By Leon R. Koziol, J.D
Parenting Rights Institute
Daniel King is seeking re-election as county/family judge in Lewis County, New York. But an antiquated court structure allows him to preside in all the larger counties of the Fifth Judicial District which includes the cities of Syracuse, Utica and Rome. Put another way, by succeeding quietly to judicial office in a county having roughly 25,000 residents, a judge candidate here can end up presiding over non-residents numbering well over a million without their consent.
That makes the judge race here critical to all litigants of this upstate district not only because it features an outdated and irrational court structure, but the vast and unpredictable assignments take time and resources away from the people who actually need it and voted for it.
Most voters are not aware of this bizarre assignment system headed by an administrative judge in Syracuse. Even though the New York bar issued a convincing report to reform the state’s 11-trial court structure on a par with our country’s largest court system in California which has one, that effort ended when a constitutional convention was turned down by voters with union influence in 2017. And that means that if Daniel King is re-elected, his own influence will extend well beyond county borders without any vetting process for impacted voters.
In Dan King’s case, a Jeckle-Hyde demeanor makes him the worst nightmare for the entire Fifth Judicial District. As an unblemished trial attorney in federal and state courts for nearly a quarter century, I have been privy to countless judges, juries and litigants. But when I challenged this antiquated structure as an impacted litigant and qualified whistleblower, I was suddenly targeted and destroyed professionally to an unprecedented degree.
The relentless retaliation coming at me from all directions over a fifteen-year period finally landed me in the emergency room at Albany Medical Center last year with a dire prognosis. The details of my ordeal are now a part of my recently published book, Whistleblower in Paris, as well as the shocking exposures on this blog site, http://www.leonkoziol.com. Daniel King was assigned without litigant consent to my family court matters, and he promptly asserted himself as the “protector” of my precious daughters in July, 2013, six months after his first election.
Judge King was not present when my girls were born, he knew nothing of their upbringing and there were no neglect or abuse petitions lodged against me before any state agency. Meanwhile competing cases were being delayed and criminals allowed to roam free. King’s demeanor on a first appearance was therefore suspect at the very least, but he proceeded to avenge my “audacious” challenge to his superiority by issuing a series of parenting orders that effectively made it a contempt risk to see my offspring in any meaningful way.
This judge, charged by oath and constitution to exert impartiality, refused to hear my side of a custody violation petition, many of which were dismissed among the 40 or so jurists assigned to my domestic matters since 2007. This was and remains unprecedented in judicial history by most accounts, but that same number was sufficient on the record to demonstrate systemic bias after my motion for transfer to another district was denied the same year. It ultimately caused permanent separation from my daughters.
An increasingly informed public has described this as Parent Alienation Syndrome or PAS. So absurd were Dan King’s retaliatory orders that he rendered one on December 2, 2013 suspending child contact based on, among other bizarre conditions, a “prohibited alcohol related gesture” (wedding toast). I am not making this up. Anyone can find it on page 5 of his relevant decision. This order was stayed (temporarily overturned) one week later, but by this time, others came to his rescue due to my continued whistleblowing activity.
My commitment to justice helped expose such corruption as my custody judge which King replaced, namely Brian Hedges, permanently banned from the bench by the high court of New York due to his admission of pedophile behavior with his handicapped five-year old niece. In 2016, Judge King issued a gag order disguised as a protection order on this site. It was removed when I challenged it on First Amendment grounds in state supreme court.
Within weeks of a relevant court order signed against him, Judge King finally stepped down. Not surprisingly, all these exposures and challenges to judge authority made me a pariah, ultimately forcing me to seek human rights protection in Paris. The notion that I could be jailed for a non-criminal debt called “child support” (caused by retaliatory law license suspensions) was too much to bear when considering a parent suicide influenced by a Judge King support contempt order (more on that in a future post).
Today I remain a victim of joint whistleblower targeting which would be questioned by the public at the earlier time. However, with all the bold arrests, false charges and preferential treatment being made public these days regarding national figures, my ordeal is now quite believable. To be sure, Judge King was relying on memory loss of his voters and victims when he abused judicial office, but we did not forget with this election opportunity now upon us.
So please, for the sake of families, parents and litigants everywhere, help us end Dan King’s Jeckle-Hyde tenure by electing a worthy and highly qualified opponent, Caleb Petzoltz, for Lewis County judge. Although he was unsuccessful in his Republican Party primary challenge this past June, turnout was low, and he was able to obtain a place on the November 8th ballot on other major and third-party lines.
Do not be fooled by King’s boyish appearance, friendly rhetoric, number of campaign signs or endorsements. A similar onslaught of sign pollution failed to get the late Utica Mayor Ed Hanna re-elected, and presumably none of the politicians endorsing this man experienced his Jeckle-Hyde conduct as a court litigant. Even if they did come before him, would they now get favored treatment as a result?
To conclude, in contrast with the crusade of recent years to discredit my reputation, my prior record as a prominent attorney, dedicated dad and office holder cannot be erased. Among my many accomplishments are precedent decisions, successful jury verdicts and client recoveries totaling well over a million dollars.
I was even able secure decisions in federal and state court against high powered law firms and Department of Justice invalidating the Oneida Indian Turning Stone Casino gaming compact on behalf of politically disadvantaged rural landowners. It earned me an interview on the CBS program, 60 Minutes. A documentary regarding my ordeal is in the works but will not be in time for this crucial publication.
A few case citations proving my true record are provided below:
Koziol v Hanna, 107 F. Supp, 2d 170 (NDNY 2000)(successful First Amendment jury verdict ultimately obtained in federal court)
Patterson v City of Utica, 370 F.3d 322 (2nd Cir. 2004)($333,820.32 federal jury verdict argued beforeb Justice Sonia Sotomayor)
Oneida Indian Nation v County of Oneida, 132 F. Supp. 2d 71 (NDNY 2000)(removal of injunction upon state court challenge to gaming compact); see also Peterman v Pataki, 2004 NY Slip Op. 51092 (U).