The Whistleblower Trap
Priscilla Dickman, all 5 foot 2 of her, has been wiggling on former Attorney General Richard Blumenthal’s torture rack for six agonizing years. The end in sight keeps disappearing over the horizon whenever her case comes to a decision point. Ms. Dickman, a union steward when she was in the employ of the UConn Heath Center (UCHC), all 110 pounds of her, is still fighting for what most of us would consider decent justice, but it eludes her whenever she stretches out her hand to grasp it.
Not that she is dispirited, not at all. She has been conducting the civil side of her case pro se (by her self) and in the intervening six years has cast serious doubt on the proposition that a fool has himself for a lawyer. The criminal and civil side of her case is being handled by John Geida of Embry Neuser, while Norm Pattis is handling Ms. Dickman’s habeas charge of innocence. Early on in Ms. Dickman’s ordeal, she was represented for a number of years by union lawyers who withdrew from active representation after she had hired her own council.
When the attorney general formerly called Richard – Senator-elect Blumenthal now prefers his contacts in the media to call him Dick -- gets his hands around the throat of one of his victims, he sometimes selectively refers some cases to the Chief State Attorney, a prosecutor who may apply criminal rather than Civil instruments to the racked body in order to persuade the heretic under his thumb to accede to the wishes of one or another of Mr. Blumenthal’s Grand Inquisitors at the attorney’s general office, now occupied after the recent election by George Jepsen, a former Chairmen of the Democratic Party, legislator and, way back in the day, an attorney who began his public career representing unions.
At the end of October, as Mr. Blumenthal was preparing to receive the senatorial mantle from retiring U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd, Ms. Dickman and her long suffering husband were trundling off to a public State Retirement Employees System (SRES) meeting in Hartford. If hearings were measured in pounds, the number of hearings the little lady has been burdened with since her unquiet retirement from the UConn Health Center would approach three quarters of her weight. By her accounting, she has attended more than 75 hearings on her case; the attorneys at Mr. Blumenthal’s office are, after all, on the public dole, and time for them is less precious than it would be for, say, bakers, butchers or candlestick makers.
Anyone who has attended a business meeting of any kind knows very well how depressing and boring they can be. Ms. Dickman attended the SRES meeting for two very good reasons: 1) The meeting, an appeal to a pension ruling in New Britain Superior Court before Judge Cohen, touched on a subject she suspected would affect her endless litigation; 2) it was a public meeting and, a proletariat all her working life, Ms. Dickman has long considered herself a member of the public. No CEO of a gigantic quasi-criminal business enterprise is she; just a public service worker whose interests the former attorney general, now a U.S. senator, has pledged in countless press releases and media opportunities to represent to the best of his ability. A member of the University Health Professionals Union Local 3837-from its inception in1978, Ms. Dickman served as a union representative from 1978-2005 and a treasurer from 1990-1998.
When Ms. Dickman’s presence was noticed at the (SRES) meeting, the operation immediately went into executive session. She and her husband separated themselves from the no longer public business. Both waited in the hall for the executive session to end and the public meeting to resume. When the meeting reopened to the public, the two re-entered, at which point a security guard dripping with authority ordered the Dickman’s to leave the building and, kindly but firmly leading them to the nearest down elevator, escorted them out.
What’s going on, a perplexed Mr. Dickman wanted to know? The Dickmans were told they had been permanently barred from the building on orders from someone of higher authority than the guard. Who would that be? After a flurry of letters, Ms. Dickman discovered that the exalted personage on whose orders she was booted from a meeting open to the general public was associated with the Comptroller’s office. Ms. Dickman was told she was troublemaker – which is simply a way of saying she has never been willing to lie down quietly under the wheels of Mr. Blumenthal’s rumbling chariot.
By definition, whistleblowers are troublemakers. Ms. Dickman is not exactly what one would call, a docile troublemaker, a retiring wallflower who, when confronted by Mr. Blumenthal’s loaded for bear attorneys general, slinks off with a whimper into that good night. But she is no firebrand either. She is a strong woman who, having given honorable service to the UConn Health Center, wanted to retire on schedule but was forced to retire early because the UConn Health Center, which is in the process of acquiring $362 million in tax money from citizens like her to improve and sustain its operations, declined to accommodate a disability that would have resulted in her retention as a valuable employee.
“For years,” Ms. Dickman says, “many hardworking state employees have suffered by his [Blumenthal’s] attacks when they attempted to inform on the fraudulent behavior of their state agencies. The first step Mr. Blumenthal takes is to send out his army of assistant attorney generals to attempt to malign, frighten, manufacture evidence, threaten or better yet attempt to have individuals arrested knowing the information contained within an affidavit is false at best.”
The attorney’s general office defends both whistleblowers and state institutions. In virtually every case, when the two lock legal horns, an inescapable conflict of interest arises. If the attorney’s general office were full of saintly and wise Solomons, it still could not justly represent both a complainant who works for a state agency, such as Ms. Dickman, and the state agency. If one tries to imagine a lawyer in a case involving two antagonistic parties charged with representing BOTH in a civil proceeding, the impossibilities quickly become apparent.
Ms. Dickman entered the public spotlight as a whistleblower much earlier in 1988, when present Sen. Joe Lieberman was attorney general and action was taken when wrongdoing was found occurring at UCHC. She claims retaliation against her began in earnest in 2004 when she reported fraud activity in her medical billing. And, of course, it did not help that Ms. Dickman, a union steward who had assisted others in their difficulties with her superiors, publicly testified in 2008 before the Labor and Public Employee’s Committee on SB 805, a measure providing additional protection for whistleblowers by establishing a Retaliation Adjudication Board within the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.
The main problem, Sen. Tony Guglielmo wrote to a colleague in 2009, “is that there is an inherent conflict of interest in the current whistleblower program. As you know, the Attorney general’s office is responsible for defending the state agencies when legal action is brought against them. The Whistleblower Unit of the Attorney General’s office is the entity that pursues the whistleblower complaints against the same agency or agencies that the whistleblower is challenging. The perception to most whistleblowers and potential whistleblowers is that this is a tainted system. This perception alone inhibits the effectiveness of Connecticut ’s whistleblower program.”
And not only did whistleblowers have a problem with the current system. The Chief State’s Attorney felt that while whistle blowing complaints involving criminal activity were supposed to be routinely referred to his office, such referrals were infrequent. Referrals made to his office were often so delayed as to make prosecution less likely.
It was to rectify these issues that Guglielmo, then as now the Ranking Member of the Labor And Public Employees Committee, attempted to make some changes in the Whistleblower program.
“Unfortunately,” Guglielmo said, the changes offered through the Labor Committee “were not moved forward for a vote.”
Because he believed that whistle blower cases as presently handled within the attorney general’s office were often tainted on the civil side of the complaint, Guglielmo proposed a bill that would move “the entire Whistleblower Unit out of the Attorney General’s office and make it a freestanding entity. This would not involve any additional cost, as we would simply be moving the Whistleblower Unit from the authority of the AG’s office. The same personnel and cost would be involved.”
During her 2008 testimony, Ms. Dickman lamented that so few people were willing to come forward and speak in favor of SB 805. Testimony was not forthcoming because whistleblowers feared exposure to retribution and retaliation. Ms. Dickman testified, “I am certain that many here have heard of the subtle or outright abusive acts of retaliation that employees are subjected to when they come forward, report fraud or waste, especially at the state agency where they are employed.”
Naively, she had contacted the attorney general’s office. But, after her ordeal, she was convinced that this course led to a cul-de-sac. The forces arrayed against her were formidable. At one point, the Labor Relation attorney for her employer advised employees named in her suit not to worry too much concerning questionable statements they may have made in e-mails because -- “We have immunity.”
It is a criminal act, indeed a felony, for co-workers at the UConn Health Center to access computers without permission. Yet, on order from a human resource vice president, one of Ms. Dickman’s co-workers wired Ms. Dickman’s workplace computer into her own so that she could illegally tap into her e-mails, the operative rule at the health center being that immunity from prosecution renders even felonious activity harmless. After more than 19 Freedom Of Information requests and three appeals, that illegal access is on the point of being exposed. It has taken Ms. Dickson six long years to pry from the health center’s grasp information that would present a full and truthful account of her ordeal. The blanket immunity offered by the attorney’s general office to co-operating health center personnel sanctions what may well be felonious acts.
“I thought that by contacting the Attorney General I would be following the proper course of action,” Ms. Dickman testified. “How quickly I learned that is the wrong avenue and that there is little to no protection. In fact, a situation can be made worse by enlisting this office just by the nature of the relationship between state agencies and the duties of the Office of the Attorney General… The Attorney General’s Office represents and defends the employer. The employer is empowered by the fact that they are provided sovereign immunity and will be defended by the Attorney General. It is as though the fox is sent out to guard the chicken coop.”
Commissioned to handle whistleblower information supplied to the attorney general’s office by state employees, Ms. Dickman pointed out in her testimony, the attorney general’s office is also statutorily bound to represent state employers:
“Therefore it is virtually impossible to think that the representative from that office can and will be working to protect the employee at risk. That office can not be unbiased in its actions since it is enlisted to first protect the employer from lawsuits and the state from a loss of revenue, especially if that individual is stating that retaliatory actions have been taken against them for engaging during the process in whistleblower actions for fraud, activity of a protected class such as workers compensation claims or the filing of a CHRO complaint.”
In December, 2009, the Program Review And Investigations Staff issued its Findings And Recommendations. According to the reported findings of the committee on whistleblower retaliation issues, the attorney general retaliation process:
“• is not a contested case proceeding so inadequately designed to determine retaliation;
“• does not provide individual relief or remedy so produces minimal benefit to the individual; and
“• contributes to a potential conflict of interest for the Attorney General.”
Among five alternative corrective options -- Option 1: Only Auditors investigate,
Option 2: Remove AG as legal representation for agencies, Option 3: Create new entity to investigate & represent, Option 4: Add retaliation to CHRO responsibilities, Option 5: Repeal AG process entirely – the Program Review And Investigations Staff recommended option 5: ATTORNEY GENERAL PROCESS FOR RETALIATION SHOULD BE REPEALED.
The recommendation was not implemented, and Bill SB805 was strangled in its crib, some suspect, because the attorney general’s office – and in particular Blumenthal, a micro-manager whose primary responsibility, as he conceives it, is to regulate errant businesses while sometimes winking at serious deficiencies within his own domain -- preferred to retain its powers over complaints issuing from whistle blowing employees within state agencies. How better to play both ends against the middle?
The Falling House Of Cards
The intent of the legislature in passing the Whistle Blower Act – to encourage the reporting of illicit activity in state agencies and, at the same time, to insulate reporters from recrimination – is plainly stated in the provisions of the act itself. Severe penalties, including the loss of positions, may be imposed upon administrators seeking to retaliate against workers who expose wrongdoing. While the attorney’s general office often anchors its cases involving private businesses on whistleblower complaints, the office is by statute compelled to represent state agencies in matters that may result in litigation. Once the attorney’s general office, a five hundred pound gorilla, decides to sit on the administrative side of the justice scale, any ensuing process is heavily weighted against worker-complainants. As a consumer protection champion, Mr. Blumenthal, who has now surrendered his post to serve as U.S. Senator in Washington, has frequently presented himself to the media and the general public, whose continued good will he needed to prosper politically, as a supporter of ordinary folk beset on all sides by large business enterprises the legal resources of which are overpowering.
But in whistle blowing cases involving wrongdoing in state agencies, the role often played by Blumenthal’s office is quite different.
Ms. Dickman began work as a microbiologist in 1978 at Laboratory Medicine within the UConn Health Center and has held the same job for 28 years. In October of 1979, she injured a disk in her back while moving boxes during an emergency fire inspection. Ms. Dickman was examined by doctors selected by the Health Center, who advised her managers that they would have to make accommodations for her. From the very first, Ms. Dickman claims, the Health Center resisted making reasonable accommodations that would have impacted less than 5% of her job. She developed fibromyalgia.
In Jan 2003, the Health Center changed insurance carriers and added a new human resource workers compensation manager, later promoted to Vice President of Human Resources. Ms. Dickman’s doctors, apparently familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act, instructed her managers that they must make necessary accommodations in the lab processing assignment and ergonomics of her work station to relieve stress that very well might lead to further deterioration. After her lab manager and supervisor, declining to follow recommendations made by Ms. Dickman’s physician, refused to make accommodations in Ms. Dickman’s lab schedule concerning daily assignment to the processing/plating bench that severely impacted her health, Ms. Dickman was forced to file a CHRO complaint in 2005.
During this time, Ms. Dickman had been undergoing eight months of Prolotherapy Injection Therapy, a series of painful injections in her hip and spine. In January, she fell down some stairs and reported the fall BUT DID NOT FILE A NEW CLAIM, which would have required larger worker compensation payouts.
“I just wanted them to make minimal and necessary accommodations affecting 5% of my job so that I could keep on working,” she said.
Ms. Dickman’s doctor ordered her employers not to allow her to work at a plating-processing assignment for more than eight hours per week and to supply her with a work station that ergonomically would meet her medical needs, all of which was disregarded.
E-mails issued by her managers and other players in this medical drama -- disclosed 3 years later in a discovery proceeding -- showed that her managers and a Benefits Officer were operating on the false assumption that she had filed a second claim. After a formal CHRO hearing, Workers Comp Commissioners Ernie Walker and Commissioner Howard Belkin, who had ordered for a second time in December 2004 that the accommodations be made, issued a written order instructing the Attorney’s General office to settle the health issues in Ms. Dickman’s favor. The Attorney’s General office declined to comply with the order.
Instead, the Attorney’s General office reported Ms. Dickman to the Chief State Attorney. Medications, treatments and income payments were discontinued by UConn and its worker’s compensation insurer. Ms. Dickman was arrested for worker’s comp fraud, brought to the Hartford police station, fingerprinted, arraigned and told she was facing 50 years in prison if she did not accept accelerated rehabilitation and, most importantly, settle her workers compensation claim on terms favorable to her employers and Attorney General Blumenthal by dropping her CHRO/ADA civil rights claim.
Arraigned in March 2005, Ms. Dickman was not shown the documentation supporting her arrest until August 21 of the same year, about six months after reports of her arrest in the media were dished out to her friends, family and co-workers by Mr. Blumenthal’s office. Ms. Dickman’s attorneys claim that the charge supporting her arrest -- that she had forged medical documents -- was spurious. The medical documents purportedly supporting the charge were released sporadically to Ms. Dickman’s attorneys a full two years after Mr. Blumenthal prematurely issued his potentially defamatory media releases. Two years before the arrests was made, Ms. Dickmans’ physicians offered statements to the health center’s police department and its Human Resources Labor Relations Attorney stating that there were no forgeries; their patient had done nothing wrong. Letters from the physicians supporting Ms. Dickman and demonstrating that there were no forgeries were offered to prosecutors in May, 2007.
Early in August, 2005, Ms. Dickman filed her CHRO complaint alleging that her employers had failed to make reasonable accommodations for her disability, and she retired shortly after that. She put in for retirement because she was told on August 31, 2005 that she could not go back to work. Her retirement was approved by the retirement commission within two weeks, although the process usually takes about eighteen months. The retirement commission was able to act speedily because Ms. Dickman’s injury, dating back 28 years, was supported by reams of documentation. Ordinarily, the Health Center would put a hold on the replacement of a worker until the approval is finalized. But in Ms. Dickman’s case, her position was immediately posted and her health insurance discontinued. Posting a position while disability is yet pending is illegal. But snugged securely under the possibility of blanket immunity, nearly every indiscretion becomes possible?
No charges had yet been levied against Ms. Dickman. Charges would be brought against her TWO YEARS LATER in 2007.
“They were retaliating against me,” Ms. Dickman says, “because I had filed a CHRO complaint.
Discontinuing her health insurance and putting a stop to all her medical, Ms. Dickman believes, was a way of putting pressure on her to withdraw her CHRO complaint. Robert Krzys, one of Ms. Dickman’s lawyer, signed an affidavit certifying that an assistant attorney general had offer to settle her case if she would drop her CHRO complaint.
When Ms. Dickman asked why her medical benefits had been discontinued, the human resource person who had initiated an investigation against her told her that it was not the policy of the UConn Heath Center to pay medical benefits while disability retirements were pending, to which she responded that this extraordinary policy, which appeared to apply only to her, was in her judgment nuts. Others would tell her that there was a computer problem; according to e-mails in Ms. Dickman’s possession, two computer systems were unable to communicate with each other; they were sorry, they didn’t really know what happened. In addition, her sick leave pay was discontinued, leaving her without an income. Upon her retirement in November 2005, Ms. Dickman had a surplus of $28,000 in sick leave that was returned to her employer since only 60 days may be paid out to a retiree.
Ms. Dickman’s CHRO complaint, in the meantime, was inching towards a hearing date at the end of July, 2006. For one or another reason, the date was advanced on the calendar; in the meantime, Ms. Dickman’s medical bills were bouncing and her necessary medical treatments were discontinued, forcing her to return to worker’s compensation every month from August 2005 until October 2006.
The CHRO finding itself is a marvel of incompetent misdirection. Ms. Dickman’s charge in her CHRO complaint was that administrators at the UConn health Center had failed to make reasonable accommodations in the absence of which, owing to an exacerbation of her well documented medical condition, she was forced to leave her position and retire. Ms. Dickman wanted to keep on working, and indeed had done so for several years, despite her medical difficulties.
In resolving the complaint, the CHRO officer was required only to determine whether or not Ms. Dickman’s employers did or did not make a reasonable accommodation for Ms. Dickman by limiting the frequency of her assignment to a plating and processing station as requested by her doctor, a physician selected by her employer. The CHRO pointedly failed to address this core question, perambulating around other non-germane issues. Amazingly, the CHRO “no finding” decision contained factual findings that contravened the evidence and testimony submitted by the UConn Heath Center’s own witnesses, three of whom – a supervisor, a manager and a benefits manager – prejudiced an impartial finding on the facts of the hearing officer by repeatedly avowing that “an arrest warrant has been issued for her arrest since we are not in the business of paying benefits for those who do not deserve it.” Following the arrest, one of the three was awarded with promotion to Vice President of Human Resources at the health center.
So bizarre was the final disposition of Ms. Dickman’s complaint, in view of the evidence presented at the hearing as well as the testimony provided by the respondent’s own witnesses, that one wonders what Damoclean sword the attorney’s general office found to dangle over the head of the hapless person who authored the ultimate finding.
It would be more proper to speak of Damoclean swords. The instruments of persuasion available to Connecticut’s attorney general are as awesome as they are intimidating. It is exceedingly difficult, though not impossible, for a potential victim of the Torquemadas in Mr. Blumenthal’s office to sue the attorney general for damages – even when the office drives businesses out of business by submitting to judges faulty affidavits, as happened in the notorious New England Pellet (NEP) case -- because Mr. Blumenthal can always retreat behind a shield of partial or full immunity. Through the expedient of referring a case for criminal prosecution to the chief state’s attorney, Mr. Blumenthal is able to bring intense pressure upon any of his victims to settle a case on the unreasonable and extravagant terms proffered by the money producers in his office. In Ms. Dickman’s case, the evidence presented to the chief state’s attorney by Mr. Blumenthal’s office was compiled by an investigator associated with the UConn Health Center and not, Ms. Dickman charges, independently verified by the chief state’s attorney before her arrest .The so called “investigator” – then a co-worker, later promoted to VP Director of Human Resources, who illegally broke into Ms. Dickman’s e-mails -- considerably inflated the case against her by offering fanciful evidence to an assistant attorney general that was dutifully passed along to the chief state’s attorney and accepted as gospel without independent verification.
The manner in which these muddy charges were unearthed very likely renders them inadmissible in court. And the criminal charge made against Ms. Dickman – that she had used her computer for illicit personal business – is, Ms. Dickman insists, a) false, and b) inapplicable even if it were true, because the regulation forbidding the limited personal use of computers was, in Ms. Dickman’s case, issued long after the presumed offense had occurred.
The investigator alleged computer usage violations. During a subsequent ethics trial, Ms. Dickman’s managers and supervisors informed the investigator that they were not aware of computer abuse. They were being called to testify, they thought, because Ms. Dickman had abused phone calling privileges. It was not always possible for Ms. Dickman as a union representative to screen out calls, though she tried. Regulations governing phone calls were developed later after the presumed offenses. But Ms. Dickman could not have been in violation of regulations promulgated AFTER the supposed offenses had occurred, and the so called “investigation” was deeply flawed. Ex post facto laws and regulations have been a big no-no in legal circles since the post-Magna Charta period. The chief instrument of persuasion most often used by Mr. Blumenthal to stretch the limbs of his victims and render them compliant is time.
What Tragedy Said To Comedy
Priscilla Dickman (nee Callis) is Greek Orthodox, which is to say she has a refined sense of comedy and tragedy, the Greeks having put both on the stage more than 2,500 years ago.
When Ms. Dickman first heard the attorney’s general office had, under the self-celebrated 20 year administration of Mr. Blumenthal, accumulated a backlog of more than 36,000 cases -- Mr. Blumenthal's she rolled the figure around on her tongue and said, “Well, there’s a number. Maybe all of us should do lunch together.”
Comedy and tragedy are fraternal twins. They spring from the same womb. Laughter is the other side of tears. If you can separate yourself from a tragic narrative, there is a certain amount of humor in the aftershocks of pain. It is pain – searing pain raking the soul – that separates the tragic men from the comic boys.
Several years ago, Ms. Dickman was overcome with just such pain while at the UConn Health Center -- aggravated, of course, by the avenging idiocies of the swollen egos with whom she worked – and she knew it was over. Pain cleaves the body, so that the spirit floats above it. And what came to her from above at that moment were two thoughts: I can’t do this any more; and I must put all this right. She was, after all, not only Greek but Orthodox, which often is the tragic part of being Greek.
No one, without the aide of medicine – and all her medicines had then been withdrawn from her by her employers – has ever successfully pushed back against pain, because pain is remorseless, even more remorseless, if such a thing can be imagined, than the stern, forbidding, Creon of an attorney general, now from on his way from conquering pitiless and greedy CEOs to the U.S. Senate, where, no doubt, he will enjoy, during whatever time is left to him in this deep valley of tears and laughter, the same uncritical adulation he has grown use to as attorney general.
Ms. Dickman did not surrender; she simply acknowledged what pain already knew: Pain was stronger than her flesh and muscle and bones, on fire every time she awkwardly arched her body in answer to her unaccommodating work station. And it would have been so easy and generous and humane for the her employers to acknowledge her weakness, her flaw in the flesh, and just MAKE THE ACCOMODATIONS. She had suffered from the same affliction for 26 years while working for the UConn Health Center. She came to work every day ready to work. She arrived on time, she left on time, while others didn’t. She worked overtime. When she was in pain, she suffered through it, begging her employers for a simple accommodation that any humane superior would have graciously offered an excellent worker.
As a union steward, she had rubbed some of her administrative colleagues the wrong way by helping other people with their difficulties with management. But in this regard, most union people generally walk around workplaces with targets on their back and are none the worse for it.
Ms. Dickman left all this behind when, on her doctor’s advice, she bowed to her fate and retired because her employers were unwilling to make a simple accommodation necessary to keep her on so that she might retire according to her plans. It was after her retirement that the ton of bricks fell on her – hard.
Her CHRO complaint was rejected even though the finding in the final report seemed to support her allegation that she had not been accommodated as required by statute. And there is ample indication, in the form of an affidavit submitted by her lawyer, that undue pressure may have been brought to bear in the CHRO decision by an attorney’s general office hinting darkly that Ms. Dickman was soon to be arrested on criminal charges of forgery and workers compensation fraud, charges founded in flawed and pernicious “investigations.” Her lawyer registered his objection on the spot, and an assistant attorney general in a side bar conference offered to drop the unspecified criminal charges if Ms. Dickman would consent to drop her CHRO complaint. She refused. The forgery and worker comp fraud charges, not independently investigated by the chief state’s attorney office, were supported, Ms. Dickman asserts, by a seriously flawed investigation in which the investigator attempted to cajole a doctor into making untrue statements in an affidavit accusing Ms. Dickman or fraud and/or forgery. The doctor has since corrected that record, stating that Ms. Dickman did not engage in either. A subsequent ethics trial -- lasting a grueling nine days and supported by the same spurious charges compiled by the same flawed “investigator” who misled both the attorney’s general and the chief state attorney -- was itself compromised when it was discovered that the brand spanking new Citizens Ethics Advisory Board, which replaced an earlier ethic committee crippled by disabling dissentions, lacked a quorum to issue any finding – on the whole, a mess of laughable proportions.
Unless you are Ms. Dickson. In six years, she has attended 95 hearings; she testified before a legislative committee that filed a report finding that the attorneys’ general office cannot adequately handle whistleblower complaints issuing from an office charged by statute to represent those agencies against which the complaints are filed by state workers; she has faced 8 different judges; no fewer than 9 assistant attorneys general have been directly involved in her sprawling case; she suffered nine days of trial before a newly formed ethics committee that did not have a quorum to issue a proper finding; her e-mails were improperly hacked into, then utilized by an investigator who could not find Al Capone if he were sleeping under his bed.
And it goes on… and on… and on...
Eventually, an Orthodox God willing, this whole costly, unnecessary and comically wrenching case will be decided – if not abandoned by the state’s new and perhaps more compassionate Attorney General George Jepsen as cruel and unusual punishment – by a judge who, one hopes, knows an iceberg when he sees one.
Until then, the human comedy spools on… and on… and on...