Two armed security guards had to enter the courtroom after Don George flung documents he had been served over his head and began shouting. He was one of three people who filled out petition forms to be appointed Judge of Elections in a district in mid-Bucks County. Yours truly was another and a third was a 25 year old who was working two jobs. The appointment of a Judge of Elections was never, ever done this way in Bucks County. What Changed? Republican Politicians caused it.

Albert Cepparulo, a judge for 12 years ruled on the petitions. The outcome was hardly ever in doubt although there was some huffing and puffing from the bench along the way. The judge referred to Deena Dean the director of the Bucks County Board of Elections as Diana Dean, the “Dean of Elections”. He mentioned the job required a day every two years but it really requires two days each year. He questioned us on our education and experiences but the statutes are clear. The only requirement is for the Judge of Elections to be a Qualifier Elector.

The atmosphere was certainly more charged then it had to be partly because of the tension among two of the petitioners, George and me. Larry Otter was my attorney who offered his hand before the hearing to Don George. George rejected the offered hand whereupon I quickly served him with documents that were properly filed in advance and for which service before the hearing was proper. I’ve had it done to me many times.
The judge despite his bluster about when the papers were served, ruled on the motions that were in the documents served on the other two petitioners. He knew service was proper.

Larry Otter Esq., my lawyer who was there to protect me against the dangers of being personally attacked as well as from the court, sat between us during the 1 1/2 hour hearing. The armed guards kept their eye on the paper thrower.
One petitioner was supported by four politicians from Northampton Township. Two were ex-Supervisors, one a current supervisor and the fourth the Chairman of the Republican Committee. They went to the time, trouble and effort to file a signed statement to the court of Common Please. They typed “Please”, not “Pleas”. A mistake like that would be noticed immediately by and attorney and because one of the signers was an attorney the suspicion that his signature wasn’t signed by him appears. Another glaring set of mistakes was the count of the number of committee people in Northampton. It’s 36. !8 men and 18 women but they mistyped it then wrote over it in a rather sloppy fashion. But people who are familiar with the Northampton Republican leaders don’t have much confidence they will get things correct. Their confidence wasn’t increased by the glaring mistakes in that letter.

On the opposite side stood the high number of pages I submitted that were thrown into the air by George. They were full of correct spelling and correct grammar.

The Judge seemed in a happy enough mood, making remarks about his daughter’s high marks in college and comparing that to those of one candidate even though the legal definition of a qualified elector doesn’t require any level of marks in school. The problem of the comments by the judge goes to the appearance of bias especially because neither of the other candidates were questioned or even given a chance to provide or compare their level of education or the number of credits they earned. Such behavior is more appropriate to a Star Chamber hearing.

Was the hearing fixed? Was the decision made even before the hearing was scheduled? Here’s something to consider. This type of hearing has never happened before. The judge announced that and even though it’s common knowledge how the appointments were made up to October 29, 2014 but this hearing was not only different, it was never, ever done this way before. That certainly raises the possibility that the result was planned in advance.

That’s not to suggest the Judge was the cause of the hearing. There are many pathways to the top of a mountain. There are even more paths down into the swamp. The judges should consider the appearance of a hearing of this style and type. After all, 200 years of holding elections without putting the appointment in front of a judge means there’s no need to solve a problem that didn’t exist. That’s corruption. Who did it? Even more important, why didn’t the judge stop it?

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