Custody for Cash litigants and others to speak out
In light of published reports in local papers, national rulings taking place in family courts throughout the country, the recent film release of Kids for Cash, and the April 16 sentencing of admitted felon and former Lackawanna County Guardian Ad Litem Danielle Ross to 12 months in prison, the time is now to raise awareness of the need for judicial reform, according to rally co-organizer, Tara Koval.
Permits have been obtained to hold the “Protect Families in memory of Senator Nancy Schaefer” event on the Courthouse Square in Scranton on Saturday, April 26, from noon to 3 p.m. “We are currently compiling a list of speakers, including recent Civil Rights Hall of Fame inductee Jesse Epps, civil rights advocate and 2014 Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania’s Eleventh Congressional District seat Andy Ostrowski, as well as local speakers from Luzerne and Lackawanna counties who themselves have experienced court abuse,” added Patricia Kreidler, another co-organizer of the event.
The rally organizers intend to fashion it into a family day used to inform, educate, and inspire the community to get involved and demand meaningful and needed change in the court system. Family-friendly activities are planned, including face painting, and live music will be provided by OG LAW/God’s Love at Work, a Philadelphia group, and Reading’s Vitruvia. Food trucks will be present and other groups and media organizations are being encouraged to get involved and participate in the outing.
“It is important for people to attend to find out how their family members are vulnerable and take actions to stop this abuse,” said Koval.
Ms. Kreidler continued, “Mr. Epps asked for help in his struggles when helping to lead the Memphis Sanitation Workers Strike championed by Martin Luther King Jr. on that fateful assassination day in 1968. What King meant to the civil rights movement, murdered Georgia State Senator Nancy Schaefer has meant to advocates of family court reform.”
“We are proud to help sponsor this important event,” says Lou Jasikoff, publisher of the Independent Gazette. “We have been swamped with the testimonies of people coming forward since first reporting on the Custody for Cash story in February — it is one that needs to be told and thoroughly investigated.”
Sean Quinn, supervisory special agent for the Scranton FBI office, in a lengthy sit-down with the Independent Gazette asked that individuals who feel they have been been mistreated by local court officials speak to his Scranton office. He emphasised that those coming forward can do so with anonymity and without fear of intimidation or retaliation from court officers.
Quinn asked to be quoted directly: “Any corrupt official is my sworn enemy and the sworn enemy of this department.” The FBI can be contacted by phone at (570) 344–2404. Their office is located at 235 North Washington Ave, Scranton, 18503.
A facebook event page has been created for the April 26 rally called Protecting Families in Memory of Senator Nancy Schaefer. People from across the nation are welcome to attend on Saturday, April 26, from noon to 3 p.m. “The time to act is now, attendance and participation is needed to effectuate the changes that are required in our government,” says Koval.