ATTORNEY: JUDGE “ACTED IN AN UNPROFESSIONAL AND UNETHICAL WAY”
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 28, 2016) — In an email and news release posted on his website on Saturday, Atty. Larry Klayman announced that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to hold an expedited hearing on Klayman’s appeal filed on behalf of his client, Dennis Montgomery.
Montgomery is a former NSA and CIA contractor who worked for Arpaio for approximately 15 months, beginning in January 2014 and ending in April 2015. His task was to assemble evidence he claimed to have relating to government breaches of the personal information of tens of thousands of Maricopa County residents, including judges and other public officials.
On May 19, Klayman filed an emergency motion to the Ninth Circuit in response to accusations made by U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow in a May 13 opinion that Montgomery had perpetrated a fraud against Maricopa County, AZ Sheriff Joseph M. Arpaio.
Snow’s ruling also stated that Arpaio, who with several deputies had faced civil contempt charges in a case arising in 2007, had been “knowing and intentional” in his violation of Snow’s injunction imposed in December 2011 relating to Arpaio’s immigration patrols.
Snow also indicated that he believed Montgomery was pursuing a “bogus conspiracy theory” that the U.S. Department of Justice and Snow were colluding in order to secure a negative outcome for Arpaio in the underlying lawsuit, Melendres, et al, v. Arpaio, et al.
The plaintiffs in the Melendres are represented by Covington & Burling, where former U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. is now a partner, and by the ACLU, with which Montgomery previously had established an attorney-client relationship.
Hearings on the contempt charge began in April of last year and concluded in November with the testimony of Maricopa County Cold Case Posse investigator Michael Zullo.
During his testimony, Zullo told the court that the investigation Montgomery had conducted for Arpaio’s office, which Zullo helped to oversee, yielded evidence that Snow and approximately 150,000 other Maricopa County residents were “victims” of bank account data breaches and other government intrusions.
Last June, Montgomery attempted to obtain intervenor status in the Arpaio contempt case so as to protect his work product, which Snow had ordered collected in its entirety and handed over to U.S. marshals and the monitor Snow had appointed to provide oversight of the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO).
Previously, the Ninth Circuit has upheld Snow’s rulings in Melendres but clarified that the monitor’s role should be limited to curing constitutional violations of the plaintiffs’ rights.
Last summer, Snow denied a motion from Montgomery to be granted Intervenor status but granted the same request from the U.S. Department of Justice, which has sued Arpaio in its own right on two occasions since 2010.
Klayman had appealed Snow’s denial of the motion to the Ninth Circuit, which remanded the matter back to Snow.
Arpaio’s attorneys filed a petition requesting that Snow recuse himself from presiding over the case for conflict of interest after it came to light that Snow’s wife was reported to have relayed to another Maricopa County resident denigrating comments her husband had made about Arpaio.
After Arpaio testified that one of his attorneys had hired a private investigator to verify the report of Snow’s wife’s alleged comments, the media repeatedly reported that Arpaio had “investigated” Snow, his wife, and in some cases, his family.
The comment Snow’s wife reportedly made to a fellow restaurant patron during the summer of 2011 was that her husband wished to see Arpaio defeated in his 2012 reelection bid and that Snow “hated” Arpaio. Arpaio testified that the private investigator found the restaurant patron’s report of Snow’s wife’s relating of her husband’s sentiments toward Arpaio credible.
Snow refused to recuse himself from the case, claiming that he was unbiased, but did not deny having made the alleged remarks. Neither Snow nor his wife was subpoenaed to testify on the matter.
In his May 13 opinion, however, Snow maintained that Arpaio had conducted an investigation of his wife and himself.
In Saturday’s press release Klayman wrote, in part:
After Judge Murray Snow refused to allow my client Dennis Montgomery to intervene with me and another associate as counsel before this court, the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, to protect his interests, as Montgomery had been falsely accused by the ACLU (and Snow) of participating with Arpaio and his staff in investigating the judge and criminal illegalities, I took an appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to overturn Snow. I also appealed Snow’s unethical and dishonest ruling refusing to disqualify himself, as incredibly Snow’s own wife had disclosed to friends that her husband was out to destroy Arpaio.
Arpaio is a six-term elected sheriff of Maricopa County and is seeking reelection in November.
Snow’s opinion concluded with the announcement of a follow-up hearing with plaintiffs’ and defendants’ attorneys on May 31 at 9:00 a.m. to discuss punitive measures against Arpaio and the deputies found culpable of contempt of court, including possible referral to the U.S. attorney for criminal prosecution.
In a separate case in which Klayman represents Montgomery, Montgomery was granted immunity by the FBI in two agreements last year. In 2012, it was alleged to Arpaio by Montana businessman Tim Blixseth that Montgomery had attempted on 18 different occasions to obtain immunity from government agencies so as to be able to divulge his alleged knowledge of government intrusion into Americans’ personal lives and United States overseas entities.
In Saturday’s press release, Klayman contended that Snow acted disingenuously by claiming that his client “committed a fraud” and expressed his gratitude to the Ninth Circuit for scheduling an emergency hearing.
Klayman did not say when the emergency petition will be heard by the Ninth Circuit but indicated that he would attend the May 31 hearing in Snow’s court and give a press conference at its conclusion.
Sharon Rondeau has operated The Post & Email since April 2010, focusing on the Obama birth certificate investigation and other government corruption news. She has reported prolifically on constitutional violations within Tennessee’s prison and judicial systems.