Me - I'm a Lawyer
by Edgar J.
You all got my
press release of two days ago, telling about my being
"disaffiliated" from this case. They finally allowed me
to see JoAnn - in court. Since the proceeding was the kids' custody
hearing, it was under seal and I am prohibited from telling you about it.
Now, this presents
me with something of a dilemma, since I am allowed by state bar rules to
respond to false allegations concerning my relationship with a client, even
when made by the client. Though it has been widely reported that she has
said (to somebody) that she never retained me, she never said that in Court on
Monday....on the contrary. And I now have a signed affidavit from the
family's closest friend that she said she retained me right at the start.
However, she did make it crystal clear that she now no longer wants my
assistance. So be it. I have to bow out now, despite my firm
belief that her pronouncement is made either under duress or in a contrived
and false mental state. After all, who would pass up free legal help
for civil matters such as getting her home back?
Many who have been
involved in child-snatching by the state - lawyers on both sides, (now
adult) children and parents - have told me repeatedly that this is
how it is done. They get the parent to disavow those who have them on
the run, saying it is the only way they will ever get the kids back.
While I have no evidence of that occurring in this case, it is interesting
that they announced later that day that they were working on a settlement and
might have a resolution by Thursday (tomorrow). We'll see what happens.
I predicted on
Monday, before their announcement, that we would likely see a resolution
whereby she gets released and pleads out to a lesser charge, gets probation
and supervised visitation with the kids while they all get counseling.
Of course, they will still lose the land, won't they? And I don't get to
present the consitutional challenge to the state law which allows the state to
keep the proceeds of such a sale in excess of the back taxes for which the
property is seized in the first place. And good ol' Phil gets to walk
away, semi intact. Only that bad old media hound and "self-avowed"
McGuckin family lawyer, Edgar Steele, takes the fall. That really
sucks, ladies and gentlemen, and I am mad as hell about it.
For what it is
worth, I filed Bar Complaints against both Powell and Robinson on Monday
afternoon. What will likely happen now is that I will be the
one on the business end of a state bar railroad job, however. Forgive me
for being so cynical, but I am pretty disgusted with "the system"
just at the moment. But I am not walking away from this and I am not
giving up. Call it a weakness.
Here are the
1. JoAnn is
still in jail, still on BS charges and still O.R. with terms that she
cannot sign off on (and I don't blame her)
2. The kids are
still in foster care (though I think we have it set for them to go with the
family friend that JoAnn first told me she wanted them to be with - and who
signed the affidavit I mentioned)
3. The McGuckin
home is still in someone else's name
4. The McGuckin
dogs are still either dead or in the pound
5. Good ol' Phil
is still sifting through the McGuckin home with his electrical and plumbing
inspectors, not to mention a HazMat team, searching for something - anything -
that he can use to make the case stick against JoAnn. That's right -
violate the zoning code, go to jail and lose your kids.
You tell me -
what's different? That's right. Nothing.
There was a pretty
good demonstration outside the courthouse on Monday. Many have asked for
pictures. You can find several here: http://www.churchoftrueisrael.com/mcguckin/photos1.html
There were right wingers there, there were liberals there, there were rich
people and there were poor people. This case cuts right across
mainstream America, folks.
Many locals have
disparagingly accused me of organizing it. Much as I would love to
take credit for it, others deserve that. Similarly, today the county
commissioners were publicly whining about getting over 200 emails from
around the country, complaining about the situation. They made a very
thin allusion to my being responsible. Again, I would love to take the
credit, but just can't. If you would like to see the letter I drafted
and faxed to them tonight, I enclose it. Perhaps you will begin to
appreciate why I seem to be so set upon by the local establishment once you
It will also go a
long way toward explaining why everybody was so set upon my getting removed
from this case. After all, I was the one focusing all the heat on good
ol' Phil, wasn't I?
Many have asked
why we can't simply pay the back taxes and cure the default. Because the
redemption period is passed, is why. After a year, if the house is sold
by the county, there is no longer a right of redemption. The
3 year Idaho redemption rule applies only if the county doesn't sell it,
else there is only a 1 year right of redemption. That's why the county
held it for 15 months before moving in like this. The sale last October cut
off the right of redemption. The difference goes to the county, per
state law. Nice, eh? However, I have identified a number of things
that I think allow JoAnn to file suit to recover the property, including
defects in the notice of sale and other things.
Family Trust Fund is now in the hands of a local bank and is now entitled the
JoAnn McGuckin Benefit Account. If the pretender ever moves to get bail
set, or to get the conditions removed and bail gets set anyway, then I will
immediately take cash and go post bail. Regardless, every penny still
goes to the McGuckins, rest assured. Many have taken that rather strange
message from JoAnn, made during the courthouse demonstration by the lady
public defender lawyer that I think should be handling the case alone, to mean that
JoAnn will not accept any of the fund. If that happens, then I will
take the fund and cut it into six equal pieces and place them in irrevocable
trusts as college funds for the kids. They'll have the sense to take the
money when the time comes, believe me. The daily contents of the PO Box
have fallen off pretty dramatically now, with only a handful of envelopes
today. The balance now stands at $ 17,027.
still be made to: JoAnn McGuckin Benefit Account, c/o Panhandle State
Bank, PO Box 967, Sandpoint, Idaho 83864. The bank now opens the mail
and automatically makes the deposits. I much prefer that and so
does Cyndi, who did such a good job of opening, endorsing, tallying and
preparing deposit slips this past week.
I know this
communique is a little prickly. I'm just not happy about what is going
on. Although I attempt to put aside my feelings about what is being said
about myself and my motivations, and how I am denied the local public forum to
respond, and just focus on what is happening to the McGuckins, I
still have difficulty with not letting my personal anger get the better
of me. It is because of my passion, I suppose, that I get caught up in
affairs of this sort in the first place.
I'm still not
through with this matter, or the people who created it, or those who tolerate
it. Not by a long shot.
Believe me when I
tell you that. When's the last time that a lawyer said something like that
and you did believe it?
"I didn't say it would be easy. I just said it
would be the truth."
Copyright © Edgar J. Steele,
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