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Pacific Legal Foundation's Robin Rivett, Meriem Hubbard, and James Burling Asked to Opine on Matters Relating to Judy Johnson's CCPF and CAUSE's Mi

Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation President Robin Rivett, as
well as staff-attorneys Meriem Hubbard and James Burling have been
publicly asked by TLR to opine on events relating to CAUSE's Ming Chin
and Judy Johnson's CCPF

(Image:courtesy PLF)

California Supreme Court Associate-Justice Ming W. Chin and CAUSE

As was previously reported, Supreme Court of California Associate
Justice Ming W. Chin has abruptly quit his position recently with the
Center for Asian Americans United for Self Empowerment ("CAUSE"). The
resignation took place amidst an ongoing investigation by the
California Commission on Judicial Performance.

The formal ethics complaint
filed with the California Commission on Judicial Performance alleged
that Chin's involvement with CAUSE is prohibitive due to CAUSE's
invidious discrimination against those who are non Asian-American.
The complaint further alleged that the associate justice must be
disciplined due to CAUSE involvement in the political-process, conduct
that Chin is otherwise prohibited in engaging in pursuant to Canon 5.

Hon. Ming W. Chin

In Addition, Justice Chin's clandestine nature and undisclosed
involvement was particularly troubling based on facts as they relate to
Mr. James Hsu -- CAUSE's treasurer as well as a board member of a
(now defunct) sham charitable entity known as CaliforniaALL -- as matters relating to sham charity CaliforniaALL would soon be considered by the California Supreme Court.
According to the complaint, records were sought pertaining to CaliforniaALL
from the California Bar Foundation as well as from the State Bar of
California to no avail. As such, and based on the blatant refusal to
produce these records, a petition for relief will shortly be filed with
the California Supreme Court seeking an order to compel the State Bar
and its Foundation to make these public records available.
The complaint further alleges that without the "fortuitous
discovery " by the Petitioner, he would not have known that Justice Chin
and Hsu are involved with CAUSE as to seek the recusal of Justice
Chin in matters relating to CaliforniaALL.
Similarly, the complaint alludes to a State Bar of California
petition in the matter of Sander vs. State Bar of California which is
currently pending before the California Supreme Court. In that case,
the State Bar seeks review of a decision that established a common law
right of access to data concerning minorities which the State Bar
Hence, the complaint alleged, there is an impression that Justice
Chin may exercise his power in such a way which would benefit
minorities, much like his involvement with CAUSE conclusively
establishes that he stands united with APIA and otherwise wishes
self-improvement for APIA more so than he does for the population as a
California Consumer Protection Foundation and Judy Johnson

Johnson, who until recently served as the Executive Director of the
State Bar of California, secretly headed CCPF for the past 7-8 years.
During this period, she used her "clout" as the head of the agency to
arrange for "cy pres" from class action settlements, as well as fines
and settlements imposed by the CPUC on utility companies, totaling
close to $30 million to be funneled to CCPF, which then forwarded
those funds to various other non-profits, and mostly questionable
ACORN-like entities located in South Los Angeles.
In 2010 Johnson left the State Bar of California in disgrace after a
prolonged embezzlement of close to $800,000 by employee Sharon Pearl
was discovered, and after California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
vetoed State Bar related legislation as a result.
Johnson was recently also the subject of a complaint to the IRS for alleged noncompliance with various laws and regulations.

The complaint alleges CCPF and Johnson defrauded and mislead the
public by intentionally omitting various data from CCPF's web-site.
Specifically, data concerting financial transactions between CCPF and an
entity known as Consumers for Auto Reliability and Safety
("CARS"). In addition, the complaint also point to various alleged
inconsistencies in the reporting of grants from CCPF to CARS.

Ms Judy Johnson

CARS is a non-profit entity located in Sacramento, California. It
was established and is headed by Rosemary Shahan. In addition to
heading her own non-profit entity (CARS), Shahan also serves as an
"adviser" to CCPF. See
According to sources familiar with the situation, CCPF professes and
declares that it lists on its website all the grants it has issued
and all the corresponding grantees going back to 2001. When
visiting CCPF's website, one is given the option to search by year
or the name of the grantee. A search for grants funneled to CARS
yields only 2 results – a grant in 2006 in the amount of $60,000,
and another in 2009 in the amount of $7,400.
One can also visit for a list of all the grantees. (See also here.)

Each of the above search options yields the same result – to wit,
only 2 grants are listed that were made to CARS. Unfortunately,
however, this allegedly is not the case, as CCPF's own tax returns
provide otherwise. For example, page 28 of CCPF's IRS Form 990 for 2004 lists a $60,000 grant.
This misrepresentation is allegedly the fruit of an unlawful
conspiracy between Judy Johnson and Rosemary Shahan, and is very
troubling on its face. This is particularly true given that Ms. Shahan,
who serves as an adviser to CCPF, and presumably is familiar with
the content of the website, should have alerted CCPF that the
information presented is inaccurate and false, by omission and
In addition, sources allege that various inconsistencies were
discovered in connection with two types of grants from CCPF to CARS: the
first is the Consumer Auto Advertising Fund ("CAAF") grant and the
second is the Bank of America ("BA1") grant.
In 2004, CARS reported to the IRS revenues from all sources in the amount of $91,009. (See page 28 of CARS 2004 IRS 990 return.) By comparison, CCPF reported that it had funneled to CARS $60,000 from the CAAF grant, and $61,215 from the BA1 grant.

Also in 2004, CCPF reported a leftover "payable" of $61,212 from
the BA1 grant which it holds in reserve for future payment to CARS.
In 2005, CARS reported to the IRS revenues from ALL SOURCES in the amount of only $58,212. (See CARS 2005 IRS 990 returns.)

By comparison, in 2005 CCPF reported funneling $60,000
to CARS out of the CAAF grant. This, according to the sources, already
raises a red flag as it shows that CARS under-reported its
revenues for 2005 by the difference of $1,788. (See here on page 22.)
Most importantly, however, in 2005 CCPF also reported an additional $48,970 distributed to CARS from the BA1 fund, leaving only $12,242 in reserve as "payable." (See entry on page 22.)

Unfortunately, the sources maintain, no corresponding reference to the $48,970 was found on CARS' 2005 tax returns.

TLR is closely monitoring the situation and will keep readers
apprised of the opinions, if any, of Pacific Legal Foundation's
President Robin Rivett and staff-attorneys Meriem Hubbard and James

Added: Jan-12-2012 Occurred On: Jan-12-2012
By: lesliebrodie
Citizen Journalism
Tags: CAUSE, State Bar of California, Kerr & Wagstaffe, Judy Johnson, Ming Chin, CaliforniaALL, Gwen Moore, CPUC, Geoffrey Brown, CCPF, Pacific Legal Foundation, Supreme Court of California, Robin Rivett, Meriem Hubbard, James Burling
Location: Sacramento, California, United States (load item map)
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