To the Editor:
Voters will make important decisions in November. Some important decisions receive less scrutiny than others. For example, four circuit court judges will be up for retention.
Judge Barbara Crowder received much press in December 2011. Critics charge we voters have short memories so let's all look back. In December 2011 Judge Crowder's husband and campaign manager, Lawrence Taliana, reportedly solicited donations from three of the area's largest asbestos firms - Gori Julian & Associates, Goldenberg, Heller, Antognoli and Rowland and Simmons.
One contributing lawyer told a reporter from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that Taliana solicited the money and specified Crowder receive $10,000. Their donations of $30,000 in total from lawyers at the three firms came two days after Judge Crowder gave them 82 percent of the asbestos dockets for 2013.
After the scandal broke, Judge Callis, who ran as Crowder's teammate in 2006, quickly reassigned Crowder, citing a concern for "the public trust in a fair and unbiased judiciary."
Crowder denied any wrong doing calling her decision to give 82 percent of the docket to favored firms contributing to her campaign as "one of those straightforward, innocuous things every judge does that falls within long-established standards."
If these are the standards why did the chief judge remove her? Does this sound innocuous to you? Is Crowder telling the 'whole truth and nothing but the truth so help her God?'
If you lack confidence in the integrity of Crowder please mark an X for "No Retention" next the name Crowder on Nov. 6.
Philip W. Chapman