We have followed closely the divorce case of Dr. Alex Higdon over the past four years and been rewarded handsomely with an inexhaustible source of content epitomizing the criminality of courts in Fulton County Georgia. The most recent violations of law involve Macon Judicial Circuit Senior Judge Martha Christian’s attempt to cover up several acts of wrongdoing committed by Chief Justice Gail Tusan of Fulton County Superior Court.
Readers may be familiar with an earlier article exposing the judicial misconduct of Chief Justice Tusan. The spirits of so many disenfranchised litigants were buoyed upon learning that Tusan’s former staff attorney Krystal Moore had reached out and contacted Dr. Higdon and confessed that both she and Tusan committed several violations of law against Higdon and countless other Fulton County residents.
Attorney Moore’s audio taped revelations represented a watershed moment for families fighting Georgia court corruption as it was the first time a whistle blower from within a judge’s chambers had confirmed what many had already known—corruption is rampant in Georgia courts and those responsible for oversight are driving the deceit. The hopes of these forlorn families were crushed, however, when attorney Moore disappeared from the evidentiary landscape of Higdon’s case after sending him this callous and coldhearted text:
“Mr. Higdon, I don’t want my address to be published, or filed on public record. Further, mere statements are insufficient. So, not sure if I would be much help.”
After advising Higdon Attorney Krystal Moore advising Higdon on how to subpoena on how to properly subpoena her to produce emails confirming details of crimes committed in his case, Moore spent several weeks evading Higdon’s subpoena only to be missing in action for her scheduled June 28th, 2013 deposition once service was perfected. In late August of 2013, the mystery surrounding Moore’s vanishing act was revealed when a government informant contacted Higdon with information regarding the judicial misconduct of Tusan and some of her closest court colleagues. The informant alerted Higdon that Tusan was the subject of an ongoing criminal probe by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) and there were several parties within the GBI politically motivated to conceal the fact that the case remains active to this day.
The informant also forewarned Higdon that many close to the investigation were concerned that Tusan had begun the process of witness tampering and extortion against former staff attorney Moore by originating a bogus investigation against Moore on August 26, 2013 against her for alleged “unethical behavior.” When Tusan was asked by the special agent on the case to detail the crimes that Moore had committed which would warrant the GBI’s involvement, the investigators report stated the following:
“Judge Tusan stated it appeared her former law clerk was referring to herself as an attorney despite not having passed the bar exam.”
When Tusan originated her investigation against Moore, GBI investigators were unaware that Tusan hired Moore three years prior and gave her the designation of staff attorney with the understanding that Moore was the only staff attorney in the Superior Court of Fulton County who had not been able to pass the bar exam.
Despite knowing that Moore’s actions in no way constituted a criminal affair worthy of GBI involvement, GBI records confirm that Judge Tusan originated the criminal investigation against Moore six days after she received an email from Fulton County Court Administrator Yolanda Lewis asking “Have you all seen this?“
As the longest tenured Superior Court Judge in Fulton County, Tusan clearly understood that the bylaws governing GBI participation only permit a small group of high ranking government officials to initiate investigations with the GBI concerning “major crimes such as homicide, rape, child abuse, armed robbery, fraud and other felonies.”
Validating the assertions of witness tampering held by the government informants assisting Higdon, GBI records not only reveal the meritless grounds for Tusan’s initiation against Moore on August 26, 2013, but also the troubled timing of her request to drop the probe. Upon Tusan’s request, the GBI terminated its investigation against Moore on January 27, 2014. Less than 24 hours later, attorney Moore wrote a scathing and defamatory letter to Higdon renouncing her previous revelations of court crime and made the following claim suggesting a sudden onset of amnesia:
“I do not remember anything about the above-referenced case. I cannot be sure as to which orders were provided by counsel or written by the office staff or judge. I do not know any helpful details, nor do I wish to know the same.”
Moore’s sudden turnabout was particularly disturbing vis a vis the amazing recall of Higdon’s case she displayed on the audio tapes and her recorded comments professing she knew Higdon’s case by the back of her hand. Attorney Krystal Moore admits knowing Higdon’s case “Like the back of her hand.” Moore’s startling reversal was a clear signal that she had walked out on Higdon and away from the law. If the reasons behind her troubling transformation from disclosure, to disavowal, to defamation were not clear from the evidence provided by the GBI report, Moore’s subsequent courtroom confessions would provide further validation that a cover up of court corruption was in full career.
When questioned about her recent exodus from the Fulton County court system and her estrangement from her former boss Tusan, attorney Moore made the following statement during a March 17, 2014 hearing in Fulton County State Court:
“Me and Judge Tusan recently talked and we worked things out.”
Once Tusan and Moore had “worked things out“ and dispensed of any threat posed by the specter of Moore’s future testimony against the court, Tusan was left with the challenge of quashing the audio taped evidence of Moore’s damning disclosures. For help in resolving this dilemma, Chief Justice Tusan sought a hired gun in Judge Martha Christian from Macon County to preside over Higdon’s motion for new trial which had been a political hot potato pending for three years.
With Christian’s appointment to temporarily preside, Tusan and her Fulton County colleagues had a shill to help perpetrate their fraud upon the court while avoiding the need to officially recuse the entire County–an act that would have been seen as a de facto admission of bias against Higdon. True to Tusan’s expectations, Judge Christian would serve as her political sock puppet betraying both her oath and the lofty expectations of her surname by quickly denying Higdon’s motion for new trial and with it, the legitimacy of the over three hours of Moore’s audio taped confessions. Here is how Christian did it.Flagrant falsehoods filled Christian’s April 11, 2014 order and none were more blatant than that of her opening argument which stated the following:
“Sometime in early 2013, a news reporter (Jeff Chirico of CBS News) for a local television station contacted Defendant (Higdon) and told him he needed to contact Ms. Krystal Moore. Defendant contacted Ms. Moore and met with her for about three hours.”
In addition to Moore’s unsolicited April 21, 2013 email that proves she requested that Higdon “Please Call” her, Christian knew the following April 29, 2013 audio taped exchange between Moore and Higdon Attorney Krystal Moore stating the reasons why she “reached out” to Higdon irrefutably established that Moore reached out to Dr. Higdon and did so for the purposes of righting the wrongs that both she and Tusan had committed.
Moore: I reached out to you and that was because when I was with the court, I don’t think that you realized that there were people that understood what you were going through and I don’t think the system was fair to you.
Moore: And that’s one of the reasons why I reached out to you and more importantly, I wanted to help correct something that’s wrong and that’s the filing restrictions…and any help that I can be of assistance with regards to helping your children get the proper medical treatment. And so, because I think that you were really kind of sidelined, only because you were a male, #1, and because you were unrepresented, #2. And then, who your wife’s attorney was to the court and her knowing the judge.
Judge Christian used the fraudulent premise that Higdon contacted Moore as a device to argue that he in some way harassed her to obtain confessions–the same unscrupulous argument employed by Moore when she unsuccessfully tried to sue Higdon in two counties for harassment. Christian then perpetrated a fraud upon the court by using the premise to buttress her order’s primary argument which denies the audio taped evidence of Moore’s unsolicited confessions based on judicial deliberative privilege. Christian’s order states the following:
“The conversation that Ms. Moore has had with Defendant and her efforts to help him are a stark illustration of why there should be a judicial deliberation privilege. If every disappointed litigant could go behind a judge’s rulings by subpoenaing a judge’s former employee, there would be no end to litigation. Therefore, any communication between Ms. Krystal Moore and Judge Tusan which related to this case is privileged and should not be disclosed or used as evidence.”
Even more disturbing than Christian’s deceitful premise was the fact that the opposing counsel never once attempted to use the device of judicial deliberative privilege. Christian’s spurious defense denying Moore’s audio taped confessions was a creation all her own and it is hard to imagine even the most cynical of attorneys making a straight-faced suggestion that judicial deliberative privilege be extended to someone like Moore who made unsolicited confessions about violations of civil and criminal law that she participated in.
The record affirmatively demonstrates that Moore sought contact with Dr. Higdon and at no time did he seek to “go behind a judge’s rulings.” As for her intimations that Higdon was harassing Moore by “subpoenaing a judge’s former employee,” Christian even admits in her order that she knew Moore encouraged Higdon to subpoena her for emails and heard Moore on the audio tapes coaching Higdon on how to file it so she would be able to produce hundreds of emails proving the commission of countless court crimes. Attorney Moore advises Higdon on Subpoena a second time Christian wrote the following in her order:
“The April 30, 2013 conversation ended with Ms. Moore giving Defendant additional legal advice as to how to get her testimony in without the other side having the right to contradict her. She advised him to file a notice to produce (subpoena) and told him to send her a draft and she would look it over for him.”
Astonishingly, the arguments advanced by Christian supporting her denial of the audio taped evidence were not only in direct contravention to the evidence provided by Moore, they were contrary to the evidence provided by the judge herself. Even if Christian sought to conceal the fraud she perpetrated upon the court by retracing her tracks and claiming that she made a mistake and did not fully listen to the audiotapes, her order made the following emphatic declaration which precludes any postmortem retractions:
“The court has listened to those recordings in their entirety”
There may be no better demonstration of the bad faith employed by Christian than the second argument she presented in an attempt to negate the audio taped evidence of Moore confessing court crimes. Christian’s order states the following:
“Even if there was no judicial deliberation privilege, it is clear to the court from a review of the recordings of the conversations that Defendant had with Ms. Moore, that the testimony of Ms. Moore, if allowed, would be opinions and conclusions of Ms. Moore based upon her poor opinion of Judge Tusan personally and of how she ran her office and her court in general.”
Christian’s attempt to reduce the audio taped evidence of Moore’s disclosures to mere “opinions and conclusions” is belied by even the most cursory analysis of the tape’s contents.
Was it Moore’s poor opinion when she confessed that Superior Court Judge Gary Alembik had voiced on several occasions to both herself and judicial assistant Dawn Dixon the disgusting discriminatory process he used to disenfranchise Higdon and other male divorce litigants? Attorney Krystal Moore explains discriminatory biases of Gary Alembik Was it Moore’s poor opinion when she admitted that Tusan understood that Higdon had no money to pay the full amount of child support that was fraudulently determined against him and that Tusan remarked that Higdon had “made the perfect case” and that she was “not going to rest her reputation on Mr. Higdon?” Krystal Moore – “Did Tusan Know I Didn’t have Money?”
How is one to interpret Moore’s admission that it was “crystal clear” to Tusan that Higdon had no money and that she had emails which prove that Tusan denied the Pauper’s affidavit based on whether it conflicted with previous rulings rather than financial circumstances of Dr. Higdon? Did that email evidence of fraud shown to Higdon on April 22, 2013 and promised upon subpoena constitute a poor opinion? Attorney Moore admits it was crystal clear that Tusan fraudulently ruled on Pauper’s affidavit against Higdon Is one to also think that it was merely poor opinion when Moore admitted that both she and Judge Tusan devised a plan to conceal Tusan’s violations of law during an August 15, 2011 contempt hearing by inserting language “that covers it up and smooths it over?” Krystal Moore- “Extra language came in…that covers it up and smooths it over.”_2
While Christian’s order is brimming with several additional bad faith rulings that serve only to shield her friend Tusan from scrutiny, Christian’s efforts to protect Tusan’s associate Dawn Smith were equally egregious. Pictured below, attorney Smith was the Guardian Ad Litem assigned to the Higdon Divorce case who was later exposed by CBS News for misrepresenting her credentials and affiliations in order to fraudulently induce Higdon’s consent to her appointment. During Higdon’s motion for new trial hearing, Judge Christian heard the following evidence before rendering her crooked verdict. On May 19, 2010, opposing counsel Erin Stone sent an email to Guardian Ad Litem Smith directly asking her if she knew any Guardian Ad Litems that she would recommend for a case involving 4 children, ages 1 – 3 1/2 with the oldest child being autistic? Smith provided this enthusiastic reply:
“Erin – That is actually one of my areas of expertise. I maintained a practice representing children with special needs for 14 years before I joined AVLF. I am presently President of the Council for Parent Attorneys and Advocates, copaa.net, the professional organization for lawyers that represent disabled kids. My subspecialty was autism, I represented many children on the autistic spectrum.”
Attorney Stone then sent the email to Dr. Higdon touting Smith’s experience with special needs children and her “subspecialty” in the field of autism. Wary of the Guardian Ad Litem’s lofty claims, Higdon initiated the process of vetting Smith for the appointment by asking several direct questions regarding her affiliations and biases. Most important among the concerns addressed in Higdon’s list of questions was his need to be assured that any Guardian Ad Litem appointed would have no connection to an organization called the Autism Society of America (ASA).
While ASA has been well meaning in their attempts to support families with autistic children, they are well known in the autism recovery community for their bias against medical treatment of autism choosing instead to focus almost exclusively on employing behavioral interventions while ignoring the medical and metabolic forces driving the disease. Because Higdon’s success over a three year period in recovering his children from their illnesses was based in large part upon medical interventions that addressed their underlying health challenges, he understood that someone affiliated with this organization would pose a dire threat to dismantle the entire treatment protocol.
On June 7, 2010, a representative for Higdon sent an email to Attorney Smith which contained a series of direct questions regarding her credentials as a Guardian Ad Litem and possible connection to the Autism Society of America (ASA). Below is a brief excerpt of Attorney Smith’s full response to the questions provided by Higdon:
“Thanks for contacting me. My experience with autism is several fold. Since 1994 I have represented families with children with disabilities, including autism, in educational cases. I am aware of the Autism Society of America but have no connection to it, nor do I have a particular opinion on the Association…I am very familiar with all aspects of autism, including the organic nature of the condition.”
Based upon Smith’s claims that (1) autism was an area of expertise for which she possessed a “subspecialty,” (2) that Smith was aware of the Autism Society of America but had no connection to it, nor do she have a particular opinion on the Association, and (3) that Smith was very familiar with all aspects of autism, including the organic nature of the condition, Higdon gave his consent to have Smith appointed Guardian Ad Litem representing the best interests of his children. Immediately upon Smith’s appointment to the case, a ten month travesty ensued where events revealed that Attorney Smith knew next to nothing about the condition of Autism.
Without conscience or delay, Smith empowered Higdon’s former spouse to dismantle his children’s treatment protocols which were deemed highly successful by every expert witness from both parties in the case. During Smith’s sordid tenure, Tusan would protect her by denying Higdon his right to cross examine her during hearings and by denying Higdon his right to have a hearing to remove her from the case. On March 28, 2011, Smith would arrive at the final divorce trial unscathed and in direct contravention to the false claims she made in order to fraudulently induce her appointment, Smith testified under oath to the following credentials:
Higdon: Just about your credentials in the autism field?
Smith: I have no credentials in the autism field.
Higdon: When you mention it’s a subspecialty of yours, what does that mean?
Smith: No. I mentioned that I represent, for 20 years, families with children with disabilities, pursue the educational interventions that they require and sometimes some insurance issues and other issues. And when I said it was a subspecialty, I’ve represented more families of children on the spectrum than any other disability.
Higdon: How would you define autism?
Smith: I think it’s primarily a disorder of language. I mean it’s what the DSM-IV would say.
After ten months of touting her experience and expertise in the field of autism, Higdon was astonished by the curious erosion of Smith’s credentials that had ensued. Even more troubling than this disappearance of distinction was Smith’s inability to evince even an elementary understanding of the disease of autism stating: “I think it’s primarily a disorder of language.”Although a language disorder can often accompany a diagnosis of autism, autism is in no way a language disorder.
On January 20, 2013, Higdon received even more disturbing news regarding the GAL’s credentials from a litigant in a case where Attorney Smith was also appointed Guardian. Not only was this individual certain that Smith had lied about her connection to ASA, she assured Higdon that Smith was also a prominent board member of the organization in 2004 and the only private attorney that ASA has ever officially recommended to parents in need of representation.
On January 22, 2013, Higdon called the headquarters of ASA to corroborate his client’s claims. The executive director of ASA confirmed that Smith was a prominent member of their community and sent Higdon an email with a certified document confirming that attorney Smith was on the board of directors of the Autism Society of America (ASA).
In light of the foregoing evidence, Judge Christian could not in good faith deny that Attorney Smith had lied about her credentials and affiliations and neither could she deny that the evidence of those falsehoods was garnered some eighteen months after the final trial had ended. Notwithstanding these irrefutable facts, Christian rendered the following ruling:
“At the trial, Defendant (Higdon) asked the Guardian Ad Litem about her experience and “credentials” in the autism field. Defendant did not ask the Guardian about the information contained in Exhibit 46 (questions regarding ASA), although it must have been available to him because it was an email sent to him form his attorney on June 7, 2010. It is not newly discovered evidence and he has not shown this court why he did not raise the issue at trial. This is not a proper ground for new trial.”
Judge Christian clearly understood that the evidence before her was confirmation that attorney Smith’s lies were newly discovered by Higdon on January 20, 2013 as it would have been impossible for him to have “raised the issue” at his March 28, 2011 trial twenty-two months earlier. Due to the glaring deception contained within a ruling such as this, it would also be impossible to interpret the actions of Christian as anything other than those of a judge on a mercenary mission to conceal the judicial misconduct of her colleagues and friends.
From the weight of evidence presented in the aforementioned examples, we hope the reader of this text will come to view the bad faith brazenly displayed by Judge Martha Christian’s rulings as something other than aberration. The malice she exhibited perfectly epitomizes the ease with which a Georgia judge can callously flout the rule of law and shamelessly evade any semblance of accountability for doing so.
We also hope that readers will begin to understand that court corruption in Georgia is a family affair where entrenched and entitled Judges like Martha Christian will continue to slumber peacefully in a protective cocoon of judicial immunity as long as they enjoy the bedside vigil of appellate court cronies and the fainthearted ambivalence of Georgia citizens unwilling to disturb the peace.