Audit the NH Judicial Conduct Committee & Courts!
Audit the NH Judicial Conduct Committee & Courts!
Why has the New Hampshire Judicial Conduct Committee been slow to move corrupt judges off public payroll, including a judge arrested by the DOJ? Courts handle the most painful and traumatic events in the relationships of families across the country, impacting development of children and entire communities daily. When a family court judge corrupts proceedings, she destroys more than just the individuals involved.
On Feb. 11, 2021, the Dept. of Justice announced that New Hampshire Circuit judge Julie A. Introcaso, 56, was arrested on two felony charges of falsifying physical evidence, two misdemeanor charges of tampering with public records, and a misdemeanor charge of unsworn falsification. As described below, she was caught using white out to tamper with court records that revealed she had been fixing a family court case. As a judge (9th Circuit, Hillsborough County – Family Division – Nashua), she had been earning $165,000 per year.
Although the JCC elevated the complaint against her in Nov. 2019, from Jan. 2020 to Oct. 2020 judge Introcaso was on paid administrative leave while the NH Judicial Conduct Committee (JCC) investigated her for fixing a family court case and squeezing a parent for extra fees. In addition to the formal complaint, the JCC had all the transcripts. Only in Oct. 2020 did the state court suspend her without pay. Currently, she is not even charged with a single offense against the families, and is only charged with "process crimes." In fact, while only one family has been identified in the media, the judge ran the same operation against 9 families!
We hereby Petition (1) the NH Audit Division of the NH Legislative Budget Assistant and (2) the Hillsborough County Delegation to the legislature to commence an immediate audit of procedures at the JCC to determine if citizen complaints are aging while judges remain on the public payroll, and to provide the public recommendations to reform the administration of judicial discipline in NH. If judge Introcaso had not tried to hide her deeds, it is questionable whether the JCC would have filed any criminal charges. Even now, what about the families she destroyed before she got caught? A state audit will allow for open hearings, where other people can speak about their experiences, not only with judge Introcaso, but with other judges receiving state compensation. The state should have independent eyes on the JCC’s activities.
WHAT HAPPENED? The charges against Introcaso are tied to one parental case: “Robin Partello v. David Campbell.” A party in the case claimed that Introcaso had appointed a friend as the guardian ad litem in the case and issued rulings that favored the judge’s friend. The JCC elevated the complaint to a formal inquiry in Nov. 2019. According to the criminal charges, Introcaso knew she was under investigation, and in Jan. 2020 applied white out to two orders she had issued in the family's case. The white out obscured her decision to allow the fees to the guardian ad litem in excess of a fee cap and for Apple Pay to be used to expedite payment from a parent.
The unsworn falsification charge dealt with a letter Introcaso submitted to the JCC in April 2020 wherein she denied applying the white out. For an additional six months thereafter, the judge remained fully compensated.
- A news report about the judge’s conduct is available here: Judge Introcaso resigns from the bench, criminal case still pending | Manchester Ink Link
- A news video report is available here: Judge resigns over altered paperwork, still faces criminal charges - YouTube
- Dept. of Justice News Release: Arrest of Circuit Court Judge Julie A. Introcaso | News Releases | NH Department of Justice
Instead of placing her on immediate unpaid leave for brazen misconduct, and saving tax payers the burden of continuing her full compensation, the state’s JCC kept her on salary for nearly a year! The JCC finally scheduled a hearing to commence on Feb. 17, 2021. But on the very day before (Feb. 16), the JCC inked an agreement with the judge. She entered a plea of nolo contender, avoiding a hearing where citizens could have a public review of her misconduct, including airing any other complaints that had been filed against her in separate cases.
We have emails from other family members in other cases who describe misconduct by the guardian. Yet, she remains both a lawyer and a GAL in NH, even with all of the evidence that there is in the 9 cases that she and the judge fixed. We have listed some of the evidence in this Petition's updates. Why has the JCC not bothered to refer this compromised GAL publicly to formal discipline? What does it take for them to act?
WHO ARE THE DECISIONMAKERS? According to its official website, the NH Audit Division is “responsible for providing financial and performance audits of New Hampshire agencies, departments, boards, commissions and programs.” The NH Director of Audits, Stephen C. Smith, holds a state legislative position that operates under the auspices of the NH Office of the Legislative Budget Assistant.
Also, the Hillsborough County Delegation, composed of 123 state representatives, has the ultimate responsibility for appropriating funds to operate the County.
State Auditor hearings (which are legislative) would also allow people to share testimony about the family court system in the state. This has been done in CA with some success, where auditors withheld pay of the CA Judicial Commission while the state's auditors held videotaped hearings for citizens to come forward about specific judicial misconduct that the commission had willfully ignored. The state auditors finance the Judicial Commission, and this was reform by way of a performance review for the Commission. $165,000 could have been better applied to so many functions that help citizens, like youth programs, parent class, lowering transcript costs and court fees, etc., instead of paying a corrupt jurist to stay home.
WHAT DO THE PEOPLE WANT?
THEREFORE, WE HEREBY petition Mr. Stephen Smith, the Director of Audits, and the Hillsborough County Delegation to undertake a review of any and all complaints against active NH judges, as well as any retired judges who are still receiving a pension, to determine whether their salaries, benefits, or pensions should continue to be funded by tax-payers. When evidence is clear and available, as it was in Introcaso’s case, there should not be any extended delay in instituting a hold on the offender’s pay. How many other judges still receive compensation despite a record of clear culpability, including criminal conduct, and causing pain to citizens who entrusted these officials to enforce their rights and to protect their families?
We believe that the People can move mountains, and a judiciary that does not believe there will ever be real accountability, even for felonious conduct while in office, is a danger that cannot be tolerated, let alone subsidized by tax dollars. Families, children and desperate parents, are stakeholders omitted from any deals the JCC strikes with accused jurists. We will not tolerate it! The Director of Audits and Hillsborough Delegation must act now!
TO: Stephen C. Smith, Director of Audits
Office of Legislative Budget Assistant
107 North Main Street - State House, Room 102
Concord, NH 03301-4906
TO: Hillsborough County Delegation Office
329 Mast Road
Goffstown, NH 03045