At Tribal Council
PAS Judge Ronnie Panioto!
The Tribe Has Spoken -
A Coupe-de-tat At The Hamilton County
Domestic Relations Court
Cincinnati Enquirer article 8/8/06
"Judges vote for change at family court
"After 24 years of running the Hamilton County court that deals with divorces and child custody cases, Judge Ron Panioto has been replaced as that court's top judge.
Panioto, 69, of Wyoming, was the court's administrative judge from 1982 until last Tuesday, when he was replaced by Domestic Relations Court Judge Susan Tolbert.
Panioto remains a judge - with a $116,100 annual salary - but no longer controls the hiring and other administrative authority of the 95-person Domestic Relations department. The court hears divorce, custody and other family law cases.
Ohio law calls for the three Hamilton County Domestic Relations Court judges to vote each year to elect the administrative judge. Since 1999, the same three judges have sat in Domestic Relations Court. In each of those years, Tolbert and Judge Penelope Cunningham sat with Panioto as the administrative judge.
That changed this year.
"This is not a lifetime appointment," Tolbert said.
"Perhaps there was consideration that change is always good," said Cunningham, who is without opposition as a candidate for an open appeals court judgeship.
On her first day as administrative judge last week, Tolbert made several changes.
She fired 18-year employee Glenna Reeves and, according to Panioto, informed Ray Shannon, the court administrator, that he would lose his $93,363-a-year job - after he trained his replacement.
That replacement is Lisa Dwenger, until a week ago an assistant prosecutor making $56,100 but who is being paid $80,000 to replace Shannon. Dwenger also worked on Tolbert's election campaigns."
End of Enquirer article
Enough! Finally somebody had enough. He's unethical. A cheat. A liar. A pro-abuser jurist who awards custody to suspected child molesters, and after 24 years as the chief bully he's been shown the door.
Well ... kind of.
After watching several episodes of "Survivor", Judges Tolbert & Cunningham formed an alliance in August 2006 and voted Judge Panioto out as the Chief Administrative Judge, dealing a death blow to his power and influence. But he's still in the tribe as his final six-year term does not expire until January 2011. His torch is still lit, but just barely.
Ever listen to Jimmy Buffett's song "Nobody Speaks To The Captain No More"? That's now Panioto - an outcast. An embarrassment in the corner office that won't leave.
You'd think the local newspapers could put two and two together and figure out that there was some nasty backroom politicing going on at the courthouse? Think again. The Cincinnati Enquirer in particular is just so doggone cuddly cute, gullible ... and irrelevant. They report on the Reds, and tornados, and the new elephant at the zoo, but they cannot accurately report on the local family court. For that, Captain Panioto is forever grateful - their weakness allowed him to run roughshod over local attorneys and abuse litigants for a quarter century in any manner he pleased.
So enamored with his own image, Panioto narcissistically has bolted a plaque on the wall just down the hall from his chambers that is a tribute to his great leadership and vision. It's good for a laugh. Certainly Tolbert & Cunningham thought so. Maybe we all should start our day walking by a plaque that depicts us as somehow heroic?
And how really out of touch is the Cincinnati Enquirer when it comes to the court? Well, the number one weapon and first line of defense for Hamilton County attorneys representing suspected child abusers is "Parental Alienation" theory. Everybody talks about it ... except the Enquirer. Oh they know about it, but they look the other way because they haven't the backbone to investigate.
Panioto embraced PAS theory two decades ago. So did the parenting division. And the wails of protective mothers who have lost custody to their children's abusers has been reverberating in that building ever since. In that time, how many stories do you suppose the Cincinnati Enquirer has done on the debunked, pro-pedophile "Parental Alienation" theory? Answer: none.
Do a search, the keyword term "parental alienation" appears nowhere in their archives. Not even in reference to that misguided moron Alec Baldwin, who called his little girl nasty names and then blamed it on his ex-wife Kim Basinger. Ladies and Gents, the Enquirer is barely a newspaper.
Read below the lightweight Cincinnati Enquirer story on Judge Panioto being removed as chief administrative judge which appeared on August 8, 2006.
Read below a correct, but never-the-less meaningless, Enquirer editorial.
June 15, 2005 Cincinnati Enquirer Editorial
"Fighting on against child abuse"
"Michael Jackson's child molestation trial had the air of a carnival about it, and his acquittal Monday the mood of a fan club meeting.
But while a man found not guilty has a right to celebrate his exoneration, let us never confuse the gravity of the issue at hand with the lighthearted mood surrounding this verdict.
The jury decided that the prosecutor failed to prove its case against Jackson, but more than 124,000 children are sexually abused by adults each year. Sexual abuse isn't funny. It isn't titillating. And if it's not the meltdown of what it means to be human, then it's as close as we ever need get to it.
With abuse, it's amazing how quickly the sturdy cocoon of childhood can come unraveled. It's shocking how thoroughly innocent trust can vanish, and self-confidence can be shattered.
And no trial - no guilty verdict, no multimillion-dollar settlement - will ever get it back.
None of us would have to go far to confirm that statement. The victims of child abuse are all around us, some still keeping their secret, some suffering openly. Perhaps in Neverland children never grow up, but in the households and classrooms and church offices and locker rooms of abusers, they grow up all too quickly.
Monday, while cheering fans chased after Jackson's caravan, some local residents surely noted in a far different way the death of Earl Bierman, a former priest in Northern Kentucky convicted of molesting six adolescent boys and named in dozens more abuse reports.
The selfish arrogance of Bierman's crimes and his unrepentant attitude toward his victims remind us why sexual abuse makes such supremely poor fodder for "humor," and why children's accusations must never be easily dismissed.
Recently the Diocese of Covington proposed a $120 million settlement to acknowledge and address victims' suffering at the hands of abusive priests. The dollar amount sent shock waves, - would it bankrupt the diocese? Who will end up paying for it? - but those questions are better asked of the moral, not financial, effect of abuse.
From that angle, the answers are easy: A climate in which sexual abuse can occur will bankrupt any organization. And clearly, we all end up paying for it.
It's hard to be sure what message was sent by Jackson's acquittal. We hope it is that the justice system worked as it was intended to, he was acquitted because the jury had reasonable doubt. But we hope that legitimate abuse victims don't read wider implications into the verdict.
Abused children must believe they will be heard and that, if they are telling the truth, they will find justice.
Families must believe that Americans take abuse charges seriously, that they are eager to remedy them and they are still more eager to prevent them.
And people who would exploit children must understand that the world is watching, and that in open courtrooms and private settings alike, we will never shirk our obligation to protect our children."
End of Enquirer Editorial
What a joke! Though pretty words, aren't they? The Enquirer author probably meant it when he opined, "And people who would exploit children must understand that the world is watching, and that in open courtrooms and private settings alike, we will never shirk our obligation to protect our children."
But of course those Enquirer words are meaningless, almost insulting to the scores of abused children the newspaper has let down for nearly two decades. Far from never shirking their obligation, it can be categorically stated that the Enquirer has shirked its' obligation every single day that they have remained silent in the face of the pro-pedophile, pro-abuser movement inside the Hamilton County family court.
In other words, the newspaper's next investigative article on the use of Parental Alienation Syndrome theory in Hamilton County will be their first. The Enquirer cannot plead ignorance because they were informed long ago about the situation from many quarters.
Even when NBC Dateline did a story on Peggy Farmer, who fled Cincinnati with her eight year old daughter Bethany to avoid the local Hamilton County PAS court, the Enquirer ignored the story altogether. A story of national media interest is of no local interest? Gimme a break. The Enquirer believes that one good thing that you can say about being uninformed, is that at least you're not misinformed.
Either somebody high up at the Enquirer owes Panioto a favor, or more likely, they simple lack the journalistic talent. It takes journalistic skill to ask why the court relies on Dr. Richard Gardner's debunked theory "Parental Alienation Syndrome"? Or why local attorneys advise their clients that if they make abuse allegations in court that they will almost certainly lose custody to the alleged abuser? Or why the head of the Parenting Division has no formal training in the mental health field? Or why non-experts in child abuse are assigned as court evaluators and then recommend that children be de-programmed - a state sponsored mind control program more reminiscent of the 1960's Cultural Revolution in Communist China?
Since the Enquirer cannot or will not investigate these animals at the courthouse, thus becoming part of the problem and not the solution, the newspaper should do what it does best - and simply shut up. Writing empty words like "never shirk our obligation" is just too embarrassing.
Same As It Ever Was
Why do so many Cincinnati women, over so many years, claim they are so poorly treated by the Hamilton County Domestic Relations Court and Parenting Division?
Has this sort of thing been going on for years in Hamilton County?
The article below appeared in the Cincinnati Enquirer on May 22, 1996. The first and last time the newspaper had the gumption to report on what was really going on at the court. Their lack of follow-up allowed another decade of pro-abuser PAS theory to flourish.
Judges asked to learn about sexual abuse
by B.G. Gregg
The Cincinnati Enquirer
"The National Organization for Women's Cincinnati chapter has called for judges in domestic relations courts to undergo training about sexual abuse and for the state of Ohio to institute guidelines on handling sexual abuse cases.
The organization says judges in Hamilton County's Domestic Relations Court are allowing parents who have abused children to visit, and sometimes maintain custody of, those children. 'These are little lives and they're getting really messed up,' said Lea Webb, president of the Cincinnati chapter.
About 50 people attended NOW's speak-out Tuesday night at the downtown YWCA. Many of the attendees were women who talked about sexual abuse of their children and how they felt they were let down by the court system.
Judge Ronald Panioto, head of the county's domestic relations court, said he was unaware of NOW's claims until recently. He said he knows of no specific cases in which judges placed children with abusers and the children were abused again.
'If I were going to make a mistake, I would make the mistake in favor of the child,' he said.
Mr. Panioto said judges depend on counselors and caseworkers to substantiate sexual abuse allegations. He said he would go along with the organization's request for judges to receive special training for sexual abuse cases.
Some audience members spoke about attorneys who feared taking cases before judges, caseworkers who are unqualified to determine what is sexual abuse and prosecutors who are reluctant to try such cases.
Greg Moore, a Covington lawyer who also practices in Ohio, said prosecutors sometimes fail to take cases because they must prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt, and relying on information from a child makes that very difficult."
End of Article
A Secret World
Butler County Ohio Commissioner Michael Fox wrote the following in a 78 page report released on May 22, 2003. He could just as easily have been describing neighboring Hamilton County Ohio Judge Ronald Panioto's World at 800 Broadway - Cincinnati, Ohio 45202 - US
"The world of juvenile and domestic relations is a secret world where the courts treat public scrutiny with open contempt and hostility. The pretense for this secrecy is to protect families from embarrassing disclosures about their personal and private lives. The real function, however, is to protect the court from public scrutiny and oversight."
"Where is the outrage? The answer: The outrage is muted by an incestuous network of insiders who are spared the crucible of public scrutiny by a system that operates behind locked doors, disciplined by a real fear of being punished if the members ever break ranks and rail against the injustice they see daily. "
"One part of the problem is that the justice system has been so prostituted that protections essential to the integrity of the justice system take a back seat to the comfort and convenience of insiders. Citizens caught up in the perverse domestic relations and juvenile systems are treated like extraneous nuisances whose main purpose is to provide a pretext for the insiders to make a good living.
Another part of the problem is that lawyers are trained to look at the world differently. They are taught to ignore right and wrong, substituting a perverse set of values in which process and procedure trump substance. What normal people consider a lie or false statement is perfectly acceptable in the world of law, where process is king, and whatever one can get away with is acceptable. Do what you must do to win.
Violations of laws and breaches of court rules are a scandal. But perhaps the larger scandal is not the actions that are formally improper or illegal. The practices that the courts allow and encourage within their rules are increasingly bringing our system of justice into disrepute."
"I know no safe depository of the ultimate powers of society but the people themselves; and if we think them not enlightened enough to exercise their control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion."
Thomas Jefferson, 1820