Message proves unsettling — Page 1 — TimesUnion.com
First published: Monday, June 26, 2006
One of the Capitol’s best-known father’s rights advocates found himself under investigation after he circulated a news story about the shooting of a judge.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver’s office said it couldn’t discuss matters under investigation. State Police could not immediately provide details this weekend.
Randy Dickinson, vice president of the Coalition of Fathers and Families New York, said he sent an e-mail out to legislators earlier this month. It contained an Associated Press story about the June 12 shooting by a sniper of a Nevada family court judge.
According to published reports, Darren Mack, 45, allegedly stabbed and killed his estranged wife and shot Washoe County Family Court Judge Chuck Weller, who had been handling their divorce case. Mack surrendered to authorities Thursday in Mexico.
Dickinson also attached a quote from John F. Kennedy: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”
According to Dickinson, someone apparently took the missive as a threat and Silver’s counsel, Dan Conviser, contacted State Police.
Police showed up at Dickinson’s house at 11:20 p.m. on June 16, “ringing the bell, pounding on the door, and calling my number via cellphone from outside the house.” He didn’t answer, he said, since he didn’t know who was there.
Another officer showed up at 10 a.m. the next day and interviewed him. The officer, Dickinson said, found no crime had been committed, and told him “it was a little absurd for him to have even been instructed to look into the matter.” Dickinson said he believes the case was closed.
Dickinson’s group has been pushing for what it claims would be more equitable divorce and custody laws in New York. One of its priorities this year was a shared-parenting bill opposed by the National Organization for Women’s New York chapter. It died in committee.
Dickinson said he was just trying to make a point the group has communicated in the past to legislative leaders, that “they cannot continue to ignore our issues and refuse to provide any relief or accommodation, without encouraging violence from those more inclined to express their frustration and anger in that manner.”
The quote, he said, “was meant to emphasize that one of their own heroes and an icon of the Democratic Party warned them that the lid cannot be kept on people’s passions forever, without expecting trouble.”
“You’d think they might appreciate being made aware of public sentiment and the consequences of ignoring it,” Dickinson said. “Maybe not.”
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