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Monday, June 23, 2008

Child Abuse and Sham Peer Review...Corruption in Pennsylvania III

UPDATE: Check out my new book, The Definitive Dossier of PTSD in Whistleblowers, and in chapter three this story, and especially its mentally debilitating effects, is explored in much greater detail. 

If this is your first introduction to this series, here is part one and part two. I will be making references to both so hopefully you will read each of them prior to reading this. After Jim Singer lost his psychology license, he wound up reaching out to nearly every single powerful politician in Pennsylvania. Each gave him different levels of help and yet ultimately he still has never had his license re instated in Pennsylvania more than fifteen years after it was removed. Here is how each of the major politicians contributed.

Bob Casey Sr. ( Democrat, Governor of Pennsylvania 1987-1995)
Jim Singer attempted to reach the governor immediately after he took office. He wrote letters however it was his son that wound up in a chance face to face meeting with the Governor himself. Singer's son was an undergraduate at Yale at the time. Singer's son was chosen to debate on behalf of the students with Governor Casey Sr. After the debate the two spoke in private. At that meeting Singer's son told the Governor some of what happened in his dad's case. He even handed the governor documents regarding perjury at his trial among many other abuses. The Governor must have been moved because within months Singer's son received this letter. It was from James Haggerty, the Governor's personal attorney. Haggerty stated that he would investigate the claim personally.

Whatever interest there was in this case from the Governor's office, it soon died down. Only weeks after receiving that positive letter from James Haggerty,Singer's son received this letter. This particular letter was also from Haggerty. Haggerty indicated that the matter had been investigated and was found "without merit".

What caused the sudden turnaround is something only James Haggerty can answer. His involvement with this case didn't start with these two letters and the investigation I assume he had in between. In fact, about a year and a half prior a meeting between himself, Christopher Lewis, the President's Secretary of Commonwealth, as well as three State Senators Dan Surra, Ted Stuban, and Sam Smith was arranged. In fact, Dan Surra actually also taught at the victim's school and had also written this letter to the Governor himself. As such by the time, Casey Sr. handed over investigation of this matter to Haggerty, he should have already been well familiar with it.

In other words, the same James Haggerty who should have known how badly Jim Singer was wronged was telling his son that there was nothing to the story. Now, I don't what you would call that but I call it sweeping the matter under the proverbial rug.

Rick Santorum (Republican Congressman 18th District 1991-1995, Senator Pennsylvania 1994-2006)

The extent of Rick Santorum's involvement is a few letters like this one. Singer said they were always cooperative but beyond writing a few letters they never did much. He had contact on and off with their office from the early 1990's all the way into 2001. It's ironic because the letter paints quite a stark picture and of course the recipient of the letter was none other than Bill Clinton himself. Within the letter Santorum starts like this.

I am writing this letter on behalf of Jim Singer, a psychologist from Dubois, Pennsylvania. I would like to join my colleagues Senator Spector, Congressman Bud Shuster, Congressman Tom Ridge, and Congressman Bud Cramer who have recently expressed their concern over the handling of Dr. Singer's case by state and federal officials as a result of his mandate reporting of child abuse in 1986

Now, this letter indicates that the Clinton was informed by the top Pennsylvania politicians about Singer's case. How many politicians need to write letters before this case was looked at by someone at the Justice Department? Yet, if this is so bad that each of the major politicians of the state is complaining about it to the President himself why aren't each of them doing more? After all, it is now 2008 and Singer still hasn't received his license back. This particular letter was written in 1993 when Santorum was still a Congressman.

Tom Ridge (Republican Congressman 1983-1995 Governor Pennsylvania 1995-2001)

Singer first approached Ridge in 1993. By then, he had already started campaigning for Governor, and his main rival in the Republican primaries was Ernie Preate. Preate was then the current Attorney General of Pennsylvania. Ridge wrote a letter of his own to Janet Reno, then Attorney General of the United States, complaining about the case. He was very resourceful beyond that. Even though he was in the House of Representatives, he was able to talk the Senate Health, Education, and Labor Committee to have Singer testify at one of their hearings. Now, a big spectacle would not only bring spotlight to the case, but also to Preate's failure in dealing with it. Of course, that is a cynical view and nothing about this case should make cynical, should it.

In any case, the Hearing were scheduled April 27, 1994. This just happened to coincide with Richard Nixon's death and that day was a day of mourning at the Capitol and the hearing was postponed. It has never been re scheduled in nearly fifteen years for reasons only known to the committee itself.

By the end of January 1995, Ridge was governor. He initially was also gung ho about taking on the case. He appointed Robert DeSouza to investigate. DeSouza was a high level prosecutor in the Justice Department of Pennsylvania. This appointment came in January of 1995, or immediately after he took office. By spring of 1995, his posture changed 180%. By the spring, the State Senate wanted to run its own headed by Steve MacNett. They were hoping to coordinate the investigations. Yet, when approached, the governor's office was stand offish. Neither investigation went anywhere. Ridge, who was very receptive to this story when he was still running for Governor, became quite unhelpful to Singer once he actually became Governor. (as this letter indicates)

Arlen Spector (Republican U.S. Senator Pennsylvania 1981-Present)

Singer began to correspond with Senator Spector's office in the late 1980's. The office was receptive. Then, in 1993 the Senator received this letter. This letter was special because it was from another of Singer's patients and it told of another patient that was paid off by members of DCFS to make up stories about Singer. In other words, while DCFS was supposed to protect the child and the identity of the mandated reporter, they were doing the exact opposite.

Spector's office was helpful until this police report came out. Even though (or maybe as a result) it was a damning indictment of not only DCFS but the entire political apparatus, this police report only most politicians more hesitant to work with Singer. Furthermore, its author Lt. Ivan Hoover had his career go downhill soon after its completion.

Spector's office is the best example. Up until the release of this police report, they were very helpful. They wrote several letters and were instrumental in helping procure the hearing along with then Congressman Ridge. They even apparently asked that Shay Bilchik, who was being confirmed as a top prosecutor in U.S. Justice, to look into the matter during a private session of his confirmation. Once the police report came out, their attitude changed.

Just a couple months ago, Spector's Chief of Staff Scott Hoeslich, got into an argument with Singer because Hoeslich refused to say that Singer's case had anything to do with child abuse.

Bob Casey Jr. (Democrat Pennsylvania State Auditor 1997-2005 U.S. Senator Pennsylvania 2007- Present)

Singer first approached Casey Jr. in 1999 when he was Pennsylvania's State Auditor. In his role, he investigated misuse of state funds. By 1999, this sham had been going on for more than a decade. That was quite a lot of time and money spent prosecuting a frivolous and baseless case.

In the initial meeting, Casey Jr. was excited by what he heard. He was looking to help, however Singer was rather skeptical. That's because he noticed that the Auditor's General Counsel was a woman named Sally Ulrich. Singer had run into Ulrich while he was being shammed. In fact, she was the Judge for the Psychology Board during his trial. In other words, it was Ulrich herself that handed down his sentence.

Another individual with ties to this case was Peter Smith. Smith had been head of the Inspector General's office at the time that incident was first unfolding. In fact, Hoover attacked the Inspector General's Office specifically in his police report in 1997.

Furthermore, much of this happened on the watch of his father's administration. He would have certainly done a great deal of damage to his father's legacy if he investigated the matter properly. We will never know because his initial exuberance for an investigation went the way of the DeSouza investigation and the U.S. Senate hearings.

In fact, it appears that all these so called powerful politicians have given Singer the run around for nearly twenty years. Why wouldn't any step up and do what it took to re instate his license and investigate the obscene corruption at the Psychology board, DCFS, and beyond? That is a question to answer in part four.

Here is part four...

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