I submitted this complaint this morning to Paige Clarkson, the DA for Marion County, asking she look into some of the dubious actions of Kate Brown and her newly appointed, and under qualified judge, Misha Isaak.
Dear Ms. Clarkson:
As a journalist and citizen I am asking that your office review of the actions of Misha Isaak, who was until a very recent appointment to the Court of Appeals, Legal Counsel to Governor Kate Brown.
As the District Attorney for Marion County, any and all crimes committed in Marion County come under your jurisdiction. I realize Governor Brown appointed you, but this matter transcends politics and as many news reports have noted, Isaak’s actions go far beyond merely questioning whether he was appropriate for a stealth, back door appointment to the appellate courts.
As a journalist for over 40 years in a Oregon, I understand that political blunders or mistakes do not fall under the category of crime. But Mr. Isaak’s actions in two recent unrelated matters that have been extensively covered in the media – First his orchestration of a deliberate campaign of deceit and deception surrounding Senate Bill 1013, a bill designed, with Isaak coordinating a deliberate campaign of misinformation, to gut Oregon’s death penalty.
Despite repeated assurances that SB 1013 (which effectively narrowed capital murders to so rare a homicide that maybe one current resident of Oregon’s death row would qualify under SB 1013) was NOT retroactive, claims that were repeated by the legislative floor managers, Senator Floyd Prozanski and Representative Jennifer Williamson, the office of Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum did a 180-degree turn from earlier advice only after the bill narrowly passed and was signed by Governor Brown. The Solicitor General, the third ranking position in the AG’s Office, announced AFTER the bill was signed by Governor Brown in a closed, private ceremony, that the bill would in fact render several men and the one woman currently sentenced to death free from any risk of execution, despite the unanimous verdicts and the appellate courts upholding of their convictions and sentences. In each case, and potentially in EVERY SINGLE Oregon capital murder conviction, any finding by a circuit judge in a Post Conviction Relief proceeding would render a death sentence impossible.
This error was not simply a “flub” or an oversight. Isaak led the Governor’s team in their joint effort with Prozanski and Williamson to falsely assure other legislators and Oregonians that SB 1013 would not be retroactive, when in fact it was designed to have precisely that effect. Either Isaak was incredibly stupid, highly unlikely given his remarkable academic achievement and rapid rise to the state appeals court with virtually no courtroom or appellate experience.
Isaak in fact conspired with other members of his office and the legislature to falsely represent the bill as prospective, while designing it to functionally abolish capital punishment, an act that would require either two-thirds votes by both the House and Senate or, more properly, by vote of the people.
The criminal charges which should be considered should include, but not be limited to Official Misconduct in the first and Second Degree, as well as Bribery.
Isaak was rapidly promoted by Governor Brown, and while his job was to screen candidates for the very post he was awarded on August 31, no public announcement of the departure of Judge Erika Hadlock took place and Isaak’s own staff engaged in a series of deceptions to make it appear that a review panel had considered three other applicants, when in fact none of them had even applied for the vacancy left by Hadlock.
The SB 1013 debacle, billed as a “mistake,” but really an engineered crash, would be enough reason to demand Isaak decline his “midnight appointment” and cooperate in an investigation, but as late night TV salespeople say….”But wait……there’s more!
That “more” comes with Isaak’s central role in sabotaging the work of Oregon’s Public Records “Czar,” Ginger McCall.
Isaak’s clear role as the person who instructed McCall to break the law, lie about her role, and cover up the attempts by Isaak and his boss, Governor Brown, calls into question whether Isaak should be charged with Official Misconduct and in fact Bribery.
News media reports and Ginger McCall’s letter sent at the time of her resignation show that she was pressured, on behalf of Governor Brown, by attorney Misha Isaac.
There appears prima facial evidence that the “midnight appointment” to the Oregon Court of Appeals of an inexperienced, young lawyer with neither courtroom or litigation experience, makes Oregon look like times in Illinois and New Jersey where public offices were offered for sale, as in the case of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, who sought to essentially “raffle” former US Senator Barrack Obama’s senate seat, vacated when Obama was elected president.
This is a time when the very integrity of the law and those who control it in Oregon are being put to the test.
Please hold those in power accountable and ensure that the law applies to all, without regard of fear or favor or promise of reward.
If you have any questions about this request for a criminal investigation, please feel free to contact me at any hour at [email protected] or my person cell.
Thanks very much for your time and attention to this matter