Stuff You Need To Know, Volume 9,823

Vance Was Elected, Whether Cuomo Likes It or Not

Following the Eric Schneiderman accusations of either assault, rough sex or possibly nothing, the elected District Attorney of New York Count, Cyrus Vance, announced he was starting an investigationthe allegations of at least some incidents occurred within his jurisdiction.

Big deal? It was to Governor Andy, who announced that Vance would be removed from the investigation and it would be handled by Madeline Singas, Nassau County District Attorney. Cuomo has the authority to remove a prosecutor and appoint a special counsel where a conflict of interest exists. But did it?

In an ironic twist, Schneiderman was already investigating how Vance handled Harvey Weinstein, who more than 70 women have accused of sexual harassment and assault. Vance decided to not pursue charges against Weinstein in 2015 despite police having a recording of Weinstein admitting to groping. Weinstein’s lawyer had donated $55,000 to Vance in campaign contributions.

Cuomo said Tuesday morning that he wanted to make sure the DA pursuing the case would “have no conflict whatsoever with the attorney general, either institutionally or personally” to assuage the women in the article who outlined that fear about Schneiderman’s political power and position stopped them going public earlier.

Was this a matter of dueling offices or bad blood between Vance and Schneiderman as a result of the AG’s office’s investigation of Vance for Weinstein? Does it matter?

Vance said in the letter that the potential conflict between his office and the attorney general was eliminated when Schneiderman resigned and that “the alleged acts are plainly within the jurisdiction of my office.”

“Put simply, no prosecutors are better equipped to investigate and pursue such
cases in Manhattan than those in my office; we do so, in partnership with the NYPD, every single day,” Vance said.

There was little doubt that Schneiderman would seize upon the Weinstein story to pander for self-aggrandizement to the #MeToo crowd, which has nothing to do with whether it’s a legitimate accusation against Vance. But then, when the mob turned on Schneiderman, was turnabout fair play or was Vance just doing his job? After all, he was elected District Attorney.

Or was Singas the easy way out, removing the potential taint and next scandal should the mob complain that whatever the outcome of Vance’s investigation, it was tainted by supposition of impropriety, whether because of bad blood or because Vance was a misogynist?

The team has worked out a compromise for the sake of appearances, but it leaves Vance as the goat, too tainted to be trusted. The intersecting spirals of accusations and investigations has undermined the ability for an elected district attorney to do the job for which he was elected, while a governor fights to establish his cred with the mob.

We’re up to our eyeballs in accusations, and internecine warfare over who will win the hearts of the mob long enough to win an election, if not merely remain in office, while no prosecution has been brought and no accusation tested by the system that exists for that purpose. And now, an elected district attorney has been ousted from his duties to appease the mob.

Mercury News Calls For Persky’s Recall

“Send a message” is a convenient argument to signal one’s virtue, even if it’s usually nothing more than one of those “common sense” beliefs that doesn’t actually work except in the minds of those in need of an excuse to exercise retribution. But this might be that oddball circumstance where a message may, indeed, be sent.

The decision comes down to this: Voters need to stand up and make a statement on behalf of women and men about the seriousness of sexual assault. Persky’s sentence failed to do so to an extent that he never will again be able to serve as a respected, effective judge. He should be recalled.

It may not be fair to Persky, who is a decent man and an able judge. But neither was Persky’s six-month sentence in 2016 fair to the young woman who was sexually assaulted by Brock Turner.

To be clear, the issue is not Turner’s sentence. That’s done and can’t be undone no matter how many torches the mob carries to the castle. Maybe it was too lenient, but a judge imposing a sentence with which outsiders disagree isn’t breaking news.

And the Mercury News concedes, heck it affirmatively states, that Persky is an “able judge,” as confirmed by both prosecutors and defense lawyers who have appeared before him. He’s smart and respected. He’s deemed by both sides to be fair. He’s exactly the sort of person who one would want to be a judge. So off with his head?!?

The argument that recalling Persky will strike a blow against judicial independence is not compelling. That ship already has sailed. The recall campaign and the surging MeToo movement have put judges across California on notice: Take sexual assault more seriously or risk being  “Persky’d”.

If you’re going to assert “that ship already has sailed,” it would be nice if you offered some tiny, itty-bitty hint at what you’re talking about. But only if you’re trying to be a credible editorial in a legit paper, I mean. No pressure.

But that “not compelling” argument is compelling enough to push judges, who are ill-equipped to fend off the mob, to be ever-more-harsh or be “Persky’d”? Draco Dauber must be ever so proud of herself, assuring that those prison cells emptied by non-violent drug users will be filled by men serving life plus cancer for sex offenses. All because the mob didn’t like one sentence.

Burn The Yale Witch

The incantation of feeling uncomfortable is good enough to destroy a great many lives, but not when the target of discomfort has more victim points than the accuser. Sara Braasch learned this the hard way.

On Thursday, the Yale University Police Department posted its account of the incident, which it says began when a caller told the police a woman “she did not know” was sleeping in the common room. After checking identification, police said they told the caller the woman was an authorized resident and “had every right to be there,” adding that this was “not a police matter.”

The room was dark and Braasch called out “who’s in here, you’re not allowed to be sleeping in here.” Rapist? Drug addict? Killer? Braasch would have been a hero. But it turned out to be Lolade Siyonbola, another Yale student, whom Braasch didn’t know. After Yale police verified that she was student, which took longer than otherwise because Siyonbola’s preferred name on her student ID was different from her name as a registered student, the incident was over. Or was it?

It turns out that Braasch, in addition to the engineering degrees and the philosophy degree she was pursuing, was also an admitted lawyer in New York.

It must be exhausting to save the world from uncomfortable white women.*

The Singing of Avenatti’s Wings

The lesson of Mickey Sherman is hard to see when you’re high atop the pedestal. But a lesson it remains.

He’s become famous as the brash lawyer for the porn star who purportedly bedded the future president, but before Michael Avenatti accused Donald Trump and his attorney of a payoff scheme to muzzle Stormy Daniels, he faced allegations of dubious business dealings as owner of a flailing coffee chain.

Fly high and there will invariably be people aiming to bring you down.

And late last month, the list of grievances against Avenatti only intensified, with new allegations of wrongdoing.

In a complaint submitted to the California State Bar Association — and cc’d to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle — Bellevue attorney David Nold asserts Avenatti carried out an illegal “pump and dump” scheme through his Washington state-registered Tully’s ownership firm, Global Baristas US, LLC.

Is there any merit to the accusations? To the suits against him? To the greivance? To the Tully’s employees who don’t love him nearly as much as the Resistance?

Sifuentez, the former Tully’s employee, said he can’t help but see the irony.

“He’s getting all this positive press for the Stormy Daniels thing, but at the same time, this (expletive) just cost hundreds of people their jobs,” he said.

As one’s profile rises, so too do the daggers of those who fail to appreciate your fabulousness. Whether this will bring Avenatti down remains unclear, but if he thought this was going to be purely a lovefest for his “brash” defense of Stormy and attacks on Trump, then he didn’t learn the lesson. And then there’s the question of how he got Michael Cohen’s SARs, which might not piss off his fans but could well annoy the Treasury Department’s Inspector General a bit.

*As was pointed out to me after this post was published, the twit mentions the NYS bar disciplinary committee. As any competent New York lawyer should know, the NYS bar is a voluntary membership organization which has nothing to do with attorney complaints, which is handled by the Supreme Court, Appellate Division, Departmental Disciplinary Committees for the department where the lawyer was admitted to practice. So call the NYS bar all you want.

58 thoughts on “Stuff You Need To Know, Volume 9,823

  1. B. McLeod

    Cuomo what may,
    Some moral play,
    Or tawdry scandal bring us,
    To see it done without delay,
    How can he keep from Singas?

    So politik,
    A woken prick,
    With PC stunts to sting us,
    As Vance is left to flick his bic,
    He cannot keep from Singas.

      1. David

        Wait, why are you a misogynist when this was about race? Did she forget what to call you? It must be exhausting trying to remember what name to call people.

        1. SHG Post author

          OMG, I think you’re right. It’s got to be really hard to keep them straight. Oh crap, now I’m a homophobe. Will this never end?!?

    1. Miles

      Call him a name? You are a very effective advocate for truth and justice as he will almost certainly cry or change his evil ways because you called him a misogynist. No wonder social justice will prevail despite it’s obvious shortcomings, given such highly effective voices like yours.

      1. LocoYokel

        It’s actually funny to see this kind of stuff. If these people ever ran into real misogyny it would make their heads explode. Not to many years ago I would have had a lot of fun showing them what it really is.

        1. SHG Post author

          I used to find it funny. Now I just find it pathetic. But then again, that may be because I’m a misogynist.

          1. LocoYokel

            Ah, but you were probably never truly misogynistic, and so wouldn’t have enjoyed seeing them cry. I used to be very much so, and wouldn’t doubt that I still have a touch of it. While I would have not actually set out to make a female cry it’s only because I wouldn’t have wasted the time dealing with one any longer than necessary to get her out of my face. And it doesn’t take much to make even the worst of them leave with just a little practice.

            1. SHG Post author

              I am an old-school feminist, believing in equality all the way. That means when a women says something utterly fucking idiotic, you say the same thing to her as you would to a man who says something utterly fucking idiotic. I occasionally made people cry, but I never enjoyed it. All the snot coming out of their nose was disgusting.

            2. LocoYokel

              I believe in equality, but that’s never been the feminist goal, not since day one. Equality where it benefits them, yes, but did you ever see a feminist stating that women should up for the draft like men were or that men should have equal parental rights or even equal treatment in a divorce? Equality was just the battle cry that everyone could get behind but it was only the starting point, the end goal was always more.

  2. Ken

    This is apparently the second black person from Yale that has inspired Braasch to call the cops.

    I find that relevant.

    But maybe tastes vary.

    1. SHG Post author

      It may be relevant, but are two data points conclusive? Has she had similar fears of unknown white people? Is she entitled to feel uncomfortable and seek aid? I dunno. The rules changes too often for me to keep abreast of proper wokiosity.

      Is it sufficient for the mob to find her guilty of racism and try to get her disbarred? Tastes vary.

  3. Santiago

    how convenient to leave out of your post that the woman had already called on other black women on campus, and that the black student did respond saying she was a student and that white woman still called the police. its not only an “uncomfortable woman” it is a racist one.

    1. SHG Post author

      First, it was a black male, who was not a student, wandering around lost. If you find my failure to include it inconvenient (as well as all the other aspects of her life about which neither you nor I know anything), you get to leave a comment as you have to call me out, or even write something yourself. This is America. Write away!

      Some people find evidence of racism where it exists. Others where it doesn’t. Others where it’s equivocal. You’re allowed to conclude she’s racist and she deserves to have her life destroyed. I think it’s premature to reach a verdict or impose sentence. The problem is that sentence has already been imposed, so it’s a little too late to worry about whether it’s correct.

      1. Jon H

        It was a black male, who was a student, who was invited there to meet other students but had lost his way.

        1. SHG Post author

          So she says. And what does that have to do with a lawyer twitting random followers on twitter to file grievances against another lawyer?

    2. Ron

      She said she was a student? As opposed to saying she was thief, rapist or killer? Well that changes everything. Now I’m convinced that Braash should have believed her without question.

      1. Jon H

        Would a thief, female!? rapist, or killer be sleeping in a common area?

        I mean, maybe? But that’s common student behavior. So Ockham’s Razor would suggest she was in fact a student.

        Or maybe Braasch is just a racist who believes she is the arbiter of who belongs at Yale.

        1. SHG Post author

          From a modestly thoughtful perspective, this has nothing to do with justifying Braasch’s actions, but with condemning Kavanagh’s attack on twitter. If Braasch is a racist, then the way to deal with it is through the Yale complaint process, not calling for the mob to destroy her.

  4. Rebecca Kavanagh

    My comment that you are a misogynist was a general comment pertaining to all your work.

    Thank you Santiago and others who have pointed out that Ms. Braasch has called the police on Black people more than once. And the first person she called the police on was a Black man. Kind of ruins your whole thesis there. I don’t know anyone who had to call the police on anyone in their college dorm once, so this more than suggests a problematic pattern of behavior.

    Moreover, you might want to read the article she wrote published in thehumanist.com, where she argues that some slaves chose to remain slaves and posits the question, who are “we” to question why they might want to choose a “subhuman” legal status. The woman is racist. Yeah that makes me “uncomfortable” among other things. I guess you’re good with it.

    1. SHG Post author

      Oh, Rebecca. You still think there’s any chance I give a damn that you call me a misogynist? In what insane universe do you think your condemnation matters?

      Maybe Braasch is a racist, but you’re the nutjob desperate to burn all your witches. Your narcissism knows no bounds, as you are ready to do whatever you can to destroy people when you decide they deserve to be destroyed. Aren’t you so very pure and important that you can convict and sentence people.

      And as for you “guess,” save that game for your fellow nutjobs. Adults don’t give a damn about your infantile goading. You’ve disgraced yourself among everyone but the crazies who share your vision. The rest of us worry only about how many people you will harm in your raving quest for social justice.

      1. ShallMustMay

        I’d rather see this kind of energy- you both have devoted here in this exchange- spent elsewhere. Like reporting your fellow advisary for unethical behavior in court/proceedings to start. May be that’s why prosecutors are constantly getting away with the crap they pull. ???
        Thanks for the links
        Love, you’re average Josephine

        1. SHG Post author

          Not reporting, but calling on the twitter mob to do so. That’s not energy. That’s dangerous.

    2. Gideon

      You are one horrible piece of shit. You could have criticized her for her racism, real or perceived, and that would have been understandable. But you couldn’t stop there. That’s the point that you so desperately try to deflect. You couldn’t stop there, but had to call for grievances to be filed against her. It wasn’t enough to criticize her. You had to hurt her. You had to inflict harm.

      You are sick, disgusting, mean, hateful waste of human life.

  5. Ken Mackenzie

    “no prosecutors are better equipped to investigate and pursue such cases in Manhattan than those in my office; we do so, in partnership with the NYPD”
    It’s so much better when the prosecutors leave the investigating to the investigators.

  6. Rebecca Kavanagh

    Misogynistic comment no. 1. “burn all the witches.”

    Misogynistic comment no. 2. “twit.”

    1. SHG Post author

      First, you get to use the “reply” button just like everyone else. I know how special you are, but even you can figure it out.

      Second, you have mad skillz unearthing my misogynistic language. Twit, however, refers to what one does on the twitters, but you probably knew that, right?

    2. Suzi

      Not that you hadn’t proven yourself a joke already, but to the extent you had any credibility left, you completely blew it on number 2. How humiliating.

        1. Ken Mackenzie

          Rebecca’s point 1. wasn’t any better. If she grasped that Scott’s use of “Burn the witch!” was his characterisation of mob justice, not actually Scott calling anyone a witch, I’d take some perverse enjoyment from watching her try to explain how that was a misogynistic use of the phrase.

          1. SHG Post author

            I usually ignore stuff that I consider too stupid to be worthy of my attention. As for “burn the witch,” I can imagine some retort like “witches are women, why not a warlock, you misogynistic shitlord?!?” When dealing with crazies, you get crazy. They hang on their own words, even if they can’t grasp why.

    3. Not Jim

      You’re shitting me.

      Wow. You really are this pathetic.

      And point two proves the like in your “all your works” line earlier. Were you even moderately versed in how Scott writes, you’d know that’s the word he uses when referring to any person’s tweets.

      You’re a joke.

  7. Rebecca Kavanagh

    Here’s the thing, I don’t read your blog, I don’t follow you on twitter. The first time I read an article on your blog was when you talked about ICE arresting my client. After that I read it a couple more times and found it shall we say predictable. I only came to this article because I saw my tweet blown up as part of it. I don’t care much about what you have to say about anything, not sure why, given you think so little of me, you blew my tweet up and devoted half your article to it, but hey.

    Also, your writing would be improved if you used less hyperbole. When you dismiss everyone you disagree with as nutjobs, crazy, raving, disgraceful etc. you kinda sound like Donald Trump and it diminishes your arguments. But then they had already pretty much been demolished when everyone pointed out who Sarah Braasch was to you before I even entered the conversation.

    As I say not sure what it is, but sorry I seem to make you so uncomfortable.

    1. SHG Post author

      Still reply-challenged, I see. Come on, you can do it. Figure out how to comment on a blog. I remember your reaction to the ICE post, where I wrote something nice about you and you managed to twist it into something negative. We all have a good laugh at your expense over that one.

      Thanks for the writing tips, but there’s a strong possibility that my writing won’t appeal to people incapable of thinking and locked into their social justice delusion. I’m good with that, even if it doesn’t appeal to you. Sorry that your narcissism precludes you from realizing this wasn’t about you, as nobody gives a damn about you, per se, but about what you did here. It would have been the same if it had been someone else, but it happened to be you. Given that you were Rule 1’d last time, as you’ve amply demonstrated again here, it comes as no surprise that you seek to lead the mob to burn the witch (see? I did it again).

    2. Miles

      Thank you for not reading SJ, and even more, for not commenting. There’s more than enough stupid in the world without your contributions.

      1. SHG Post author

        I’ve let her comment here (despite her inability to use the reply button) because she feels all butthurt that her twit was included. If she spewed this nonsense on other posts, she would be subject to the same rules that apply to everyone else, and would likely end up with her comments in the trash as violative of the rule that no one gets to use my soapbox to make people stupider.

      2. Ken Mackenzie

        I disagree Miles. Rebecca could learn a lot from reading this blog, and even more from being challenged in the comments.
        What’s scary is that she’s not the naive undergraduate you might have expected from her writing, but (if the net can be relied upon) a Senior Staff Attorney at the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn. Real people depend upon her analytical skills and her ability to persuade others. Perhaps the Senior bit means that other lawyers must look to her for guidance. With the cred of a Doctorate in Critical Race Theory to boot.

        1. SHG Post author

          You’re an optimist, Ken. It’s unlikely she could ever grasp a world beyond her orthodoxy. What’s even more unfortunate is that people are forced to suffer her as their lawyer when she cares more for her cause than her clients. That’s far more serious than her childishness here.

          1. Ken Mackenzie

            It’s possible Rebecca cares as passionately for her clients. I just hope she presents their case better than she has hers here. Optimist you say?

            1. SHG Post author

              Can one defend “despicable” people when one is obsessed with hating them, and manufacturing reasons to find despicable under every rock? I doubt it. I hope I’m wrong, for her clients’ sake. They deserve better than her.

            2. Not Jim

              Ken, I would wager that she’d happily sacrifice a client in order to advance her favorite causes.

    1. SHG Post author

      Yet another new thread? I read Jean-Louis Reneson wasn’t a student at Yale. If he was, then I stand corrected. But the detail doesn’t change the point of what you did.

    2. Ken Mackenzie

      Those who jump to conclusions love to crow when they turn out to be right. It’s like a gambler pointing to a winning streak as evidence for their great betting system. And just as flawed.

        1. Ken Mackenzie

          I wonder if Rebecca can see, or acknowledge, that you were not defending Sara Braasch. You were not denying that Ms Braasch could have been motivated by racism. You were criticising the lazy assumptions in the rush to judgement. That distinction is too hard for some.

          1. SHG Post author

            Has anything she’s written here suggested she has the depth of understanding to do so? Then again, the unduly passionate rarely try to think when they’re too busy trying to justify their outrage and offense.

  8. Jon H

    I find it interesting that you’re more concerned about Braasch’s law license than about the people Braasch falsely accused of illegal behavior.

    As a defense attorney shouldn’t you be more concerned about the people who had the cops called on them?

    1. SHG Post author

      One can be concerned about both, but as a defense attorney, I’m more concerned about another defense attorney seeking mob justice rather than process.

      Beware the self-righteous mob. Beware those who invoke it to deal their social justice. If Braasch is racist, it can be addressed through the Yale disciplinary process. But no one can control the fury of the mob.

      1. Rebecca Kavanagh

        Oh dear, I don’t know how to comment properly by hitting the right reply button on your home-made webpage.

        And oh dear, I am forever mortally wounded by you and your followers “challenging” and mocking me, from which, I am sorry to disappoint you, I have learned absolutely nothing.

        You might all want to do some real “challenging” reading (this blog is not that) if you don’t already understand how and why “witch hunt” is a misogynistic term. Glad also you have come up with your own little twitter language whereby twit is not a misogynistic insult. Good for you.

        Do you have an existence Mr. Greenfield outside of the twitter sphere? That oh so serious looking photo on your twitter page suggests you are a lawyer, but apart from this blog it doesn’t seem like you actually do anything.

        Nothing left to say, so don’t worry about doing me the “privilege” of letting me post comments here. Some of us are busy. Do take care tho.

        Cheers all.

  9. Ken Mackenzie

    “My comment that you are a misogynist was a general comment pertaining to all your work.”

    “Here’s the thing, I don’t read your blog”

    Res ipsa loquitor

Comments are closed.