I had some interactions with Judge Fetsch as it was his court that managed the
MPAAT challenge led by Attorney General Hatch.  This case involved unfounded
allegations which the AG supported primarily with documentation from a newspaper
article.  The early filings made by MPAAT did not appear to have been read by
the judge.  I base this belief on several errors of fact which he made in his
first ruling.  I hope no one asks me to identify those errors of fact  because
it will require a great deal of work to dig it up and I simply do not remember
the details.

He then allowed the case to take month upon month to be resolved, resulting in
the organization (MPAAT) being virtually shut down for a year.  The AG kept
asking for more and more data and in more and more different forms.  He seemed
to believe he was going to find some illegal or unethical behavior on the part
of the MPAAT staff or board.  None was ever turned up.

When Judge Fetch held the final hearing it was clear that he HAD read the
documents and for the first time revealed that he understood them.  The AG
attempted to argue another case and Judge Fetch would have none of it.  He
chastised the AG's attorney  for continuing to try to argue issues which the
Judge had already decided.  He quickly ruled in MPAAT's favor.

It is my opinion that this case was allowed to drag on an unreasonably long
period of time thus damaging the reputation of MPAAT and interfering with the
work of the organization because he was not on top of the case from the
beginning.  In the end his ruling was clear and fair but the process could
hardly have been worse.

For example, I attended one hearing.  I knew the hearing date, time and place.
The hearing time and place were changed and I ended up running around various
government building trying to find it.  When I finally arrived the hearing was
all but over.  I learned that the hearing, which was about MPAAT's adherence to
the open meeting law, had been changed at the last minute by the judge and even
the attorneys were not given advance notice.  Now there is openness in the
process!

I will not be voting for Judge Fetsch, not because of the decision he ultimately
made, but because I do not believe he was on top of the process of a case which
was important to the public's health and because he allowed the case to cause
serious consequences to the organization and to individuals which simply was not
warranted.

Jeanne Weigum,  Living and breating in Merriam Park and a former member of the
board of directors of MPAAT, the Minnesota Partnership for Action Against
Tobacco.

John Birrenbach wrote:

> At 10:33 PM -0500 10/26/04, Andy Driscoll wrote:
> >I do not know Ms. Sifferle (I think), but I am compelled by the presence of
> >this endorsement of her candidacy to question as to why she is opposing the
> >re-election of Judge Michael Fetsch.
>
> I can tell you why I am compelled to respond, and explain why I am
> supporting this candidate.
>
> Because it's her right to challenge him
> It further fosters democracy ( especially in judicial elections )
>
> We all know these judges go unchallenged and an uncontested election
> is not democracy.   Frankly I wish more lawyers would step up to the
> plate and run against these judges.  But many will tell you they
> don't want to run against an incumbent judge who might hear a case
> they have if they loose to them.  So I have to hand it to someone who
> actually has the guts to run against a judge.
>
> I don't think I know Judge Fetsch, can't recall him from anything I
> have ever seen so have no reason to believe he is a bad judge, I also
> have no reason to believe he is a good one either.  Maybe if more
> people start to challenge these judges then we will learn more about
> the incumbents because they will have to run a campaign and tell
> people what they do.  Right now once your appointed to a seat on the
> bench, your there for life baby (well unless a seat on a higher court
> comes open and you get appointed to that).
>
> --
> Sincerely,
> John Birrenbach
> *VOTE: Micky Mouse for all unchallenged judges
>
> W 7th Neighborhood, St Paul MN
> === Political & Business Consulting ===
> http://www.birrenbach.com/
> ======================================
> "Six years on the council has trained me to feign interest for long
> periods of time"
> Chris Coleman Jan 21, 2004
> +++++++++++++++
> _____________________________________________
> To Join:   St. Paul Issues Forum Rules Discussion
> Email:  [EMAIL PROTECTED]
>
> _____________________________________________
> NEW ADDRESS FOR LIST:     [EMAIL PROTECTED]
>
> To subscribe, modify subscription, or get your password - visit:
> http://www.mnforum.org/mailman/listinfo/stpaul
>
> Archive Address:
>    http://www.mnforum.org/mailman/private/stpaul/

--
Jeanne Weigum
651-646-3005
fax 651-646-0142



_____________________________________________
To Join:   St. Paul Issues Forum Rules Discussion
Email:  [EMAIL PROTECTED] 

_____________________________________________
NEW ADDRESS FOR LIST:     [EMAIL PROTECTED]
 
To subscribe, modify subscription, or get your password - visit:
http://www.mnforum.org/mailman/listinfo/stpaul

Archive Address:
   http://www.mnforum.org/mailman/private/stpaul/

Reply via email to