G-FYI™: Breaking News about Gilmer Housing Partners Lawsuit
An out-of-court settlement occurred between the third party plaintiff (Summit Community Bank) and defendants (Jack Jones, the president of New Horizon, and the Office of the Clerk of the County Commission of Gilmer County).
The settlement for Federal Civil Case No. 1:10CV39 was finalized on October 07, 2011.
It is understood that the aforementioned parties agreed to settle differences to mutual satisfaction without the necessity of a jury trial.
Also, it is understood that the principal plaintiff (Textron Financial Corporation) and remaining defendants (Gilmer Housing Partners (GHP), and Jack Jones) have not settled.
Reportedly, Dr. Peter Barr, the president of Glenville State College is the GHP’s president and its trustees are Timothy Butcher and R. Terry Butcher, partners of the local Butcher & Butcher law firm.
Timothy Butcher is a member of the College’s Board of Governors and an official in the College’s Foundation.
R. Terry Butcher served on the Board of Governors when the GHP was formed.
Information for the settlement with the Office of the Clerk of Gilmer County’s Commission and future developments with other named defendants will be provided to the public when court records are received.
~~ The Gilmer Free Press ~~
Gilmer County Circuit Court Report – 10.06.11
Judge Jack Alsop presided over his rescheduled monthly motion day on Thursday, October 06, 2011.
• Anthony Albert Caraballo (a fugitive from New York) waived extradition and authorities have until 4:00 PM on Tuesday, October 18, 2011 to pick him up or Central Regional Jail will release him.
He was represented by Kevin Duffy of Clay.
• A pre-trial was scheduled in the case of Citi Mortgage Inc. vs. Hannah Smith.
Smith was given 30 days to file answers to the interrogatories previously sent to her and a status will be held in this case on Monday, December 12, 2011 at 9:30 AM.
• A juvenile matter was heard and reset for Monday, November 14, 2011 at 11:00AM.
• Another juvenile was heard and reset for Monday, December 12, 2011 at 9:45 AM.
• Another juvenile case was dismissed.
• Another was reset for Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 9:00 AM.
• The last juvenile was reset for Monday, November 14, 2011 at 11:15 AM.
• A supplemental needs trust was established for Don Marks with his son, Eric Marks, being named trustee in the case.
Marks was represented by attorney Julie Romain.
• A magistrate appeal was before the Court, styled State of West Virginia vs. Justin Andrew Brown.
Brown is represented by David Karickhoff of Sutton and his next hearing is set for Friday, November 04, 2011 at 1:00 PM.
• State of West Virginia vs. Bobby Wayne Townsend
The case was set for a revocation hearing.
After one of the witnesses refused to testify without her attorney present, Judge Alsop placed her in the custody of the Sheriff and she was transported to Central Regional Jail until further hearing scheduled for Tuesday, October 25, 2011 at 1:00 PM.
Townsend is represented by Kevin Hughart of Sissonville.
• A pretrial was set in the case of Connie and Lloyd Stewart vs. Santander Consumer USA Inc., et al
However, when neither party appeared for the pretrial Judge Alsop dismissed the case with prejudice.
West Virginia Examines Student Truancy Trend
West Virginia officials are examining student truancy, a trend that’s starting as young as elementary school.
WV State Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis says it’s important to combat truancy early, to prevent later costs to the children and to the state as a whole.
Davis tells The Herald-Dispatch that eight of every 10 people incarcerated in a West Virginia jail or prison has been truant at some point in their lives.
She and Alan Moats, a circuit judge in Taylor and Barbour counties, will discuss truancy-reduction strategies Friday in Huntington.
The event is the fifth of a 14-stop tour that continues through mid-November.
Moats says a key factor is to hold parents accountable for making sure their children attend school and receive their education.
Clay County: Not Guilty in Murder Case
A Clay County jury has acquitted a man charged with murder.
The 12-member panel returned its not guilty verdict Friday afternoon at the courthouse in Clay following more than five hours of deliberations.
Bobby Hanshaw shot and killed Guy Dwier in May over a stolen ATV, but Hanshaw testified Thursday the shooting was in self-defense.
He told the jury he thought Dwier was coming at him with a gun.
It was a crowbar.
Hanshaw said he wasn’t looking for trouble he was only going to the mobile home to do drugs.
Assistant Clay County Prosecutor Danny Dotson says the jury obviously believed Hanshaw.
“The jury evidently believed that he was in fear at the time that he committed the shooting of Guy Dwier,“ Dotson said.
The assistant prosecutor added he wouldn’t change anything about the state’s case.
Dotson says after two dozen years of prosecuting cases he knows it’s difficult to predict what a jury will do.
“You never know. That’s what makes it so unique,“ he said.
Gilmer County Circuit Court Report – 09.28.11
Judge Jack Alsop heard cases in Gilmer County on Thursday September 22nd as follows:
• One juvenile case was heard and set for further review on Monday, December 12, 2011 at 9:15 AM.
• State of West Virginia vs. Kendra Kohler
She was before the Court for revocation of her probation.
Kohler was represented by David Karickhoff of Sutton and admitted to the allegations contained in the petition filed against her.
Judge Alsop sentenced her to not less than 1 nor more than 10 years in the penitentiary, said sentence to run consecutive with her Braxton County sentence previously handed down.
• A second juvenile case was heard and a review set for Monday, November 14, 2011 at 11:00 AM.
• State of West Virginia vs. Jamie Dennison
He was before the Court for a revocation of his probation and his probation was revoked and he was sentenced to not less than 1 nor more than 5 years in the penitentiary.
He was represented by Daniel Grindo of Gassaway.
• Judge Alsop also performed 2 marriages while in Gilmer County.
On Monday, September 26, 2011 Chief Judge Richard A. Facemire presided over his regular monthly motion day in Gilmer County.
• He set the docket for the November 2011 term over which he will be presiding; however there are no pending civil or criminal cases left to be tried.
• Jurors for the November term have already been drawn and will be in the mail after October 01, 2011.
• Grand jurors will report Tuesday, November 08, 2011.
Arraignments for those indicted will be held on Wednesday, November 09, 2011 at 9:00 AM.
• Petit jurors will report on Tuesday, November 15, 2011 for indoctrination.
• One fugitive from justice, Lonzo James Roberts waived extradition back to the state of Michigan.
He was represented by Clinton Bischoff of Summersville and authorities have until 4:00 PM on Tuesday, October 04, 2011 to pick Roberts up or Central Regional Jail will release him.
• A pre-trial conference was heard in the case of Ryan Fieler vs. Gregory Smith with the trial still scheduled for Tuesday, October 25, 2011.
• State of West Virginia vs. Kenneth Greenlief
He was before the Court and the status quo was maintained he remains in the custody of the DHHR.
Another status will be held Monday, March 26, 2012 at 9:00 AM in the matter.
Greenlief was represented by T. J. Drake of Gassaway.
• A juvenile case was heard and set for further review Tuesday, December 20, 2011 at 9:10 AM.
• State of West Virginia vs. Stephanie Smarr
She was before the Court for sentencing and Judge Facemire sentenced her 1-5 on her Braxton County conviction and 1-10 on her Gilmer County sentence to run concurrently (together).
However, he suspended the sentence and ordered her to be placed in Anthony Center for Youthful Offenders.
Smarr was represented by Christina Flanigan of Buckhannon.
• State of West Virginia vs. Richard Siers
He was before the court for sentencing; however a sex offender evaluation was ordered and must be completed prior to his sentencing.
Thus his sentencing was reset for Monday, November 28, 2011 at 10:15 AM.
Siers was represented by David Karickhoff.
Central Regional Jail was ordered to transport Siers to Dr. Dayman for the evaluation.
• State of West Virginia vs. Billy Tomblin
He was before the Court for revocation of probation, but was reset for Thursday, October 20, 2011 at 9:00 AM.
Tomblin was also represented by David Karickhoff.
• State of West Virginia vs. Joran Biscombe
He was before the Court for sentencing.
Judge Facemire sentenced him to 1-3 years to run consecutive to the sentence he received in Harrison County.
Then his sentence was suspended and he was placed on 5 years probation and ordered to pay $10,559.02 restitution.
He was represented by Timothy Gentilozzi of Clarksburg.
He must also perform 100 hours of community service per year of probation and attend NA and AA classes.
• An old bound over case (09-BO-24) from magistrate court, State of West Virginia vs. Edwin Dale Kennison
He was dismissed without prejudice and his bond was released.
He was represented by Matthew Thorn and Natalie Stull of Morgantown.
• One guardian proceeding was heard and granted.
• One juvenile case was heard and reset for hearing on Thursday, November 03, 2011 at 9:00 AM.
• State of West Virginia vs. Shannon Marks
She was before the Court for revocation of her probation.
Judge Facemire lifted the prohibition where she was not allowed contact with her husband and sentenced her to 10 days in Central Regional Jail for violating the same.
Then he readmitted her to probation.
Christina Flanigan of Buckhannon represented Marks.
On Tuesday, September 27, 2011 Judge Alsop presided over a jury trial in the case of
• State of West Virginia vs. Felix Aviles, Jr.
The jury found defendant NOT GUILTY and he was released from bond.
Aviles was represented by David Karickhoff of Sutton.
Also on Tuesday, 2 criminal cases were dismissed upon motion of the prosecutor:
• State of West Virginia vs. Christopher McVaney and State of West Virginia vs. James Shields saw their cases dismissed.
McVaney was represented by R. Russell Stobbs of Weston and Shields was represented by Christopher Moffatt of Charleston.
Gilmer County Family Court Report – 09.28.11
On Friday, September 16, 2011 special Family Court Judge Culpepper appeared in Gilmer County and ran through a 2 page docket, finishing up around 4:30 in the afternoon.
• One contempt proceeding was dismissed because neither party appeared for the hearing.
• Two contempt hearings were heard.
• Two modifications were heard.
• One motion was heard in a divorce case.
• Another divorce case was rescheduled due to defendant not appearing or answering.
• One divorce case was granted between Mark Hainaut (22) of Glenville and Heather Hainaut (20) of Sand Fork.
• Special Family Court Judge Amy Swisher presided over domestic violence cases on Wednesday, September 28, 2011.
Crack Down on Mortgage Fraud Suspects in West Virginia
Federal investigators in West Virginia are making progress in fighting mortgage fraud in West Virginia and around the county.
United States Attorney Booth Goodwin held a press conference at the federal courthouse in Charleston, WV to announce charges were recently filed against two Utah men for their involvement in a multimillion-dollar scheme in Putnam County.
In an unrelated but similar scheme, two defendants were sentenced last Wednesday in federal court on fraud and tax charges.
U.S. District Judge Irene Berger sentenced Donald Carter II, 38, of Poca, and Roy Leon Cooper, 56, of Hico to 51 months in prison for their involvement in fraudulent practices in the Lamplighter Valley subdivision in Lewisburg in Greenbrier County. The judge also ordered the defendants to pay $1.9 million each in restitution.
Cooper and Carter each pleaded guilty in January to a two-count federal information charging them with bank fraud and tax evasion.
In 2005, Carter bought 23 undeveloped lots in the affluent subdivision and sought financing from United Bank to build several homes simultaneously. However, Carter could not obtain multiple construction loans in his own name because of lending limits from United Bank.
Cooper, who worked as a loan officer at United Bank, helped Carter circumvent the rules.
Carter listed friends and family members as straw buyers.
Several loan applications contained misinformation about the straw buyer’s income, assets or net worth.
The straw buyers were unaware that they were involved in fraud, Goodwin said.
Through that process, Carter secured 16 loans worth $4 million in the subdivision, but never built any homes.
Carter drew down $1.9 million from those loans, but used it to pay off gambling debts.
Cooper was paid with trips to Las Vegas and the use of a 2005 Toyota Sequoia.
Cooper and Carter also admitted to falsifying a several of their income tax returns during the mid-2000s.
Meanwhile, federal law enforcement last Monday arrested Raymond Paul Morris, 51, of South Weber, Utah on charges connected to alleged fraud in Putnam County.
Federal officials say Deborah Joyce, 38, of Hurricane and Michael Hurd, 37, of Utah, were also involved in that scheme.
The alleged fraud happened in the Stonegate subdivision where prosecutors say the trio would “flip” property to out-of-state borrowers at inflated prices.
According to Goodwin, Joyce would Morris would secure false, inflated appraisals of Stonegate homes before enticing a Utah real estate investment club, 100X, to buy the properties in an effort to ‘flip’ the homes for quick profit.
Joyce and Morris allegedly told 100X that several properties that had been purchased for about $350,000 were really worth about $650,000.
Investigators say 100X was told it didn’t need to make a down payment on the homes because Hurd’s company, “The Gift Program,“ would provide the funds. The company was billed as a “seller-funded down payment assistance program,“ according to the indictment.
Goodwin says the trio was able to secure six loans on Stonegate properties as part of the fraud.
In April, Joyce was sentenced to 46 months in prison for her involvement. Her husband, Todd, 38, was sentenced to 18 months behind bars.
Hurd has also been charged with a one-count federal information in California alleging “The Gift Program” fraudulently obtained more than $14 million in loans near Modesto, Calif. Those charges will be tried in West Virginia, Goodwin said.
Morris faces up to 540 years behind bars and a $1 million fine.
Hurd faces up to 60 years in prison and a $2 million fine.
Goodwin said more charges could be filed in the future related to the cases. He says federal investigators will aggressively prosecute similar fraud schemes.
Weston Resident Enters Plea of Guilty to Attempted Transfer of Obscenity to a Minor
A Weston, West Virginia, resident entered a plea of guilty on September 19, 2011, in United States District Court in Clarksburg before Magistrate Judge John S. Kaull.
United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II announced that ADAM EDWARDS entered a plea of guilty to attempting to transfer obscenity to a minor in Bridgeport, West Virginia, on November 22, 2010.
EDWARDS, who is free on bond pending sentencing, faces a maximum exposure of 10 years imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David J. Perri and was investigated by the Bridgeport Police Department.
Ohio Man Appeals Dismissal of Ethics Complaint against Gilmer Prosecutor
WV Record Reports:
Citing a failure to consider new evidence, an Ohio man is asking a state ethics panel to reconsider his complaint of improper conduct by Gilmer County’s prosecuting attorney in his 2005 criminal case.
The Office of Disciplinary Counsel on September 06, 2011 dismissed the complaint Dan Bingman filed against Gerry Hough. In her dismissal letter, Lawyer Disciplinary Counsel Jessica Donahue Rhodes, said the information Bingman included in his August 24, 2011 complaint of Hough paying one of Bingman’s relatives to testify against him, and advertisements Hough placed in the Glenville Democrat-Pathfinder accusing Bingman of “cyberbulling,“ not only failed to show a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, but was also time-barred.
“Nothing in those two (2) documents reflect [sic] any violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct,“ Rhodes said. “Furthermore, you have not provided any proof that Mr. Hough paid Mrs. Rafferty to testify during the trial.“
“Those allegations are far too vague and unclear to discern what actions you believe Mr. Hough has taken that amount to an allegation of a violation of the Rules of Professional Conduct,“ Rhodes added. “It appears you have been aware of most of what you allege in your second complaint when your first complaint was filed and two (2) years before the first complaint was filed.“
“Thus, your complaint appears to be time-barred,“ Rhodes said.
Records show, Bingman, of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, was indicted in March 2005 by the Gilmer County grand jury on a charge of grand larceny, a felony. He was accused of stealing, and later selling farm equipment, a brush hog, valued at nearly $2,500 on January 31, 2002.
However, a jury on December 14, 2005, convicted Bingman of petit larceny, a misdemeanor. Bingman maintained he should’ve never been indicted, let alone convicted, since the brush hog was valued at less than $400, and sat idle for over 20 years on property belonging to his family.
In his complaint, Bingman accused Hough of suborning perjury by getting Roanna Rafferty, Bingman’s aunt, to testify falsely she had a 1/6th interest in the property. Also, Bingman maintains Hough was aware the value of the brush hog was well below the $1,000 threshold for a grand larceny charge.
The allegations raised in his August 24, 2011 complaint were similar to ones raised in a complaint he filed against Hough on December 20, 2007, that was dismissed a month later. However, in his response dated September 08, 2011 to their dismissal letter, Bingman said ODC failed to consider two new pieces of evidence included in his recent complaint that came to light last year.
One was a title opinion that was introduced last July in a civil suit showing Rafferty did not own the 1/6th share of the property she claimed. Another was bills received in October for back taxes on the property that, Bingman said the county previously refused to let his family pay.
The title opinion and tax tickets, Bingman says, show that his new complaint against Hough not only falls within the statute of limitations, but also he had no business prosecuting him in what amounted to a family squabble.
“The new evidence in this case proves that it should not be time-barred,“ Bingman said. “It proves that due diligence was not practiced and a human being suffered severely as a result.“
“A case should never be brought to court by a Prosecutor who has not used due diligence to establish the facts,“ he added. “When Hough could not locate the 1/6th claimed, the court should have been notified (despite his embarrassment) a mistrial declared and perjury charges brought against the Prosecutors [sic] witness in my opinion.“
“Because there was no title proof of ownership, the jury, and the court could not know that there was equal ownership in a property dispute that somehow turned into a criminal case, although experts say it should have been a civil action all along.“
In response to his letter, Chief Lawyer Disciplinary Counsel Rachel L. Fletcher Cipoletti said ODC was treating Bingman’s dissatisfaction of their dismissal of his complaint as an appeal and would be placing it on the agenda for the next meeting of the Lawyer Disciplinary Board’s investigative panel. Though she did not say when the next meeting would take place, Cipoletti said she would notify Bingman in writing of their decision.
When reached for a comment about Bingman’s complaint prior to its dismissal, Hough said he had yet to see it. However, he said this was Bingman’s latest attempt to retry his case.
“Every citizen has a right to complain and have their voice heard somewhere,“ Hough said. “He’s been busy for the last four years reinventing the trial that took place, and his conviction, which was found by a jury of his peers guilty of larceny from his family.“
~~ By Lawrence Smith - WV Record - 09.16.11 ~~
Gilmer County Prosecutor Gerry Hough Cautioned for ‘98 FERPA Violation
WV Record Reports:
Records show very early in his legal career, Gerry Hough was scolded by the Lawyer Disciplinary Board for violating federal law when he improperly accessed a Glenville State College student’s academic records in the course of representing her accused attacker in a sexual assault case.
The Board on December 09, 2000, filed a one-count statement of charges against Hough for committing three violations of the Rules of Professional Conduct when he asked for, and received, a copy of Anita Phillips-Wiseman‘s transcripts on November 13, 1998. At the time, Hough was representing Wilkie Perez, a GSC student and quarterback of the football team, on charges he raped Phillips-Wiseman.
In the statement, which acts as an indictment for disciplinary purposes, the Board stated that Hough was also a member of the GSC faculty at the time he was representing Perez. Hough, the statement alleged, used his position on the faculty to mislead the GSC Registrar’s Office into getting a copy of Phillips-Wiseman’s transcripts for the sole purpose of aiding in Perez’s defense.
Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, strict limits are placed on disclosure of a student’s academic records, and who has access to them. Among those who are permitted access to a college student’s records, including his or her transcripts, is the student’s advisor.
According to the statement, at the time he requested her transcripts, Hough was not Phillips-Wiseman’s advisor. Because of that, the Board charged Hough with violating Rules dealing with truthfulness in statements to others, respect for the rights of third persons and misconduct.
Eventually, the Board on August 04, 2004, opted to dismiss the charge, and “caution” Hough, who by this time had become Gilmer County’s prosecutor, for his conduct, and fine him $400. The reason for the Board’s decision was due to the fact that at the time of the incident, Hough had been a member of the state Bar for only a month, and, upon learning of his actions, Thomas Powell, GSC’s then-president, reprimanded Hough, and denied him a pay raise given to other GSC faculty and staff.
As part of the agreement to dismiss the charges, Hough, despite his initial denial, had to admit to them, and express remorse for his actions.
Records show the sexual assault charges against Perez were dismissed.
~~ By Lawrence Smith - WV Record – 09.16.11 ~~
They Have Nothing to Lose and Everything to Gain
Dozens of educators, law enforcement and local leaders packed into the old courtroom at the Kanawha County Courthouse Tuesday morning for the first regional meeting on “Truancy, Dropouts and Drugs.”
West Virginia State Supreme Court Justice Robin Davis along with 19th Circuit Court Judge Alan Moats have teamed up to hold a series of meetings on the topics that Moats says are driving students into lives of crime.
“If a child can’t read by the time they come out of second grade, they’re lost, absolutely lost,” Judge Moats said. “By the fourth grade, they start not caring. And by 5th grade, they start to become a behavior problem.“
Moats says the student’s disengagement in school only continues to increase with age until finally they dropout.
Statistics show that 8 out of every 10 prison inmates are dropouts.
Judge Moats admits it’s startling but a proven fact that must be addressed now.
“We have to be willing to try things and if it doesn’t work, try something else.“
Moats stresses truancy isn’t all about students who don’t want to go to school.
At least in the early years, Kindergarten through second grade, most children can’t wait to get into that classroom.
But some parents are too high on drugs, don’t care if their kids get an education or are simply absent from their kid’s lives.
“If elementary students are absent…it has to do with child abuse.“
Moats says it’s time judges across the state get tough with parents of young children who miss too much class and the same goes with older students who choose to skip school on their own.
“We need a plan,” he said. “It doesn’t have to be a perfect plan. But we need a plan.“
That’s why Davis and Moats have scheduled 13 similar “Truancy, Dropouts and Drugs” meetings around the state over the next two months. From Clarksburg to Lewisburg, Parkersburg to Martinsburg, they’ll be traveling around the state spreading the word about the growing problems.
They’ll be telling anyone who will listen about the situation and they’ll take comments and suggestions of how to deal with the problems.
Gilmer County Circuit Court Report - 09.12.11
On Monday, September 12, 2011 Judge AIsop held Court in Gilmer County and took care of the following cases:
• One fugitive from justice case was before him to be heard, State of Maryland vs. Milon Cedric High.
High was represented by Christopher Moffart of Charleston and waived extradition back to Maryland.
Authorities have until 4:00 PM on Wednesday, September 21, 2011 to pick him up at Central Regional Jail or he will be released.
• Six juvenile cases were heard.
One was scheduled for further review on Monday, December 12, 2011 at 9:00 AM, another set for review on Monday, November 14, 2011 at 9:45 AM, one for review on Thursday, October 06, 2011 at 10:30 AM, one set for hearing all day on Tuesday, November 01, 2011, another set for Thursday, October 06, 2011 at 2:30 PM.
• State of West Virginia vs. Heather Ann Black
She was before the Court for sentencing.
Represented by Christopher Moffatt she was denied probation and sentenced to not less than 2 nor more than 10 years in the penitentiary to run consecutive to the sentence she is currently serving from Lewis County.
• State of West Virginia vs. Kenneth McCord
His trial date was set for Tuesday, October 25, 2011.
McCord is represented by David Karickhoff of Sutton.
• In the civil case of Michael & Rachel Laaford vs. Patrick Bush
Parties have 20 days to file an amended complaint with a status conference to be held Friday, November 14, 2011 at 9:30 AM for a scheduling order to be entered at that time.
• State of West Virginia vs. Jermaine Everett Graham
He was once again before the Court asking for reconsideration of his sentence.
Graham was represented by Christina Flanigan of Buckhannon and his motion was denied.
• Judge Alsop is scheduled to return to Gilmer County on Thursday, September 22, 2011.
• Trials are currently scheduled for Tuesday, September 27 and Thursday, September 29, 2011.
Jurors need to call the recording on the night before each trial to determine the status of their jury service.
• Chief Judge Richard A. Facemire will preside over his motion day on Monday, September 26, 2011.
Gilmer County Family Court Report - 09.12.11
• Marcy Harrison (31) of Sutton divorced Nathan Harrison (35) of Burnsville on September 12, 2011.
• Domestic violence hearings previously scheduled for Wednesday, September 14, 2011 have been continued until Wednesday, September 28, 2011.
G-FYI™: Additional Complaints Against Hough Filed with Office of Disciplinary Counsel
Following the letter and threat letter sent to the Gilmer Free Press by the Gilmer County Prosecuting Attorney for publication on Thursday, September 08, 2011, the Gilmer Free Press has learned of the following communication and filings:
Letter from Disciplinary Counsel to Dan Bingman:
Chief Lawyer Disciplinary Counsel
Rachael L. Fletcher Cipoletti
Senior Lawyer Disciplinary Counsel
Andrea J. Hinerman
Lawyer Disciplinary Counsel
Renee N. Frymyer
Jessica H. Donahue Rhodes
September 8; 2011
Dan B. Bingman
130 Hollywood Avenue
Cayahoga Falls, Ohio 44221
Re: Complaint against Gerald B. Hough, Esquire
I.D. No. 08-09-001
I am treating your emails as an appeal of the dismissal pursuant to Rule2A(b)(1) of the Rules of Lawyer Disciplinary Procedure. This matter will be placed on the agenda of an upcoming meeting of the Investigative Panel of the Lawyer Disciplinary Board and will be reviewed by all members of the Panel. The Panel consists of both lawyer and non-lawyer members. You will be notified in writing of their decision.
By copy of this letter I am notifying Respondent of the appeal, The Respondent may send a response to your recent letters if desired, but no further response is required at this time.
Jessica H. Donahue Rhodes
Lawyer Disciplinary Counsel.
cc: GeraldB. Hough, Esquire
Complaint letter from Dan Bingman to Disciplinary Counsel:
Rachaell. Fletcher Cipoletti, Esquire
Chief Lawyer Disciplinary Counsel
Office of Disciplinary Counsel
City Center East
Suite 1200 C
4700 MacCorkle Avenue, SE
Charleston, West Virginia 25304
(304)558-7999 Fax (304)558-4015
Dear Rachael Cipoletti
Let this document represent me in official capacity and give notice that I received by mail a document dated September 8th from Jessica H Rhodes informing me of an appeal of the dismissal pursuant to specific rules of procedure.
I protest the fact; that there was a dismissal, and then, I am notifying you by this official document that by the very act of suppressing the evidence of the TITLE OPINION that proves ownership in direct contradiction to claims by the Circuit Court, and by suppressing and not recognizing evidence presented by way of BACK TAX BILLING that most certainly Jessica H Rhodes and members of the office of disciplinary counsel have actively engaged in a conspiracy to cover up felony crime, and further attempted to suppress and not bring forward these specific pieces of evidence that proves there was a felony crime committed by pulling the title from the land books, so the 1/6th of the property in question would prove equal ownership. This evidence was suppressed in circuit court and the result of not being able to bring the truth of the matter forward, was the misconduct of Gerald B Hough and Beverly Marks Gilmer County Commission clerk being covered up by your office.
In July of 2010 the title opinion was used against Roanna Rafferty in civil court, and we did not have access to that document until then, when it became a matter of court record.
I am officially requesting the federal attorney that represented me in federal court contact officials in Washington DC that are not WVU graduates and that have never been members of the West Virginia Bar Association to look into the wrongdoing and criminal activity pertaining to suppressing evidence - important evidence - and more importantly evidence that resets the two-year statute that time barred my complaint of 24 August.
We are not going to recognize degree’s from a school that hands out Masters degree’s to unqualified candidates as was the case of the daughter of former governor Manchin. The action taken in regard to taking my complaint was unlawful given the fact key evidence was suppressed with full knowledge of doing so. I would appreciate it if this panel contains no graduates of WVU.
I ask specifically that Jessica Rhodes no longer be involved in this case, but obviously you ignored that request so now I am officially making that request again for the reason that your staff member appears to be completely inept and unfamiliar with the case. When I confronted Jessica about why she suppressed key evidence she went on some tirade about judge Facemire and the fact that he used the term despicable, could not even pronounce the word correctly according to the taped evidence and then denied saying it all to the Judicial Investigation Committee.
How was Rhodes even aware of the Facemire complaint and why did she bring it up in regard to this case? Rhodes knowingly suppressed key evidence and that is a serious violation of the peoples trust.
This reaction and answer to my query was highly unprofessional, and quite frankly she came off as a bit of a nut. I am once again requesting that J Rhodes should be restricted from any further information or have any affiliation with this complaint against Gerald B Hough.
Rhodes made private communications between me and specifically you available to Hough, and they published those private communications on Gerry Hough’s hate site. I sent the evidence to law enforcement, and I am drafting a complaint to office of the US Attorney.
DUE DILIGENCE is a term that needs attention for Hough used no due diligence in the case, and really what part of that did Jessica Rhodes consider? She only considered the part in which key evidence is suppressed in a highly illegal manner.
Let me describe further in these words and let this statement stand as official response:
A case should never be brought to court by a Prosecutor who has not used due diligence to establish the facts. Just because a person says they own something doesn’t make it true. There are records to be checked and it takes a little longer than a 10 minute court recess. When Hough could not locate the 1/6th claimed, the court should have been notified (despite his embarrassment) a mistrial declared and perjury charges brought against the Prosecutors witness in my opinion. We have all seen the tax tickets, we know the property disappeared from the land books and that land titles are maintained in the County Clerk’s Office. It would have taken time to back search the records, locate the last time it had been taxed, who the owner was and see the correction made. It is quite simply pre-trial finding of fact. This did not happen. Yet in 2010 it magically reappeared, back taxed without question and sold at tax sale. The document was needed from 2004-2006 in Circuit Court and 2007 for a WV Supreme Court decision that was extremely close. Because there was no title proof of ownership, the jury, and the court could not know that there was equal ownership in a property dispute that somehow turned into a criminal case, although experts say it should have been a civil action all along. As for expert witnesses as to the value of anything, show us the credentials! To pay someone for a subjective opinion that can have such an impact on another life without verification of the facts through any other source is just unbelievable. We have all heard the audio of a much more experienced person assessing the value in question in the presence of the paid “expert”. It was obvious she was not a qualified expert on the subject and at that point was only concerned both of them would be called to court to testify to the value required to get the conviction.
The new evidence in this case proves that it should not be time-barred. It proves that due diligence was not practiced and a human being suffered severely as a result. The Office of Disciplinary Counsel needs to take a long, hard look at the facts. It is their role to oversee the conduct of attorneys practicing in the State of W.V. whether in private practice or elected office. Those in public office should be held to the highest standards. The purpose of the law is to serve the people, not to persecute, suppress or endanger their rights. The repeated threats made by Attorney Hough to take the money and home of anyone without legal action in process represent unethical conduct in and of itself. Multiple threats against private citizens with accessing their computer and outrageous charges of illegality for exercising their free speech, while using public funds to advertise this in the name of the office of the Gilmer County Prosecutor, is not only unethical but also illegal. He is not the only attorney in this county to use threats in such a manner but the ODC should make such an example of this case as to ensure that he would be the last. It is their duty. It is their job. It is what’s right.
The matter of the dismissal was published on the Gilmer Free Press and Gerry Hough threatened the owner with legal action if that document was immediately posted.
31,136 people read the GFP from 10:59 am that Thursday until 10:24am Friday, and that number has again doubled.
This very well could be the first ODC battle shared with the public word for word.
Your FIRST investigation is not being recognized by myself and associates, and the appeal is for the appeal of a grave error and for the criminal activity of knowingly suppressing evidence.
We want to know WHO all of the members on the Panel you discussed are and if they are a member of the West Virginia Bar and or graduates of West Virginia University. This is a serious matter when YOU knowingly suppress evidence and we expect you to comply with this demand fully pertaining to panel members that show no bias and are accountable for their actions through their identity.
Printable Copy of the Title Opinion
Printable Response of Disciplinary Counsel
West Virginia Supreme Court Launches New, Improved Website
The West Virginia Supreme Court is making it easier to access online information about the state’s judicial system.
The court announced the launch of new website, www.courtswv.gov, on Friday.
Visitors to the court’s previous website will be redirected to the new one.
Improvements include a unified look for all pages and one list that combine all decisions issued during a term of court. Decisions can be sorted by the type of case and decision.
There’s also county-by-county court information, including maps and addresses and phone numbers of judicial offices and officials.
Another new feature is slideshows showcasing courthouses in the state, judicial officials’ outreach efforts and the court’s chamber in the Capitol.
Copyright MMVIII-MMXV The Gilmer Free Press. All Rights Reserved