An insight into the life of a target of alienation…for a loving parent?

December 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

An insight into the life of a target of alienation…

You drop your son off at the other parent’s house. 

He said over and over he didn’t want to go back there. He’s tried to stall by forgetting how or just being slow to get dressed, brush his teeth and hair. But you reassure him that there are good things waiting for him. 

He puts on his coat reluctantly.

His shoulders are slumped as he walks with you to the door.

A glare meets you at the door. (You were 3 minutes late).

He hugs tighter and longer. And he tries to get the last “I love you/I’ll miss you” in. 

You walk quietly to your car as you hear a door slam, not close, slam behind you. 

You drive home, without making a sound in the car, just thinking, reminiscing of the time that just ended. Other times you will try to avoid going home at all in order to avoid the “nothing” that awaits you.

You arrive home to a space that is quiet and cold. The thermostat says 68, but is still colder than when you left.

You walk into the living room and see a toy or a stuffed dinosaur or an errant sock.

You go upstairs to his room. You see an errant line of silly string, a remnant from a string fight he and a friend had.

You see an indentation in a pillow where his head laid just an hour ago. The indentation slowly shows the outline of an ear or a cheek or the bridge of a nose.

So you lay next to this pillow. And you try to pull in his scent.

You grab his stuffed dinosaur and sniff it’s neck. 

You then pull yourself together.

You get up and walk out of the room, closing the door behind you as if you’ve just put him to bed. Because you have put this time to bed. Waiting for the next time he’s there so you can wake up again.

It’s something of a bipolar existence. “Double life” may be a better phrase. Can’t have the mental health people diagnosing you.

But it is the life of a parent who is the target of alienation.

Parents, my advice to you- be good to each other. Because there may be a little boy or girl who has their process in dealing with being in the middle of alienation tactics. You may not like their process. You may not know their process. Your focus has been on trying to eliminate the other parent. But have you paused to think about what your selfishness is doing to these young minds?

My fellow targeted parents, keep solace in the fact that they may get the first 10-15 years. But stay strong. Stay “there”. Stay involved. Stay intact. And you’ll get the next 40.

Thanks for letting me rant.

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Top Judge Scumbag and partners all just the appearance of STUPID….

December 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

Home » News » St. Clair County »

2013: St. Clair County drug scandal – deaths, addictions and convictions

Cook

Cook

Christ

Christ

McGilvery

McGilvery

Shocking is an understatement, but it’s one way to describe a drug scandal that rocked the St. Clair County Courthouse in 2013.

St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook was arrested by federal agents on May 23 at the Belleville residence of his customary drug dealer. Cook, who had presided over criminal cases including drug felonies and murders, quickly resigned, sought treatment out of state and pleaded guilty in federal court on Nov. 8 to possessing heroin while in possession of firearms.

Cook’s arrest came two months after the death of his friend and colleague, Associate Judge Joe Christ. Cook found Christ’s body on March 10, in the Pike County hunting lodge of Cook’s father, Belleville lawyer Bruce Cook.

At the time of his death, the public was informed by St. Clair County officials that Christ, a long time prosecutor for the State’s Attorney’s office who had only been a judge for less than two weeks, died of natural causes. The public was informed months later by Pike County Sheriff Paul Petty that Christ died of cocaine intoxification.

Cook’s plea agreement with federal prosecutors recommends an 18-month sentence, three years of supervised release and a fine within guidelines. His sentencing will take place on Jan. 17. In the meantime, prosecutors on Dec. 13 filed a presentence investigation report under seal.

The agreement requires Cook to forfeit all of his weapons and ammunition, which, according to a three-page list, includes 13 shotguns, 10 rifles and 10 other firearms, as well as plenty of rounds, shells and cartridges.

In connection with Cook’s arrest, the feds also took down Cook’s supplier Sean McGilvery of Belleville. He pleaded guilty Oct. 17 to conspiring to distribute heroin. In his stipulation, McGilvery said that Cook would “pick up amounts of heroin on an almost daily basis” from his residence. He will be sentenced Jan. 23 and faces 10 years to life.

The feds separately arrested St. Clair County probation officer James Fogarty in May, after showing him text messages that implicated him as Christ’s cocaine dealer. He pleaded guilty Nov. 6 to supplying cocaine to Christ and awaits sentencing Feb. 28.

According to an FBI agent’s affidavit, Fogarty said he “did a line” with Cook and Christ and sold them a split “eight ball” of cocaine for $140 each the day before the judges went to the Pike County lodge in March. Fogarty also told the agent that the men used drugs together on multiple occasions, including golf outings, at a hunting cabin and at his Belleville residence, according to the affidavit.

Fogarty’s plea agreement calls for a five-year sentence, without extra years that federal prosecutors could recommend if they proved his crime resulted in death.

“On your best day I can give you probation,” said U.S. District Judge Michael Reagan to Fogarty. “On your worst day I can give you 30 years in the penitentiary.”

He also said, “If your involvement was such that it resulted in death or bodily harm to anyone, I won’t accept the agreement.”

Two major players in the distribution conspiracy were arrested in January, pleaded guilty in August and were sentenced in December.

Perkins

Perkins

Oliver

Oliver

Agents arrested Deborah Perkins, who ran her home at 20 Kassing Drive in Fairview Heights as a drug market, after a confidential source told them she would step off a bus in St. Louis with a load of heroin.

Feds also indicted her son, Douglas Oliver, and Eric Beckley of Centreville, as dealers under her direction.

Perkins distributed locally through Oliver, McGilvery and Beckley. Beckley pleaded guilty on Oct. 31, and awaits sentencing in March.

At sentencing on Dec. 5, Perkins and Oliver faced not only U.S. District Judge David Herndon, but also the mothers and 12 other relatives of Jessie Williams and Jennifer Herling, whose deaths resulted from their crimes.

Jenny Thomason, mother of Williams, said, “They dumped my daughter’s body.”

“They show no remorse for their actions,” Thomason said. “Because of their actions I will never get to see my daughter again. I’ll never hold her in my arms one last time.”

Chris Keel, mother of Herling, said, “I don’t see my daughter’s death as an accident.”

“Deep in my heart I know they murdered my daughter. If we robbed a bank and somebody got killed, we would all be in trouble. It was her house. It was her that went and got the drugs. It was her that gave the drugs to her son.”

Oliver accepted a 30-year sentence for selling heroin. Perkins was sentenced to 27 years for her role in the conspiracy.

Whether the drug investigation is wrapped up or ongoing remains an open question.

Oliver dropped a clue that an investigation of St. Clair County corruption continues. He told Herndon that he is cooperating with St. Clair County authorities.

Prosecutor Robert Garrison at the sentencing hearing apparently hadn’t expected him to reveal his cooperation. Garrison rose and told Herndon that because Oliver had made the statement in open court, he would confirm it.

U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton has indicted dozens of drug defendants this year without indicating whether he caught them in the same investigation that caught Cook.

One such connection popped up from the mass on Oct. 18, when Augustus Stacker of Belleville pleaded guilty of cocaine distribution.

He and the government stipulated that he supplied cocaine to Fogarty, and that one of their transactions was audio recorded on May 23.

The stipulation suggested that the investigation continues, by declaring that Stacker bought cocaine from “persons in the Southern District of Illinois.”

Another sign of ongoing investigation appeared in a detention order that Magistrate Judge Stephen Williams signed for Beckley.

Williams afforded him “reasonable opportunity for private consultation with counsel,” which a defendant would not normally need after pleading guilty.

Williams wrote that by court order or on request of a government attorney, Beckley’s prison warden must deliver him to a U.S. marshal “for the purpose of an appearance in connection with a court proceeding.”

By coincidence or not, two men in the mass of defendants pleaded guilty on Oct. 31.

Michael Scott Jr. stipulated that he sold an ounce of cocaine to a confidential informant for $1,400, on July 2 in Washington Park.

Deanthony Tillman stipulated that he sold two grams of crack to a confidential informant for $200, on June 27 in East St. Louis.

What kind of fallout has resulted from the scandal?

New trials-

On Oct. 2, Circuit Judge Robert Haida ordered a new trial for murder suspect William Cosby, who was convicted by jurors on April 23.

Cosby won a new trial after trying to remove public defender Charles Baricevic, son of Chief Judge John Baricevic, from his case for failing to argue that the drug addiction of Cook corrupted his trial.

Cosby filed a pro se motion to withdraw Baricevic on Aug. 22, writing that his attorney “steadfastly refuses” to raise issues Cosby wanted to raise.

Cosby wrote that the issues concerned Cook’s “conduct, demeanor, impatience and obvious drug problem while presiding over this case.”

He wrote that he would raise more issues after receiving a transcript.

Cosby apparently didn’t know that his message had finally gotten through.

On Aug. 16, Baricevic had amended Cosby’s motion for a new trial to argue that Cook could not have conducted a fair trial.

Baricevic wrote that “criminal activity may have occurred during the course of trial.”

Haida denied Cosby’s motion to withdraw Baricevic on Aug. 27, and Baricevic represented Cosby at a hearing on Sept. 18.

Baricevic followed with a brief on Oct. 1, writing that the state was both an investigator of a sitting judge and a party to that judge’s bench.

“It defeats the purpose of a fair trial for one party to litigation to be privy to that information and not another, particularly when the unknowing party is the defendant to a first degree murder charge,” Baricevic wrote.

“The defendant cannot point to a specific instance when Judge Cook was on drugs. The defendant is neither an expert nor familiar with addicts.”

On Oct. 30, Haida granted a new trial to murder suspect Gregory Muse, who challenged his conviction by a jury in Cook’s court.

Cook presided over Muse’s trial on March 12 and 13, two and three days after he found the dead body of Christ in the Cook family hunting lodge near Pittsfield.

Public defender Erin Conner moved for a new trial for Muse in April. In August, Conner amended Muse’s motion to claim Cook’s addiction tainted the trial.

She argued that State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly should have disclosed to Muse that federal prosecutors were investigating Cook.

Conner also argued that Kelly should have filed motions to continue the trial and substitute another judge for Cook.

In September, assistant state’s attorney Deborah Phillips answered that Conner didn’t identify any error that Cook committed.

She wrote that disclosure might have compromised the investigation.

In response, Conner wrote that the state may not withhold material evidence without violating due process.

“Cook had slurred speech during the reading of the jury instructions,” Conner wrote.

“Had Defendant known that Cook’s capacity was in question, Defendant would have moved to substitute Cook.”

 Drug testing for some – but not the judiciary

St. Clair County employees can expect random drug tests under a policy the county board adopted on Sept. 30.

County board members approved a policy which makes testing mandatory for employees and optional for themselves, citing a precedent (Chandler vMiller) that lifts politicians above suspicion.

The old policy was just three sentences long, the new one is 17 pages. The policy does not encompass the judiciary.

“Random tests shall be unannounced and conducted at various times during the year,” the new policy provides.

A new employee must pass a test before starting work, and a current employee must pass one before moving up to a managerial position.

The policy also authorizes the county to test any employee for probable cause.

While the judiciary is exempt from mandatory drug testing, some judges have expressed a willingness to submit to voluntary testing and reveal results to the public, including the two candidates running for former Judge Cook’s seat – Circuit Judge Stephen McGlynn, a Republican, and Associate Judge Heinz Rudolf.

(Steve Korris contributed to this report).

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Burn the F-cking System to the Ground

December 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

Dec 23, 2013
By .

“I’m a good judge” … said by government employee and judge Gisele Pollack who, it seems, sentenced people to jail because of their drug use…while she, herself, was high on drugs.

But, in her defense, “she’s had some severe personal tragedy in her life”.

And that’s why, it seems, she’s being allowed to check herself into rehab instead of being thrown in jail.

 

…because not a single poor person or non government employee who gets caught using drugs ever “had some severe personal tragedy in her life”.

I’m reminded of something I read earlier today:

techdirt.com

We’ve discussed the whole “high court/low court” concept here a few times before — in that those who are powerful play by one set of rules, while the rest of us have to play by a very different set of rules.

The end result seems clear. If you’re super high up in the political chain, you get the high court. Reveal classified info to filmmakers? No worries. Not only will you not be prosecuted or even lose your job, the inspectors will scrub your name from the report and, according to the article, the person in charge of the investigation will “slow roll” the eventual release of the report until you switch jobs.

But if you’re just a worker bee and you leaked the unclassified draft report that names Panetta and Vickers? Well, you get the low court. A new investigation, including aggressive pursuit by the government, and interrogations of staffers to try to find out who leaked the report.

Twenty years ago I was a libertarian. I thought the system could be reformed. I thought that some parts of it “worked”… whatever that means. I thought that the goals were noble, even if not often achieved.

The older I get, the more I see, the more I read, the more clear it becomes to me that the entire game is rigged. The leftists and the rightists each see half of the fraud. The lefties correctly note that a poor kid caught with cocaine goes to jail, while a Bush can write it off as a youthful mistake (they somehow overlook the fact that their man Barrack hasn’t granted clemency to any one of the people doing federal time for the same felonies he committed). The righties note that government subsidized windmills kill protected eagles with impunity while Joe Sixpack would be deep in the crap if he even picked up a dead eagle from the side of the road. The lefties note that no one was prosecuted over the financial meltdown. The righties note that the Obama administration rewrote bankruptcy law on the fly to loot value from GM stockholders and hand it to the unions. The lefties note that Republicans tweak export rules to give big corporations subsidies. Every now and then both sides join together to note that, hey! the government is spying on every one of us…or that, hey! the government stole a bunch of people’s houses and gave them to Pfizer, because a privately owned for-profit corporation is apparently what the Constitution means by “public use”.

What neither side seems to realize is that the system is not reformable. There are multiple classes of people, but it boils down to the connected, and the not connected. Just as in pre-Revolutionary France, there is a very strict class hierarchy, and the very idea that we are equal before the law is a laughable nonsequitr.

Jamal the $5 weed slinger, Shaneekwa the hair braider, and Loudmouth Bob in the 7-11 parking lot are at the bottom of the hierarchy. They can,literally, be killed with impunity … as long as the dash cam isn’t running. And, hell, half the time they can be killed even if the dash cam isrunning. This isn’t hyperbole, mother-fucker. This is literal. Question me and I’ll throw 400 cites and 20 youtube clips at you.

Next up from Shaneekwa and Loudmouth Bob are us regular peons. We can have our balls squeezed at the airport, our rectums explored at the roadside, our cars searched because the cops got permission from a dog (I owe some Reason intern a drink for that one), our telephones tapped (because terrorism!), our bank accounts investigated (because FinCEN! and no expectation of privacy!). We don’t own the house we live in, not if someone of a higher social class wants it. We don’t own our own financial lives, because the education accreditation / student loan industry / legal triumvirate have declared that we can never escape – even through bankruptcy – our $200,000 debt that a bunch of adults convinced a can’t-tell-his-ass-from-a-hole-in-the-ground 18 year old that (a) he was smart enough to make his own decisions, and (b) college is a time to explore your interests and broaden yourself). And if there’s a “national security emergency” (defined as two idiots with a pressure cooker), then the constitution is suspended, martial law is declared, and people are hauled out of their homes.

Next up from the regular peons are the unionized, disciplined-voting-blocks. Not-much-brighter-than-a-box-of-crayolas teachers who work 180 days a year and get automatic raises. Firefighters who disproportionately retire on disability the very day they sub in for their bosses and get a paper cut.

A step up from the teachers and firefighters are the cops: all the same advantages of nobility of the previous group, but a few more in addition: the de facto power to murder someone as long as not too many cameras are rolling. The de facto power to confiscate cameras in case the murder wasn’t well planned. A right to keep and bear arms that far exceeds that of the serf class: 50 state concealed carry for life, not just just for actual cops, but even for retired cops.

At the same level of privilege as cops, but slightly off to one side is different class of nobility: the judiciary and the prosecutors. Judges and prosecutors can’t execute citizens in an alley, a parking lot, or their own homes (“he had a knife! …and I don’t care what the lying video says.”), but they can sentence people to decades in jail for things that any clear-minded reading of the Constitution and the 9th and 10th amendments make clear are not with in the purview of the government. They have effectively infinite resources. They orchestrate perp walks. They selectively leak information to shame defendants. They buy testimony from other defendants by promising them immunity. By exercising their discretion they make sure that the bad people are prosecuted while the good people (i.e. members of their own clan) are not.

Above the cops, the prosecutors, and the judiciary we have the true ruling class: the cabal of (most) politicians and (some) CEOs, conspiring both against their own competitors and the public at large. If the public is burdened with a $100 million debt to pay off a money losing stadium, that’s a small price to pay if a politician gets reelected (and gets to hobnob with entertainers and sports heroes via free tickets and backstage passes). If new entrants into a market are hindered and the populace ends up overpaying for coffins, or Tesla cars, or wine that can’t be mail ordered, then that’s a small price to pay if a connected CEO can keep his firm profitable without doing any work to help the customer. If the Google founders want to agitate for Green laws that make Joe Sixpack’s daily commute more expensive at the same time that they buy discount avgasfor their private flying fuck palaces, then isn’t that their right? They donated to Obama’s campaign after all!

I could keep myself up all night and into tomorrow by listing different groups of royalty and the ways they scam the system.

…except “scam the system” is a misnomer. I am not listing defects in a perfectable system. I am describing the system.

It is corrupt, corrupt, corrupt. From Ted Kennedy who killed a woman and yet is toasted as a “lion of liberalism”, to George Bush who did his share of party drugs (and my share, and your share, and your share…) while young yet let other youngsters rot in jail for the exact same excesses instead of waving his royal wand of pardoning, to thousand of well-paid NSA employees who put the Stasi to shame in their ruthless destruction of our rights, to the Silicon Valley CEOs who buy vacation houses with the money they make forging and selling chains to Fort Meade, to every single bastard at RSA who had a hand in taking the thirty pieces of silver, to the three star generals who routinely screw subordinates and get away with it (even as sergeants are given dishonorable discharges for the same thing), to the MIT cops and Massachusetts prosecutor who drove Aaron Swartz to suicide, to every drug court judge who sends 22 year olds to jail for pot…while high on Quaalude and vodka because she’s got some fucking personal tragedy and no one understands her pain, to every cop who’s anally raped a citizen under color of law, to every other cop who’s intentionally triggered a “drug” dog because the guy looked guilty, to every politician who goes on moral crusades while barebacking prostitutes and money laundering the payments, to every teacher who retired at age 60 on 80% salary, to every cop who has 50 state concealed carry even while the serfs are disarmed, to every politician, judge, or editorial-writer who has ever used the phrase “first amendment zone” non-ironically: this is how the system is designed to work.

The system is not fixable because it is not broken. It is working, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, to give the insiders their royal prerogatives, and to shove the regulations, the laws, and the debt up the asses of everyone else.

Burn it to the ground.

Burn it to the ground.

Burn it to the ground.

Merry Christmas.

Last 5 posts by Clark

This happens in every court house in ILLINOIS its called the COTTAGE INDUSTRY

December 23, 2013 § 2 Comments

Parental Alienation -Cover-up of a ‘Foreseeable harm’

Emotional and Psychological abuse is all about Power and Control.  It is the misuse of that power and control where the abuse is defined. The Best Interest of the Child statute of Virginia was written to give Judges ‘wide latitude’ in determining the presence of abuse in the family.  Parental alienation is the abuse of power and control by the custodial parent and can be prevented.  Parental alienation is not a mystery, and understanding domestic violence, abuse, and the dynamics of power and control are all that are required to prevent it.  Dr. Samenow understood this and accurately refers to abusers as ‘controllers’.

High Conflict divorce is also not a mystery. All the research into High Conflict divorce shows that they are defined by the extensive litigation.  Janet Johnston is the best known researcher of high conflict divorce and parental alienation. Her work dating back to the the 1990′s shows that 80% of divorce cases are settled, either up front, or as the case moves through the process.  Studies have found that only 20% of divorcing or separating families take the case to Court.  Only 4-5% ultimately go to trial, with most cases settling at some point earlier in the process.’   Janet Johnston also found there to be a ‘severe psychopathology’ in one or both parties, in high conflict divorces where visitation is litigated.  My ex-wife has never even attempted to settle.  My case has had over 50 hearings and I have been put in jail 4 times, at the request of my ex-wife. Her father was convicted of accomplice to murder, and the Court still has no psychological information about my ex-wife or her head injury.

Domestic Violence is also almost always present in High Conflict Divorce. Peter Jaffe is one of the World’s leading experts on children, domestic violence, and custody.  The research used by Jaffe to support the claim that Domestic Violence is present in 75% of that 5% of Couples that actually go to trial.  The research into Jaffe’s research is supported by multiple studies and very well documented.

Children in the Crossfire: Child Custody Determinations Among Couples With a History of Intimate Partner Violence,” Violence Against Women, Vol. 11, No. 8, August 2005, – See more at: http://americanmotherspoliticalparty.org/ampp-article-library-family-court-custody-abuse-dv/1-research-articles-family-court-bias-custody-abuse-battered-moms/11-high-conflict-cases-likely-have-history-of-domestic-violence#sthash.5e6VnhXN.dpuf

In 1997, The Virginia Commission on Domestic Violence Prevention conducted a study into Custody Cases.  The study found that in custody cases where there was also a domestic abuse case in court, only 25% of the custody files referenced the existence of the domestic abuse case.  So, of all the cases in Virginia that are high-conflict, about 50% of the domestic violence is not even considered by the Court in making Custody decisions.  This is a systemic failure.

In my relationship, I had no power or control.  My friends, family and everyone that knows me or my ex-wife and her family, knows that I had no power or control. Dr. Samenow was given the witnesses that would confirm the imbalance of power, control and money in the relationship. Dr. Samenow never contacted my psychiatrist or 5 other witnesses that were provided to verify the abuse of power in the relationship.  I even provided Dr. Samenow with a signed release to speak to my psychiatrist who began treating me for depression and abuse, 2 years after my ex-wife’s traumatic brain injury.  The head injury was very serious and was also identified as a source of conflict in the relationship, in a deposition for the personal injury lawsuit.

Dr. Samenow was also shown a ripped shirt that I had brought into his office, as evidence of domestic violence.  My ex-wife had assaulted me, in front of our children, on January 19, 2008. She attacked me from behind as I tried to escape her anger. She woke me out of bed to help her find her keys, which were in my pants pocket  on the floor. Before she woke me up, she had already taken my car keys.  She was also already in a state. When I found her the keys the anger did not dissipate.  After 8 years, my conditioned response, at this point, was to flee, not to fight.  When I attempted to leave and go to the gym, I found my keys missing.  She mockingly claimed she had no idea where the keys were and followed me around the house, as I looked. I wanted out of there, so I picked up a tray of her jewelry beads, and explained very calmly, as my children were right there, that if she gives me the keys, I won’t turn over the tray.  She didn’t give me my keys to leave, so I overturned the tray and calmly grabbed another tray.  I asked her a second time to for my keys and calmly turned over the second tray.  My ex-wife flew into a rage and began hitting and scratching me from behind, ripping the shirt, I showed Dr. Samenow, from my body. The police found me behind a locked door with our children.  When they were taken out, I broke down. This event is a microcosm of the dynamic of our relationship and this entire divorce and Dr. Samenow completely misrepresented it to the Court. My ex-wife would become irrational, use instrumental aggression and prevent me from escaping, I would then respond with an elevated reactive aggression.  I am not proud of my reactions, but they were not the source of conflict. Just like our divorce.

Here is what Dr. Samenow included in his report about the incident:

Ms. Mackney spoke of her husband’s explosive nature in citing a particular incident in which Mr. Mackney became upset and scattered her jewelry materials all over the room. This was after an argument which had eventuated in each taking the other’s keys.

“He took the drawers out and threw the jewelry – thousands of dollars worth of jewelry. There were two trays sorted by size. He dumped both of these. I was trying to stop him. I called the police. He was going to delete my work files on the computer.”

Dr. Samenow failed to include the Domestic Violence of my ex-wife. I was the one to call the police on her, and I threatened to delete her work files because her father took the shirt, I brought in to show him as evidence. My nature is also not explosive, as anyone has known me or dated me would tell you.  I have no history of violence or aggression in my relationships. None.  Dr. Samenow also withheld my reports of my ex-wife attacking me on our honeymoon, while I was driving our rental car.

Judge Bellows became aware that there was evidence of domestic violence, that Dr. Samenow left all of it from his report, in April 2009.  Dr. Samenow was paid by my ex-wife as a witness to testify after Dr. Zuckerman had testified that there was ‘no reason’ why I should not have access to my children.  Dr. Samenow got on the stand and I pulled out the shirt and asked him under oath if he had seen the shirt before.  He admitted that I brought it into his office to show him, but there is no reference to it in his report.

The legal profession and the psychological profession are failing to protect children from a foreseeable harm, by ignoring the dynamics of power and control and the presence of Domestic Violence.  The Courts who are responsible for managing the conflict and are beholden on the Psychological professionals and forensic evaluators to understand the conflict.  The law empowers Judges to also obtain information about the conflict through other methods, such as Guardian Ad Litems, Parenting Coordinators, and Court Appointed Special Advocates.

The Law, as written, empowers Judges to protect children from parental alienation.  They have the tools at their disposal to determine the presence of abuse.  Judge Bellows knew there was domestic violence and that Dr. Samenow failed to report it.  Two months later, he held me in contempt of court and took away visitation with my children for not includinga receipt, when I faxed a copy of a lease to my ex-wife’s attorney.

Judge Bellows covered up for the fraud of Dr. Stanton Samenow and failed to protect children from a foreseeable harm, especially when you read all the motions that were filed with the Court that he denied.  Judge Bellows chose to protect the professional reputation of Dr. Samenow and Judge Ney over protecting children from abuse.  Judge Bellows was the Judge in another case where Dr. Samenow testified as a witness for the Commonwealth and was also accused of not documenting the facts accurately.

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When families fear human services

December 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

When families fear human services

BY KANYA D’ALMEIDA | LAST UPDATED: DEC 19, 2013 – 11:14:36 AM

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teacher_child_12-24-2013.jpg

Teacher and child at the USDA Child Development Center in Wash, DC.Photo: MGN-Online

PHILADELPHIA – It is nearly impossible in this day and age to turn on the news without hearing about systemic racial discrimination in the United States.

 

Ample evidence shows that disproportionate numbers of Blacks are imprisoned, subject to police brutality, excluded from employment opportunities and denied decent healthcare, compared to their White counterparts.

One government agency has, by and large, escaped such scrutiny. It goes by different names in different places: Child Protective Services, the Department of Youth and Family Services, or the Department of Child and Family Services.

In Philadelphia, it’s known as the Department of Human Services, or DHS, and by its own admission it is responsible for moving roughly 3,000 children in this city of 1.5 million people into “out-of-home” care every year.

According to Todd Lloyd, child welfare policy director of the non-profit organization Pennsylvania Partnerships for Children, “The most recent annual data shows 9,205 children entering foster care in [the state of] Pennsylvania, with about 71.7 percent of those children being first-time entries, as opposed to re-entries.”

Mr. Lloyd told IPS that Philadelphia County has the highest “placement rate” in the state, with 14 per 1,000 children being moved to out-of-home care every year—over twice the national rate of 6.4 per 1,000 children.

The National Coalition for Child Protection Reform, meanwhile, reports that DHS Philadelphia removes children at up to six times the rate of other cities of its size.

It is not the rate of transfer alone that has families in Philadelphia on edge but the racially lopsided nature of the entire child welfare system: studies show that while only 50.3 percent of Philadelphia’s children are Black, they comprise 73 percent of children in foster care.

Officials dismiss this discrepancy with a single explanation: poverty. The poverty rate for Blacks in Philadelphia, according to a survey conducted by Pew in 2013, is 39 percent—exceeded only by the poverty rate in Detroit.

Still, to remove a child from his or her home, federal law states that human services agencies must first establish proof of neglect, mistreatment or abuse.

In reality, critics say, this provision is a catch-22 for low-income families. For instance, the state of Pennsylvania’s definition of neglect includes “failure to provide essentials of life, including adequate medical care, that endangers a child’s life or development or impairs the child’s functioning”—in short, a perfect definition of poverty.

According to NCCPR Executive Director Richard Wexler, the correlation of poverty with neglect is so widespread that a full “30 percent of foster children in the U.S. could be home right now if their parents just had decent housing.”

Child protection agencies like Philadelphia’s DHS—which declined IPS requests to comment on the issue—say the vast majority of children removed from their homes were being abused. Indeed, some 3.6 million children were investigated as potential victims of abuse in 2011, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Digging a little deeper, however, the NCCPR found that “2.8 million of those children—nearly four-fifths of them—were subjects of reports that turned out to be false.”

That child abuse is a reality in far too many homes cannot be denied. According to Mr. Lloyd, the most recent annual child abuse report issued by the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare found 3,408 “substantiated” reports of child abuse in 2011.

But activists working with families whose children have been taken from them say this data must be carefully examined in the context of racial bias: several studies have shown that toddlers with similar injuries were three times more likely to be reported to DHS Philadelphia if the family was Black or Latino.

Phoebe Jones, a member of DHS-Give Us Back Our Children—a Philadelphia-based self-help group coordinated by the Every Mother is a Working Mother Network—told IPS that foster homes have become notorious in Philadelphia as places where abuse is rampant.

“In general, children are worse off as a result of fostering,” she said, citing several studies that found abuse in one-quarter to one-third of foster homes. “The record of group homes and institutions is even worse,” she added.

Earlier this year dozens of families—particularly mothers, aunts and grandmothers—expressed outrage when the United Nations bestowed its prestigious Public Service Award on DHS Philadelphia for its efforts to “improve the outcomes of children in foster care.”

“DHS is breaking up families in this city,” Ms. Jones said in a press release back in June. “We want to know why the UN gave this award without consulting families in Philadelphia. Did they decide on this honor from conferring with officials at cocktail parties? We never heard of them conferring with grassroots people impacted.”  (IPS)

Way to go Annabel this will set president for everyone.

December 20, 2013 § 1 Comment

1.  The Supreme Court of Illinois is set to hear argument on People v. Annabel Melongo on January 14th, 2014, at the 18th floor of the Michael A. Bilandic Building, 160 N. LaSalle Street, Chicago. Annabel Melongo is represented by the law firm Miller Shakman & Beem. The ACLU of Illinois has also filed an Amicus Curiae on her behalf.

a.       State’s brief:  http://tinyurl.com/nyacqcw

b.      Melongo’s brief:  http://tinyurl.com/jwstpfx 

c.       ACLU’s brief on behalf of Melongo: http://tinyurl.com/mwowrxb

                2. Among others, the Illinois Supreme Court will decide if there’s a constitutional right to record, without consent,  a phone conversation with a public official performing in his official capacity

               3. For more information on Melongo’s appeal  please visit the following site: http://www.illinoiscorruption.net/common/supremecourt.html

8 Judges Rated Poorly By 2 Or More Lawyer Groups

December 20, 2013 § Leave a comment

Bar To Their Re-election?

8 Judges Rated Poorly By 2 Or More Lawyer Groups

October 23, 1998|By Abdon M. Pallasch, Tribune Staff Writer.
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More than a quarter of the 261 full circuit judges in Cook County–72 in all–could lose their jobs on Nov. 3.

Every six years, county judges must come up for retention and get 60 percent “yes” votes from voters to keep their jobs. In addition, 44 lawyers are running for 25 vacancies on the bench.

Eight of those up for retention were “not recommended” by two or more bar groups, which rate the judges before the election. They include:

– Judge Susan J. McDunn, who ordered a rare hearing for an uncontested adoption by a same-sex couple.

“Why are we doing something differently because the adopting parents are gay and lesbian couples?” asked adoption attorney Rick Lifshitz, who has followed the case.

McDunn said she could not comment on a pending case.

– Judge Jeffrey Lawrence has made inappropriate comments to women attorneys who practice before him in divorce court, according to the Chicago Council of Lawyers.

Lawrence denies that. “I am a respecter of women,” he said. “My wife is an accomplished hospital administrator.”

– Judge Edna Turkington “exhibits on occasion a wholly inadequate grasp of the legal issues before her” according to the Chicago Council of Lawyers. Turkington declined to comment.

– Judge Llwellyn “Lynn” Greene-Thapedi “can be indecisive and inconsistent in her rulings,” the Chicago Council of Lawyers said in its evaluation. “Fully half of the lawyers we interviewed who have appeared before Judge Greene-Thapedi in her current assignment recommended against retention.”

Greene-Thapedi declined to comment.

– Judge Leida J. Gonzalez Santiago had only seven years’ experience practicing law when she was slated for her seat by her husband, Miguel Santiago, a former alderman being tried in federal court on ghost payrolling charges.

The Chicago Council of Lawyers and the Chicago Bar Association said Gonzalez Santiago, who sits in divorce court, has little grasp of the law. She declined to comment.

The other three who received “not recommended” ratings from two or more groups are Judge William D. O’Neal, who sits in the Markham suburban court, Criminal Court Judge Janice R. McGaughey and Judge Dorothy F. Jones, the only judge who refused to participate in any bar group’s evaluation process.

Leaders of the city’s legal community urge voters not to take a “throw the bums out” approach to judges because “some of the best and the brightest” are on the ballot, said Chicago Bar Association President Leonard J. Schrager.

Presiding judges found “highly recommended” by some bar groups for cleaning up some troubled courts include Nancy Sidote Salyers at juvenile court; Timothy C. Evans at divorce court; and Patrick McGann at traffic court.

Eight bar groups unanimously found 63 of the 72 judges running for retention recommended.

In an effort to boost voter interest in the often-ignored judicial retention elections, the Chicago Bar Association is printing up 300,000 copies of its judicial evaluations to pass out to voters before the election, Schrager said.

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