Sanity Check Radio Show interview: Andy Ostrowski on Custody4Cash
Andy: Well, yeah, let me first say, Lou, thank you very much and God bless you for the work that you’re doing. One of the biggest problems and one of the reasons these things [such as the Kids for Cash scandal] occur is because we don’t have an independent media looking at these issues. You go to a mainstream media [outlet] and you try to talk about court issues and you try to talk about court corruption and you try to talk about what really goes on and you get no coverage at all and you get ostracized and alienated.
People just don’t understand what happens in the courts and what happens with lawyers and how much it’s controlled from the inside.
For several years as I’ve been working on these issues I’ve been really focused on trying to get some media involvement in this, and I’ve kind of started my own media blog called the Pennsylvania Civil Rights Law Network. I’ve really been trying to focus on these things from the inside, because one of the problems is the people just don’t understand what happens in the courts and what happens with lawyers and how much it’s controlled from the inside. The essence of that is really what happened in the whole Kids for Cash scandal. You know, those judges, Conahan and Ciavarella, they properly were prosecuted and properly incarcerated — you know, there’s been a lot of publicity about those issues. But it never needed to get to that point, and if we did not have an intimidated lawyer class, which is really what it is . . . The lawyers are an oppressed and intimidated class that do not have the same First Amendment rights as most other people do. The problem in the Kids for Cash issue, fundamentally, was a bar association and court problem. Lawyers knew for years what was going on up there, and some lawyers secretly put information out to the US Attorney’s Office in Central Pennsylvania and they could have, at any time for a number of years, investigated what was going on there. But because it’s all about just protecting your people, it’s just the good ol’ boy network run rampant . . . This is just people wanting to take care of their friends and with a wink and a nod look past these issues and just hope and pretend they go away, because they feel that they’re in some sort of superior position with respect to how the people react, and that they can control information and that they can, you know, basically, protect their whole system. And that’s fundamentally what happened with the Kids for Cash scandal and it’s absolutely tragic.
You’ve got another Central Pennsylvania issue: you’ve got what happened at Penn State with Jerry Sandusky, if I can transition between the two of them, because the core of the problem is the same in both of them. The lawyers at Penn State University where the problem with that case. The lawyers and Tom Corbett were the problem with that case; they all had information. I personally represented had represented people at Penn State University for a decade or more, and in these lawsuits I was bringing I started saying [that] the problem that we had here was a problem with the administration. These people control information, they control lies, they spread lies and their lawyers protect them and cover them up, and they’re connected into the federal courts. So in all honesty, for ten, twelve years I was out here screaming — not screaming and yelling, that’s not the way I do things — but I was out here talking and pressing issues about systematic dishonesty and corruption that leads to these problems, and look at in both situations, both of these tragic, tragic situations, look at all the children’s lives that have been ruined as a result. And lawyers and judges and courts are the core problem to all of it, and it’s just absolutely tragic.
Lou: You know, the story that we wrote on Custody4Cash, and I’m starting to believe that this is going to dwarf what has happened with Kids for Cash . . . when we first wrote it, obviously we got a lot of accolades from people who had to go through this system, but certainly the establishment, you know [said], Why are you writing about stuff like this? This intimidation factor, and I’m going to have this lady on next week, she’s from Colorado — she was faced with, and eventually given, a gag order, Andy, saying, If you speak out, we’re taking your kids. I don’t think people realize that this is going on. And that’s exactly what happened: she started coming to the end of her case, and she said, I have to go speak, and she actually went on CNN and she has spoken before Congress and she’s agreed to come on the radio show [on February 15] . . .
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