Thursday, February 26, 2009

Intro to Dr. Edward J. Connor Psy. D.

Dr. Edward J. Connor Psy. D. is forensic psychologist in the Greater Cincinnati Area which covers Southwestern Ohio, Northern Kentucky and Southeastern Indiana.  My spouse and I signed an agreed order of the Court to seek the services of Dr. Connor for a child custody evaluation.  My attorney at the time, Thomas Blondell, told me that Dr. Connor was the only evaluator he had ever used since he moved to Southeastern Indiana so I didn’t ask any questions.  I had absolutely no idea of what was in store for me. 

My divorce case is in the Ripley Circuit Court because we lived in Ripley County Indiana.  Dr. Connor’s office, Connor and Associates, PLLC, is located in Erlanger, KY, but he frequently does work for neighboring Indiana courts.  I went through the evaluation process in an honest and forthcoming fashion.  I didn’t lie, exaggerate, bad mouth my wife, etc… I was honest about some not so flattering things in my history.  I had a good time playing with my girls during the observation sessions.  I thought it was a lock that we would get joint custody because the kids were comfortable with both parents and I felt I presented myself as a calm, rational, and responsible father.  Then I got hit by the Mack Truck (aka Dr. Connor’s August 29, 2007 evaluation report) that tried to take my girls away.  

“Dan can certainly provide childcare for the children but we believe that minimizing the time he has with the children will in fact, sustain their existing bond.”  You’re probably asking the same question most people ask; “what the hell does that mean?”  What makes it even more confusing is that two sentences prior to that statement Dr. Connor wrote “it is clear that the children are very attached to both parents.”  Dr. Connor said that I couldn’t communicate because of my “severe” ADHD.  Dr. Connor mentioned several times throughout the evaluation that he couldn’t understand me.  He put broken, out of context quotes of mine in the evaluation and claimed that I had difficulties communicating.  Dr. Connor’s main reason why my time with my little girls should be minimized was because I couldn’t communicate.  It was truly the worst day of my life. 

Try telling an attorney that an evaluator is lying about you.  Try telling an attorney you feel like you are in the Twilight Zone because the report you just read wasn’t about you.  My attorney, Thomas Blondell, kept saying “I don’t know if it’s a bad evaluation.  I’m not a psychologist.”  (I did later find that Mr. Blondell was a child advocate in Cook County, Illinois so he was probably very familiar with evaluations.)  Mr. Blondell did nothing except for listen to me and bill me.  He eventually “fired” me in mid February 2008, citing communication problems (how convenient); but I feel it had more to do with not wanting to go against the only evaluator that he has ever used, and being mad that I picketed my former attorney’s firm.  When I went to get my case file, I found that Thomas Blondell had left Wood and Lamping for another firm without telling anyone the status of my case.  A couple of weeks later, he filed to run in the Democratic Primary for Dearborn Superior Court Judge.  Luckily he got shellacked in the primary. 

Dr. Connor encouraged people to submit, in writing, any concerns about errors in the evaluation.  I began writing a rebuttal in October 2007.  I wrote three or four drafts in an attempt to get an objective but firm response to an evaluation, which I thought was horrific.  By horrific, I mean Dr. Connor confused the names of my daughters throughout the evaluation.  On February 19, 2008, I hand delivered my 17 page written response to Dr. Connor.  In a letter to the Court dated February 21, 2008, Dr. Connor wrote “Mr. Brewington’s documents indicate that there are numerous errors and oversights in the report” and offered additional sessions to correct the “numerous errors and oversights.” 

I know what you’re thinking.  How can there be numerous errors and oversights in something as important as a child custody evaluation?  Better yet, Dr. Connor expected us to pay for the additional sessions to correct the “numerous errors and oversights” to the tune of $350.00 a piece.  But getting a shot to redeem myself was worth the money. 

Dr. Connor seemed to be less cooperative when he found out I was representing myself.  I didn’t set out to act as my own attorney.  [NOTE: if you ever find yourself in a similar predicament, do not tell a prospective lawyer that you were screwed by a custody evaluator and your second attorney fired you after he found out you picketed your first attorney’s office.  They tend to avoid contact with you.]  I was forced to go at it alone.  I decided to get a copy of the case file, from the evaluation report, as I was entitled to per Dr. Connor’s agreement that my wife and I signed.  I thought it might provide some insight to things like what happened when Dr. Connor tried to contact my brother Mark but his phone was disconnected.  (My brother’s name is Matt and he has two contact numbers; none of which had been disconnected.)  I requested a copy on March 6, 2008.  On March 11 Dr. Connor said I wasn’t entitled to it because it contained my wife’s confidential information.  On March 25, I reminded Dr. Connor of his agreement.  On March 26, Dr. Connor stated that he would “be happy” to release the case file to me once he got verification from the Court that I was representing myself.  On March 27, Dr. Connor “interpreted” the Court’s ruling that I was not entitled to the evaluation case file.  On April 16, Dr. Connor wrote Mr. Brewington is in fact correct that our contract indicates that we will provide the representing attorneys a copy of the case file, but given the circumstances we feel a court order is necessary given that Mr. Brewington is representing himself pro se.  On August 4, Dr. Connor stated that there are state and HIPAA laws that prevent him from releasing the case file without a court order or my wife’s consent.  Judge Carl H. Taul gave several reasons as to why he wasn’t going to order the release of the case file.  Kentucky Revised Statue 403.300 (Dr. Connor’s practice is in KY) states that the evaluator has to release the file to the representing attorney OR directly to an unrepresented party.  BTW, I still don’t have a copy of the case file.  

Crazy you say?  This barely scraps the surface.  I’ve subpoenaed former Judge Carl H. Taul to testify in the final hearing.  I invited my first attorney as well.  If the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology don’t get their act together, we may see all nine of them at the final hearing as well.  I know that anything I write can be used against me in the trial, but everything I write is true and I don’t slander my soon to be ex because I feel I would be letting my little girls down.  I’m just here as an advocate and to provide a little entertainment because it’s always funny when “professions” whine about being picked on by the unrepresented dad.  I’m going to make a push to add more by this weekend, in the meantime, don’t forget to stop by for more information.  Thanks.




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