Can you believe all the recent media attention for misdemeanor D.U.I cases here in Santa Barbara that includes Trial Judge Brian Hill? The reason I remind you of this is because Judge Hill tends to be a real media hound – always getting the high-profile and public interest cases steered his way. Case after case I have questioned all the obscure actions taken by Judge Hill and his blatant attempt to cover up procedural errors, moral turpitude or both by the officers involved?
You see, several times over the years I have questioned why Judge Hill would be involved with these low ranking misdemeanors cases anyway. My reason for concern was because Judge Hill had to postpone other high-profile felony cases just so that he could be in control of cases getting media attention. For example on 01/12/12 the Santa Maria Times reported that It’s been almost four years since the state Attorney General’s Office filed the giant embezzlement (TurnKey) case. Delays continue to plague this case. Seventy four felony counts were filed in this case and 3 of the 4 defendants were responsible for $1.6 million in restitution. Judge Hills was the assigned Judge but taking on other high-profile cases over the years was the reason this huge case took over four years to complete.
Do you remember back in November 2010 when I wrote about a case that Judge Anderson was handling? Judge Clifford Anderson stated to the media that he was ordered by the Assistant Presiding Judge (Brian Hill at that time) to assign the alleged Gang Members preliminary hearing to Department 2 were Judge Hill presided. Like the TurnKey charges, Judge Hill already had trials stacking up and there was no need for him to be involved with a preliminary hearing for someone not found bound over for trial yet. Now that last statement in bold print might not mean much to any of you without a law degree. Unless you take the time to research it like I did or simply contact me for a better explanation. Well as it turns out when the new court date arrived for the newly assigned preliminary hearing in his Department 2. Judge Brian Hill could not preside over the case because he was still in the middle of the Corey Lyons double murder trial. So the defendants went back before Judge Anderson who wanted no part of the circus act. The case finally landed before Judge Ochoa. Personal conduct and ethics: where are they in our Superior Court?
All this recent commotion came about once again because Judge Brian Hill attempted to shield two Santa officers from giving testimony for the record. Testimony that quite possibly might create additional troubles for these officers, possibly even perjury charges if they had been allowed to continue.” I repeated it, I repeated it, I repeated it… To me, this is indefensible.” Judge Hill said of his admonition not to bring up any prior acts of moral turpitude. In my humble opinion it is the mandatory responsibility of any defense attorney to make a jury aware of documented acts of moral turpitude by a witness, including law enforcement, while properly defending a client during a trial.
In an earlier story from July 1st , Judge Hill’s excuse was: “the judge said his order was intended to ensure the jury didn’t hear any evidence of prior acts… on either side…until he deemed it admissible”. Let me get this straight – Judge Hill is saying that the jury could not hear evidence on either side. Then why was a trial even allowed to start, his comment makes no sense to me. Not to down play the seriousness of a D.U.I, but one would think that the standard operating procedures for a Santa Barbara Police officer to follow during a D.U.I. arrest is well documented by now.
In last Wednesdays (July 4th) news press reporter Scott Steepleton again reviewed the recent actions in Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Brian Hill’s courtroom. Only this time Mr. Steepleton questioned in detail the actions and lawfulness of the prosecutor and his law enforcement witnesses. He ended his story with quite a twist, by suggesting that there might be more behind Judge Hills actions than just the harassing of a single D.U.I. attorney. “The question that has to be raised is; was the presiding judge of Santa Barbara County Superior Court trying to send a message to other D.U.I. defense lawyers to back off when it comes to [officers] Beutel and Tudor?”
Please don’t discount Reporter Steepleton’s theory because since last September more than one D.U.I. case that included officers Tudor and or Beutel have already been transferred to Santa Maria Courts. And the Santa Maria press was not kind titling one story “Dirty Laundry”. I have two links at the end of this posting so you may read the stories in the original format.
Honestly five years ago I was one of the very few people willing to talk or write publicly about corruption in our judicial system. I understood that back then it was hard for most of you to believe that I was on to something as I shared my personal experiences with Judge Hill and Prosecutors Mary Barron and Greg Boller. Now since the Peter Lance D.U.I. case was exposed through the media more and more people are willing to share their concerns with Judges, Prosecutors and Law Enforcement including the District Attorneys Office a lot more frequently.
Do any of you remember when I wrote about these highly questionable acts by Judge Hill in front of a jury during a highly publicized murder trial? “Today the defense called X to the stand, at his attorney’s suggestion X invoked his Fifth Amendment rights”. “There’s no doubt in my mind that if he were called to testify he might incriminate himself,” said Judge Brian Hill after X had stepped off the witness stand. [“X” was only 13-year-old)
It is only a matter of time before my SBCERS Pension research gets the media attention it deserves. I have uncovered without a shadow of a doubt that there exist two separate book values for the pension. Book one covers from 1986 through 1995/96 and based on those reported values for that time frame by elected County officials. Based on those values the SBCERS should currently have an additional positive two Billion dollars. The second set of books covers from 1996/97 to present and it is in these false values that we in Santa Barbara County are being punished for year after year. How can you have 20 years of compound return on assets of over 10% per year?
Dirty Laundry By Jeremy Thomas
Will more DUI cases involving a criticized and scrutinized Santa Barbara police officer come to North County? @http://www.santamariasun.com/news/7512/dirty-laundry/
“On the surface, it seemed like a run-of-the-mill DUI case, just one of many heard in the Santa Maria courthouse on any given day. Except The People vs. Parker James O’Sullivan was different, not so much for the defendant involved. But because of the key witness for the prosecution, a Santa Barbara police officer named Kasi Beutel. In September, the District Attorney’s office motioned for a transfer to Santa Maria
DUI Case Transferred to Santa Maria Court for Suspect Involved in Controversial Traffic Stop@ http://www.noozhawk.com/article/011312_denunzio_case_transferred_to_santa_maria_court/ ”District Attorney’s Office had long-planned to move the Santa Barbara case because of the publicity surrounding