Corona Chronicles #16: What will the “New Normal” look like after coronavirus? Where do religious leaders stand on court reform?

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By Dr. Leon Koziol

Parenting Rights Institute

Earlier today, I referenced a front page New York Times article that finally exposed Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill DeBlasio for their gross mis-handling of the coronavirus epicenter. That article corroborated our recent posts in a series I call “Corona Chronicles.”

We need a similar story upstate as we look to the future, what they’re calling the “New Normal.” Of the countless followers I accumulated on four sites over the past ten years, nearly all are focused on corruption, parent alienation or Title IV-D court funding abuses.

But will anything change? Will it be business as usual at the other end of the curve? The answer may lie in what we do now while under a mass lock-down. It is critical to join in a master plan of sorts which transforms our nation’s family courts into a conciliatory environment.

Unfortunately, the public retains a higher regard for judges than they do lawyers or politicians, making such reform all but impossible given the lucrative nature of the “Old Normal” custody system. To debunk that myth, I have reported or acted on serious judge misconduct.

So, for example, on April 3, 2020, the New York Post featured an article regarding a “Long Island judge who copped to stealing dirty undies from the home of a female neighbor… resigned from the bench and has been stripped of his law license.” Here is an excerpt:

Long Island judge pleads guilty to raiding neighbor’s dirty panties

Suffolk County District Judge Robert Cicale pleaded guilty in September to second-degree attempted burglary, a felony, for breaking into the home of a 23-year-old woman who used to be the pervy judge’s intern on separate occasions and stealing panties from her laundry hamper.

The judicial panty-bandit was arrested in March 2018 as he was leaving the woman’s house — with his pockets stuffed full of her skivvies.

Cicale was sentenced to probation in November and was required to register as a sex offender.

The judge was suspended without pay following his arrest — but inexplicably held onto his position on the bench, which prevented local officials from holding an election to replace him.

Cicale finally agreed on March 31 to resign, according to documents released Friday by the state Commission on Judicial Conduct. His term was set to end on Dec. 31, though the New York Court of Appeals — the state’s highest court — could have ordered his removal prior to that date.

“The public cannot respect and the electorate cannot replace a judge who pleads guilty to a felony but holds on to office, despite being suspended without pay,” commission Administrator Robert Tembeckjian said in a news release.

Judicial conduct rules compel the highest standards of conduct both on and off the bench. Yet this judge did not resign or exhibit genuine remorse from the time of his arrest. He is far from alone in that regard. My child custody judge, Bryan Hedges, had to be permanently removed by New York’s high court when it appeared that he would seek re-election after admitting to sexual abuse of his handicapped five year old niece.

Throughout this site, http://www.leonkoziol.com, you will find one example after another of judges from the top down who were sent to federal prison, convicted of bribes and even a racist judge making violent threats from the bench who was allowed to stay in office (Utica City Judge Gerald Popeo assigned to my family court case).

On our bi-weekly conference calls, the examples keep coming in from around the country. We recently changed these calls from planning sessions for our annual march and lobby initiative in Washington to coping sessions while being denied child contact during home quarantine. I continue to give hope where I can.

One of our faithful participants, Dr. Anthony Pappas, a finance professor at St. Johns University, has insisted that we get religious organizations involved, making parallels to those who supported Dr. Martin Luther King. I have joined him at family rights conferences at the United Nations and Holy See Mission. He has written the Pope, fortunate to get a formal reply of encouragement, and is asking you to do the same:

Please ask for help from Pope Francis. A one-ounce letter by global first-class costs $1.20. The address is: His Holiness, Pope Francis; Apostolic Palace; VATICAN CITY. Ask him to take a leadership role in this time of crisis and support our efforts to reform these courts.

Another returning participant, Dr Martha Link, a psychologist, has asked us to be more aggressive in our exposures of judicial misconduct and lawyer over-billing practices. She has given us useful information. You are welcome to join every Monday and Thursday, 7pm ET. Call (605) 313-4427. Access code is 583326.

While quarantined, you can also easily sign and share our petition to contain the spread of coronavirus, crime and parental alienation during this crucial period. Just click on to the link below and be a part of the solution:

Petition Link:   http://chng.it/wLdrdxrwTY

Reach Dr. Leon Koziol directly at (315) 796-4000, e-mail at leonkoziol@parentingrightsinstitute.com or call our PRI office at (315) 380-3420.