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CA SB 557 — “Just say NO!” or at least “Whoa!!” (show me the money…) to Scandalous San Diego’s One Stop Justice Shop Pyramid Scheme

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CA SB 557 — “Just say NO!” or at least “Whoa!!”  (show me the money…) to Scandalous San Diego’s One Stop Justice Shop Pyramid Scheme (post title with case-sensitive short-link ending “-HG”) first published 6/5/2011.  Format updates (for quoting in a 2017 post) 3/30/2017.

A Family Justice Center (like a Family Physician?)  — what a warm and fuzzy concept!

The ‘California Initiative” (per graphic) has a motto:  “Bringing Hope to Hurting Families Across California.”

Hope of what?  I didn’t ask for hope.  I would’ve settled long ago for simple enforcement of existing court orders!

How warm and fuzzy is it?  Was the public asked whether it’s a good idea, before, during, or after it’s conception, the labor ($3 million grants, etc.) to bring it forth, and the subsequent cloning actions?

Let’s consider (and then, I’ll get to the colors and graphics part, don’t worry….)

  • First, the “Family Justice Center Initiative” in San Diego (#1 site) is the project and brainchild of a City Attorney whose handling of the City’s pension funds (see below) has been labeled “negligent” and eventually brought the FBI and US Attorney’s Office investigating the corruption.  In Alameda County (#2) it is a District Attorney Dubious Doing (see my post) and was pushed by this person to get a founding grant, and promptly install a crony, that, improperly.
  • Second, the concept of combining “services” and “collaborating” is questionable — I question it, for one.  It has a dark side.

My post is long, but don’t forget to read THIS site (hover, I’ve copied text of Obstacle #4 (relevant here) onto the URL description) from Sonoma County, where another proposed Justice Center is to start (or has already, perhaps).   “Mapping the Obstacles to Criminal Justice for Women” :


The six principle obstacles to protection and justice for women in the criminal justice system are:

1. A near absolute police and prosecutorial discretion to pick and choose which crimes the system will treat seriously and which they will ignore, and to do so with impunity. The exercise of this enormous discretionary power is virtually outside the rule of law.

2. An intractable, deep-rooted sexism and racism that remains institutionalized throughout the criminal justice system. This sexism and racism, combined with the system’s absolute discretion to ignore crimes whenever they wish, means that violence against women cases are the cases most often ignored, dumped, or given short shrift.

3. Society’s failure to answer the question of who polices the police, and the failure to even ask the question in regard to district attorneys, means the criminal justice system is not only legally unaccountable when dumping cases of violence against women. In addition, there is also virtually no other viable social mechanism by which the public can make the system implement its powers on behalf of victims of violence against women.

4. The repression of effective victim advocacy due to increasing criminal justice system controls over the funding and functioning of rape and domestic violence centers.

5. The invisibility of denial of protection and justice to victims of violence against women to the public, often to the victims themselves, and even to the officer’s supervisors who review the officers reports.

6. The failure to target the district attorneys.** Advocacy groups, social justice groups, and civil rights groups that aim to correct abuses in the criminal justice system usually do so by focusing on the police, while completely ignoring the District Attorney. This is monumental and puzzling mistake, since the District Attorney is the most powerful law enforcement official in your community.

(**for more on DA’s role, see this site)

Does its pretty purple-bordered website with vivid graphics look nice?  Sure.

See?   http://www.familyjusticeinitiative.com/

Interview with Ellen Pence

Telling Amy's Story

[Images could be looked up and replaced I’m not going to do that just now, trying to get some current posts at — LGH/2017]

Do (and should?)  public stamps of approval from:

a former San Diego City Attorney, a current Alameda County District Attorney, Verizon, Blue Shield of California Foundation, at least one prominent Domestic Violence Professional** — and in 2003, even former U.S. President George Bush

earn OUR stamps of approval?  Because we will be helping to pay for it….

(And, should we encourage our local CA legislator to vote “YES” on SB 557, which seeks to legitimize and expand these, naming specific cities)

**Domestic Violence Professionals should be clearly distinguished from Domestic Violence Victims, although in some cases, the latter have become the former.  The way you can tell them apart – DV Professionals generally have a paycheck, DV victims are often losing theirs.

The Professionals  profess things at conferences, and sometimes even interview each other on TV.  The steady stream of DV victims, new, and ongoing, provide ample material to practice on (practice makes expert, right?) and talk about. …

Another way you can find domestic violence professionals, is going to TAGGS.hhs.gov and looking up the CFDA category relating to “Family Violence Prevention and Services” which often has the word “discretionary” attached.    Or, it goes to a Coalition.  If you get a grant or two, you are viewed as (and may be, but the grant sure helps lend authority) a professional.   So Here’s a TAGGS.hhs.gov summary (from 2005 forward, only, nationwide) of two types of violence prevention grants:

Showing: 1 – 2 of 2 CFDA Programs

93591                   93592

CFDA Prog. No. OPDIV Popular Title Number of Awards Number of Award Actions CAN Award Amount
93.591 ACF Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Grant to State Domestic Violence Coalitions 219 271 $50,573,527
93.592 ACF Family Violence Prevention and Services/Grants for Battered Women’s Shelters: Discretionary Grants 324 624 $165,460,776
Page Total 543 895 $216,034,303
Report Total 543 895 $216,034,303

Ellen Pence compatriot Denise Gamache, for example, shows up on a similar search, with more fields.  Last time I looked at this, the amount was only $1.78million,

I see that there has been great success in stopping violence (either that, or failures) hence, more funding to prevent it in the same manner — conferencing, and figuring out best practives, and of course collaborating and training.  See?  Also note this is a “Social Services” (not legal, criminal) activity, preventing violence.

[UPDATE: NOTE re: this chart:  The report could be re-run at TAGGS.HHS.Gov (Advanced Search) and should be; it would generate a url link to share. I have recently (2017) blogged on these CFDA Numbers and this topic for further information).  I see the column headings do not match the contents. A re-run would present an easier to read format; fixing it from this stage is not a good use of my blogging time…I also learned that some of these categories were, at least by year 2010, written into the FVSPA Act, which is under CAPTA (Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act).  See my later posts for more info. //LGH]

Program Office Grantee Name City Recovery Act Indicator State Award Number Award Title CFDA Number Award Activity Type Principal Investigator Sum of Actions Award Abstract

The “93591” category is grants to “domestic violence coalitions” which must be how everyone gets their terminologies, communication lines, and practices nice and coordinated.  Meanwhile, others who have worked at street level (but had less backing), take a different point of view than “Constant Collaborations.”

Here’s a San Antonio, TEX Family Justice Center (2010) Conference List of materials one can purchase.  After all, these are professionals…  I missed that conference — somehow are not on their email alert “cc’s” and at the time, didn’t have airfare, either….


As to BUSH:

I think I made my feelings known about former President Bush, and his concept of “Family” in my last post.  The actual “Families” in this case are the associations and collaboratives of people who get the funding.

If Bush had required that all — without exception — STOP VAWA grantees inform ALL — without exception — female clients with children where the perpetrator of violence against them was the father of the FATHERHOOD.GOV infrastructure, and that this was actually enabled by the federal office of child support enforcement (OCSE) — then it would’ve been OK. There’s no question that fatherhood groups know about VAWA, they are constantly complaining about it.

If all grantees would’ve been required to alert women of pro-VAWA and anti-feminist (feminists are destroying the country, of course) “family” courts lay ahead between them and freedom, that’d be one thing.  But apparently, the two sets of untraceable grant expenditures go along side by side quite nicely, watching the genders war it out themselves on-line, in the streets, and lobbying legislators to change the law sin their favor.

Well, now, let me think a moment on that last one….  in fact, let me ask Josie Clark:

September 28, 2004

 “The Clark lawsuit deals with personnel matters, involving employees who are on my staff. The courtroom is now the appropriate place to respond to these allegations where I believe my office and staff members will be cleared. Therefore, I decline to be interviewed. I am referring your call to our outside legal counsel, Kathryn Bernert, who is handling the case. Here is her phone number which was provided to you last Friday morning by Maria Velasquez.”

Statement by Kathryn Bernert
Outside Legal Counsel for the City of San Diego
Partner with Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps LLP
Sept. 28, 2004

???   What Lawsuit?  This Family Justice Center isn’t even that old….

September 29, 2004

  •  Clark is suing the city and Gwinn, not for what happened to her co-worker, but for the way she said she was used to cover it up. Official records show that police responded to numerous calls at the victim’s former home on Armacost Road. Several workers at the City Attorney’s Office and the Family Justice Center told 10News that the victim came to work with broken bones, bruises, cuts and black eyes.“If Casey Gwinn didn’t notice that on one of his own — seeing her every single day — then what is he doing at the Family Justice Center?” questioned Clark.According to the lawsuit, a long history of severe abuse against a Family Justice Center employee was going to be made public when the woman threatened to kill her husband and was arrested. Clark was then assigned a special project to quietly help the woman.”(Gwinn) said that my job was going to get her into rehab, because that was the only way she was gong to be able to keep her job,” Clark said.The assignment came from Gwinn, (pictured, [below]), 10News reported.

    Clark took on the new responsibilities that lasted more than two months. She said the woman called her seeking help day and night — once every half hour at work and at home at 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. Late last year, Clark said the woman’s estranged husband threatened her life.

    Her husband basically said I was going to regret it for interfering and said he was going to come after me and that he was going to kill us both,” Clark told 10News.   After her arrest [and obviously, release], Gwinn had the woman working as a receptionist on the 16th floor near his office. But when the death threat allegations against Clark surfaces, the woman was moved to the 11th floor, just 30 feet from Clark.

    “She still comes to the office beaten up, and Casey Gwinn has done absolutly nothing to help her,” Clark said.   The lawsuit itself, the plaintiff’s attorneys say, is about how Clark was forced into the mess and then discriminated against after she had nervous breakdowns and clinical depression. Conditions, they say, came directly from her “special project” to basically act as a drug, alcohol and abuse counselor for a co-worker.

If what she says is true (and there seems some backup corroboration), then why didn’t such a highly connected individual so concerned about Domestic Violence as Casey Gwinn is, talk with some of the District Attorneys — or the abused woman — about getting some criminal prosecution of her husband’s behaviors, rather than wait til the situation got to death threats, and then watch his own employee be arrested for someone driven to threaten back to get free from ongoing broken bones and beatings?    I mean — is this who you want spearheading nationwide, nay, global, justice centers?  Charity begins at home, brother….

Here’s the self-report of how great this justice center is:

At least they acknowledge it’s a personal narrative:  ”


This story focuses on the evolution of the criminal justice system’s response to domestic violence in San Diego. It does not develop the entire history of the battered women’s movement in San Diego. We should also note that “The San Diego Story” in this book was written primarily from the recollections of Ashley Walker, Casey Gwinn, and Gael Strack. Many others in San Diego County have played powerful roles and would clearly highlight other aspects of San Diego’s criminal justice system journey based on their own experience.

I have a little more background on this than some, including how the justice center followed Mr. Gwinn from his role as City Attorney, out to an exterior location (I think originally at the Y).  YOu can also see here, Task Forces, a Council and some heavy funders who are thinking in terms of Collaboration that did not come right from within San Diego City Attorney’s Office.  (Just for a little background):

Philanthropists and funders like Joan Kroc (wife of Ray Kroc, the Founder of McDonalds) also played a powerful role. They encouraged members of the domestic violence, child abuse and substance community to work together. As a substantial funder of these programs, in 1990, Joan Kroc made collaboration a part of her granting process.   {{i.e., you want our money?  You will collaborate!}} She paid all expenses for twenty community activists in these fields to spend a week at the family program at Hazelton in Center City Minnesota. She also held special fully-funded trainings at her ranch at Santa Ynez Valley to encourage collaboration.

During this same time, Dr. David Chadwick, a pediatrician, at Children’s Hospital, also dedicated major resources by creating the Family Violence Program, under the leadership of a social worker named Sandy Miller. Dr. Chadwick too had a strong vision for focusing on the co-occurrence of child abuse and domestic violence. Sandy Miller developed a close partnership with Deputy City Attorney Casey Gwinn and even housed a portion of her staff in the City Attorney’s Office in the early 1990’s.

Pause.  Because later on, I have a post from the succeeding City Attorney, Mike Aguirre, who had to clean up a lot of the accounting (over-billing) from Mr. Gwinn’s office, and wrote an interim report in the practice of over-billing (for work that did not happen) as part of the “SLA” (Service Level Agreements) and “MOU” (Memo of Understanding).  This July 28 2006 this report on “IMPROPER BILLING PRACTICES BY THE CITY ATTORNEY’S OFFICEmentions the Justice Center a few times.  For example, ”

 Gwinn ran unopposed for City Attorney in 1996 and 2000. Prior to assuming office in 1996, Gwinn was allowed to put his leadership team in place and begin making policy. It is around this time that billing to SLAs was modified (Exhibit 5), and as time went on the program was expanded to increase staff and services.

In 7-21-06 phone contact was made with Investigator Brendan McClory at the Family Justice Center. The following is a summary from a statement taken from McClory:

During 2002 – 2004 McClory worked for the City Attorney’s Office Civil Division. He was assigned to bill 60 hours per pay period to MWWD due to the fact that he was assigned to Kelly Salt, Ted Bromfield, and Tom Zeleny. McClory noted that he was directed to bill 60 hours to the enterprise Department even though in actuality he only worked on average 10 hours per pay period for these individuals. The vast majority of his time was working for Trial Unit attorneys. He noted that he advised Robert Abel that this was the case, and Abel responded that he should bill the hours anyways per office policy.

In 2004, soon after Aguirre took office, this policy changed and McClory was directed to only bill for hours worked

or, ….

Maria Velasquez

On 7-28-06 personal contact was made with City Attorney Director of Communications Maria Velasquez at the Offices of the City Attorney. The following is a summary from a statement taken from Velasquez:

Velasquez was hired by the City Attorney’s Office as Casey Gwinn’s Press Secretary in May of 2001. She was assigned to handle community and media relations for the Office. Her daily responsibility was to handle all calls from community members and press regarding the Civil and Criminal Divisions. She was responsible for coordinating and responding to community events. In 2004 she worked almost exclusively on developing the Family Justice Center by educating the public, attending community functions, and media events. She billed all her time to the City Attorney’s general fund.

These key steps helped lay the groundwork for the Family Justice Center and for the close working relationship between the Center for Child Protection, the local child advocacy center now the Chadwick Center), and the domestic violence community.

The Domestic Violence Council was created in the November, 1991. A number of key events occurred in those early years.

In 1992, the Council became part of the Mayor’s Office under the leadership of Mayor Maureen O’Connor

In 1994, the Council was asked to leave the Mayor’s Office by Mayor Susan Golding and soon re-established itself as a private, non-profit organization housed in the San Diego City Attorney’s Office

In 1996, the Council suspended its non-profit status, electing to return to a grassroots approach consistent with its beginning in 1987

Casey Gwinn led the Council until 1999 and hosted the Council out of the City Attorney’s Office. His secretary, Jean Emmons, provided the administrative support to the Council and handled all mailings, meeting notices, and coordination of all committee meetings. The Council did hire an Executive Director, Denise Frey, for some of the early years of its development. Denise worked at the City Attorney’s Office and played a very significant role in helping to organize the committees, the structure, and the advocacy agenda of the Council.

In 1999, Assistant City Attorney Gael Strack became the President and Gael’s tenure for two years played a critical role in the early planning stages of the Family Justice Center. The entire Domestic Violence Council and all member agencies endorsed the vision for a “one stop shop” Center and much of the focus of the Council in 2000, 2001, and 2002 was on the development and opening of the Center. Subsequent Council Presidents, Verna Griffin Tabor and Diane McGrogan, made the Family Justice Center a high priority during their tenures.

There are more than 2 serious red flags in this Family Justice Center Alliance (starting in San Diego) concept.  I’d say one indicator that the guy didn’t help someone in his employee is a huge one.  The second one, Alameda County, another author believes seriously exaggerates their “people served” figures (see my “Dubious Doings by District Attorneys” post), and I would have to tend to agree, as I am local to the area and courts.     Moreover, these nonprofit 990s need to be scrutinized better in ALL the little reproduced family justice centers which are taking, for example, public (government) employees, forming nonprofits and then where, exactly is the funding coming from and going to?

Fiscal (dishonesty) in San Diego was not limited to the Water and Sewer Departments, but also the Pension, which (among other reasons) is why I sarcastically refer to this collaborative as “Casey Gwinn’s Retirement Plan.”  (Someone has to do it!)  His city attorney’s salary was $175K (it says below) — like a CA judge.  His measly pension, ony $79K (a great perspective from which to understand domestic violence issues).   He’s canvassing all over for this model and so are like-minded individuals, as we have seen.

My question is, are they like-minded in (1) failing to actually provide service to victims; (2) overbilling   (3) over-reporting the impact of the services provided?


Ex-City Attorney Gwinn called ‘negligent’ in pension fund mess

By Mark Sauer

August 16, 2006

Past and present city officials cited last week for acts ranging from malfeasance to mischief in the long-awaited report by Kroll Inc. on the city’s pension mess are ranked according to culpability.

NADIA BOROWSKI SCOTT / Union-Tribune file photo
Then-City Attorney Casey Gwinn (right), with former Mayor Dick Murphy at his side, was criticized in last week’s Kroll report on city finances.

In the top tier are those who acted with “wrongful intent,” a violation of civil law, in hiding from bond investors the pension fund’s severe underfunding and the city’s twisted sewer-rate structure.

One step down are those found to be “negligent” in carrying out their responsibilities. It is in this section that former City Attorney Casey Gwinn appears.

The report is blunt: “The City Attorney’s Office failed the City.”

In singling out Gwinn, the report said, “As the top official in the City Attorney’s Office – which certified to the accuracy of incomplete and misleading disclosures – City Attorney Casey Gwinn negligently performed his disclosure responsibilities to the City, and failed to supervise other attorneys” under him.

Among the lapses by Gwinn’s office cited in the Kroll report:

Its certification of the city’s financial disclosures to the “investing public” without independently verifying the accuracy of the information.

It kept quiet about the city’s potential obligation of up to $370 million for breaking “grant and loan covenants” while in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.  (“the city” is supported in part by taxes from wages of its residents, right)

Gwinn’s deputies failed to identify “the central illegality” of underfunding the city’s pension plan as officials made those decisions.

Like it seems he also “failed to identify” that an employee showing up with bruises and broken bones and her husband calling her constantly at work is a domestic violence victim . . . . . . 

It also chastised Gwinn’s office for years of falsifying billing records to the city’s water and wastewater departments for legal work.

Kroll, a risk-management firm based in New York, spent 18 months investigating the city’s financial practices. Kroll was paid $20.3 million for the report.

Who pays for that?  This is starting to add up — $370 million risk, $20.3 to audit something that shows up as needing an audit….

The company’s investigators didn’t get to query Gwinn about his actions during his 1996-2004 tenure as city attorney. He was among 53 city officials and employees who refused to be questioned.

“But he was not known around town as a good attorney. He didn’t want to get bogged down in pensions and water rates and all that confusing stuff,” Stutz said. “It was, ‘Let me deal with guys who smack their wives and I can get on TV.’ ”

The description does seem to hold.  Some people just love the limelight….

After term limits forced Gwinn out as city attorney, he has devoted himself to his anti-domestic-violence cause.

I have been trying to tell us — this is a personal retirement project of what now looks like a negligent and dishonest City Attorney, who became City Attorney running unopposed, partly because his predecessor (John Witt, who seemed to favor him) delayed announcing his departure so long it was hard to prepare a campaign against him.  I”m remembering how it seems Alameda County’s Tom Orloff, similarly, handed over the reigns to Nancy O’Malley by retiring early and assigning her as interim D.A., thereby skirting the open election process neatly.  She then stacked the decks (per “Steve White” of indymedia report) to make sure another crony, Nadia Davis-Lockyer, Esq., got the plum job as Executive Director of THEIR Family Justice Center.   The question comes up — who is in “The Family” here ???

In addition to being a trustee for the San Diego Family Justice Center, Gwinn works part time on special projects for District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis, who stands behind him.

“I hired Casey because he is a well-known and respected expert in domestic-violence matters,” Dumanis said. “He’s doing a great job in that area for us.”

She said Gwinn, who began working for her in December 2004, originally was a manager for the victim-restitution and crime-prevention programs, but now is a contracted employee.

“He works on special projects, mainly the regionalization of family-justice centers,” Dumanis said. The main Family Justice Center in downtown San Diego is a one-stop facility for domestic-violence victims, with police officers, social workers and medical personnel available.

Well, it’s in on the VAWA grant streams, so there’s some potential financial reward in the model.  It’s an identified VAWA “purpose model.”


There’s more, but probably too much for one post.  Casey Gwinn’s negligence as City Attorney was not limited to water and sewer matters, but also — well this NYT article says it much better, and SHOULD be read if we want to begin to understand family justice centers, their originators and promoters, and get a sense of how they’ve handled previous, smaller, responsibilities — like heading up the City Attorney Department and reporting honestly what was going on in it:

Sept. 7, 2004 NYT article (notice, around time of Josie Clark lawsuit)

Sunny San Diego Finds Itself Being Viewed as a Kind of Enron-by-the-Sea


Published: September 7, 2004

Correction Appended

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 1 – In the summer of 2003, Diann Shipione, an investment adviser at UBS Financial Services in San Diego and a trustee of the city’s employee retirement system, was scanning a prospectus on a proposed San Diego sewer bond issue when alarm bells began to ring in her head.

Important financial information was missing. The prospectus did not mention that the city had for years been shortchanging its public pension fund, leading to an unfunded liability of more than $1.15 billion, or that the city owed nearly $1 billion more in health care benefits to retirees and did not have the money. And it implied that the pension fund’s actuary had approved the underfunding when Ms. Shipione knew that he had not.

In a  etter to city officials, and in a commentary in the local newspaper, Ms. Shipione blew the whistle.


“I had completely lost confidence in the city’s financial decision making,” she said in an interview on Wednesday. “I just couldn’t let this go forward.”

Jack Smith for The New York Times

Diann Shipione did not like the way San Diego was handling its employee pension system, and let the world know. Mike Aguirre calls the situation “a powder keg.”


Well, I”m suggesting (and blowing a whistle) on the thing that came OUT of this department, called the “Family Justice Center Initiative” and all things associated with it.  Just because things are central, doesn’t mean they are honest.  Moreover, would you buy a used car — or program — from someone who’s last time in office was marked by having the FBI and US Attorney’s office investigating your city’s finances?  That’s why I’m posting a lot from this article:

And the Securities and Exchange Commission and the United States attorney’s office in San Diego opened investigations this year into possible fraud in the city’s financial statements and potential political corruption. Subpoenas were served on a number of city offices and several people confirmed that they had been interviewed by the F.B.I. in connection with the inquiry.

“This is a powder keg, a major, major problem,” said Mike Aguirre, a securities lawyer and former financial fraud investigator for the United States Senate and the Justice Department who is running for San Diego city attorney.

Mr. Aguirre said that the city’s inability to produce a credible financial statement made it impossible to know just how severe the crisis was. He said that a corporation that behaved like the City of San Diego would be delisted from the stock exchanges. He suggested that the best solution might be reorganization under Chapter 9 of the federal bankruptcy law to allow the city to rescind pension benefits.

Mr. Aguirre blamed San Diego’s laid-back civic culture in which a handful of influential businessmen, union leaders and political figures called the shots while issuing reassurances to the public that everything was on the up-and-up.

“The basic story is that San Diego has become a thoroughly corrupt community in which the power players cut the deals, you don’t ask any questions, and everybody gets what they want,” Mr. Aguirre said. “People don’t realize that one of the largest cities in the United States is on the verge of bankruptcy, and it’s on the verge because of a massive amount of local corruption that has resulted in the thorough mismanagement of city finances.”

I realize Aguirre also was running for City Attorney — however look at his background.  He’s qualified to say this.  And the more I look at it (and I am a California resident, domestic violence survivor and family law veteran, I have been looking a LONG time, locally not just nationally) — would you buy a bridge from these guys?  Corruption cannot bring forth justice, and if these centers are multiplying and expanding, I have to ask, just WHAT is being disseminated in the model?

A GREAT measure of how honest a person (or organization) is — is its financial statements, and their accuracy.  Particularly when it’s public money.

NOW is the time to say “HALT!” — and not when it’s too late.  Stop, Look, & Listen.


Oct. 2004 article:


San Diego now ‘Enron by the Sea’

By John Ritter, USA TODAY
SAN DIEGO — This laid-back city seems to have it all — stunning beaches, best weather this side of Honolulu, a national image as a vacation playground and top convention destination.

Nearly a decade of fiscal shenanigans came to light when Diann Shipione, a pension board trustee, blew the whistle. But it took some doing. She wrote letters to the mayor, city officials and fellow trustees. She spoke up at City Council meetings. She wrote opinion columns in the San Diego Union-Tribune.    [“Diann Shipione says her many warnings to the pension board were ignored.” photo by Robt Hanashiro, USA Today]

By Robert Hanashiro, USA TODAY

Funny how often it’s women noticing and blowing the whistle, and how often they are just not heard, til it becomes a crisis…

But the City Council and the trustees ignored her. At one point the pension board bought an ad in the Union-Tribune that scoffed, “Chicken Little Would Be Proud.”

Only in September 2003, when Shipione alerted a lawyer handling a municipal sewer bond sale to facts the city hadn’t disclosed, did Wall Street pull the plug. The bond issue was canceled. Soon the Securities and Exchange Commission, the FBI and the U.S. attorney were asking questions. In January, the city admitted errors and omissions in its financial statements.

“The city’s conservative image is completely false,” Shipione says. “It’s reckless, it spends wildly and lavishly, it saves nothing and it hides the truth.”


SPEAKING OF WHICH REGIONALIZATION EFFORTS: — from the FamilyJusticeCenter.com website on “The California Initiative.”  This is about as much purple-framed plain text as you are going to get anywhere on the site, perhaps there just wasn’t a desire to really pull attention to this page.  Read it, though!

The California Family Justice Initiative (CFJI) is funded by the Blue Shield of California Foundation under the leadership of the National Family Justice Center Alliance. {{headed by guess who…}}   The Initiative aims to create shared learning, shared expertise, shared capacity building, shared on-line resources, and shared technology to achieve a statewide network of Centers using model protocols, best practices, and innovative strategies to meet the needs of women, children, men, and families exposed to trauma and abuse.

What has happened to the concept of “justice” here?  However, one of the critical areas of need these populations still have, is understanding the FAMILY law system — about which little seems to be said here.     OK, here comes that expansion — like it or not — and

CA SB 557 INTRODUCED BY Senator Kehoe 
(Coauthors: Assembly Members Atkins and Fletcher) 

FEBRUARY 17, 2011 

An act to add and repeal Title 5.3 (commencing with Section 13750) 
of Part 4 of the Penal Code, relating to family justice centers.

will certainly help this personal retirement plan of some key public figures.  No wonder it’s catching on..

[Back to the FJC site….]

The CFJI consists of two 2-year phases. Phase I operated from March 2009-March 2011 and Phase II will operate from March 2011-March 2013.

You know why the “Crisis in the Courts” people aren’t paying attention to this and letting mothers know (nor do the justice centers, naturally, report on the Crisis in the Courts when womeon come on for restraining orders — which are certifiably insane, potentially lethal, and from which if someone just so hap

In Phase I of the Initiative, five communities were selected from across California to participate as “learning laboratory sites” where multi-agency, co-located service delivery models for victims of domestic violence were supported and expanded.  The five founding centers from Phase I are: Shasta, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Los Angeles (San Fernando Valley), and West Contra Costa County. The Alameda County Family Justice Center, Anaheim Family Justice Center, and San Diego Family Justice Center served as Regional Training Centers, assisting sites in expanding and developing multi-agency service delivery models around the state.

I.e., if you weren’t in the loop, you just missed the roots spreading and establishing a presence in 3 California Counties — one north, one south, one Anaheim.


Phase II of the California Family Justice Center Initiative will maintain and expand a network of Centers across California.

Not if I have anything to do with this!

I suggest that they be forced — with supervised visitation monitors paid for from their last set of royalties or anywhere but a federal or foundation grants stream — to sit through classes from the “California Healthy Marriages Coalition” whether or not they have faith (This $2.4 million/year grant from HHS was to establish a coalition of coalitions on the other side of the issue of DV _- i.e., it’s just a “family” matter, you guys should work it out…. stay (or get) married, marriage is good!).   Make everyone wanting to expand these centers take time (get off a plane!  Skip a conference!) and sit through a session of KIDS’ TURN SAN DIEGO at their own expense, and then publish narratives of it.  

This meeting of the Family Justice Center ALliance staff with the Faith-based abstinence and marriage/fatherhood promoters should definitely be live and youtubed, so we can see one trying to convert the other.    OR, if they set up another mutually profitable “collaboration” we can catch them in the act and tweet it.

OR, have them hire Diann Shipione to audit Kids’ Turn books, too!  There are a number of alternatives I can think of which might free up some public monies in these troubled times….

Where there’s a will, there’s a way.


Ongoing support to the five founding centers created during Phase I will be provided. Five additional California communities will be selected to receive technical assistance and planning support for expanding multi-agency, co-located service deliver models for victims of domestic violence.”


Here’s SB 557 as of now, and an AROUND THE CAPITOL BILL TRACK link to it:


xisting law provides for various services and programs to assist victims of crime, including grants to proposed and existing child sexual exploitation and child abuse victim counseling centers and prevention programs, and the establishment of a resource center to operate a statewide, toll-free information service consisting of legal information for crime victims and providers of services to crime victims.

This bill would authorize the cities of San Diego and Anaheim, and the counties of Alameda and Sonoma, until January 1, 2014, to establish a multiagency, multidisciplinary family justice center to assist victims of domestic violence, officer-involved domestic violence, sexual assault, elder abuse, stalking, cyberstalking, cyberbullying, and human trafficking, to ensure that victims of abuse are able to access all needed services in one location and to enhance victim safety, increase offender accountability, and improve access to services for victims of crime, as provided. The bill would permit the family justice centers to be staffed by law enforcement, medical, social service, and child welfare personnel, among others.

Good grief — some of the hardest times women have is reporting to police officers or sherriffs, or DA’s offices, and getting a response.  This is already documented in SONOMA COUNTY-based:  “Women’s Justice Center.”

Increasing Women’s Numbers and Influence in Policing
Breaking and Entering the Thick Blue Line ~ Where is the Women’s Movement? 
Law Enforcement Opportunities NOW!
More Sexism than Ever at Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department

The police and enforcement profession historically has been rough on women — in 2000s, and ongoing.

Sexual Harassment at
SRJC Police Academy

March 17, 2001

Mr. Robert Agrella, President
Santa Rosa Junior College
Santa Rosa, CA

Dear Mr. Robert Agrella,

We’re writing to express our concerns that months of unchecked sexual harassment at the SRJC Police Academy this past year resulted in the loss of five promising female cadets from the evening academy.

We are especially concerned that, according to a number of cadets, this harassment went on for months and that the director of the evening academy, Deputy Peter Hardy, repeatedly ignored or minimized cadets’ reports of the harassment. In fact, according to cadets, Director Hardy protected the perpetrator at the expense of the cadets, and allowed the perpetrator to graduate in December. The perpetrator is now eligible to become a police officer in California. The careers of the female cadets have been lost to the community.

Here’s some more from this public letter, although this is not my only concern about having “JUSTICE CENTERS” (which as we can see are nonprofit organizations, or foundations set up (ACFCJ) to channel $$ to nonprofit organizations) but sometimes staffed and working by public employees, as with Mr. Gwinn.

In fact, it could be said if anything, these centers might specifically have been designed to NOT allow the independence women need to protect themselves,

and later, their children, by demanding equal treatment by officers as well as in the family law systems (although, the family law system was set up for “wide discretion with judicial immunity” and nothing approaching equality. ).  Read on:

Here are just some of the indicators of the problem:

  • The national average of female sworn officers on police forces is 14%. The percentage of sworn females among the sum of police in Sonoma County is less than half the national average.
  • In the last four years, at least ten female sworn officers have left the Santa Rosa Police Department, five of whom stated to us that they left because of the hostile work environment in that department against females. Santa Rosa Police Department has never had a female in any position of rank, not even a female sargent. As of August 4, 2000, Santa Rosa Police Department had only 13 sworn female officers (7%) out of a total of 173 sworn officers.
  • In the same time period, Sonoma County Sheriff’s Department has had at least 10 female deputies and corrections officers file sexual harassment complaints and lawsuits. As of August, 2000, the Sheriff’s Department had only 17 sworn female officers (7%) out of a total of 218 sworn officers.
  • Sebastopol Police Department has never had a female sworn officer until this year,
  • Sonoma State University Police two years ago paid off a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by a female officer who was sexually assaulted by one superior, and ordered by another to falsify a domestic violence report so that the report would favor the male suspect.

In addition to the gross injustice to the women in these situations, what’s equally disturbing is the intolerable cost to our communities. Two decades of research on women police is conclusive. Women officers exceed male officers on many of precisely the skills that are so sorely needed to correct chronic problems plaguing our police. The research shows that women officers have much lower rates of excessive use of force, they better handle rape and domestic violence, and they excel at de-escalating volatile situations.

Feel free to photocopy and distribute this information as long as you keep the credit and text intact.
Copyright © Marie De Santis,
Women’s Justice Center,


The bill would prohibit victims of crime from being denied services at a family justice center solely on the grounds of criminal history and would prohibit a criminal history search from being conducted during the client intake process.

The bill would require the family justice centers to submit a report to the Office of Privacy Protection for review and comment, and then submit the report to the Assembly Committee on Judiciary and the Senate Committee on Judiciary, no later than January 1, 2013, as specified. The bill would require each family justice center to maintain a formal training program with mandatory training for all staff members, volunteers, and agency professionals, as specified.

Training doesn’t ensure compliance.  At what point in time can a litigant — any kind of litigant — actually read the laws, and codes of procedures, AS they exist, and expect elected or appointed city, county (or state) employees to simply follow them.  We have to obey traffic signals or get fines, and have our licenses revoked or suspended if we can’t pay (see “SF Pre-Trial Diversion Program,” under some comments on “Ron Albers” recently, I posted on this one).
This bill is PASSING — fast:  Yet who has really followed up on what the first two have actually been doing?  Or looking at the books?
Remembering the comments form “Women’s Justice Center” of Sonoma County (here, and at top of post), which I feel are very close to reality (and this grandiose talk about helping hurting families is just sales talk….), let’s take a look at the personnel in the “California Family Justice Initiative” from the site.  Notice the titles — who is whom (top left & bottom right are Blue Shield, California)…



cfji advisory board

I have expressed my opinion on the “Family Violence Prevention Fund” plenty on this post (search it).  They are a major player, and receive funding from
very conservative big-players (annie E. Casey, as I recall) and highlight Fatherhood.  A post in January 2011 (I think) quoted their preventing violence by encouraging fatherhood theory (whatever it was called).    We have two Lts. heading up 2 family justice centers, and two of the originators (Gwinn/Strack), both attorneys, on this project.  CPEDV  (Shabazz) would be on the CFDA 93591 grants stream (grants to domestic violence coalitions) and formerly I believe it was called the California Alliance (not partnership) Against Domestic Violence, which also shows up in the FVLC Executive Director’s background.
This person started safe houses and advocacy in the 70s, watched it change, had some struggles with her own organization.  I met her.  I heard how there was a move to get her group out of the “Coalition” membership on a technicality, which affected grants they could get.  Yet, at Battered Mothers Custody Conference 2011 (my first — and probably last — attendance, as it’s primarily DV professionals and Family Court Professionals marketing their wares to some very, very distressed mothers) (and they tell less than I do about the system…..) . . . ..    This woman (I believe it was her I spoke with) brought the women with her (it being geographically within range I guess) and sold nothing.  http://www.rbrw.org/RBRWblog/?p=651.  The solutions are local and not forever trying to change the world at public expense — but really help real people (from what I can tell).
The women had a strong spirit of unity.  As you can see from this article, she also acknowledged the custody struggle, sexual abuse allegations issue and was involved in helping women deal with it.  That is a FAMILY law issue….
SB 557 is a personal project of politically connected people from Enron By the Bay and a County with some of the highest homicide rates in the country (Oakland, Richmond). I have suffered for years in this county and experienced multiple problems with honesty among law enforcement.  Never during the years of severe abuse in one of those cities did anyone inform me of laws or legal options to have the batterer arrested for assault & battery (it was my husband).   Then when I became independent and “off the system” the real troubles began — probalby for those reasons.  Again, police were called to help at times, and finally, in what the California calls a felony — but family law calls a “dispute” — and law enforcement, I learned later, calls a “wobbler” — meaning, the D.A. exercised HIS option not to prosecute — my children were illegally and permanently removed from my custody (as so often happens) with no judge, anywhere — giving a legal OR factual basis for doing so.  This was done knowing that the method of removal was itself an act of violence and blatant violation of about 3 types of codes (Educational, Family, Penal) at a time — and that was just the beginning.  It was done around the issue of child support (which pretty much eliminated child support from my kids).  ALL of this happened with clear knowledge — and what sure seemed to me like complicit acceptance — by the county sheriffs, various police (not Alameda County) and eventually, the DA’s in two different counties, as initially I didn’t know which one had jurisdiction.
THIS INITIATIVE IS PASSING REAL SOON IF NO ONE PROTESTS — please get involved, and I ask for feedback, and help investigating the various nonprofit (form 990s) for the many justice center initiatives already involved.  It’s time we got some answers why justice will not happen without more nonprofits.
Here’s a narrative from this SOSDV.org about a woman who, like the woman at Casey Gwinn’s office, felt she had to defend herself form an incident.  It talks about how the evidence was handled.  She is alive — but now in jail, per this.  Can you imagine the situation?

What’s Money got to do with it? This is about love, helping kids, protecting gender expression, right?

with 2 comments

Yesterday, I almost got lost among AB 887 (redefining gender) and the backgrounds of its sponsor, after my recent post about the attempted (in 2002) AB 2263, suggesting that our top Judicial organization in the state (California Judicial Council) get paid — assuming it could also find other funding — to judge the mental health efficacy of Kids’ Turn, excuse me,  (this is the sanitized version)”

projects or programs that provide services to assist children and their 
families while the parents are in the process of obtaining a divorce or legal separation... [[not mentioned -- this process can and does often take years -- like 10, 15, 18...]]

and which measures, among 5  standards, 3 which deal such hard data as “degree of conflict,” “mental health of children,” and “change in (parental) attitude”:

(1) Any decrease in conflict between the parents regarding custody issues, as reported by the parents.

(2) The mental health of the children, as measured by their attitudes before and after participating in the project or program.

(3) Any change in the attitude of the parents who participate in the project or program.

Conflict is obviously bad — this is why, the US never engages in wars abroad or at home, such as on terror, drugs, homelessness, poverty, or fatherlessness.  Conflict is Bad.  Having the Judicial System involved in receiving public monies to evaluate the effectiveness of behavioral modification programs (run by family law professionals and supported by millionaires and billionaires — see my posts, it’s true!) — is, per our Legislators (in 2002) Good.  All they wanted was $50,000 — plus matching funds. In the cleaned up version…

Original version was more direct – but someone thought better of that and reworded it from the original, as reported May, 2002:

AB 2263, by Assemblywoman Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, which would require the Judicial Council to study the effectiveness of expanding the Kids’ Turn program, which assists children while their parents are in family court obtaining a divorce or legal separation. The bill was approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on a 23-0 vote May 15, passed the Assembly on a 72-2 vote May 23 and was sent to the Senate.

I think we should know who those 23 people sitting on the Appropriations Committee that said YES were:

FYI, for a perspective Assemblypersons in 2011 have salaries ranging from $95,291 (most) to $109K (one) and a few $102K.  Judges outrank them by ca. 50% as to salaries.  Kids’ Turn is a judges project (if not slush fund..)  Judge are always being so helpful, because they love kids.

One legislator (Atkins) had previous been chief staff of the other former assemblyperson, now Senator legislator (Kehoe), it turns out and both were “out” lesbians (hardly unusual for California, but sometimes even I forget).  Another Sunburst Youth Housing Project has Atkins & Partner/Wife’s name on it.

 January 2005, after more than 3 1/2 years of hard work, The Center announced the creation of an innovative youth supportive housing project. This cutting-edge program is one of the first projects of its kind in the United States. The Youth Housing project provides 23 units of affordable, supportive housing for youth between 18-24 years of age, with a special focus on LGBTQ+ youth. These high-risk youth were living in the streets or in public spaces after having been ejected from their homes because of their sexual orientation.

This project has been made possible by the leadership and vision of Rev. Tony Freeman, Dr. Heather Berberet, San Diego City Councilmember Toni Atkins, Jennifer LeSar, The Center and its project collaborators — YMCA Youth and Family Services, San Diego Youth and Community Services, Metropolitan Community Church, Walden Family Services and the Chadwick Center at Children’s Hospital.  We opened our doors to youth at the beginning of February 2006.

Oh yes, and the AB 887 sponsor’s wife was caught — well reported — exploiting the homelessness problem in San Diego to turn a nice penny as consultant for herself ($225/hour) by farming out the work to others, while her wife (Assemblyperson Atkins) was photographed with the volunteers counting the homeless.

2011, SanDiegoReader seems to be keeping tabs on these conflicts of interest:

Why Was Toni Atkins Consulting for Developers Vying for Redevelopment Dollars After She Was Elected to State Assembly?

By historymatters | Posted January 27, 2011, 3:51 p.m.

Why was State Assembly Majority WHIP Toni Atkins working for LeSar Development Consulting firm as the Senior Principal of Housing Policy and Planning even after she was elected to State Assembly? Toni was consulting with developers and helping them lobby to get these redevelopment tax dollars for their projects. So how in the world can she vote objectively as a State Assembly member let alone State Majority WHIP to freeze this redevelopment money and return it to schools and other state resources when she has a definite financial stake in seeing that the money remain in the pockets of developers like her wife and their clients.

How is it that Atkins and her wife Jennifer LeSar are continually allowed to financially benefit from the affordable housing gravy train. Affordable housing is a multi million dollar issue with a multi million dollar bounty at stake to the most cunning and shrewd land developers and Atkins is voting on this issue despite her personal financial stake. LeSar served as a CCDC Board Member for years while Atkins simultaneously served on City Council and voted to approve millions in redevelopment funds.

Meanwhile, Hunting for the Homeless (2011 Feb. Press article)

State Assemblymember, 76th District, Toni Atkins uses a flashlight to look for people sleeping in a canyon as she participates in the Point in Time Count in Hillcrest. This year's numbers were up.

State Assemblymember, 76th District, Toni Atkins uses a flashlight to look for people sleeping in a canyon as she participates in the Point in Time Count in Hillcrest. This year’s numbers were up

I’m starting to like this blogger, “historymatters” — who seems to be on top of the issues — not that anyone seems to be stopping this flagrant wearing two hats at once while selling projects (contracts to cronies — or partners (nepotism?) — which are to help the public, allegedly).  San Diego is not my area — except for the reputation they have in messing with parents around family law, and the infamous “Family Justice Center Model” (Casey Gwinn retirement program), same general idea.  Our public servants are I guess to busy working on (and dreaming up, or expanding) projects to help the rest of us that it slipped their minds to report who was getting the contracts for those projects.  During an era of increasing unemployment, skyrocketing gas prices, closing libraries, thousands of California prisoners being released due to overcrowding, and such — it’s very important to sell educational programs to parents undergoing divorce (and measure whether they worked) — and of course SOMEBODY has to go hunt up the homeless (while, during the daytimes, they are encouraged to keep moving….)

In “I’ve Got Issues” (I’m starting to like this blogger):

Jennifer LeSar was on the Board of Directors of the Centre City Development Corp. (CCDC) from 2002 to 2009. She started her development consulting business in 2005 consulting many of the same developers she was working with on CCDC. http://lesardevelopment.com/about-us/ CCDC recently asked the City Council to approve the contract extension with redevelopment money, yes that same redevelopment money that Atkins as State Assembly WHIP will vote on in Sacramento….sound like a conflict of interest?

2009 Article stating that Kehoe is going to back her former staffer, ex-City-Councilwoman Atkins for State Assembly( which we can see, she obviously got).

2010, January — The GayandLesbianTimes protests politicking by this duo (Kehoe & Atkins) (control of a nonprofit board? stacked — under threat to the organization if it didn’t comply?)

Former board resigns, San Diego Democratic Club appointed by Kehoe to take over Pride
The reconstituted Board of Directors of San Diego LGBT Pride met Wednesday, Jan. 27. The first order of business was to accept the resignations of board members Philip Princetta, Co-chair and Mike Karim, Treasurer. According to Pride, the new board members are fully committed to transparency and will honor the duties and responsibilities of the organization and continue the mission of San Diego Pride. However, the first meeting was closed into executive session soon after it began.
At a special meeting held last Saturday, attended by City Councilmember Todd Gloria and former San Diego deputy mayor Toni Atkins, State Senator Christine Kehoe demanded that San Diego LGBT Pride board members Chair Philip Princetta, Treasurer Mike Karim, Secretary Carl Worrell either resign or she would place the organization into receivership – a court action that places property under the control of a receiver during litigation – according to an anonymous source at the meeting.
Kehoe, Atkins and Gloria packed the San Diego Pride Board with a crossover of supporters, donors, and endorsers of their political campaigns – appointing the San Diego Democratic Club to take over Pride.
Community members are questioning if they have legal authority to take such actions under the Brown Act….
In a letter, obtained by the Gay & Lesbian Times, Worrell said, “I don’t know that I have ever before found myself in a situation where every alternative solution is wrong. But, in my opinion, that is the situation now. After the unconscionable bullying we took from Christine Kehoe, Todd Gloria and Toni Atkins; it is obvious that my involvement in shaping the future of Pride must end.
In addition to demanding that the three current board members resign, Kehoe also stated that all Pride board meetings would be attended by a representative from both Kehoe’s and Gloria’s offices. She ordered a hiring freeze and said all Pride business must go through her office before any actions were taken, according to the anonymous source.

One reason I steer clear from nonprofits.  Another reason is that I learned the hard way that they are answerable to their funders more than the clients they serve.  I would NEVER deal with a nonprofit (If I were you) anymore without knowing who is on the board of directors, and who is footing the bills.   Moreover, nonprofits can have their boards taken over and start firing staff, totally change the character of any organization which may have started out well.

So, I’m interested why these people would be so interested in controlling the nonprofit here San Diego LGBT Pride and looked it up.  “Year Founded:1974 Ruling Year:1995” (meaning actually showed up as a nonprofit 21 years after it started…  Wow, kinda like AFCC, which took forever to incorporate properly and start reporting income and paying taxes…).   Income they deal with listed at $1.47 million…   Purpose:

Foster pride in and respect for all Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,

and Transgender communities locally and globally.

(See yesterday’s post on the gender expression bill.  Guess some real progress has been made there.)

Guidestar’s IRS form 990 for the year 2009 shows only the 3 ousted officer, plus Exec. Director Ron deHarte earning $113K, and the main activity rallies, festivals, etc.  (and operating in the whole).  The income is mostly “program service revenue.”

Whether or not this type of behavior and leadership qualities is played out in the LGBT community or not, it seems common in these combos, I have noticed:

  • Legislator Connection
  • City level control (Councilmen, Councilwomen), and  County Level Supervisors
  • Redevelopment Connections (real estate developers, or those financing it)
  • Favored nonprofits controlled by one of the above to provide services
  • Cronies getting the contracts, or cronies/spouses getting to be Exec. Director of the favored Nonprofit/agency  (Example:  “Dubious Doings by District Attorneys — Attorney General Bill Lockyer’s (3rd) wife gets coveted $90K job over a $3million-grant-initiated “Alameda County Family Justice Center” (I think was the title) whose actual benefits to the public are questioned (if ever proved).    The process by which this Executive Director was appointed took the cooperation of County Supervisors, helped by the early resignation of a (as I recall) District Attorney (rather than waiting out is term to let the appointment happen normally:  i.e., From Orloff to Nancy O’Malley.
For an example, here’s a quick summary (I also blogged it — but it was someone else who researched it):
SEPT 2009 (article shows an Oakland City Council person deluged with protests about constituents being whammed with parking meter increases, and slammed with violations…which is affecting business for the local retailers…   So the City Councilperson is often between a rock and a hard place, meaning the collaboration between other already tightly bonded parts of local govt:

Case closed: One big reason the Alameda County Board of Supervisors voted to name retiring District Attorney Tom Orloff‘s handpicked successor, Nancy O’Malley, to the plum job was her role in helping launch the Alameda County Family Justice Center – a federally funded program that helps victims of domestic violence.

Not only are Supervisors Gail Steele and Alice Lai-Bitker big supporters of the program, but its executive director is Nadia Maria Davis-Lockyer – the wife of longtime East Bay pol Bill Lockyer.  Nadia is also running for supervisor.

Both Steele & Lai-Bitker have a reputation for being really concerned about domestic violence, and Steele, even for this crisis in the courts.  HOWEVER — has that justice center actually helped as many people as it says it did?  And if they’re so concerned about the bottom segments of society (and kids, of course….) — why not set a better example, and let the heads of major nonprofits receiving a FAT federal grant – be picked legally, instead of voting to minimize public awareness, and public comment ?  A “Steve White” (Indymedia) blogged this in 2006.  I can’t see that the practices have changed much, over time.  I blogged it, too:
There’s a certain truth (though not as intended, I’m sure) in the testimonials from this Justice Center’s site:

This is really changing the way the system is responding to victims.”
-Nancy O’Malley, Alameda County Chief Assistant District Attorney

“We use business principles to address social problems and build lasting solutions.”
-Nadia Davis-Lockyer, Esq., Executive Director

Well, well — the Sneak Peak of ACFCJ finds out that Ms. Nadia is going to take retiring County Supervisor Gayle Steele’s place — very appropriate, because Supervisor Steele probably could have — but like Lai-Bitker, chose not to — protest the improper propelling of this woman to the head of the ACFCJ to start with (see the articles i’ve linked to).  TWO county supervisors protested swishing the appointment past the public improperly.  THREE County supervisors (including those two) did not.  So here we are —

Congratulations and Thank You, Nadia Lockyer

On November 2, 2010, Nadia Lockyer was elected to the Alameda County Board of Supervisors to fill the seat vacated by retired County Supervisor, Gayle Steele. Nadia’s last day as the Executive Director of the ACFJC was December 31, 2010. We wish to thank Nadia for all she did for the ACFJC and we wish her well in her new position. We know she will continue advocating to ensure the safety and health of all children and families in Alameda County.

Senior Deputy District Attorney, Kim Hunter, will be the Acting Director of the ACFJC. She and Cherri Allison of FVLC will work together to provide leadership until a new director is installed.

And of course a blurb in this ACFCJ newsletter celebrates the inauguration of Nancy O’Malley, who helped get this ACFCJ started:

District Attorney, Nancy O’Malley, Sworn in at ACFJC

The Inauguration Ceremony of Nancy O’Malley, Alameda County District Attor- ney, took place at the ACFJC on January 3, 2011. Approximately 250 people gathered on the 2nd floor to hear an introduction by Chief Assistant District Attorney, Kevin Dunleavy, and the Oath of Office administered by Cali- fornia Supreme Court Associate Justice Carol Corrigan. Nancy ended the ceremony with a touching speech that thanked her mentors and family. A reception immediately followed at Z Café.

Congratulations Nancy!

While most Centers & Units  under this County’s DA’s office have addresses basically at the courthouse (1225 Fallon St most common address listed), “Child Abduction” and “Domestic Violence” have been exported to a different address, or “Center” here — 427   27th Street, Oakland.  (I developed a recent habit — looking up street addresses of nonprofits to see who else is there).
Convenient for the providers, not necessarily the best for the clients.
While I’m here (on that Alameda County Family Justice Center) — FYI
Guidestar, the address shows a nonprofit “Bay Area Women Against Rape”BAY AREA WOMEN AGAINST RAPE

Also Known As:

Physical Address:
470 27TH St
Oakland , CA 94612 
2008 IRS Form 990 (contains warning notice on potential errors in this version)
EIN# 942300454
This group’s budget is small fry among big fry (Grants $650,000) and its Executive Director, Marcia Blackstock has something worth hearing about this group and practices in general:

If you’ve got ears, listen up to this one:


Blackstock is the Executive Director of Bay Area Women Against Rape, which was founded in 1971 and is recognized as one of the first three victim assistance programs in the nation.

Initial Involvement in the Crime Victims’ Movement

Marcia Blackstock became involved in Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR) as a volunteer in 1978. BAWAR had been formed in 1971 by an outraged foster mother whose high school-age daughter had been treated badly both by the police and the emergency room staff after she was raped.

Context of the Era

BAWAR had a “huge adversarial relationship” with law enforcement, hospital personnel, mental health professionals, and the judiciary in the early days. Blackstock remembers that BAWAR’s views were not trusted, nor did BAWAR trust anyone in the system to appropriately assist sexual assault victims. “It was a lot of upheaval, a lot of anxiety, and frustration,” Blackstock recalls. On the other hand, there was substantial community support from the local universities and other collective groups such as the Berkeley Free Clinic and the Women’s Health Collective that were also working and organizing to see that people were treated with dignity and respect and that their needs were met.

Greatest Challenge

Looking back, Blackstock believes that the greatest challenge was establishing credibility among professionals in the various fields that dealt with rape victims. The therapists, law enforcement officers, judiciary, and hospital personnel considered themselves the “experts” and maintained an adversarial relationship with BAWAR mainly because of its grassroots origins. The BAWAR advocates were not considered to be “professionals.”

“We were coming from a peer-support, community-based, grassroots organization that brought in a huge variety of people from a variety of backgrounds and education and ideas, but all coming together and focusing on a common goal. But we were considered ‘peer’ and not ‘professional’, at best paraprofessional and rarely that.”

One of the problems that BAWAR faced was that licensed counselors who felt that they were more knowledgeable had no experience at all working with sexual assault victims.

Or course, professionals and experts know better than grassroots advocates (or victims of crime) what’s best for them, and should be paid accordingly.
In looking up another Board of Directors of BAWAR, (Candace Archuleta)  the “Rakheem Bolton” case (Dallas, Texas) comes up, in which a cheerleader who was held down, locked in, raped — and whose rapist got off with a handslap — took a real stand.
In fact when she was supposed to be jumping up and down and shouting encouragement to him, she just stood.
She refused to cheer for him when he was back on the basketball court.  She didn’t call names, throw things, threaten, or anything.  She just stood, silent.  And for this, was punished
(WHY does this remind me of battered mothers who have some resistance to co-parenting with identified abusers or child molesters?  Family Courts have a hey-day with that obstinance….) 
Oh boy — none of that lack of “spirit” in the school! — and she was kicked off the cheerleading squad.

A high school student who refused to cheer on her “rapist” has been ordered to pay $45,000 for filing a “frivolous” lawsuit. Where’s the justice in this?

By Cord Jefferson
Posted: 05/05/2011 02:54 PM EDT

I didn’t want to have to say his name and I didn’t want to cheer for him,” she told reporters in 2009. “I just didn’t want to encourage anything he was doing.”

To that end, HS refused to cheer for Bolton when he stepped up to take some free throws during a game in January 2009, four months after he had pleaded guilty to the attack. When she folded her arms and stood silently, however, her school’s superintendent, Richard Bain, ordered her outside and told her she had to cheer for Bolton. When she refused again, HS was kicked off the cheerleading squad.

(How much money, fame, press does a good basketball team attract to a school?)

HS later sued the school for kicking her off the team, but the results of that lawsuit have time and again gone terrifyingly against her.

(What’s Gender got to do with THAT situation?  Or, money? –or Justice?  The rapist paid $2,500, and she has to pay the school district $45,000 for protesting —  not with violence, but with silence?)


Now — think about it.  BAWAR is at this area, and getting small amt. of funding compared to the larger scope, yet rape and assault is a major part of domestic violence.    Yet Guidestar shows this “Alameda County Family Justice Center” at the same address — which we know is a major project — it has a physical, building presence — and yet it’s listed on Guidestar AS IF a nonprofit, incorporation 2010 (we know, formed much earlier) same address:


Also Known As:

Physical Address:
470 270TH StOakland , CA 94612
At A Glance
Category (NTEE):
Human Services / (Victims’ Services) 
Year Founded:
2010  Ruling Year: 2010 

I’m looking at a 990 signed this past February by Harold Boscovich.  (You can too — it’s free).  There are no officers, no income, and no officer, it says, was paid.    Now THAT’s an unusual tax return!   “The purpose of this corporation (not nonprofit?) it “to provide comprehensive collaborative professional services to victims of domestic violence and their children, to victims of sexual abuse, sexual assault, and sexual exploitation; to victims of elder abuse, and to victims of child abuse, at no cost.

WAIT A MINUTE!  Aren’t these the legitimate functions already of governmental (not nonprofit) agencies?  Such as the District Attorney’s office?
The books of this corporation are in the possession, it says, of D.A. “Nancy O’Malley, 470 270th Street, Oakland 94612″ (deliberate typo?  Oakland has no 270th street; see address) and the corporation’s contact# is the same.”
 We already know that Ms. Nadia’s salary was paid by the DA’s office (per indymedia blogger & local commentator, Steve White — see links)  It is classified as a “community trust” (line 8, Part I, of “Schedule A”) I guess IRS Section 170 (b)(1)(a)(vi).
I’m a novice and maybe you are.  A SF Law firm summarizes / explains (Thank you, Adler & Colvin, a Law Corporation, 235 Montgomery, Ste. 1220, for this link and information):

QUALIFYING FOR PUBLIC CHARITY STATUS: The Section 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) and 509(a)(1) Test and the Section 509(a)(2) Test

Tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code permits a charitable organization to pay no tax on any operating surplus it may have at the end of a year, and it permits donors to claim a charitable deduction for their contributions.

There is a further division in the world of Section 501(c)(3) organizations, classifying them into private foundations and public charities.

The private foundation laws impose a 2 percent tax on investment income, limit self-dealing and business holdings, require annual distributions, prohibit lobbying entirely, and restrict the organization’s operations in other ways. Also, large donors to a private foundation have a lower ceiling on the amount of deductible gifts they can claim each year. In most circumstances, public charity status is preferable to private foundation status.

And it appears that this Alameda County Family Justice Center (“ACFJC” as I might refer to it again), started by District Attorney Nancy O’Malley, hand-picked by the retiring one TOm Orloff as a shoo-in (or to be the incumbent shortly before he retired) whose connections I’m sure helped get the $3 million grant to start this particular ACFCJ — and who then helped get another connected individual, Nadia Davis-Lockyer, Esq. become Executive Director and at once get a 50% increase in salary, to just below what a California Legislator (Assembly) typically gets ($90,000 / $95,921)….

Well, back to our IRS stipulations / qualifications link:

To determine the charity’s support base, (we might as well look at this….)

Gifts, grants,(Footnote 3) contributions, and membership fees received.

Gross investment income (e.g., interest, dividends, rents, royalties, but not gains from sale of capital assets).

Taxable income from unrelated business activities,4 less the amount of any tax imposed on such income.

Benefits from tax revenues received by the charity, and any services or facilities furnished by the government to the charity without charge, other than those generally provided to the public without charge.

{{Hmmm….Does this rule have anything to do with why a new location was needed for the Center?}}

Footnote 3 In some limited circumstances, an unexpectedly large grant may be excluded from both public support tests as an “unusual grant” described in Regulation § 1.170A-9(e)(6). These technical rules are beyond the scope of this memorandum.


Not becoming a Private Foundation — Well, if there’s a whole lot of wealth involved, this could be annoying.  Also, if you want very large private donors to support you, they deductible for those donors is also lower, which may make them wish to contribute instead to  501( c)3s as “Public charities” — like the Kids’ Turns of the family law world?

A Section 501(c)(3) organization can avoid private foundation status, and thus be classified as a public charity, in any of three ways: (1) by being a certain kind of institution, such as a church, school, or hospital; (2) by meeting one of two mathematical public support tests; or (3) by qualifying as a supporting organization to another public charity. In this memo, we discuss the two mathematical public support tests.

The Public/Governmental Support Test of Sections 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) and 509(a)(1)

This public support test was designed for charities which derive a significant proportion of their revenues from donations from the public, including foundation grants, and from governmental grants. The test has two variations. If an organization can satisfy either of the two variations of this support test, it will qualify as a public charity under Sections 170(b)(1)(A)(vi) and 509(a)(1).

The first variation is known as the one-third test. A charity can satisfy this test if public support is one-third or more of the total support figure. Nothing more is needed if this mathematical fraction is attained.

The second variation, known as the 10 percent facts and circumstances test, has two requirements. First, the charity’s public support must be at least 10 percent of its total support. Second, the charity must demonstrate, with reference to facts and circumstances specified by the IRS, that it is operated more like a public charity than like a private foundation.

For “Program Accomplishments” it says “See Schedule O.”  One year, the return simply had the organization’s title in there; the next year, it again restated the organization’s purpose.  These are hardly “program accomplishments.”
As it’s a certain kind of public charity, I’d like to see the IRS letter of Determination
Now — When I googled this Inc’s name (ACFJC) 3 and 3 groups only came up.  This (also Oakland-based) is the second one.     (The third is the Bill Wilson Center in LA? area).  This is where the money seems to be recorded — the Family Violence Law Center  (EIN# 942527939)
Income: $3,250,900
Also known as: FVLC
Oakland, CA 94623
Category: I71 (Spouse Abuse, Prevention of); P43 (Family Violence Shelters and Services); P62 (Victims’ Services)Physical Address:PO Box 22009 Oakland , CA 94623Web Address:www.fvlc.org  Telephone:(510) 2080220 Facsimile:(510) 2083557 Contact:Ms. Cherri N. Allison, , Esq.cherri@fvlc.orgExecutive Director(510) 2080220 x32
This amount seems closer to the grant mentioned for the spanking new ACFJC a while back.  NOtice different address (like a PO Box….) and although ACFCJ actually has a web address, Guidestar doesn’t list it for some reason.
2008 Tax Return says that
GRANTS — Prior Year, $318,322,
THIS year $1,386,008
Program Service Revenue  — last year:   1,680,748,
THIS year $1,867,703
Given that part of domestic violence is economic abuse — the victims are not usually flush with funds — I’m going to hazard a guess that they are selling trainings and products to other nonprofits, or to agency professionals whose trainings are paid for by public funds.  That’s just a guess.  Unless you know a slew of domestic violence survivors that can pay this kind of money to help support the group.
I’d say collaboration works, eh?
Here’s a current job advertisement for “youth program director” — will earn perhaps a bit less than half what the former ACFCJ Exec. Director did, at $42K – $48K per year.  Children are being born daily (hence no shortage of Youth in the area) and the former clients that ran through ACFCJ are probably dealing with high-conflict custody cases, wondering where their child support went, and figuring out how to co-parent with whoever this group helped them get a protective order on earlier.   Meanwhile, their lives having first justified grants to this organization, will now be justifying grants for “access and visitation,” a cause which essentially undoes what the first round did — protection.
Their mission statement, history, accomplishments, and who they collaborate with is listed clearly here:

Mission Statement

Family Violence Law Center (FVLC) has been working to end domestic violence in Alameda County since 1978, when a small group of abuse survivors founded the agency. To advance our mission of ending domestic violence, FVLC employs a holistic approach that integrates a comprehensive service model with dedicated efforts to address and change institutional barriers for domestic violence survivors within the legal, health, education, and criminal justice systems.

Yeah, “holistic” and “comprehensive service” are definitely the keywords these days.  Please notice carefully (underlined) which systems it tries to address and change “institutional barriers for domestic violence survivors” within — it specifically does NOT mention within the Judicial system, and it most definitely does not mention anything — at all – about the “FAMILY LAW SYSTEM” although it’s title says ‘Family Law Violence Center.”

Go figure, huh?  And how telling.  The most critical information people coming through “stage one” of leaving domestic violence, assuming kids are involved, is what is coming up next — which IS the “family law system.”.

After looking at the 990 (as usual, I often go straight to the officers’ page), and notice the Executive Director is being paid a modest (for this size of operation) salary of $90K year, and her name is:


Cherri N. Allison, Esq. is the Executive Director at FVLC. A lifetime resident of Oakland, Ms. Allison has more than 7 years of legal non-profit management experience. Ms. Allison also has over 12 years of experience as a family law attorney.

Prior to coming to FVLC, Ms. Allison was the Director of Programs at the Alameda County Bar Association. In addition to Ms. Allison’s expertise in non-profit management, she has experience in board development, program development, grant writing and investments. She currently serves as the President of the Board for the Women Lawyers of Alameda County, is a former member of the FVLC Board, and is a member of the California Alliance Against Domestic Violence and the Charles Houston Bar Association.

In 2008, she is (not inappropriately, I’m sure) awarded by the Bar Association for the work with this Community Organization, along with other judges, attorneys, etc., as it says (tickets, $125),

2008 Installation and Distinguished Service Awards Dinner

Join us on Thursday, January 17, 2008, as we swear in our Officers and Directors and honor the recipients of our Distinguished Service Awards while we enjoy a delectable dinner buffet and cool jazz. The festivities will take place at the Claremont Hills Resort & Spa, majestically resting on 22 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens in Berkeley.*

(*starting to sound like some of the wonderful AFCC, or for that matter, Kids’ Turn promoting retreats and seminars.)

(the “California Alliance Against Domestic Violence” is a grants recipient, from my understanding, through HHS and is where CPEDV went….).   WELL, I guess that FAMILY LAW EXPERIENCE may tell us why this group doesn’t seem to educate its clients about the family law process, and what’s happened to it since, say, 2001 (Bush, faith-based), or even 1998, 1999 (US Congress passes resolutions on fatherhood).  However, it’s clear Ms. Allison must be informed about the intersection of DV & Family Law; she has written about it:

Domestic violence remedies in California family law cases, 2008. Cherri N. Allison, et al. (CEB, 2008)  KFC 115 D664  not accessible to general public, unless you are in L.A.?

Get this (2009)

Women Lawyers of Alameda County (WLAC) honors Exec Director  of ACFCJ, District Attorney (who helped fund and start ACFCJ) who also honor a retired woman judge (Hon. Peggy Hora., Ret’d.) who pushed “therapeutic jurisprudence”  – a VERY problemmatic practice in the judicial field, and also endorsed by AFCC.

How sweet — aren’t these professionals all close friends with each other then?  (Except the women driven homeless through family law system and twice-thrice-and ongoing-abused (Legal abuse syndrome) through its practices, or while (out of state — MD — another state pushing Therapeutic Jurisprudence through Univ. of Baltimore School of Law “CFCC”) a pediatrician mother (is that professional enough?) lost 3 children, drowned in a bathtub on a scheduled visitation, although she warned, pleaded, and asked for visitation to be curtailed based on the prior mental health history and state of the father.  (“Cabrillo”).

WLAC “Honor Roll”

This Issue’s Honor Roll:

Cherri N. Allison, Executive Director of the Family Violence Law Center of Alameda County, was recently named “Woman of the Year” for the Justice Category of the Alameda County Commission on Status of Women and will be inducted into the Alameda County Women’s Hall of Fame on April 25, 2009.

I think that instead of professionals honoring and decorating themselves in nice ceremonies (Sun Myung Moon and the U.S. Senate mock coronation ceremony comes to mind) instead some of the women who DIED because of stupid family law rulings, sometimes along with their children or in front of them, in scheduled exchanges with the father for co-parenting purposes — THEIR names should be honored.

I do not live in this county and so am not familiar with which is most dramatic, but how about honoring the mothers who, having left an abusive relationship (or possibly separated because of the abuse) thereafter, by complying with family court orders to fork over their children to an ex-batterer or abuser, ended up dead.  

If this is too many low-income people to consider at once, then why not go for someone closer to the legal profession’s social class — Hans Reiser.  Why not honor his wife, Nina.   I’m not sure which county this case was in, but sounds like her body was unearthed Alameda County.

And whoever is recommending Batterers Intervention Programs gets my “dunce award of the year; here’s why from “Sagaria Law” — they don’t complete the programs anyhow!  Or, (in one high-profile case) they complete the programs and then walk back and kill the woman anyhow (Scott McAlpin).

The programs draw funding  — is there something too hard to spell about that?

I started this blog to warn others!   after years of the rollercoaster (downhill slide, overall) of the family law system that no one who was involved warned me about when I separated from the abuser.  In retrospect, it might have been better to ask for self-defense lessons, mace training, and just utilize it, so I could communicate directly to this person that was is and is not acceptable is, in marriage, a two-way street, and wives are people, too.

FVLC’s services include both protection initiatives for people currently experiencing abuse and prevention initiatives to eliminate future abuse. Today, FVLC is recognized as a leader in the community in both delivering exceptional services to abuse survivors and in advocating for long-term social change for victims.

Maybe I should go find these people  — a list of clients with children who then went into “high-conflict custody battles”– and start interviewing them to see if the perspective holds — and if they then lost their kids to the abusers, because doing something about that issue is not, er, under FVLC’s 501(c)3 goals….  Abuse survivors with custody cases need not apply — go see your local family law attorney….
Well, I recognize that someone else has to tell about the Access Visitation Factor, the Child Support Incentives, and that that whatever groups like these WILL instruct people about, the functioning of the family law system is not on the curricula.    We had to learn the hard way that if our problems were not going to attract major funding, we could just go deal with them ourselves.  THESE types of programs, however do get the moulah:
How much easier to teach, coach and (allegedly) prevent — than to scrutinize, analyze, and dis-assemble destructive institutions which result in family wipeouts — but which are already entrenched…

During FY 07-08, FVLC achieved the following accomplishments [(accomplished the following)]:

  1. Provided legal services (representation, paperwork preparation, and advice and counsel) to 525 clients, for a total of 2,250 contact hours and 692 court orders.
  2. Provided crisis counseling and safety planning to 2,823 clients, for a total of 3,250 contact hours.
  3. FVLC’s HEAL (Healing Emotions and Loss After Domestic Violence) Program provided intensive parent/child psychotherapy to 31 children and their primary caregiver, for a total of 900 contact hours.
  4. FVLC’s RAP (Relationship Abuse Prevention) Program provided intensive leadership training to 56 youth and violence prevention education and outreach to 1,008 youth.

FVLC has set the following goals for the current year (FY 08-09):

  1. Continue to strengthen collaborative relationships with other agencies co-located at the Alameda County Family Justice Center with FVLC.  This includes the Oakland Police Department, Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, and numerous other community-based agencies.
  2. Engage in policy work around domestic violence by playing a leadership role on several state and countywide task forces, including the American Bar Association’s Commission on Domestic Violence, California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, Alameda County Family Violence Council, Domestic Violence Advisory Council for the Social Services Administration of Alameda County, and Alameda County Teen Dating Violence Task Force (formed and led by FVLC).
(As you can see, it’s now fashionable to say the words “domestic violence” and form task forces to do something about it, allegedly.  Look at the variety of groups that do:  The ABA, CPEDV, and something from Alameda County itself I can’t even find (yet), as well as a SSA “Domestic Violence Advisory Council.”   How many of these talk to victims they helped 5 years down the road or so?
  1. With our collaborative partners Youth ALIVE! and Youth Radio, expand leadership training and policy work around teen dating violence at Oakland middle schools through various classroom, after-school, and summer activities, effectively reaching approximately 1,600 adolescents.  This is made possible through a generous four-year, $1 million grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

(Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is very big into funding fatherhood materials. )

These are recommended reading to pick up on the patterns, and alliances.  It almost gives one a headache (for non-politically-minded individuals who just do their jobs, obey the law, pay taxes, volunteer locally, probably contribute locally, etc.) to conceive of the extent of deceit and collaboration that is simply government.  And then all the public press about how poor we all are, and how it’s time to tighten our belts — and cut back on the social service infrastructure.  And (in California) release from 30,000 to 40,000 prisoners.

This is simply taxation without representation, and totally unacceptable in my book.

And I’m not a Tea Partier.

It sheds a whole different light on the “social contract” that most of (what remains of) the middle class has bought into.  If they stick to their jobs, neighborhoods, kids, and planning for leisure & retirement (and don’t ask too many questions about the top layer) — then the top layer will structure society so as to kind of leave them alone, and of course (this goes without saying) make sure the rabble doesn’t get out of control.


FAMILY  JUSTICE CENTERS, per IRS search (on the name):

Name City StateSorted Ascending Country

to Be Continued…

Kicking salesmanship up a notch: the nonprofit “Kids’ Turn” and my California Legislature (Sept. 2019 title update: Calif. Legislature 2001-2002 Session, A.B. 2263, 2002, C. Kehoe tries to legislate KT as a standard and order funds to study and expand it)

with 10 comments

Post Title: Kicking salesmanship up a notch: the nonprofit “Kids’ Turn” and my California Legislature (Sept. 2019 title update: Calif. Legislature 2001-2002 Session, A.B. 2263, 2002, C. Kehoe tries to legislate KT as a standard and order funds to study and expand it)  (Shortlink url: https://wp.me/psBXH-G7, published May 19, 2011, this title update added Sept. 29, 2019, about 7,661 words. Original title as seen only in bold. I added explanatory phrase, and nowadays I add “date published” to the title where possible.//LGH.

From this post (tongue in cheek, my voice, after reading about it):

…Everybody who’s anybody in the family law fields (whether attorney, judge, or psychologist/family therapist, etc.) should take a turn at running Kids’ Turn.

From that bill, before amended to ask for generic help, not specifically admitting that what was meant was “our baby, Kids’ Turn”)…operates as a franchise sold only to nonprofits (not mentioned:  started and run by, see previous quote):

Kids’ Turn is a private non-profit organization that provides workshops for children and their parents that are intended to teach skills to cope with the difficulty of divorce and separation….

Fees for workshops range from $75 to $600 (on a sliding scale). Kids Turn conducts programs in San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, and Contra Costa County. The organization has sold its curriculum and licensed affiliates located in Sonoma, Napa, San Diego, Shasta, and Yolo Counties (in addition to Dayton, Ohio and Hillsboro,  Oregon. Although sold only to nonprofitsthe program effectively operates as a franchise. Kids’ Turn currently is conducting its own study, in consultation with the California School of Professional Psychology. This bill would require the Judicial Council to duplicate, at least in part, the current study.

Among the objections raised, and possibly why (last I looked) it wasn’t passed SPECIFICALLY naming Kids’ Turn as the California (NB: Large state!) recommended parent education curriculum:

…According to the Judiciary Committee analysis, the author states that the bill is needed so that Kids’ Turn will  have state approval as evidence of credibility  and will allow courts to “recommend Kids’ Turn  as a resource to the community.”

[[On the organization’s website, five-year strategy, this analysis continues]]

…Specifically targeted for consideration is: “Enhanced marketing strategies in order to increase the number of Kids’ Turn affiliates and sales of Kids’ Turn Curriculum.This bill may create the appearance that a State study and Judicial Council recommendations are part of a marketing strategy..

In fact they are.  The workaround was to delete specific references to the corporation name and limit the dollar amount for the study to $50,000, from the phrase amount “necessary.”

Author’s amendments: The author proposes amendments (LCR# 0216385), which (1) delete the specific reference to Kids’ Turn and, instead, study projects or programs that provide services to parents and children undergoing divorce, 2) to delete reference to program expansion; and 3) to delete the language requiring the Judicial Council to allocate the amount “necessary” to conduct the study, to limit the State’s obligation to $50,000. The third staff recommendation to authorize, but not require the study, was rejected by the author.

Shameless! I do not know what became of the bill; I was just discovering it at the time (and my second child was turning adult around the time I discovered it).   The continued use of state government positions, websites, and affiliations (especially AFCC’s) continues in the second decade of the 21st century and as we are approaching the third decade, I expect unless someone develops the means and courage to stop it, will continue to do so.//LGH

BELOW THIS LINE:  AS WRITTEN May 2011 (except as I may later return here to clean up formatting, which is seriously in trouble at this point, but for a snapshot in time, you can see the basic content is still here and was then/still is now, solid on the business model in play…//LGH 9/29/2019):

I was just casually searching on “Kids’ Turn Affiliates” and even I was surprised at how far proponents would go to push this judge-originated nonprofit.

To the California Legislature?

Yep.   The original version was written specifically to this one organization that is probably something of a slush fund to start with.

Makes you wonder about some of our legislators.  (posted below).

It was already mentioned 2001-2002 (at a minimum) in the Calif. Judicial Council’s Report to the Legislature on Access and Visitation Fundings, as a sub-grantee.  In fact, looks like it was the first one that popped to their mind:

The following are some of the parent education programs funded by the grants that help promote and encourage healthy parent-and-child relationships.

  • Kids’ Turn (San Diego, Napa, and Shasta Counties): This is a nationally recognized educational program that offers workshops and counseling for families with separated or divorced parents. Kids’ Turn teaches family members the skills that can improve communication between children and parents and help parents understand their children’s experience during and after divorce.21

The San Francisco (founding org.) Kids’ Turn apparently gets some direct help from the City & County, and wants more:

We submitted our first grant to the Administrative Office (AOC) of the Court in November, 2011. This grant was submitted in a partnership with the Rally Project. If awarded, the AOC will fund low-income, noncustodial parents and their children to attend Kids’ Turn services.

6. The City and County of San Francisco initially reduced our 1011 grant award by 10%, but the amount was re-instated in September, 2010 raising our contract award to the original $50,000. This funding is for our very specialized, Nonviolent Family Skills Program for Juveniles.

If you’re actually still earning money, while in the custody process, the Sliding fee  Scale does not seem to have an upper limit (?):


Pre-Tax Income Tuition with 1 Child 2 Children or More
0 — $14k $50 $60
$15k — $19k $65 $80
$20k — $24k $90 $120
$25k — $29k $175 $225
$30k — $39k $250 $300
$40k — $49k $325* $375*
$50k — $59k $450* $500*
$60k — $74k $625* $725*
$75k — $99k $750* $850*
$100k — $124k $900* $1000*
$125k — $250k $1075* $1175*
$251k — $500k $1400* $1550*
$500k+ $1700* $1900*

For parents receiving child support (often the mother), this is counted in the “pre-tax” income to determine fees.

(I wonder if this includes child support that’s not being paid……)

Parents paying child support, however, can deduct that from the “pre-tax” income to determine fees….


(well, see my recent post on this)…(or figure it out yourself):

  • What is “Kids Turn?”  —  it’s a nonprofit started by a family law judge in about 1987, with help later from some family law attorneys, one of who was called a Northern California “Super attorney.”

Kids’ Turn


From 1987 to 1990, Judge Ina Levin Gyemant presided over the family law department of the domestic relations court, noting that while lawyers filed motions and parents sought orders regarding custody, visitation and other diputes,[sic] children and their needs were almost completely ignored. Mediation services were mandated for parents in California in 1980, but no educational program was available for children, who are often the people most vulnerable and confused during separation or divorce.

  • It’s perhaps a training ground on how to promote parental alienation and get paid for it.
  • It’s a debtor to the San Francisco Superior Court (figure that one out — because somehow, we found that the “SFTC” has a lien on this group).
  • It has tons of donors on its roster (many of them judges or attorneys), gets apparently some of California’s share of the Access/Visitation funding (which is $10 million per year, nationwide, and California, being so large, gets close to $1 million/year for this source of funding).
  • Foundations & Associations help it continue & expand:



Linda Brandes Foundation                                                                                                           CFLS
California Bar Foundation
Boys & Girls Foundation

Cuatrecasas Family Foundation
The Samuel I. & John Henry Fox Foundation at Union Bank
Sempra Energy
Lions Club of San Diego
Stensrud Foundation
JAMS Foundation
Lawyers Club- Fund for Justice
Leroy and Claire Hughes Family Fund
Mary and John Grant Foundation
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers- National
American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers
Ellen G. & Edward G. Wong Family Foundation
JAMS Foundation (This is a foundation of Mediators.  Pushing Mediation is central to Family Law….)
Cuatrecasas Family Foundation
Price Charities
Linda Brandes Foundation  (This wealthy couple never had any children….)(See photo of her 67 yr old ex, “Charles Brandes” with new 42 yr old wife — and Bill Clinton in between.. . )
Carlsbad Charitable Foundation, an affiliate of The San Diego Foundation
Fieldstone Foundation
Wells Fargo Foundation
WD-40 Company
Comerica Bank
The Samuel I. & John Henry Fox Foundation at Union Bank
Leichtag Foundation
Linda Brandes Foundation
HD Supply
Cuatrecasas Family Foundation
AAML- Southern California Chapter
  • {{** {{CFLS, 2011 donor:  Why isn’t this ACRONYM (not found on the web) specified?  It apparently stands for “{Association of} Certified Family Law Specialists,” such as Linda Pabst de Leon here, speaking at a CFLS seminar and listing herself as a Kids’ Turn Board of Director (& Event Committee 2006) and  “Featured guest speaker at CFLS’ Spring Seminar, “Nov-DV Restraining Orders” (2005))}  “CFLS” is not an organization (I think) but a Designation that individuals can reach:   }}
  • {{At least 2 of the “Corporate Donors” listed on same page are the firms that a Kids Turn Board of Directors member works on…  meaning, not that the project is so great, but that someone already at the firm managed to finaigle, or sell, a donation ….}}
  • San Diego Foundation, 2010:
  • Kids’ Turn San Diego, Expansion of Kids’ Turn Workshops into Carlsbad      $20,000Kids’ Turn San Diego plans to bring no less than four, 4-week psycho-educational workshops into Carlsbad, serving 100-120 families who are divorcing or fighting over custody of their children. The workshops will show families how their conflict is negatively impacting their children and teach them to communicate more effectively, manage their anger, focus on their children and create a healthy two household environment for all involved. Furthermore, Kids’ Turn San Diego will help children make a successful adjustment to challenging family changes.
  • 2008 Donations
    The Southern California Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyer supports the following organizations: . . . 

    • Kids’ Turn – San Diego – This is the only program in San Diego County working for te whole family to achieve a child centered and healthy divorce. It provides a low cost solution for families experiencing the pain of divorce or separation no matter how great the conflict.
  • A former Pro Tem Judge, Attorney Alan Edmunds,  promotes Kids Turn through a link, at “SanDiegoDivorceCenter.” (services provided by The Edmunds law Firm).

Report 1234a
Data As Of : 05/15/2011
City and County of San Francisco
Vendor Payment Summaries Website
Page 1 of 1
Search Results by Vendor, Department, Type of Goods and Services and Document
Vendor Names
Types of Goods and Services
FY 2008-09
FY 2009-10
FY 2010-11
Remaining Balance
Far more than, say, “Fathers and Families Coalition” which only got a pittance (recorded here, at least) under “child Support” department. Wonder what for, though:
Search Results by Vendor
Vendor Names
Non Profit
FY 2008-09
FY 2009-10
FY 2010-11
Remaining Balance
  • It’s apparently a model judges and attorneys love, because a spinoff “Kids Turn” is in San Diego; in fact a group called “Kids First” (There are a number of “kids’ Firsts” around, but indeed there was one which claims to be  modeled after Kids Turn).   The beauty of these programs is that the curriculum/curricula is designed, perhaps ONCE (with maybe occasional updates) — and can be marketed endlessly to families going through divorce court who can’t agree on the custody of their children.  Which is usually what brings them to divorce court to start with, so obviously the market is right.
  • Everybody who’s anybody in the family law fields (whether attorney, judge, or psychologist/family therapist, etc.) should take a turn at running Kids’ Turn.  Some of these people did and at least one is a Super-Attorney.  Some even go on to create look-alike programs for other client sectors, such as Dr. Delisle…. PLUS, you can work there, if you have a BA (recent job listing, $35-38K/year.  (Can a person who survived divorce court and a custody battle apply?  Because such people include those with BA’s who are probably hurting financially…  Of course, you’d have to buy parental alienation theory, which this group promotes.…)
  • The Founder of Kids’ Turn San Diego in 1996, Dr. Delisle received the 2001 Peacemaker of the Year Award from the National Conflict Resolution Center. In 2005, She was honored by Channel 10 news for its Leadership Award. She was also recognized by the San Diego County Bar Association for the “Distinguished Organization Award”. In 2008, Dr. Delisle transferred responsibility for Kids’ Turn to new leadership
  • In the Spring of 2010, Ms. Kalemkiarian was Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of San Diego School of Law, teaching a full semester course in Family Law. From 1993 to 1996, she served as the Supervising Attorney of the Child Advocacy Clinic at the University of San Diego School of Law. An active community leader, she has served as the President of the Kids’ Turn San Diego Board for over ten years, and is a longtime Board Member of the Environmental health Coalition.  (Ms. Kalemkiarian is also an AFCC presenter)    As a leading voice for children in San Diego County, she oversaw the design and implementation of a new system of care for children’s mental health, as the Director of Project Heartbeat. She is a frequent author of opinion editorial pieces regarding public policy and children. …  {{CHILDREN MUST BE SPEECHLESS & NEED LOTS OF INTERPRETERS}}Honors 2007-2010 San Diego Super Lawyers®
  • Alexandra M. Kwoka – Attorney at Law

    Alexandra M. Kwoka has been practicing law since 1974, and Family Law for 20 years.  She is not only certified as a Family Law Specialist but also holds a LLM/Masters in Tax Law….Association; Certified Family Law Specialists – San Diego & North County; founding member of the Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego; SDCBA – Carmel Valley; Kids’ Turn – Board Member.  She has published a number of articles and has been nominated and selected for a number of awards, including the Ten Top Attorneys in Family Law by the Daily Transcript, San Diego in 2006 and was listed as one of the top Family Law attorneys in San Diego Super Lawyers, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

  • Barbara is president of the board of directors of the Legal Marketing Association, Southern California Chapter. She is also a former member of the boards of directors of Kids Turn, San Diego, the San Diego Chapter of the Association of Legal Administrators and the Professional Women’s Roundtable.  Barbara is a graduate of Coach University and has a BS in business Management with an emphasis in marketing
  • Ms. Milligan is a member of the San Diego County Bar Association, and is on the Board of Directors of the Foothills Bar Association. Ms. Milligan is also on the Board of Directors of Kids’ Turn, San Diego, a non-profit organization devoted to promoting the well-being of children who are experiencing the challenges of family separation….Ms. Milligan dedicates her practice to the area of Family Law. She is a Certified Family Law Specialist, certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization.
  • Specialties

    Mr. Renkin has focused his practice in Family Law since 1991 and is a Certified Family Law Specialist.  He has expertly handled all phases of Trials, Mediation, and Negotiation in areas including Marriage Dissolution, Property Division, Spousal Support, Child Support, Child Custody & Visitation, along with the complex issues of mental health and drug and alcohol dependency.     High-asset and high-conflict cases have been settled both through negotiation and litigation.  Mr. Renkin has the honor of acting as a Settlement Conference Judge Pro Tem for Family Courts.   Member Board of Directors Kids Turn (Present)  Fundraising for Hannah’s House and Kids’ Turn

    Oh Yeah — Hannah’s House, Supervised visitation place, I remember.  The founder was caught operating without a license., there were unsanitary situations, and the owner is having to pay back contracts…

  • Hannah’s House faces trouble
  • San Diego Area Licensed Psychologist / Marriage Family Therapist Dr. Simon lists this among his professional associations:
  • Professional AffiliationsMember, American Psychological Association Member, American Psi-Law Society Member, California Psychological Association Member, Ethics Committee of the California Psychological Association Editorial Board, Journal of Child Custody Member, Collaborative Family Law Group of San Diego,Board of Directors, Kid’s Turn San Diego Founding Member, San Diego Family Law Council for ChildrenMember, Association of Family and Conciliation Courts (“AFCC”)Member, Program Committee, Association of Family & Conciliation Courts Member, Awards Committee, Association of Family & Conciliation Courts Member, International Association of Collaborative Professionals Associate Member, San Diego County Bar Association; Associate Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association

You noticed that many are AFCC members?  So did I.  Here’s another person, a judge, being honored posthumously and Board of Directors, Kids’ Turn is among her accolades:

Judge Grant’s many years as a family law judge and a probate judge during her tenure on the San Francisco Superior Court gave her ample opportunity to pioneer judicial change.  Most importantly, Judge Grant became an icon for young female externs, paralegals, attorneys and judges for nearly the entirety of her long career. …

Following her appointment to the San Francisco Municipal Court in 1979, Judge Grant dedicated her life to public service.  She was appointed to the Superior Court in 1982, serving as the Presiding Judge in the Family Law Department and later as the Presiding Judge of the Probate Department.  She retired from Superior Court in 1996 but continued to work with the American Arbitration Association.  She is a past President of the California Chapter of the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts and of the Northern California Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.   (AAML Southern chapter donated to Kids’ Turn San Diego)…

She served on the Board of Kids’ Turn Honorary Committee for many years, an organization offering assistance for children impacted by divorce, including psycho-educational workshops for children being raised in two households.  She also pioneered the first Guardian Mentorship Program for children being raised in alternative homes.

JUDGES, JUDGES, JUDGES are on the Boards of this organization:

Barbara W. Moser, SF Attorney, AFCC member, (in fact, a presenter at one COlorado conference), Judge Pro Tem, Family Law Bench Bar Program, Marin County Superior Court… SEttlement Judge Pro Tem, SF Superior Court — was “former secretary, Kids Turn”


Mr. Semmer is also actively involved in the San Diego community. As a Board Member of the Cornell Club of San Diego, he has organized charity fundraisers to endow the Willie Jones Jr. Scholarship. He has volunteered for and assisted with fundraising efforts for Kid’s Turn San Diego, a San Diego non-profit organization helping children and parents whose lives are impacted by parental separation. He serves on the programming committee of the San Diego Receiver’s Forum and is a member of the San Diego Bankruptcy Forum.


So what IS it, anyhow?

It’s not quite Avon, Amway, or McDonalds, but basically the same idea only using legislative loopholes and opportunities to promote it, and charging clients to consume the services (court-ordered), for people to be trained to run the courses, and taking federal grants to states money (and foundational support also) — in fact, where DOES all that money go, anyhow?   ….?

Such a great organization obviously deserves some extra, extra legislative help…

I searched “Kids Turn affiliates” and came up with real interesting California Assembly Bill 2263.  Other than it cuts down our fresh-air exercise activity, ya gotta love this Internet, sometimes….

http://www.metnews.com/endmomay02.html   (This is 2002)

AB 2263, by Assemblywoman Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, which would require the Judicial Council to study the effectiveness of expanding the Kids’ Turn program, which assists children while their parents are in family court obtaining a divorce or legal separation. The bill was approved by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on a 23-0 vote May 15, passed the Assembly on a 72-2 vote May 23 and was sent to the Senate.

Wow, the Assembly sure loved the concept of funneling divorce education to ONE nonprofit started by a family law judge…..

 BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                    Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary

                                           2263 (Kehoe)

          Hearing Date:  8/22/02          Amended: 5/8/02
          Consultant:  Karen French           Policy Vote: Judiciary
          BILL SUMMARY:   AB 2263 requires the Judicial Council to
          allocate, from funds appropriated to it in the annual
          Budget Act, the amount necessary to study the Kids' Turn
          projects.  The bill also states that up to $50,000 shall be
          allocated only if the Judicial Council receives non-state
          source matching funds.   The bill requires the Judicial
          Council to report to the Legislature by January 12, 2004,
          on the results of the study and propose guidelines for 
project expansion, if Kids' Turn is found to be effective.
                              Fiscal Impact (in thousands)

           Major Provisions        2002-03             2003-04               2004-05 
          Judicial Council
            Study              --          $100                   --General &
            Court funding                 --       ---Significant, cost
          pressure---              General    


          Kids' Turn is a private non-profit organization that
          provides workshops for children and their parents that are
          intended to teach skills to cope with the difficulty of
          divorce and separation.  Workshops are six weeks long with
          one 90-minute meeting per week.  Fees for workshops range
          from $75 to $600 (on a sliding scale).  Kids Turn conducts
          programs in San Francisco, Marin, Alameda, and Contra Costa
          County.  The organization has sold its curriculum and
          licensed affiliates located in Sonoma, Napa, San Diego,
          Shasta, and Yolo Counties (in addition to Dayton, Ohio and Hillsboro, 
Oregon.  Although sold only to nonprofitsthe program effectively operates as a franchise.  Kids' Turn
          currently is conducting its own study, in consultation with
          the California School of Professional Psychology.  This
          bill would require the Judicial Council to duplicate, at
          least in part, the current study.

          According to the Judiciary Committee analysis, the author
          states that the bill is needed so that Kids' Turn will 
have state approval as evidence of credibility 
and will allow courts to "recommend Kids' Turn 
as a resource to the community." On its website, the organization states that
          this Fall, its Board of Directors will be planning a
          five-year strategy to determine course direction of the
          organization.  Specifically targeted for consideration is:
          "Enhanced marketing strategies in order to increase the number of Kids' Turn affiliates and sales of Kids' Turn Curriculum."  This bill may create the appearance that a State study and Judicial Council recommendations are part of a marketing strategy.

(WHICH THEY ARE..... Better amend the bill so this is less obvious....)

          Author's amendments:  The author proposes amendments (LCR#
          0216385), which (1) delete the specific reference to Kids' Turn and,
           instead, study projects or programs that provide
          services to parents and children undergoing divorce, 2) to
          delete reference to program expansion; and 3) to delete the
          language requiring the Judicial Council to allocate the
          amount "necessary" to conduct the study, to limit the
          State's obligation to $50,000. 

          The third staff recommendation to authorize, but not require the study, was rejected by the author.

HERE’s an AMENDED VERSION (attempting to conceal the blatant effort to legislate parents to consume this product in particular to “help” their kids deal with divorce):




Introduced by Assembly Member Kehoe

February 20, 2002

An act relating to family courts.

LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST AB 2263, as amended, Kehoe. Family courts: Kids’ Turn family assistance. Existing law governs the procedures for obtaining a dissolution of

marriage or a legal separation. This bill would require the Judicial Council to allocate, from funds appropriated to the Judicial Council in the annual Budget Act, the an amount necessary not to exceed $50,000 to conduct a study regarding the effectiveness of the Kids’ Turn projects, which projects or programs that provide services to assist children and their families while the parents are in the process of obtaining a divorce or a legal separation, as specified. The bill would provide require that an amount not to exceed $50,000 shall these funds be allocated only if the Judicial Council receives matching funds appropriated from sources other than the state.**  The bill would require the Judicial Council to report to the Legislature by January 12, 2004, the results of the study and to recommend guidelines for expanding the projects if the study indicates that the projects were effective.

**The California Judicial Council just so happens to be the single designated state agency receiving the access and visitation federal funds (“SAVP”) to enable programs such as (but not exclusively!) this one, as I have reported before here.     Check it out at TAGG.hhs.gov — there’s a CFDA number referring exclusively to this grant series (“93597,” or similar)(marriage/fatherhood promotion is 93086)( and related ones).

In fact, a great exercise would be to go HERE:   http://taggs.hhs.gov/AwardsList.cfm

You’ll have to redo the search — search by “CFDA Program Numbers” (take 2011 year) and get the 50-state list of all 93597’s.  Then you’ll have a panorama of which agency, in every state, gets these funds, and can click on the other funding they get.  I recommend clicking on Texas (after all, the President who put some of these policies into full swing came from there).  You can see that OCSE (collecting child support) is a major expense.  Then learn how to do advanced searches (with more fields) and figure out which way the wind is blowing.

Again, TAGGS is your friend, in part.  Especially if you are an employee these are your taxes, right?  part of each hour you work …  it’s collected, assembled, and distributed later by the IRS, along with distributing favors called “tax-exempt status” to certain corporations, and of course foundations….


It is ever so important that everyone (parents, federal government, City and State of San Francisco (I guess for the SF Kids’ Turn….) and foundational donors, plus of course individual donors focus on THIS one program to help, to measure levels of conflict, mental health and attitude change on parents . . . .  well, let me just quote the leginfo record.  Our state was then and is now in budget crisis, so obviously measuring parental stress levels is an urgent public need:

2)Requires that JC's study include an assessment of all of the

             a)   Any decrease in conflict between the parents regarding
               custody issues, as reported by the parents;

             b)   The mental health of the children, as measured by their
               attitudes before and after participating in the project or

             c)   Any change in the attitude of the parents who
               participate in the project or program;

And of course, who better to help children navigate the difficult shoals of divorce than:

           AS PASSED BY THE ASSEMBLY  , this bill was limited in its scope to the Kids' Turn project.

Apparently these entities supported it ( Senate Floor link on “leginfo” site):

SUPPORT  :   (Verified  8/23/02)

          Kids' Turn (This link lists San Diego Bd of Dirs./SF, Here)
          Cope Family Center  (See Kids Turn "Affiliates" list....)
          California Coalition for Youth
          Private Dispute Resolution of San Diego** (=Judge Geary D. Cortes)
          California Judges Association
          CARE Children's Counseling Center
          Gregory M. Caskey, Supervising Judge, Superior Court,(SEE **)
          County of Shasta (There's a Kids' Turn in Shasta County)
          Thomas Ashworth, Judge of the Superior Court
          San Diego County Office of Education
          Professor Janet Weinstein, California Western School of Law (Kids' Turn donor)

           ARGUMENTS IN SUPPORT  :    According to the author, this bill
          is needed because it is imperative for organizations to
          have state approval in order to provide evidence of
          credibility and efficacy to the community.
**I had no idea who Judge Caskey is, but linked to his 1998 Admonishment by the Commission on Judicial
Performance!   So he got this slap on a wrist, in part for:


In November 1997, Judge Gregory M. Caskey was regularly assigned to handle juvenile dependency matters. On the morning of November 6, 1997, Judge Caskey sent a message by electronic mail to an attorney who regularly appeared before him on those matters. The e-mail message concerned a case then pending before the judge, in which the attorney was appearing. The message read in part:

I am considering summarily rejecting [the father’s attorney’s] requests. Do you want me to let [the father’s attorney] have a hearing on this, or do we cut [the attorney] off summarily and run the risk the third DCA reverses? . . . . I say screw [the father] and let’s cut [the attorney] off without a hearing. O.K.? By the way, this message will self- destruct in five seconds…

Later that morning, the attorney sent the following e-mail reply:

Your honor, I don’t feel comfortable responding ex-parte on how you should rule on a pending case.

Two hours later, the judge sent an e-mail response which read: “chicken.”

"Private Dispute Resolution" appears to be one retired San Diego Judge, although obviously
working (in dispute resolution) in Southern Calif (3 offices, so I guess he still has a license).
The site "noethics.com" says he made the cut of the top Judicial Misfits under this title:

Judge Geary D. Cortes – San Diego

“She deserved it! – Pugilists – p. 281

I don't know much about this Judge, although he's mentioned as being overturned on appeal
on First Amendment issues here:  He was overturned on appeal (I think) in an elder abuse case,
and was involved in the high-profile Prop 21, trying juveniles as adults, matter, described in
The Adult Boys of Rancho Penasquitos  (hover cursor for relevance)...Same case as the First
Amendment Issue...  More likely, he's probably been on that KT Board during some of its years.

Assuming I have the right Judge Thomas Ashworth, he doesn't sound much better:

Case Against Judge Should Remain in San Diego, Court Rules


A lawsuit that claims a San Diego family-court judge committed fraud and legal malpractice before he took the bench should be heard in San Diego County, a state appellate court ruled Monday.

The 4th District Court of Appeal ordered the case against Judge Thomas Ashworth III returned to San Diego Superior Court, saying it was improperly ordered out of the county

Judge Ashworth also ordered a mother living in Utah, whose child was born after separation,
to send the 5-year old to her paternal grandparents for four, week-long visits (to San Diego).
Report is from 2002:

In Harris, the Court of Appeal held that substantive due process limits a court’s authority under the state’s grandparent visitation statue to cases in which there is clear and convincing evidence that the child will suffer harm if visitation were not granted.

The panel reversed a 1999 order requiring Karen Butler, a remarried Utah resident, to send her daughter Emily, then 5 years old, to San Diego for four week-long visits with the child’s paternal grandparents. Emily was the product of Butler’s brief and stormy marriage to Charles Erik Harris and was born after the couple separated.

The order by San Diego Superior Court Judge Thomas Ashworth III was based on Family Code Sec. 3104, which allows a court to order grandparent visitation when the parents are living separate and apart or the child is not living with a parent. The statute applies a best-interest-of-the-child standard, with a rebuttable presumption that grandparent visitation is not in the child’s best interests if the custodial parent objects.

Here’s another one reversed on appeal, where the paternal grandparents of a father who died after divorce took the mother to court to force more visitation (in San Diego).  Ashworth granted them (and got the girl a counsel of her own), but was reversed on appeal, citing Troxel v. Granville:

CERTIFIED FOR PUBLICATION (Punsly v. Ho, No. D036025 (Cal.App. Dist.4 03/16/2001)
APPEAL from an order of the Superior Court of San Diego County, Thomas Ashworth, III, Judge. Petition for writ of supersedeas. Judgment reversed. Petition granted.
Manwah Ho, the mother of Kathryn Punsly, appeals an order granting visitation to Kathryn’s paternal grandparents, Marilyn and Bernard Punsly under Family Code *fn1 section 3102. *fn2 Manwah contends section 3102 is unconstitutional, as applied to her, in light of the recent United States Supreme Court case of Troxel v. Granville (2000) 530 U.S. 57 [120 S.Ct. 2054] (Troxel), a case concerning the constitutionality of a nonparental visitation statute, and Troxel’s appellate progeny. Manwah also contends the court’s ancillary orders attached to the visitation order, independently, violated her constitutional due process rights. We conclude section 3102, as applied in this case, unconstitutionally infringed on Manwah’s fundamental rights. Accordingly, we reverse the order in its entirety.
There was a "Day" named after Judge Ashworth:

Honors, Memberships, and Professional Activities

  • City of San Diego Proclamation of January 31st as “Thomas Ashworth III Day
  • Judicial Lifetime Achievement Award, San Diego County Bar Association’s Certified Family Law Specialists, November 2002
  • Family Law Person of the Year, American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Southern California Chapter, 2001**
 (**who donated to Kids' Turn.....)
Then again, The Ashworths themselves also donated to Kids' Turn. Wish I had a year on this
brochure, but readers should check out the judges & attorneys on the INdividual Donors lists.
(Found at California Men's Center website...)

THINKING ABOUT DIVORCE?  (On the other hand, with all those supporters, why does it need
more promotion???? SOmething doesn't look right about this....)

THANKFULLY GRAY DAVIS VETO’ed it with this message:

  VETOED	DATE: 09/29/2002

SEP 28 2002

To Members of the California State Assembly:

I am returning Assembly Bill 2263 without my signature.

This bill would require a study of projects or programs that serve
children and their families while the parents are in the process of
obtaining a divorce or legal separation.

Under this study, the Judicial Council would be required to assess
the results of, among other things, changes in the mental health of
children and any change in the attitude of parents.  The Judicial
Council, however, may not be well suited to conduct this type of

For this reason, I must return this bill without my signature.


In 2003, the same assemblywoman comes up with a Gay Fathers' Day proposal, which met some resistance.

What normally is a legislative slam-dunk – a resolution honoring dads for Father’s Day – turned into a debate on “alternative lifestyles” in the California state Assembly.

According to a report in the Stockton Record, Republicans this week either withheld their support or voted against the resolution because it focused on “nontraditional” dads, including families with two fathers.

“It didn’t belong on the floor,” said GOP Assemblyman Alan Nakanishi. “It was a homosexual bill in the sense that they wanted to make a point out of two fathers” in a single household.

The resolution, sponsored by lesbian Democratic Assemblywoman Christine Kehoe, mentions stepfathers, foster fathers, single fathers and families headed by two fathers, the paper reports. However, it fails to cite traditional fathers who are married to the mother of their children.

Republican Assemblyman Greg Aghazarian, as a traditional father, noticed he wasn’t represented in the proposal.

” Where is the (part) talking about a husband and a wife who have kids?” he said, according to the Record. “I mean, where is the love?”

“CRISPE,” A group for Shared Parenting was pretty upset about her also, although for different reasons and supplied a photo:

Senator Kehoe Plans if she has her way, will steal the SD Fairgrounds for HER greedy self interests!

However, it’s primarily a simple affiliate marketing operation — only with governmental connections.

Did I mention, “NONPROFIT”?   Because of the public service it provides, obviously.

I just missed a March, 2011 conference — that’s what I get for falling behind on my FaceBook operations:


Kids’ Turn Spring, 2011 Retreat and Training Conference

Theme: Welcome to the Future (of Kids’ Turn)

Dates: March 4-6, 2011 Location: Asilomar Conference Grounds, Pacific Grove, California

Take a deep breath and settle in for a time of serene relaxation, reflection and rejuvenation. Celebrated as Monterey Peninsula’s “Refuge by the Sea” – Asilomar State Beach and Conference Grounds is a breathtakingly gorgeous 107 acres of ecologically diverse beachfront land. www.visitasilomar.com

Who should attend: Kids’ Turn Leaders, Staff, Board Members, Volunteers, Affiliate

Conference Goals:

1. Familiarize participants with the future direction of Kids’ Turn
2. Broaden exposure to contemporary issues affecting Kids’ Turn families
3. Refine skills to deliver The Kids’ Turn Way
4. Eight CEU’s awarded
5. R & R in a beautiful, tranquil setting
6. Enjoy camaraderie with Kids’ Turn colleagues
7. Explore the communities of Pacific Grove and Monterey (on your own)

Dr. Gladys Ato, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Argosy University
San Francisco Bay Area
Communicating the Kids’ Turn Message

Dr. Allison Thorson, University of San Francisco
The Impact of Marital Infidelity on Children

COST:  (Must be why they need all the donors, and access to the “Access/Visitation” federal support).
Single Occupancy:
$350* (two nights, six meals, training, ECU’s, taxes, all inclusive)
$400 single occupancy AFTER 2/15/11
Double Occupancy (participants must self-select roommate):
$250* (two nights, six meals, training, ECU’s, taxes, all inclusive)
$300 double occupancy AFTER 2/15/11

Kids’ Turn is also an arts supporter, in fact partnered with an upcoming San Diego show, don’t miss:


by Quiara Alegria Hudes
Sept 29 – Oct 23, 2011
The time is 1986. Olivia is a half-Cuban, half-Jewish ‘zine-writing teen. Join us for our next full production written by award-winning Quiara Alegria Hudes (In the Heights), and in partnership with Kids’ Turn San Diego.  (“Eight years after a Cuban mother looses [sic] custody of her Jewish daughter, she gets a second chance. At 4:30 in the morning she kidnaps the sick teenage girl and the two drive west in search of a remedy and their divergent American dreams.”)

In Washington County, Oregon, a nonprofit called YOUTH CONTACT features Kids’ Turn (and a pop-up indicates that Kids’ Turn is supporting their work also:  See for yourself:  )

Registration form shows it’s $230 per parent per 4-session class:

The enrollment fee for Kids’ Turn is $230.00 per adult.  Children (ages 5-16) are free with a paying adult.  The fee must be paid in full before a spot in the workshop can be reserved.  This is done on a first-come, first served basis until each workshop is full. Acceptable methods of payment are Visa, MasterCard, debit card (with a Visa or MasterCard logo), or money order.  We do NOT accept checks.


Serves the parents rights for divorcing in the first place, eh?  Domestic violence survivor parent concerned for your life?  what kind of excuse is that!?

In fact, generally speaking, REALLY FAMOUS PEOPLE SEEM TO JUST LOVE “Kids’ Turn” — for example, Halsey Minor, founder of CNET:

Community programs for Children and Parents

experiencing separation or divorce. Featuring The Kids’ Turn Way© Curriculum

“Kids’ Turn has leveraged its resources*** and the progressive nature of San Francisco to become a global leader in addressing the problems children face when their parents separate.” Halsey M. Minor, Kids’ Turn Board Member; Founder, CNET  

Oh, I forgot — he was on 2010 list for tax evasion, found auctioning off his art collection.

Found via LA Observed, the California Franchise Tax Board has released its list of the state’s biggest delinquent taxpayers. This year, the honor goes to Cnet co-founder Halsey Minor and his wife Shannon, who owe a whopping $13,120,479.39 in personal income tax.

They also maintained the #1 California ranking for tax evasion,  for 2011 .

***resources such as connections to the legal/judicial community…..

I would love to see an audit of this organization’s books, all California operations.

The nonprofit directory “Guidestar.org” notes that Kids’ Turn San Diego started in 1996 with a grant from the “Seuss Foundation”….   2009 form 990 lists only $151K net revenues, and Expenses include $124,424 salaries, plus $30,452 professional fees, and that they are running about one salaried position ($38K) in the hole.  They ran a $50K ARt & Wine auction, but donated $36K of that, leaving revenue of $12K.  Expenses, however, were $18K, so That event was a deficit, I guess…..

Lots of Directors (which my “select-copy” tool worked on the PDF) including what appears to be the infamous (or honorable) Honorable Thomas Ashworth’s wife? (also an attorney), Kathryn — in fact, eighteen (18) individuals listed, none drawing a salary.  The Executive Director, however, is taking applications for a FT program director

One of these 18, “Patty Chavez-Fallon” just so happens to be (or have been) Director of Family Court Services at San Diego per this article (critical of) Supervised Visitation:

Patricia Chavez-Fallon, the director of the Superior Court’s Family Court Services in San Diego County, said people who want to be paid monitors submit documentation to the court showing they have attended a training class and meet the other state standards, which essentially require that monitors be 21 or older and free of any legal trouble in the previous 10 years. Chavez-Fallon then adds them to an alphabetical list of supervised visitation monitors that the court provides.

and she’s been there a good while (1991-2008): Kids Turn San Diego started in 1996.  So did the Access Visitation Funds that help facilitate things like this (with PRWORA Welfare Reform).  Must’ve been a coincidence, that timing.    It was a very busy time, after all….

Patti Chavez-Fallon is an expert in alternative dispute resolution. Both as a counselor and Director of Family Court Services, she has served parents and children going through the process of defining and developing a cooperative sharing plan that benefits everyone involved. Her background includes:

  • Seventeen years as Director: Family Court Services, San Diego Superior Court
  • Four years as a mediator of Custody and Visitation disputes
  • Ten years of other child related social work services

She is also listed on the Federal HHS/ACF site for “Access and Visitation” grants as a California “State Access Program Contact:”

9. Superior Court of California , San Diego County
Contact: Patti Chavez-Fallon (619) 557-2100
Services: counseling, parent education

Kids’ Turn, San Diego
2136 Newcastle Avenue, suite 150
Cardiff, CA 92007
(760) 634-0280

Remind me again how this is NOT a conflict of interest?  She is the program contact — on behalf of the Superior Court — for the federal funds, and a nonprofit where she sits on the board of the directors is the listed subcontractor….  There’s another one in Shasta County…..

. Northern California Center for Family Awareness
Kids’ Turn Shasta Cascade PO Box 991473
Redding, CA 96099-1473
(530) 244-5749

What’s in it for them, altruism?  The art & wine auction factor?

Ms. Chavez-Fallon is even quoted in a “johnnypumphandle” review of a high-profile San Diego case (Morse v. Morse) where the papers featured the abducting ex-wife, the court had transferred custody to the father after finding allegations of abuse “inclusive” and Stephen Doyne (Note:  also a Kids’ Turn donor, see link to their brochure, above) played a factor.   It noted:

Robert and Eugia Morse divorced in 1994 after 10 years of stormy marriage.
Robert Morse remarried almost immediately and shared custody of his three
children with his ex-wife.

The battle over the children was contentious, McIntyre told jurors. In
January 1996, Robert Morse spent a night in jail after his former wife
accused him of hitting her when she came to pick up the children after a
visit. He was not allowed to see his children for two months.

After a psychological evaluation, Robert Morse received full custody in
October 1996. On their children’s first weekend visit with their mother,
the older girl contended that her father had molested her.

The Corruption Exposed

Before the custody battle even took place, we have learned that Eugia Morse was in the Family Violence Program sponsored by Children’s Hospital. Her records show a multitude of evidence of violence in the form of photos and documents detailing injuries at the hand of Robert Morse. In addition, the children had records of therapy for abuse alleged to be perpetrated  by Robert Morse as well as records documenting the abuse. When the custody case went to court, this evidence was suppressed in favor of the court assigned evaluation team which recommended that custody of the children be transferred to Robert Morse.

Apparently Family COurt Services had a role in this case, one that ended up with the mother feeling she had to flee.  YOu can read for yourself.  While Chavez-Fallon was incidental (in this report), she was director of the same family court services that pushed a certain evaluator and psychologist on the family.  Responding to the news article someone wrote:

I saw the news report about  Morse v. Morse on T.V., we recognized the modus operandi, and in unison wesaid “LINDA HIRSHBERG.” Next time I was in court, I looked at the file. We
were right. It was LINDA HIRSHBERG and STEPHEN DOYNE working together again.
Later, I heard from the “victims of Family Court underground” that Eugia was
networking with others who had been exploited by these two. She was desperate
to get the evaluator changed. She was not successful. No doubt, this
evaluation was arranged by Family Court Services, because that is what FCS
does. They are brokers, not mediators.

The “Cope Family Center” (APparently = ‘Kids’ Turn Napa County) (found supporting the Legislative Action in 2002) states (falsely) that:

Kids’ Turn is supported entirely by generous contributions from individuals and foundations in the San Francisco Bay Area. Workshops are held in San Francisco, Alameda, Contra Costa, Napa and Marin counties. Kids’ Turn requests that each participating parent contribute a sliding scale fee to help cover the cost of the program. Any family wanting to help support the program to a greater extent is encouraged to make a tax-deductible contribution at any time.

This “Cope Family Center” also runs Supervised Visitation:

Cope Family Center provides

  • Supervised Visitation
  • Monitored Exchange
  • Parent Education, including Kids’ Turn and Cooperative Co-Parenting

Coincidentally(?), the legislative purpose of the Access Visitation funding (in California), is:

Assembly Bill 673 expressed the Legislature’s intent that funding for the state of California be further limited to the following three types of programs:

  • Supervised visitation and exchange services;
  • Education about protecting children during family disruption; and
  • Group counseling services for parents and children.
This family center has an Assembly member, a State Senator, and a District Attorney among its honorary board members.


Courthouse Forum (a place one can bellyache about court players) writers also noticed the phenomenon of family law judges referring business to nonprofits they sit on the board of.  THis one notices a judge who was even Treasurer of Kids’ Turn.  These 2006 entries are web-cached:

Contra Costa County KIDS TURN & Berkow

If this J Berkow is a Corporate Treasure of Kids Turn  Inc. a organization that is often court ordered by Contra Costa County Family Law. This appears very improper to me doesn’t this violate the judicial standard to “avoid appearance of impropriety” I know in my business this would be considerd a conflict of interest, and the SEC would have a field day with a trader who was conducting there business like this judge

This is appalling I live in Contra Costa County and this judge is notoriously bad she has raped more fathers in this county then I can even list. Calling her the Monster of Martinez is not a understatement. It is common for father to be so severely financially raped by this women that they do actually end up living in a car with there children. Now she is runningKids Turn!(i.e., this is not my own comment!)

Below is the link to Kids Turn is you scroll down you will that Berkow is a Director. This is not a proper postion for Berkow she is ordering people from the bench to keep her company going. What a way to capitalize your company!

Apparently, they rotate membership in and out (of Judges, Attorneys, etc.).  Here’s a 2010 new President, Greg Abel, who has been on the board a few years, and is quite active in family, appellate and other courts:

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, October 11, 2010 – Kids’ Turn, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization today announced the election of Greg Abel as president and CEO succeeding Steven Kinney, who remains on the board of directors of Kids’ Turn. Mr. Abel is a Partner with Whiting Fallon Ross & Abel, LLP, Walnut Creek, Calif., which represents parties in complex family law and matrimonial matters.

In making the announcement, Steve Kinney, outgoing president of Kids’ Turn said, “We are pleased that Greg Abel has agreed to assume the leadership mantel of Kids’ Turn. He has been a very proactive member of the board since 2008. Greg will provide important leadership as Kids’ Turn moves to the next level of service to customers in the five county region of the San Francisco Bay Area and extends Kids’ Turn curriculum reach to other parts of the U.S. and around the globe.”

Well, since they are going global, I suppose it was worth a try to get the California Legislature to pass a law standardizing this judge-initiated project, just in cases judges who sit (or sat) on the Board previously, or the Director(s?) of Family Court Services, etc. who donate to it (and sit on its board) aren’t drumming up enough business, or foundational support.  As a little reminder, this has been operating IN THE HOLE according to its own 990, at least the San Diego One.

What a lesbian State Senator (in 2002, State Assemblyperson) is doing promoting that bill, Lord only knows. Guess it’s politically advantageous (do they donate to her, too?)

How can any organization with so much foundation support, a ton of volunteer Directors (with judicial, therapy, and attorney association connections)  AND a guaranteed source of court-ordered referrals end up with a negative cash flow?

And what about that $45K in vendor services to the City of San Francisco, recently?

And what about that Lien that the San Francisco Superior Court has (or had) on this group?

. . . . This isn’t THE major question of the family law system, but it sure does make one go “Huh???”

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