Judge Cougar accused of lying to police by her opponent in election

 Judge Cougar and the Burglar

The following is a press release issued by Daniel Patrick Connell about the case of Judge Cougar and the Burglar:

JUDGE CREIGHTON ACCUSED OF LYING TO POLICE,

HARBORING A FELON WITH AN OUTSTANDING WARRANT,

AND ABUSING HER OFFICE TO PROTECT HER LOVER

POOLESVILLE, MD. – Circuit Court Judge Audrey Creighton, running for election in Montgomery County’s primary this month, was accused of harboring her live-in boyfriend when he was a fugitive from an arrest warrant issued by another judge in her own court. At the time the warrant was outstanding, she admits living in an intimate relationship with the boyfriend, Rickley Senning, a violent felon less than half her age.

In a June 6, 2014 open letter seeking the withdrawal of the other judicial candidates’ endorsements of Ms. Creighton (attached), Circuit Court Judicial candidate Daniel Patrick Connell further alleges that Ms. Creighton lied to Montgomery County Police and circumvented court rules and procedures to keep Mr. Senning from being taken into custody. Supporting materials can be found on Mr. Connell’s website, www.ConnellfortheCourt.com.

“I hope the people of Montgomery County and the other judges will closely examine Ms. Creighton’s behavior well in advance of the June 24 primary,” said Mr. Connell. “Any responsible jurist and citizen will see that Ms. Creighton’s actions with regard to Mr. Senning disqualify her from service on the Montgomery County Circuit Court.”

The so-called “Committee to Retain the Sitting Judges of Montgomery County” claims on its website that each has been subjected to “rigorous scrutiny and examination.” This process, they claim, “guarantees that our judges have the highest quality of character, integrity, judicial temperament, and education.” (www.crsjmd.com)

Ms. Creighton’s alleged abuses of power, unethical judicial behavior, circumvention of court rules and willingness to lie to police demonstrate that this closed system for selecting judicial candidates in Maryland is irreparably broken. At best, it is ineffectual. At worst, it is a clearinghouse for cronyism and political favors.

Daniel Patrick Connell is the one candidate for Circuit Court judge whose candidacy is not beholden to the Trial Courts Judicial Nominating Commission, the wholly unaccountable body which initially selected Audrey Creighton – in secret, for

reasons which remain undisclosed and without any authority to nominate anyone to stand in these critical elections.

A combat-decorated former Marine, former Baltimore City public defender and former U.S. Diplomat / Senior Rule of Law Advisor in Afghanistan and Iraq with active U.S. security clearances, Mr. Connell is a man of experience, integrity and judgment. Mr. Connell is a native Marylander who lives in Poolesville with his wife and three children.

JUDGE CREIGHTON ACCUSED OF LYING TO POLICE,

HARBORING A FELON WITH AN OUTSTANDING WARRANT,

AND ABUSING HER OFFICE TO PROTECT HER LOVER

POOLESVILLE, MD. – Circuit Court Judge Audrey Creighton, running for election in Montgomery County’s primary this month, was accused of harboring her live-in boyfriend when he was a fugitive from an arrest warrant issued by another judge in her own court. At the time the warrant was outstanding, she admits living in an intimate relationship with the boyfriend, Rickley Senning, a violent felon less than half her age.

In a June 6, 2014 open letter seeking the withdrawal of the other judicial candidates’ endorsements of Ms. Creighton (attached), Circuit Court Judicial candidate Daniel Patrick Connell further alleges that Ms. Creighton lied to Montgomery County Police and circumvented court rules and procedures to keep Mr. Senning from being taken into custody. Supporting materials can be found on Mr. Connell’s website, www.ConnellfortheCourt.com.

“I hope the people of Montgomery County and the other judges will closely examine Ms. Creighton’s behavior well in advance of the June 24 primary,” said Mr. Connell. “Any responsible jurist and citizen will see that Ms. Creighton’s actions with regard to Mr. Senning disqualify her from service on the Montgomery County Circuit Court.”

The so-called “Committee to Retain the Sitting Judges of Montgomery County” claims on its website that each has been subjected to “rigorous scrutiny and examination.” This process, they claim, “guarantees that our judges have the highest quality of character, integrity, judicial temperament, and education.” (www.crsjmd.com)

Ms. Creighton’s alleged abuses of power, unethical judicial behavior, circumvention of court rules and willingness to lie to police demonstrate that this closed system for selecting judicial candidates in Maryland is irreparably broken. At best, it is ineffectual. At worst, it is a clearinghouse for cronyism and political favors.

Daniel Patrick Connell is the one candidate for Circuit Court judge whose candidacy is not beholden to the Trial Courts Judicial Nominating Commission, the wholly unaccountable body which initially selected Audrey Creighton – in secret, for

reasons which remain undisclosed and without any authority to nominate anyone to stand in these critical elections.

A combat-decorated former Marine, former Baltimore City public defender and former U.S. Diplomat / Senior Rule of Law Advisor in Afghanistan and Iraq with active U.S. security clearances, Mr. Connell is a man of experience, integrity and judgment. Mr. Connell is a native Marylander who lives in Poolesville with his wife and three children. He welcomes

Daniel P. Connell

19808 Bodmer Avenue

Poolesville, MD 20837

(202) 957 – 6051

June 6, 2014

OPEN LETTER TO:

The Honorable Gary E. Bair

The Honorable Nelson W. Rupp, Jr.

The Honorable Joan E. Ryon

RE: Audrey Creighton’s Fitness for the Circuit Court

Judges Bair, Rupp and Ryon:

As candidates for the Montgomery County Circuit Court bench, I am sure you will agree that each of us must be held to the highest standards of judicial integrity and demeanor.

Unfortunately, ugly facts and troubling questions have recently come to light regarding Audrey Creighton’s character, judgment and fitness to serve the people of Montgomery County. I bring these facts and questions to your attention so that you can evaluate them for yourselves, and consider again whether Ms. Creighton is deserving of your endorsements. They all relate to Ms. Creighton’s veracity, to her intimate relationship with Rickley Senning – a violent felon – and to steps she appears to have taken from the District Court bench to give him special treatment.

All of the documents cited in this letter can be found on my website,

www.ConnellfortheCourt.com.

First, news reports indicate that in accusing Mr. Senning of abducting her on May 19,2014, she initially lied to the police, telling them that her relationship with Senning was platonic – it was not – and that he was simply her tenant – he was not.

One wonders if these initial reports hindered the police in their investigation of the incident. Whether or not they did, however, I would certainly question the suitability for Circuit Court judge of a person who would intentionally lie to the Montgomery County Police Department.

Second, on June 3,2013, while living with Ms. Creighton, Mr. Senning was arrested for possession of marijuana and related drug paraphernalia sufficient to put him in jail for well over a year (a likely scenario considering his many other drug, moral turpitude and violence related offenses). See District Court Case Nos. OD00303772; ID00303773; 2D00303774.

This invites the question, did Ms. Creighton disclose this fact to the bar associations who vetted her for her temporary appointment? For that matter, did she ever disclose the nature of her relationship with Mr. Rickley Senning, her Domestic Partner per B-I0l of the Code of Judicial Conduct? To that end, perhaps the Judicial Nominating Commission will be able to provide some much needed insight here.

Third, on July 22,2013, Mr. Senning failed to appear before District Court Judge William Simmons on those drug charges, and a bench warrant was issued for his arrest (See Attached).

Twenty days later, on August 11,2013, Mr. Senning – a 22 year old with no legal training – submitted a formal, typewritten Motion to Recall and/or Quashthe outstanding bench warrant, including a formal Certificate of Service. The envelope in which the motion was submitted was hand-addressed in what appears to be the exact same handwriting used by Ms. Creighton in her May 20,2014 application for a TPO (See Attached).

Again, this was while Ms. Creighton and Mr. Senning were living together at Ms. Creighton’s home. Did Ms. Creighton draft Mr. Senning’s motion and thereby engage in the practice of law while contemporaneously serving as a judge?

Was she representing Mr. Senning in this matter, before her own court? It is of course impermissible for a sitting District Court judge to practice law, particularly before her colleagues. See Maryland Judicial Code of Conduct Rule 3.10(a).

Fourth, the return address on the envelope containing the Motion and Certificate – again apparently in Ms. Creighton’s handwriting – was not Ms. Creighton’s home address where she and Mr. Senning (by her own sworn admission) were living in August, 2013. Did Ms. Creighton intend to mislead the court and the police as to Mr. Senning’s true whereabouts at a time an outstanding bench warrant sought his arrest? Or did she simply want to hide the fact that she – a sitting District Court Judge – was harboring him?

Fifth, for reasons that are unfathomable, Mr. Senning presented himself in Ms. Creighton’s courtroom on August 22,2013. Having failed to contact the Administrative Judge to inform him of the conflict of interest and seek formal reassignment, and without acting on the outstanding bench warrant (both required under the District Court rules), Ms. Creighton improperly referred Mr. Senning down the hall to Judge Jeannie Cho. Judge Cho also ignored the outstanding bench warrant, accepted a pro se guilty plea, fmed Mr. Senning $250 and released him (the more serious matters were dismissed outright). She did so, apparently, without taking into account Mr. Senning’s long history of lawbreaking, violence and incarceration (including burglary, firearms violations, narcotics, assaulting a corrections officer, assaulting a shackled inmate and car theft, to name a few).

Many questions need to be answered by Ms. Creighton as to this episode, but the fundamental concern is this: did Ms. Creighton improperly and unethically use her position as a District Court judge to favor her lover and client, Rickley Senning?

These questions as to Ms. Creighton’s fitness to serve on the Circuit Court bench are very troubling. Ms. Creighton has apparently gone into hiding, has not appeared in court to fulfill her obligations as a judge, and has not responded to press inquiries about these events. Yet as demonstrated here, she has many questions to answer. Her conduct and subsequent silence are an affront to the citizens of Montgomery County which directly undercut the dignity of the court and strike at the very heart of the rule of law.

The Maryland Code of Judicial Conduct (1.2) says it best. “A judge shall act at all times in a manner that promotes public confidence in the independence, integrity, and impartiality of the judiciary … A judge shall avoid conduct that would create in reasonable minds a perception of impropriety.” The commentary continues: “Conduct that compromises or appears to compromise the independence, integrity, and impartiality of a judge undermines public confidence in the judiciary.”

Leaving aside the questionable judgment demonstrated by Ms. Creighton in her long-term romantic relationship with a narcotics-abusing felon with an extensive history of incarceration and violence, Ms. Creighton’s lies to the police and court and the apparent abuse of her position as District Court judge call into question her ability to function as a Circuit Court judge, let alone inspire public confidence in the Maryland judiciary.

I hope you will join me in immediately calling on Ms. Creighton to answer these and any other questions the public may have about these sordid episodes.

When we have all the facts, I hope you will agree with me that your endorsements of Ms. Creighton are misplaced.

Thank you and best regards,

Daniel Patrick Connell

(WJLA) – Rickley Senning, 24, has been charged with several crimes – including second degree assault and false imprisonment after he allegedly kidnapped a Montgomery County Circuit Court judge.

Judge Audrey Creighton tells police it all started last month, when she and Senning got into an argument. They had been living together at the time.

Attorney Joseph Fay is representing Senning, but would not comment on the nature of his relationship with the judge.

According to court documents, this all stemmed from an incident on May 19 when Creighton told investigators that she “contacted Senning to see if he was interested in going out.”

When she got home that night, she says she “observed blood on the floor,” and saw “Senning standing in front of her with a bottle of alcohol” while he was bleeding from his left hand.

Court documents show that “Senning started yelling at Creighton about going out after work,” convinced that she “couldn’t spend that much time at the Target store and that she was doing something else.” It goes on to say that he “pulled her by the hair towards the front door and continued to scream at her.”

She told investigators that he was telling at her to take him to Gaithersburg, and once the two of them got in her car, Creighton stated that she was extremely afraid and at one point, was “in fear for her life and thought Senning would kill her” – adding that he was ordering her to drive faster while calling her a liar.

Creighton told police she was eventually able to turn right into the Harris Teeter parking lot here in Germantown, and jumped out of the car to get away. He reportedly tried to put her back in the car, but she was able to run inside the grocery store for help.

Court documents show that Senning then took off with her car, but didn’t get very far – he was involved in a head-on collision just about a mile away and taken to an area hospital.

Statement by Judge Cougar

Envelope to Court

DISTRICT COURT OF MARYLAND

Pot charge for Judge Cougar's Boy Toy Burglar

 

Share