February 28, 2014 § Leave a comment
The appearance of foul play with the Burks and his dealings with D.C.F.S.
DCFS chief Arthur Bishop steps down after Sun-Times, WBEZ reports
BY CHRIS FUSCO, FRANK MAIN AND TONY ARNOLD February 26, 2014 3:25PM
- New DCFS boss pleaded guilty to stealing from social service agency’s clients
- State Sen. Kirk Dillard to grill DCFS director on theft conviction
- EDITORIAL: Gov. Quinn dropped the ball on DCFS hire
- Sneed: DCFS chief left to avoid being made a ‘distraction to the real issues’
- Quinn searching nationwide for new DCFS chief
Updated: February 27, 2014 7:54PM
Arthur D. Bishop, who was appointed last month to run the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, stepped down Wednesday following a series of Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ reports that revealed a theft conviction and paternity case in his past.
The announcement of Bishop’s resignation came shortly after the news organizations had posted a story in which a daughter, Erica Bishop, questioned how Arthur Bishop could care for the state’s most troubled children given that he had shunned her for her entire life — even after DNA testing proved she was his daughter nearly 11 years ago.
“He’s supposed to be protecting the kids of the state — and you’ve got a kid out here you never done anything for,” Erica Bishop said. “He left me as a father, which I think that’s unfair to me and it’s unfair to my kids. . . . As far as them wanting to keep giving him higher positions to look over people’s kids, I don’t agree.”
Sun-Times and WBEZ reporters interviewed Erica Bishop on Tuesday morning and requested an interview with Arthur Bishop that afternoon.
On Wednesday afternoon — shortly after Erica Bishop’s statements were published online — Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed posted a story about Bishop’s resignation letter as the Illinois Secretary of State’s office was notifying other media that Quinn had appointed a new acting DCFS chief.
That interim director, attorney and social worker Bobbie M. Gregg, has worked at DCFS for about a year. Gregg, 57, is now deputy director of the agency’s Bureau of Operations.
Quinn administration aides indicated the governor plans to conduct a wider search for a permanent DCFS boss.
In his resignation letter, Arthur Bishop, 61, said his last day as DCFS chief will be Friday. Citing the upcoming gubernatorial election, he wrote: “I cannot be used as a distraction to the real issues that face the state and the children that remain in state custody.”
Bishop had been arrested on a felony theft charge in 1993 and accused of bilking clients of the Bobby E. Wright Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center out of more than $9,200, the Sun-Times and WBEZ reported earlier this month.
He did so by creating a “bogus” program for convicted drunken drivers, said Lucy Lang-Chappell, former executive director of the center, who was his boss. According to Lang-Chappell, Bishop had been improperly taking money from clients and providing them with forms they wrongly believed would allow them to get their drivers’ licenses back — though the center wasn’t licensed by the state to provide that service.
Bishop pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor theft in 1995, months after DCFS had hired him as a caseworker. He has maintained that he was innocent of the theft allegations and pleaded guilty only to avoid the strain on his family. He was sentenced to conditional discharge without having to pay any restitution.
Erica Bishop agreed to be interviewed this week after the Sun-Times and WBEZ disclosed the 2003 paternity case. In the nearly 11 years since DNA testing proved that Bishop was her father, the 27-year-old woman has had two kids of her own — a 9-year-old girl and a 6-month-old boy who’ve never met their grandfather, who also is an ordained minister.
Quinn administration aides had said both court cases are decades old and shouldn’t tarnish the stellar work that Arthur Bishop has done as a child advocate, including his previous job as head of the Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice.
Erica Bishop bristled at that suggestion.
“For people to say I’m in the past, I’m not in the past,” she said. “I’m in the past only because nobody knows about me.
“You supposed to be a child advocate and a minister and all this stuff. . . . I watched videos of him on YouTube. All these little boys giving him so much praise . . . sitting down and talking to him like a father. A father? Seriously? A father? He’s sitting down telling these little boys, ‘I want to talk to you. I want to have a father-to-son talk with you.’ You never had a father-and-daughter talk with me.”
Erica’s mother, Yolanda O’Connor, claimed in court filings that Arthur Bishop knew Erica was his daughter from the time she was born in 1986, while Bishop was married to his current wife.
Arthur Bishop maintained he’d never met Erica — and didn’t even know O’Connor claimed Erica was his daughter until O’Connor served him with court papers.
The case ended with O’Connor winning a $4,175 judgment and health insurance coverage for Erica until she turned 18. But a judge denied O’Connor’s request for back child support after Arthur Bishop argued she’d “in fact concealed” that he was Erica’s father.
O’Connor represented herself in the case. Bishop was represented by Marina E. Ammendola — the lawyer who represented Ald. Edward Burke (14th) and his wife, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, in their high-profile custody battle over the boy known as “Baby T.” Bishop had been involved in the Baby T case as a DCFS caseworker in the late 1990s.
Erica Bishop said she recalled meeting her father when she was in high school, before her mom sued him.
Her mother, she said, drove a friend and her to meet Bishop at his DCFS office at the Thompson Center, where Bishop at first mistook Erica’s friend for his daughter.
“He went to my friend and talked to her. And I’m like, ‘Hello? She’s not your daughter, I am,’ ” Erica Bishop recalled. “Honestly, I was actually excited. And he killed my excitement.”
Their five- to 10-minute conversation was the longest the two have shared, but Erica Bishop has seen her father — and her half-siblings — at various times. Arthur Bishop has lived in Maywood for years, and Erica Bishop grew up in nearby Bellwood.
Erica, who paid her way through college and now works as a waitress, says she would have liked the opportunity to get to know her siblings. “Somewhere down the line, yeah, I wanted to know my brother and sister because I think we deserve to know each other. They might have kids. And I have kids,” she said.
She also said she isn’t interested in getting any more money from Bishop, who made $150,000 a year as DCFS chief.
“Financially, he can keep his money. He can die with it,” she said. “I feel like I was cheated. You took care of your other kids. Why you didn’t take care of me? . . . All I want is an explanation.”
Chris Fusco and Frank Main are Sun-Times staff reporters. Tony Arnold is a reporter for WBEZ.
The appearance that his tears didn’t go for all the money driven kids,Fake tears–for his OWN kids & grandkids
February 28, 2014 § Leave a comment
DISCUSS: 33 9 !
For years, Ciavarella, a former Luzerne County Court judge, had defiantly fought charges that he took kickbacks to sentence thousands of young offenders to private juvenile detention centers.
During a moment of reflection while awaiting sentencing for corruption in 2011, Ciavarella broke down, imagining how his own grandchildren would perceive him.
“I would hope that they understand that their grandfather screwed up big-time,” he said, tears welling in his eyes. “And couldn’t be in their life because of it. Kind of tough, if what they get to know is that their grandfather was a scumbucket.”
The conviction of Ciavarella and his fellow Judge Michael T. Conahan ended an infamous chapter in Pennsylvania judicial history, one that led to a wave of changes in the juvenile justice system.
His emotional moment – a rarity for a man proud of his hardened persona – is an equally unrivaled moment, captured in Kids for Cash, a documentary on the scandal directed by Robert May, which will premiere Wednesday at the Kimmel Center. [Performing Arts Center in Philadelphia]
Ciavarella’s remarks come from one of more than a dozen original interviews in the film, offering a nuanced and detailed portrait of those caught up in the scandal that unraveled in 2008.
The film includes interviews with juvenile defendants and their parents; the cofounders of the Philadelphia-based Juvenile Law Center, which worked on behalf of many defendants; Luzerne County’s chief public defender; a reporter from the Wilkes-Barre Times-Leader; and the superintendent of the Wilkes-Barre School District.
But the biggest coup, May concedes, was persuading Ciavarella and Conahan to appear on camera.
Both spoke without telling their lawyers, May said – even as Ciavarella was mounting a defense in federal court, and as Conahan was working on a plea deal that ended with his being sentenced to 17 years in prison.
Ciavarella was eventually found guilty of racketeering as well and sentenced to 28 years in prison. He is serving his sentence in Illinois; Conahan is at a Florida prison.
At the time May approached them, around 2009, Ciavarella and Conahan had not been convicted, but they were publicly disgraced – accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars each from the developer of two private juvenile facilities, then concealing the payments in elaborate money-laundering schemes.
Ciavarella, who oversaw Luzerne County’s juvenile court, sent thousands of children to those facilities during his time on the bench, at a rate higher than any other juvenile court judge in the state.
Thus, the scandal became known as “Kids for Cash,” and public outrage swirled nationwide.
May’s approach to the judges was that the media coverage had been “one-sided,” he said in an interview. He told Ciavarella and Conahan that he wanted to hear their side of the story as well.
The result is a 102-minute film that crisscrosses between juveniles and judges – or, as May puts it, “victims and villains.”
Though many families express resentment about the way they were treated by Ciavarella, the former judge is generally unapologetic – accepting fault for concealing payments from the developer, but saying they had no impact on his sentencing decisions.
Conahan, too, says the only issue in his situation was accepting compensation as a judge.
But there are emotional moments for both in the film – Ciavarella while considering what his grandchildren will think, Conahan while discussing why he agreed to his plea deal.
May hopes that footage adds nuance to the overall story and provides audiences with a fuller perspective of all the characters involved.
Marsha Levick, cofounder of the Juvenile Law Center, who fought on behalf of defendants from Ciavarella’s courtroom, was uninspired by the former judges’ words.
She said the film simply demonstrated the continued need to pay great attention to juvenile justice.
“This is a system,” she said, “that can potentially affect all of our children.”
[from The Philadelphia Inquirer May 27, 2010:] http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20100527__Kids_for_cash__tapes_made_public.html?c=r
….a contractor who built the two juvenile detention centers – PA Child Care in Luzerne, and Western PA Child Care in Butler County – funneled more than $2.9 million to the judges between 2003 and 2006. ////
Prosecutors say Mericle paid $997,600 to Ciavarella in 2003 as a finder’s fee for getting him the contract to build the Luzerne detention center. They say Ciavarella told him to give the money to Powell, who in turn wired it in two chunks to the judges.
Thanks to the judges, prosecutors say, the detention centers got a steady flow of business – so Powell and his partner, Zappala, decided to build a second center in Western Pennsylvania. When Mericle won the contract for that facility, prosecutors say, he gave the judges an additional $1 million. The money was wired to a business the judges controlled, Pinnacle Group of Jupiter, Fla., in 2005.
In 2006, Mericle won a third contract, to put an expansion on the original juvenile jail – and the judges got an additional $150,000, prosecutors say.
February 27, 2014 § Leave a comment
Controversial DCFS director resigns
|Arthur Bishop was appointed Friday to head the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. 2010 photo (Michael Tercha / Chicago Tribune / July 16, 2010)|
Ending weeks of speculation, Arthur Bishop today submitted a letter of resignation as director of the state’s child welfare agency.
Gov. Patrick Quinn appointed Bishop last month to lead the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
But, within weeks of the appointment, Bishop’s administration was dogged by controversy over revelations that he pleaded guilty in 1995 to misdemeanor theft for misusing money meant for patients at the Bobby E. Wright Comprehensive Community Mental Health Center. Bishop also has been involved in a paternity case since 2003, according to court records.
In a letter to Quinn, Bishop, 61, alleged the governor’s political rivals were behind the controversy.
“I am aware that we are in the midst of a contested election, and that my documented accomplishments, dedication, and almost 20 years of exemplary work are in this environment, simply irrelevant,” he wrote in a letter to Quinn, obtained by the Chicago Tribune.
“While your political rivals may be willing to attack me in an effort to obtain some modicum of political advantage, I cannot agree to be used as a distraction to the real issues that face the State and the children that remain in State custody.”
His resignation is effective Friday.
Bishop, an ordained minister with more than 35 years in human services, began his career at DCFS in 1995 as a caseworker and rose to deputy director. He left the agency in late 2010 when Quinn chose him to oversee the state’s juvenile justice department.
Bishop’s 2010 appointment also was controversial because he lacked a corrections or juvenile justice background, but Quinn then defended his pick, arguing the department was moving in a new direction that focused more on rehabilitation. Facing the most recent criticism, Quinn again defended his pick.
Bishop said the governor did not seek his resignation. He had originally faced a felony in the 1995 theft case but, after two years of court proceedings, Bishop accepted a plea deal in which the charge was reduced to a misdemeanor, court records showed.
Sandy Fonzo of Wilkes-Barre screams at former Judge Mark Ciavarella saying that he was responsible for her son’s suicide on the steps of the federal courthouse
February 26, 2014 § Leave a comment
By Larry Getlen
February 23, 2014 | 1:41am
Hillary Transue, 14, created a fake, humorous Myspace page about her school’s vice principal.
Justin Bodnar, 12, cursed at another student’s mother.
Ed Kenzakoski, 17, did nothing at all.
It didn’t matter.
As we see in the documentary “Kids for Cash,” which opens Friday, all three Luzerne County, Pa. teens met the same fate for their minor infractions.
They were hauled into court with their parents, sometimes after being persuaded — coerced, according to at least one parent — by police to waive their right to legal counsel.
They were brought before Judge Mark A. Ciavarella and, without warning or the chance to offer a defense, found themselves pronounced guilty, shackled and sentenced to months of detention in a cockroach-infested jail.
They were trapped in the juvenile justice system for years, robbing most of them of their entire high-school experience.
Hillary Transue was sent to juvenile detention for making a fake Myspace page for her teacher.Photo: AP Photo/Matt Rourke
Judge Ciavarella, who sentenced around 3,000 children in a similar manner, was later sentenced himself to 28 years in prison for financial crimes related to his acceptance of $2.2 million as a finder’s fee for the construction of a for-profit facility in which to house these so-called delinquents.
The scandal was called “Kids for Cash,” and it rocked the state in 2009 — for the accusation that Ciavarella was happy to tear families apart in exchange for the payoff.
Kenzakoski was diagnosed with ADD before he was 10 and drinking by 14, and his parents were so worried about him that his father developed a plan to scare him straight.
Along with two police officer buddies, Kenzakoski’s father planted a marijuana pipe in the boy’s truck, hoping he would be arrested and turned around after a confrontation with the authorities.
But the second part of that plan went awry, and Ciavarella sent the boy away.
In the film, Bodnar recalls how, shackled and torn from his home for saying a dirty word, he approached the facility on a convict bus and saw the 20-foot razor wire.
“I’m now one of those people you see in the movies,” thought the 12-year-old, who would smoke pot for the first time three months later, influenced by “living around criminals” in a facility intended to make him a better person.
After her release from incarceration, Transue returned to school with a stigma, viewed as a criminal by her teachers and under watch from her probation officer, who kept an office in the school.
Mark Ciavarella was elected to a 10-year-term as Luzerne County judge in 1995, on a platform of getting tough on teen crime. Much admired for his stance, he was a frequent speaker at schools and was re-elected in 2005.
Knowing he was sending children to a run-down detention facility, Ciavarella decided a new one was needed and approached power broker Judge Michael Conahan, who assembled an investor group to build a private, for-profit detention facility named PA Child Care.
Ciavarella was paid a finder’s fee of 10 percent of construction costs, or $2.2 million, by its builder.
Undone by a tip from a reputed underworld friend of Conahan’s, among other information, Ciavarella had 2,480 of his convictions reversed and expunged.
A scene from “Kids for Cash.”
After his initial release, Bodnar, now 24, was shipped off to a military academy. He now works as a cook. Transue, 22, eventually graduated from college.
A fender-bender landed Kenzakoski back in court when he was 19. Ciavarella again sentenced him to a juvenile facility. When he got out, said his mother, his demeanor was all pent-up anger, and a fight landed him in state prison.
He was released in January 2010. That Memorial Day, after a day of drinking and arguing with his father, Ed Kenzakoski placed a gun against his heart, and pulled the trigger. Had he lived, he would now be 27 years old.
The most harrowing moment in the film occurs during Ciavarella’s trial. As his lawyer holds a press conference outside the courthouse, Kenzakoski’s mother, Sandy Fonzo, who had been standing to the side, unleashed years of pain and anguish on the man she held responsible.
“My kid’s not here anymore! He’s dead! Because of him!” she screamed, pointing at Ciavarella as news cameras rolled. “He ruined my f—ing life!!! Go to hell, and rot there forever! You know what he told everybody in court — [the kids] need to be held accountable for their actions! You need to be!”
At the end of “Kids for Cash,” directed by Robert May, information flashes across the screen saying: “Two million children are arrested every year in the US, 95% for non-violent crimes”; that “66% of children who have been incarcerated never return to school”; and that “the US incarcerates nearly 5 times more children than any other nation in the world.”
February 26, 2014 § Leave a comment
Center for separated father lookng for resource
i don’t know how this could help you but check it anyway
If you would like to join a march or planning one yourself here is a national suport group that want to hear from you
If you are in for some good work , read these research the y will enlight you in the truth behind all this madness , it totaly define the exact data it is definatly a must read if you are serious about this battle.
Here is the first list of links needed to help yourself , read all of them carefully , then with the help of your lawyer you can decide wich way to aproche your cases ,again be wise and realise that we see what we want to see , and that normaly we are motivated by emotion , so be aware that you might become kinda legal Hypochondriac if i can say , (not realy the proper terminalogy but you know what i mean , tell me if it help.
I do not have to many link for you to get some help , i mean ,personaly i tryed my darn best to find moral support and i haven’t found much aside what would cost me a fortune , well to me $100 dollar an hour is a fortune, but i know that i will find some as i progress and i promiss to pass them up to you , in the mean time you can contact me thru e-mail if i can help i will be there for you , i respond as fast as i can . sometime just being able to reach out can help. and those who know of help available out there , free is allways good , please e-mail me so i can offer them to men out there , thanks
first and formost
Here are a couple of centre that are there to help, use them ,dont abuse them ,be wise and respectfull they might not be able to fix all probleme but they will try i know some of us fear or distruss those agency but they are there to try to help, and for every of those agencies, if you feel you are not treated fairly, a wach dog agencyis in place to protect your right .
Your local CAS ( children’s aid society)
CCAS ( christian childrens aid society )
there are the CFRS (catholic family resourse centers)
Your local Ymca yea they do help!
You don’t need just to call them to make complaint , you can ask them for resourse for men in your local communauty if not keep searching and again i will try to help.
For all your legal forms , just get here and voila , ask the help of a lawyer , if you can’t afford one, ( i wonder who can these days) just present yourself at the court and theyre are people there ready to help you fill them , and they even have them printed there ready for you , they also have legal advise from lawyer for 1/2 at the time , so make sure you have your pad with all your “legal” question. please avoid taking your emotional matter , stick to the l e g a l , and make the best of your 1/2 hour , it goes fast , again since you are at court , people are not there to sympatise with you , nothing personal , its the first gear of the system , so leave your feeling and moral concern at the door.stick to your notes.
for the most inspiring website , its a pay site , but its worth looking it up , look at the action done so far you will be uplifted
This is for the Fathers Involvement Reasearch Aliance a great place to se what is hapening in the feald as far as research are concern , its great to see that there is concern .a very good reading
BOYZ TO MEN: The Male Development Service
a wicked data base of history and current event in the feald of fathers right , they been here for a while so its a very good source , i recomend it , when you are ready and you have reach the end of the line , its great to be aware that there is hope for some of us , but please do not go hardline , all is good in the right dosage ok !
this is an american website , can be realy usefull , alltho the laws are from different contry , they resemble greatly , and by the way the research done apply here too.
“Robert Gardner”, Remember this name and read his research , (especialy those people in the law business 🙂 I put a lot of his material . but first Important: this is not a tool to bash the mother of your children , these research are amazing to understand some behavior , don’t go screaming around that is what you are experiencing , some men truly are being put thru hell , and if its not your case back off, the reason the systeme is unbalance today is cause some women are screaming abuse at every turn now and the one that are truly being abuse are paying the price for those who abuse the systeme , the same crap applies to the CAS and CCAS agencies , instead of concentrat there complete effort on helping the real case of abuse they are spending half there time trying to figure out who is lying to get the system on there side , so make sure you read but that you don’t find a weapon to go after the mother , but a tool to help your children, again i am not here to help you being idiots at the expence of other men fighting for the real right to be father to theyr children.
Another series of research results realy helpfull prety much all the big name and there work are mention in this great link
well some wiked link that deserves its own paragraph.
(Fathers Canada 4 Justice)
(The Federal Child Support Guidelines)
(Fathers rights groups and support on CANLAW)
(your rights on CANLAW)
http://www.justice.gc.ca/en/ps/pad/reports/2001-FCY-4.html#_31 (ALLEGATIONS OF CHILD ABUSE IN THE CONTEXT OF PARENTAL SEPARATION: A DISCUSSION PAPER)
(Child, Family and Community Service Act, BC)
(e-Laws, a database of Ontario’s statutes and regulations, both consolidated and source law)
(Sign our petition: You CAN help put integrity back into Ontario Social Services)
(Father for life)
(The Children’s Aid Society-Parents Rights and freedom in the new world order)
(Legislative Assembly of Ontario)
(FACT-Fathers are capable too)
(Divorced or Separated Dads)
(Fathers and dads for equal custody rights)
(Fathers for Fathers rights)
(Dads Canada-legal counseling and fathers’ support group)
(Help stop PAS-Rick’s story)
(Parental Alienation Awareness Organization)
(The Family Therapy Center For New York & Georgia)
(National Parents’ Rights Association)
(FACT-Fathers Are Capable Too)
(MESA-Men’s Educational Support Association)
(DadLaw-Protecting the rights of men and Fathers)
(Victoria Men’s Centre)
(Fathers Battling Injustice)
(Canadian Children’s Rights Council)
(EQUAL PARENTING for Separated Families)
(Overview and Assessment of Approaches to Access Enforcement)
(Equitable Child Maintenance & Access Society)
(Kids ‘n’ Dad services families in the Waterloo Region)
(SPARC-the Separated Parenting Access & Resource Center)
(United States Dept of Health & Human Services-Promoting Responsible Fatherhood)
(US Dept of Health & Human Services Admin For Children & Families-NCCIC- National Childcare Info Centre-Father Involvement in the Lives of their Children)
(FIRA-Father Involvement Research Alliance)
(FNF-Families Need Fathers-Keeping Children and Parents in Contact since 1974)
(NATIONAL CENTER FOR EDUCATION STATISTICS-Measuring Father Involvement in Young Children’s Lives)
(The Men’s Centre-Fathers rights)
(National Society For Children and Family Contact)
(Ottawa Fathers-Fathers Supporting Fathers)
(Children’s Aid Society Corruption)
(Dads in Distress-A dedicated support group of men in Australia whose immediate concern is to stem the present trend of male suicide due to the trauma of divorce or separation)
(FRED-Fathers rights for equality in divorce)
(CRC Kids-Children’s rights council)
(Talking with Kids About Tough Issues)
(Equal custodial rights for Dads)
(CPF-The Fatherhood Coalition)
(Dads Divorce-Divorce and Child Custody Modification Information For Dads / Fathers in Kansas City, MO)
(Dad talk-Dedicated to the most important people in the world)
(The men’s tribune links)
(Our kids have rights too — and their most important right is: To be with your Mom & Dad “A Kid’s Right to BOTH Parents”)
(Canadian Children’s Rights Council: A Travesty Punished)
(Enforcement of Parenting Time Schedules)
(FULL TEXT OF JUDGEMENT ORDERING POLICE TO ENFORCE ACCESS ORDERS)
More links to come!
If you have one you’d like to contribute, please feel free to post it and we’ll put it up:)