By R.S. Errol
Monterey County, California – School yard bullies are often depicted as being all muscle and no brains. Actually, bullies purposely hide behind their brawn in order to intimidate, those less physical in stature, all the while obscuring their own shortcomings. In any event the intimidation process is used to extract something of value from the victim, be it personal freedom or financial assets including lunch money. The bully has two basic means to accomplish his goal. The first is shear power whether it consists of threats of physical or legal force. A secondary method is to marginalize the victim into an insignificant state of being so that the public will not sympathize with the individual. The first thing the state attempts to do when they attack a person is to send out news releases to the press so that the accused appears to be deserving of whatever maltreatment the state metes out. They belittle the accused and make him a caricature of what is repulsive to reasonable men. A favorite trick utilized by the courts is to announce the accused is undergoing psychological exams or infer that the defendant has some unresolved issues. These statements alone will do the damage intended and any facts that contradict this perception never see the light of day. The Bible gives an example of how the accused is victimized when reading about the capture, scourging and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The pharoses made him into a laughing stock so pitiful that the people demanded they be given Barabbas, a known criminal with a wicked past, rather than Christ.
Eugene Forte’s treatment by the State of California is not unlike what happens to those that dare standup to authority. The local newspapers write stories of his set back portraying him to be the fool for taking on the establishment but neglect or distort stories that highlight his substantial victories.
Judge Robert O’Farrell and a few of his peers may be likened to the pharoses by their deliberate marginalization of Forte. Aside form the previously mentioned hearings in which O’Farrell would magically appear on the bench to rule against Forte, the judge would actually lie about the proceedings that occurred on December 19, 2003. O’Farrell, after arresting and keeping Forte sitting handcuffed in the jury booth for three hours, proceeds to convene a contempt hearing. The judge proceeded to explain what took place that morning for the record and in so doing exposes the dichotomy between what transpired leading up to the arrest and O’Farrell’s version of the actual events (). It appears that form trumps substance in some courtrooms.
In the actual complaint for Personal Injury and Damages in Forte vs. O’Farrell it points out that Judge O’Farrell never told Forte to take a seat in the jury box and therefore Forte never refused to do so. Although a transcript is void of body language and vocal tone there is no evidence that Forte was disruptive. Actually, Forte was attempting to remind O’Farrell that a California Civil Procedure 170.6 peremptory challenge had been filed and he wanted the judge to know prior to commencing with the hearing that he had been disqualified. Under this CCP section O’Farrell should have immediately recused himself. Ergo by not acknowledging the peremptory challenge at the start of the hearing O’Farrell was concealing the fact that he had knowledge of its existence, however, during an ex parte communication with Dennis McCarthy after Gene was removed from the courtroom, O’Farrell admitted that in fact he was aware of it but wasn’t about to let it get in his way of trying Forte and sending him to jail. O’Farrell also castigates Forte for repeatedly disrupting his court many times in the past but after a reading of the court transcripts there is not one mention of a warning let alone a contempt charge. Furthermore, O’Farrell had a special criminal bailiff assigned from the criminal court in Salinas, CA in anticipation that the judge’s “Roy Bean” behavior would infuriate Forte and cause him to go postal in the courtroom.
Bullying and intimidation work quite effectively on the timid but are like water off a duck’s back when applied to a confident person with street smarts and the knowledge of the corruption that is entrenched within the Monterey Superior Court. Confronted by Forte’s confidence, the bully becomes enraged and hoists himself, as the expression goes, upon his own petard.
The actual complaint against O’Farrell has five causes of action.
The first is the false arrest and imprisonment that took place on 19 December 2003. This false arrest was subsequently used by Defendants Dennis McCarthy counsel for Alain Pinel Realty and Stephanie Crabb to imply that Forte was possibly a violent and dangerous man, an overt act to marginalize Forte, as was the report, in the Monterey Herald, concerning the arrest. Battery, the second cause, also took place on the same day when the bailiff roughed Forte up while taking him into custody. Was the bailiff only following the orders of a judge as per the “Nuremberg” defense that didn’t justify goon tactics then and shouldn’t now?
Third cause entails the abuse of process that Forte had to endure due to O’Farrell’s insistence that he control the cases involving Forte and refusing to abide by the peremptory challenge provisions of the civil code of procedures in December 2003. Included in this cause is O’Farrell’s allowing court officers to suborn perjury, conceal evidence, and partake in and condone ex parte communications to the detriment of Forte during hearings involving Forte vs. Powell, Forte vs. Crabb and Forte vs. Lichtenegger. Most importantly O’Farrell quashed motions that would allow Forte proper discovery in his other legal proceedings in clear violations of the Judicial Canon of Ethics that judges swear to abide by.
Intentional infliction of emotional distress, the fourth cause of action, is demonstrated by the arrest and violation of Gene’s Sixth Amendment rights of counsel and violation of California Code of Civil Procedure sec.1209(c) allowing three court days to elapse in order to determine the validity of court orders. In addition Forte suffered, many times over, harm to his reputation, severe humiliation, embarrassment, and emotional distress that may have contributed to the heart attack Forte suffered at a hearing in September 2004, followed the next day by open heart surgery, when there were eight bailiffs assigned to protect the court from a man marginalized into an unbalanced person but whose only egregious crime was to search for justice in the justice system. Give them Barabbas!
The fifth cause of action covered a broader scope of participants in this drama for their complicity in a civil conspiracy against Forte. Following the heart attack and surgery in September 2004 Gene had a stay granted to him in Forte vs. Albov case until March 2005. Never-the-less judges O’Farrell and Duncan refused to stay the proceedings of a second Forte vs. Lichtenegger trial causing additional emotional stress on a person in medical recovery. Elected officials of the county, such as Dave Potter a County Supervisor, Charles McKee County Counsel and his deputy Michael Hogan, neglected to investigate complaints of county employees’ abuse toward taxpaying citizens. In addition to neglect, county employees, refused to answer written correspondence pertaining to requests for an investigation. By refusing to look into the matter there was constituted a breach of duty by each and every public official that made a conscious decision to ignore Forte’s request for assistance.
The District Attorney Dean Flippo and Terry Spitz, assistant D.A., also joined into the melee by refusing to investigate or respond to Forte’s claims of illegal and unethical activity being perpetrated against him. Customer service is what can make or break a private company in the eyes of their customers. Evidently, this criterion is not important in the public sector known as Monterey County. Forte was frustrated by the lip service rendered and the cover up of the abuses and possible criminal activity but had nowhere to turn and no one to come to his aid. Imagine what must go through a victims mind while they are being physically attacked knowing that help is at hand but authorities are too disinterested to respond to the mayday. It is sometimes referred to as being, “so close but yet so far.”
While Forte recoups from his heart surgery he prepares and files the complaint against Judge Robert O’Farrell, Dennis McCarthy, the Fenton & Keller Law Firm, their client Stephanie Crabb, and many Monterey County employees. His intent is to recoup the damages these named defendants inflicted upon him because of their membership in the “good ole boys” of Monterey. So, after five years of wallowing in the mud hole of judicial politics and dealing with the circled wagons of public servants bent on thwarting Gene’s right to a fair trial, clearing of his good name from the smear attack that marginalizing tactics often accomplish and righting the wrongs inflicted upon him, Gene runs into one of the greatest ironies that could be mustered against any man. The supervising judge of Monterey Superior Court assigns the case to the justice who is most knowledgeable to all of the facts of the case. Judge Robert O’Farrell nominates the defendant Judge Robert O’Farrell to be the presiding judge in Eugene Forte vs. Robert O’Farrell et al, Superior Court of the State of California in and for the County of Monterey. This is what bad dreams are made of, especially, in the context that O’Farrell is being defended by the Attorney General of California, Bill Lockyer. Is this blatant abuse of privilege or clear evidence of the “good ole boy” system in high gear?
Next time the story will explain Gene’s attempts to undo this wrong and how the California State Attorney Generals office becomes embroiled in this unbelievable tale of (not so) honorable judges. To learn more about this story log onto: www.usobserver.com.
Mr. Errol can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org