As part of First DCA JNC investigationBar panel examines JNC interview process

first_imgAs part of First DCA JNC investigationBar panel examines JNC interview process December 15, 2000 Senior Editor Regular News As part of First DCA JNC investigation Bar panel examines JNC interview process Gary Blankenship Senior Editor A judicial nominating commission panel of inquiry has held a hearing on whether a JNC member had a conflict of interest and brought discredit on the JNC process when she asked a judicial candidate questions about his health and finances. The panel, headed by former 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge Joseph Hatchett and including former Florida Bar President John Frost and former Florida Association for Women Lawyers President Ava Doppelt, took about three and a half hours of testimony in Tallahassee on November 29. The case arose after Jacksonville attorney Scott Makar, a candidate for two First DCA vacancies, objected to questions he was asked by JNC member Elizabeth White when the panel conducted interviews on September 18 and 19. He claimed she used one-sided information from his divorce case file, which was refuted by other information in the file that wasn’t presented to the commission. Subsequently, the Jacksonville Justice Coalition filed a complaint, asking for an investigation, and a member of the JNC said the complaint was legally sufficient to proceed. Since White was appointed to the JNC by the Bar, Bar President Herman Russomanno was empowered to appoint the three-member panel of inquiry. Its report will go to Russomanno and the Bar Board of Governors. Hatchett noted the panel is trying to determine two issues. The first is whether White had a conflict of interest because her husband, Jacksonville attorney William Sheppard, had written a letter of support for another candidate, Charles Pillans, in 1998 when he was recommended for a previous DCA vacancy. The second was whether White’s actions brought discredit to the JNC and the nominating process. Panel members asked witnesses what recommendations they would make to help JNCs around the state determine what are proper and improper questions to ask of candidates. Hatchett said he expected the final report to make such recommendations. “If we don’t, I don’t see what good we will have done,” he said. “Someone needs to do it.” “Are there questions or a line of questioning that could be inappropriate?” Doppelt asked Ana Christina Martinez, chair of the First DCA JNC. She replied that commissioners should avoid asking applicants about their stands on political issues. In response to another question, Martinez said she encouraged JNC members to ask tough questions and, unlike some other nominating commissions, has a policy of not considering in its confidential deliberations any issues which have not been raised with applicants. Another member of the JNC, Panama City attorney James Fensom, asked the panel for advice on whether commissioners should ask sensitive questions in a friendly manner or as though they were conducting a cross examination. Asked by panel members what he thought of White’s questioning of Makar, Fensom said he had no problems with the subject matter but added that perhaps the way they were asked was too aggressive. “Personally, I do not see the advantage in a difficult cross examination. . . and being confrontational with a difficult situation,” he said. “I do believe Mr. Makar did feel he was in a difficult situation and that he was taken aback.” About half of the session was devoted to testimony by White, who first answered questions from her attorney, James Russ, and then from the panel. White, who was appointed by the Bar Board of Governors last June, said she was assigned to do preliminary investigations of four of the initial 32 applicants for the two DCA vacancies. Those four did not include Makar, but White said when she called for references, those people invariably asked who other applicants were and then offered comments. In that way, White said, she learned Makar had been through “a nasty divorce.” That prompted her to reexamine his application, which acknowledged the divorce, but she felt he was less than forthright about it. White said that unease led her to send an investigator from her law firm to review Makar’s divorce file, and the investigator copied several pages. She said those records caused her concern because financial affidavits in the file apparently differed from those filed with the commission. White was also concerned with health allegations in the file. Makar did not attend the hearing, instead sending a message that he was ill. He did send another member of his firm’s Tallahassee office with a binder which held a letter he had previously sent to the First DCA JNC. In the letter, he said questions raised by White were answered or refuted in other parts of the court file that were not presented to the JNC, and he presented those records in the binder. But White testified that her reading of the court file left those issues unresolved. Hatchett asked White if she thought there was a conflict because her husband had written a letter to the Governor supporting Pillans for a previous First DCA vacancy. White answered that did not constitute a conflict, under the rules of the JNC. She later added: “I may have known at the time [my husband] wrote that letter of recommendation. I certainly never saw it. I did not recall it until I was advised by a reporter that he had written one.” White also said, and Sheppard agreed in his testimony, that they concluded when she was appointed to the JNC that he would not write any letters. Sheppard backed his wife that she did not have a conflict, and said he had forgotten he wrote the letter for Pillans in 1998 until it was reported in a news story. Testifying on his wife’s behalf, Sheppard told the panel, “She’s her own person. If I had gotten to messing around with what she was doing, I would have gotten in trouble with her. “Ms. White threw herself into this far beyond what anyone could have imagined. That’s her style,” Sheppard continued, adding at one point their dining room table was covered with papers, and that she made dozens of phone calls checking out applicants. Sheppard, who served on the Fourth Circuit JNC, including a year as chair, said they did discuss how to handle sensitive questions. “I told her, `This is a tough job. You’ve got to ask hard questions’.. . . I said `You have a constitutional duty here. You have taken an oath,’” he said. “In my experience, I have asked questions that are far more piercing than the ones Ms. White is accused of asking Mr. Makar.” Aside from White and Sheppard, White’s attorney, James Russ, also called on fellow First DCA JNC member Melvin Stith and Bar Board of Governors member Hank Coxe. In addition, JNC members Fensom and Martinez testified voluntarily. Stith, a nonlawyer member, testified that he thought both White’s questions and the way she asked them were appropriate, and that other applicants were asked tough questions, including ones about financial issues. He also said he wasn’t bothered that Sheppard had previously written a letter for Pillans. Coxe, who represents the Fourth Circuit on the board, recounted how he had asked White to apply for the First DCA JNC vacancy as a backup to another attorney who was being asked to apply. When that attorney was appointed by Gov. Bush to the Fourth Circuit JNC, White became the prime candidate. She was reviewed by a board screening committee and rated highly qualified, Coxe said, and the board approved her appointment last June. Coxe said he recruited White because she “is extremely bright and extremely well respected in the legal community. . . and she knows her own mind.” Coxe, who has also served on the Fourth Circuit JNC, said he didn’t see Sheppard’s letter for Pillans as a conflict, and did not view White’s questions as out of line. He added he’s heard tougher questions asked during his JNC service. Asked about the obligation and responsibility of a JNC in screening a candidate, Coxe answered: “The obligation is to identify and ferret out any information that is related to the qualifications and character of the individual. As far as to whom the obligation is owed, I think it’s owed to the people. The Governor has a right to rely that the names he gets have been thoroughly screened.” Coxe noted in 1996 he joined and became a partner in the law firm where Pillans is also a partner, but when the appointment was made he believed that Pillans would not be reapplying for future vacancies. He also told White and others they might never get to screen candidates, because no First DCA judges were near the mandatory retirement age. But then in August, two judges announced they were retiring, triggering the screening process. Martinez told the panel that the commission had informally discussed the handling of negative information and the asking of tough questions. “What I told them was I encouraged them to ask the difficult questions and that I would not be inclined to give any credibility [to information brought up during confidential deliberation] that wasn’t brought up during the interview process,” Martinez said. “Now that this has happened, would you give the same recommendation?” Hatchett asked. “Yes, I would,” Martinez answered. “It is our job to ask the hard questions.” Martinez, who said Makar is a close personal and professional friend, said the situation was difficult. She said she was looking at adopting a local rule that when a member discovers such negative information, it be reported to the chair who can ask a second commission member to check it out. She noted that Jacksonville attorney A. Wellington Barlow had proposed a procedural rule for all JNCs that required that any negative information be presented to an applicant before it could be raised in confidential deliberations. But the assembled JNCs, meeting at their annual institute several years ago, couldn’t agree on a uniform rule. All JNC uniform rules must be approved by a majority of the JNCs, according to Art. V., Sect. 11(d) of the Florida Constitution. Martinez said Barlow acted after negative information was raised in Fourth Circuit JNC deliberations, and the information had not been presented to the candidate during the screening interview. The information prevented the candidate from being nominated to the Governor, and the JNC subsequently discovered the information was false. Doppelt asked Martinez about Makar’s assertion he should have had advance warning that financial and health questions were going to be asked. Martinez replied that the First DCA JNC has historically not done that, but she was surprised to learn at a recent meeting some JNCs do give advance warning of such questions. Like many procedural and other matters, those are left to the individual commissions, she said.last_img

HEAVY PENALTY: Businesses violating GCQ may not operate anymore

first_imgClients of the lodge were told to leave and the management was ordered to close shop. “We received information about this lodge last week and did a stakeout on Wednesday night. May nakita kami nga taxi, walk-in and private car nga nagsulod kag wala nakagwa. Naaktohan gid naton,” said Canong. The lodge’s management promised to comply with the EO, said Canong. Under the EO, the following activities are also prohibited: * observing physical distancing Their permits would be revoked and even if the day would come that the Interagency Task Force on the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases would allow them to operate, the city government won’t approve, warned Mayor Jerry Treñas. * libraries, archives, museums and other cultural activities * gyms, fitness studios, and other sports facilities * wearing of facemask  * activities of travel agencies or tour operators/PN On May 16, this city transitioned from enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) to GCQ, easing restrictions in the operation of businesses, transportation and travel, among others, to rev up the local economy while at the same time curbing the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). These are the safety measures: * travel agencies and tour operators * entertainment-related mass gatherings including theaters, large concerts, festivals, conventions, and shows including those in pubs or bars, restaurants, coffee shops, cocktail lounges, and other similar establishments ILOILO City – Establishments prohibited from opening under the general community quarantine (GCQ) but nevertheless continue to do business face severe punishment. * business-related mass gatherings like trade shows, conferences, workshops and rentals * amusement centers including movie houses, computer and online gaming shops, all-night clubs, pubs, massage parlors, casinos, cockpits, and the like The city government’s Public Safety and Transportation Management Office, on the other hand, had been asked to “take charge of the inspection of the operation of mass public transportation and the compliance of all other persons to the health standards.” * regulated travel of persons between ECQ (including modified ECQ) and GCQ areas No arrests, however, were made because, according to Canong, the city government was still carrying out an information dissemination campaign on Treñas’ EO. Treñas has started deploying “compliance officers” across the metro to check who’s following and violating EO No. 75 placing the city under GCQ. The city government’s Task Force on Morals and Values Formation made the discovery on May 20, according to its chief, Nestor Canong. The following are not allowed to open yet under the GCQ as stated in Treñas’ Executive Order (EO) No. 75: A lodging house in Barangay Sto. Niño Sur, Arevalo district was discovered to be operating in violation of Treñas’ EO. Mayor Jerry Treñas. ARNOLD ALMACEN/CMO * confinement at designated quarantine and isolation fatalities LODGE CAUGHT OPERATING * sports-related mass gatherings like trainings and tournaments * politically-related mass gatherings like election rallies, parades and speeches * spas, massage centers, facial centers and the like * gambling and betting activities * resorts, parks, beaches and other leisure/tourism businesses As stated in Section 11 of EO No. 75 : “The Business Permits and Licensing Office as well as other authorized officers of the Iloilo City Government shall take charge of inspecting and ensuring that establishments allowed to operate…strictly comply with health standards and safety measures.”last_img read more

Nigeria Handball Can Be Great Again – Glover

first_img He bemoans the decline of the national teams which he blamed on years of neglect of the age-grade teams amongst several reasons and inactivity of the senior national teams He insisted that for Nigeria to get back the glory days, there must be strong and accountable leadership, fundings, and proper sporting structure. He praised the Sam Ocheho led the board of HFN for the quality leadership which is bringing the glory days back to Nigeria handball. The next online conference will be on Wednesday wherein the speaker would be the President of the Angola Handball Federation and the second vice president of the CAHB Mr. Pedro Godinho. Mr. Godinho will speak on the topic “How to develop the game of Handball in a country and making it a podium sport: The Angolan Experience”. Time is 1 pm. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Promoted ContentThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read More10 Extremely Gorgeous Asian Actresses7 Facts About Black Holes That Will Blow Your MindSuch A Sweet Life Story Of The Youngest Queen In The WorldBirds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemThe Funniest Prankster Grandma And Her GrandsonA Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic BombsWhich Country Is The Most Romantic In The World?The 10 Best Secondary Education Systems In The WorldThe Best Cars Of All Time10 Of The Dirtiest Seas In The World7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market Value Handball Federation of Nigeria (HFN) has commenced a week-long online conference/webinar on handball development in Nigeria in celebration of the International Handball Week. The first day of the online webinar which had several handball technocrats and stakeholders participating actively in the conference, had former President of the Handball Federation of Nigeria and Vice President of the Confederation of Africa Handball (CAHB) Dr. Lanre Glover as the keynote speaker handle the topic “Developing The Game of Handball In Nigeria: Problems and Prospect” Dr. Glover in his speech went memory lane about how handball started and even thrived in Nigeria in the 70s and the 80s and how Nigeria had the best teams in Africa even until the 90s until a decline set in because of maladministration and lack of funding. He also emphasised the fact that there were world-class sports facilities that ensured Nigeria hosted several international handball competition including the world girls handball championship in Bauchi and that the sport attracted lots of corporate sponsorships which ended because of the lack of trust from the corporate world. read also:HFN Cancels 5th Sam Ocheho Invitational Handball ChampionshipAdvertisementcenter_img Loading… last_img read more

Westhill girls soccer tops Marcellus, falls to CVA in sectional final

first_img Tags: girls soccerMarcellusWesthill In its quest to regain the Section III Class B championship after an early elimination in 2018, the Westhill girls soccer team got through its most historic rival – but fell one victory short of a 15th sectional crown.As it worked out, the no. 3 seed Warriors and Marcellus, the no. 2 seed, would confront each other in the sectional Class B semifinal last Tuesday at Jamesville-DeWitt, and Westhill got the best of it, blanking the Mustangs 1-0.For all the many times occasions these two teams have met in important games over the last three decades, this was the first time since the 2014 final that Westhill and Marcellus would match up late in the sectional tournament. Throughout the second half, any time Mustangs tried to pick up pressure, the Westhill defense pushed them to the sides. Brooke Zollo, Lauren Marshall, Ryan Murphy and the rest of the defense would earn its 12th shutout overall.And now, in the sectional title game Friday night at SUNY-Cortland, Westhill would try and topple top seed Central Valley Academy, who in the other semifinal had rallied from an early deficit to knock off defending champion Holland Patent 2-1.Despite its historical edge, and despite a mid-game surge, the Warriors were unable to deny the Thunder its first-ever sectional championship as CVA won by a 3-1 margin.From the outset, the Thunder found itself on the front foot, making Westhill’s defense work hard. In particular, Murphy had a big task, assigned to the Thunder’s star forward, Reilly Rich, who despite Murphy’s best efforts would prove the game’s most important presence.After crashing a shot off the post in the opening minutes, Rich set up the game’s first goal midway through the first half, her deft pass finding a streaking Jazmyn Gillette up the middle, and Gillette punched a low shot past Lauren Bendall.Not until late in the half did the Warriors’ attack start to hum. Rudnick pushed a hard shot just wide in the 30th minute, and Westhill almost converted again in the last two minutes, so a 1-0 deficit at the break didn’t seem too alarming.Sure enough, less than seven minutes into the second half Erica Gangemi, from the left side, lofted a terrific pass to Lauren Holstein, who converted the tying goal.But just when it looked like the Warriors were ready to take over, CVA regrouped and started to apply the same pressure it did earlier in the game, leading to two decisive blows.With 17:58 left, the Thunder had a free kick from the right side 25 yards out at an odd angle. Here, Rich delivered the biggest goal in her program’s history, a perfect free kick with her left foot that lofted to the top left corner of the net out of Bendall’s reach.And CVA didn’t sit on its 2-1 lead, continuing to push hard until a series of great passes, the last by Claire Schoff, set up freshman Megan Canipe for a deft shot just inside the right post for the clincher.Share this:FacebookTwitterLinkedInRedditComment on this Story center_img Despite the better seed for the Mustangs, it was the Warriors who prevailed 1-0 in overtime when these sides met in September, and the rematch would again feature strong defense on both ends.With the ball kept in its own end for much of the first half, the Marcellus back line, led by Shannon Kellar, Lauren Keyes, Sam Wynne and Maggie Moses, did a terrific job preventing close-up opportunities.As such, Westhill had to produce something special to get a goal. That happened with 39 seconds left in the half as Stephanie Falcone’s well-timed touch pass found Ciarra Rudnick, who flicked a low shot past Elena Shaw.last_img read more

LeBron James won’t play much in preseason, Lakers coach Frank Vogel says

first_img“We saw a mismatch in LeBron and Anthony’s team really sort of had their way with the other teams,” Vogel said. “We had three teams out there, and those guys really performed at a high level on both ends of the floor.”The Lakers play in their first preseason game next weekend against the Warriors at their new arena in San Francisco, then the team will travel to China to face the Nets in two exhibition games.”I feel like we’re ready to play right now,” Vogel said. “We put a lot of stuff in, both offensively with our full offense and the variety of things you can do out of it, as well as a lot of our defensive coverages. We’ve had a really productive first couple of days, and I’m not worried about us not being ready to play games against Golden State or in China.” “We want to be intelligent,” Vogel said on playing James during the team’s six-game exhibition. “We want to get him enough reps to get him familiar with his teammates and get everybody on the same page, some cohesiveness. But certainly going to be intelligent and not overdo it in the preseason.”Intensity. Enthusiasm. Energy.Another good day of practice in the books. #LakeShow— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) September 30, 2019James, 34, is entering his 17th season in the league, is in his second season with the Lakers and is starting his first year under Vogel, who was hired by Los Angeles after Luke Walton was fired last season. Related News Clippers’ Paul George targets November return after offseason shoulder surgeries It also will mark Anthony Davis’ first year with James and the Lakers after he was traded to Los Angeles in a blockbuster deal in the offseason.Vogel explained he wants James and Davis to get used to playing with each other while minimizing any wear and tear before the regular season starts. He also said he is figuring out the lineup since the Lakers added Dwight Howard, Avery Bradley and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope in the offseason. Don’t expect to see LeBron James on the court much as the NBA preseason starts up.Lakers coach Frank Vogel said while James will play a little bit, the team would rather conserve him for the regular season. Kawhi Leonard: Clippers star feeling ‘way better’ than 12 months ago Raptors ‘hungry’ for another NBA title, Marc Gasol sayslast_img read more