Citing Ethical Concerns, Williams Protests the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law's Irregular Decision to "Recall" and Specially Appoint "Judge" Masin in Cruz Eligibility Contest.
On April 13, 2016 (at 11:30 am) Victor Williams filed an "Exception" (protest) with the New Jersey Secretary of State to respectfully but strongly disagree with the "Initial Decision" of administrative hearing officer/judge Jeff Masin.
(The media has uniformly misreported that Masin was a Judge-- he is not -- Masin is a hearing officer not a member of the New Jersey judiciary.)
In addition to detailing the substantive errors in Mr. Masin's determination, Williams raised serious ethical and procedural concerns regarding how the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law had "recalled" Mr. Masin in a special appointment to hear the Cruz dispute rather than follow regular order in the random appointment of an existing OAL hearing officer/judge.
On April 13, 2016 (at 6:45 pm), Lt Governor/Secretary of State Kim Guadagno indolently rubber-stamped this hearing officer's possibly-predetermined and certainly-flawed decision.
"First. Williams strongly protests the irregularity of the Office of Administrative Law’s “recall” of Jeff Masin to conduct the hearing rather than following a regular order of a random assignment of the case to a neutral officer. Mr. Masin began the hearing acknowledging that he had “been recalled” and appointed to the case because of his past experience with the natural-born citizen issue. It appears that rather than following regular order in the assignment of a neutral, objective hearing judge, the Office of Administrative Law “recalled” Mr. Masin. Any administrative economy achieved by recalling and assigning an officer because of his specific knowledge of and history with the subject/issue is of no consequence when considering the heavy costs (if only in perception) of his prejudgment. It destroys any confidence or reliability in the resulting recommendation/initial decision. To state, as some are doing, that Mr. Masin was “cherry-picked” for this case would not capture the ethical concern presented. Mr. Masin’s special appointment raises a broader concern as to the future role of the Office of Administrative Law as a component part of the Lt. Governor/Secretary of State’s internal deliberative processes in Election administration and particularly in maintaining New Jersey’s ballot integrity.
Second. It was telling that Masin also stated at the beginnings of the hearings that he had not read the parties’ briefs (which had been due and submitted for several days before the hearing); rather Mr. Masin spent the days before the hearing reading a variety of secondary sources. Mr. Masin’s incredible accomplishment in producing a 26-page, quite-detailed recommendation in a one-day time period deserves related note . It is now clear Jeff Masin had not changed his established opinions on this issue from his time overseeing a prior natural born citizen challenge in years past. It is more than just unfortunate that the Office of Administrative Law would have irregularly “recalled” Jeff Masin for this hearing in terms of fairness and the perception of objectivity. No public confidence can be had in the resulting recommendation. Nevertheless, it is Lt. Governor/Secretary of State Kim Guadagno whose ultimate duty it is to protect the integrity of the New Jersey ballot and enforce the U.S. Constitution’s clear and unambiguous eligibility requirements for candidates for the presidency.
Seventh. Lt. Governor/Secretary of State Kim Guadagno has the sworn duty to maintain New Jersey ballot integrity, and to protect, preserver and defend the U.S. Constitution, by not allowing the ineligible Ted Cruz who has falsely filed a Certification of Eligibility and fraudulently procured signature petitions on the June 7, 2016 primary ballot. She also has the responsibility to prevent my certain injuries as a “competitor candidate” in New Jersey and as a national candidate in having to expend funds, resources, and energies to run against the ineligible Edward Rafeal Cruz."