Many in law enforcement are supporting the Parent March on Washington this May: Here’s the Backstory …

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By Dr. Leon Koziol

Parenting Rights Institute

Since “Acting” Family Judge, Gerry “Scary” Popeo, issued his retaliatory support warrant against me on August 22, 2018, and since Oneida County Sheriff Robert Maciol  admitted to an unlawful publication of a secret bulletin, and since a trigger-happy traffic cop in Albany, New York made a “shoot on sight” threat, I have become privy to information that should make every American real scared of our government.

I’m not Roger Stone, fortunately I look nothing like him, although a child support sting operation at my home in 2010 does comes to mind. I’m also not a prison escapee or murder convict, and I have never even been accused of a crime. Yet that is the way I was treated as an unprotected judicial whistle blower. If they could apply such efforts to crime prevention, our people would be so much safer.

I was viciously targeted for one reason, and one reason only: I was threatening a lawyer gold mine in our nation’s divorce and family courts. In my home county of Oneida near Syracuse, New York, the economy is one of the worst in the country. Lawyers here would go bankrupt if they were unable to orchestrate needless controversy between moms and dads for profit.

My news conferences, public forums, editorials, published books and constant posts on this site, exposed family court for what it was and remains, a dysfunctional operation which exploits children for money. In response, I have caused people to avoid lawyers, prefer mediation and counteract this lust for lucrative conflict (or “annuity payments” as one lawyer described his clients.)

Consequently, that meant less money for divorce and family court lawyers. When you look at the latest saga of my 12-year ordeal as a judicial whistle blower, the horrific events make more sense. The pieces fall quickly into place. You might think that a victim who lost his daughters, licenses, livelihood, stellar reputation and nearly his life would simply run or surrender.

However, as I saw it, when those charged with the highest duty of safeguarding our Constitutional rights abuse them instead for money, it was time for a model citizen to make a profound stand. Much younger men out of high school sacrificed their lives for these rights overseas. With a life well lived, I felt that this was the least I could do in their honor on the home front. Indeed, when you learn the full back story, you will easily conclude that I was given no other choice.

Since the time that warrant was lifted due to a rescue loan, I have been approached by numerous “insiders” with compliments and respect for the stand that I took. Over the past six months, the information I received was unsolicited. Now their “verdict” may really surprise you, but for good reason I cannot disclose the names of those I did know.

Many were total strangers. One lawyer disclosed that many law enforcement officers did not want to enforce Scary Gerry’s support warrant. In contrast, a Utica cop solicited a bartender to notify him should I arrive.  Another retired lawyer (law clerk for a judge) commended my principles. A sheriff deputy reversed his opinions after soliciting “the other side” and full backstory, concluding that he supported me 100%.

The list goes on, and I’ll only disclose a few more. A group of off-duty police officers required no backstory. Knowing what goes on when forced to arrest so many dads for a civil debt, they simply went out of their way to shake my hand while exiting a restaurant. Another county deputy supported my stand out of sympathy for the many “good” dads they deliver and guard at the county lock-up.

Many corrections officers and fellow law enforcement fell victim to the same discriminatory court system with one Utica police investigator, Joseph Longo, taking his life and that of his ex-wife upon exiting support court. It left four children without parents and the city police department with a $2 million wrongful death liability. Because discriminated dads do not get active in reform efforts, the carnage continues, leaving me in the undesirable condition of a one man fighting machine as a Florida talk show host described me.

In further support of my cause to benefit law enforcement and parents alike, a retired family court clerk stopped me at the Turning Stone Casino to state that he had read my book, Satan’s Docket, cover-to-cover, and my description of these courts was very  accurate. Even as recently as this past weekend, a retired town cop expressed dismay that I was still alive and talking to him after all they had thrown at me. Warning me not to get a “big head,” he concluded that only a “brilliant” person could have survived this long. I replied that I was lucky to have a head at all.

The trigger-happy Albany cop could not have known any of this when seven patrol cars surrounded my targeted vehicle on the night of August 30, 2018. They also could not have known that the only danger they faced when harassing my driver was his criminal record. As a former client, child support prisoner, father’s rights activist who I saved from suicide, he had been acquitted of assaulting an off-duty police officer and was on probation for a later assault conviction.

At the scene, it was learned that he had an outstanding support warrant despite completing a six month term only two years earlier. The rural county Sheriff Department declined the request to pick him up, presumably because they knew the controversy in neighboring Oneida County and did not want to get mixed up in it. My driver was released after he continued to resist disclosing my location while cuffed, chained and interrogated alongside Interstate 87 for hours. He was released contrary to a drunk driving claim as the reason for the stop.

Ironically the cop who put them all in harm’s way committed misconduct in the process leading to the Popeo warrant. That misconduct tarnished the entire process much like prosecutorial misconduct would negate a conviction. It was never properly addressed by his superiors. On January 18, 2018, I registered a citizen complaint with Oneida County Sheriff “Baby Bobby” Maciol. Afraid to upset his self-loving, public image, this PUBLIC SERVANT did not have the decency to even respond. Today, more than one year later, I am still waiting even after follow-up confirmation of receipt by his personal secretary.

In my complaint, I detailed how Maciol’s subordinate deputy had abandoned his security post at the request of a female court clerk to serve the support violation petition on me during a separate custody hearing. Even the out-of-town presiding judge noted that such service was contrary to policy in his home town family court. By abusing his security duties, this deputy and female clerk  not only jeopardized the impartiality of the court, they deprived the Sheriff civil division and taxpayers of the service fee prescribed by law while placing the public at increased risk in the courthouse.

The amount of misappropriated services or fee  should not matter here. In 2005, I successfully defended a Utica city worker at a criminal jury trial. He had been charged with a felony after using a city gas card for a $16 reimbursement two hours after his termination by the City of Utica. We went on to recover $80,000 in federal court for the malicious prosecution taken in retaliation for his public exposure of executive raises.

At the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption hearing at Pace University, I compared his $16 felony arrest to the $70 billion stolen by Bernie Madoff to illustrate how the foxes were guarding the chicken coop (Madoff was a securities regulator). I made this comparison to illustrate how lawyers were guarding their client coop in family court. Within three months of that testimony, a referenced family judge concocted a “prohibited alcohol related gesture” (a wedding toast) as a reason to end contact with my daughters. That travesty has remained in place for five years.

The “protected” security deputy is the same deputy who contacted me by phone in late August to “turn myself in” on Popeo’s support warrant despite seeing first hand all the targeting and provocation exerted against me during eight months of proceedings, the same deputy behind a one-sided secret bulletin which featured buffed and shirtless photos of me from this website in a scheme to make me appear dangerous. Missing was all the misconduct and a vengeful judge blaming me for a public censure regarding judicial misconduct issued against him by the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct on February 12, 2015.

Judge Gerald “Rocky” Popeo should have been removed from the bench instead of a mere public censure based on findings of racial slurs, violent threats from the bench, and unlawful confinements of men for such things as a facial smirk. I’m not making this up. And he is a Utica city judge never elected to county family court who “somehow” managed to get assigned to my family case after the custody judge was forced to disqualify himself following the deputy service fiasco. That deputy was behind the secret bulletin which his boss, Baby Bobby, admitted publicly had been “unlawfully leaked” to the media, thereby placing distant police officers in harm’s way on an Albany interstate.

If you are an Oneida County deputy, and you have read this far, you may obtain a personal benefit from this saga. The short of it is that you are being used to make lawyers rich while being deprived time and resources to prevent real crimes. Compare the misconduct of this deputy to the crime of Official Misconduct at section 190 of the New York Penal Law. I have in my possession the relevant court transcripts.

All indications are that this security deputy was never charged or disciplined (I don’t know his name but Broccoli comes to mind). During my years defending law enforcement in disciplinary hearings, including large recoveries against the same Oneida County Sheriff Department, I successfully used disparate disciplinary treatment to obtain favorable federal court rulings. Baby Bobby may have set a precedent which you or your attorney might consider helpful in any disciplinary matter elsewhere in the Sheriff Department.

More importantly, such a protected deputy sends the message to our citizenry, and the real criminals, that cops are “above the law,” giving the good cops a bad reputation. That encourages people to take such “law” into their own hands. Oneida County Deputy Kurt Wyman was killed in the line of duty under Sheriff Maciol’s watch. Baby Bobby authorized or ratified a shoot on sight order using dummy rounds against a father holed up in a garage. He was there long after the alleged domestic violence victim had left. That man returned the fatal shot when time and competent negotiation could have prevented it.

Every citizen has a right to defend himself or herself against a violent, unlawful arrest. Rodney King’s highway beating in the nineties comes to mind early in my career as a civil rights attorney. But my situation was becoming more like the murder of Walter Scott in South Carolina on April 4, 2015. He was shot dead five times in the back unarmed while fleeing a child support warrant. Like me, he committed no crime but could not obtain employment to satisfy ever escalating child support debts. Such debts continued to accrue even during prior terms in these debtor prisons.

I’m not African-American, but I am treated with similar prejudice based on my successful race discrimination cases over the years. I also won gender discrimination, sexual harassment and false prosecution cases on behalf of women over the same two decade period but that was all forgotten when I needed help as a discriminated male parent in Oneida County Family Court. I addressed national media at the Walter Scott funeral and made some headway shifting public opinion from race to father discrimination inasmuch as a white and black officer were indicted.

A New York Times reporter (Robles) wrote a powerful story about the inhumane and revolving door jail treatment of fathers in South Carolina’s family courts. But three years later, nothing has changed just as I predicted in a June 14, 2015 report to the Justice Department. On the cover of that report, I predicted that I would become a victim like Walter Scott. I just never imagined how exact it nearly became. Only fate caused me to be absent from the vehicle that was being targeted at a toll booth in Albany.

White victims do not receive the same media attention as black victims which made my situation even more ominous. Also shocking, the warrant issued against me was based on a violation hearing in which I was able to show that the New York Support Collection Center (with a secret location in Albany) had not credited me with $45,500 in child support payments made in 2015.

I discovered the fraud in a payment history report which was offered belatedly into evidence but later rejected and never provided to me after my discovery in court. For all I know, it may be shredded by now, but it enabled the “custodial parent,” her free social services attorney, and biased support magistrate to “prosecute” and demonize me for twice the actual amount, a whopping $89,000. This was designed to guarantee incarceration for my exposure of court corruption. Indeed, to date, that “discrepancy” has not been corrected as I await the next round of attack.

As emphasized in the video series above, if they can do this to a prominent attorney and model parent, imagine what they can do to you? I have submitted reports to Congress, various oversight authorities and law enforcement to open an investigation into my ordeal and the widespread corruption which it exemplifies in our nation’s divorce and family courts.

I have also been organizing a Parent March on Washington and Lobby Initiative on May 3, 2019 to promote this investigation along with a congressional hearing based on the vast waste and abuse of federal funds sent to these courts. As the volunteers grow in number, I will release a proposed agenda which can be discussed during an upcoming nationwide conference call. Please join us for the sake of your own children, families and future generations.


Contact Event Sponsor, Parenting Rights Institute, at (315) 380-3420 or me directly at