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SET Political Review
The Fall And The Fall Out
As many of you awoke this morning - the word had began to spread in political circles that Judge Layne Walker would be announcing that he would not be running for another term in office and will be resigning in the next 60 days we are told.
Judge Walker will be taking a job in the private sector for about double what he makes as a judge. Or at least that is the spin.
Walker will do a one on one with KFDM tonight - which will be a fluff piece like you have never seen before - less the hard questions.
So what is the real story? We will tell you.
The SET Political Review has learned that Walker has been contemplating leaving the bench for months. As he has over 10 serious problems with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct and three lawsuits to deal with.
But that was not all.
The Review has learned that the house of cards fell this past week when Angel San Juan at KBMT discovered that there was a secret insurance policy purchased by the county out of a county slush fund to protect special prosecutor Shane Phelps in his enquiry regarding the management of this web site - and the investigation of local attorney John Morgan. It is said - on Wednesday San Juan filed a Public Information Request finding that in fact an insurance policy existed. Sources close to the county tell the Review that the policy was agreed to only if Phelps would come after Klein and Morgan as there was fear that the video tape and Summer Tanner tape would show the real story of what happened and the lies of the witnesses and the cover up that has cost a deputy his job and another disgrace.
As well, this week, a formal complaint was filed with the USDOJ / FBI regarding not only the insurance policy but the report that an alleged plan was made by Walker, County Judge Jeff Branick and assistant district attorney Tom Rugg to be hidden in the books - and the other commissioners not told about it. The Review has not been able to confirm this - but investigators close to the case tell the Review that if this is true - the policy will be the smoking gun for a RICO investigation regarding Walker, Branick and Rugg - as well as the county.
We are told KBMT is working the story and will air it this next week.
Black community leaders over the past two weeks were contacted by those supporting Walker and were told that Carolyn Weidenfeld was going to be cross supported due to the Stella Morrison civil rights lawsuit - and then the math started in team Walker. There was no way to win - and the secrets were coming out.
But wait there was more!
And then Walker has another problem - and that is the Summer Tanner Tape - to which we are told by courthouse sources that he is heard setting up some "things" with others that led to the cover up. Again, we have not heard the tapes, but those that say they that in fact if Judge Johnson hears those tape the Hartman case will end. We are told that on Friday - the tapes were turned over to Johnson and that "it did not look good for team Walker" by rumors coming out of the Jefferson County Courthouse.
If those tapes are released - and if not only are the tapes released but given to federal law enforcement - we are told that some type of charges or expanded investigation would be begun. And it would not be limited to Walker but his staff.
As all of this broke over the last four days - it was just too much to overcome and Walker accepted the high paying private sector job at the urging of those around him. So on Thursday - Walkers family started making phone calls to family and letting them know. The Review started to get calls early Saturday Afternoon - but made the decision not to run with the story and let it come out in the mainstream media on Sunday or Monday.
That was the fall - now for the fall out.
The Review has learned that Raquel West - a Walkerite will switch over from her run at CCAL 3 to the 252nd District Court Race. As well, we are told, that Perry Thomas is considering dropping out of the DA's race and running the 252nd District Court race as a democrat at the urging of the GOP as he has NO SUPPORT. Leaving the governor to support Bob Wortham and seat him for DA in January.
As Walker will be leaving the bench in the next 60 days according to those close to Walker - the Governor will appoint a GOPER to the seat. Carolyn Weidenfeld will be appointed to the bench if no other GOPER runs.
Now that is just some of what we know - but we will stop there - and we will give you our take!
First, as we have been quoted in the media - We are happy for Judge Walker. And let us tell you why. He has some great ideas, but he lacks the real world experience to get it done. Let us explain -
His idea on teaching children about living off the land and hunting - a great idea. He just didn't know how to fund it and how to do it. You don't pressure people to give - you enjoin them.
His idea on at risk youth - it is a great idea - he just didn't know how to fund it or how to do it. You don't break the law and pull from your IDF fund.
His idea on how to move the docket (s) along by using the IDF funds to plead people out, and then when they won't, make it hard for them to get a lawyer paid out of the fund. That is simply wrong.
Now we get you don't understand what we are saying this - really we do. But he has good ideas. And in the private sector he will get to have these ideas and great people will be around him to help him reach his goals. He is not that bad of an idea guy.
Second, and as far as his ego - well he is already in trouble with the media today. According to media reports he screamed and hung up on a reporter at KBMT this morning. However, he has granted an interview today with KFDM which will tell the fluff and stuff story about how wonderful and great. Our guess is this interview will sink KFDM if they come out with a fluff story. Hard hitting questions about lawsuits, investigations, Judicial Commission Investigations and on and on - you will not hear about those because KFDM is (or was) his mouth piece. The are incapable of even telling you about the lawsuits - or the issues that surround it. He is going out wrong - he should be happy to talk to all - and folks - again - it is his ego.
Lastly, there is much clean up to do. We are told this morning that whoever comes into Walkers Court as Judge will clean out his employees. Why? Well we are told that they have tarnished themselves so badly over the Hartman gig that there is no recovery for them. A fresh judge, with fresh employees and a new look for an embattled court. We are told that it will go all the way down to the bailiffs - there will be a huge sweep of that office. The cancer will be cut out of the 252nd District Court.
Are we happy here at the Review - no. We never have been. We were a huge supporter of Layne Walker in 2002 when he went into public service. He was a kick ass judge - but something happened. We have seen name after name - such as Anderson, Klein, Hartman, Morrison, Morgan and too many employees, deputies and court reporters that have suffered at his ego and temper. Not to mention those that have come in front of him? As well as his lack of understanding of the basic law or fairness. We have watched him use those around him - and use taxpayers money for his own forward in his political career. And we have watched as families have suffered from his outright rudeness of them.
We have also watched the enablers. People like Tom Maness, Tom Rugg, Ed Shettle, Perry Thomas, Rachael West, and big names in town that have created this monster. And now the monster will go away - and as .
We have watched those sitting in jail for over 3 years because Walker will not have a trial and tries to force those sitting in Jail - into pleas. A great man once told us - "how many innocent people are out there in that jail?"
Does this mean Judge Layne Walker is a bad man? Well history will show that. Not us - not this web site - only history itself as Jefferson County seemingly is emerging into change. We have an opinion - but that is skewed based upon what we are going through at his hands.
Will the investigations and lawsuits stop - we will see. An honorable name - Bob Wortham will take over at the DA's office and he will purge that office too. Wortham is a true and honorable man. He has a mess to clean up in Walker's wake - but it is what it is. Wortham can do what is best for the taxpayers. We trust in that.
As for the 252nd - a new judge will sit in a matter of months. It will be good for the county, it will be good for the criminals, it will be good for the lawyers - and most of all it will be GREAT for the taxpayers.
We said this to the media who has bombarded us this morning for comment. We wish Judge Walker the best of success in his endeavors in the private sector.
Around here at the Review we have a saying - and we will share it with you today : "You are honored by your friends and distinguished by your enemies. We have been very distinguished" - at the hands of Judge Layne Walker.
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