At the Courthouse: Phillips' attorney criticizes judge

2011-06-20T16:07:00Z 2011-06-22T10:57:03Z At the Courthouse: Phillips' attorney criticizes judgeBy Kim Smith Arizona Daily Star
June 20, 2011 4:07 pm  • 

Pamela Phillips' attorney and Judge Richard Fields apparently define "dead horse" very differently.

In yesterday's Star, I reported Peter Herberg doesn't think Phillips will get a fair trial because of the media coverage her case has gotten, the fact her case is now available to read on-line and because of former prosecutor Shawn Jensvold.

I didn't see it until today, but apparently Herberg filed another motion filled with dismay late Thursday. (Sometimes it takes awhile for pleadings to be scanned into files or I would've included it in my story.)

Anyway, Herberg says in his most recent pleading that he "respectfully objects" to Judge Fields' June 14 decision to not get involved in the maintenance of Jensvold's website or LinkedIn profile.

(The judge pointed out Jensvold is no longer with the PCAO and the PCAO has no way to control a former employee's website.)

Herberg says Judge Fields should step in because the PCAO is "attempting to falsely portray Jensvold's departure as a mere long-sought change of employment"  and his website "was used to engage in misconduct."

"The fact that the court considers this employee's cyberspace public profile information of no bearing because it is 'personal' information is troubling," Herberg said.

By denying the motion, Herberg said Jensvold or others can continue to delete and destroy information without getting into trouble.

Between the state's "evasive pleadings" and the uncalendared meeting where Jensvold's resignation was announced, it appears as though the issue is being "trivialized and marginalized," Herberg said.

Herberg goes on to then complain about the fact Judge Fields ruled on the website issue via minute entry, rather than in open court.

The uncalendared hearing, combined with the minute entry, "appear to mitigate the potential for embarrassment to the State and to Mr. Jensvold," Herberg wrote.

He goes on to reiterate these issues are serious ones, not tangential, and ones taxpayers would find of "critical importance."

Jensvold left "under a cloud of suspicion," Herberg alleges.

As for Jensvold, he says he started looking for a job after Ronald Young's conviction in March 2010 — long before Herberg filed the motion regarding the website. (He is now in civil private practice.)

He was not fired from or pressured to leave the PCAO and received well wishes when he left, Jensvold said.

"The truth is that the offer I received was in my and my family's best interests," he said. 

Jensvold said his website was up from August 30, 2010, until May 3, 2011, and he took it down for reasons that "had absolutely nothing to do with Mr. Herberg or anyone else related to Ms. Phillips' defense team."

A couple of weeks ago, Jensvold said he had been merely exploring the possibility of creating a company, but he never had any clients and no money ever exchanged hands.

Phillips' next scheduled hearing is July 18, but  that doesn't mean something won't happen before then. I'll keep you posted.

 

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