Former Cleveland Judge Pinkey Carr gets probation in falsification case as Black activists want Cuyahoga Judge Nancy Fuerst prosecuted for violating the Civil Rights of indigent Blacks by denying them speedy trials, public trials, indigent counsel, etc..... By Clevelandurbannews.com, Ohio's Black digital news leader
Former Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Pinkey Carr
By Kathy Wray Coleman, associate publisher, editor-in chief.....Investigative article below
CLEVELAND, Ohio —Former Cleveland Municipal Court Judge Pinkey Carr, whom the Ohio Supreme Court disbarred and removed from the 13-member bench last year, has pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges of falsification and was handed four months probation by a visiting judge in the case.
Via a plea deal, Carr pleaded no contest to three counts of falsification on Wednesday, each a first-degree misdemeanor, and was subsequently found guilty by the visiting judge. She was sentenced to four months of probation and is required to pay court costs.
“When the judge acts like a jester, justice goes awry,” Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost said in a statement. “Today’s criminal sentencing enforces that no one is above the law.”
Yost is a Republican and Carr, who is Black, a Democrat. Yost's office prosecuted the case against Carr upon referral and likely, say sources, because current County Prosecutor Mike O'Malley was once her indirect boss when she was an assistant county prosecutor and Cleveland city prosecutors bowed out.
Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation detectives found Carr arraigned defendants without prosecutors present and that she also made false statements in the court’s records.
False statements are routine for Ohio judges seeking to interfere with prosecutions to help prosecutors win their cases and when defendants try to correct them after their attorneys of record refuse to stand up for them they are often threatened with contempt of court and jail.
Black community activists remain concerned that Carr may have been singled out for prosecution unlike other judges, White judges in particular, because she is intelligent, Black and outspoken, and she has said that there is a double standard for Black judges in Ohio, a pivotal state for presidential elections.
Black on Black Crime activist Alfred Porter Jr.,, also a women's rights advocate, said that "activists are seeking criminal charges against corrupt White judges like seasoned Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Nancy Fuerst for blatantly interfering with the Civil Rights of poor Black and other criminal defendants who come before them."
In short, activists say she is a bully who will stop at nothing to get her way, illegal or legal.
The embattled judge is also accused of threatening defendants with jail for correcting her when she tries to corrupt the record at pretrials with falsehoods, and covering up fixed indictments where the prosecutor's office has colluded with the clerks of courts office to change grand jury indictments to their liking, including increasing criminal charges and acting as if the grand jury amended the indictment.
The county public defender's office says that prosecutors and clerks are changing indictments, according to court filings and motions made by former chief public defender Mark Stanton, a pro-cop public defender who covered up cop impropriety in cases involving maliciously prosecuted and innocent Blacks and has since retired.
Blacks and others have a constitutional right to a speedy trial, a public trial and appointed counsel in serious cases if they are deemed indigent. They also have a statutory right under Ohio law to a speedy trial and to indigent counsel.
Porter went on to say that Fuerst seemingly believes she is above the law and that she has absolutely no respect for the rule of law, particularly when the defendants are Black and public corruption is at work that she seeks to cover up.
" Activists have sat in the courtroom of Judge Fuerst for years and witnessed her flagrantly violate the Civil Rights of maliciously prosecuted Blacks who come before her, and with the urging of unscrupulous assistant county prosecutors under the guidance of County Prosecutor Mike O'Malley," said Porter. " We have not seen such egregious behavior from a judge in years and we want Judge Fuerst disbarred, removed from the bench and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
Porter said that activists never should have backed Mr O'Malley for prosecutor.
" Activists made a mistake in believing that Mike O'Malley would be better than Tim McGinty when he has proved to be just as bad," Porter said.
O'Malley was elected in 2016, ousting then county prosecutor Tim McGinty, who fell out with the Black community and Black leaders for protecting cops who aggressively gunned down unarmed Blacks from indictments and with the county Democratic Party for complaining on judges about their malfeasance in rambling letters or briefs to the Ohio Supreme Court.
Activists say that public records show that Judge Fuerst is colluding with the county prosecutor's office in erroneously denying Black defendants speedy trials, public trials and indigent counsel, among a host of other alleged illegal activity. She does not want public trials, they say, because she does not want the media and others to catch on to her wrongdoing at trials, which sources say is customary for the judge, who purportedly brags that she has protection by the Ohio Supreme Court to do as she pleases to people, right or wrong.
Data also show that the arrogant and angry Judge Fuerst is refusing to journalize trial dates by order and when Blacks fail to appear because they were not ordered to come she issues capius warrants and removes their indigent counsel saying poor Blacks who get warrants from her automatically lose their constitutional and statutory right to indigent counsel This is not true where the U.S. Supreme Court in 1969 in Tinker vs Des Moines made it clear that people do not so easily shed their constitutional rights , a case in which public high school students who were penalized and denied their free speech rights for wearing arm bands to protest the Vietnam war prevailed. In other words, Blacks and others do not shed their constitutional and statutory rights at the courthouse gate and activists say Judge Nancy Fuerst is a runaway, out of control judge whose arbitrary and capricious behavior merits an immediate investigation by authorities and subsequent criminal charges.
The Ohio Supreme Court decided 5-2 last year to indefinitely suspend Carr's law license, a serious action undertaken by the state's majority White and largely Republican high court that operated to immediately remove the Black judge from the largely Black municipal court bench.
On the bench since 2012 before her suspension, Carr, a former assistant county prosecutor who led the prosecution as to the convictions of the late serial killer Anthony Sowell, who strangled and murdered 11 Black women at his home on Imperial Avenue in Cleveland on the city's east side and later died on death row, can apply to the court for reinstatement of her law license in two years. Her attorney had requested progressive discipline that would have permitted Carr to stay on the bench and told the court that her client began having issues only in the past two years and that she accepted responsibility for her behavior.
Sources also say that the decision to remove Carr from the bench was "racist, sexist, and politically motivated."
Similarly situated White and male judges, data show , were not treated as harshly by the office of disciplinary counsel for the Ohio Supreme Court, which recommended a two year suspension rather than an indefinite suspension. ans few of the White judges who get in trouble are later prosecuted, research shows..
In getting disbarred or suspended indefinitely, Carr was accused of violating the ethical and other provisions of the Judicial Code of Conduct and the Ohio Lawyer's Professional Code of Responsibility. In its 5-2 decision to strip Carr of her judgeship and law license, Republican Justices O'Connor and Fischer, and Justice Brunner, though a Democrat, voted to suspend her indefinitely as did the two stand-in judges for Democrats Johnb Donnelly and Melody Stewart, both former Cuyahoga County judges who recused themselves from the case for that reason, they claim.
Justices DeWine and Kennedy, now the chief justice of the court, dissented with Kennedy writing in her dissent that it was unfair to suspend Carr indefinitely based on the data before the court, and particularly since the office of disciplinary counsel for the court only recommended a two year suspension of her law license.
It is the second time the state's high court has suspended a Cleveland judge from the bench since the removal in 2014 of former judge Angela Stokes, a daughter of the late 11th congressional district congressman Louis Stokes and a niece of former Cleveland mayor Carl B Stokes, a late Black mayor and a former Cleveland municipal court judge himself. But Angela Stokes, who is older than Carr, was allowed to continue practicing law, and to draw upon her retirement where applicable, and she was not prosecuted by the city of Cleveland.
Carr stood accused in several complaints before the bar in past years of issuing illegal capias warrants, which is routine for municipal and county judges, dismissing cases without the approval of city prosecutors, carrying on court when Cleveland Administrative and Presiding Judge Michelle Earley thought she had closed court due to the pandemic, and of mistreating and being rude to defendants and attorneys who came before her. Still, say her supporters, and on condition of anonymity, "she did what White and other judges traditionally do and her biggest problem was being strong, Black and female, and angering White men in power." Others say Carr's style was harsh at times and that she was abrasive and sometimes had a prosecutorial demeanor.
The job of judge, whether a municipal or common pleas judge of Cuyahoga County, is no easy task as judges must juggle crowded case dockets, limited resources, unruly defendants who will literally curse you out, as well as anxious and sometimes arrogant criminal defense attorneys. Some of the judges are corrupt and unfair, data show, two of them formerly on the general division common pleas bench imprisoned and kicked off the bench via an ongoing county public corruption probe.
Carr had drawn the ire of Cleveland's mainstream media, which is routine when complaints are leveled against Black judges by prominent White men This time those of prominence who lodged complaints against her include then Chief Cuyahoga County Public Defender Mark Stanton, who has since retired, and well-known criminal defense attorney Ian Friedman, the former president of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.
White male judges brought up on disciplinary charges like Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Daniel Gaul, a judge who regularly hands Blacks excessive sentences, breaks the rues and often loses on appeal for murder convictions of Blacks that occur following suspect activity at trial in his courtroom, get off easy they are rarely even disciplined research shows.
A since removed Bedford Municipal Court judge, convicted Harry Jacob, who allegedly pimped women in his court, ran an outright brothel, and falsified court dockets and documents, and even after criminal convictions of crimes in office, still has his law license, compliments of the Ohio Supreme Court. Moreover, an investigation by Clevelandurbannews.com and Kathywraycolemanonlinenewsblog.com also reveals that Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John O'Donnell has stolen homes for JPMorgan Chase Bank from Blacks in illegal foreclosure cases before him coupled with using his power and influence to have Blacks who complained maliciously prosecuted and stalked by police at their homes and otherwise, police routinely breaking into their homes and stealing personal property include high- priced cars.
A Democrat and three time loser as to three unsuccessful bids for a Supreme Court seat O'Donnell, however, like Gaul, remains free of any discipline from the state's highest court. And there are so many more White judges, both men and women alike, who do as they please in Ohio without consequences, and to the detriment of so many innocent and poor Black people, and others.
Municipal court judges in Ohio handle cases bound over to the common pleas court for possible felony indictments and cases involving traffic, non-traffic misdemeanors, evictions and small civil claims in which the amount in controversy does not exceed $15,000.. common Pleas judges primarily hear felony cases and cases in which the amount in controversy exceeds $15,000.
Cleveland is a largely Black major American city of some 372,000 people and a Democratic stronghold It is the largest city in Cuyahoga County, a 29 percent Black county, and also a Democratic stronghold.