It is common knowledge among investigative reporters, the California Bureau of State Auditors (BSA) and various court reform groups that California’s Judicial Branch has some rather serious ethics problems occurring in its courtrooms and in its court ethics policing agencies. In a 2015 Report by Center for Public Integrity, polled-investigative journalists from across the country gave California’s Judicial Branch an “F” for transparency and accountability. The primary root causes which have aided this to continue for far too long, seem to be four-fold:
1.) The state’s judicial watchdog agency, the Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP) is suppose to police judicial ethics. Yet it rarely punishes for judicial misconduct and nearly never punishes for case-fixing. Case-fixing is the practice of causing litigation outcomes to favor one party and/or their attorney over the other; with judicial decision being founded not on facts in evidence and not in accordance with rules of law.
2.) With little fear of punishment for unethical conduct, judicial appointments are for a lifetime if incumbent judges can intimidate, bully, character assassinate and effectively scare-off anyone and everyone from running against them at election times. No challengers for judicial seats means the judges are automatically “elected” and “re-elected by the voters” every six years without their names even appearing on the ballot.
3.) The public is rarely made aware of which judges have had complaints lodged against them for ethics breaches. Even if someone dares to challenge for their seats which causes the judges’ names appear on ballots, the public doesn’t know if and why some judges should be voted out. It practically takes billboards plastered all over town for the public to be informed of an incumbent judge’s unethical record.
4.) As an example of too much problematic politics in California’s courts, currently in San Diego there are multiple criminal defense attorneys who have teamed up with multiple incumbent San Diego judges to keep two newly appointed judges in office (and discourage all judicial challengers in the future). They are jointly soliciting funds. The fundraising attorneys and beneficiary judges will be jointly-faced with outsider opposing counsels in future court proceedings. The mutually beneficial situation of attorneys coming before judges they helped to remain in office (at nearly $200k p/year) is likely to cause more systemic “hometowning” while CJP-unchecked-case-fixing continues to occur. Hometowning is the practice of giving attorneys known to the judge, unfair advantage. It’s a slippery slope that can cause a judge to aid the wrong party to win a litigation.
California Judiciary’s Toothless Watchdog
There is grossly lacking transparency and oversight by the state’s judicial policing agency, CJP. On May 7, 2016 the San Francisco Chronicle published an article titled “California Judiciary’s Toothless Watchdog“. Authors Joe Sweeney and Tamir Sukkary write:
“The Commission on Judicial Performance is a little-known agency that has one of the most important jobs in California — to protect the public by investigating complaints against judges and disciplining misconduct. The commission is effectively responsible for maintaining the integrity of California’s courts. Such an important watchdog should be transparent about its operations and should have enough teeth to deter misconduct. But its practices and discipline statistics indicate that it does neither…..In response to a public records request from First Amendment Coalition, a nonprofit that has greatly improved Californians’ access to government records, the panel [CJP] refused to disclose complaints or even the number of complaints filed by judge or by county. Its practices also prevent the public from being an informed electorate, its foremost duty….The commission withholds information about misconduct from voters that may impact an election…. The commission’s mandate is to protect the public, but its policies are contrary to that mandate. The lifelong impact of legal rulings and the effect of case law on the public are too important to risk a sleeping watchdog over the largest court system in the country.”
On March 28, 2016, there was a meeting before the California Assembly Budget – Public Safety Subcommittee in Sacramento. Ms. Victoria Henley, CJP Director-Chief Counsel was seeking more public funds for the state agency. Their current budget is approximately $4,343,000 per year.
The room was literally packed with concerned citizens and attorneys. They provided testimony to the legislators of why the CJP should receive no more funds until they start doing the job they are mandated to do by the California Constitution, which is to protect the public from inept and compromised judges.
At the meeting, Ms. Henley stated that there are typically around 1,300 complaints lodged against California judges every year. She said that in 2015, 41% of those complaints were in criminal cases, 22% were in civil cases, 16% were in family courts and 9% were in traffic and small claims courts. One may view the March 28th meeting in its entirety in the link below.
“in 2015 [CJP] has concluded reviews of 1,231 complaints about how judges conducted themselves…The commission imposed some kind of discipline in 41 cases: 26 in which a non-public advisory letter was sent to the judge, 11 in which a judge received a private admonishment, and four in which a judge was publicly disciplined.”
These statistics shed light on the minute percentage of complaints about problems in the courts which are taken seriously by the CJP. To put it into perspective, out of 1,231 complaints, 41 (3% – 3 out of every 100) resulted in not-publicly-disclosed slaps on the wrist by the CJP; or the ability for a judge to retire with full pension, no public knowledge of what triggered the early retirement, and no supporting evidence provided to the harmed party for seeking correction of damages caused. Four (only .3% – 3 out of every 1000) of the complaints were made known to the public. Only 1 (.08% – 1 out of 1,231) resulted in involuntary removal from office.
What these statistics also show is that not a single one of the admonishments made publicly-known in 2015 addressed harm to the public and litigants by judicial case-fixing. Yet harm caused by judicial case-fixing with the CJP turning a blind eye, was the overwhelming No. 1 complaint that was heard by the Assembly Budget Committee members on March 28, 2016. (See video above for citizens’ complaints to the California legislature about the wrecked-lives from unpunished judicial misconduct)
Below is the testimony of Marin County attorney, Barbara Kaufman. She effectively explained the problems caused for citizens who get caught in bad judges’ courts, when the CJP refuses to punish for judicial case-fixing. She, like many others, is calling for a BSA audit of the CJP.
The four (I see five ) 2015 CJP public admonishments had nothing to do with the public’s complaints of damages from cases being fixed or any intent from the CJP to help rectify damages from judicially fixed-cases. They were for things such as:
sexually inappropriate conduct with court employees and misstatement of fact to the CJP (Judge Saucedo);
concealment of monies due to an ex-spouse (Judge Trice) — this judge claims the CJP was used to retaliate against him because of politics in the San Luis Obispo County Courts;
improper aiding of a fellow-cigar-smoking-felony-booked-spousal-abuser’s early release from jail (Judge Petrucelli);
concealment of financial interest in county-funded “indigent defense contracts” with attorneys who appeared before him (Judge Garcia); and
threatening supervisor clerks that “before they would allow court administration to move courtroom clerks around, the judges ‘would get together and fire’ the court executive officer” (Judge Fielder).
As I understand it, of the five public admonishments only Judge Saucedo was involuntarily removed from the bench. One may read of judicial removals from office going back to 1988 on the CJP website.
Know the History to Understand the Present
Except for one matter in the San Diego courts in the early-mid 90’s, it appears that no California judge has ever been removed from office by the CJP for case-fixing and was prosecuted for it in criminal court. Case-fixing is not only unethical, it is a federal offense which betrays public trust and harms litigant-victims, sometimes destroying lives.
The San Diego case-fixings which resulted in jail time for judges in the early-mid 90’s, involved multiple San Diego Superior Court judges. Two, Judge James Malkus and Judge G. Dennis Adams, were sentenced to jail for mail fraud, conspiracy, and racketeering (RICO). A third, Judge Michael Greer, pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from a San Diego attorney in exchange for favorable rulings. He turned state’s evidence and was allowed to avoid jail plus keep his judicial pension. Too feeble for jail time, Judge Greer began working as a court mediator. It is unknown to this writer what happened to the victims of the numerous cases he fixed. In the February 7, 1997 LA Times article titled “Ex-Judge Sentenced in San Diego Bribery Case” the author Tony Perry wrote,
“Assistant U.S. Atty. Phillip L.B. Halpern said Greer’s testimony ‘revealed the dirty little secrets that had plagued this town for a long time.”
The CJP’s history of reluctance to admonish for judicial case-fixing and the secrecy that shrouds it, is best described in a 1997 article by former CJP investigator, John Plotz, Esq. Mr. Plotz was retaliated against by Ms. Henley for telling what he knew of the brearch of ethics in the CJP aiding judicial misconduct, statewide. Titled “Small Town Boys, Is Judicial Corruption Just Business As Usual in San Diego?” his article details the peculiar relationship between San Diego’s bench and bar. It describes the wall of silence and people fearful to talk. This and a quirky sense of right and wrong was what Mr. Plotz was faced with when attempting to thwart the resultant hometowning and racketeering. Mr. Plotz wrote:
Now that San Diego judges James A. Malkus and G. Dennis Adams stand convicted of mail fraud and conspiracy to racketeer, and former Judge Michael Greer has pleaded guilty on bribery charges, local myth-makers are describing them as “a few rotten apples”. The rest of the bench is fine. “All of this happened seven or eight years ago” said Presiding Judge William Howait, “and we’ve moved far beyond that…there’s just this image of misbehavior.”
The local bar is just as clean. As the President of the San Diego County Bar Association said after the verdicts, “I don’t think there was ever the problem to the extent that the public perceived it, because there was one and only one attorney involved.” That was attorney Patrick R. Frega, who according to the local myth, single-handedly corrupted the bench.
A different view is possible. I used to work for the Commission on Judicial Performance…..
I was sent to investigate allegations that a number of San Diego judges had received generous gifts from lawyers. Were the allegations true? Sure. It was a matter of public record. Judges reported expensive golf dates, health club memberships, dinners and banquets…(Later we discovered more — but so much was known to everyone.)
No harm in that I was told. The local bench and bar had always enjoyed a close relationship…what could be more natural than lawyers inviting their former colleagues, now elevated to the bench to friendly harbor cruises, the Super Bowl or weekend condiminium…Did the gift-givers appear in court before the gift-takers? You bet. And not only did the appear, but the did very nicely, thank you….Was there a relationship between the gifts and the rulings? The question is naive. When a judge accepts gifts from lawyers there is no need for a payoff in any particular case. The parties have established a climate of mutual esteem and of mutual help that rises about mere payoffs….
I do say that the corruption of Greer, Adams and Malkus flourished in the soil of San Diego. Their corruption was not a strange anomaly – a rare bad apple – but the natural outgrowth of the San Diego judicial ethic….There was a smugness among the San Diego judicial elite, an oozing complacency that encouraged corruption. The judges defined a moral order by their own small measure, mistaking their private wishes and interests for the interests of the citizens they were suppose to serve. Lawyers flattered them and gave them gifts. All was right in the world.
The self-satisfaction was so preposterous that it might have seemed comical to an outsider like me. But I did not find it comical. It created an atmosphere where self-deceit and lies grew in profusion….When I interviewed clerks and junior lawyers – the little people who had to breathe that atmosphere every day — they told me of fear – fear of retribution if they told what they really knew. I heard the same from some judges who were not in the inner circle.
Greer and others were not merely crooks and liars, they were bullies. And they had the weight of the legal establishment behind them, both bench and bar…. When a union official gives a judge $300 in an envelope they call it “graft”. When a silver-haired senior partner gives a judge $300 in free legal services they call it “professional courtesy”. But friends, remember these are our courts and our judges. So let’s not fool ourselves or allow others to fool us. Graft is graft. And San Diego, that small town – that small clean town – has enough to go around.
As further evidence that the judicial ethics problems still exist in the San Diego courts, in 2013 a RICO lawsuit was brought by the California Coalition for Families and Children (CCFC). Several San Diego judges, San Diego Bar affiliates, the City Attorney, CJP members/staff and other San Diego and California government entities are named co-defendants.
The families are seeking damages for collusion to defraud under the color of law, retaliation for whistleblowing of highly-profitable ethics problems in the local courts and the CJP turning a blind eye — while aiding the judicial misconduct to continue to harm those who must go before San Diego family court judges.
An opinion is scheduled to be rendered in the Ninth District Federal Appellate Court within the next two months. Oral arguments that were scheduled for early May, were pulled off calendar and the opinion is expected out after the primary elections in early June. Divorce Corp, Inc. was intending to film the oral arguments.
2016 San Diego Judicial Elections & the “Black-Robed Wall”
“There is, I believe, a black-robed wall around the local bench. They take care of their own when it comes to politics. The whole business of fundraising for judicial election campaigns gets hinky, especially when considering the bloodlines and marriages abounding in the court system….This simple article on judicial races is one of the toughest I’ve ever had to write. No lawyer in his/her right mind wants to be quoted in an article about judges….Keri Greer Katz, Incumbent…has a long political pedigree in San Diego. Her father, Judge Michael Greer was at the heart of a scandal back a few decades. Her husband is Judge Aaron Katz….Another potentially open seat was filled by a miraculously timed retirement (Judge Alvin Green on Friday afternoon, January 24 ) followed by the immediate appointment (January 28) of Keri Greer Katz. Had the retirement been announced on Monday rather than Friday, this would have been an open seat.”
Just like in 2014, in 2016 there are no opens seats in San Diego judicial races. Those that have come open since the last election cycle have all been filled by appointment by the Governor. There are 40 San Diego sitting judges running for their first voter election or for re-election. Only two will appear on the ballot because they have challengers: Judge Keri Greer Katz (seat 38) and Judge James Mangione (seat 25). Mangione was appointed to the bench in November of 2015. He is being challenged by Paul Ware, a Marine judge. Greer Katz is being challenged by Carla Keehn, a federal prosecutor.
According to Francine Busby, Chair of the San Diego Democrat Party, “Judge Katz has risen from intern to Assistant City Attorney while gaining extensive litigation background in both state and federal courts. Also, she has been a Superior Court Commissioner and Judge for the past 10 years.” According to her campaign website, Greer-Katz
“is an instructor of proper demeanor and bias prevention to hundreds of attorneys who wish to qualify as temporary judges. Additionally, Judge Katz just concluded her term as President of the San Diego County Judges Association. She is also a life-long resident of San Diego County….Judge Katz received her undergraduate degree from UCLA and law degree from California Western School of Law.” She is endorsed by virtually every politician and judge in San Diego County.
Her judicial-seat-challenger Keehn is a cum laude graduate of Princeton who received her law degree from University of California, Hastings College of the Law. According to the San Diego Free Press article,
“Keehn has a long history in law and public service, on both sides of the courtroom. She’s been an Army Judge Advocate General Officer, a public defender, an environmental attorney, and has worked in the US Attorney’s Office in San Diego as a federal prosecutor since 1995. She has worked on cases ranging from drug smuggling to assault on infants, but she says her current position, as coordinator for the Federal Diversion program, is one of the most fulfilling things she has ever done.
A pilot program for rehabilitating of nonviolent federal offenders, the Federal Diversion program has been remarkably successful in San Diego. 500 people have gone through it, kicking their drug habits and gaining the life and job skills they need to be productive members of society. 80% of graduates are employed by the end of one year. And only 3 in 100 people have relapsed into crime. The program Keehn oversees saves taxpayers huge sums of money, costing 10% of what it costs to imprison someone.”
In 2014, Keehn ran for San Diego Superior Court Seat 20 against incumbent Judge Lisa Schall, who had been a local judge for 28 years. It was an ugly display of the San Diego sitting judges and local politicians circling the wagons for an incumbent judge. Judges were lobbying Ms. Keehn’s endorsement base to not endorse or un-endorse her. (See March 2014 COMPLAINT to Presiding Judge Danielson).
Several news outlets wrote of the collective lack of judicial ethics, abuse of judicial influence and systematic bullying: March 6, 2014 California Courts Monitor “Judicial Intimidation On Display in San Diego”; February 28, 2014 San Diego Free Press “Thou Shalt Not Challenge A Sitting Judge”; February 21, 2014 San Diego Union Tribune “Judge Candidate Feels Gaveled Down”.
The matter culminated with Keehn’s campaign billboards being mysteriously taken down, shortly after they were erected — even though they had been edited and approved by Clear Channel prior to erection. To this day, no one is willing to tell who ordered the take-down.
Incumbent Judge Schall, who “No jurist in the state has a less favorable record” won the race with 58% of the vote. She had the endorsement of the San Diego Union Tribune. Similar to Greer Katz, the entire cadre’ of San Diego Superior Court judges and most of the same local politicians endorsed incumbent Schall. [the below video plays by first clicking on the arrow and then clicking on “Clear Channel pulls local ad” in the top left hand corner]
San Diego Criminal Defense Attorneys Raise Funds (and Eyebrows) with Local Judges
On April 25, 2016 there was a campaign fundraiser for Judges Greer-Katz and Mangione. It was sponsored by 15 incumbent judges and 21 others.
Eight of the incumbent fundraisers are currently running themselves for “voter election and/or re-election”. Unlike Judge Greer Katz, Judge Mangione, Ms. Keehn or Mr. Ware, these eight do not need campaign funding to help inform the voters that they are the most honest, ethical and knowledgable candidate for the office of judge. This is because they are running unopposed with their “elections/re-elections” being automatic. If they can collectively scare off any challengers for their judicial seats in the future, they’ll never need to go through a true voter re-election.
Of the 21 other incumbent-judge-campaign fundsraisers, 20 appear to be criminal defense attorney who practice before the sitting judges in their San Diego courts. One can read who they are here: Katz Mangione campaign fundraising sponsors
Reason for Concerns
Contributions are made everyday to political campaigns. As the Citizens United scandal has helped to bring to light, there is a nationwide concern of how these contributions impact polices, practices and decisions in the United States. While not illegal or unethical to support certain candidates — who contributes and causes others to contribute to certain elections serves as an indicator of how the elected will fulfill their duties. The popularity of both Sanders and Trump shows that the people are sick and tired of status quo, special interests determining elected governmental positions.
In San Diego, there is a criminal history of collusive case-fixing, a continued peculiar relationship between the bench and bar, multiple generational-matrimonial family ties among the judges, and a judicial ethics watchdog that is toothless. As such, would it be logical to assume that some of the criminal defense lawyers will be expecting return favors if Greer Katz, Mangione, and the other incumbent judges remain on the bench for a lifetime by aid of the lawyers’ money-raising efforts?
What about from Greer Katz’s husband, Judge Aaron Katz, if his wife’s $200K annual judicial salary is aided to continue with the help of the attorney fundraisers? Will any of these attorneys who have been generous with their time and money be cajoling and expecting anything in return from him?
To my knowledge judicial challengers Keehn and Ware have excellent credentials, experience and reputations. To my knowledge Judges Greer Katz and Mangione have excellent reputations as ethical judges since their recent appointments. (But then again, how would I know otherwise when the CJP is so secretive?) All four have received thumbs up as “Qualified” from the San Diego County Bar Association.
It would be wrong-minded to judge a daughter, simply for the sins of her father over twenty years ago. It would be wrong-minded to question the ethics of multiple San Diego Superior Court judges, based solely on the same. With that said, it is human nature that it’s hard to disappoint those who have helped you and your loved ones.
Judges are suppose to be smart, logical and above reproach. Why would a whole host of incumbent judges find it wise, ethical and uncompromised to allow so many criminal defense attorneys to help them solicit money to stay in their courts for a lifetime? Was it a group brain-freeze, callous numbness to the status quo, or a self-perception that they are above the law?
What’s the difference between Judge Michael Greer and a few other judges accepting money and favor from a local attorney to fix court cases in the 90’s — and his daughter along with multiple San Diego judges accepting money and favor from many local attorneys now, to keep their $200K p/year jobs?
If even one of the local judges was complained about for hometowning and case-fixing for even one of the many attorney-fundraisers, would the CJP ever investigate?
“The question is naive. When a judge accepts gifts from lawyers there is no need for a payoff in any particular case. The parties have established a climate of mutual esteem and of mutual help that rises about mere payoffs….”
Is Judicial Corruption Still Just Business as Usual in San Diego?
Like many others, I believe there is good cause to think that an unacceptable amount of ethics problems and conflicted interests are plaguing our courts — not just in San Diego, but throughout the state.
Like many others, I find it dangerously offensive that the judicial community has accepted money-solicitation efforts by criminals’ defense lawyers on the judges’ behalves. Perhaps worse, there is evidence of the judges conclusively bullying their way to lifetime judicial appointments under the obviously false pretense that appointed judges are somehow more ethical and wise than any elected one could ever be. I find it offensive that they work together to violate citizens’ rights to be able to vote bad judges out of office, by scaring off anyone who would cause their names to appear on voting-ballots. The right to vote is part of the needed checks and balances to keep integrity in our courts and to curtail the practice of cronyism in the judicial system.
Like many others, I strongly believe that a forensic audit by the Bureau of State Auditors and resultant overhaul of the Commission on Judicial Performance is direly needed for the future integrity of our courts.
And on a more personal note:
This blog would not be complete without a shout-out to Justice Judith McConnell. She is the Presiding Justice of the Fourth District Division One Appellate Court, located in downtown San Diego. She is also the former Chairwoman of the Commission on Judicial Performance.
California Chief Justice Cantil-Sayauke recently gave Justice McConnell an award for her fine work in spreading the understanding of how Civics works. Congratulations to Justice McConnell for her decades of public service in the San Diego courts while aiding the understanding of how things really work! I never would have known about this subject without her efforts.
Sharon Noonan Kramer
Whistleblower of a multi-billion dollar fraud in U.S. public health polices and toxic torts — aided and abetted to continue by 10 years of case-fixing of SLAPP suits and falsification of court documents in the San Diego courts. (Thank you to all whose research contributed to this blog)
Posted in Civil Justice, Environmental Health Threats, Fourth District Division One Appellate Court, Politics
Tagged Carla Keehn, Commission on Judicial Performance, James Mangione, Keri Katz, Paul Ware, San Diego County Bar Association, San Diego Judicial Races, San Diego Superior Court
“It was with reckless disregard for public health and safety, and a poorly thoughtout plan in the early 2000’s to try to shut down mold litigations and liability for claims of causation of environmental disability from WDB, by concoction and promotion of a fraudulent risk assessment theory – the Veritox Theory”. ….Dr. Frieden, Will CDC continue funding American College of Medical Toxicology to dissiminate information to U.S. physicians, while ACMT is still promoting the scientifically void Veritox Theory on their website? Yes ____ No _____-
Dr. Shoemaker’s “State of the Art Mold Conference” November 2015, Phoenix, AZ re: Chronic Inflammatory Responses caused by exposure to biocontaminants & biotoxins found in Water Damaged Buildings (CIRS-WDB) (lay terminology: “Toxic Mold disabilities”)
The following 16.04.15 LETTER has been mailed to: CDC/ATSDR Director Tom Frieden, DHHS Secretary Burwell, US Atty General Lynch, Senators Sanders, Warren, Murray of U.S. Senate HELP Committee, Dr. Perry CDC Grant Programs Director, Dr. Mapp EPA Children’s Health Division Director, Ms. Milton Esq USDOJ Disability Rights Department Supervisor – Civil Rights Division and cc’d to: Dr. Dye Pres ACMT, Dr. Harrison Pres AOEC, Dr. Dreyer Pres AAP, Dr. Hodgson Medical Director OSHA.
Re: Dr. Frieden, the Public needs federal agencies to stop funding fraud (Veritox Theory) that it’s proven “Toxic Mold” can’t disable people. Please cease funding the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT).
Dear Dr. Frieden, Dr. Perry, Ms. Milton and Dr. Mapp, et.al,
Thank you for the CDC/DHHS, USDOJ and EPA reply letters dated March 7th[2}, March16th, and April 4th, 2016. The CDC and EPA replies were informative of how nonprofit medical associations are chosen to be non-government-organizations (NGO) assisting to provide information to U.S. physicians and the public with the use of federal funds.
The disappointing but not surprising USDOJ reply stating “we regret that we cannot be of further assistance” indicates that “too big to jail” may still pervade our justice system. It is not an acceptable response. I will soon be refiling a request for USDOJ prosecution. Crimes have been committed, falsified court documents have been concealed, and Americans with Disabilities Act violations have occurred by California Justice Judith McConnell’s unrepentant, coram non judice, case-fixing in Veritox, Inc.’s retaliatory litigations for my exposing those involved in the marketing of the bogus Veritox Theory as of 2005. [Veritox, Inc. used to be GlobalTox, Inc.] There is a concealed government party to the fixed-cases. To my knowledge it is not DHHS or EPA. This aspect is more about lack of government oversight of severe ethics problems in the California courts. (A known pervasive problem, not specific to only the Toxic Mold Issue)
 See 42 U.S.C. § 12201–12213. “III-3.6000 Retaliation or coercion. Individuals who exercise their rights under the ADA, or assist others in exercising their rights, are protected from retaliation.”
With regard to lack of government oversight of the ethics problems within the Toxic Mold Issue itself, both the CDC and EPA replies appear to indicate that Dr. Frieden, Director of DHHS/CDC Agency for Toxic Substance Disease Registry (ATSDR) is the final decision maker to eliminate funding of discriminatory fraud by NGO partners of the CDC & EPA.
Yet neither reply answered my January 12, 2016 posed-question  if the agencies are going to cease funding the NGO medical association, American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) – which is still marketing the scientifically void Veritox Theory. This means the federal government is still funding proliferation of discrimination of people environmentally disabled by biocontaminants and microbial toxins (lay terminology “Toxic Mold”) that are found in water damaged buildings (WDB).
In November of 2015, I requested that NGO ACMT cease marketing the science fraud of their own accord, while pointing out they are federally funded to facilitate dissemination of accurate information to other NGO’s and physicians.  I have received no reply or indication of their intent to cease promoting the Veritox Theory. Thus there is dire need for Dr. Frieden’s intervention to stop DHHS and EPA funding of an NGO which promotes discrimination of the environmentally disabled based on the debunked Veritox Theory, it continues to promote.
Additionally, no reply has been received from the Senators of U.S. Senate HELP. As evidenced in my January 12th request for their help – HELP played a key role in causing the mass discrimination to be able to continue. In 2007, the Senate committee specifically deleted investigating who has conflicts of interest when promulgating standards over Toxic Mold illnesses, from federal audit. The resultant gutted-audit at taxpayers’ expense was originally comprehensive and ordered by the late Senator Edward Kennedy in 2006, at citizens’ urgings.
I am aware that my liaison at HELP, Dr. David Noll, was hired by the CDC shortly after the HELP committee audit-gutting in 2007. I am aware that at the same point in time, Veritox, Inc. principals were contractors of the USDOJ. They were hired as expert defense witnesses in moldy, military housing litigation. I am aware their testimony relied heavily of the scientifically void Veritox Theory (legitimized by ACOEM) as a reason the federal government should not be found financially responsible for causation of disabling military families.
Perhaps my January 12th request to EPA and DHHS to stop funding ACMT for the sake of public health had too much attached documentation. Perhaps I provided too much detail of the vast discrimination and devastation caused by ACMT’s, other NGO nonprofits’ and Political Action Committees’ (PAC) proliferation of the scientifically void and discriminatory Veritox Theory for now fourteen years.
Perhaps my request was unclear, causing EPA and DHHS to be unable to ascertain what simple act must be taken to curtail an epic public-fleecing that is still occurring by those with access to federal funds. As such, the reasons for the need for federal intervention are explained again. This time succinctly in fifteen points with a “Yes” or “No” question that follows:
Stated directly, the entire Scam that it is proven biocontaminants and microbial toxins (Toxic Mold) in water damaged buildings (WDB) can never reach a level to cause human disability (Chronic Inflammatory Responses (CIRS-WDB)) and death, is based on a scientifically void risk assessment theory (Veritox Theory) that was co-penned in 2002 by a CDC National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) former deputy director. His name is Bryan D. Hardin and he has been a co-owner of Veritox, Inc. since the early 2000s. The other author of the scientific fraud is Bruce J. Kelman, President of Veritox, Inc.
Continuing on with the defrauding fourteen years later, ACMT — which is still mass marketing Hardin’s and Kelman’s Veritox Theory — is a federally funded NGO medical association. As your reply letters, ACMT’s website and my initial request all confirm that ACMT is funded by DHHS and EPA. DHHS-ATSDR controls ACMT federal funding.
With regard to the NGO Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Unit(PEHSU), ACMT is federally funded to manage PEHSU programs and to oversee their web-presence. According to the EPA reply letter, this function is jointly overseen by the NGO American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). As such, and as accurately stated in my original request, ACMT is “federally funded by the EPA and CDC/ATSDR to disseminate scientific information to U.S. physicians which impact treatment (and mistreatment) of patients throughout the U.S.”
On their website, ACMT proudly displays that it is federally funded to assist PEHSU in information dissemination. The ACMT website also displays a publication authored by ACMT members that is titled ”Institute of Medicine Report on Damp Indoor Spaces and Health” hereafter referred to as the “ACMT Mold Statement”.
The ACMT Mold Statement was co-authored in 2006 by expert defense witnesses in mold litigation. One of whom, Dr. Daniel Sudakin, was an associate of Veritox, Inc. at the time of authorship. It states:
“With respect to mycotoxins in indoor air, exposure modeling studies have concluded that even in moldy environments, the maximum inhalation dose of mycotoxins is generally orders of magnitude lower than demonstrated thresholds for adverse health effects. (3,7,8)”
In reality, and contrary to the concept ACMT has been marketing as legitimate science for now a decade, there is no “exposure modeling study” which “concludes” any “demonstrated threshold” before human illness occurs. Only Veritox’s extrapolations (Veritox Theory) applied to data from an exposure modeling study professes to make this conclusion. There is no scientifically established minimum “demonstrated threshold” before humans may become ill/disabled from exposure to mycotoxins in a WDB, inhaled or otherwise. The misleading word-smithing by federally funded ACMT is founded on extrapolations (Veritox Theory) applied to data taken from one modeling study of mold suddenly blasted into rat tracheas (a study by Dr. Carol Rao of the CDC). As such, the Veritox extrapolations “concludes” nothing about human “adverse health effects” from chronic exposure to mycotoxins in WDB. It is a nonsequitor, a scientific fraud, and a False Claim to promote that lack of causation of human disability and death from exposure to Toxic Mold in WDB can be concluded solely by extrapolations applied to data from a rat study.
In other words, DHHS-funded-ACMT is selling “garbage science” penned by a former DHHS employee whose company is a USDOJ-hired expert defense witness in toxic torts – where the “garbage science” DHHS is still funding has been used to avoid federal liability for causation of environmental disabilities and deaths. The intertwined conflicts of interest are astounding.
 See fn. 1 page 2 for Veritox usage of Rao study.
As accurately stated by Dr. Jonathan Borak in 2002, the above concept would have been appropriately deemed “garbage” fourteen years ago and never have been mass marketed in policies, courts, and physician education had the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine (ACOEM) Board of Directors not voted to make it their position statement (2002) “Adverse Human Health Effects Associated with Mold in the Indoor Environment – an Evidence Based Statement” hereafter referred to as the “ACOEM Mold Statement.” To quote Dr. Borak, Chair of ACOEM Scientific Advisory Board:
“I do not want this to go to the BOD and then be rejected. That would be an important violation of Bryan [Hardin, retired Deputy Director of CDC NIOSH & owner of Veritox, Inc.] – I have assured him that if we do not use it he can freely make whatever other use he might want to make. If we ‘officially’ reject it, then we turn his efforts into garbage.”
Unlike ACMT, ACOEM has since sunset their Mold Statement (2015) and has retracted it and its discriminatory “garbage” Veritox Theory from their websites. (See enclosed March 9, 2015 WorkCompCentral article, “ACOEM takes down paper commonly used in mold claims“)
Like ACMT, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) also put out a Mold Position Statement in 2006 that was co-authored by toxic tort defense witnesses. Like ACMT, the allergists simply parroted the garbage of ACOEM, while adding to the discrimination of the Toxic Mold injured in allergists’ and immunologists’ offices across the country. Unlike ACMT, AAAAI sunset their parroting of ACOEM in 2011.
With ACOEM and AAAAI now both having sunset their Mold Statements, the federally-funded-NGO ACMT is the last “nonprofit” medical association continuing to promote the garbage Veritox Theory as legitimate science and appropriate physician education. Last-man-standing ACMT needs to cease selling the fraudulent Veritox Theory because people are still being hurt by the willfully deceptive doubt-selling of causation of disability it provides to physicians, claims handlers, and courts.
“They [Bruce Kelman and Bryan Hardin co-owners of Veritox, Inc.] took hypothetical exposure and hypothetical toxicity and jumped to the conclusion there is nothing there.” James Craner MD, MPH, FACOEM was quoted as saying “a lot people with legitimate environmental health problems are losing their homes and their jobs because of legal decisions based on this so-called ‘evidence-based’ statement.”
“The reviews we examined were largely consistent in their interpretations of the evidence for the role of mycotoxins in relation to adverse health effects. The Institute of Medicine reported in 2004 that (1) exposure to mycotoxins can occur via inhalation, contact with the skin, and ingestion of contaminated food and (2) research on Stachybotrys chartarum (a species of indoor mold that can produce mycotoxins) suggests that effects in humans may be biologically…………………….. plausible.” (Emphasis added) Pg. 16 Para 2
(Page 658) “…the court stated: ‘Humans are not rats, and it is far from clear how readily one may generalize from one mammalian species to another. But in light of the epidemiological evidence that was not the main problem. Rather it was the absence of data at low levels.” (Page 662) “Note that many subjective symptoms are poorly modeled in animal studies. Thus, complaints that a chemical has caused nonspecific symptoms, such as nausea, headache, and weakness, for which there are no objective manifestations in humans, are difficult to test in laboratory animals.”
Going back in time to the year 2003. While taking the Veritox Theory clearly into the realm of intentionally marketing scientific fraud for profit thirteen years ago — while causing mass discrimination of the Toxic Mold disabled on behalf of financial stakeholders of WDB (Veritox litigation clients); Mr. Kelman and Mr. Hardin accepted no less than $25,000.00  to author the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Mold Statement. It is titled “A Scientific View of the Health Effects of Mold” and makes the False Claim that their Theory proves:
“Thus, the notion that toxic mold is an insidious, secret killer as so many media reports and trial lawyers would claim, is junk science unsupported by actual scientific study.” Bruce J. Kelman & Brian D. Hardin, Veritox, Inc., published July 17, 2003
 2003 contract between Manhattan Institute and Veritox (formerly GlobalTox, Inc) http://freepdfhosting.com/da1f816865.pdf & 2003 canceled checks from Manhattan Institute to Veritox (formerly GlobalTox) equal to the hours that Kelman and Hardin billed for their work. http://freepdfhosting.com/8e5c4c5a36.pdf
And coming back to the future. At the bottom of each page of this letter there is a short-link provided to the blog, Katy’s Exposure. Please go to the link and watch the embedded half hour presentation I gave in November 2015 at the “State of the Art Mold Conference”  in Phoenix, Arizona. It explains the devastation still being caused for those experiencing CIRS-WDB, by NGO “nonprofit” medical associations being allowed to promote the Veritox Theory as legitimate physician education with the use of federal funds.
I discuss impoverished families and the elderly living in substandard housing who are being treated like liars and scammers by U.S. physicians, et.al. for stating they are sick beyond asthma and allergy from WDBs. I discuss a child’s suicide caused by the horrific discrimination. (I also explain the criminal acts under the color of law in the California courts by Veritox president Kelman, his attorney Keith Scheuer, and multiple jurists — and the relentless harassment I have experienced which has aided and abetted the public defrauding over the Toxic Mold Issue to continue to this day.)
For a greater understanding of the importance of last-man-standing-ACMT being made to sunset their Mold Statement and retract it from their website, please read the enclosed 2015 WorkCompCentral article titled “ACOEM Takes Down Position Paper commonly Used to Defend Against Mold Claims”; and/or contact Dr. Michael Hodgson, Medical Director of U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, Department of Labor (OSHA).Dr. Hodgson has been instrumental in causing ACOEM to sunset their Mold Statement and to retract all reference to it and the bogus Veritox Theory it is founded upon, from their websites
It was with reckless disregard for public health and safety, and a poorly thoughtout plan in the early 2000’s to try to shut down mold litigations and liability for claims of causation of environmental disability from WDB, by concoction and promotion of a fraudulent risk assessment theory – the Veritox Theory.
Traveling further down the rabbit hatch under the concept that no crime is complete without the cover-up, it was an even less thoughtout plan to sue me for the words “altered his under oath statemens“, frame me for libel for those words, falsify court documents, continue to use the void docuemtns to harass me, financially ruin me and try to silence me of how the scam was being marketed. All covered up by use of retaliatory criminal acts under the color of law in the California courts. I will not be shutting up until justice is served for me and the American public.
In these times of attempting to standardize medical practices in the U.S. for the sake of efficient and effective public health measures, it is difficult enough for honest U.S. physicians to navigate and treat patients based on ever-changing current accepted practices. They do not need DHHS & EPA continuing to fund bogus science interjected into the complicated equation by a long-term conflicted NGO partner.
Unless EPA and DHHS/CDC/ATSDR are saying that the U.S. government is A-OK with funding known discrimination of the environmentally disabled by giving federal tax dollars to ACMT who is still marketing the discriminatory Veritox Theory fraud; then it seems it would be Choosing Wisely to cease federally funding ACMT for any type of involvement of disseminating information to U.S. physicians – particularly pediatricians.
As such, a simple “Yes” or “No” answer is required in reply to my letters:
Will the federal agencies you represent continue funding ACMT to disseminate information to U.S. physicians while they are still promoting the scientifically void Veritox Theory on their website? Yes ____ No ____.
If the answer is “Yes” then the additional questions which require answers are: “Why?” and “What does DHHS & EPA intend to do to mitigate the damage to the public from government funded discrimination of the environmentally disabled based on known scientific fraud?” (Just making laws that WDBs must be cleaned up doesn’t solve the problem of poor medical care for the CIRS-WDB-disabled by misinformed U.S. physicians.)
Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. I look forward to your reply (or seeing the results of your actions on the ACMT website). It is my hope that you will act, Dr. Frieden, to protect the American public from discrimination in medical practices by U.S. physicians who use (sometimes conflicted) NGO medical associations and their web-presence to obtain information. Please make ACMT sunset their bogus Mold Statement and retract it from their website before giving them any more federal funds used to portray that they are here for the benefit of America’s children. 
 Current website list of ACMT Position Statements, including “Institute of Medicine Report on Damp Indoor Spaces and Health” http://www.acmt.net/resources_position.html
Mrs. Sharon Noonan Kramer
Benard P. Dreyer, MD, FAAP, President, American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
Dr. Michael Hodgson, Medical Director, OSHA
Robert Harrison, MD, President, Association of Occupational and Environmental Clinics (AOEC) (same locations at medical schools around the country as PEHSUs with shared physicians)
P.S. I currently have a permanent injunction issued from a California court with no subject matter jurisdiction, not to speak or write of what the California courts and Veritox, Inc. did to me to aid this public defrauding to continue. Needless to say, I am ignoring the void order because it’s an additional criminal act under the color of law — causing the continued profitable discrimination of the environmentally injured American public.
“The Pediatric Environmental Health Specialty Units (PEHSUs) are a source of medical information and advice on environmental conditions that influence reproductive and children’s health. PEHSU are academically based, typically at university medical centers, and are located across the United States, Canada and Mexico. These PEHSU form a network that is capable of responding to requests for information throughout North America and offering advice on prevention, diagnosis, management, and treatment of environmentally-related health effects in children. Because children’s environmental health covers a wide variety of issues, the PEHSU network has experts in pediatrics, allergy/immunology, neurodevelopment, toxicology, occupational and environmental medicine, nursing, and other specialized areas….The PEHSU website is supported by the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) and funded (in part) by the cooperative agreement FAIN: U61TS000238 from the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR). Acknowledgement: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) supports the PEHSU by providing partial funding to ATSDR under Inter-Agency Agreement number DW-75-95877701.” http://www.pehsu.net/About_PEHSU.html
Posted in Civil Justice, Environmental Health Threats, Fourth District Division One Appellate Court, Health - Medical - Science, Mold and Politics, Toxic Mold, US Chamber of Commerce
Tagged American College of Medical Toxicology, Bruce Kelman, Bryan Hardin, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Tom Frieden, Environmental Protection Agency, Justice Judith McConnell, Mold, Public Health, Sharon Noonan Kramer, State of the Art Mold Conference, Toxic Mold, U.S. Senate Health Education Labor & Pension Committee, United States Department of Justice, Veritox