On the heels of the only nomination turned down by the Governor’s Council in recent memory, attorney Michael McCarthy, the latest nominees, attornies Daniel Crane and Ellen Caulo, took a more militant approach to their hearings last week.
During McCarthy’s hearing, the attorney was asked if he would help out a prosecutor if the prosecutor made a rudimentary mistake, the example being, establishing that a roadway was a public way in a traffic violation case. The nominee stated that he would do what he could to help out the prosecutor, to which the councilors pointed out that he should not. He refused to change his position.
Crane and Caulo were both asked about making written findings of fact when ruling on a 209a order, issuance of a restraining order. Crane made it clear he would not commit to making findings of fact in every case, although he did acknowledge such findings were required.
Caulo was not even aware that there was a requirement for making findings of fact, a point that was pointed out to her by one of the councilors, she at least acknowledged that she would review the law before taking any actions.
Findings of fact merely state what the judge found to be the facts of the case that would allow them to issue a restraining order. They are often pointed to as a procedure that protects the rights of citizens that appear before the court. Unfortunately, the rights of the citizens are often ignored by the court. This could happen for a variety of reasons, lack of knowledge, poor work habits, lack of leadership.
It is a bit of surprise that nominees are now appearing before the Governor’s Council and openly acknowledge which rights the people will not have in their courtroom.
The vote on each of these latest nominees is for October 31.
If you wish to listen to the hearings they are available at PatrickMcCabeGovernorsCouncil.com.