Koziol's law license suspended - Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch

http://www.uticaod.com/news/x196130039/Koziol-has-law-license-susp...

Koziol's law license suspended
At issue: failure to make child-support payments By EMERSON CLARRIDGE Observer-Dispatch Posted Feb 11, 2010 @ 04:57 PM Last update Feb 11, 2010 @ 10:28 PM UTICA — The state Supreme Court's Appellate Division Thursday suspended the law license held by high-profile Utica attorney Leon Koziol because he has not made child support payments for his two children. Koziol has previously railed against the payments, calling them a violation of civil rights that disproportionately affect men, who are less likely to be awarded custody of their children than are women. Thursday's ruling came after a panel of judges from the Rochester-based Fourth Judicial Department considered a complaint involving Koziol from a committee that investigates misconduct involving lawyers. Koziol's suspension is indefinite and is in effect until the court issues a new ruling to reverse it. That could come if Koziol files a motion for reinstatement. Koziol did not return calls to his cell phone Thursday seeking comment on whether he plans to contest the suspension. Koziol has promoted fathers' rights in recent years. He outlined his opposition to child support payments in a 2009 Father's Day column in the Observer-Dispatch. "A state-created "custodial parent" is "awarded" with formula-driven welfare payments that have no child-based accountability," Koziol wrote. "The payor, typically a male parent, is marginalized to 'visitor' status and suppressed as a 'non-custodial' creature of 'law' in order to maintain a regular flow of money payments." Despite Koziol's rebuff of child support payment laws, attorneys are required to make payments in order to keep their law license, said Mary Gasparini, the associate counsel for the Syracuse-based attorney grievance committee that handled the complaint against Koziol. It could not immediately be determined Thursday how the suspension of Koziol's law license would affect his current cases, several of them brought against Utica city government. He had taken on a new client earlier this week when he appeared in Utica City Court with former Utica Public Works Commissioner Stephen Patterson, whose legal troubles are connected to his operation of the former Pistol Pete's bar on Nichols Street. Koziol also has handled prominent cases in the past, including representing a landowners' group in the Oneida Indian land-claim including on a case that led a judge to rule that the gaming compact between the Nation and New York state allowing the opening of Turning Stone Casino in the 1990s wasn't approved properly. He also handled a discrimination case involving former Utica Public Safety Commissioner Cornell Maye. He also has taken on the cases of city firefighters, public works employees and educators. Koziol himself filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city after he said he was ousted from his City Hall job as corporation counsel in 1997. He violated then-Mayor Edward A. Hanna's policy that prohibited city employees from speaking to reporters and later complained publicly that Hanna was suppressing freedom of speech. .
Copyright 2010 The Observer-Dispatch. Some rights reserved

1 of 2

4/1/2010 9:29 PM

Koziol's law license suspended - Utica, NY - The Observer-Dispatch

http://www.uticaod.com/news/x196130039/Koziol-has-law-license-susp...

Contact us | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | About our Ads The Observer-Dispatch | (315) 792-5000 | 221 Oriskany Plaza Utica, NY 13501 Copyright © 2006–2010 GateHouse Media, Inc. Some Rights Reserved. Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license, except where noted. SEO by eLocalListing | Advertiser profiles | Cherrp Local

2 of 2

4/1/2010 9:29 PM