Committees of Correspondence
March 4, 1998
The book and soon -to-be released movie A Civil Action is an alarming snapshot of our federal court in Boston- clubbiness and an incestuous stew of lawyers, judges, and special interests fail too often to yield justice. Those interested in reforming our judiciary privately note the sustained bias of the First Circuit in favor of the federal government and special interests over the common taxpayer. Some seasoned lawyers have even abandoned practice in this federal court out of belief that justice cannot be obtained there.
Certainly the anatomy of the Sweeney "eviction" paints a stark picture of a bastardized legal process. Last May the FDIC filed a motion for summary action for eviction in the Federal District Court. The motion noted the necessity of complying with Massachusetts state law and relied on specific the statute, conveniently omitting the section requiring that eviction proceedings must take place in Massachusetts Housing or District Courts. This amazing cherry picking maneuver was affirmed by Judge Harrington and on appeal was ignored by the Circuit Court of Appeals.
There is no precedent nor process for eviction in a federal court. The FDIC understandably did not want to withstand the scrutiny of a Massachusetts court and possible jury process. Fortunately the ample skirts of Judge Edward Harrington seem always available for unusual inventions in law. Most recently we have five secret orders, filed by the U.S. Marshal Service and the U.S. Attorneys Office, sealed by Judge Harrington , that were neatly inserted into the Sweeney case despite neither party having any standing. Motion denied to the Sweeney lawyer in his attempt to discover what these secret orders might be. Not easy to advise your client about secret charges these orders might contain. There is no precedent for such secret orders in a civil action.
And what about James Baldini, former President of the ComFed Mortgage Company of Lowell? Was he relaxing in his comfortable Concord home watching his neighbor Betty Scott being maced and dragged from her house, a home seized due to the massive swindle he masterminded to the tune of a $828,000,000 lost to the U.S. taxpayer? He is free to pursue more real estate deals and spend a six figure sum on a pleasure horse. On November 20, 1995, 41 days before it went out of business, the RTC cut a secret deal for $285,000 for which he receives total immunity from any possible ComFed Bank related lawsuit. What of the legions of Sweeneys, Scotts, and others who have received no relief from known fraud?
Why was the RICO action filed by Jack Zoeller, succeeding President of ComFed against 35 ComFed bank officers and employees entered, accepted and dismissed by Judge Skinner of A Civil Action fame? A sly and clever way to permanently bury and seal evidence of bank fraud.
No doubt that the FDIC inherited a huge mess from the RTC. Was part of this mess an undisclosed and enforceable third party interest in the Sweeney property? What was the status of the note on the Sweeney property on November 29, 1994, the date of the Sweeney foreclosure auction timed to occur over Thanksgiving Holidays while the Sweeneys were away?
Hurrah for Massachusetts State Senator Bruce Tarr in calling for Janet Reno to investigate the FDIC. May all who have been abused by ComFed Bank, the RTC, and the FDIC contact and support Senator Tarr.