By Dr. Leon Koziol
Parenting Rights Institute
In August, 2017, Family Judge Richard Miller was removed from his duties on the bench and reassigned by the New York Unified Court System. No details were released at the time to explain why. Now comes the revelation that he forced his court attorney and clerk to view pornography including nude photos of a co-worker. Among other “family friendly” duties, Judge Miller made sexual demands and even asked his clerk (Gallagher) to engage in sex acts with an elected official to curry political favors.
Yes, it’s all there in a federal court complaint filed on December 21, 2018 which reads, verbatim in some segments, like my precedent seeking action on behalf of abused family court litigants in Parent v New York, 786 F. Supp. 2d 516 (NDNY 2011). Indeed, so closely does the complaint pattern mine that one might easily conclude that it was used as a template by the law firm which filed the action last week.
Of course the difference is that the plaintiffs in my case were litigant parents whereas the current one features court employees. Judges have fashioned a special rule for themselves known as Absolute Judicial Immunity from lawsuits by litigants whereas they get no such protection from lawsuits by subordinates even if the misconduct is identical.
For example Michigan Judge Wade McCree was given immunity in a federal lawsuit brought by a father in a child support case whose opponent got pregnant by the married McCree in chambers while presiding over the case. Such immunity carries over from the King of England and finds no authority in our Constitution.
So committed was I to removing that immunity that I filed four federal lawsuits which earned a filing restriction by a federal judge, Gary “not so” Sharpe. Gary was removed by a federal appeals court from a case due to a human gene he used for decision making which he claimed would not be discovered by scientific experts for another fifty years. The appeals court found his bizarre conduct to harm public confidence in the judiciary.
Yet Judge Gary Sharpe was never impeached, he did not resign in shame as he should have, and he refused to step off my case afterward, see United States v Cossey, 632 F.3d 82 (2nd Cir. 2011). The Cossey ruling is one of the few in which the decision itself was found to be sufficient grounds for bias and disqualification.
Another case which illustrates the unjust disparity between litigant and employee in judge accountability is Morin v Tormey, 626 F.3d 40 (2nd Cir 2010). This case featured my administrative judge and ex-custody judge, Bryan Hedges. They were successfully sued by a chief family court clerk based on unlawful retaliation for her refusal to engage in “political espionage.” She recovered $600,000.00.
Hedges was removed from my case in 2011 and from the bench altogether one year later after he admitted to sexual misconduct on his handicapped, five year old niece, see In re Bryan Hedges, 20 NY3d 677 (2013). His co-defendant, Judge James “Bond” Tormey is still on the bench even after assigning 41 trial jurists to my originally uncontested divorce case. Over a 12 year period, nearly half were removed by motion due to bias or misconduct.
Like the 2017 reassignment of Family Judge Richard Miller, no reasons were given, and like Tormey, Miller is still a judge hauling in close to $200,000.00 in annual salary. The “immoral” of this story is that a lawsuit by an employee is acceptable but one against a judge containing similar claims is “rambling” and even “incomprehensible.”
This is one of the many reasons why I have asked fellow victims to join me in a march on Washington, May 3, 2019, to start in front of the White House and ending on the Supreme Court steps. Get the details on the 6-minute video here produced by an NBC production crew. A more startling one is forthcoming, ironically on the subject of judge misconduct across America. Look for it on this site, Leon Koziol.com and spread the word.
By Dr. Leon R. Koziol
Parenting Rights Institute
Administrator’s Note: Because we received so much support for our last post entitled, Why are there so few judicial whistleblowers, we have decided to upgrade it here. This is now a highly valuable publication with solid proof behind the credibility of our professional work on behalf of countless victims of court corruption. It should be shared with fellow victims, media and potential investors. It is a crucial publication to benefit parents, families and future generations.
Why are there so few whistleblowers in the Judicial Branch of Government?
It’s a good question if you’ve ever stopped to think about it. Yet it is directed to a full one third of our government, the elusive judicial branch. A single judge can derail an entire act of Congress or a major agenda of the president. In the states, children can be permanently alienated from good parents without so much as an amber alert. Protracted litigation can cost its victims millions in lawyer fees and court costs. Yet no one seems to know who the abusers are and why they get away with this. Media rarely reports on them perhaps out of fear. Hence, corruption flourishes in our courts with little or no accountability.
That is because it is a self-regulated profession (lawyers) which controls the judicial branch and pretty much everything else that goes on in America in one way or another. Shouldn’t that then translate into a need for greater accountability? According to lawyer Stephen Kohn who wrote the manual on whistleblowers, those who expose corruption on the inside of government or corporations produce the greatest savings and benefits for the people.
In the judiciary, the most effective whistleblowers are lawyers, and among those, civil rights attorneys are most reliable when it comes to exposing corruption. Yet to date, there remains no protection for such individuals. A lawyer who exposes corruption can incur orchestrated ethics charges, in my case by exploiting an ex-secretary (finally convicted of felonies in 2016) to suspend my law licenses and harm capacities to support my children.
The public relies on judicial whistleblowers to apprehend judges such as Gerald Garson of Brooklyn or Thomas Spargo of Albany for soliciting bribes in custody and divorce cases. In Morin v Tormey, 626 F.3d 40 (a 2010 decision of a federal appeals court in Manhattan), a chief family court clerk ultimately recovered $600,000 in a judicial retaliation case due to her refusal to engage in “political espionage” directed by a chief judge and family judge. The first one, James Tormey of Syracuse, is still on the bench and the family judge, Bryan Hedges, was permanently removed three years later only because he was forced to admit to sexual abuse of his own handicapped, five year old niece.
How much of this corruption is never exposed? The answer is likely astounding for unsuspecting litigants who foolishly pay exorbitant fees for lawyers in cases which are already a “done deal.” And the reason there are so few judicial whistleblowers to expose this is the severe retaliation which can be expected. In my case, it was the loss of my children, law firm and basic liberties within months of my whistleblower testimony before the Moreland Commission on Public Corruption at Pace University in 2013.
The agenda for suppressing whistleblowers or any reform message that harms lawyer profits is to destroy their credibility, make them appear “crazy,” take away their means of sustenance and even incarcerate them, if necessary, on some made-up or minor allegation. Against me, that agenda took a long time, twelve years and counting, but I’m still standing. A look at my true accomplishments will show why my website, Leon Koziol.com is so highly monitored by ethics lawyers, judges, law enforcement and politicians.
They can take away pretty much anything but not my long term accomplishments. For victims of corruption, such a proven background should verify the credibility of my reform work. For example, I secured judgments in both federal and state courts to invalidate a billion dollar casino compact, the largest in the state, on constitutional grounds. I defeated giant law firms as a sole practitioner including one of the most prominent in the nation, Cravath, Swaine & Moore of Manhattan. Look it up at Oneida Indian Nation v Oneida County, 132 F.Supp. 2d 71 (NDNY 2000) and Peterman v Pataki, 2004 NY Slip Op 51092(U).
In the Oneida federal case, so concerned were they regarding a little guy from a small city that the opinion had me as co-counsel for a much larger Syracuse law firm, Bond, Schoeneck & King, even though that firm had nothing to do with the victorious client. Its president had no idea who John Dee was or why his firm was listed because it had never represented the citizen group or had any contact with it. But there it was, black and white, and you cannot retroactively amend all those case books worldwide to correct it.
I won my first appeal out of law school DeNigro v DeNigro, 543 NYS2d 777 (4th Dept 1989), an interstate divorce case, and secured a restraining order within months of passing the New York bar exam on a $30 million high school project. It caused the new Rome Free Academy upstate to be built at a better location in the Griffiss Technology Park. I won that opening decision alone against the highly influential law firm Hancock & Estabrook.
I won my first federal court trial, a sexual harassment case, in Currie v Kowalewski, 842 F. Supp. 57 (NDNY 1994). That case was front page news because the first decision was lost in Currie I (810 F. Supp. 31 (1993), but I had it reversed by unanimous decision of a federal appeals court in Manhattan to secure the final victory. The lower judge there was forced to reverse himself on the same trial record, a highly unusual feat which angered him, the same federal judge who dismissed my civil rights case in Parent v New York, 786 F. Supp. 2d 516 (NDNY 2011) after the targeting of my public criticisms of the judiciary began.
Although I could get a million dollar project restrained and billion dollar casino invalidated in federal and state courts, I could not get a family judge to order phone contact with my daughters after that. Prior to the targeting in cases involving many of the same judges, I secured a $333,000 jury verdict which was argued before a Supreme Court Justice (Sonia Sotomayor) when she was a member of the same federal appeals court in Manhattan, Patterson v City of Utica, 370 F. 3d 322 (2nd Cir. 2004)(settled at $220,000).
As former corporation counsel for that city, I sued its mayor to remove gag orders on city employees yielding another favorable jury verdict in Koziol v Hanna, 107 F. Supp. 2d 170 (NDNY 2000). I earned a perfect record of acquittals primarily for those falsely accused by employers. While I could go on, I served the people, my profession and my family without blemish and with distinction for nearly a quarter century. Suddenly when I began exposing corruption and promoting parental equality, nothing I could do was right. I have now been suspended from practice for eight years, one longer than the period for felony disbarments.
In stark contrast, lawyers in my judicial district were allowed to continue practicing law despite criminal convictions or serious ethical misconduct. Attorney Robert Sossen was convicted of tax evasion on some $2 million in unreported client income. A law partnership, Petrone and Petrone, mismanaged hundreds of thousands of dollars in client money. And if you can believe this, the lawyers engaged in the witch hunt against me were allowed to resign quietly after an inspector general discovered their falsified time sheets (Torncello, Zayas and Devane). These are the standard-bearers of lawyer ethics I previously reported as an “unethical ethics committee” charged with a duty of preventing overbilling practices.
It’s the foxes watching the chicken coup. That is what I concluded before the Moreland Commission after disclosing that my family judge upstate (Daniel King of Lewis County), used fabricated college degrees to elevate child support for punitive incarceration purposes. The New York Commission on Judicial Conduct failed to act on my complaints as it did to some 90% statewide. This prompted me to recommend closure of the judicial commission due to its window-dressing nature which only encouraged more corruption. Instead it was the Moreland Commission that was shut down after its work implicated top state leaders.
If you still do not believe that judicial whistleblowers are sadistically targeted by those with the highest duty of assuring justice, consider this: The first speakers before the Moreland Commission were lawyers who took aim at corruption in the first two branches of state government. I was one of the few focused on the third branch. Preet Bharara went on to fame as a top federal prosecutor and Loretta Lynch was elevated to United States Attorney General. I went the opposite direction, hounded to a degree of seeking human rights safety in Paris. It reads like a John Grisham novel and featured in my new book, Satan’s Docket: Corruption and Carnage in America’s Divorce Industry.
So when you view our court corruption site and public positions wondering how the before and after pictures can make sense, just read the cited cases here. Then you will know why there are so few judicial whistleblowers, why you have become so victimized. You will also recognize the value in the services we offer at www.parentingrightsinstitute.com.
Please share this crucial public message and support our cause financially. I am looking for major investors in my judicial watch organization, Parenting Rights Institute, focused on divorce and family courts. With proper funding, we can come to your courts and expose the corruption which is being ignored by our judicial conduct commissions. You can even call me personally at (315) 796-4000.