#cut50 and Color Of Change are calling for an ethics investigation into Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judge Genece E. Brinkley following the discovery that the judge has failed to file accurate financial disclosure forms.
#cut50 works to cut crime and incarceration in all 50 states by translating local needs into smart safety solutions.
The organization’s review of Judge Brinkley’s “Statement of Financial Interests” forms filed with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court between 2007 and 2016 identified 44 instances in which Judge Brinkley did not disclose receiving rental income, her ownership interest in multiple for-profit businesses, and her status as an officer of one of those businesses.
All judges in Pennsylvania are required to fill out these forms annually and their disclosures regarding certain real estate assets, gifts, debt, income sources, and corporate affiliations must also include information for their spouse, according to the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
The amount of income that the judge omitted from her financial disclosure forms is unknown, but includes profits on real estate sales and rental income.
Here are 16 property-related omissions uncovered:
1950 Castor was not disclosed eight times (2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016). It was sold in June 2017.
5010 Penn Street was not disclosed seven times (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 – 2017 disclosures are not filed until mid-2018). Notably, Brinkley was involved in one landlord/tenant lawsuit during that time, in 2012 (LT-12-08-01-3207). This property is still owned by Brinkley.
1111 Wakeling Street – proceeds of the sale of this property were not disclosed in 2012.
“It’s shocking and concerning to me that this judge, with her history of inappropriate and unethical conduct, continues to be in a position to make critical decisions. As an elected official myself, I’m very familiar with the importance of disclosures and the consequences associated with failing to abide by both the letter and spirit of disclosure laws.” – Jessica Jackson, National Director of #cut50 and Mayor of Mill Valley, California.
Transparency is the cornerstone of any good government,” Mill Valley, California Mayor Jessica Jackson said. “If an official or a judge cannot be trusted to be transparent and ethical, how can we possibly trust them with power over people’s lives? We must hold our judges to the highest ethical standard to preserve trust and confidence in our criminal justice system.”
The Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts form requires judges to disclose when they own stock in or are officers or directors of private companies.
Brinkley did not disclose that she owns and/or is a director of two private corporations and a registered business name.
Those 28-corporate directorship and ownership-related omissions include:
Brinkley filed articles of incorporation with the Pennsylvania Department of State establishing Business Analysts and Consultants Inc. on 9/4/1990 with Brinkley as the sole identified shareholder. The corporation is still active, according to the Pennsylvania Department of State. Brinkley’s annual “Statements of Financial Interest” going back to 2007 (the earliest available) do not disclose this business.
On 10/31/1995 – after ascending to the bench – Brinkley registered a fictitious name for a business called “Communications Analysts, International,” according to the Pennsylvania Secretary of State, which identifies her as the “owner” of this still-active business. The business does “marketing of long distance telephone service, digital wireless phones, cellular phones, and beepers,” according to Pennsylvania corporate filings. Brinkley’s annual “Statements of Financial Interest” going back to 2007 (the earliest available) do not disclose this business.
Brinkley and her husband incorporated BonBri Enterprises Inc. as a private, for-profit corporation on 9/4/2001, according to the Pennsylvania Secretary of State, which identifies the corporation as “active.” Brinkley reported that she was the secretary of this corporation in her 2007 and 2008 filings, but not in the forms for 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, or 2016, despite the business’s active status.
#cut50 and Color Of Change believe that Brinkley’s failure to disclose these assets and this income is another example of her unprofessional conduct, which has recently extended to her behavior in Robert “Meek Mill” Williams’ case.
The two organizations have received more than 65,000 signatures on a petition calling on Judge Brinkley to step aside in Meek’s case, stating that she is notorious for having “one of the highest rates of sending people to prison for probation violations.”
“This new evidence of financial impropriety is further proof to support Judge Brinkley’s questionable ethics,” said Scott Roberts, Senior Criminal Justice Campaign Director of Color Of Change. “For judges, the power and discretion to make or break someone’s life requires a higher level of accountability. We ask the supervising judge in the Court of Common Pleas to take action against Judge Brinkley immediately.”
In the last 15 years, Judge Brinkley and her husband, Renzo Bonetti have bought and sold eight properties in Philadelphia and rented out many of these properties to tenants, according to property records, landlord-tenant court case filings, and Philadelphia rental licenses.
Judge Brinkley has also owned active for-profit businesses and served as an officer of a private corporation, according to Pennsylvania Secretary of State filings. Below is a list of Brinkley’s disclosure failures identified to date: