Should judges be held to the same standards as the rest of us when they commit misconduct?


By Leon R. Koziol, J.D.

A professional firm hired to evaluate this website issued a report this past week ranking it in the 18,000 range for activity worldwide. This was noted as a very high status considering our utter lack of financial support and the likelihood that there are that many websites in New York City alone. It may also be explained by unique niche we have filled regarding overdue reforms in family court.

For the past six years I have provided you with updates of my good government efforts, exposed public corruption and assisted victims to survive costly and needless custody or support battles. And if you’re a regular follower, you also know that I have paid a heavy price for my exercise of constitutionally protected free speech. Unfortunately I have found that our third branch of government remains largely immune from accountability and the retaliation has severely impaired every aspect of my life.

I have suffered the loss of my children, livelihood, licenses, vehicles and now my home. Prior to my public reform efforts in our nation’s divorce and family courts, I enjoyed 23 unblemished years as a successful civil rights attorney with the standard weekend periods with my girls. The retributions are now unrelenting, and this prompts me to consider shutting down this valuable site. This was the goal of my adversaries who cited it in court decisions and reports opposing my reinstatement. So sadistic has it become that one of the objectionable posts cited out of hundreds featured here over the years was nothing more than a brief dedication to my deceased mom by our site administrator.

When our courtroom doors are closed to those who accurately criticize our third branch of government, it encourages the victims to take matters into their own hands. It is the kind of oppression expected from totalitarian regimes that we fight overseas. But those regimes did not seize my children and my most basic human rights. Family judges like Dan King did. I therefore leave it to you, our followers, to recommend a course of action using your own experience, knowledge and common sense. I also leave you with the following excerpt from my testimony before the prematurely disbanded Moreland Commission on Public Corruption which triggered the greatest retributions. Thank you for your input.

Leon R. Koziol


Testimony of Leon Koziol, J.D., before the New York Moreland Commission on Public Corruption at Pace University on September 17, 2013. Leon’s eye-opening presentation can be viewed at approximately the 2 hours, 31 minutes and 45 seconds mark:

Based on my quarter century of relevant education and experience as a parent and trial attorney, I am making the following recommendations to our governor and state before this Commission:

First, I am asking for a review of domestic relations laws for their combined injury to parental privacy. The goal here should be to get our courts out of the “child business” as one family judge put it. Jurisdiction should be limited under the Constitution to child abandonment, abuse or public charge. Custody awards and welfare transfers inflame needless controversy and are not in our children’s long term interests when similarly involved parents are self sufficient.

Second, the state’s Commission on Judicial Conduct should be investigated and decommissioned much like the former Commission on Investigations. It is an entity which is politically impacted and ill equipped to properly address judicial misconduct. Only one judge above trial level has ever been publicly admonished, many are town or village judges without law degrees, and the state’s former chief judge, Sol Wachtler, like so many higher level criminals, had to be apprehended, prosecuted and sent to prison by federal authorities.

Third, I am asking this Commission to investigate our current chief judge, four appellate division judges in the Third Department and one in the Fourth Department for their unlawful targeting of my civil rights activity. In a highly unprecedented move, an entire appeals court disqualified itself from my professional and family matters after I filed a complaint in federal court. On May 24, 2013, ethics lawyers engaged in the witch hunt against me conceded in open court that they were targeting my public statements. Weeks later, they were terminated for falsifying time sheets, apprehended not by a self regulating court but by the Inspector General.

Compelling precedent behind my requests can be found in the case of ex-chief judge Sol Wachtler. He directed publicly paid court staff to investigate a New Jersey lawyer to impair his licensing interests in New York because he represented a threat to the judge’s criminal activity. Given the limited time allotted to me here as a speaker, I am offering print material for your deliberations. The notion that judges are immune from accountability is answered here by a sampling of misconduct cases which should have every parent and family in America concerned.

From the top down, judicial misconduct reads like a docket sheet in any criminal court. Examples include New York Supreme Court Judge Gerald Garson, convicted of bribery and official misconduct in 2007. He was caught on camera accepting a $9,000 bribe from a divorce lawyer in chambers to fix a custody case. Had the mother not sought assistance from the FBI, she would have lost her children for a payment much less than most contested divorce retainers. The judge served minimum time in prison due, in part, to the many references from his colleagues.

Supreme Court Judge Thomas Spargo was convicted for soliciting $10,000 from a lawyer facing a personal divorce in exchange for favorable treatment. The money was required for growing legal fees to defend against ethics charges. Much of the misconduct in my case involved judges with offices in a Syracuse courthouse. The chief administrative judge there was among the defendants named in a civil rights action brought by the chief court clerk alleging political espionage against a competing judge of the Family Court. It resulted in a $600,000 recovery.

Another named defendant was Family Court Judge Bryan Hedges who was removed from the bench in a recent published decision. He admitted to sexual interactions with a handicapped 5 year old niece. The sordid details are better left to the decision, but only months prior to his removal, this same judge presided over my ongoing custody case. My motion for his removal was opposed by the divorce and child attorney on grounds that he was beyond reproach. It was fortunately granted prior to the standard child session in chambers without the parents present.

Only last month, a Michigan judge was exposed for presiding over a child support case in which the mother was his secret lover. He admitted a practice of allowing the female litigant privileged access to his chambers for the purpose of engaging in “special” relations. It caused an unplanned pregnancy and major back peddling to explain impartiality. The list goes on: a Pennsylvania judge convicted for imprisoning 4,000 children in newly built facilities in exchange for contractor kickbacks, and a Texas family judge exposed on his daughter’s video for child abuse.

This is only a sampling of judges actually caught for their misconduct. Many more would be exposed if judges honored related code obligations which mandate accountability for unethical conduct. In my case, they simply passed the damage on to successor proceedings as a mode of retribution, thereby causing serious injuries, costly appeals and vacated orders. There have been 30 trial level judges and more than 50 decisions requiring an appeal. How is this even possible? How does it comport with minimal requirements of due process and an orderly system of justice?

On the lawyer end, collusion between the bench and bar is implicated in civil rights cases brought by New York City ethics counsel, Christine Anderson and Nicole Corrado. They paint a very disturbing picture of insider protection for lawyers committing serious misconduct and discipline for targeted lawyers outside the system. In my case, the targeting process carried over to my children in Family Court and the same appeals court where my law license was impaired.

The misconduct here is extensive, but suffice it to state, an agenda was put in place to orchestrate child support violations for incarceration purposes. To do this, various judges fabricated degrees and accomplishments behind imputed income so that support orders could be artificially elevated to unmanageable levels. One judge awarded me a PhD in the text of his formal decision. I filed a complaint regarding gross incompetence. It concluded with deference to the appeals process.

When I filed my appeal, a higher judge agreed that I possessed no PhD, but he whitewashed the incompetence as a mere “passing” and “harmless” error. The appeals judge then awarded me a Masters degree in his formal decision. I have no such degree, my ex-spouse possessed that one. Indeed the litigation process has become so retaliatory, so demented and so torturous to my children, career and income producing capacity that I was forced to ask our state courts for no more degrees, no more concocted employments and no more phantom awards.

I leave you with a true story about a former client upstate which demonstrates the enormity of work entrusted to you by the people. He was arrested on multiple criminal charges within days of his dismissal from city employment after exposing secretive salary hikes to the media. I was able to get a jury acquittal in less than 20 minutes and dismissal of a felony charge for a $16 city gas card purchase made within hours of his discharge. It was a standard reimbursement for his last week of services. At the same time, here in New York City, a man stole more than 50 billion dollars before he was finally arrested and charged with any crime.

The relative aspects of public corruption on these two cases must be placed in perspective. The one here in this city involved not a mere $16, not a hundred dollars. It was not thousands, hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. It was not hundreds of millions or even the big “b” word. It was more than 50 billion dollars. How did this happen with all the commissions and regulatory agencies in existence when Bernie Madoff was guarding the chicken coop and running loose on the streets of Manhattan? Will the Bernie Madoff of the legal profession finally be held accountable after my presentation before this Commission?

I appreciate this opportunity to share my concerns about public corruption in New York State.

Respectfully submitted,

Dr. Leon R. Koziol
Parenting Rights Institute