Sandpoint, Idaho 83864
Admitted in Idaho, Oregon, Washington & California
PRESS RELEASE - IMMEDIATE
June 11, 2001, 11:00 a.m., Sagle, Idaho
J. Steele, attorney at law
Idaho. Edgar J. Steele appeared at
the “shelter” hearing for the McGuckin children held this morning and made
two motions, the second of which was a formal request to be granted leave to
withdraw from the representation of JoAnn McGuckin and her children, due to his
client’s refusal to cooperate with him. Mrs.
McGuckin then clearly pronounced her desire that Mr. Steele not continue in any
capacity on her behalf or that of her children, thereby obviating the need for
the Court to rule on Mr. Steele’s second motion.
Because the proceedings were under seal, inquiries concerning Mr.
Steele’s first motion should be directed to the Court.
filed with the Court an affidavit signed by “Jane Doe” (true name disclosed
only to the Court due to interests of the children, since Jane Doe will likely
provide the temporary foster home for the children) which stated, in part,
“I first spoke with JoAnn after her arrest by phone
the night of June 1, 2001, and she confirmed that she had asked Mr. Steele to
help her out and represent her legal interests of a civil nature, and those of
Steele also filed with the Court a lengthy affidavit of his own which stated, in part, ‘She stated that she wanted me to appear at any hearings and ensure that her kids didn’t get railroaded. She wanted me to defend her interests in keeping her family together and being reunited with her kids. She also asked me to look into the land title forfeiture and see if there was any way to undo that. Then, to make it official, I said, “Then you want me to represent you for all civil issues related to your pending criminal charges, including the land transfers and your children?” “Yes,” was her response. “You want me to represent your children with regard to any and all custody issues?” Again, Mrs. McGuckin said, “Yes.” I told her I would do so and there would be no charge…’
This should finally put to rest the false
allegations circulated by Mr. Robinson, Mr. Powell and the Sheriff’s office
that Edgar Steele had never been retained by Mrs. McGuckin.
Steele said, “You know, it is singularly curious that this is the only
point upon which these three parties have been able to agree in this matter.”
Steele also pointed to the fact that he has been the most vocal critic of
both Mr. Robinson, for pressing a groundless case and trying the case in the
press with false statements, and Mr. Powell, for not diligently pursuing Mrs.
McGuckin’s interests, such as getting her released from jail under acceptable
terms and securing at least supervised visitation with her own children, who she
has not seen since the day she was arrested.
Steele stated that Mrs. McGuckin’s about face
concerning his involvement in this case was as complete as it was without any
apparent basis in Steele’s not having been diligent on behalf of Mrs. McGuckin.
“I have no idea why she turned on me. She is extremely fragile mentally
and highly susceptible to suggestion and the influence of others, as told me
repeatedly of late by (Jane Doe).” Steele
absolutely ruled out the possibility that he had subjected Mrs. McGuckin to any
undue influence. “What did I have
to gain? I was offering to gift her
with legal work with a value well in excess of $100,000, after all.”
Steele’s has also been the lone legal-related
voice to protest the seizure and sale of the McGuckin family home, though he
stated that he had no evidence of any connection between his outspokenness in
that regard and the apparent unified attempt to marginalize, then eliminate, him
from the case.
noted that what should be the single most important matter in this entire
affair, that of putting this family back together and giving them the space to
heal, seems to have been given short shrift.
Steele turned over the results of his efforts in this area to the
recently-appointed co-counsel for JoAnn McGuckin’s interests, Sara Seaborg,
for continued handling.
has anybody other than Steele’s office and a thus-far anonymous benefactor
done any work or investigation in pursuit of undoing the egregious tax seizure
and sale of the McGuckin family home. This
development also closes that file, though Steele indicated a willingness to
share the results of his work in that regard, which he characterized as
“extremely promising,” with any subsequent counsel that Mrs. McGuckin might
secure to carry on her family’s interests in the Garfield Bay property now
owned by a Mr. And Mrs. Korengut, of New Jersey.
withdrawal also forecloses the possibility of Steele’s firm at this time
making an anticipated constitutional challenge to the Idaho State law which
provides that the proceeds of the sale of property realized from a tax sale in
excess of back taxes go to the government, rather than the dispossessed owners
of the property. Steele had boldly
pronounced that “this law is a clear violation of the Constitutional
prohibitions against denial of due process and unreasonable seizures.”
“Regrettably,” said Steele, “more people will have to be
impoverished by their own government before another attorney eventually comes
into possession of a case with which he or she is willing to go up and get that
law reversed, as my firm stood ready to do in this case.”
noted that donations from every state in the country were pouring in to the
trust fund he established to, first, pay JoAnn McGuckin’s bail, then to
provide for the family’s needs. “We
went a little over $14,000 on Saturday and every day sees the post office box
stuffed again.” Steele absolutely
ruled out the possibility of turning the money over to the appointed counsel,
Bryce Powell, for handling, saying that he would likely give over handling of
the trust fund to a local bank, with the strict provision that Powell never be
allowed to touch it, since Powell had previously tried to get Steele to pay over
some of that money to Powell, to supplement his own county stipend for handling
stated that, previously, he had been “ready to post $10,000 cash to bail out
Mrs. McGuckin just two days after she was arrested,” and was frustrated that
the bail was never reduced to that amount.
Instead, the court merely granted her a release on her own recognizance,
but saddled with terms to which she could not consent, such as agreeing not to
see her own children, who had lost their father just two days prior to her
arrest. “I’m a father,” said
Steele, “ and that is a term I would never agree to, not in a million years.
She might as well be held under an order which denies the possibility of
the posting of bail, for all the good the current court order does her.”
was especially critical of the local press, which seemed to fully cooperate with
the Robinson/Powell/Jarvis “triumverate,” in attempting to paint him as an
interloper with ulterior motives. “Absolutely,”
said Steele, “I admit it. My
hidden agenda was seeing that this family get a fair shake from the system for a
change. Is it any wonder that the
system lashed out at me?”
goes to show you,” Steele said of his departure from the case, “even when it
comes to your own neighbors, sometimes no good deed goes unpunished.”
Copyright © Edgar J. Steele, 2002
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Write to me at Steele@ConspiracyPenPal.com