Tuesday, June 26, 2012

"A pleasant unfocused character with a very generous view of what he could contribute ..." who should run off to join the circus?

Under the Big Top with CyberSmokeBlog


Good Day Readers:

After reading Ms Blatchford's article below be brutally frank we need to know.. Do you think we're a pleasant unfocused character with a very generous view of what he can contribute who should run off to join the Big Top?

Christie Blatchford is still our favourite reporter

Perhaps so all we know is yesterday CyberSmokeBlog set an all time high for visitors to the site and today is another very strong day and we've barely posted anything.

We're sending a copy of this posting to Ms Blatchford so why don't you too readers?Tell her you agree Mr. Pieuk is a pleasant character but is focused and does not have a very generous view of what he can contribute to the the proceedings.

cblatchford@postmedia.com

Sincerely,
Clare L. Pieuk

Postscript

If Christie Blatchford thought yesterday at the Douglas Inquiry was a bit of a circus wait until she reads our account of today's happenings. Ironically, we chatted with her this morning but had yet to read her article referencing us. Regardless, she's still in our good books because she was going for a coffee during a break in proceedings and graciously offered to get us one.

Besides, yesterday she complimented CyberSmokeBlog's page layout and our humorous way to reporting the news, or as one lawyer termed it, "The Stephen Leacock approach." Oh My God, a modern Stephen Leacock walks among us! Too bad Team Block-Reynolds didn't see it that way.

Long story short. If you though yesterday was a tad unusual wait until you hear about today - bizarre! Perchance, is there a full moon?


Christie Blatchford: Manitoba judge's sex scandal quickly turns into a circus
Monday, June 25, 2012
Computer programmer Alexander Chapman is the man at the centre of a judicial scandal regarding Chief Lori Douglas and her husband lawyer Jack King. (Ken Gigliotti/Winnipeg Free Press Files)

WINNIPEG - The Lord does giveth and taketh away and so, just as the Red River Ex was moving out of town Sunday night, so was the circus rolling in the next morning.

Or so it seemed, at least, at the Canadian Judicial Council inquiry into the conduct of Manitoba Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas, where in an effort to appear fully transparent and accessible, the five-member committee Monday handed over the floor to a couple of members of the public who proceeded to kick — there’s no other word for it — the judge while she was down.

Judge Douglas is facing several allegations of wrongdoing here.

She is accused of having participated in her lawyer husband Jack King's scheme to entice a client of his into having sex with her, and thus of sexually harassing the man; of failing to disclose this in her application for the bench; of altering a diary entry and thus trying to thwart the CJC investigation - and that, as a result of the public availability of intimate sexual pictures of her on the web, posted there by King, she is unable to continue sitting as a judge.

Judge Lori Douglas (CBC)

All this is quite grave enough.

Judge Douglas has not been actively sitting since the allegations first hit the fan two years ago. By any measure, she has been publicly embarrassed while the cumbersome CJC process unfolded. Now, she faces the prospect that if she is found to have committed misconduct, she could be deemed unfit and be removed from the bench.

But the inquiry committee nonetheless heard from three people applying for “intervener” standing, status that would allow them to cross-examine witnesses.

At least two of these applications were patently ridiculous. The significant one came from Alex Chapman, the complainant whose allegations lit this fire.

Chapman doesn’t come to the matter with a clean slate: he is a regular litigant in Winnipeg, had a criminal record under another name before he won a pardon and, in 2003, when King was handling his divorce and sent him the graphic pictures of his wife (Judge Douglas was then a lawyer at the same firm) and tried to enlist him into a sexual relationship with her, he also tried to squeeze the law firm for $100,000.

As a result, King lost his job at the firm, paid Chapman $25,000 out of his own pocket in exchange for a confidentiality agreement and the alleged return of those pictures, and the matter appeared to go away.
Judge Douglas was subsequently encouraged to apply to the bench, and did so, and it appears that virtually everyone involved in the appointments process was made aware of the scandal involving King and Chapman.



Related
But in 2010, Chapman allegedly was forced to settle another one of his lawsuits (this time against the Winnipeg police) and apparently believed the judge in that case was in cahoots with Judge Douglas. Needless to say, Chapman renewed and enlarged his complaints, first with the CBC, and then with the CJC.
Now, represented by Toronto lawyer Rocco Galati, he is seeking intervener status at the hearing. The essence of Galati’s argument is that the committee’s independent counsel, Guy Pratte, can’t wear two hats and be equally tough in what Galati says will amount to a “he said, she said” case.

According to Galati, “some of the conduct by Jack King and Lori Douglas may be criminal.”

No one on the panel attempted to tell Hazen her remarks were wildly out of line, or to rein her in.
Galati didn’t elaborate except to say that even if the committee concludes Judge Douglas “had no part in the sexual harassment,” her knowledge of the confidentiality agreement and the alleged “destruction of emails and voice mails” could be construed as a criminal offence.

Details of these as yet untested allegations apparently are contained in a lengthy affidavit from Chapman filed with Galati’s materials, which may or may not be made public.

Then came Clare Pieuk, who runs the CyberSmokeBlog, and who sought intervener status on the grounds that there needs to be “citizen oversight” of the hearing.

Pieuk seems a pleasant character, but with a very generous view of what he could contribute to the proceedings. As he put it once, “As a blogmaster, I have access to a lot of individuals . . . people who feel that in family court they’ve been treated unfairly.”

He spoke for 15 minutes before Catherine Fraser, the Alberta Chief Justice and chair of the committee, attempted to get him to focus.

Pieuk ended by concluding that it “is CyberSmokeBlog’s position” that Judge Douglas hasn’t honoured her oath. (emphasis ours)

Next came Cheryl Hazen — a nakedly “disgruntled litigant” as Molly Reynolds, one of Judge Douglas’ lawyers, called her. Judge Douglas was one of a line of judges who had ruled against Hazen in a child-custody matter. She ruled on a motion to vary another judge’s order, and delivered a thoughtful 23-page decision.

Hazen also rambled and was allowed to say the following things before anyone on the committee tried to halt her: that Judge Douglas had “a bias resulting from her inclination for pain and suffering”; that she took “pleasure in pain and suffering”; that she “favours men with sexually deviant lifestyles” in her courtroom; that she is “not abiding by the moral code of society” but sits in judgment of others and that she has “a gross lack of integrity.”

Only then did Chief Justice Fraser interrupt her.

No one on the panel attempted to tell Hazen her remarks were wildly out of line, or to rein her in.
In the end, the committee ruled against Pieuk and Hazen — it will rule on Chapman’s application Tuesday — but not before Judge Douglas’ name had been smeared anew.

Galati and Chapman have doubts about the fairness of this hearing. They surely aren’t alone in that.


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