Richard I. Fine
“We’ve exposed the most massive judicial corruption scheme in the history of the United States and it’s right here in Los Angeles,” said Fine, a former U.S. Department of Justice antitrust division attorney who holds a doctorate in international law from the University of London. “It’s encompassed a $300 million bribery scheme involving the county supervisors and judges. It’s been going on for 23 years and during this time nobody has received a fair trial in Los Angeles Superior Courts.”
The U.S. Supreme Court denied a bid Monday, April 26 by Tarzana attorney Richard I. Fine to be released from jail where he has spent more than a year. Fine has been held in solitary confinement at Men’s Central Jail since early 2009.
“Mr. Fine has probably done more time than most dope dealers, burglars and robbers. I think it’s unjust,” said Sterling E. Norris, the counsel for Judicial Watch in San Marino.
“The fact the Supreme Court is involved in any way is a big deal,” said Brooklyn Law School Professor Jayne Ressler, an expert in coercive confinement cases.
“It certainly speaks volumes to the importance of this case, and it’s quite intriguing.”
Fine, a 70-year-old Tarzana resident and former U.S. Department of Justice attorney, has spent more than a year in Men’s Central Jail for contempt after refusing to divulge financial information. Fine was placed under “coercive confinement” following a series of cases in which he alleged judges received an extra $57,000 in pay from the county on top of their $179,000 annual state salaries. Fine alleged that these “undeclared bonuses” render judges biased in cases where the county is a defendant.
While the main issue before the high court is whether a person can be held in coercive confinement for such a long time, Fine remains hopeful the justices will also consider the issue of judges’ pay.
If Fine succeeds, potentially thousands of cases involving Los Angeles County could be thrown into question, because attorneys could claim the judges were biased in favor of a party in the case that was paying some of their salaries.
“That would mean we would finally after 23 years be cleaning up the California court system,” Fine said in a telephone interview from his jail cell.
Next up: Martin Armstrong
“American politics as a system has ceased to function, because the system has gone from representing people to representing money.” -Ilargi