D E V E L O P I N G .....
In a recent twist to the saga known as "Bribing Pat," an appellate court vacated in part, affirmed in part, and remanded the case concerning the bribery of Patrice McElroy back to the trial court level.
McElroy, who is a judge with the State Bar of California Court, was accused of accepting bribery in the form of a trip overseas as part of a scheme and as a valuable consideration in exchange for favorable rulings from a private attorney who participated in a case which was pending before her.
The suit alleged that McElroy never made any disclosures to the other litigants appearing before her concerning her participation in the trip that she had secretly accepted. In addition, the suit also accused McElroy of spoliation and destruction of evidence, as important evidence and documents were intentionally removed from the court file.
A State Bar insider speaking to TLR on condition of anonymity opined, "the recent development, while not crucial, revived the possibility of a new collateral attack on the decision based on the "fraud" and "void ab initio" exceptions to the Rooker-Feldman Doctrine."
The insider further stated that he learned from a recent motion that it was the desire of the trial court judge for the accusations concerning the bribery of Judge McElroy to be taken directly to the justices of the California Supreme Court. "Yet, strangely, the justices own counsel refused to enter into such a stipulation. A tautology and a catch 21, indeed." The insider opined.
"Based on the recent allegations advanced by Mr. Stanley Arouty, and If the allegation concerning the bribery can be substantiated with documentary evidence, it is only a matter of time before McElroy is removed from office. If it was my case, I would immediately advance criminal complaints against McElroy to the office of the U.S. Attorney and to the Attorney General of California," the insider concluded.
The latest development comes in the aftermath of revelations of numerous scandals involving the integrity of several judges and executives of the State Bar of California. Most notable among these is the forced departure of Executive Director Judy Johnson, which came on the heels of a crisis of confidence in State Bar leadership.