Former congressional candidate charged with stalking judge
Published 11:13 am, Wednesday, September 11, 2013
A Greenwich woman accused of stalking a state judge who was presiding over her divorce case, denied the charge Tuesday she had done anything wrong.
"I never stalked the judge," said Lisa "Lee" Whitnum-Baker as she left the courthouse. "I did make a call to the judge's home but it was a seven-minute call and that's not stalking," she said. "I know the law."
Whitnum-Baker, 53, also volunteered that she had never stalked the governor.
"That's just not true and besides that was years ago," she added. There is no record of an arrest for that.
Whitnum-Baker, formerly of Stamford, is charged with second-degree stalking, second-degree harassment and disorderly conduct. Her case was continued Tuesday to Sept. 26.
Whitnum-Baker is a staunch critic of U.S. support of Israel and has been a perennial candidate over the last five years having run unsuccessfully against U.S. Rep. Jim Himes in 2008 and then failed in attempts to get on the ballot for U.S. Senate seats in 2010 and 2012. She filed a defamation lawsuit against Gov. Dannel P. Malloy in 2010 after he called her an anti-semite in 2008 -- the case has since been dismissed.
Superior Court Judge Jane Emons, who had been presiding over Whitnum-Baker's divorce case in Stamford, notified state police that both she and her son had received phone calls at their homes from Whitnum-Baker and that the defendant's call to her was in the middle of the night.
State Police Detective Thomas Kiely later contacted Whitnum-Baker and she apologized for calling the judge, stating she just wanted to talk to Emons, "Woman to woman," about the divorce case, according to the arrest warrant affidavit.
However, Emons told the detective that Whitnum-Baker had awakened her from a sound sleep at 2:30 a.m. and yelled at her in a strong and forceful tone, the affidavit states. The judge hung up but the affidavit states that Whitnum-Baker called back and began to "rant" on the phone to the judge's husband who had answered it, telling him she had not finished speaking.
After the judge's husband hung up, the affidavit states that Whitnum-Baker then called the judge's adult son who lives in another state.
Following her arrest, Whitnum-Baker was ordered to have no further contact with Emons who is no longer presiding over the defendant's divorce case.
Whitnum-Baker is awaiting trial in state Superior Court in Norwalk on trespassing charges after Darien police said she tried to "break" her 78-year-old husband, James Baker, out of an assisted living facility there where she claims he is being held prisoner.
Whitnum-Baker appeared in court Tuesday without a lawyer. Later, she loudly yelled, "You're fired," while on her cellphone to her former lawyer, alarming people in the courthouse lobby.
Meanwhile at the Stamford courthouse, where the second-day of her divorce case was set to begin in courtroom 7B, the new judge on the case Lynda Munro held off entering her decision on the case until 12:30 p.m.
She had told Whitnum on Monday to reschedule her appearance in Bridgeport and attend the Stamford proceeding scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Tuesday. After beginning the day's court session in Stamford, with Whitnum a no-show, Munro said that Whitnum's Bridgeport court date had been postponed and she would be told to report to the Stamford courthouse if she showed up in Bridgeport.
Just before noon, Whitnum's former attorney Andre Cayo said he had talked to Whitnum in Bridgpeort and she would be there by 12:30 p.m. But when Whitnum did not show up in court by that time, Munro entered her judgement to grant Baker's divorce from Whitnum without alimony.