By Leon R. Koziol, J.D.
Parenting Rights Institute
Citizen Commission Against Corruption, Inc.
Dan King banked on the likelihood that his family court victims would forget his abusive and biased practices as a judge in Lewis County, a farming region in northern New York having roughly 25,000 residents. As explained in an earlier post, he has presided here since 2012 (a 10-year term) and assigned to cases in much larger counties of our Fifth Judicial District, such as Onondaga (Syracuse) and Utica-Rome (Oneida County), due to an antiquated court structure.
Such assignments not only detracted from King’s rural county duties, but they also allowed him to preside over civil and criminal matters in far-away urban regions with a district population exceeding one million. It continues to be a highly confusing and abused assignment system which the state’s bar endeavored to reform unsuccessfully in 2017.
That’s how Dan King became assigned to my family court matters in 2013, replacing my custody judge, Brian Hedges, in Syracuse after I helped expose him for admitted sexual abuses of his handicapped 5-year old niece. It led to a permanent ban from the bench by New York’s high court, see In re Brian Hedges, 20 NY3d 677 (2013).
In retaliation for such whistleblowing activity, grounds were orchestrated after 23 unblemished years of practice to have my law licenses indefinitely suspended. Meanwhile, the ethics lawyers engaged in this witch hunt were allowed to resign quietly and resume private practice despite being exposed for falsifying their time sheets. These lawyers, chief counsel Peter Torncello and his deputy lawyers, Elizabeth Devane and Steven Zayas, were the standard-bearers of lawyer ethics, see Robert Gavin, Oversight lawyers quit amid inquiry, (Albany) Times Union, July 11, 2013.
But such unlawful targeting was not enough as my vehicles, business accounts, and career reputation were also seized under pretext of child support violations, and all father-daughter relations were effectively ended due to conflicting and bizarre child access conditions. The combined persecution landed me in the emergency room at Albany Medical Center for a life-threatening condition in 2020. This horrific ordeal is now captured in my newly published book, Whistleblower in Paris.
Well, we victims have not forgotten Dan King, and this post is dedicated to the precious father-daughter relationships ERASED by him and New York’s hopelessly dysfunctional family court system. It must be shared and advanced as precedent to benefit reform efforts and those who have suffered similar parental alienation. The collateral damage alone remains a silent epidemic at the root of so many other dysfunctions in American society.
They say a photo tells a thousand words. So here is a sampling from my gallery accumulated since the birth of my girls who I have not seen in more than six years. I do not even know where they live or colleges they now attend after a clandestine exit from our region by custodial parent Kelly Usherwood (Kelly Hawse-Koziol-Flihan-Usherwood). By making this public, I am hoping to elicit any information regarding their whereabouts.