Beleaguered Superior Court Judge Gail Tusan has arisen once again following her coronation performed by Fulton County Queenmaker Chief Justice Cynthia Wright. The crowning of Tusan Deputy Chief Justice was the culmination of a three-act farce written and directed by Justice Wright to conceal Tusan’s violations of law and silence the chorus of cries calling for her ouster.
The prologue to Wright’s play was a petition authored by Edward J. Dort—a father in a Tusan divorce case whose plight mirrored that of so many similarly situated litigants who dared to go it alone and represent themselves in court. Dort’s story was so disturbing that it moved Tusan’s staff attorney Krystal M. Moore to confess the following “outrage” upon her entry to the case.Krystal Moore- “Outraged” “I was completely beside myself.”
During her tenure as Tusan’s lone staff attorney, Moore bore witness to a pattern of judicial misconduct that would come to typify Tusan’s treatment of self-represented individuals like Dort and and her treatment of other litigants outside her Circle of Trust. To understand why Justice Wright would need to provide sanctuary for Tusan while conjuring up her anointment, one must understand the case of Edward Dort and how accurately it exemplifies the essential elements constituting Tusan’s unlawful and abusive pattern of practice.
The first element of abuse is Tusan’s penchant for discriminating against litigants based on improper relationships with attorneys in her court—a pattern of impropriety extensively documented in an expose authored by five-time Emmy award winning CBS investigative reporter Jeff Chirico. Attorneys Robert Boyd and Steven Montalto were the subject of Chirico’s investigative report and were co-counsel representing Dort’s former spouse. Only ten days after the divorce case had begun, both attorneys and their close associates had quietly made several financial contributions to Tusan’s campaign for reelection. Even more disconcerting was Chirico’s discovery that during the entire time the Dort hearings were in session, Attorney Boyd and his law partner Richard Nolen were the chairman and senior advisor for Tusan’s reelection bid.
The second element of abuse clearly evident in the Dort case is Tusan’s pattern of perpetrating due process violations against unwelcomed litigants in her court. Countless contempt pleadings filed by Dort compelling his former spouse to follow court orders sat unaddressed month after month thereby alerting the former spouse that she possessed carte blanche to pursue whatever ends she desired with impunity. In the following audio segment, Staff Attorney Moore shares her disgust with Tusan’s pattern of intentionally ignoring Dort’s litigation thereby depriving him his right to access the court.Krystal Moore-”I was disturbed by lack of action.” “Ignored!”
Proof of the permission Tusan granted Dort’s former spouse is found in the perversion of justice that ensued as Mr. Dort attempted to follow the divorce decree and equitably divide the couple’s marital assets by selling their summer home. In an effort to compel his former spouse to follow a clause in Tusan’s decree mandating his former spouse sign a quitclaim deed within 30 days, Dort filed several contempt pleadings that languished in Tusan’s chambers for 18 months. As a result of Tusan’s refusal to follow her own order, Dort lost $225,000 dollars in equity when several potential buyers were unable to purchase the home before the housing collapse was in full career.
The final element of abuse employed by Tusan is related to her ability to evade scrutiny for judicial misconduct by gaming the system. After the accumulation of injustice in the Dort case had reached a critical mass with Chirico’s expose on Tusan in the spring of 2011, the Judge quietly recused herself after several years of pressure to do so. The following audio segment captures Attorney Moore’s disgust with the behavior that necessitated Tusan’s blanket recusal from the Dort case. Krystal Moore-Moore advises a “blanket recusal. “Disgusted”
Tusan’s abrupt about face was puzzling for many, but for those proficient in navigating the procedural maze of Georgia law her retreat made perfect sense. Tusan’s voluntary recusal was just another demonstration of her acuity for leveraging legal loopholes to escape accountability. Her withdrawal from the Dort case precluded future hearings on the specifics of her misconduct and shifted decision making responsibility to her Family Court crony Judge Bensonetta Lane. In no time at all, Lane had cut a deal with both parties and buried the evidence from years of wrongdoing. In the following audio segment, Attorney Moore confirms that Tusan’s recusal was the Judge’s only way to extricate herself from the Dort case while avoiding censure for damage she had done to his family. Krystal Moore- “I think Mr Dort is mistaken about recusal.”
While the unenlightened may mistake Tusan’s deftness for distorting the facts and contorting the law in the Dort case a solo venture, her decisions to defy the dictates of her oath have always been family affairs sanctioned by the entire Georgia court complex–a cradle of corruption that has spawned countless unholy collaborations with none more crooked than the alliance between Tusan and her boss Cynthia Wright.
Chief Justice Wright is no stranger to controversy or climbing the jurisprudential ladder under fire. After surviving multiple gunshot wounds from a jilted ex-girlfriend, Wright steadily ascended to the top of the Superior Court ranks while dodging a daily dose of damning allegations herself. So when Wright witnessed the steady unraveling of both her legacy and the career of a wounded comrade, she closed ranks and sprung into motion by writing and directing a three-act play to restore her friend to glory.
Act I – Recuse
Just as the Catholic Bishops quietly shuffled and shunted pedophile priests to neighboring parishes to continue their abuses, Chief Justice Wright transferred Tusan to the criminal division and improperly recused her from all 637 cases on her family court docket including those cases awaiting a motion for new trial hearing. Sent to Georgia Court Review by a source requesting anonymity, the following memorandum was delivered to every judicial officer in Fulton County Superior Court and makes it clear that transferring cases that have pending motion for new trial hearings is forbidden.
It’s no secret that Judges are most vulnerable to scrutiny while presiding over these new trial cases as litigants who file these pleadings are nearly always contesting errors of evidence and law committed by a judge. At the time when Justice Wright employed her recusal maneuver, she was fully aware that Tusan was in trouble with many of her cases and could successfully evade accountability if she could remove her from the line of fire. In the following audio segment, Attorney Moore confirms the fact that the court rule forbidding the transfer of cases with pending new trials was readily disseminated and clearly understood by judicial officers throughout the County.Krystal Moore-Tusan Violates rule. “There is a rule for new trial motions.”
Act II – Reframe
Justice Wright knew that a blanket recusal would be insufficient to repair the damage done to Tusan’s reputation. Wright needed to find a way to reconcile the Old and New Testament versions of Tusan as the eyes of resistance could only see Tusan the Monster, while those supporting the Judge saw Tusan the Merciful. If the longest tenured Superior Court Judge in Wright’s flock was truly corrupt, how might that affect public confidence regarding her character and judgment?
As she had done so skillfully with Tusan colleague Judge Bensonetta Lane, Wright joined forces with the Family Law Division of the Georgia Bar and contrived a celebration honoring Tusan’s record of service with an award whose inscription bore an inescapable irony—“ Judge Gail S. Tusan: 2012 Family First Award.” Engulfed by all the pomp and pageantry, even the most cynical among us could be compelled to question—Could Tusan really be insulated, celebrated, and elevated to the top of the Fulton County food chain having not put family first?
Act III – Resurrect
When Justice Wright removed Tusan from the Family Division to the Criminal Division, she knew that the act of banishing her from the most coveted position on the Superior Court Bench would be seen as casting a friend down with the Sodomites—a punishment that Tusan herself had performed upon so many unfavoured litigants.
To avoid the appearance of reality and the stain of demotion, Wright divined the title of Deputy Chief Justice and promoted Tusan to the role of “improving case management and internal efficiencies.” Staff Attorney Krystal Moore shared her thoughts regarding Tusan’s fitness for an assignment to which the Judge swore she would be “simple and transparent” while “making justice a reality for all.” Krystal Moore- “Unprecedented Negligence.”
Once the curtain had fallen upon her third act, Tusan had received salvation from her redeemer Justice Wright and sanctuary from those forsaken in the wake of her tyranny. The Judge had clawed her way back to the top as Wright’s coronation inoculated her with another infusion of nine lives and generously sprayed her with the ultimate cat nip for corruption—power. Bestowed with near boundless authority, Tusan and her champion Justice Wright can be found bunking atop their 8th floor lair. There you will find two giggly sisters nestled together in a Trust Tree—a no judgment zone where court criminals cavort free of fear and retribution from the countless families they destroyed.