(CNSNews.com) – Professionals in Pennsylvania who regularly come into contact with children are required under both state and federal law to report suspected abuse to child welfare authorities.

June 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

(CNSNews.com) – Professionals in Pennsylvania who regularly come into contact with children are required under both state and federal law to report suspected abuse to child welfare authorities.
But experts say that even in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky scandal, reports of child abuse in Pennsylvania remain the lowest in the nation because mandated reporters, forced to choose between obeying the law and risking career-ending retaliation, are reluctant to come forward.

Pennsylvania has the lowest rate of reported child abuse in the nation, according to statistics included in an Oct. 15, 2013 letter sent to state legislative leaders by The Protect Our Children Committee, which also pointed out that the state’s high legal threshold for proving child abuse also discourages reporting.

“Pennsylvania remains a statistical outlier in when it determines a child has been a victim of child abuse – 1.2 per 1,000 Pennsylvania children were victims of child abuse in 2011 whereas nationally 9.1 per 1,000 children were victims,” the letter stated.

On Monday, Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane is set to release the final report of a three-year internal investigation into whether top state officials tried to cover up or delay an investigation into the former Penn State assistant football coach’s serial sexual abuse of children.

Sandusky was sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison after being found guilty on 45 of 48 counts for molesting ten boys he met through his now defunct Second Mile charity.

Penn State officials repeatedly “concealed Sandusky’s activities” from law enforcement, due to “a culture of reverence for the football program,” according to a previous investigation led by former FBI director Louis Freeh.

But even in the wake of the Sandusky scandal, many mandated reporters in Pennsylvania are afraid to report such crimes.

“The atmosphere is set up for somebody to make a report and be severely punished for reporting,” Dr. Don Bross, professor of pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and head of the National Association of Counsel for Children (NACC), told CNSNews.com.

At a Feb. 26, 2013 legislative hearing in Harrisburg, House Children and Youth Committee chairman Katharine Watson also pointed out that mandated reporters in Pennsylvania “were scared to make a report because they were frightened. They had seen something and they thought “I’ll lose my job.”

Some of the fear can be traced back decades to a case in which Dr. Jim Singer, a clinical psychologist then practicing at the Dubois Regional Medical Center (DRMC), lost his license soon after reporting the suspected sexual abuse of a teenaged girl.

In Singer’s case, Bross said, “there was a tremendous punitive response to this one report – they mobilized to discredit him.”

“Some people are really afraid to call because they don’t know what kind of backlash they’re going to get,” said Dr. George Fatula, the former chair of pediatrics at Dubois who worked with Singer at the time.

“I never understood why he lost his license,” Fatula told CNSNews.com. “My thought at the time was that he was wronged pretty badly. I still think there’s people who are hesitant to file abuse reports because they’re not sure what’s going to happen to them.”

In a letter supporting Singer, Fatula admitted that he was personally threatened with legal and physical retaliation for reporting child abuse, and that state officials had done nothing about it.

In an April 12, 1994 letter from then Congressman Tom Ridge to U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, Ridge cited Singer’s case, noting that: “Mandated reporters fear retaliation, and their fear is legitimate enough that they are willing to risk children’s lives by ignoring the abuse.”

Singer told CNSNews.com that he has unsuccessfully tried for years to get state and federal officials to investigate his allegations that state child welfare officials retaliated against him for reporting suspected abuse, allegations which are supported by an August 6, 1997 report by Pennsylvania State Police Lt. Ivan Hoover.

According to Hoover’s report, Dr. Albert Varacallo, then chief of medicine at Dubois, “states that he and Singer suspected child abuse in this case and arrived at the suspicion independently.” In a subsequent letter to then Gov. Robert Casey, Varacallo stated that “Singer filed the child abuse report with his consent.”

But a caseworker with Clearfield County Children & Youth Services (CYS) “did not obtain a case number…and did not request an investigation of the abuse as mandated,” according to the Hoover report. The report also stated that CYS violated state law by releasing Singer’s name to the alleged perpetrator and that other “violations of the Crimes code…exist.”

But according to Singer and others familiar with the case, there was never any follow-up investigation at either the state or federal level, and the only one who lost their job was Singer.

HB 436, which was passed by the Pennsylvania legislature and signed by Gov. Tom Corbett on April 15 in the wake of the Sandusky scandal, “increases the penalties for not reporting,” Singer told CNSNews.com. “But there’s no protection for those who do report the abuse,” he pointed out.

“If Kane claims that ‘making sure that our children are protected is the most important thing,’ then why won’t she respond to letters from state legislators seeking a bipartisan coalition to investigate child abuse reporting in Pennsylvania, past and present?” Singer asked.

 

 

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Ruby Dillon’s Child Custody Case for Daughter She Has Not Seen in 10 Months Gets Curiouser

June 22, 2014 § Leave a comment

 

Ruby Dillon’s Child Custody Case for Daughter She Has Not Seen in 10 Months Gets Curiouser
By Matt Coker Fri., Jun. 20 2014 at 6:34 AM 64 Comments
Categories: Your Tax $ at Work!

 

ruby-dillon-and-her-daughter.jpg
Courtesy of Ruby Dillon
Ruby Dillon and her daughter Lexi, who the mother has not seen in 10 months.
When Shirley Grindle tells a journalist there is something rotten in Denmark–and her and your Denmark is Orange County–s/he tends to listen. Since the 1970s, the good government activist and/or her group TINCUP (Time Is Now, Clean Up Politics) have tracked campaign contributions to Orange County politicians, lobbyists’ activities, how the county’s lucrative procurement system works–and reported back on the stench. Now Grindle wonders, as many others have before her, why the county’s Child Protective Services and family court are hellbent on keeping Ruby Dillon away from her daughter Lexi.
Attorney Unveils Suit Alleging Cover-up of Disgusting Child Abuse by DA, County Agency

After looking at all the evidence she can–CPS and family court records are sealed to protect children–Grindle tells the Weekly she fears it comes down to what it always comes down to when dealing with Orange County government incompetence.

Money.

Two Orange County social workers lied to a juvenile court commissioner so Deanna Fogarty-Hardwick’s two daughters were taken away from her. After a 6 1/2-year legal fight that went all the way up to the U.S. Supreme Court in April 2011, the Seal Beach mom won a $4.9 million judgment against the county. (One of those county workers was promoted to teach other social workers how to do their jobs. Incredible.)

Deanna Fogarty-Hardwick Wins Supreme Court Ruling Against County Taking Her Daughters

Well, Grindle knows all about that case and she has news for the County of Orange when it comes to Ruby Dillon’s: The final court award will likely dwarf Fogarty-Hardwick’s.

Dillon and her attorneys have claimed for years that when it comes to Lexi, Orange County CPS workers are aiding and abetting the commission of child abuse and child endangerment. They allege the girl was “legally kidnapped” by CPS despite no reliable evidence being presented to suggest Dillon is an unfit mother. Meanwhile, Tustin police officers have twice removed Lexi from the home of her father after the girl said to cops, teachers and therapists she had been sexually abused by him. Medical experts determined the girl had been molested, Dillon swears.

The mother’s apparent “crime” in the eyes of minor counsel for the child, the father’s defense attorney and presumably the family law court judge is an allegation of having coached her daughter, something other experts have said there is no evidence of having happened. What has obviously happened, according to some of these and other experts, is sexual abuse of the girl. Others say there is no evidence of that. Dillon claims the Tustin police investigation remains open (something I could not confirm this week and I tried).

Yep, it’s your classic he said, she said case. But it’s one raising more red flags than a Red Flags R Us store. The Voice of OC just posted on the case this week. So did the local Fox TV news station …

A year ago:

 

The tools we need are at hand and help is for the asking if we look in the right direction and use there own stuff against them to move forward to help others.

June 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

 

 
Real quick here:

1. We are now seeing proposed Statewide forms from the Illinois Supreme Court. While you may not agree with the forms, there are lots of pluses here:

-Forms mean less need for lawyers (to f*ck things up, steal your money, complicate the simple, etc.)
-It starts a “norm.”
-Creates consistency throughout the courts and State. Minimize how judges each puts their personal opinions ahead of following the law.

http://www.state.il.us/court/Forms/drafts/divorce/divorce_drafts.asp

You may comment on the proposed forms. Personally, I will be making positive comments because I do not want to complicate the forms, nor do I want to give the Bar Associations reasons for killing it: “See, everyone hates the idea.” There will be enough naysaying (trying to kill the forms) with comments from the lawyers and court whores.

2. Also, see attached. Legislators have been the most receptive people for change. Here is a great TownHall meeting by one of our best (Rep. LaShawn Ford) for Family Law Reform. I will be there (I ask that you be there) because:

-Rep Ford has been very supportive.
-Rep Ford needs to see voters, so he can counter the BS/lies he gets from the bureaucrats.
-Most important, Child Support legislation is coming out soon. I have gone to many Child Support Advisory Committee meetings. I guarantee you that they will be lying to the legislators. With us expressing our opinions, Rep. Ford can counter them. But even more so, the Child Support scum will be at the meeting to “answer questions.” Let them see/hear the non-custodial parent’s view (custodial parents already have their views presented by the bureaucrats, lawyers, court whores, etc.), the view of people screwed by the courts and HFS. Then these Child Support weenies will have a harder time of lying to the legislators about how everyone is on-board with any proposed legislation.

Rep. Ford has always been common sense regarding child support.

Let’s keep the pressure on for reform.

Draft Statewide Forms – Divorce
The following are draft forms proposed for use by the Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice which are under review. Comments will be accepted for 45 days to provide the Commission with feedback.

You will need PDF format Adobe Reader 8 or higher to access the forms.

Form Title
Date Posted
Comments Accepted Through
Comments?
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union (Divorce Without Children) – DV-P 103.1
06/13/14
07/28/14
Submit Comments on Petition for Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union (Divorce Without Children) DV-P 103.1
Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union (Divorce Without Children) – DV-J 104.1
06/13/14
07/28/14
Submit Comments on Judgment of Dissution of Marriage/Civil Union (Divorce Without Children) DV-J 104.1
Petition for Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union (Divorce With Children) – DV-P 105.1
06/13/14
07/28/14
Submit Comments on Petition for Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union (Divorce With Children) DV-P 105.1
Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union (Divorce With Children) – DV-J 106.1
06/13/14
07/28/14
Submit Comments on Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage/Civil Union (Divorce With Children) DV-J 106.1
Irreconcilable Differences Two-Year Separation Waiver – DV-W 107.1
06/13/14
07/28/14
Submit Comments on Irreconcilable Differences Two-Year Separation Waiver Draft Form – DV-W 107.1
Parenting Time / Visitation Schedule – DV-V 108.1
06/13/14
07/28/14
Submit Comments on Parenting Time/Visitation Schedule DV-V 108.1

 

 

 

The appearance that the court systems are criminally involved with this sick practice and looks the other way with a blind eye?

June 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

Here’s an unpublished article written about this case. This article was rejected by dozens of media, both national, regional, and specialty. Is it the writing or the subject matter? … Chris Mackney, who committed suicide Dec. 29, 2013, told me before he died that he was being bullied to death during a divorce and he laid the blame at the feet of the Virginia Family Court system and Dr. Stanton Samenow, a psychologist made famous by his mention on the popular television show The Sopranos. Furthermore, Mackney said the bullying was in retaliation for his discovering and publicizing details of his former father-in-law’s involvement in a 1960s murder along with actor Woody Harrelson’s father, Charles Harrelson. Besides speaking to me, Mackney also left a suicide note on his website, called “GoodMenDidNothing,” and in it, he described the mental and psychological terror that his ex-wife’s legal assault had caused him. The note later was removed from the site, but has been republished online. “I took my own life because I had come to the conclusion that there was nothing I could do or say to end the abuse. Every time I got up off my knees, I would get knocked back down. They were not going to let me be the father I wanted to be to my children. People may think I am a coward for giving up on my children, but I didn’t see how I was going to heal from this. I have no money for an attorney, therapy or medication. I have lost 4 jobs because of this process.” (Please note that according to Word Press, which owns Mackney’s blog, his site has since been taken down based on its policy regarding bloggers who pass away.) According to the organization Father’s Unite, 300 fathers and 30 mothers take their lives every month in the U.S. as a result of family court abuse. In fact, the circumstances surrounding Mackney’s suicide have several uncanny resemblances to the most notorious such suicide, that of Tom Ball in 2011. Tom Ball set himself on fire just before 5:30 on the evening of June 15, 2011, in front of the of the Cheshire County Superior Court House in Keane, N.H. The next day the local paper, the Keane Sentinel, received his 10,000-plus word suicide note in which he blamed both the family court system as well as the Children and Protective System for his suicide. Ball had contended in his suicide note that a minor case of corporal punishment was turned on its head and used to brand him unfairly as a domestic abuser, and with that branding all his rights were taken away. According to a study by Dr. Augustine J. Kposowa, entitled “Marital Status and Suicide in National Longitudinal Mortality Study” and published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health in the April 2000 edition, both Ball and Mackney are part of a quiet epidemic of suicide of divorced fathers, a group which is nearly 10 times as likely to commit suicide as any other group. Both Mackney and Ball had lost all contact with their children, fallen hopelessly behind on child support, had repeatedly been sanctioned by the court for prior violations leading to prison time. Each had also shown signs of obsession with a concept central to their case. In the case of Ball, it was the constant misdiagnosis of domestic violence and with Mackney it was psychopathy. On Nov. 21, 2013, as an example, Mackney published on his website a blog post entitled “Alienation, Family Law and Psychopathy – Welcome to my world.” That’s because six months into his divorce Mackney discovered that his wife’s father had helped orchestrate a murder in the late 1960s. Dina’s father, Pete Scamardo, is a successful real estate developer in Virginia, however in 1968, he hired Charles Harrelson, the father of Woody Harrelson, to kill Sam Degelia, who was not only Scamardo’s business partner but friend since the second grade. Scamardo allegedly wanted Degelia dead because in order to collect on life insurance each had on the other because they were partners. According to news reports at the time, Harrelson had become indebted to Scamardo after losing some heroine he was tasked by Scamardo to sell, and that Scamardo used this as leverage to convince Harrelson to commit the murder. Scamardo was only convicted as an accomplice in the murder in 1970. Mackney also discovered that Scamardo was currently using his daughter as a front for a gaming license because his criminal record would make him ineligible for his own gaming license. Mackney said that from the beginning of his divorce in 2008 all he wanted to do was settle in an equitable manner but that his wife refused to ever offer any deal. Worse yet, she hired the law firm Cottrell, Fletcher, Schinstock, Bartol, and Cottrell, where the lead attorney, Jim Cottrell, advertises by saying, “We’re not the type to settle so be prepared to open your wallet.” Mackney charged that his ex-wife’s father paid an estimated $1.2 million to have the legal team badger him for $2,916 per month in child support until the day he died. Cottrell spoke briefly with me and would only say “it’s not true, it’s not true” to the charges made by Mackney in his suicide note that he legally bullied Mackney to death. Dr. Karin Huffer is a clinical psychologist who saw so many victims of legal abuse she coined the term, “legal abuse syndrome,” which she told me she considers a subset of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), only in this case the PTSD is caused by protracted abuse by the legal system. Mackney told me that he believed he had PTSD, and in Huffer’s book, Legal Abuse Syndrome: Eight Steps for Avoiding Stress Caused by the Legal System obsession is the title of Chapter 5. In 2010, Mackney saw Dr. William Zuckerman for the purposes of being evaluated during the course of his custody. During the evaluation, Dr. Zuckerman described behavior consistent with someone suffering from legal abuse syndrome. “There is a great deal of data which would support Mr. Mackney’s contention that he has felt overmatched and stressed, that he is not feeling much in control of the circumstances either in the context of his trying to negotiate with his wife, and also in the context of the helplessness he feels in the midst of this litigation. As noted earlier, he also feels at the mercy of superior forces (his wife, his wife’s family, and their attorney), and he feels without the funds necessary to prosecute his position. These stresses can lead to experience some dysphoric and even anxious feelings. (both are also symptoms of PTSD)” Connie Valentine is the co-founder of the California Protective Parents Association and she told me she has been documenting family court abuse for more than two decades. She said that jailing or threatening to jail a parent by setting persistently high child support payments, as in the case of Ball and Mackney, is a form of debtors, technically outlawed in the U.S. Valentine said that in both the cases of Ball and Mackney, the divorce fell into a category considered high conflict divorces. Valentine said there are cases in which family court abuse targets a mother, and there are father’s rights groups like Father’s Unite which believe the corruption is directed mostly at males. But observers from multiple viewpoints affirm the abuse starts because there is too much power in the hands of so-called experts, a lack of transparency, and a lack of training. In Mackney’s case, he focused in specifically on the behavior of Samenow, who became a cult celebrity when his work was featured in an episode of the television show The Sopranos. Samenow declined to comment on this case. In 2009, the two parties, Mackney and his ex-wife, agreed to have Samenow do a psychological evaluation after little progress was being made in the divorce. Mackney said the corruption started immediately when he was pressured to change this so-called psychological evaluation into a custody evaluation. Samenow’s evaluation on Aug. 3, 2009, and he cited in every part only Dina’s side of the story. He referred to her as “thoughtful” and “cooperative” while Samenow diagnosed Mackney as “narcissistic” and warned that he had violent tendencies. Mackney said this evaluation was used as the basis for a series of court rulings which limited and then in January 2010 first took all his parental rights away. In October 2010, after a psychological evaluation by Zuckerman restored some parental rights, Mackney was cited for contempt of court after he only faxed over a copy of his new apartment lease when a court order directed he fax a lease and a copy of the receipt for first month’s payment. According to Robert Worster, who represented Mackney for parts of 2012 as a court appointed attorney, here is the list of family court related jail stints to which Mackney was sentenced. “On October 7, 2011, Mr. Mackney was sentenced to 10 days of incarceration for criminal contempt and also held in civil contempt for failing to abide by the Final Custody Order entered on July 26, 2010. He was remanded to the Fairfax County Regional Detention Center until he purged himself of civil contempt by Paying Ms. Mackney $31,000 in sanctions; and Submitting a plan to the Court describing how he will abide by the Final Custody Order. “Mr. Mackney was released on July 30, 2012 and Mr. Worster and Mr. Bodner’s representation of Mr. Mackney ceased. All requests for fees were denied by the Court.” Mackney was serving his fourth stint in jail when he received a letter from Worster in May 2012 which ended this way. “Last, Mr. Bartol (Kyle Bartol, another attorney for Dina Mackney) again expressed his client’s request that you simply disappear following release and not have any contact with her or her family (including the children). My understanding (none of this has been submitted to me in writing) is that she will not pursue further sanctions if you do not have any contact with her or her family (including the children).” Mackney said that he complied and moved to Dallas to try and begin his life anew. But in the beginning of 2013, Mackney was extradited back to Virginia, when his ex-wife through her attorneys and the Office of the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney, and specifically their Prosecutor Elizabeth Kohut, claimed extortion. They alleged it was a crime when Mackney suggested in emails to his ex-wife he might go to the media with allegations her father helped kill his former business partner if she didn’t voluntarily reduce his child support to a more reasonable level. The prosecutors refused to accept any plea, and forced Mackney to languish in jail with a bail he couldn’t afford while he awaited trial. Despite not having any money and using a court appointed attorney, Mackney was acquitted, all of which he explained in his suicide note. “So, we went to trial and I was found not guilty. I did not ask for any money from her and the child support I owe is to my children, not my ex-wife. The jury saw that my attempts to reduce my child support were not an effort to obtain money at all, and the law supported the verdict. “It was a clear effort on the Commonwealth’s attorney to silence me for threatening to speak out about the fraud of Dr. Samenow, and the Cover-up by Judge Randy Bellows. Why else wouldn’t they accept a plea to my first criminal charge, ever?” After his acquittal his ex-wife successfully reached out to Child Support Enforcement to force Mackney to stay in Virginia, and he was facing further sanction for being behind on his child support as well as starting his blog, Good Men Did Nothing, which spoke about Scamardo’s murder conviction, something a previous court order forbade Mackney from doing. Both Samenow and Judge Randy Bellows, the combination in Mackney’s divorce, were cited in a Washington Post story, which suggested that Samenow had misrepresented a convicted killer’s testimony to him and Bellows had allowed him to do it. I also spoke with Tommy Moffett who also had Samenow as a custody evaluator. He told me that he might have wound up like Mackney, but he taped all their sessions and was able to, acting as his own attorney, frustrate Samenow to the point Samenow blurted out, ‘What, did you have me recorded?” Moffett briefly documented his experience on a blog he started, Stop Samenow. (stopsamenow.blogspot.com)

“Marital Status and Suicide in National Longitudinal Mortality Study” The appearance that this expectable in the court system is now a norm?

June 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

 

Here’s an unpublished article written about this case. This article was rejected by dozens of media, both national, regional, and specialty. Is it the writing or the subject matter?

Chris Mackney, who committed suicide Dec. 29, 2013, told me before he died that he was being bullied to death during a divorce and he laid the blame at the feet of the Virginia Family Court system and Dr. Stanton Samenow, a psychologist made famous by his mention on the popular television show The Sopranos. Furthermore, Mackney said the bullying was in retaliation for his discovering and publicizing details of his former father-in-law’s involvement in a 1960s murder along with actor Woody Harrelson’s father, Charles Harrelson.

Besides speaking to me, Mackney also left a suicide note on his website, called “GoodMenDidNothing,” and in it, he described the mental and psychological terror that his ex-wife’s legal assault had caused him. The note later was removed from the site, but has been republished online.

“I took my own life because I had come to the conclusion that there was nothing I could do or say to end the abuse. Every time I got up off my knees, I would get knocked back down. They were not going to let me be the father I wanted to be to my children. People may think I am a coward for giving up on my children, but I didn’t see how I was going to heal from this. I have no money for an attorney, therapy or medication. I have lost 4 jobs because of this process.”
(Please note that according to Word Press, which owns Mackney’s blog, his site has since been taken down based on its policy regarding bloggers who pass away.)

According to the organization Father’s Unite, 300 fathers and 30 mothers take their lives every month in the U.S. as a result of family court abuse. In fact, the circumstances surrounding Mackney’s suicide have several uncanny resemblances to the most notorious such suicide, that of Tom Ball in 2011.

Tom Ball set himself on fire just before 5:30 on the evening of June 15, 2011, in front of the of the Cheshire County Superior Court House in Keane, N.H. The next day the local paper, the Keane Sentinel, received his 10,000-plus word suicide note in which he blamed both the family court system as well as the Children and Protective System for his suicide. Ball had contended in his suicide note that a minor case of corporal punishment was turned on its head and used to brand him unfairly as a domestic abuser, and with that branding all his rights were taken away.

According to a study by Dr. Augustine J. Kposowa, entitled “Marital Status and Suicide in National Longitudinal Mortality Study” and published in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health in the April 2000 edition, both Ball and Mackney are part of a quiet epidemic of suicide of divorced fathers, a group which is nearly 10 times as likely to commit suicide as any other group.

Both Mackney and Ball had lost all contact with their children, fallen hopelessly behind on child support, had repeatedly been sanctioned by the court for prior violations leading to prison time.

Each had also shown signs of obsession with a concept central to their case. In the case of Ball, it was the constant misdiagnosis of domestic violence and with Mackney it was psychopathy. On Nov. 21, 2013, as an example, Mackney published on his website a blog post entitled “Alienation, Family Law and Psychopathy – Welcome to my world.”

That’s because six months into his divorce Mackney discovered that his wife’s father had helped orchestrate a murder in the late 1960s.
Dina’s father, Pete Scamardo, is a successful real estate developer in Virginia, however in 1968, he hired Charles Harrelson, the father of Woody Harrelson, to kill Sam Degelia, who was not only Scamardo’s business partner but friend since the second grade.

Scamardo allegedly wanted Degelia dead because in order to collect on life insurance each had on the other because they were partners.
According to news reports at the time, Harrelson had become indebted to Scamardo after losing some heroine he was tasked by Scamardo to sell, and that Scamardo used this as leverage to convince Harrelson to commit the murder. Scamardo was only convicted as an accomplice in the murder in 1970.

Mackney also discovered that Scamardo was currently using his daughter as a front for a gaming license because his criminal record would make him ineligible for his own gaming license.

Mackney said that from the beginning of his divorce in 2008 all he wanted to do was settle in an equitable manner but that his wife refused to ever offer any deal. Worse yet, she hired the law firm Cottrell, Fletcher, Schinstock, Bartol, and Cottrell, where the lead attorney, Jim Cottrell, advertises by saying, “We’re not the type to settle so be prepared to open your wallet.”

Mackney charged that his ex-wife’s father paid an estimated $1.2 million to have the legal team badger him for $2,916 per month in child support until the day he died.

Cottrell spoke briefly with me and would only say “it’s not true, it’s not true” to the charges made by Mackney in his suicide note that he legally bullied Mackney to death.

Dr. Karin Huffer is a clinical psychologist who saw so many victims of legal abuse she coined the term, “legal abuse syndrome,” which she told me she considers a subset of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), only in this case the PTSD is caused by protracted abuse by the legal system.

Mackney told me that he believed he had PTSD, and in Huffer’s book, Legal Abuse Syndrome: Eight Steps for Avoiding Stress Caused by the Legal System obsession is the title of Chapter 5.

In 2010, Mackney saw Dr. William Zuckerman for the purposes of being evaluated during the course of his custody. During the evaluation, Dr. Zuckerman described behavior consistent with someone suffering from legal abuse syndrome.

“There is a great deal of data which would support Mr. Mackney’s contention that he has felt overmatched and stressed, that he is not feeling much in control of the circumstances either in the context of his trying to negotiate with his wife, and also in the context of the helplessness he feels in the midst of this litigation. As noted earlier, he also feels at the mercy of superior forces (his wife, his wife’s family, and their attorney), and he feels without the funds necessary to prosecute his position. These stresses can lead to experience some dysphoric and even anxious feelings. (both are also symptoms of PTSD)”

Connie Valentine is the co-founder of the California Protective Parents Association and she told me she has been documenting family court abuse for more than two decades. She said that jailing or threatening to jail a parent by setting persistently high child support payments, as in the case of Ball and Mackney, is a form of debtors, technically outlawed in the U.S.

Valentine said that in both the cases of Ball and Mackney, the divorce fell into a category considered high conflict divorces.

Valentine said there are cases in which family court abuse targets a mother, and there are father’s rights groups like Father’s Unite which believe the corruption is directed mostly at males. But observers from multiple viewpoints affirm the abuse starts because there is too much power in the hands of so-called experts, a lack of transparency, and a lack of training.

In Mackney’s case, he focused in specifically on the behavior of Samenow, who became a cult celebrity when his work was featured in an episode of the television show The Sopranos. Samenow declined to comment on this case.

In 2009, the two parties, Mackney and his ex-wife, agreed to have Samenow do a psychological evaluation after little progress was being made in the divorce. Mackney said the corruption started immediately when he was pressured to change this so-called psychological evaluation into a custody evaluation.

Samenow’s evaluation on Aug. 3, 2009, and he cited in every part only Dina’s side of the story. He referred to her as “thoughtful” and “cooperative” while Samenow diagnosed Mackney as “narcissistic” and warned that he had violent tendencies.

Mackney said this evaluation was used as the basis for a series of court rulings which limited and then in January 2010 first took all his parental rights away. In October 2010, after a psychological evaluation by Zuckerman restored some parental rights, Mackney was cited for contempt of court after he only faxed over a copy of his new apartment lease when a court order directed he fax a lease and a copy of the receipt for first month’s payment.

According to Robert Worster, who represented Mackney for parts of 2012 as a court appointed attorney, here is the list of family court related jail stints to which Mackney was sentenced.

“On October 7, 2011, Mr. Mackney was sentenced to 10 days of incarceration for criminal contempt and also held in civil contempt for failing to abide by the Final Custody Order entered on July 26, 2010. He was remanded to the Fairfax County Regional Detention Center until he purged himself of civil contempt by Paying Ms. Mackney $31,000 in sanctions; and Submitting a plan to the Court describing how he will abide by the Final Custody Order.

“Mr. Mackney was released on July 30, 2012 and Mr. Worster and Mr. Bodner’s representation of Mr. Mackney ceased. All requests for fees were denied by the Court.”

Mackney was serving his fourth stint in jail when he received a letter from Worster in May 2012 which ended this way.

“Last, Mr. Bartol (Kyle Bartol, another attorney for Dina Mackney) again expressed his client’s request that you simply disappear following release and not have any contact with her or her family (including the children). My understanding (none of this has been submitted to me in writing) is that she will not pursue further sanctions if you do not have any contact with her or her family (including the children).”

Mackney said that he complied and moved to Dallas to try and begin his life anew. But in the beginning of 2013, Mackney was extradited back to Virginia, when his ex-wife through her attorneys and the Office of the Fairfax County Commonwealth’s Attorney, and specifically their Prosecutor Elizabeth Kohut, claimed extortion.

They alleged it was a crime when Mackney suggested in emails to his ex-wife he might go to the media with allegations her father helped kill his former business partner if she didn’t voluntarily reduce his child support to a more reasonable level.

The prosecutors refused to accept any plea, and forced Mackney to languish in jail with a bail he couldn’t afford while he awaited trial. Despite not having any money and using a court appointed attorney, Mackney was acquitted, all of which he explained in his suicide note.
“So, we went to trial and I was found not guilty. I did not ask for any money from her and the child support I owe is to my children, not my ex-wife. The jury saw that my attempts to reduce my child support were not an effort to obtain money at all, and the law supported the verdict.

“It was a clear effort on the Commonwealth’s attorney to silence me for threatening to speak out about the fraud of Dr. Samenow, and the Cover-up by Judge Randy Bellows. Why else wouldn’t they accept a plea to my first criminal charge, ever?”

After his acquittal his ex-wife successfully reached out to Child Support Enforcement to force Mackney to stay in Virginia, and he was facing further sanction for being behind on his child support as well as starting his blog, Good Men Did Nothing, which spoke about Scamardo’s murder conviction, something a previous court order forbade Mackney from doing.

Both Samenow and Judge Randy Bellows, the combination in Mackney’s divorce, were cited in a Washington Post story, which suggested that Samenow had misrepresented a convicted killer’s testimony to him and Bellows had allowed him to do it.

I also spoke with Tommy Moffett who also had Samenow as a custody evaluator. He told me that he might have wound up like Mackney, but he taped all their sessions and was able to, acting as his own attorney, frustrate Samenow to the point Samenow blurted out, ‘What, did you have me recorded?” Moffett briefly documented his experience on a blog he started, Stop Samenow. (stopsamenow.blogspot.com)

Florida Judge Disbarred Over Lying About Relationship With Prosecutor OH to bad so sad!

June 19, 2014 § Leave a comment

 

Florida Judge Disbarred Over Lying About Relationship With Prosecutor
June 8, 2014
By ABC NEWS via GOOD MORNING AMERICA
PHOTO: Ana Gardiner was found guilty, disbarred after lying about her relationship with Howard Scheinberg.
Ana Gardiner was found guilty, disbarred after lying about her relationship with Howard Scheinberg. ABC NewsNEXT VIDEO
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A South Florida judge is out of a job after she was disbarred for lying about her relationship with a prosecutor during a death penalty case.

Former Broward County Circuit Judge Ana Gardiner was found guilty of not disclosing a personal and emotional relationship.

“Nothing has interfered with my job because that has been my life,” she testified at her trial.

According to court documents, Gardiner exchanged more than 1,400 texts and phone calls with prosecutor Howard Scheinberg during the murder trial of Omar Loureiro. Sheila Alu, another prosecutor on the case, blew the whistle on the relationship, saying the two talked about the trial while partying together.

“We weren’t talking about the case. We were talking about personal matters,” Gardiner testified.

In its ruling Thursday, the Florida Supreme Court opined that Gardiner’s failure to disclose the relationship “tainted the entire legal process.”

Gardiner sentenced Loureiro to death. He was later given a mistrial and is serving life in prison.

Gardiner, who married the attorney representing her in her bar trial, was also ordered to pay more than $8,000 in legal fees.

Scheinberg is serving a two-year suspension of his law license.

 

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