As California’s Commission on Judicial Performance closed in on one corrupt judge, the judge hung himself in the small town of Colusa, California.
James Towery was tossed out of California’s State Bar as his legal career peaked in a cesspool of allegations related to misconduct and cronyism, conduct the State Bar is still trying to cleanse. Unwelcome at the Bar, Towery landed in Santa Clara Superior Court, smack on the family law bench. Since that time he has been imposing misconduct on family law cases such that some family lawyers in Santa Clara openly refuse to appear before Judge James Towery, and refuse to accept clients assigned to Towery in their divorce cases. Towery’s conduct on the family law bench continues to draw allegations of ethics violations, mismanagement of court staff, misuse of public funds, wasted resources and cronyism known as “HomeTowning”. Lawyers who benefit from Towery's hometowning misconduct clamor to get cases heard before Towery. Some of Towery's staff have been so alarmed by the judges conduct, they have joined the whistleblowers deepinside the Sunnyvale courthouse, in an effort to try to help Towery's victims.
Prior to James Towery’s elevation to the bench, Santa Clara County’s Judge Stewart was the epicenter of family law controversy, before he slipped off into early retirement after public pressure mounted and the Commission on Judicial Performance's warnings to Stewart regarding “HomeTowning “ with nefarious family lawyer, Brad Baugh, were ignored.
Judges like Stewart and Towery have been guilty of the practice of “Hometowning" where certain lawyers, and wealthy clients, benefit in divorces where Grilli fails to even appear to act fair to the poor and most vulnerable citizens. Mary Ann Grilli appears to have picked up the ball more aptly than Steph Curry could by continuing to foster this misconduct of 30 years in Santa Clara’s family court, imposed on the county's most helpless citizens.
Mary Ann Grilli began her career in Family Law in 1977. In that same year the Commission on Judicial performance ousted Marshall McComb, after public outcry over Macomb’s conduct and rumored dementia turned into an ugly CJP investigation and ultimately the removal of McComb from the bench. Mc Comb appealed and did not go gracefully. Ironically Mary Ann Grilli may suffer the same fate. Karma, or poetic justice say her most vocal critics.
Mary Ann Grilli is self-promoted as one of Santa Clara’s most experienced jurists. She led the Komar investigation related to custody expert sandal in the late 1990s and she placed herself squarely on the taskforce investigating fiduciaries in probate cases , where a 2012 public outcry hit a high after the San Jose Mercury revealed Santa Clara County Courts were robbing the elderly and disabled citizens through systemic abuse, fraud, over billing and misconduct involving a select group of lawyers, CPAs and receivers demonstrated more than an appearance of "hometowning” with a core group of Santa Clara County Judges, which included Mary Ann Grilli when she took a stint in probate court.
Rumors that Mary Ann Grilli began to struggle with early stage dementia, pain medication addiction and personal problems in her own family began to circulate in the Santa Clara Family law community in 2013.
An ongoing investigation of Mary Ann Grilli’s cases indicate that not only has Mary Ann Grilli been “Hometowning" kickbacks for lawyers like Roggia, Baugh, Allan Houghton, Morgan and Hales for the past 30 years, she has displayed outrageous bias against pro per litigants, issued unlawful and unconstitutional orders as a matter of routine, exceeded her jurisdiction, given kickbacks and engaged in conflicts of interest with other lawyers and judges like James Towery as a matter of routine. In plain speak Grilli has been exhibiting the same conduct that got McCombs removed from the bench in 1977, only worse.
Grilli has jailed pregnant mothers who failed to put sick children on airplanes to see grandparents and Grilli has systematically continued, delayed and mismanaged more cases than any other family law judge, while illegally collecting her tax payer funded salary and falsifying administrative records related to her own case management. Ironic since Grilli built her career acting as a voice for violence against women, when she is the biggest bully and abuser of women on the bench.
In 2015 CJP issued a rare public admonishment to Santa Clara County's Judge Scott, for misconduct Scott imposed by way of exparte communication in a criminal case. Now suddenly the rumors and complaints appear to have caught up to Grilli and her calendared cases are being rescheduled and reassigned to Judge Scott.
Whistleblowers inside the court say that Grilli has been being watched by the media and court supervisors for months and the county has been aware of misconduct and may be even investigating Grilli’s unacceptable delay in her assigned cases and that affidavits related to her government paycheck may in fact demonstrate criminal conduct, for which Grilli would have no immunity.
A group of over 300 litigants, lawyers, DCSS workers and media investigators have been preparing more complaints against Mary Ann Grilli, scheduled to be filed when the county’s new Grad Jury is seated this summer. As rumors of that compliant have been leaked, Grilli is making a rush out the door and to have her cases rescheduled before other judges well into summer. Her critics hope she won't be back and hope CJP won't let one more corrupt judge slip into a graceful and quiet retirement.
Members from The Public Trust Committee intend to publically demand an investigation as to why Santa Clara County is ignoring misconduct in family law cases and continues to assign the county's worst judges to the most contraverisal divroce , custody and probate cases.