Here’s why the globbering of Register of Probate Patricia Campatelli is so outrageous:
(1) There is no allegation that her office operation was not running properly and effectively or that is she did not do the job she was elected to do.
(2) There is no allegation that she committed any criminal act.
(3) She has been stripped of her rights under the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights, Article XII.
Here’s what the Boston Globe on March 17, 2014, said that she had done when it editorialized telling her to resign or that the “court system should proceed with the process of removing her.”
(1) She is a foul-mouthed, intimidating boss who “created a fearful atmosphere” in the office, likely violated the court’s sexual harassment policy, and punished those who fell out of her favor.
(2) She worked “short days [which] were punctuated by several smoking breaks that sometimes lasted for half an hour.”
(3) She was previously suspended when it was said “she punched an employee in the face during a night of heavy drinking” which could not be substantiated, although she may have done some heavy drinking one night with her staff.
The editorial concludes: “But at a bare minimum, the smooth functioning of the court system requires a register who isn’t actively disruptive.”
The Globe’s editorial was based upon the investigation by one Ronald P. Corbett who interviewed 39 people in the court but no judges. None are named. He alone determined their credibility based upon their secret statements. Nowhere did he say there were complaints from judges that the register’s office was not doing the job it was supposed to do. He basically found there were employees who didn’t like the cut of the woman’s jib.
As to the charge she worked short days, he didn’t factor in that she is a politician who was elected to office. That requires her to get out and about in the community and meet with her constituents. Should Governor Patrick be removed because he’s off on another trip? Since when do politicians have to punch a clock. Did Corbett or the Globe count the number of wakes, funerals, openings, ribbon cuttings, little league games, parades, etc. that she attended toward her work days. Suggesting as a reason for her removal that she works short days is highly disingenuous. Show me one other time the Globe ever suggested a politician had to be tied to her desk.
Eliminate that and those things that were not substantiated (the brawl and the sexual harassment) what are left is a woman who is a tough boss. feared and disliked by some employees, who swears, demands people follow her orders, and on one occasion but probably more proved herself to be a two fisted drinker. Based on these peccadilloes she is suspended from her job as demanded by the Globe which paper by the way was in contact with the officials determining this case.
Seriously, do you think if she were a man this would even be an issue. Campatelli’s true offense seems to be she’s not as cultured as those women who work at the Globe or as judges think she should be. She’s from a hardscrabble background unlike them. They would not feel comfortable around her with her salty sailor talk never mind inviting her over for tea and crumpets lest she spike her tea with some spirits.
When she tries to get reinstated she turns to the Supreme Judicial Court (SJC). It rebuffs her. In the case of Patricial Campatelli vs. Chief Justice of the Trial Court it also follows the demands of the Globe and agrees these acts are sufficient to remove an elected official from office.
The SJC in doing this notes: “The decision to suspend Campatelli with pay falls well within the inherent judicial authority [of the chief justices] to control and supervise personnel within the judicial system.”
In effect the SJC gives the chief justice (and an appointed court administrator) the power to control an elected official. This is so even though the Legislature tried to protect them. Under the SJC ruling a chief justice can take away an elected court officials power to hire, fire and assign employees and take it to herself based upon the flimsiest of evidence and prior to giving that official a chance to fully defend herself.
The Campatelli decision in which all the SJC justices joined stated: “Among the fundamental principles embedded in the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights is the right to prompt and impartial administration of justice.” However it seems the justices forgot a more fundamental right set out in that document which reads: “Article XII. No subject shall be held to answer for any . . . offence, until the same is fully and plainly, substantially and formally, described to him; . . . And every subject shall have a right to produce all proofs, that may be favorable to him; to meet the witnesses against him face to face, and to be fully heard in his defense by himself, or his council at his election. And no subject shall be . . . deprived of his property, . . . , put out of protection of the law, exiled, or deprived of his . . . estate, but by the judgment of his peers, or the law of the land.”
Campatelli has been made to answer to an offense consisting of vague allegations; she has not been given the right to produce all proofs, meet the witnesses face to face, or to be fully heard. She has been deprived of her property without any judgment by her peers.
There should be a sign above the door of the SJC: “ABANDON ALL HOPE, YOU WHO ENTER HERE WHO HAVE BEEN GLOBBERED.”