The Hispanic community in Little Rhody had every right to be proud of District Court Judge Rafael Ovalles when he became the first Latino to be elevated to the bench by Governor Donald Carcieri in 2005. He was an especially good role model for his nephew, young Angel Taveras (P&J simply adore him), who went on to become the first Hispanic mayor of Our Little Towne in 2011.
Now, maybe not so much.
In a scenario that screams “Bizzaro World” in both English and Spanish, Ovalles is now standing before the Commission on Judicial Tenure and Discipline on charges brought by his co-workers in the judicial system about his, well, let’s be kind and just say erratic, disgraceful and off-the-courtroom wall behavior.
The charges against Ovalles include sexually harassing and demeaning women, abusing staff and not comprehending basic legal principles. While the first two are simply odious and abhorrent, P&J “kinda” like it if that if we are coming before the bench, our judge has more than a fleeting acquaintance with basic legal principles. Yeah, just call us nitpickers.
Ovalles’ incredibly lame defense is that in denying the charges, an inventive but toxic mix that we’ll detail in a second, it is that the accusers aren’t used to being bossed around by someone with his background. “Most people in our society are not used to being told what to do by a minority. I’m sorry that is a factor in all of this.” Well, P&J are sorry, too, because we and most people we know have worked for and with minorities, whether Latino, black, female, gay, straight, what have you, all our lives. We just ask that they be intelligent and committed to doing a good job, which definitely excludes harassment and abuse of any kind. “So sorry,” Rafe, doesn’t even pass the laugh test.
What we regret is that this head case ever was given a judgeship. One female clerk was allegedly asked by Ovalles if she wanted to enter his chambers to watch him suck a lollipop. (We think there’s role confusion here, but who are P&J to judge? Sorry, pun started out unintentional.)
Another female clerk said she entered his chambers and he had his fly unzipped and his hands in his underwear. (Insert your own “legal briefs” joke here. Keep it short(s). Again, apologies.) Ovalles claimed he has stomach problems that sometimes make him unbutton his pants. But he didn’t seem to have an answer as to why he was wrist-deep in them.
The harassment of women got to the point — did we mention Ovalles told one defense attorney to stay seated at all times and another that she couldn’t leave the courtroom to go to the bathroom (maybe she should have asked him to go with her)? — that the public defender’s office decided to send only male lawyers to his courtroom. And lest you think women PDs are fainthearted, if you ever require a public defender, you’d be really smart to ask for a woman, because they are tough, tough, tough, not to mention on your side.
Ovalles was relieved of his judicial duties in 2015 — with pay of course, at $160K per year — and all this happy horseshit is just now coming to decision time in our judicial system, which is what happens when you pay lawyers and judges by the hour. Hopefully, when the commission gets around to rendering a verdict, they have access to a high-tech bullshit detector, because it appears it will be ringing like a five-alarm fire bell every time Judge Ovalles opens his mouth.
And keep your hands where we can see them, Rafael.
Death of a Saleswoman
A recent poll by Phillipe and Jorge’s renowned Institute of Casual Research showed that most Americans believe the number one priority for a sitting US president should be tweeting his outrage at his daughter’s line of clothing being dropped by a major national clothing chain in the wee hours of the morning and before he has his day’s first injection of Librium. The people — a dozen folks we were up late with on Sunday night, drinking Pernod and grapefruit laced with 190 proof Everclear out of tiny plastic New England Patriots replica helmets — have spoken.
Now some of you will doubtless bring up the issue of conflict of interest by the tiny-handed, whining, Orange Orangutan in the Oval Office, but what’s a father to do when a retail giant like Nordstrom’s won’t carry the inferior crap masquerading as fashion that his tasteless, unspeakable offspring, Ivanka the Terrible, tries to foist on the public? Her line of clothing, preferred choice of mobster’s wives and rehab patients, is best defended as oozing sophistication by pointing out that Walmart will continue to sell her ghastly “designs.” (May P&J point out that this will not affect sales of Ms. Terrible’s wonderful scarves, made in China, which were already pulled from the shelves at the government’s pleasure when they were found to be highly flammable.)
Hasn’t the Trump family realized by now that they should stay out of retail marketing?
Trump vodka, Trump steaks, Trump University and any other piece of inferior crap that the clan has ever attempted to peddle with the Drumpf name on it has almost immediately been recognized as oversold and inferior to whatever else is out there, no matter what line of patter their designated sales person tries to feed the public.
Step forward, Kellyanne Conway, the hideous wraith, professional liar, “alternative facts” champion and political reptile who wormed her way into the Trump administration in another display of the discerning hiring (and appointment) practices of the increasingly delusional President Crybaby. Kiss my ass? You’re on board!
The extremely loyal (at least until the first check bounces) Kellyangst went on TV (the oxymoronic Fox News, natch) after Nordstrom bailed and Donald Duck Dynasty went berserk at 6am and used his trotters to tap out an attack on the department store. Conway enthusiastically promoted the rejected rags, urging guileless idiots to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff.” Couldn’t have phrased it in more eloquent language ourselves.
This was so over the top, and in flagrant violation of government ethics, that even the political chancer and preening power suit wannabe Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the House Oversight Committee, which has a passing interest in ethical behavior in Congress (when it exists, which is rarely) said Kellyangst’s cheerleading was “wrong, wrong, wrong, clearly over the line, unacceptable.” Well, there goes your invite for a Big Mac and Diet Coke dinner with Trump anytime in the foreseeable future, Jason.
The presidency now seems to have become just a cheap flea market stall flogging whatever Ivanka the Terrible and her loathsome husband, Jared; the two sons, Beavis and Butthead; and President Crybaby’s immigrant wife, Zsa Zsa, think can bring them in cash by dumping them on the gullible American public for whatever they can shake the people down. Foreign policy? Booorring. Economic recovery? Do I get a piece of it? Climate change? Fucking nerd scientists and their pesky truths!
But they better not say anything bad about Ivanka on “Saturday Night Live.” I’ll be watching. And tweeting … and tweeting … and tweeting…
America the beautiful.