Thursday, April 28, 2011

WRTV Doesn't Take Its Political Commentator Seriously

Yesterday morning, controversial radio talk show host and WRTV News political commentator Abdul-Hakim Shabazz posted on the TV station's Capitol Watch blog serious allegations accusing Marion Co. Circuit Court Judge Louis Rosenberg of engaging in ex parte communications with Democrats concerning their ongoing election contest against Secretary of State Charlie White that wound up in his court. Specifically, Shabazz charged that Judge Rosenberg had been reluctant to hear the suit filed by the Indiana Democratic Party but was "getting a lot of pressure from a group of stalwart Democrats at the state and local level." Shabazz continued, "Rosenberg then reportedly went to Chairman Ed Treacy to get permission to go forward and to also drag Republican Party GOP Chairman Eric Holcomb into all this as well."

Despite the seriousness of the allegations, WRTV had no follow up news report looking into the allegations. As I pointed out yesterday, the allegations Shabazz leveled against Judge Rosenberg constituted judicial misconduct if proven to be true. Shabazz has a long history of throwing out claims against local Democrats and others with whom he has disagreements based on rumor and innuendo. Given WRTV's reaction to his latest claims, we can assume the news station views his latest allegations no differently. If WRTV doesn't take him seriously, why would they expect their viewers to take him seriously? Judge Rosenberg has scheduled a hearing today to determine why the Recount Commission had failed to move quickly in hearing the Democratic Party's petition as he ordered three weeks ago, and to consider a motion by Charlie White's lawyer's to stay the proceeding pending the resolution of his criminal case.

UPDATE: Judge Rosenberg denied the motion by White's attorneys to delay the proceedings pending the resolution of his criminal trial. He will also release a scheduled order for the Recount Commission to conclude its proceedings. White will have to get relief from the Court of Appeals if he wants to either block or delay the proceedings. It also looks like House Republicans aren't going along with Senate legislation that would have allowed Gov. Daniels to appoint White's successor in the event White is declared ineligible to hold the office as a result of the Recount Commission proceedings.


Unknown said...

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Wilson46201 said...

Indianapolis, IN, April 28, 2011: On behalf of over 5,000 lawyers, judges, and legal professionals, the Indianapolis Bar Association on occasion finds it appropriate to speak when the integrity of the legal system or those who administer, support and defend it are unfairly called into question. The April 27, 2011 blog post by Abdul Hakim-Shabazz titled “Treacy v. Parker?”, has made unsubstantiated allegations that call into question the actions of a sitting judge and the integrity of the legal system as a whole. The Marion County Circuit Court judge in the matter involving the case of Indiana Secretary of State Charlie White is bound by the rules of judicial conduct in that and any other case. While we understand the importance of a free debate in political matters and policy issues of public concern, including those that may take place on the Indiana Barrister blog, parts of this April 27 blog post suggest without evidence that the judge has violated his duties. The legal system, its participants and the public benefit from commentary on politics that is free from baseless allegations of this nature. We also note that since Abdul Hakim-Shabazz is an attorney who has chosen a name for his blog that references the legal profession, it would have been our hope that his respect for the legal system would have outweighed any interest in publishing sensationalized, unfounded and unattributed allegations about the judge. The IndyBar reiterates its support for a vigorous public discourse about the legal system and judiciary, but encourages those who comment publicly to do so responsibly.