An ethics complaint for alleged ethical violation was filed yesterday with the State Bar of California naming Lawrence Yee, Mark Torres-Gil, Rachel Grunberg, Judy Johnson and Holly Fujie for alleged misconduct in the case of disabled law student Sara Granda v the State Bar of California
According to the sources, the confidential complaint alleges misconduct due to the failure of the above-named attorneys to disclose to Plaintiff Granda the nature of the close personal relationship between the State Bar of California, CaliforniaALL, Judy Johnson, Judge England and his spouse -- Torrie Flournoy-England. The sources maintain the facts in the complaint are similar to those previously mentioned in the judicial misconduct complaint lodged against Judge England.
Pressed as to the nature of the allegations concerning Fujie, the sources claim that Fujie participated in all the proceedings concerning CaliforniaALL (including, oddly enough, causing the ex post facto appointment of Peter Arth to the Council of Access and Fairness to give him a chance to visit), and that she was a member of the Board of Governors' Operation Committee and was briefed regarding Granda's case. In addition, Fujie was aware that Judge England was presiding over the case and that he and his wife were affiliated with CaliforniaALL. In addition, Fujie authorized the expenditure of money for legal fees to oppose the suit before Judge England. Ms. Fujie also participated in multiple diversity-related events at which Judge England and his wife, Torie Flournoy-England, were present; one such even took place on January 27, 2009, when DLA Piper's Gilles Attia and the Office of Assembly Member Mike Davis co-hosted a reception honoring CaliforniaALL at the Tsakopoulos Galleria in Sacramento.
Despite all these facts, Fujie -- rather than speaking up about the obvious conflict regarding Judge England -- chose to keep quiet and look the other way.
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According to the sources, a similar complaint against Yee, Torres-Gil and Grunberg will also be filed with the federal court in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California; similarly, Mr. Benjamin Wagner, the U.S. Attorney for the District, as well as the FBI, will be asked to look into the matter and rule out any improper financial transactions involving CaliforniaALL and Judge England and his spouse which served as consideration for the dismissal of Ms. Granda's suit, which had sought both injunctive and monetary damages.
According to the sources, while there is a very low probability that such an occurrence took place, fraudulent tax returns submitted by the Cal Bar Foundation and CaliforniaALL require a thorough audit of every transaction, down to the last penny.