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Power Corrupts Absolutely: Ties that Bind Run Deep with Aiken Family in Hammond Case

Red Smith

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Jan. 26k 2015

Ann Aiken, Chief Judge of the United States District Court of Oregon 9th Circuit, is no stranger to accusations of inappropriate relationships regarding her Courtroom. She is not a stranger to willfully failing to disclose those relationships and has even allegedly illegally ruled in her own favor to attempt to hide those relationships. In one recent complaint filing, a visiting out-of-circuit judge was requested by motion because the Defendants, including Ninth Circuit judges who are a member of the Oregon State Bar, had several political, business and social ties to Judge Aiken who was to be the presiding judge in the case. These ties constituted a very real potential conflict of interest against the Plaintiff’s interests. There are specific guidelines to be followed when requesting inter-circuit visiting judges and Judge Aiken refused to follow those requirements. Only the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court may decide such matters and Judge Aiken refused to follow those guidelines and the federal statute by ruling on these matters herself. Judge Aiken ruled on the motion against her in her own favor.

Already brought to light is Judge Aiken’s potential inappropriate working relationship with Hammond terrorism re-sentencing lead prosecutor Amanda Marshall. Prior to being appointed U.S. District Attorney Amanda Marshall worked for the Oregon Department of Justice in Child Advocacy Services, a State Agency overseen by the Child Advocacy Services Board, a Board Judge Aiken has been President of since 1998. Judge Aiken was the Chief Justice that oversaw Amanda Marshall’s Oath of Office and swearing in and in conclusion to that ceremony instructed Marshall to “now hit the ground running”.

Judge Aiken was also the presiding Judge in a 2006 case that overturned several key provisions of the Steens Mountain Cooperative Management and Protection Act of 2000 which she found violated the supremacy of the Federal Environmental Protection Act. A management plan that the Hammonds were key in helping construct. As well Judge Aiken’s decision weighed heavily based on affidavit testimony by Harney County Judge Stephen Grasty, whose actions have come into question and extreme scrutiny since the occupation began.

Now in question is Judge Aiken’s relationship with two brothers who have started a counter occupation movement labeled as G.O.H.O.M.E. (Getting Occupiers of Historic Oregon Malhuer Evicted). Started by brothers Zach and Jake Klonoski, the group seeks to raise funds and generate community sentiment to forcefully remove the Citizen Occupiers of the Malhuer Reserve. Zach Klonoski is a special assistant to Charlie Hales, Mayor of Portland and is listed by the City’s website as the Mayor’s right hand. Jake Klonoski is an Attorney Adviser Department of the Inspector General 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

In order to re-sentence the Hammonds as terrorists the United States Government had to file an appeal Under 18 U.S. Code 3742 (B). According to the code; “…The Government may not further prosecute such appeal without the personal approval of the Attorney General, the Inspector General, or a deputy inspector general designated by the Inspector General.” The same Inspector General where Jake Klonoski is employed as a key Attorney Adviser. These appeals to sentences are extremely rare in their dispensation. However, as troubling as Jake Klonoski’s capacity to influence that appeal process is, considering his recent political stance against the Occupiers seeking to defend the Hammonds rights, it is does not hold a candle to the inappropriate relationship between the Klonoski Brothers and Judge Ann Aiken, whose former married name is Ann Aiken-Klonoski. Jake and Zach are in fact her sons.

Considering Judge Aiken’s working relationship with the lead prosecutor, her familial relationship with key members of the Inspector Generals office with the power to issue the rarely heard of sentencing appeal and her involvement in overturning a law the Hammonds were instrumental in crafting it is not outside the realm of logic to question Aiken’s fitness to serve as the presiding Judge in the re-sentencing matter. Taken in the light of complaints filed against Judge Aiken regarding her failure to disclose pertinent relationships and her capacity to circumvent the law in her own behalf, it is unconscionable that she presided over the Hammond case and as the situation now clearly reeks of nepotism, political incest and corruption the Hammond case clearly must be revisited by a new and impartial means outside of the tainted District Court. At this juncture it would seem that a Common Law Grand Jury constructed outside of the Oregon or Federal Courts is the only mechanism remaining that can be trusted to operate under the color of law.