Just when you thought it was safe to come out as a court corruption whistle blower, along comes an anonymous note in my mail this past week. Among other things, it read: “Your money hungry ex-wife is at it again. Parading Lou Usherwood (Usherwood Office Technology) around town and school events like he is the father of your children.”
Those of you following this site, http://www.leonkoziol.com, might help me analyze the peculiar mailing and understand what is really going on. Think of it as the television series “Forensic Files” or “Dateline.” You may have some vital information I need to know, or maybe you’ve had a similar experience with some psycho alienator, the truly bad parent targeting the good one to extinction with the help of a family court gestapo.
Over the past decade of reform work, I have come across countless bizarre stories in the twilight zone known as family court. Yet I remain confounded about my own. How could a model dad and stellar attorney for over two decades become so viciously targeted to result in his total alienation from his daughters, now 16 and 17 years of age?
How could I have been subjected to a “shoot on sight” threat during a traffic stop involving a driver of my vehicle en route to my location last year? It had all the scary trappings of the Walter Scott murder by a traffic cop in South Carolina. That dad was shot dead five times in the back unarmed while fleeing a child support warrant. In our last post, we posed the question: “Is our government now killing for money?”
My ordeal is the shocking precedent for a court which has morphed into the “star chambers” that our founding fathers set out to prevent in our Constitution. It features the kind of tactics Adolph Hitler championed using children as his pretense. It was a war which had my own dad surviving five years in a Nazi camp. How could he imagine what would await his own family when coming to this country so long ago?
How could anyone imagine a court which styles itself as “family” causing so many parents to war with one another until their money runs out, to deny the countless suicides caused by anal custody and support tactics? Where is the accountability from higher courts which defer to the domestic “specialization” which supposedly exists here, the misconduct commissions like those in New York and California which look into a mere 10 % of all complaints?
Strangely, this anonymous note could help answer such questions. A similar one was placed next to my garage door in 2005. It contained the same warnings about this “Lou Usherwood.” At the time, Kelly Hawse-Koziol was still looking to reconcile after agreeing to move out of the marital home. We still stayed with our girls on my boat at Lake George and spent holidays together. I looked into the Usherwood report and determined him to be a millionaire with no threat to my girls.
Less than a year later, along came Joe Flihan Jr. who, unlike Usherwood at the time was being “paraded around” as the father of my children. Kelly Hawse-Koziol, the state’s appointed “custodial parent,” offered in an October 25, 2006 phone call to give up child support if I would give up my fathering rights to this childless millionaire. That set off the escalating family court proceedings over the next 13 years.
Of the 20-plus trial jurists assigned to my originally uncontested divorce, not a single one raised a concern over this parent substitution scandal. Flihan removed Hawse-Koziol from his home in 2016. During her two year stay there, she had falsified a relocation notice, pretending to still reside in the home she has now returned to. Once again, family court gave this fraud no remedy. Was money the cause for it all?
During the time of my civil rights practice I literally saved lives, and since the time of my reform crusade I saved veterans and professionals from suicide. At least three would gladly testify to this. In one case, I saved the life of the president of our local bar association. He was caught cheating with a client’s wife who happened to be his law office secretary. It led to a hotly contested divorce.
Late one night that client came to my home to announce that he was finally going to end it with this adulterous attorney. He was inflamed by a divorce judge who refused to allow us to place that attorney on the witness stand (which was necessary at the time to win our case). His reason was to prevent reputational harm to the bar president. At least this judge expressed his intent which so many others fail to do while orchestrating similar illicit outcomes.
Rather than backing down, I challenged this judge. Indeed I won my first appeal against him right out of law school. My client was pleased with the risks I took but was left with the perception that the courts were sufficiently corrupt for him to take the law into his own hands. I knew his history, i.e. a gun fire exchanged during a Florida road rage. I knew exactly his intent but prevailed upon him to relent.
I was later thanked by both the bar president and former client. Nothing good would have come of this and sadly, that president died of natural causes when he collapsed on a courtroom floor years later at age 46. The practice of law can do that to you. Yet today I am being vilified by members of that same bar despite all the good I have done consistent with ethical duty.
Back to the Usherwood note and the title of this post.
In the summer of 1999, I was dining with my future bride, Kelly Hawse, at an upscale restaurant in Newport, Rhode Island. At one point, I mentioned that I was still friendly with an ex-fiancee, a relationship broken off four years earlier. Why is that so hard for some to accept? The next thing I knew, my lights practically went out when she punched me in the head. Any closer to my nose and she could have killed me.
Restaurant patrons were shocked. Had the genders been reversed, they would surely have tackled me. With a bruise on my head, I had sufficient cause to have Kelly arrested with a criminal record today. Instead, I got up quietly and left for my vehicle convinced beyond repair that there would be no marriage proposal. To my continued shock, Kelly jumped into the passenger side and refused to exit (fortunately I had paid the bill).
Over the next eight hours on the trip to her dad’s home across Narragansett Bay and back to my home in upstate New York, I was unable to convince this woman to leave my car. She was so incessant with her pleading that at one point along Route 91 near Springfield, I left her in my new red corvette with the car running to find a sanctuary from her endless nagging. Now it’s gotta be bad for a guy to do that.
Finally I got home with a plan long fixed in my mind. I ran from my vehicle parked next to hers and locked the dumb bolt to my enclosed front porch. She had her own apartment but sat down at my door crying. Concerned about how the commotion might be interpreted, I videotaped this scene from my window never expecting it would become relevant for the rest of my life.
After calming her down, I unlocked the “dumb” bolt and the rest is history. My daughters were born three and four years later.
So, against this backdrop, who was it that authored the anonymous letter in 2019, a concerned school employee, jealous lover or Kelly Hawse herself in a scheme to provoke another incident for family court purposes?