Dear Dedicated Members for Change,
Judge Dave Reed penned the article, below, and I hope you take the time to read it. Dave Reed, as you may know, is a candidate for Grand Warden. Soon after his announcement as a candidate, it appears that someone in our Order started a poisonous and anonymous campaign against him – raising ludicrous and discredited allegations made over a year ago by a defendant in his courtroom convicted of the crime of attempted extortion. What a sad state of affairs when a gentleman like Dave Reed has to defend himself against anonymous mailings. Have we forgotten about friendship, love and truth?
I know Dave Reed, however, and I know that this sort of nonsense will not deter him. Frankly, it will only serve to strengthen his resolve.
F – L – T
Deputy Grand Master
Recently, I declared my candidacy for Grand Warden. Only members of the Order know about my candidacy. A few days ago, I was informed that two online articles were anonymously sent to Sovereign Grand Lodge regarding my wife Sheryl Cambron and me. Both articles were written over a year ago. One article was written in September 2013. The second article was written in January 2014. Undoubtedly, the articles were sent to SGL by one of our brothers or sisters.
I am a judge with the Yolo Superior Court in Woodland. The articles were written by a convicted criminal who had a case assigned to me. He was charged with extortion. The defendant was later convicted of attempted extortion.
Initially, the defendant tried to disqualify the entire district attorney’s office from his case. After that request was denied by me, he repeatedly tried to disqualify me from his case primarily because of my involvement in the Odd Fellows. Those requests were reviewed by a judge from another county and denied. In the first online story, he claimed that the IRS was investigating the Davis Odd Fellows and me. This article was written in September 2013 after the defendant’s third unsuccessful attempt to disqualify me from his case. He wrote the article after he submitted a complaint to the IRS.
In the second online article (written in January 2014), he claimed that my wife was being investigated by the State Bar of California. My wife is an Odd Fellow, a Rebekah and a member of our Encampment and Canton. She is a lawyer and works for the Yolo County Counsel’s office. We don’t know if any complaint was really submitted to the State Bar. But she has done nothing wrong. If a complaint was sent to the State Bar, it was submitted by the defendant. If the State Bar is investigating my wife, they have not bothered to contact her in over a year since any complaint was made.
The January 2014 article claims that my wife and I are hiding our marriage. We have been married almost 35 years. Our marriage license is a public record. In addition, she has been identified as my wife, by name, in newspaper articles about me when I was appointed as a judge and earlier when I was hired as a Superior Court referee. After I learned of the defendant’s allegations about my wife and her employment, I contacted the California Judges Association Judicial Ethics Hotline. They informed me that I have no obligation to disclose to litigants that my wife works as an attorney in the County Counsel’s office.
The defendant claimed that we were defrauding the IRS by failing to disclose that we were married. We do not hide our marriage to the members of our lodge or anyone. In 2010, I was Noble Grand of my lodge and my wife was Treasurer. However, our lodge accountant did not know us and did not know that we were married. On our lodge’s tax return for that year, a box was not checked that two officers were married to each other. I was not involved in the preparation of that return. I was not asked to review the return nor did I sign the return. The lodge has since filed an amended tax return to correct that error which involved checking a different box. There was no fraud involved. There was no attempt to gain any advantage by submitting incorrect information. The IRS has never contacted me or the lodge about this issue. If there is an investigation, they have yet to notify the lodge or me about it.
When the defendant was unsuccessful in disqualifying me from his case, he reported me to the California Commission on Judicial Performance complaining about my membership in the Odd Fellows. He alleged that it was inappropriate for a judge to be a member of the Odd Fellows. He claimed that since we require members to profess a belief in “a Supreme Being, the creator and preserver of the Universe”, we practice “invidious discrimination” against those who do not have such a belief. Wow!
Later, the defendant sued the Davis Odd Fellows and the Grand Lodge. Also, he sued the Yolo County District Attorney’s office, the deputy district attorney assigned to his case (an Odd Fellow), and his public defender (an Odd Fellow). His claim against the lodge and me was based on allegations that he requested our lodge’s income tax records and did not receive them from us. Apparently, this issue was part of his complaint to the IRS about us. We have never heard anything from the IRS about this issue either. Interestingly, the information he requested from the lodge is available directly from the IRS.
Our insurer paid the defendant some money, nuisance value, to settle his lawsuit. Since that claim was settled and since his criminal case was resolved, he has not published any more stories about the Odd Fellows or me.
In his lawsuit against the Odd Fellows, he added unrelated claims against others including a federal judge and his wife. Kamala Harris, the California Attorney General, P G & E, McGeorge School of Law, Verizon Wireless, State Senator Darrell Steinberg, Southern California Edison, and a large number of prominent lawyers and law firms. I believe that all of these claims have been thrown out and he has been ordered to pay court costs exceeding $100,000.
I have been informed that the defendant graduated from law school and passed the bar exam. Also, that he was denied admission to the State Bar of California on moral character grounds. He has unsuccessfully sued the State Bar of California more than once.
Unfortunately, people can print almost anything on blogs and not be held accountable. People can send slanderous online articles to the Sovereign Grand Lodge about their brothers anonymously and not be held accountable. The defendant may have actually submitted complaints to the State Bar about my wife or to the IRS about the Odd Fellows and me. However, since these claims are entirely nonsense, nothing has come of them. As far as I know, neither of these agencies has spent any time looking into the allegations.
It is too bad that the person who forwarded the articles to SGL didn’t have the courage to sign their name to it. It makes it harder to respond to them. Anyone who “Googles” my name can find these articles. However, they will find no articles that show any actual wrongdoing occurred.
I am a private person. However, since I am a judge, I am a “public official”. Therefore, I accept that I may be the target of attacks.
It saddens me to point out the coincidence of this matter. Only after declaring my candidacy for Grand Warden did someone make the effort to dig up what they thought was dirt about me. Without checking out the true facts, these false and unfounded accusations got anonymously forwarded to the SGL. Undoubtedly, the person or persons who sent the articles to SGL represent an alternative leadership group of the Odd Fellows. It is sad to think that our some of our leadership may engage in such conduct. It shows me that Friendship, Love and Truth has little meaning to some members of our Order. A very sad state of affairs.
Had the person who sent the articles to SGL had the decency to ask me about them first, I would have provided them this information and documentation to corroborate it. It is disappointing that I wasn’t given that respect.
I have been very active with the Odd Fellows, both locally and statewide. I was elected to the Odd Fellows Home of California Board of Directors in 2013. I served as Grand Conductor under Grand Master Rod Metoyer. I have been active in my lodge serving as Noble Grand twice, Vice Grand twice, and presently Treasurer. I am a trustee of our lodge and have been on the Hall Board Association Board of Directors for several years. I am presently District Deputy Grand Master for District 3.
I fully expect that these allegations will be circulated at the Grand Lodge sessions. I am still proud to be an Odd Fellow. I do not participate in my lodge and on the state level for personal glory. I have enjoyed being an Odd Fellow. I have enjoyed working with others in my lodge and other Odd Fellows throughout the state. I believe we can offer good things to our members and our communities. My hope is for the Order to prosper and become stronger. Notwithstanding this distasteful experience, I refuse to believe that Friendship, Love and Truth is dead. I refuse to believe that we cannot elevate the character of Mankind.
I am willing to answer any questions about this matter. If anyone would like to read the online articles, please contact me.
In Friendship, Love and Truth,