Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lobbying for Joint Custody - IN Statehouse

Organization Day
18 November 2008
Indiana Statehouse

The Indiana General Assembly returned to the Statehouse today to welcome new members and implement some of the organizational framework for the upcoming session. The Assembly will reconvene in earnest on 06 January 2009.

I connected with Mike McCormick of the American Coalition of Fathers and Children who came in from Washington D.C. for the event. In the morning we met with a few key Representatives. Phyllis Pond, who represents a portion of Allen County, and Cindy Noe, who represents portions of Marion, Boone and Hamilton Counties, are both strong supporters of Shared Parenting who discussed PD3329 with us. I also introduced Mike to Jeff Thompson, who represents portions of Boone, Hendricks and Montgomery counties, another of our strong supporters of Shared Parenting.

We then had a wonderful lunch in the Rotunda with Cindy Noe and continued to discuss PD3329 and other issues. The House session convened at 1:00pm and the Senate at 1:15pm. Each lasted for about 45 minutes. Following the close of those sessions the hallways in the Statehouse made ‘Organization Day’ appear as an oxymoron with the complete chaos going on. So, we went to the House floor and made that our impromptu meeting room. There Mike met with the House leadership and I had additional discussion with Phyllis Pond and briefly spoke with Jim Buck, who is now a State Senator representing a portion of Boone County among others, before he was whisked away to another obligation.

We closed out our day making plans for future action and getting pledges of support from additional Representatives and Senators. The General Assembly will reconvene the first week of January. A bill on Joint Legal Custody will likely be set for hearings in late January. I was asked to present testimony to the legislature at that time. Members of the public are also invited to attend. Anyone wishing to present testimony then should contact me. Watch for additional updates on the progress of the Joint Legal Custody Bill.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

FBI assistance sought in arson fire

FBI assistance sought in arson fire The saga over Stuart Showalter’s attempt to hold public officials involved in a child sex ring accountable has taken a dramatic turn with a fire set on Showalter‘s property shortly after town officials were sued.
Showalter first brought the sex ring to public attention with a sign in the window of his home, which Thorntown Town Council President Gary Jones* (326 S Vine, Thorntown) had the town sue him over. After a one and a half day trial Superior Court II Judge Rebecca McClure (1210 N East St, Lebanon) ruled that Showalter had no constitutional right to display signs in the windows of his home and assessed nearly $25,000 in penalties.
Showalter later revealed audio tapes by a school official admitting to a sexual battery and describing how Judge Steve David (1740 N US 421, Whitestown) played a role in his pressuring children. Judge David has also assessed nearly $4,000 in penalties against Showalter for filing a public records request with the prosecutor Todd Meyer (104 Ulen Dr, Lebanon) seeking records of his involvement with a girl, aged 15 years, while at the Boone County Jail.
Showalter had statements from young girls who were in detention at the United Methodists Children’s Home in Lebanon. One, who has alleged she was sexually violated said she was specifically told by a counselor to not have contact with Stuart Showalter. Judge David placed a No Contact Order on another girl housed there barring her from contacting Showalter. On October 13 of this year Stephanie M. Rogers of Anderson, a former UMCH employee, pleaded guilty in Madison Superior Court I to a Class B felony of sexual misconduct for having sex with a child from the UMCH. Showalter has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court against over a dozen public officials in the Thorntown area. Judge Sarah Evans Barker recently ordered that process of the Complaint and Summons be made upon the defendants. Late in the evening on Sunday November 2 the fire was set on Showalter’s property but quickly extinguished by the Thorntown Fire Department. Since evidence in the federal lawsuit was set on fire the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been contact to aid in the investigation.