Is public accountability for New York’s commissions now deemed “harassment?”

Leon Koziol, Director

Parenting Rights Institute

Public input is now harassment.

That was the message conveyed by Ellen Schell, a lawyer and government protector for the State of New York. In an October 22, 2021 e-mail to me, she conveyed the legal position that a staff member for the state’s Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence (OPDV) was not required to respond to my valid inquiries regarding the conduct of a virtual public hearing held on September 23, 2021. Such a response could have been a simple one, but consistent with the extremes and absurdities now championed by this office, the staff member, Rosemary Pelletier, decided to twist my public input into a form of harassment, something it clearly was not, thereby dodging her accountability and responsibilities altogether.

Rosemary was the person who exchanged notices, prepared speakers and conducted the hearing at issue. Therefore, at the outset, she was the proper person to whom my inquiries and complaints were conveyed. Those who actually took the time to give their input at this hearing should not otherwise be required to navigate through the jungle of New York’s bureaucracy to perform follow-up. That is what Ellen, Rosemary and other public servants are paid to do. The subject hearing was sponsored by Governor Kathy Hochul and her Blue-Ribbon Commission on Forensic Custody Evaluations but conducted by Rosemary and fellow OPDV staff.

What a domestic violence office was doing in connection with a separate blue-ribbon commission is confusing enough but to visit that conflict upon presenters defies good conscience. These overseers must have been too overwhelmed by irrelevant complaints among their official duties because they obviously refused to render a basic response to my valid complaints. Instead I was referred to “General Counsel” as if there was some protection to be afforded them from a hallucinated feeling of harassment. By twisting my inquiries (two e-mails and phone calls) into a fabrication, Rosemary and Ellen exhibited the delusion that my valid public input could be suppressed contrary to the most basic principles of our constitutions.

My You-Tube video below was produced prior to this bizarre exchange with Ellen and Rosemary, and it summarizes my grievance. This video was also referenced with a request that it be shared with the full commission. It is now clear that its recipients were offended by its content and not anything else fabricated to dilute and discredit that content. There was certainly no “harassment” here, and if this Ellen lawyer is going to continue to misconstrue our harassment laws and constitutional rights in this manner, she should go back to whatever law school she got a degree from and ask for her money back. Take the time to review this video. You be the judge.

In an October 31, 2021 article by Amy Neff Roth of the USA Today Network, New York’s governor (by default), Kathy Hochul, is depicted as a clean politician anxious to rid state government of the drama and “culture of corruption” left behind by ex-governor Andrew Cuomo. But as exemplified here, we can expect more of the same. Where does the average citizen now go to achieve what our constitution and self-governing principles require, what our “public servants” have now disregarded in their elitism, self-love and accepted level of corruption?

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