Harmison's family ties to the Greene County Prosecuting Attorney's Office also likely explain his corrupt handling of a recent probation-revocation hearing involving former NFL player Dorial Green-Beckham.
In the 11-year history of Legal Schnauzer, I've observed a lot of corrupt judges. But this might be the most blatant judicial scandal I've witnessed. It revolves around a Springfield, MO lawyer named Eric Ryan Olson.
Harmison did not disclose his conflict of interest before conducting a bench trial in the matter. Carol filed six post-trial motions -- including a Motion to Vacate Judgment As Made By A Judge Who Was Disqualified Due to Undisclosed Conflicts of Interest -- which brought the matter to Harmison's attention, in clear and unmistakable language. (Motion is embedded at the end of this post, along with Harmison's judgment.) Carol's motion showed that the judgment against her was due to be vacated, per U.S. Supreme Court precedent in Liljeberg v. Health Services Acquisition Corp. (U.S., 1988). Harmison, however, did not vacate and gave little or no indication that he had even read the motion.
Harmison's conflict also involves dubious actions that apparently were orchestrated to allow former Gov. Eric Greitens to appoint him to a Greene County judicial seat. Greitens, of course, since has resigned in a wave of scandals.
That leaves us with the following questions:
(1) Did Carol receive "fundamental fairness," required by 32.09? Nope.
(2) Did Carol's judge have an improper "proscribed relationship," or "interest in the cause"? Without question. His son-in-law was part of the team that brought the charges.
(3) Was Carol's trial "impartial" and did it "appear to be so"? Not even close.
Where does attorney Eric Ryan Olson enter the picture? The Greene County Prosecutor's Office brought charges against Carol on Sept. 8, 2016. Olson worked in the office, serving as senior assistant to Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson. At the time, Olson was engaged to Jessica Harmison, Judge Jerry Harmison's oldest daughter.
Carol was not arrested until Jan. 31. 2017. That means Ryan Olson was part of the prosecution team that brought charges against Carol and pursued her arrest. Throughout that time, he was engaged, or married to, Jessica Harmison -- who just happened to be Judge Jerry Harmison's daughter, making Ryan Olson the judge's son--in-law for part of the time that the case against Carol was launched.
How does the Olson/Harmison connection create a disqualifying conflict for Judge Harmison, and how does it tie to the machinations the family took to ensure that Jerry Harmison could be appointed as a judge? We will examine those questions in an upcoming post.
(To be continued)
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