In The WV Judicial Investigation Commission
City Center East – Suite 1200 A
4700 MacCorkle Avenue, SE
Charleston, West Virginia 25304
John Manis Richards, Pro-Se,
Judge Timothy L. Sweeney,
Judicial Investigating Complaint
Filed Against Judge Timothy L. Sweeney On November 5, 2015
The Complainant, JOHN MANIS RICHARDS, respectfully files the following information of facts to the WV Judicial Investigation Commission regarding his complaint against Judge Timothy L. Sweeney.
The Complainant believes that Judge Timothy L. Sweeney has violated the following Canon’s listed in the Code Of Judicial Conduct;
CANON 1 A judge shall uphold and promote the, independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary, and shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety.
CANON 2 A judge shall perform the duties of judicial office impartially, competently, and diligently.
CANON 3 A judge shall conduct the judge’s personal and extrajudicial activities to minimize the risk of conflict with the obligations of judicial office.
As good cause for this Complaint, the Complainant states the following;
Judge Timothy L. Sweeney has acted with malicious intent and has violated the Rules of Professional Conduct by using his Office as a means to cover-up and conceal the FACT that the Indictment in Case 13-F-7 was obtained by Prosecutor Steven A. Jones when he deliberately presented perjured testimony and misleading facts to the grand jury as the grand jury transcripts prove deliberate perjury, fraud and other corrupt means were employed by Prosecutor Jones to secure the indictment.
- A properly FILED Motion to recuse court appointed Attorney, Dreama D. Sinkkanen for failing to act diligently in the Complainant’s case, lack of communications with Complainant and for failure to File Motion with the Court to Compel, Prosecutor Steven A. Jones to provided full discovery in the Complainant’s case which Prosecutor Jones did intentionally withhold discovery that proved misconduct on his part and misconduct of perjury and other crime committed by WV State Trooper, Clinton Edward Boring during grand jury proceeding in Case 13-F-7. Please see a Motion to Dismiss Indictment regarding case 13-F-7 which is listed as Complainant’s Exhibit “A”. Complainant plans to file the attached Motion to Dismiss Indictment in the Circuit Court of Ritchie County, WV before November 19, 2015. Judge Sweeney denied the Complainant’s due process rights throughout the case. The Complainant was forced to go without an Attorney for several months and during a scheduled court hearing around the end of November 2013, the Complainant was standing before Judge Sweeney in the Circuit Court of Ritchie County, West Virginia, without any counsel being present to provide Complainant with representation. However, just minutes before the hearing was scheduled to take place, Attorney Sinkkanen FAXED a Motion to the Court requesting to be recused from the Complainant’s case and Judge Sweeney granted Attorney Sinkkanen’s Faxed Request to be recused;
- Judge Sweeney further acted with bias and prejudice toward the Complainant when the Complainant, John Manis Richards, by and through his attorney, George J. Cosenza, properly FILED Motion with the Court to recuse Steven A. Jones, the Prosecuting Attorney of Ritchie County, West Virginia and his office from participation, in any manner in the Complainant’s Case. Judge Sweeney again denied the Complainant due process by failing to schedule a Hearing on the Complainant’s Motion to Recuse Ritchie County Prosecuting Attorney. Although the Complainant is aware of ex parte communications between Judge Sweeney, Prosecutor Jones and George Cosenza, where Mr. Cosenza later informed the Complainant that Judge Sweeney asked Prosecutor Jones in the Judge’s chambers if he could be fair to the Complainant and Prosecutor Jones said he did not think so. Even with Judge Sweeney hearing the statement first hand from Prosecutor Jones about feeling he could not be fair to the Complainant, Judge Sweeney continued to act with bias and prejudice and was not avoiding impropriety or the appearance of impropriety when Judge Sweeney tried to deny and shove under the rug if you will, Prosecutor Jones’ personal statements claiming he could not be fair to the Complainant, John Manis Richards as Judge Sweeney did nothing to disqualify Prosecutor Jones from the case. All three men, Judge Sweeney, Prosecutor Jones, and Attorney George Cosenza acknowledged at the ex parte communications meeting in the Judge’s chambers, that Prosecutor Jones must be recused from the case. The Complainant has uncovered prosecutorial misconduct committed by Prosecutor Steven A. Jones’ willingness to induce and allow the Harrisville State Police Commander, Clinton Edward Boring to knowingly and willingly provide misleading information through his own perjured testimony to the grand jury. This willful criminal misconduct was outrageous and felonious and both Prosecutor Jones and Trooper Boring knew the testimony presented to the grand jury was perjured.
- Nearly a month after Judge Sweeney personally witnessed Prosecutor Jones saying he did not think he could be fair to the Complainant, Prosecutor Jones FILED his own Motion to be recused from the case. Judge Timothy L. Sweeney then and only then prepared a letter to the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute making a Request for Appointment of a Special Prosecutor. In the Judge’s letter dated June 18th, 2015 which is personally signed by Judge Timothy L. Sweeney, the Judge gives Reason For Request as follows;“The Defendant in this case has filed an ethics complaint against the Prosecutor. The Defendant has lied about the Prosecutor and a police officer and caused the Prosecutor to respond at least three times. I believe this conduct is in violation of West Virginia Code Section 61-5-27. I am requesting the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to prosecute 13-F-7 and 13-F-10 and to investigate the Defendant’s possible violation of this criminal statute.”
- Please see Judge Sweeney’s letter requesting appointment of special prosecutor which is attached as Exhibit “D”.
- Judge Sweeney seemed to have forgotten about the ex parte communications with Prosecutor Jones and Attorney Cosenza in his chambers and his acknowledgement that Prosecutor Jones must be recused as Prosecutor Jones admitted he felt he could not be fair to the Defendant/Complainant. Instead of stating the FACTS in his June 18th, 2015 letter to the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute of why he was requesting the appointment of a Special Prosecutor Judge Timothy L. Sweeney lied and mislead the Prosecuting Attorneys Institute by claiming a Special Prosecutor was needed as the Complainant, John Manis Richards had filed a Disciplinary Complaint against Prosecutor Jones and Judge Sweeney then lied claiming the Complainant has lied about Prosecutor Jones and a police officer. The Complainant now respectfully wishes to make complaint that Judge Timothy L. Sweeney is a constitutional and civil rights violator and uses his Office to make those rights violations occur at his impulse.
- Judge Sweeney’s letter to the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute including the Judge’s arbitrary and capricious statement claiming that, “The Complainant has lied about the Prosecutor and a police officer…” has been posted in news media and other outlets and is further available to the public as Judge Sweeney marked his letter when filing it with the Court Clerk, to not be Confidential. The Judge made the arbitrary and capricious statement without investigation or facts to support his claim that the Complainant lied about the Prosecutor and a police officer which gives an appearance the judge has a bias or prejudice that will prevent the Judge from dealing fairly with the Complainant. Judge Sweeney throughout the case has not avoided impropriety or the appearance of impropriety with his actions or inactions regarding Motions filed by the Complainant. Common folks may view Judge Sweeney inaction as wrongfully denying the Complainant his due process rights and any further involvement by Judge Sweeney causes the Complainant to have feelings that Judge Sweeney will continue to act at will or caprice and therefore conveying a notion of a tendency to abuse the possession of power. The Complainant feels that Public confidence in the judiciary has been eroded by malicious intent, irresponsible and improper conduct by Judge Timothy L. Sweeney when he repeatedly refused the Complainant’s right to a Hearing on various Motions filed with the Court in a timely manner in the case.
- Judge Timothy L. Sweeney made false statements in his letter on June 18th, 2015 to the West Virginia Prosecuting Attorneys Institute and those false statements were designed to mislead and conceal the true reasons a new prosecutor must be appointed to case(s) 13-F-7 & 10.
- Judge Timothy L. Sweeney attempted to retaliate against the Complainant for filing a Lawyer Disciplinary Complaint against his friend, Ritchie County Prosecutor Steven A. Jones. Judge Sweeney requested the appointment of a special Prosecutor to additionally investigate the Complainant’s possible violation of criminal statute 61-5-27. This impropriety or appearance of impropriety of the attempted retaliation by Judge Sweeney against the Defendant/Complainant is being called into question.
- Judge Sweeney through private ex parte communications presented question to the Complainant’s Attorney, George J. Cosenza requesting to know if the Complainant had plans to file Motion to recuse him as Judge in the case. This ex parte communications did not involve the Prosecutor’s Office which is a clear violation of the ex parte communications rule. Thereafter, Complainant and his Attorney, George Cosenza briefly discussed Judge Sweeney’s question in private in the back of the court room regarding a possible Motion to recuse the Judge, the Complainant felt intimidated with feelings of having his Bond revoked if he indicated he may file such a Motion with the WV Supreme Court, by the very Judge that was privately asking the question, so the Complainant told Attorney Cosenza that he had no plans to Motion to have the Judge recused from the case. Immediately thereafter, Attorney Cosenza approached a female court employee and requested her to relay my answer to the Judge, who went to Judge Sweeney’s chambers and reported my response to the Judge, or this is what appeared to have happen. But, Attorney Cosenza and the court employee who I can identify, would describe what transpired with the activity I was involved with and was a witness to. And of course, Judge Sweeney would also know what transpired regarding his question about the recusal matter I have mentioned.
The forgoing factual information outlines impartiality and puts forth impropriety or the appearance of impropriety and bias and prejudice on the part of Judge Timothy L. Sweeney.
Wherefore, the Complainant, John Manis Richards prays that the Office of the WV Judicial Investigation Commission investigate Judge Timothy L. Sweeney for violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct Canon #1, #2 and #3.
If the JIC has any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
John Manis Richards
820 Williams Hwy.
Vienna, WV 26105