Blue-Ribbon Commission votes to eliminate forensic custody evaluations while ignoring accountability and defective hearings

Dr. Leon Koziol

Parenting Rights Institute

Would it have been such a burden to notify hearing presenters of a report issued on January 11, 2022 by a state Blue-Ribbon Commission on Forensic Custody Evaluations? Instead, a final report was released to media with no indication that many who made presentations at two virtual hearings were respected. Those hearings in September were conducted in haphazard fashion, some presentations without video recognition, and no reply to complaints regarding their conduct by a domestic violence employee.

Welcome to New York, land of useless oversight bodies appointed at taxpayer expense to create an illusion of public accountability. Like the 2013 Moreland Commission on Public Corruption, this so-called blue-ribbon commission assumed the mantra of a window-dressing entity. By a vote of 11-9, it recommended that forensic custody evaluations be eliminated in the state’s divorce and family courts. It also recommended that in the event such evaluations are continued, evaluators be monitored, qualified and stripped of qualified judicial immunity from civil liability.

Of course, none of these recommendations will be adopted by New York Governor Kathy Hochul whose predecessor, Andrew Cuomo, created both the Moreland and forensic panels. His non-elected replacement is being publicly criticized as a state leader who may be worse than her predecessor, preserving that long entrenched “culture of corruption in Albany” which these oversight panels were created to address. But the corruption has only worsened as the “band plays on” in Albany.

There were presenters who identified certain judges, evaluators and wrongdoers but none were mentioned in the report. Moreover, if the evaluators are to be stripped of their immunities from civil liability, i.e. from a consequential child murder, parent suicide or court-induced mental condition, why were judges given a free pass, those who often rubber-stamp the reports of these same evaluators? We all know that lawyers in robes will never consent to waiving their “absolute” immunities as they impose million-dollar judgments for comparable negligence on their litigants.

Therefore, we victims must take matters into our own hands as the time is long overdue for a legislative enactment or constitutional amendment to eliminate that self-protection. Let’s face it, the state’s Judicial Conduct Commission is yet another useless window-dressing entity investigating less than 10% of complaints annually. Civil suits would make up for that void. Besides, if judges are complying with ethics and criminal laws, they have nothing to fear. And you know that few would leave these prestigious posts if immunities were removed to comport with the accountability applied to the rest of us.

This blue-ribbon commission has yet to respond to my complaints, separately submitted from my testimony, which addressed the conduct and outcomes of these public hearings. This includes severe parental alienation caused by judge-appointed evaluators and a requested referral to the Justice Department and state attorney general for a comprehensive investigation. Such disregard in advance of the recent final report shows how state government remains an elitist body far removed from the people being served.

These evaluators, often appointed to yield campaign contributions, have produced horrific outcomes that warrant monetary compensation. When the Moreland Commission was prematurely dissolved by Andrew Cuomo to evade growing evidence, a federal prosecutor seized commission files resulting in federal prison terms for the state’s legislative leaders and a top Cuomo aide. The federal-state corruption investigation known as Operation Greylord ended with the convictions of nearly 100 judges, lawyers, law enforcement and state officials in Chicago.

In contrast, this impotent blue-ribbon panel proved to be yet another political exercise without accountability or reform. And where was any genuine investigative report from our mainstream media despite all the notice given to them? We victims need to join forces and protest government corruption as the population exodus from New York continues to escalate along with the abuses, taxes and overregulation of the people.

Due to the oversight dysfunction, a citizen commission was recently organized as a nonprofit known as the Citizen Commission Against Corruption. Get the details at http://www.citizencommissionagainstcorruption.org or call its office at (315) 864-8176.

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