To appease the public's growing unease about the judiciary, a fairer and "unbiased" selection system was introduced. Unfortunately, this fell victim as well to insider politics. When a selection committee chose Margaret Curran to fill a seat on the Rhode Island Supreme Court, a candidate whose qualifications came from the highest level of service in the U.S. attorney's office and with a list of recommendations that included some of the most respected attorneys and officeholders, including Governor Almond, she was summarily rejected because a majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee felt she "did not know Rhode Island law." Instead, with evident relief, they hurriedly confirmed Maureen McKenna Goldberg, who on more than one occasion had demonstrated her knowledge of "Rhode Island law." See the following examples:
From a letter to the Providence Journal from Stephanie Rivera, a member of Operation Clean Government.
Paul Romano collected more than $384,100 in retirement benefits unlawfully. Justice Goldberg argued that it was only fair that Romano keep the pension money he was paid because he got the money in good faith.
Traffic Court Judge John Lallo's receives fine of $28, 000 for absenting himself from the bench to gamble at Foxwoods Casino. Justices Goldberg and Bourcier took exception to the Judicial Tenure Commission's decision to penalize Lallo for what they called a prejudice against gambling.
Stephanie Rivera in editorials in the Providence Journal justifiably asserts that relatives of Justice Goldberg [Lawrence and Robert Goldberg] have been aided by their contacts throughout state government by, in part, what seems to be a dominant influence of Justice Goldberg. Also read page by Peter Phipps.
Justice Goldberg said regarding the Jeffrey Scott Hornoff appeal that, "the defense witnesses had been wholly incongruous and self-serving and had led the jury - properly - to convict. Some time later, the real killer confessed and Hornoff was released.