Friday, May 19, 2006

What's The Matter With This Judge?

You may have seen the news report on the sentencing of home builder Bruce Bren, a sewer rat who defrauded and stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from customers for his own benefit. He was given a slap on the wrist sentence by Judge Robert H. Lynn of the Minnesota Fourth District Court. And people aren't happy.

KARE 11 News reports: "Two Day Jail sentence for millionaire builder angers many"

Bruce Bren is a longtime prominent builder in the Twin Cities who angered a lot of people when he didn't pay the bills.

On Friday, he was sentenced to spend two nights in jail for fraud. The Hennepin County Attorney thought he should go to prison for four years.

Bren was initially charged with 19 counts of theft by swindle, credit fraud and what amounts to contractor fraud. Friday, he was sentenced on the contractor fraud charges he plead guilty too.
Mr. Bren caused untold pain for the customers he stole money from, large amounts of money, and the judge gave him essentially no punishment. Victims, police, and prosecutors are rightfully outraged:

...Hennepin County Prosecutors said he lied, was corrupt and was taking lavish vacations around the world on money that should have gone to pay subcontractors. Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar was upset at the slap on the wrist, "This is a man who should have gone to prison. He ripped off these homeowners of basically hundreds of thousands of dollars. He was a white collar criminal."

The Police Chief of Wayzata Michael Risvold, whose department investigated the case, was also upset at the sentence, "This sentencing sends a clear message that white collar criminals can steal millions of dollars and there's no justice on behalf of the victims. He even used some of the stolen proceeds to add on to his lake home in Northern Minnesota."

Also angry when they left the courtroom were some of the victim's who had bought houses and then were left to settle with subcontractors who filed liens against their property. One of them was Michael Jordan. He had Bren build him a home in Stillwater. Jordan says Bren made off with $500,000 of his money. "I chased this guy through court system after court system. He filed a fraudulent bankruptcy absolute joke."
Even Hennepin County Attorney Klobuchar is unhappy about this one.

That's bad, but here's an interesting twist: I've written about Judge Lynn before. This bleeding heart judge allowed a murderer to go unhandcuffed and unshackled at his sentencing for a coldblooded robbery/murder. Can you imagine any person, much less a District Court Judge, having so little common sense as to allow a murderer freedom of movement at his sentencing for a major crime?

What would your common sense tell you would happen?

That's right, and it did happen, as the Star Tribune reported at the time:

He [the murderer] began swearing and refused to cooperate when Hennepin County District Judge Robert Lynn ordered him removed from the Minneapolis courtroom, said Jeff Bakken, spokesperson for the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.

Jefferson, who was not handcuffed, pulled away from Deputy Joel Flygaren and the two scuffled on the courtroom floor, Bakken said. Flygaren was hit above his right eye, Bakken said.
Isn't a judge supposed to have judgement?

And here he is less than a year later insulting the victims of Mr. Bren. It's as if he told the victims that the justice system cares more about the criminal than about them.

If you good people want to know why Minnesota has a revolving door court system, this is the one of the foremost reasons. Bleeding heart liberals like Judge Lynn have no place on the business end of the justice system.