#NCSEN: Complaint filed against judge in Brannon civil suit

judgeBoy, have the political winds shifted.  Last month, obituaries were being drafted for the campaign of Republican US Senate candidate Greg Brannon in the wake of an unfavorable court decision.  Then, we heard from Brannon’s co-defendant in the civil suit, who told us all about some strange goings-on in the courtroom — including some rather bizarre interactions between the judge and the jury.  THAT gets followed up with a gb12revelation that the judge was a 2008 campaign donor to Kay Hagan — who Brannon just happens to be running to unseat this year. 

Now, it appears a formal complaint has been filed with the state Judicial Standards Commission against the Brannon case judge,  Bryan Collins of the Wake County Superior Court, by Jodi Riddleberger, a leader with the Tea Party-affiliated Conservatives For Guilford County.

We’ve obtained the text of the March 19 complaint submitted by Ms. Riddleberger:

To: The Judicial Standards Commission

This matter needs immediate attention:

According to the North Carolina Code of Judicial Conduct judges should “uphold the integrity and independence of the judiciary.”

Canon 2

A. A judge should respect and comply with the law and should conduct himself/herself at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the integrity and impartiality of the judiciary.
B. A judge should not allow the judge’s family, social or other relationships to influence the judge’s judicial conduct or judgment. The judge should not lend the prestige of the judge’s office to advance the private interest of others;

Canon 3

Disqualification.

On motion of any party, a judge should disqualify himself/herself in a proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality may reasonably be questioned, including but not limited to instances where: (a) The judge has a personal bias or prejudice concerning a party, (c) The judge knows that he/she, individually or as a fiduciary, or the judge’s spouse or minor child residing in the judge’s household, has a financial interest in the subject matter in controversy or in a party to the proceeding,

Cannon 5

C. Financial activities.
(1) A judge should refrain from financial and business dealings that reflect adversely on the judge’s impartiality, interfere with the proper performance of the judge’s judicial duties….

~~~~~~~~~~~

I am writing to make a formal complaint against Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins – there is a clear violation of this code of conduct in his presiding over the Greg Brannon civil case, if this information is true:

“A jury verdict on February 18, 2014 found US Senate Candidate Greg Brannon liable for giving “misleading or false information in 2010 to investors regarding a mobile application being developed by Neogence Enterprises, a now-defunct tech company he helped start.”
As a result, Superior Court Judge Bryan Collins, who presided over the case, found Brannon must reimburse the two investors who were plaintiffs in the case over $450,000. There is controversy sounding the merits of the case, and Brannon is appealing the ruling.
But who is Judge Bryan Collins? According to Judgepedia.com, “Collins is a superior court judge for the 10th Judicial District of the Third Division of the Superior Court, serving Wake County in North Carolina. Collins began his legal career as an attorney in private practice from 1985 to 2005. In 2005, he became the Public Defender for Wake County. He was then elected a superior court judge in 2012 and his current term expires in 2020.”
According to a November 6, 2012 article in the Raleigh News and Observer, “Collins, 52, said he was approached last year by Don Stephens, Wake County’s senior resident Superior Court judge, about running for judge. So, late last year, he moved from his condominium in downtown Raleigh to an apartment in North Raleigh just so he could run in the newly created District 10E.”
Collins is a registered Democrat.
By conducting an FEC search for political campaign contributions, we see that a Bryan Collins in Raleigh who listed his occupation as Public Defender contributed the sum of $500 to the Hagan Senate Committee in 2008.
I’m no lawyer, and I can’t possibly pretend to understand all the technicalities of impartiality. That said, does anyone think it smells a little funny that a Judge known to support one candidate for office would be allowed to try a case involving that candidate’s potential future opposition?”

This article was posted on the Pundit House (http://pundithouse.com/2014/03/conflict-of-interest-in-brannon-case/#.UyipN85M9ws.facebook) on March 18th 2014.

Obviously if Judge Collins is a financial contributor to Kay Hagan, then he should not have presided Dr. Greg Brannon’s court case — as he was clearly not able to be unbiased towards her fore-running Republican opponent in the US Senate race. Please work to remedy this situation and help build confidence in the justice of the NC courts system.

16 comments for “#NCSEN: Complaint filed against judge in Brannon civil suit

  1. Qwerty
    March 20, 2014 at 3:00 am

    Good luck with that

  2. Raphael
    March 20, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Hooray for Jodi! This judge acting very inappropriately in handling a case against a GOP Senate candidate when he was a contributor to his Democrat opponent.

    But there needs to be a second complaint filed as well, against his ethics as a lawyer, and yes judges can be taken up on those grounds as well, but that is filed with the NC State Bar.

    Lets get this politicized weasel off the bench.

  3. American Patriot
    March 20, 2014 at 10:35 am

    Ahhh… The American system is broken. The judicial system is nothing but a revenue generating apparatus for the State and Counties. Real criminals get a revolving door that allows them to continue their reign of terror on the citizens of our state while decent people like Dr. Greg Brannon get railroaded for something he didn’t do.

    WE THE PEOPLE will no longer stand for this… We need to take our country back from thuggish political HACKS like this judge. We are being co opted by the likes of Carl Rove and progressives weather they be Rs or Ds in many cases there is no difference.

  4. jimmy roberts
    March 20, 2014 at 11:05 am

    This does indeed cast a new light on the entire race. If this judge did not allow Dr. Brannon his right to address the jury then this whole court was a joke. Dr. Brannon should have had a chance to tell the honest truth to the jury and we would not have this conversation. Facing your accuser is the basis of our law. I believe a new trial must be ordered immediately.

  5. RJ Matthews
    March 20, 2014 at 11:05 am

    Woodrow Wilson was a big believer in using the judiciary to change the Constitution and direction of the country. I fear these judges!

  6. March 20, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Complaints can be filed here:

    Judicial Standards Commission
    P.O. Box 1122
    Raleigh, North Carolina 27602

  7. Barbara Graham Grabowski
    March 20, 2014 at 1:42 pm

    Jodi Riddlebrger, your endeavor to uncover the truth restores my confidence that integrity still matters. Thank’s for your diligence to pursue the truth and exposing this judge. He horrifies me. Okay to donate to a campaign but not to recuse himself from a case that he obviously should not have judged. He needs discipline.

  8. Unaffiliated Voter
    March 20, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    Great news! THANK YOU , Jodi !!!

    there are several judges that should be called out routinely !!!

  9. George willis
    March 20, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Bryan collins a first rate jackwad!!!! Dems never recuse themselves

  10. Kirk D. Smith
    March 20, 2014 at 8:52 pm

    In earlier times the Democrat party would use their terrorist wing, the white robed K.K.K., to put black Republicans in their place. Now they use the black robed Democrat judges, who continue to infect our legal system with progressive rulings against Republicans and our State and Federal Constitutions!

    • March 21, 2014 at 8:20 am

      There is a legal remedy for such corruption being pursued in each county in 48 states. “The Common Law Grand” which is in the Bill Of Rights and was adjudicated, US vs Williams, in the US Supreme Court in 1992 with a favorable 6 to 3 decision. Justice Antonin Scalia wrote the majority opinion.

      See: NationalLibertyAlliance.org

      These are Grand Juries of the people and are not subject to control by any executive, legislative or judicial branch of government. It is the fourth branch of government!
      The state of New York has just completed constitution of Common Law Grand Juries in all 62 counties in less than a year!
      Guilford County in North Cariolina and two other counties have elected Juries!
      Help us constitute juries in the remaining 97 North Carolina counties!

  11. debbie d
    March 22, 2014 at 2:10 am

    Unfortunately we may never know if they decide to censure this judge or take any other action against him until it goes to the Supreme Court and they decide the question. All shrouded in secrecy now.
    http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/03/18/3712722/new-nc-law-shrouds-judicial-discipline.html

    • Lynyrd
      March 22, 2014 at 1:25 pm

      So much for the transparency many of us worked so hard for in the last election.

  12. Raphael
    March 23, 2014 at 1:07 am

    Ethics complaints can also be filed against judges with the NC State Bar, because all judges are also lawyers.

    The address is:
    Disciplinary Hearing Committee
    NC State Bar
    217 East Edenton Street
    Raleigh, NC 27601

    Any citizen can file the complaint.

    It does not take a rocket scientist to know he has a conflict of interest when he is hearing a case against one US Senate candidate when he has himself contributed to the incumbent whom the candidate is running to defeat.

    The judge’s failure to recuse himself when he knew of this conflict of interest should open up a complaint for violating the State Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct on conflicts of interest.

  13. PackMan97
    May 20, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    It’s worth noting that this same judge, a UNC law school graduate, Ram’s club member, and avid tweeter of rude things toward Duke and NC State just ruled in favor of UNC with regards to a public records request dealing with UNC’s athletic eligibility scandal.

    It seems that he is quite fond of conflicts of interests.

    • Raphael
      May 20, 2014 at 6:20 pm

      What an absolute disgrace to the bench!

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