adult children, and she allowed a political heckler in the courtroom. I knew from the get-go, things were not going to go my way. If Connecticut were evolved and we had Alaska's laws, I could have disqualified her,” said Whitnum.
Whitnum is referring to Alaska statute 22.20.022 which gives a litigant the right to peremptorily disqualify a judge for bias at the inception. Whitnum’s "Lee Bill #19" echoes the right. Several of Whitnum's 20 bills are based on rights other states have, but Connecticut lacks.
“Instead of spending the last four years of my husband’s life, dining, gardening, watching old movies. I was plunged into hell, stuck dealing with the most evil people I have ever encountered: members of the Connecticut judiciary. Rights I thought I had were purposefully violated by judges,” said Whitnum who describes Connecticut as "absolutely lawless."
The other judges in the divorce who Whitnum claims denied due process were Heller, Schofield, Richards, and Munro and in doing so they took away the only bargaining chip Whitnum had to get her husband home. She also claims Judge Genuario and Judge Arnold, denied injunction for contact with her husband. “Even mail denied! What a travesty.”
Whitnum was kept from the man she married with no private contact from the day of his disappearance May 27, 2012 until his death on October 16, 2016; Whitnum fought non-stop in the court system and was thwarted at every turn; four judges, four times, even denied Motion for Telephone Conversation.
“Even criminals get a conversation, but not this married couple. Looking back I wish I’d hired a Blackwater team and gotten my husband home. I believed in justice, I had no idea how unlawful it was here,” said Whitnum.
The most important of Whitnum's 20 bills is Lee Bill #1 which empowers the Judicial Review Council with the ability to impeach a judge after three legitimate strikes by The People, but Whitnum says that Alaska’s method, Judicial Recall, is fine also.
“My 20 bills clean it up, the most important being Lee Bill #1 but I don’t care what method we adopt,” said Whitnum citing Alaska's Constitutional Judicial Recall provision.
Whitnum is calling on Oz Griebel, Ned Lamont, and Bob Stefanowski, to make it happen. "Our Practice Book is beautifully written but it is only as good as our judges. With no threat of dismissal they abuse their role."
Whitnum is attempting to educate the front runners. "You can’t fault the front-runners; it is just so far removed from their reality. I don’t feel they are aware of the severity of the problem. They give lip-service to cleaning up the Family Court but all our courts need reform," said Whitnum who has provided a hypothetical:
“Ned, Oz, Bob here’s a hypothetical of CT versus Alaska: You suffer an injustice to your business by Mr. Unscrupulous. At the courthouse you realize the judge is a jerk from high school – someone who hates you. Your lawyer, or you, ask Judge Jerk to step down. He refuses, in Alaska he would not be able to refuse, but you are in Connecticut and you are stuck with him. He continues, having the time of his sadistic life, making rulings in violation of every right you have, lying on the record, ignoring evidence, feigning indignation to ignore motions and issue contempt rulings. Your lawyer is frantically filing interlocutory appeals but the Appellate Court in Connecticut is a useless appeasement organization which denies 80% without explanation. So you complain to the Judicial Review Council (JRC) “this judge is violating every Practice book right I have, he is giving my business to another person.” The JRC promises to make a recommendation to the governor in seven years when Judge Jerk is up for reconfirmation. In Alaska, you could ask for immediate Judicial Recall of a Judge Jerk. Unfortunately, you are in CT and the case concludes; you lose everything and you have no recourse because the Appellate Court is useless. And CT Supreme Court equally so. You appeal anyway – denied - and next you take it to the US Supreme Court but they only hear 1% of cases and they refuse to hear yours. You lost it all. You signed up for justice but didn’t get any. Instead you and your business became fodder for judicial cocktail parties. Judge Jerk, Mr. Unscrupulous and his lawyer clink glasses, “ah it was a good year in court.””
Whitnum also points out the financial cost to our state, and claims the lack of justice forces the people to keep seeking justice. “Injustice begets more court actions,” said Whitnum who claims it clogs the system and costs taxpayers’ money. “Look Sirs (Oz, Ned, Bob), at the budget and the amount of money spent on the judiciary – it is at the top of the list.”
Whitnum also blames the Connecticut press which seems to protect the judiciary. Whitnum sites the Emons reconfirmation as an example. “All the media in Connecticut painted Emons as the victim of her numerous detractors,” said Whitnum. “It was insanely untrue.”
"Connecticut is dominated by Hearst Media and two news blogs, CTMirror and CTNewsJunkie," said Whitnum. "They have failed to address the personal plight of any litigant, The People as a whole, or the need for judicial reform."
Whitnum, a Democrat, is asking Oz Griebel, Ned Lamont and Bob Stefanowski to be a little bit more like Dave Walker. Whitnum praised Republican nominee David Walker who did not get the nomination.
“Walker came up to me, after the Binnel High School debate, shook my hand and said “good spar Lee’ and then he gave me his card and he said ‘you know so much about the judiciary I’d like to learn.” I was initially taken aback but he gained my respect because he listened.”
Whitnum is still smarting over Ned Lamont’s failure to come to her aid in the much-publicized Brookfield High School debate in April when Whitnum was dragged off the stage.
“I was told that a town chair had no legal right to keep a registered candidate from a public venue debate. When I was first ordered off the stage, I turned to Ned, and said, ‘Ned please tell her that I’m a candidate.” He turned away and said nothing. I had known him for years casually through campaigning and Harvard events and I had been in more than six debates with him. He did not lift a finger to help me - the least likely of us - at that debate table.”
But Whitnum says she is forgiving of Lamont and optimistic that he will show her some respect now by reading her 20 Bills. Whitnum adds she is indifferent to who wins.
“I was in two debates with Oz Griebel, six with Ned, one with Bob Stefanowski, all seem to be fine men,” said Whitnum who adds a personal plea. “Gentlemen, please read my 20 bills at LeeWhitnum.com and commit to evolving our State’s judiciary.”
Whitnum is also asking members of the public to pressure the next governor for judicial reform. “Write to our governor 'Read Lee’s 20 bills as a good start, and commit to judicial evolution,'” said Whitnum. “We deserve better.”
Whitnum's quest is personal. “Judicial reform would mean that the six years of hell was not a complete and total waste of time. The suffering of my husband, who died, without the comfort of his wife, was not in vain. ”
If anyone so desires they may vote for Lee Whitnum and Jacey Wyatt by writing: “Lee and Jacey” on the ballot on November 6.