Court Motion Filed Against California Judge - Alleged Bias and Favoritism Toward Indian Gambling Casino and Resort

February 1st, 2008 - 12:49 am ICT by admin  

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - Jan. 25 (SEND2PRESS NEWSWIRE) — A California Judge is being challenged in Court by Redd Law Group (case # 37-2007-00060464-CU-PO-EC), on behalf of Mr. and Mrs. Chisley, for clear favoritism and bias toward Indian Casinos and Resorts in the San Diego area. Judge Jan Goldsmith, now on leave from the Bench and now running for San Diego City Attorney, Ruled in favor of Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino, an Indian Casino in Lakeside, California. The Chisleys, who sued Barona, believe that, based on public documents, Judge Goldsmith may have previously received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Indian Gambling Casinos and Resorts, including collecting money from Barona itself.

UPDATE: Jan 27th: See rebuttal to this press release, from Judge Jan Goldsmith, below.

As a Judge, Goldsmith has ruled on serious and vital Court matters regarding Indian Gambling Casinos and claiming to be impartial, however, a motion that was filed on January 10, 2008, illustrates a clear bias and favoritism in Court rulings for Indian Casinos. The Chisleys’ Disqualification Statement against Judge Jan Goldsmith states the following on information and belief from public documents:

“On or about August 20, 1996, Judge Goldsmith voted in support of Senate Bill No. AB 2438 which was to authorize the Governor of California to negotiate and execute a tribal-state compact, the very compact that is at issue in this lawsuit, with any Indian tribe, as well as to clarify the applicability of state gambling laws and the role and authority of the Governor to negotiate and execute the compact.” “Senate Bill No. AB 2438’s concern was … tribal-state compact negotiations.”

“…In 1998, Judge Goldsmith, before he became a judge in this Court, ran for California State Treasurer. During his campaign, he possibly collected campaign contributions from the very same tribes that supported Senate Bill No. AB 2438, including [Barona]. He …collected a total of $26,000 from these tribal governments, in addition to a contribution of $1,000 from [another tribe in Riverside County]. Art Bunce, the same attorney’s office that serves as Barona’s general counsel along with Kathryn Clenney, is also the attorney for Agua Caliente. Defendant and Agua Caliente are both believed to have made contributions to Judge Goldsmith’s campaign. Tribal governments were the third highest contributors to Judge Goldsmith’s campaign. In 1996, Judge Goldsmith is believed to have received $19,000 from Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians.”

“Judge Goldsmith … filed a lawsuit with four California tribes [seeking] a writ of mandate to rescind Governor Wilson’s execution of the compact with the Pala Band of Mission Indians . . . The compact was looked upon to impose terms on all California tribes, where some gaming activities were considered illegal by Governor Wilson and therefore could not be included in the compact.” “Judge Goldsmith had been looked upon as a ’staunch ally’ of the local tribes, arguing against Governor Wilson.”

“…On or about November 5, 2007, Barona filed its motion to quash to be heard on November 30, 2007. On or about November 13, 2007, Judge Goldsmith heard ex parte applications between the parties in regards to the scheduling of Barona’s reply motion and my request to continue the hearing. On or about November 30, 2007, at 9 a.m., Judge Goldsmith heard Barona’s motion to quash hearing, shortly before his scheduled leave of absence. On that same day, he voluntarily disqualified himself from another matter on the court’s morning calendar.” “On or about November 14, 2007, Judge Goldsmith announced that he would be taking a leave of absence, beginning in December 2007, because he decided to campaign and to run for San Diego City Attorney. March 6, 2008 is the deadline to file the proper paperwork to run in the election. The office of City Attorney is elected city-wide on June 3, 2008. San Diego will hold a primary election on February 5, 2008. According to the San Diego Municipal Election Campaign Control Ordinance, Judge Goldsmith, while on leave of absence from the bench, can solicit or accept contributions prior to the February 5, 2008 primary election, i.e., Judge Goldsmith could start soliciting and accepting contributions from individuals immediately after his leave of absence, a short time after the November 30, 2007 motion to quash hearing in this case.” “Based on these facts, …Judge Goldsmith could not be impartial. “…he was biased in favor of Barona and other tribal governments, having had a history working with them and advocating for them.”

Send2Press Editorial Note: Updated Jan. 27:
The person mentioned in the above press release issued by The Chisleys / Redd Law Group has requested posting of a rebuttal to this information, which is provided here, which is our policy in legal matters:

I’m sorry to see that your web site is being used for political purposes to bash a candidate. The fact is that the motion was denied and stricken by the Presiding Judge on the basis that under California law judges are not required to disclose campaign contributions beyond two years. The contribution was made to a campaign about 10 years ago.

The law is clear, the motion was denied and your headline of a cover-up is silly. Please e-mail me for a copy of the Presiding Judge’s decision and correct your article.

Thank you.
Judge Jan Goldsmith

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