Colorado State Prof Jailed Over Kid’s E-mail Account

colorado_state_universityColorado State University professor Catherine Keske has been returned to jail to serve out a 90-day jail sentence for contempt of court as part of her 4-year custody battle with her ex-husband Jeff Handley. Handley has accused Keske of failing to comply with a court order to allow him unfettered access to his son via a private cell phone and an unmonitored email address. According to Westword Blogs, Keske had already served four days of her sentence, in August, before Magistrate Judith Goeke signed an order for her release. Goeke has now reversed the order and Keske must report back to jail by August 27th or face a bench warrant for her arrest.

Keske was initially cited for contempt by Magistrate Chris Voisinet after Handley complained that she was violating the court order to provide their son with a cell phone and an email account. In the words of Hendley’s attorney, Michelle Faulk:

“She’s been extremely aggressive with many issues in this case. At every opening she attempts to make this case more litigious, more vexatious. She’s made attempts to impede my client’s relationship with the child. She continues to make allegations that she’s being harassed, but she’s been the aggressor.”

The Daily Mail reports that the former couple each have the custody of one of the their two sons. The current chapter in the on-going five-year saga concerns the 10-year-old son of whom Keske has the primary custody.

Keske has maintained that the sentence, handed down after a two-day hearing, is in retaliation for her campaign against the domestic court system in Colorado. Last year she testified in support for the Colorado Senate Bill 187, which curbs the powers of the child/family investigators in family court cases. In a March 2011 story, Westword covered allegation of bribery and bias. One witness, Sue Papke, accused a CFI involved in her daughter’s custody battle with her ex-husband of ignoring four years of domestic abuse while also falsifying official records. Another witness accused her assigned CFI of acting like “hired gun” for the divorce attorney as opposed to as an impartial advocate.

Attorneys who specialize in family law have acknowledged to Westword that certain CFIs are known to have a bias going into a case. One might be known for being “pro-father,” for instance, or inclined to favor the side that recommended that he or she be hired. An attorney CFI showing such favoritism, if it could be proved, would probably face disciplinary action from the Office of Attorney Regulation; but there’s no mechanism for seeking redress from a bad therapist CFI.

CFIs are appointed by the court to assist judges in making custody decisions but there’s no agency that has oversight over the investigators unless they also happen to be attorneys.

Matthew Tabor

Matthew Tabor

Matthew is a prolific, independent voice in the national education debate. He is a tireless advocate for high academic standards from pre-K through graduate school, fiscal sense and personal responsibility. He values parents’ and families’ rights and believes in accountability for teachers, administrators, politicians and all taxpayer-funded education entities. With a unique background that includes work in higher education, executive recruiting, professional sport and government, Matthew has consulted on new media and communication strategies for a broad range of clients. He writes the blog “Education for the Aughts” at www.matthewktabor.com , has contributed to National Journal’s ‘Expert’ blog for Education , and interacts with the education community on Twitter and Google+.