Critiques of the Judiciary
For stealing $1 million from a trusting neighbor he promised to help, Judge Paul D. Seeman was sentenced to mere probation in lieu of jail time. It is another example of how judges shelter one another from true accountability for their heinous crimes.
Former judge who stole from elderly neighbor barred from ever working for judicial branchTHOMAS PEELEDecember 17, 2013
A former Alameda County Superior Court judge who pleaded no contest to criminal charges that he stole more than $1 million from an elderly neighbor while acting as if he was looking after her affairs is now formally barred from ever returning to the bench or working for state courts in any capacity, a judicial panel announced Monday.
Paul D. Seeman, received the maximum penalty the California Commission on Judicial Performance can impose on a former judge. "The severe sanction of a public censure and bar is necessary for the protection of the public and the reputation of the judiciary," its order states. Seeman, a judge since 2009, did not contest the punishment. He is already banned from practicing law in the state.
In August, Seeman, 59, of Berkeley, reached a deal to avoid prison time and pleaded no contest to one charge each of perjury and elder abuse. He was sentenced in October to five years probation and ordered to repay $300,000 to the estate of Anne Nutting, his former neighbor.
The plea deal took place before any formal airing of the allegation against Seeman, including a preliminary hearing. He was originally charged with 32 felonies.
Prosecutors alleged Seeman systemically siphoned off Nutting's retirement accounts and stole items from her home after he had secured "durable power of attorney" over her assets in 1999 and promised to look after her. Another lawyer working for Anne Nutting eventually found that her assets had been drained away. She died in 2010 at age 97.
Seeman claimed to investigators that Nutting had loaned him $200,000. Among the charges he first faced included failing to report the loan on his annual Statement of Economic Interest, a form top government officials are required to fill out yearly, under the threat of perjury, listing their financial holdings as well as loans made and received.Copyright 2013, San Jose Mercury News
From: Thomas Peele, "Former judge who stole from elderly neighbor barred from ever working for judicial branch," San Jose Mercury News, California, December 17, 2013, http://www.mercurynews.com/salary-survey/ci_24736996/former-judeg-who-stole-from-elderly-neighbor-barred, accessed 12/17/2013. Thomas Peele can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Reprinted in accordance with the "fair use" provision of Title 17 U.S.C.
§ 107for a non-profit educational purpose.
Tulanelink is grateful to attorney Gary L. Zerman for bringing this article to its attention and reminding us that: "We have allowed the judges to become the new royalty and treat us as serfs."
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