Eyes of the Fleet

Eyes of the Fleet

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Coast Guard's .998 Batting Average Raises Suspicions

As reported here:
Decisions by judges in the Coast Guard's administrative court system almost always favor the agency over civilian mariners, according to a newspaper's review of court records and other documents.

One former judge testified that judges were pressured to side with the Coast Guard, The Sun of Baltimore reported Sunday.

The agency's administrative court system handles charges against tugboat captains, engineers, charter fishermen and others who need licenses or other documents from the Coast Guard to work. The harshest penalty in the system is revocation of those credentials.

Mariners have won just 14 cases out of more than 6,300 charges filed by Coast Guard investigators since 1999, when the agency restructured its judicial system to broaden defendant's rights, the paper said it found through a computer analysis of court records.

In a sworn statement, Judge Jeffie J. Massey has testified that Chief Judge Joseph N. Ingolia told her to always rule in the Coast Guard's favor, and she said she came under intense pressure when she did not, the newspaper said.
14 of 6300? That's batting .002 for the defense side. The Coast Guard's average? .998

I wonder how bad the 14 cases were?

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