Judge Caldwell’s Feb 24th Grafton Township Suit Concluding Comments – Part 5 – Contracts, Who Does What

The final part of Judge Michael Caldwell’s comments at the February 24, 2011, hearing had to do with contracts.  The judge is still disturbed at the Trustees “trying to marginalize” Supervisor Linda Moore.

He warns the Trustees (and maybe their attorney Thomas DiCianni),

Judge Michael Caldwell

“…I want to caution everybody in the courtroom who’s involved in this case: The orders of this court have the force of law and they are supposed to be observed.

“Now, I know people who think they are more clever than I am and they probably are, but what happens to cute and clever people from time to time is they get too cute and they get too clever and they may suddenly find themselves in direct violation of a court order.

“When that happens, my discretion is always exercised with a jail term. I have never fined anybody for direct criminal contempt.”

Here’s the concluding part of the transcript:

THE COURT: Now, I shouldn’t have to say this, and I guess the reason I’m sort of chagrined by this whole thing is when I said the trustees had the power to contract, what I meant was that the trustees have the power to make a motion to approve the entry into a contract; and then when I went on in my decision to talk about Linda Moore’s obligation to sign the contracts, it is also her right as the trustee — as the supervisor to sign those contracts which have been approved by the board. It is a ministerial function of the supervisor.

It is demeaning and insulting for the board to sit there, approve a contract for a vendor and then sign it and not give her a copy.

It is her right to sign it, not yours.

She is the chief executive officer of the city.

That’s what they do.

That’s what they’re supposed to do.

MR. DiCIANNI: What if she refuses to sign it which is what —

THE COURT: That’s not the issue.

MR. DiCIANNI: — was evidenced.

THE COURT: That’s not the issue here. The issue here wasn’t that she refused to sign it.

The issue here was that it was approved by the trustees, they all signed it, she asked for a copy and she wasn’t given it.

They do it and then run around somebody; and, again, this is another instance of the trustees going off and trying to marginalize or avoid the responsibility for the duties of the trustee.

It’s not punishable at this moment in time, but I want to caution everybody in the courtroom who’s involved in this case: The orders of this court have the force of law and they are supposed to be observed.

Now, I know people who think they are more clever than I am and they probably are, but what happens to cute and clever people from time to time is they get too cute and they get too clever and they may suddenly find themselves in direct violation of a court order.

When that happens, my discretion is always exercised with a jail term. I have never fined anybody for direct criminal contempt.

I have jailed people for direct criminal contempt.

Grafton Township Trustees Gerry McMahon, Betty Zirk, Rob LaPorta and Barb Murphy.

Only twice in 13 years and I regretted the necessity to do both, but, folks, believe me, I’m not going to tolerate a lot of this nonsense in the future because I think that, by and large, there should be a way for this township to be governed in a much less contentious manner.

Do you want time to write this up?

MR. DiCIANNI: Yes.

THE COURT: Two weeks.

MR. DiCIANNI: Thank you.

THE COURT: Give me an order continuing it.

= = = = =

This is not the first time that Judge Caldwell has mentioned contempt in connection with the continuing Grafton Township dispute.  See also


Comments

Judge Caldwell’s Feb 24th Grafton Township Suit Concluding Comments – Part 5 – Contracts, Who Does What — 3 Comments

  1. Okay – so Judge Caldwell is once again –

    telling the Trustees what their job is…..and it sure sounds like he’s pretty ticked if he is now mentioning the word jail.

    Heck, in Dirty Dancing, Johnny and Baby are attempting to dance together. Johnny makes it very clear that “this” is her space and “that” is his space. Then they become a wonderful dancing machine.

    Someone please explain this simple concept to the Trustees. The community elected 1 supervisor and 4 trustees……not five supervisors.

    Get over the personality conflicts and power grabbing.

  2. Aileen – Love your reference to Dirty Dancing…NOT!

    I really want to know how LM is looking like the hero in all of this. Oh wait, that’s right, she “knows” people. This judge is just as dispicable as she is.

  3. Have the books that Linda is keeping been audited yet??? I’m very suspicious of politicians that refuse audits of the public funds.

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