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/