As was previously reported -- after Judge England filed for summary dissolution in Sacramento County Superior Court, and after Judge England and Torie L. Flournoy wed, and after Torie Flournoy-England was appointed to serve as a member of CaliforniaALL's board of directors, and while CaliforniaALL was in existence -- a lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California, in which the State Bar of California was named as the sole defendant. Serving on CaliforniaALL's board of directors of CaliforniaALL (which was in a partnership relationship with the State Bar of California) was Torie Flournoy-England, spouse of Hon. Morrison England. State Bar of California Executive Director Judy Johnson and State Bar employee Patricia Lee as well as Judge Morrison C. England were part of CaliforniaALL's Advisory Council. The above photo, which was published on the cover of a local magazine in Sacramento, notes that the Englands wed in May 2008.
For Judge Morrison England and Torie Flournoy-England participation in alleged financial scheme involving OBAMA FOR AMERICA / CaliforniaALL, please see HERE (Photo:courtesy)
CaliforniaALL, a Section 501(c)(3) charitable entity, came about as a result of a San Francisco restaurant meeting between Ruthe Ashley (a Diversity Officer at CalPERS and Vice President of the State Bar of California) and Peter Arth, Jr., Chief of Staff to CPUC President Michael Peevey. Also present at that meeting was Professor Sarah E. Redfield.
CaliforniaALL's alleged purpose was to award grants to entities that would increase minority participation in the "pipelines" that feed into various industries, such as finance, technology, and law.
Donations to CaliforniaALL came primarily from utility companies (including AT&T, Sempra Energy, and PG&E). In its brief existence from 2008 to 2010, CaliforniaALL collected close to $2 million, including an unusually large sub rosa contribution of $780,000 from the State Bar of California Foundation in 2008.
Other than in Foundation tax records and a 2 by 2 inch blurb in its 2008 annual report, the sub rosa contribution was never mentioned again – not by the State Bar of California, not in the Cal Bar Journal, not in the Foundation's "newsroom," and not by anyone or any publication of CaliforniaALL.
CaliforniaALL was abruptly dissolved in July 2010.
Circumstances surrounding CaliforniaALL are imbued with fraud, deceit, secrecy, and prima facie evidence of criminal conduct by many of the actors involved. As was previously reported here, Leslie Hatamiya -- the embattled executive director of the California Bar Foundation who colluded with Holly Fujie, Ruthe Ashley, Patricia Lee and Judy Johnson in order to maintain secrecy over the unlawful transfer of $780,00 from California Bar Foundation to CaliforniaALL -- has resigned, and a search for a replacement is underway.
According to confidential sources, an ongoing multi-prong inquiry is continuing. A source maintains that one aspect of the inquiry involves a close and focused examination of the staggering circumstances surrounding the current President and Vice President of the California Bar Foundation -- Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin's Douglas Winthrop and Buchalter Nemer's Holly Fujie, respectively.
GRANDA V STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA
TLR has learned from confidential sources that an ethics complaint for alleged ethical violation was filed yesterday with the State Bar of California naming Lawrence Yee, Mark Torres-Gil, Rachel Grunberg, Judy Johnson and Holly Fujie.
According to the sources, the confidential complaint alleges misconduct due to the failure of the above-named attorneys to disclose to Plaintiff Granda the nature of the close personal relationship between the State Bar of California, CaliforniaALL, Judy Johnson, Judge England and his spouse -- Torrie Flournoy-England. The sources maintain the facts in the complaint are similar to those previously mentioned in the judicial misconduct complaint lodged against Judge England.
Pressed as to the nature of the allegations concerning Fujie, the sources claim that Fujie participated in all the proceedings concerning CaliforniaALL (including, oddly enough, causing the ex post facto appointment of Peter Arth to the Council of Access and Fairness to give him a chance to visit), and that she was a member of the Board of Governors' Operation Committee and was briefed regarding Granda's case. In addition, Fujie was aware that Judge England was presiding over the case and that he and his wife were affiliated with CaliforniaALL. In addition, Fujie authorized the expenditure of money for legal fees to oppose the suit before Judge England. Ms. Fujie also participated in multiple diversity-related events at which Judge England and his wife, Torie Flournoy-England, were present; one such even took place on January 27, 2009, when DLA Piper's Gilles Attia and the Office of Assembly Member Mike Davis co-hosted a reception honoring CaliforniaALL at the Tsakopoulos Galleria in Sacramento.
Despite all these facts, Fujie -- rather than speaking up about the obvious conflict regarding Judge England -- chose to keep quiet and look the other way.
According to the sources, a similar complaint against Yee, Torres-Gil and Grunberg will also be filed with the federal court in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California; similarly, Mr. Benjamin Wagner, the U.S. Attorney for the District, as well as the FBI, will be asked to look into the matter and rule out any improper financial transactions involving CaliforniaALL and Judge England and his spouse which served as consideration for the dismissal of Ms. Granda's suit, which had sought both injunctive and monetary damages.
According to the sources, while there is a very low probability that such an occurrence took place, fraudulent tax returns submitted by the Cal Bar Foundation and CaliforniaALL require a thorough audit of every transaction, down to the last penny.