Watching Ray Rice's life come apart due to his own stupidity I can't help thinking of all the parents in New York who lose access to their children forever because of the mere allegation of abuse. In New York, and according to many, in New Jersey and Connecticut, the mere allegation of an ill-temper can cause a parent to be banned from their parents completely, without any supporting evidence whatsoever. If Ray Rice were going through a divorce in his home town of New Rochelle and his wife had a powerful attorney he undoubtedly would be banned from seeing his children or at least be required to use humiliating supervision at a rate of $150 an hour.
If Ray's wife simply claimed she was hit or the child was hit, even without video, he could face the penalty of not seeing his kids ever again. Of course even no-job Ray Rice has enough money to fight and would be able equalize the playing field in some regards but many parents can't afford to fight temporary rulings that ban a parent from their child with no due process in preliminary hearings. On the other hand, Ray Rice and others like him with lots of money for the right attorneys could easily have their spouse banned from their children with the right attorney with nothing but unproven allegations. There are so many hands to feed in a NY contested divorce including open-handed charlatan 'forensic psychologist' earning court-ordered rates exceeding $350 an hour into the mix, visitation supervisors, legal guardians, attorneys, experts, etc. that kids become pawns if ripoffs.
There is no absolute right to earn the money that Ray Rice earned as a great player and his own mistakes have cost him the privilege of an NFL career, despite his abilities - yet he's still a parent. Sadly though, there is no right to be a parent in New York and and unproven allegations can cost children their parents for the rest of their lives, even if they keep their jobs.
Luck for Ray Rice and his daughter that he's not in a New York Divorce.
The Rockefeller Drug Laws blindly handed out jail sentences of 15 years to life to anyone in New York convicted of selling more than 2 ounces of cocaine, marijuana and opiates. While this law seemed like a good idea in the seventies it ended up ballooning the prison population of New York and costing tax payers millions of dollars to incarcerate so many people. Over time these New York laws were repealed and scaled back but not before ruining the lives of many people rotting away in jails for no good reason. These laws destroyed the lives of many who made small mistakes and posed no real threat to society by applying a one-size-fits-all punishment regardless of circumstance.
In this regard, the Bradley Amendment is the same as the Rockefeller Laws since the BA created a one-size-fits-all punishment to anyone who builds up child or spousal support debt over $1,500. The Bradley Amendment seemed like a great idea, who doesn't want children supported by parents? The Bradley Amendment attempted to fill the gaps between different state laws to create a uniform penal code for support offenders. The Bradley Amendment federalized divorce and gave local courts unprecedented powers as divorce debt became a federal debt that is enforced beyond the grave and makes debt immutable for any reason. Unlike the Rockefeller Laws which at least had constitutional protections for offenders, there are no constitutional protections for divorce. In fact, the Bradley Amendment removes due process explicitly by removing any right of appeal and judicial discretion. States that don't participate in these networks will be denied federal grants from HHS, which makes up a huge part of many states budgets.
The Bradley Amendment mandated a nationwide computer network so that parents can be tracked all over the country. Punishments of the BA include 65% wage garnishment, jail, destroyed credit, tax refund garnishment, loss of professional and drivers licenses and much more. These punishments follow parents past the grave and, regardless of circumstance, can never be changed. A parent who becomes ill with cancer and loses income is treated the same as the parent who hides income and refuses to pay support. A parent who loses their job for any reason is treated the same as a parent who chooses to disappear and avoid their responsibilities. Even a parent who is taken hostage in Iraq is treated the same as a parent who chooses to stop working rather than pay.
Since the matrimony and family courts of the USA don't have constitutional protections many of the proceedings that lead a parent to a state of arrears are unfair and without due process. Since each state funds child support courts differently and have different laws for support modifications it's often impossible to get modifications in support in a timely fashion. For example, in New York a support order can't be changed for any reason within three years of a final verdict. Support arrears can start in the preliminary components of a divorce trial which can last years. For example, if a divorce proceeding takes 2 years until final verdict and support was set in the first hearing, which is common, it could take five years until a parent in New York can even ask for a modification. If a parent loses their job or business during the divorce, which is pretty common, by the time the five year mark comes and adjustment is allowed, it may be too late and tens or hundreds of thousands of arrears can be accrued which translates into financial jail that can last to the end of a parents life, and beyond.
It's time to take another look at the Rockefeller Laws of Divorce, the Bradley Amendment. Not every parent who accrues arrears is bad and not all support rulings are just. This federal legislation from 1986 was sponsored by the payment providers who benefit from big computer collection networks. Just as the Rockefeller Laws failed New York and ruined lives with uniform punishments that remove judicial discretion the Bradley Amendment is destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of responsible parents who are hard working and honest. It's time to repeal or at least re-examine the one-size-fits-all approach of the Bradley Amendment.
Sad to report another parent who lost everything to the corrupt Divorce Industry of White Plains and with no hope left of seeing his family decided to take his life. This parent lost everything he had in a sham trial about ten years ago. The divorce lawyer of the living spouse took 100% of the proceeds of their house closing while the family still owed hundreds of thousands in legal fees.
There had been no criminality, no child abuse of any type and besides the fighting of two intransigent, frustrated parents there was no history of police intervention. One parent hired a classic 'insider' white plains attorney while one parent couldn't afford a full-time attorney. The parent without the attorney lost complete access to their two young children. No calls, no emails, no letters, no birthday wishes, no supervised visitation, no contact - at all. This was a parent that was deeply committed to the lives of the children and was involved in all aspects of school and family life. However, in the court of White Plains, especially for pro se litigants, evidence and humanity have no voice. Those who pay the right people win and those who can't pay lose everything.
Imagine losing all of your assets, access to two young children for the rest of your life and then, after taking your own life, the children aren't even aware because one parent has completely erased the other. This is NOT what federal and state funded courts should be doing in the US. Sadly the US Constitution doesn't apply in New York matrimony courts so there's no civil rights protections, ethics enforcement or scrutiny of the elected officials running these corrupt courts. Preet Bharara, the FBI and DOC are rushing to find the culprit for Jennifer Lawrence naked photo release but when it comes to defending families and fighting the corrupt Divorce Industry of New York the DOJ and Preet Bharara don't think it's worth the bother. There are no big payoffs like they get when fighting with banks, there's no headlines to be grabbed when fighting celebrity nude photo releases and there's no panache in defending the civil rights of children and middle-class families.
Hopefully this terrible loss of life and destruction of a family will lead to faster action on attacking the corruption of public officials that's so prevalent in New York Matrimony Courts (family and supreme).
Always amazing how fast the Justice Department and FBI will rush to get involved in headlines while ignoring rampant corruption in the Divorce Industry of New York. Four years since I've been reporting on judicial corruption and poor ethics policing of the predatory Divorce Industry with clear data points there's no response from Preet Bharara or the FBI. Jennifer Lawrence has a booty shot on the Internet and the FBI races in.
As I first reported years ago, New York grants a license to steal to the Divorce Industry backed up with volunteer, part time ethics and twisted laws that place the Judges, Experts, Attorneys and their staff who comprise the system above the law. We elect our Judges in NY and no other elected official has the ability to hand out hundreds of millions of dollars directly to a small unregulated group of insiders like Family Court judges have via the 18b system. Signs of abuse are rampant yet this massive abuse of taxpayer money doesn't make the radar of tough guy Preet Bharara.
Someone posts a naked picture of a celebrity and Preet calls in the troops but when a family is financially and emotionally ruined by a predatory industry you can hear a pin drop.
As reported July 23rd, 2014, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino called Gov. Cuomo the most corrupt Governor in New York history. My message to Rob Astorino is before criticizing, do your part to clean up the corruption that operates openly in the family and supreme courts in White Plains. If Astorino wants to prove that he can do a better job than Cuomo at attacking corruption of elected officials then now's the time to act. County Executive Astorino has a very unique and powerful role to fight corruption of elected judges yet he's been abdicating his responsibility, and breaking the law, by not doing his part.
Astorino can help fight corruption in the NY Family Court by filing 18b expenditure reports as required by law and making them available to tax payers for review. The biggest fingerprint of corruption that I've found in the Westcehster County Divorce Industry is an extremely top-heavy assignment pattern of court-appointed 18b counsel in family court. In my analysis there were 1028 active 18b cases in Westchester Family Court in Q42013. 850 of these cases were assigned to 38 connected attorneys while 61 attorneys shared 178 cases. The top 38 attorneys are assigned so many cases that they could never do a good job or the families they are supposedly helping with average handling 28 cases and the top handling over 70 cases. Moreover, the top 38 18b attorneys are splitting over 45mil in tax payer funded legal, expert and expense fees handed directly to them by elected judges while the bottom 61 attorneys split $890,000 in tax payer funded fees. 18b costs are buried in the UCS budget and there's virtually no accounting of the money spent in family court if Astorino doesn't do his job.
No other elected official in Westchester County can hand out so much money directly to close friends with no supervision as an elected Family Court judge! The only check and balance for the 18b program is the accounting that CE Rob Astorino is supposed to provide, by law, to the tax payers of New York. However, Mr. Bigmouth Astorino has refused repeated requests for these reports. This is a clear violation of law and contributes heavily to the corruption that grips the contested divorce industry.
The fundamental reason that the divorce industry can rip off families and destroy the lives of children in Westchester as a business model is simple - no one with authority is watching and holding judges, court staff, attorneys and experts accountable to even basic levels of ethical business practices - including Astorino. Rob Astorino could easily shed light on corruption in the Westcehster familly court by publishing 18b expenditure reports and he must act to prove that he's better than Governor Cuomo.
Before Astorino runs around criticizing Cuomo he should fight corruption in his own back yard.
It's a sad day in New York when one of the biggest wastes of taxpayer money, the Family Court System, is expanded without any fundamental changes. In many counties in New York the Family Court System is more a platform to fleece unwitting families than anything else. The Family Courts if New York are too close to the corrupt Divorce Industry and too opaque for regulators to notice.
No other elected official in New York besides a Family Court judge has the unilateral power to directly hand out millions of taxpayer dollars directly to a small group of insiders with no accountability whatsoever. In Q42013 in White Plains alone there were over 1000 active 18b cases equating to about $41million in tax payer funds being directly handed to insider divorce attorneys able to grab this money . My simple research from publicly available records shows that 80% of these 18b cases were handed to 36 attorneys equating to $40mil in billings while 66 attorneys split 200 cases totaling about $1mil in legal fees. 80% of the 1028 18b cases in q4 2013 were handed to just 36 attorneys
To rephrase our Family Court Judges in White Plains handed out over $40mil in fees to 36 court insiders with no questions asked and no accountability. Certainly poor families don't have a say in the counsel they are assigned and since there's no data or performance tracking they couldn't make an informed decision if they were allowed to. What poor mother facing the loss of her children to foster care would choose an attorney with over 200 litigants when the 18b roster has qualified attorneys with only 20 or 10 active cases?
County Executive Rob Astorino is required to account for 18b money by law and has not filed 18b reports. Huge chunks of taxpayer money are being handed out by our family court judge and taxpayers need accountability for how this money is being spent.
It's no surprise that the attorneys who receive the most 18b cases are also the most active in White Plains for retained cases. The problems with scheduling in Family Court arise from insider attorneys representing over 100 litigants simultaneously, many taxpayer funded, not because we don't have enough judges. . It's mathematically impossible to efficiently schedule attorneys who have over 50 active litigants, many before the same few judges. Scheduling conflicts are impossible to avoid in the current top heavy 18b assignment system in Family Court.
New York would have to add over 1000 Family Court judges to make a difference in the system given the current inefficiencies in the 18b assignment systems. 25 FC judges does nothing but increase the velocity of taxpayer handouts via the 18b system. This money would've been much better spent on pro se education programs, since over 30% of all litigants in White Plains FC are Pro Se, 18b assignment reforms or enhanced ethics enforcement for the sitting family court judges today. So many families are destroyed by mean, abrupt and collusive Family Court Judges who collude to fleece families with no recourse for the families who are ripped off.
Adding more FC judges with increasing transparency in the Family Court system is simply irresponsible.
One of the most disgusting taxpayer frauds going in New York
is the 18b legal representation program in White Plains Family Court. The 18b program provides free legal assistance at a judge or magistrates discretion to parents and children - sounds like a great idea for sure. The problem is that what actually transpires is a money grab by court insiders. Attorneys with over 100 active cases in family court are being handed the vast majority of 18b cases, 80%, while many qualified attorneys have only a single 18b case.
No other elected official in New York besides a Family Court Judge or Magistrate has the power to literally hand out millions of taxpayer dollars directly to a small group of people with no accountability. Imagine if each New York Senator could hand out $4,000 to anyone they see fit with no questions asked. Well that's what Judges and Magistrates do in Family Court in New York under the 18b program.
I've analyzed the 18b expenditures of White Plains Family Court for Q4 2013 and here's some incredible facts I dug up:
1. The top 36 18b attorneys in White Plains Family Court represented 825 18b litigants with an average of 23 cases while the bottom 65 attorneys in the 18b program had 203 18b cases combined, with each attorney averaging around 4 18b cases . Red flag?? Are insiders getting favoritism or are these top 36 attorneys the best in the 18b program?
2. The top 36 18b attorneys are entitled to about $3.3million in direct taxpayer paid legal fees (plus expenses) while the bottom 65 18b attorneys split about $810,000 in taxpayer paid legal fees. Seem a little top heavy?
3. Westchester County Attorney Robert Francis Meehan had about 980 active cases in WP Family Court alone in Q4 2013. Are poor families completely screwed in WPFC with this type of representation? While unrelated to the 18b program it's a staggering number for his office.
4. There's not a single publicly available measurement of the effectiveness of 18b representation. One powerful White Plains Attorney had over 70 18b cases in my sample period equating to $288,000 in taxpayer paid legal fees, plus expenses. Is this attorney such a better advocate for poor families than the 50 18b attorneys with 5 or fewer 18b litigants? Never met the guy and he may be the best lawyer ever but in my sample period he had over 150 active cases , including 72 18b clients. Is this the best choice for poor families?
5. There's not a single public accounting of the 18b handouts in WPFC. Money is handed out to whoever a judge or magistrate likes, regardless of their MEASURED effectiveness. An attorney who shows up unprepared and is able get last minute adjournments time and time again can easily consume $4000 in legal fees, the 18b maximum, plus expenses, without doing a single thing for the families they represent.
6. County Executive Rob Astorino is in violation of New York Law and hasn't filed 18b expenditure reports for WPFC as required by the 18b program. Since no one is counting how much money our elected judges and magistrates are handing out and there's no accountability for the performance of the attorneys who receive this money the 18b is nothing but a slush fund for court favorites.
7. Poor families are getting screwed in the current 18b system in White Plains Family Court and a few connected attorneys are getting rich off us taxpayers with no questions asked.
8. The top 20 18b attorneys in WPFC represented over 1500 litigants including over 680 18b litigants in my sample period. Do you think the top 20 18b attorneys spend a few minutes in court each day? Perhaps they are in court every day all day? Is it possible that the most familiar faces are getting the most money from our elected judges and magistrates and not the best attorneys?
9. Of approximately 7000 litigants in the court, 1028 were pro se. There are many datapoints to show that pro se are screwed worse than anyone in our family courts. How can a State allow a court to be predatory to 20% of litigants in the court? If 20% of litigants can't afford lawyers shouldn't New York at least start to track what's happening to pro se in our family courts?
The Family Court system of New York has all kinds of legal nonsense to try to legitimize the horrible things they do in the name of money. Reading the application to be an 18b attorney in Family Court is certainly interesting but to see how this program is implemented it's clear that this program has no accountability. To have such a self-important application when judges and magistrates are simply handing millions of our tax money to the same over-worked attorneys time and time again is morally reprehensible.
Ripping of taxpayers is the run-of-the-mill in New York politics and I can't see why anyone in the DoJ would even care about it, but I can't imagine that there's no one that cares about what's happening to poor families in the middle of the system. Clearly poor families aren't getting effective representation in this system because it's physically impossible for a small firm to represent over a hundred litigants at one time, especially when some are paying $450 an hour and some are taxpayer funded at a far lower hourly rate.
I have data to substantiate my numbers and anyone with Excel and a few hours on their hands could replicate my data. Taxpayers are being ripped off in the White Plains Family Court 18b program and it's time for some accountability to the taxpayers for the vast sums we are paying for the 18b program. We need transparency, accountability and perhaps graft investigations to end this system. Let's hope it comes soon.
Subscribing to blogs of New York Divorce Lawyers is an interesting view into the absurdity of the New York Divorce Industry. The craziness that's accepted as normal course of business is shocking and proves why only outsiders can reform this industry.
For years I've been writing that many of the proceedings in New York matrimony courts are bogus from the start and simply designed to sucker unwitting clients. I've claimed many times on this blog that the Statement of Networth is one of the biggest ripoff areas in the Divorce Industry because New York has no standards for veracity in the Statement of Networth. I've claimed that people who lie on their Statement of Networth and undercount assets are at advantage, with the right insider attorney, because New York Supreme Court and Family Court judges are quite happy to accept false documents, so long as you've paid the right attorney.
So along comes a blog post from a Long Island Divorce Attorney that confirms my beliefs, and even takes the idea farther than I could've ever imagined. In this blog post he writes about a case where a fraudulent tax return and statement of networth are used for determining support and equitable distribution. Not only are false documents the basis of a sham trial but in the twisted world of NY Divorce, the false documents are the basis for some type of bizarre legal precedent that legitimize the use of intentionally false documents in divorce trials. Common sense, at least to me, would lead me to the conclusion that a litigant who files false, sworn documents should be punished in some way. At least an entire trial shouldn't be based on known fraudulent tax returns, perhaps a mistrial should be declared, perhaps there should be some penalty. But in New York Divorce, lying is a judicially condoned strategy. According to this attorney, not only is the judge aware that the documents filed as the basis are false but the Judge then goes on to interpret the false documents. Unbelievable.
As I've states countless times in this blog the Statement of Networth process in New York is a suckers game for contested divorce. Hundreds of millions of dollars in frivolous fees are stolen a year on discovery, depositions, motions, etc. when simple electronic records checks, which NY already does quite well and cheaply for child support and tax collection, would kill this profane business practice. The sham proceedings where lawyers grill parents over credit card charges and other errata rakes in massive fees but is nothing but theatre in a court that has no integrity.
The NY Divorce Industry is in desperate need of outiside reform and the state of mind typified NY Divorce Lawyer blogs shows how sick this industry is. The first step in reform is to question reality and it's time for a wake up call for thie ripoff scheme that is NY Contested Divorce.
Assuming there would ever be an investigation into the business practices at White Plains Family Court, what would an investigator look for to show signs of collusion? Here are a few collusive activities that I experienced, other readers have reported and friends have experienced in White Plains Family Court.
1. Undue access to Legal Secretaries. The legal secretary holds the keys to the kingdom for a crafty attorney. Legal secretaries have no supervision whatsoever and control a judges calendar. Need a last minute adjournment because you aren't ready or you simply want to spend your adversary into the ground? No problem, a friendly legal secretary can help with that. My ex's attorney ghost wrote the judges decision based on duplicate phrases, fonts, words and exact details that were never presented in court. If an insider wants to write a judges opinion, no worries, the legal secretary can do that. Insider, collusive attorneys have unlimited access to legal secretaries in White Plains and these relationships deserve scrutiny.
2. Too many adjournments - As I've said many times on my blog, the adjournment is one of the most overused tools to rip off families. Whether you have 18b counsel or privately retained counsel a last minute adjournment is a pay day for an attorney. A connected attorney will arrange for last minute adjournments as a matter of course. Great pay day because all the work to prepare has to be redone and if the client of the insider is, perhaps, a parent who wants to avoid paying child support, the right attorney can delay a hearing for well over a year. By that time a mother will have spent over $20,000 in private counsel fees with each court date cancelling while you're sitting on the bench.
3. Uneven application of the law - When I was in New Rochelle Family Court Mag. Jordan was no-nonsense. She read the laws, heard the facts and made snap decisions. Looking at what readers complain about with Mag. Esther Furman is another story altogether. Father's who don't pay support simply need to hire an attorney with many 18b cases in front of Mag. Furman and they've found their insider! If you owe money I'd highly suggest looking at Mag. Furman's calendar for a month, find the attorneys with the most 18b assignments that month and hire that attorney. You will never get into court and if you have money you can wear down your ex and spend all their resources with Mag. Furman as your Judge. She yells, screams, threatens and intimidates innocent parents trying to resolve issues who come in with the wrong attorney. Simply follow my instructions and you will find your insider attorney who can delay your case forever. What a bargain! Regardless of the laws being violated, if you have the right insider in Furman's court you'll get your way and could stay out of court for years while spending your ex into the ground.
4. Bipolar Behavior - Judges who yell, scream, intimidate and bully, but then turn to their favorite insider and have polite conversation - all in the span of one minute - are certainly showing signs of collusion.
5. 18b Assignments - As I've said in my previous post, the attorneys with the most 18b assignments in White Plains tend to be the attorneys with the right relationships to get what they want. Simply look at the court calendar of your judge for 30 days and you'll find the insiders who get the most 18b cases - hire those attorneys if you want to work with corrupt system to your advantage. White Plains Family Court is a pay to play system but you have to pay the right guys. 18b assignments will quickly and easily point to the attorneys who can grease the skids the best in White Plains.
The biggest mistake anyone can make in White Plains Family Court is to expect a fair hearing and reasonable justice. Go into WPFC knowing that it's a corrupt and filthy place and use this to your advantage. Hire an insider, which can easily be found by counting 18b assignments, pay their ridiculous rates (usually $450 an hour) and have a good laugh while the insider ruins your ex's life with endless obstacles. Play smart in WPFC and get your way. It's pretty easy to do though it may cost your a bundle to get what you want.
Best of luck playing the crooked system to your advantage!
I'm going to focus on abuse of the the 18b legal assistance program in White Plains Family Court for a few months because this is a clear sign of the of the violation of public trust that's pervasive in the NY Divorce Industry. As far as I know, I'm one of the few citizens who've actually analyzed the 18B assignments in Family Court and the data I've compiled is unique.
I've analyzed data for active cases in White Plains Family Court in Q4 2013 in which an 18b counsel had been assigned. I found that of 1028 18b litigants with active cases in WP Family Court, 79% (807) of these cases are assigned to merely 33 attorneys, each with an average of 24 litigants. Each assignment is worth at most $4,000 in legal fees, plus uncapped expenses, plus $1,000 for an expert witness. Therefore the top 33 attorneys are dividing about $4mil in tax payer funded legal fees for their 807 cases, while the bottom 66% of eligible 18b attorneys are representing only 221 litigants, equating to about $1.1 million in tax payer funded fees. The 18b assignment system is even more top-heavy than it seems because the top 11 attorneys receive 51% of 18b cases, each with an average of 44 cases and a max of 72. The bottom two-thirds 18b attorneys have an average of 3 18b litigants.
Are the top 33 attorneys in White Plains so much better than their peers that they deserve 79% of 18b assignments? Could there be other factors that influence why these top 33 attorneys are awarded such a high percentage of cases while 66% of attorneys on the 18b roster have virtually no cases? The Westchester County Bar claims they have so many 18b attorneys that they no longer accept new applicants yet the majority of cases go to about 15 attorneys.
The 18B system is supposed to provide legal assistance to poor families but how can poor families in Westchester get proper assistance when their court appointed attorneys will most likely have more than 29 concurrent tax-payer funded clients, plus a roster of full-rate clients? New York wants to add more Family Court Judges to ease the caseload of Family Court, but the current 18b assignment system is creating scheduling nightmares. Imagine trying to schedule hearings between two attorneys with over 50 active cases. Not only are the few powerful divorce attorneys in Westchester consuming the majority of the 18b tax dollars, but poor families in need of this assistance are being shunned to attorneys who couldn't possibly provide adequate representation.
By simply evening out the distribution of 18b assignments it would be 10x easier to schedule a court date that won't ultimately be adjourned. Adjournments waste million of legal fees a year and are a major source of billing abuse in the divorce industry. Besides billing abuses adjournments put off Important decisions in a child's life for years. This small change would speed cases up tremendously and could even reduce the need to add more tax payer funded judges to Family Court.
Another troubling aspect of the 18B system is that the most active tax-payer funded attorneys, with only one exception, have active full-rate matrimony practices with cases in both Supreme and Family Court. If an attorney has an active schedule where their clients typically pay over $450 an hour, why would Judges favor these active attorneys for taxpayer funded cases? There are many attorneys with strong values, willing to help poor families and also need the money, yet White Plains Judges continually give our taxpayer money to a few privileged attorneys who are willing to play by the bully pulpit rules of Family Court.
There are numerous complaints of bully judges favoring the interests of the Divorce Industry over the families in White Plains Family Court and here's a proof point to show that a small group of attorneys are getting favors from Judges. It's easy to make allegations of collusion but here's a proof point that should at least arouse scrutiny.
There's no way that tax payers can find this information on their own because Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino isn't tracking 18b money, as required by NY law, Rob Astorino is supposed to file a yearly report of 18b allocations but his office has failed to provide me the 18b reports and can't point to where they are published. How can we have a loophole in our democracy that allows locally elected judges to hand out millions of tax payer dollars to a small group of local attorneys with no accountability? Our democracy is founded on checks and balances but in Family Court millions of our tax dollars are being handed out by elected judges with no questions asked.
I've sent my data to the New York Joint Commission on Ethics, heads of the Judicial Committee in the NY Senate and Assembly as well as to the DoJ. It's my belief that I've uncovered data that merits further investigation. Besides possible collusion, NY Law is not being followed in the accounting of 18b money and poor families are getting inadequate representation by being forced to a privileged few attorneys who handle the majority of cases.
Hopefully my reporting will foster investigation into the federal and state tax dollars being wasted in the White Plains Family Court.