Editor’s Note: Because I reside in Cleveland County, North Carolina and have also submitted this article/op-ed to persons and media in New Hanover County and Raleigh, folks there may consider me an “outsider.” To those that might think that, I would remind them of a letter written by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (titled an Open Letter from a Jail in Birmingham) that contained a passage that warned “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice anywhere.”
I would also remind readers everywhere of the “injustice” inflicted upon Jesus Christ over 2,000 years ago by His “Judge,” one Pontius Pilate. Pilate set the Standard for the Worst Judge in World History for his crucifixion of Jesus while setting Barabbas free. I used this standard to rate two judges in Cleveland County in 2002 and Judge Julius K. Corpening of New Hanover County in 2019.
Read on for this true story.
This listing began in March of 2002 with a published article titled Judge Orders Truth out of the Courtroom. In that article I reached two conclusions:
1. Pontius Pilate, up to 2002, was the worst judge in world history. Pontius Pilate, as a judge of the matter, set Barabbas free and had Jesus of Nazareth executed by crucifixion. But even Pontius Pilot, according to Bible Verse John 18:38, asked “What is Truth?”
2. Any judge anywhere that, in some way or another, ORDERS Truth out of the Courtroom is worse than the Worst Judge in world history.
Based on that criteria, as described above, two North Carolina Judges met that criteria and were described in my 2002 article as worse than the worst judge in the world history. Those judges were North Carolina District Court Judge Anna F. “Dina” Foster and North Carolina Superior Court Judge F. Fetzer Mills. These two Judges were responsible for an order signed by Mills on March 11, 2002 that stated “During the course of the hearing, the Defendant orally moved to be permitted to amend his answer to allege truth as a defense. That motion is, in the Court’s discretion, denied.” Judge Mills went on to make that statement into a signed Court Order that the defendant could NOT use the truth of the matter in his defense of false allegations. (If anybody doesn’t believe this, it’s in the public record at the Cleveland County Courthouse. File 01-CVS-2626, entered March 11, 2002 at 4:16 PM.)
Now, 17-1/2 years later, it has come to my attention that District Court Judge Julius K. “Jay” Corpening, II of New Hanover County has taken certain actions that, in my opinion and in accordance with my criteria noted above, mean that Judge Corpening has joined the list of North Carolina judges that are worse than the worst judge in world history.
The Judge Jay Corpening story goes like this:
Judge Corpening, like Judge Dina Foster, formerly of Cleveland County, NC, hears many New Hanover County Department of Social Services cases involving removing children from their parents’ custody and placing the children into Foster Homes and such. Allegedly to protect the children.
This Foster Home business has turned into a lucrative business in some areas of North Carolina and in the United States. Foster homes are supposedly well regulated by the various Departments of Social Services and the Judges that hear their case. But there are issues and horror stories aplenty regarding systemic problems at Foster Homes (and Food Stamps used to buy drugs and about anything regarding DSS). We all have heard them. But most often they are covered-up under a phony cloak of confidentiality and nothing gets done to bring accountability to either the DSS or the judges that hear their cases. There are plenty of “injustices” and cover-ups in Cleveland County and in New Hanover County too. A fact that has become big news recently in New Hanover County. Especially in New Hanover County Schools and NHCDSS.
Ms. Holly Royals, a supervisor at the New Hanover Department of Social Services oversees many of the DSS cases and caseworkers where DSS recommends to the presiding judge, Judge Jay Corpening mostly, that children should be either returned to their parents or guardians or placed into Foster Care. Ms. Royals has officially been accused, in a Federal Lawsuit (7:17-cv-00229) filed by Rev. Dante Murphy of unethical and potentially illegal acts of forcefully requiring DSS Workers under her supervision to falsify records and information going before the judge in order to entice the judge to make favorable rulings on the DSS cases based on that false and contrived information and perjured testimony or leave out exculpatory, favorable information as the case may be rather than the actual facts of the mater. Rather than the truth of the matter.
In particular Rev. Murphy, at the time working under Ms. Holly Royals direct supervision and instructions at NHCDSS was fired when he refused to falsify documents and provide perjured testimony to Judge Julius K. Corpening and others as ordered by Holly Royals. This alleged illegal firing is the subject of a pending Federal Lawsuit in the Eastern District of North Carolina as previously mentioned.
In the meantime, Rev. Dante Murphy started a citizen’s movement called the Southern Coalition for Equal Protection Under the Law (SCEPUL) where he has risen to great public attention and interest for his uncovering major, multiple and long term child sexual abuse crimes at New Hanover County Schools that clearly appear to be covered-up by the New Hanover County School Board, Law Enforcement, the NHC District Attorney’s Office, various lawyers and perhaps judicial system officials too.
Rev. Murphy was initially attacked as some sort of “Crack Pot” or an “agitator” but perseverance on Rev. Murphy’s part has now brought public attention to at least two successful criminal prosecutions for child sexual abuse by New Hanover School personnel, a Deputy School Superintendent being required to resign, the School Superintendent likely to be fired and a once belligerent New Hanover County School Board that are now running for cover from SCEPUL, Rev. Murphy, the various local news media and both local Conservative AND Liberal Radio Talk Show Hosts. It seems that a major citizen’s disgust with sexual offences against children is widespread and non-partisan in New Hanover County as well as all over North Carolina.
And now New Hanover County District Court Judge Julius K. Corpening, II finds himself in the cross-hairs of angry citizens who are totally fed up with the apparent corruption where ever they find it.
In this instance, Judge Jay Corpening, an elected official and apparent elitist, who thinks he is above the fray of his elected office, as well as having to deal with his own constituents-the people he represents, did this to himself.
Here is the proof and particulars:
Rev. Murphy, concerned about the totality of the “culture of corruption” at the New Hanover County Department of Social Services and NHC Schools as previously described, as a good citizen decides to alert Judge Corpening of the potentially false documents and testimony submitted to and in Judge Corpening’s court. In this email record that is now a public record, Rev. Murphy writes to Judge Corpening as shown below:
From: SCEPUL [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Friday, September 20, 2019 5:28 PM
To: Corpening, Julius H.
Cc: David, Benjamin R.
; McMahon, Ed ; Barfield, Jonathan ; email@example.com; Copley, Wanda ; Huffman, Sharon
Subject: Holly Royals-Case #2019-06097
The purpose of this email is to alert you that cases being tried involving New Hanover County Department of Social Services are in jeopardy due to the above reference investigation with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Department.
There exist serious allegations and evidence that Holly Royals interfered with a court order intended to subpoena a witness for testimony. Most damaging is an email that exists outlining the tactic to pressure an employee into fabricating a story to avoid showing up at court. These allegations are also alleged in a pending lawsuit Murphy v. New Hanover County.
I am requesting that you inquire about these matters to assure that cases involving her supervision are not jeopardized by the agency’s decision to retain her as an employee.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Rev. Dante’ A. Murphy
Judge Corpening, for his part, should have been very thankful to Rev. Dante Murphy for the good information that was provided. But, Nooooo!!! I cannot better describe the arrogance and elitism from Judge Corpening’s reply to Rev. Murphy than to just provide Judge Corpening’s email reply.
Judge Corpening’s reply to Rev. Murphy (a public record):
From: Corpening, Julius H.
Date: Fri, 20 Sep 2019 at 17:33
Subject: RE: Holly Royals-Case #2019-06097
Cc: David, Benjamin R.
, McMahon, Ed , Barfield, Jonathan , firstname.lastname@example.org , Copley, Wanda , Huffman, Sharon
It is not appropriate for you to contact me directly about this matter. Please do not contact me again. The appropriate contact for an investigation of this issue are Mr. David and Sheriff McMahon.
J.H. Corpening, II
(Editor’s Note: It is not a violation of North Carolina law for a citizen to email a judge.)
It is clear from Judge Corpening’s reply, that he just didn’t want to hear it. Obviously Judge Corpening desires to have a large dollop of “plausible deniability” for the culture of corruption that is being practiced right under his very own nose. And the same for his rulings that are made on the phony-baloney information and testimony that he hears every day from the NHCDSS. In my opinion, that makes Judge Julius K. Corpening, II even worse than the two previous judges I noted above who were worse that the worst judge in world history.
But that is just the start of the systemic problems and issues related by the email exchange noted above.
Especially when Judge Corpening pawns off on Rev. Murphy the task of seeking an investigation from the New Hanover County District Attorney and Sheriff–two apparently untrustworthy local officials who ae themselves already caught up with the multiple and long-term child sex abuse cases at New Hanover Schools that have citizens in such an uproar. A request for an investigation from Judge Corpening himself would have much more effect on the DA and Sheriff that a mere black Southern Baptist Preacher. The lack of such a request by Judge Corpening pretty much tells the tale on Judge Corpening. But not all of the tale.
Judge Jay Corpening, as a District Court Judge in North Carolina, holds an elected office that is accountable to the citizens of North Carolina and especially the voters in New Hanover County. Judge Corpening is “officially” accountable to the people. Yet, by the power of his particular public office has usurped his own accountability to the people and set himself up to be above the people and citizens under his jurisdiction. Judge Corpening, by his own acts noted above, has misused the power and authority of his office to set himself up as the “King” of his own realm.
And, there is more:
Judge Jay Corpening seems to be proud of a National award from an association of other judges and lawyers for advancing the rise of a “Guardian Ad Litem” program in New Hanover County-purportedly for the protection of children and possibly for the so-called protection of disabled and senior citizens of NHC. As I observed the rise of such a program in Cleveland County, it appears the Guardian ad Litem program is more of a “welfare system for lawyers” than anything else. A system used and abused by lawyers for their own agenda, making money for themselves, than actually providing any real protection for anyone. A system that is highly touted to be a very good thing for those that are served. But in fact, it seems to destroy families and waste assets much more than any good that only occasionally happens to be done. A system that would better be abolished as there are more negative results than positive results. More bad than good.
So, in a just world where the rule of law actually means something, what would we expect from Judge Corpening, and the New Hanover County DA, Sheriff, School Superintendent and School Board? Resignation or retirement comes to mind. Or a defeat at the next election. Or should we just follow this situation in New Hanover County to see just how widespread and ingrained this culture of corruption really is?
Whatever and however it goes, this situation in New Hanover County is on our radar scope. Just like Cleveland County. Stay tuned folks, we will let you know.