Social Justice Organizations #Cut50 and Color of Change Call for Investigation Into Judge in Meek Mill Case
While Meek Mill is currently locked up and fulfilling his two-to-four-year prison sentence, two major social justice organizations are placing their focus on the judge who sent him away. #Cut50 and Color of Change are calling for an ethics investigation into Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Genece E. Brinkley after discovering that she has failed to file accurate financial disclosure forms.
According to the organizations, Brinkley's “Statement of Financial Interests” forms with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court from 2007 until 2016 reportedly show 44 instances where she did not disclose receiving rental income, her ownership interest in multiple businesses, as well as her status as an officer of one of those businesses.
The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts says that judges in the East Coast state are required to fill out the forms each year and disclose certain real estate assets, gifts, debt, income sources and corporate affiliations that includes information for their spouse.
The organizations discovered that Brinkley omitted profit information on real estate 16 different times, including properties at 1950 Castor not being disclosed eight times, 5010 Penn Street not having been disclosed seven times, as well as the proceeds earned from 1111 Wakeling Street until 2012.
Pennsylvania Courts also require judges to disclose information on their involvement in stocks and private companies, which Brinkley reportedly failed to report. She did not disclose that she owns and/or is a director of two private corporations and a registered business name, making for a total of 28 omissions in the documents over the years.
Jessica Jackson, National Director of #cut50 and Mayor of Mill Valley, California shares her sentiments on the matter in a statement.
“It’s shocking and concerning to me that this judge, with her history of inappropriate and unethical conduct, continues to be in a position to make critical decisions,” she explains. “As an elected official myself, I’m very familiar with the importance of disclosures and the consequences associated with failing to abide by both the letter and spirit of disclosure laws. Transparency is the cornerstone of any good government. If an official or a judge cannot be trusted to be transparent and ethical, how can we possibly trust them with power over people's lives? We must hold our judges to the highest ethical standard to preserve trust and confidence in our criminal justice system.”
Both #cut50 and Color of Change are connecting her alleged unethical behavior with financial disclosures to her "unprofessional conduct" within the case against Meek. So far, they have earned over 65,000 signatures on a petition to have Brinkley step down from her role in the Philly rapper's case. This also coincides with the motion that Meek's attorney filed against Brinkley last month
Scott Roberts, who is the Senior Criminal Justice Campaign Director of Color Of Change, is asking the Court of Common Pleas to take action against Judge Brinkley as soon as possible.
“This new evidence of financial impropriety is further proof to support Judge Brinkley’s questionable ethics,” he states. “For judges, the power and discretion to make or break someone’s life requires a higher level of accountability. We ask the supervising judge in the Court of Common Pleas to take action against Judge Brinkley immediately."
To sign the petition for Color of Change and #cut50's case against Judge Brinkley, head over here.
See Photos of Meek Mill's Different Looks Over the Years