Why you should never early vote

I’ve been a candidate. That means I have been through an election cycle- and attended more “candidates nights” than I can count. I’ve heard more politicians and wanna bes talk smack, talk stupid, and show how utterly confused they are about the job they are asking you to elect them to.

I’ve also seen how few people attend these events. The banality of the questions. The time limited answers. The campaign materials that say nothing.

The League of Women’s voters publishes an anemic “voter guide” as does what’s left of our newspaper in Dayton. Are you really going to base your decision on 50 word answers? To 2 or 3 questions?

I build websites for a living. I do work for candidates- creating ads, posters, commercials, billboards- and I find the whole process distasteful. For the most part, we’ve created a system that gives us the best candidates money can buy.

It also limits our choices. The idea of voting for Jeff Mims or Rennes Bowers makes me ill. We have 4 seats open on the Dayton School board- we have 3 candidates on the ballot- which almost guarantees all 3 of them will get elected- which is disgusting because one of them is Joe Lacey. Why do I despise Joe Lacey? Watch this video- which still gets views and comments today- years after I posted it. Read those comments- take heed.

There are four candidates running for write in. Do you know who they are? Should you just write in all 4? Have you taken time to investigate? Or are you waiting for some official endorsement?

Do you have your own rubric for what’s important before you vote? Are you applying it? Are you spending time researching it? Or are you doing what someone told you to? ie- voting for the endorsed candidates? Is your rubric even applicable to the office they are running for? Stands on abortion or gun control or the death penalty have no bearing on local office- unless of course you are electing someone who aspires to be a congressman some day.

How would you feel about your early vote for Mayor – if you find out just before election day something like any of these hypothetical stories came out?

“Candidate A was identified in an unsealed warrant in federal court to have being guilty of taking bribes on votes for demolition contracts, and had become an FBI informant wearing a wire back in 2015” or “Candidate B was at the Capitol building on Jan 6, and while he didn’t enter the building, was equipped with medical supplies to treat potential injuries by the folks who were storming the building, he was carrying communication equipment, wearing a bullet proof vest, and had bear spray with him.”

One of these above scenarios actually happened. Would it change your vote?

Or, how about one of your commission candidates was picked up Dayton Police for soliciting? Or another had a DUI just before he got elected? Would those change your mind?

If I told you that both of the above statements were true- would you believe me? And why?

Early voting can cause serious buyers remorse. And while I’m a supporter of voting by mail- which is in effect the same as early voting- the reason is because you can take the time to research each candidate and issue on the ballot. But more than that- I’d like to see a unified system of voter information built. It’s my goal to create a platform that allows you to match your questions with candidates answers. To provide voters with all the information they need to make an informed decision. To even be able to track how politicians, once elected, actually follow up on their promises. To make candidate more than one-dimensional and voters more discerning in casting their ballots. The non-profit that I established, “The Modern Policy Institute” is still awaiting it’s 501c3 approval (applied for over a year ago- the IRS is way behind on approvals). But, that doesn’t mean you can’t make a donation, it just would have to go to Reconstructing Dayton because it’s the 501(C)4 that we have that all set up.

The charade of the “Culture of Corruption” trial- the Higgins matter

At 1:30pm today on the ninth floor of the Federal building in Judge Thomas Rose’s court room, a gallery of Higgins supporters sat and watched a Federal Prosecutor flail around for almost an hour- trying to corner an insurance expert into saying that Brian Higgins had committed mail fraud.

There is only one problem, this was a Daubert hearing, not a trial.

For those of you who don’t speak legalese- “A Daubert hearing is a trial judge’s evaluation of whether or not an expert’s testimony and evidence are admissible. Daubert hearings occur when the validity of an expert’s testimony is challenged due to the methodology used to form their opinion.”

Brent Tabacchi, the Federal Prosecutor, tried to put on a show of “Gotcha” by questioning, over and over, if a lawyer, with something close to 30 years of experience with insurance claims, if this qualified as mail fraud. The problem is, the insurance fraud issue isn’t a federal crime- it’s a civil one, and Tabacchi doesn’t work for Navistar Mortgage or for Assurant insurance. He works for the public- and his job is to protect us from criminal behavior.

The expert just kept talking about the “Four corners of the contract”- the literal responsibilities involved in the mortgage and insurance contracts. Tabacchi couldn’t seem to understand that when the insurance company gives you money to fix something- like hail damage to your car, you can fix it- or pocket the money and drive around with a lumpy car. It’s not a crime to not fix it- unless the bank is pissed about it’s collateral, but even then, it’s a civil matter.

Unfortunately for Tabacchi, as much as he’d like to make Brian Higgins out to be a criminal mastermind, his evidence all comes from a very shady government Confidential Informant, a loser who used to work for Steve Rauch incorporated. Marshall left SRI and set up two different companies- United Demolition and Drywall Wizard, both of which do consistently shitty work. So shitty, that even after he somehow got the city to give him a demolition contract, the city judged his business as incompetent and banned him from doing more work.

The FBI and the DOJ should be investigated for committing misprision of a felony- for hiding the fact that Williams was a proven felon when he stood for office in November of 2017- before winning and resigning and they did nothing to reveal that.

Whoever, having knowledge of the actual commission of a felony cognizable by a court of the United States, conceals and does not as soon as possible make known the same to some judge or other person in civil or military authority under the United States, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.

Source: 18 U.S. Code § 4 – Misprision of felony | U.S. Code | US Law | LII / Legal Information Institute

But, apparently that’s above my pay grade.

Marshall sold the FBI a dog and pony story about how he could bring Steve Rauch down and started collecting a check to bring this “culture of corruption” down. He’s the guy who handed Roshawn WInburn bags of cash to help steer contracts and he’s the one who built the patio for Commissioner Joey Williams in exchange for that contract. Higgins was along for the ride- trying to build yet another empire of government contracts like the one he used to have with the City of Chicago removing dead bodies. That multi-million dollar contract went away- when the City of Chicago awarded it to a registered sex offender- but, that’s another story.

The real crime that’s taking place here is the millions spent on an investigation that apparently only charges Black folks. Steve Rauch, the only white person charged in this “Operation Demolished Integrity” got off with a $15,000 fine- chump change. Williams only did 3 months in prison of a one year sentence. Roshawn has yet to report for his 6 month stint- and Clayton Luckie did about four months- but, he was already a convicted felon, so no new ground broken there. No other white people were charged. No one from the City Managers office, CityWide Development or even purchasing or the Human Relations Council who supposedly did due dilligance and approved these vendors. Unsealed warrants named the dead former County Recorder Willis Blackshear as a suspected bagman- but that’s it. Whaley, who is the queen of pay to play– is still running around talking about DeWine’s corruption- while her own involvement is supposed to be ignored.

The part that can’t get ignored is that it’s now Oct 6, 2021, and Higgins was first indicted with Williams, Winburn and Luckie on April 30, 2019. Over two years- and nothing.The final court date is now scheduled for Jan 10, 2022 at 9am.

In the meantime, the fact that Judge Rose allowed this dog and pony circus to occur in his courtroom today is almost an embarrassment. Higgin’s attorneys got up- asked a few short questions to clarify his expertise (the purpose of this whole hearing) and then Tabacchi took a final stab asking if the Expert had seen the video and audio recordings of Higgins doing something that he considered naughty- and if he would then think that Higgins had committed mail fraud. There’s only 2 problems with this- he didn’t actually present or enter those recordings into the record, and it’s not for the insurance expert to rule on them. That’s for the judge.

As a taxpayer, you should be wondering why all this effort is going into a transaction between an insurance company, a mortgage company and a man who’s had his reputation ruined, while a deadbeat CI is probably still on the FBI payroll.

Today, I also appealed the FBI denial of my FOIA request for the Joey Williams tapes, FBI FD-302 reports, the plea agreements – etc. It will take another month or so before I can file in Federal Court to get those released. In the meantime, why can’t I get Brent Tabacchi or Montgomery County Prosecutore Mat Heck to lift a finger to help collect the $70K judgement I have against a felon who was convicted in Montgomery County for stealing $3K from a Service Disabled Veteran- which she had to pay back- and I’m left with trying to find out where she is working every other month so I can attempt to garnish her pay? If you know where Jennifer Selhorst AKA Jennifer Woodard is working- please let me know.

 

Ohio’s Sunshine Laws need to turn from fiction to non-fiction

There is a 250 page guide to the Ohio Sunshine Laws, it’s free. It’s entirely fiction.

As a citizen, you are expected to pay filing fees, attorney fees and hope to win pennies on the dollar if that- to make our public officials and quasi-governmental agencies abide by the law.

It’s a thankless job. And one where politicians never get removed from office for violating the law. It’s the only law that requires ALL public officials to take training. Mostly, that training is on how to not respond.

Which is what this case is about. Read and watch- as I almost get arrested for Contempt of Court- by trying to demonstrate the absurdity of the defenses claims of a multi-million dollar security system that “can’t output time code- and redact faces at the same time.”

When the government insists on lying in court- ask the prosecutor to drop trou

Sure, that sounds like a clickbait title. But, when you are dealing with a sunshine law case, more specifically- a public records request for security footage of you getting ejected illegally from the Dayton Metro Library for taking photos, and the prosecutor insists that their multi-million dollar security camera system can’t generate timecode- and redact faces (even if you know it can)- you pull out every stop.

There are other videos you should watch for this case. But, they aren’t necessary for this appeal.

Here’s what you need to know. On Aug 19, 2017, I was in the library- taking photos and their rent a cop thought he knew the law- you can watch the final confrontation. Note- Photography is not a crime.

I immediately asked for the surveillance video. All of it.

They argued that it would violate the privacy of their patrons (then why have the multi-million dollar camera system at all?). They acknowledged they screwed up in Oct of 2019- in a lame settlement offer. Then continued to not release the video in a proper format to this date (it’s been 1509 days).

The State of Ohio limits the states fines to $100 a day for a max of 10 days- so they fought like hell to keep me from having the evidence before I filed in Federal Court on a 1st Amendment case.
Still not having evidence, I had to settle early and cheap.

I finally had to go back to court to try to explain what “all” meant when I requested the video- that was Jan 30, 2020.

The Prosecutor, Nathanial S. Peterson, lied in court. I requested other videos they’d released- and when I finally got one in Aug 2020- I had proof that the prosecutor lied about the redaction and the time code. I’ll post it after I go to court and enter it as evidence.

I filed an appeal in the court- with evidence they’d lied- and was dismissed without a hearing. Apparently, lying in court is fine. I played the prosecutor a bit- I gave the judge the copy of the disk I got from the Dayton Police- and the output we generated with both redaction and time code. He whined about that. I said in my brief- if he’s whining- he now knows what it’s like to not get evidence. And, since lying is OK- I said he wore ladies panties in the filing. He put a motion in to strike that line.

Then- they wanted a transcript of the January 30 hearing- I made my own- why not- it’s ok for the library to make any old kind of video for me.
They rejected it. Proof that format only counts for lawyers. The transcript the court reporter delivered- didn’t match the video- or my transcript- further proof that the courts are stacked against you.

So that’s the back story- and how I almost ended up in the slammer for contempt- for asking the prosecutor to drop trou- and prove to us he wasn’t wearing Vicky’s Secret.

Enjoy. This fight still isn’t over. And the Ohio Sunshine Laws need a lot of fixing- which is my goal.
Feel free to donate to support our next move to fix the bad Ohio Sunshine Laws- to favor the people instead of the lawyers.

Esrati v Dayton Metro Library CA29050 5 Oct 2021 was today’s fight. But, the good news is I did manage to settle the Federal civil rights case for $35,000 which went to www.reconstructingdayton.org to help build it’s capacity to fix this community of micro-fiefdoms we call Dayton.

For more on this case on this blog- as it happened: https://esrati.com/tag/dayton-metro-library

Bulldozers don’t beat urban blight, they just create wastelands

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” is the prayer that begins almost every recovery meeting, and for good reason: change is difficult.

For the past 30 years I’ve watched the city of Dayton proper flail about in its efforts to… well, that’s the problem, there seem to be different goals and objectives serving as motivations in its 68 defined mini-fiefdoms- the neighborhoods. Division is the first secret to winning a battle, and you don’t have to take it from me- take it from Sun Tzu in his classic- “The Art of War”

If his forces are united, separate them. If sovereign and subject are in accord, put division between them. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected. The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.

And it’s not just the City of Dayton proper. All those suburbs, the mini-banana republics known as suburbs, are just more divisions, fighting each other to make the real Dayton- the urban area of Montgomery County as well as the adjacent sprawl into Greene and Warren County- weaker instead of stronger. Each Banana Republic thinks it’s somehow winning because it’s “not Dayton”- while missing the bigger picture that we’re all Dayton, no matter how proud you are of Kettering, Beavercreek, Centerville, Miami Township or Clayton.

The more I listen to politicians, the more I understand why we’re all screwed. Division is their specialty, be it Red v Blue, be it progressive v conservative, be it issues like gun control, abortion, vaccination, taxation, regulation and all the other words that end in in -ion, including education.

There is a difference between leaders and politicians, and the key, apparently is mathematics.  Leaders multiply, politicians divide. And the worst politicians bulldoze. Not just figuratively, but literally. Their “solution” is to always remove the sore spots, to heal by amputation, to fix by flattening, to turn what was once vibrant into vacant- thinking you rebuild best from flat land instead of healing first, then filling in the gaps.

It doesn’t matter if you are a new school superintendent barging in to fix what’s broken (or what you think is broken), or a new mayor who promises to demolish the reminders of your predecessors’ mistakes, the first step to recovery isn’t removal of the weakest parts, it’s not strengthening the strongest parts, it’s holistically looking at the problems and healing the causes of the blight, of the failures, taking the whole, and curing the culture that caused the problems in the first place. Otherwise, you’ll only be winning in the race to the bottom- which is what we’ve been doing, and repeating, for decades in Dayton.

Call it the Grand Unification Theory, call it crazy, but realize: none of the 30-odd banana republics in the region are an island, even if Oakwood thinks it’s under a dome. Our futures are absolutely interconnected, even if our politicians are anything but. The reason is every stinking one of them thinks they are either a savior or a leader when in fact, most are only interested in preserving their positions at all costs. And, I’m not talking their job, or even their community, I’m talking about that sliver of power that elected office creates and inflates their egos and their own self-worth.

The fact that 99% of the population can’t name all their elected officials from school boards up to senators should be the first clue that having “representation” doesn’t mean you have leaders or a voice. In fact, almost all Americans believe that “democracy” and voting gives them power, when in fact, by voting, they are turning their power over to someone else to “represent them.” We have way more politicians than we need, and way too few leaders.

The reason for that is that leaders make people nervous. As much as I despise Donald Trump, he was a leader. He was able to take a large group of malcontents and mold them into a horde of followers who thought it was ok to go as far as to storm our capitol in a treasonous mob on January 6th, 2021, intent on overthrowing our government. Followers of Trump have defied every part of our nation’s founding principals and yet, believe themselves to be true patriots. With them, it’s their way or the highway, and of course, the first tool you need to build a highway is a bulldozer.

Bulldozers are also touted as the salvation of the City of Dayton proper. We want the broken-down, less than pretty hulks of houses torn down thinking that the key to saving a neighborhood is eliminating the eyesores, without fixing what caused those homes to succumb to entropy.

And, I’m not saying that some of those houses don’t deserve the bulldozer, but to understand how “urban renewal” or “revitalization” works, you have to think like a dentist, not a doctor. Dentists understand that you need all of your teeth to be able to eat, chew, and keep the others in place. When they take a tooth out, ideally, they want to replace it with a placeholder- and it you take out too many- a mouth stops working- and so they replace the whole set.

Creating gaps in our community is similar- if you don’t fill them back in, the likelihood of the community coming back to health is slim and none. Better to remember your Sun Tzu,

Sun Tzu said: In war, the general receives his commands from the sovereign. Having collected an army and concentrated his forces, he must blend and harmonize the different elements thereof before pitching his camp. After that, comes tactical maneuvering, than which there is nothing more difficult.

We’ve created unlimited options for the demise of Dayton proper by failing to marshal our resources and focus them on strengthening our savable positions, instead of cutting out the deadwood. The fact that people can choose to continue to sprawl out of Dayton makes it very hard to hold steady. This is why Portland, Oregon drew a circle around the city and stopped allowing sprawl to cost them all. Unless we have more people, we shouldn’t be building more housing without requiring an equal or greater amount of square feet to be removed. The goal is higher density and higher utilization of existing infrastructure, not adding overhead to a community already paying out the nose to support so many governments.

No dentist will tell you that adding teeth and making your mouth bigger is the right solution to a healthier mouth. 32 teeth is all you need; having 60 and a bigger mouth won’t make you healthier- it would just mean you could eat more faster, which probably would mean you would probably need to upgrade the rest of your body to handle all the extra calories and waste that would come along with it (infrastructure).

There are two words that need to be banned from the mouths of politicians, because they like to overuse them, and they are lousy indicators of success. “Economic Development” should never be the goal of government, instead, building Social Capital should be first and foremost. Social capital is the capacity of people to band together to succeed, without the need for intervention with bulldozers. Social capital is when all boats rise, instead of just the few. You can measure it’s growth through income tax revenue, educational achievement, median household income, health care costs as a percentage of income, rate of crime and incarceration. Successful communities have successful people living healthily. When you have an abundance of social capital, everyone is winning, people are working together and all is right with the world. When you have “economic development” the guy who owns the bulldozer is winning, as well as the few folks that the politicians bet your tax dollars on.

This focus on economic development all started with Ronald Reagan’s lovechild- combining the idea of the Laffer curve and “trickle down economics” both of which were code for helping the rich get richer at the expense of the rest of us. The final insult was the Supreme Court Decision of “Citizens United” which may have been the oxymoron of all time. It allowed the richest to buy politicians by the bushel, and we’ve been paying for it ever since.

We’re about to elect a whole bunch of new local yokels to their banana republics this November 2nd. If they are in Dayton- and they are talking about bulldozing, ask them how they plan to put something up to fill the gaps they will create. We don’t need more housing or more jobs until we figure out what caused the problem in the first place.

If you are living anywhere else in Greater Dayton- you need to ask if they support a move to unigov- one government for the entire county. Because as Dayton’s problems move to their communities- they can’t solve those problems with bulldozers either.

It’s time to stop issuing building permits outside of developed areas, without an impact fee of taking out equal amounts of vacant space- until our population actually grows. It’s time to come up with new solutions for public transit, homelessness, mental health, public health, schools and safety that work for all of Dayton- the one on the map, not the city proper.

Because, bulldozers don’t solve problems, they just fill up the dump.

 

 

Justice delayed is a legal strategy that needs to end: The saga of Aaron Hartley

How long does it take the system to prosecute a crime? And who benefits? Is this a system for the lawyers, by the lawyers instead of for the people, by the people?

Since I published the story about Kettering divorce attorney Aaron Hartley being found guilty of assault, 3 other women have come forward to share their similar stories of abuse. In the meantime, the Kettering Judge who is supposed to sentence Hartley for the assault case has been out of the loop- with the sentencing delayed over and over.

In the meantime, other cases against him, including domestic violence, have also been delayed. What started out with a complaint and a Temporary Restraining Order on 8-17-20, TR/CR Case 20CRB00992, and was scheduled for a hearing on 07-28-2021 is now scheduled for 11-03-2021.

Another case, TR/CR Case 20CRB01311, lists Domestic Violence, Child Endangering/Abuse, Assault, and Child Endangering/Health was filed 10-30-2020, he was arrested and bailed out on 11/02/2020. A jury trial was scheduled for 05-05-2021, the next entry is odd- vacating the 21 APRIL 2021 jury trial because of the public health crisis, reset for 7-28-2021, another trial was set for 08-11-2021, 08/05/2021 the state requests a different date, A jury trial was scheduled for 09-15-2021, which was then delayed due to Covid Quarantine, and finally JURY TRIAL for 11-03-2021 at 08:45AM.

The assault case, TR/CR Case 20CRB00148, where he was found guilty on July 29 2021- and was to be sentenced on Aug 11, 2021 and then on 09-15-2021 still hasn’t happened. It’s now also scheduled for 11/03/2021. That case began on 01-28-2020.

So- what was going to be a double header trial on November 3rd, will now be a triple header, with 2 jury trials and a sentencing. In the mean time, Hartley continues to practice his odd form of legal counseling which includes a whole bunch of women saying he was inappropriate- and ripped them off.

Let’s face it- our legal system has become a protracted process where lawyers make money and we all pay the price.

Here’s a few excerpts of what victims have shared with me:

He told me we needed to get the draft of our divorce decree and parenting plan in order to present to our next court date. He had me meet him on a Saturday morning alone in his office to work on it. I thought that was weird, but he told me it needed to get done. He pulled an old case and just switched the names. It didn’t take long like he said it would. As we were sitting in his office he began to tell me we needed to get together after this was all over and have play dates with the kids. I smiled and tried not to be rude and placated the situation. I started to feel a little uncomfortable, so I made an excuse to leave. As he walked me out, he hugged me goodbye. I honestly didn’t know what just happened, but my instincts were starting to kick in….

The meeting right before our next court date, I showed up to the office and he told me that he had to go pick up some gifts he had wrapped for his daughter’s birthday. He insisted I come along so we can talk about my case. We went on these errands, and then he told me he was hungry, so he pulled off at a Buffalo Wild Wings. I didn’t know what to do, I was confused but we still hadn’t talked about my case. While we were in the restaurant, he ordered me a drink without me asking him to, and I didn’t ask for one either. Still, I thought maybe we would start to discuss our upcoming trial. I was very wrong. He began to tell me “how pretty I was and that he looked through my ex’s Facebook and his new girlfriend’s as well”. He told me I was “way prettier than her,” we should hang out after this is all over at my house.” At a loss, and going through a very emotional unstable time, very skittish, I didn’t again know what to say or do, so I tried to placate his offer just so we could leave. At this point, I made the fact known I had a sitter for this meeting, and I needed to get home to them…

Next meeting he asked his client to accompany him to a chiropractic appointment-

On the way back to his office, he again told me how gorgeous I was and how I needed to come over to his house, as he caressed my inner thigh….

The next morning, I received a bill from him, and he had charged me for each of those meetings where nothing was even spoken of in regard to my case….

My dad immediately terminated his employment with us, and I sought new council, with whom instructed me that Aaron told me the complete opposite of what any lawyer should advise his client…

I tried to find someone to hear my story then, but I didn’t think anyone would believe me. I was a 27-year-old, going through a nasty divorce and custody battle, no money, no job: I thought I would look like I was looking for a handout. I also believed that I was making it up in my head, I had no proof. I felt so dirty, worthless and alone. So, I dropped it.

My life would be so different right now if I hadn’t trusted my case with Aaron at the beginning.

Aaron P. Hartley is a monster. He was very unethical. He did not advocate for his client which was his job to do. He preyed on my ignorance of divorce, my vulnerability, and my lack of self-worth at the time. My children have suffered from his debauchery as well, and it is still hard for me to make ends meet. If I can do anything to stop him from doing this to any other client especially young women, I will.

And yet Judges and other lawyers, allow him to continue to practice law. Delaying sentencing is almost as wrong as the things that Hartley has done. It allows a criminal to continue to prey on victims. Judges seem to have immunity veils wrapped around them in Montgomery County. Once you’ve been elected the “unwritten rule” is you can be challenged the first election and then- never again until you age out or die. That’s a lot of power for judges with zero accountability.

It’s almost impossible for the average voter to research and review the conduct of a judge- or measure their performance. Other attorneys who don’t want to be blackballed by a judge, refuse to speak up when a judge is incompetent, or mismanages a case. In Kettering, it’s almost impossible to find who the judges are, in this case, it’s Judge James F. Long as far as I can tell (their “Public Records Online system doesn’t allow you to download the actual filings like Montgomery Counties). There is the other Kettering Judge- Judge Frederick W. Dressel, and the Kettering website tells you nothing about them. For more info look at their Linkedin pages- or do a google search. This is embarrassingly bad on the part of Kettering.

But hey, that’s just Kettering. In Montgomery County, his divorce is moving at a snails pace as well. Filed 08/25/2020, for a Las Vegas marriage on October 13, 2019, there have been 65 filings on the docket to date.  They were married for 317 days, and the proceedings have taken 389 days to date. That almost equals one filing for every 5 days they were married. How entangled or complicated can a sub 1 year marriage be? And, lets remember, this was a marriage to a client who he started sleeping with before the divorce was final.

One of his other victims is still waiting to file. She spent $30K with him for a totally inept representation. Hartley was more interested in getting in her pants or using her professional connections to blackmail his x-wife. She hired Hartley because of his fake Google reviews- and it cost her and her kids a lot more than $30K.

While judges and attorneys manipulate filing deadlines and hold pro se clients to an insane standard to learn and abide by these arcane processes, it seems that when lawyers are charged with crimes, they can manipulate the system to delay everything into the ground. Note- you and I as taxpayers pay for the courts, the websites, the filing of all these documents through the multitude of incompetently built websites that obscure the public records from the public on purpose. Case in point- the Federal system PACER, threatens to charge you .10 per page of documents you download- even if you can’t tell what it is until you download it. Charging for PDF’s is a crime, especially when it’s in your own case.

Lawyers and judges need to be drawn in kicking and screaming into the digital technology age. From their arcane page layouts- to hand stamping documents and scanning documents rendering them non ADA compliant, to zero case management tools- like providing next steps- deadlines- and templates for housekeeping processes to the absolute biggest problem- is that downloaded documents don’t show up with a standardized naming convention (docket.pdf is NOT the name of every document). There are numerous other improvements that could be made to court records online- including simple color coding for parties, ie- plaintiff, defendant, court, or batch download features.

What we’ve created is a system that only lawyers can use- and love, because it makes it almost impossible to do the simplest things- like divorce an attorney who preyed upon his client, or hold anyone accountable for their delays in managing the docket.

Aaron Hartley should have been stopped from practicing law for anyone but himself after he was found guilty of assault, yet he still walks free and could be finding his next victim- all thanks to his fellow lawyers who have done nothing to police their own ranks.

I’ve kept this focused on the failings of the system to bring Kettering Attorney Aaron Hartley to justice. But, I could have also talked about the failings of Judge Erik Blaine and Judge Gerald Parker to work within the time limits of the Ohio Sunshine Laws in my Dayton Metro Library public records case, or in my case against the FBI and the DOJ for hiding the Nan Whaley grand jury tapes (The DOJ asked for an extension despite already having delayed responses over and over to my FOIA requests and appeals).

Hopefully, if you are considering hiring Mr. Hartley, you’ve done your homework and know that he’s not as good as his Google ratings make him out to be

 

 

 

 

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