My Son

My Son

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Has Your District Destroyed Documents or Lied To The OCR

I know that the district lied to the OCR when they were investigating my claim.  They also destroyed documents that should have been in my son's file.  The woman at the OCR even told me that she felt they were being too defensive and less than honest.

Title 18 United States Code Section 1001

There are many types of obstruction of justice. Some of them, such as threatening or otherwise tampering with witnesses, or attempting to bribe judges, do not involve lying or other false statements. However, false statements—and related activities such as the destruction or concealment of documents or other physical evidence—can constitute obstruction of justice. Federal statutes make it “unlawful to ‘influence, obstruct, or impede the due administration of justice.”[10] In order to convict under these statutes, “the government must prove that there was a pending…proceeding, that the defendant knew of the proceeding, and that the defendant acted ‘corruptly’ with the specific intent to obstruct or interfere with the proceeding or due administration of justice.”[11]

Making false statements can certainly constitute obstruction of justice. The U.S. Supreme Court has said that if a person lies to a federal agent, those lies will be obstruction of justice if the conduct of the defendant has some “relationship in time, causation or logic” to a government proceeding so that the false statements may be said to have the “natural and probable effect” of interfering with that proceeding.[12] If the defendant “lacks knowledge that his actions are likely to affect a pending…proceeding,” he “necessarily lacks the requisite intent to obstruct.”[13] It is not enough that the defendant knows about the pending government proceeding at the time of his false statements. To be guilty of obstruction of justice, a defendant must make those statements knowing that they would be repeated or conveyed to the court, grand jury, or federal agency conducting the proceeding.[14]

Recently, Congress enacted the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002[15], which included a specific section declaring that the destruction or alteration of documents (or the inclusion of false entries in such documents) constitutes the crime of obstruction of justice, which carries a twenty-year prison sentence. Destroying documents—or otherwise concealing tangible evidence—clearly can subject anyone engaging in such conduct to criminal prosecution.

From the legislative history of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, it appears that the new obstruction of justice section was intended to be broader in scope and to eliminate some of the ambiguities and technicalities that had been required for a conviction as described above.[16]

Federal Lying Statute—No Oath Required

Businesspersons must be especially aware of the federal lying statute contained in Title 18 of the U.S. Code Section 1001, which states that: “(a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, whoever, in any judicial matter within the jurisdiction of the executive, legislative, or judicial branch of the Government of the United States, knowingly and willfully (1) falsifies, conceals, or covers up by any trick, scheme, or device a material fact; (2) makes any materially false, fictitious, or fraudulent statement or representation; or (3) makes or uses any false writing or document knowing the same to contain any materially false, fictitious or fraudulent statement or entry shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years or both.”[17]

Under this statute it is a crime to knowingly and willfully make any materially false statement concerning any matter within the jurisdiction of the United States. The falsehood must be material; but this requirement is met if the statement has the “natural tendency to influence or [is] capable of influencing the decision of the decision making body” which receives the false statement.[18] This statute has an extraordinarily wide scope. Unlike perjury, the false statement need not be given under oath. Any statement, whether made orally or in writing, can violate this law.

The statements need not be made in a formal setting. Any false statement made to any federal agent is enough. This is true even if the statement was not recorded and no transcript was made. (Often the only evidence of the false statement consists of notes made by the federal agent). It is not necessary that the government actually be deceived or misled. Unlike obstruction of justice, there is no requirement that the person making the false statements be aware of a government proceeding and intend to interfere with that proceeding. In fact, it is not even a requirement that there be any sort of judicial or other government proceeding. Any false statement made to any federal employee can be sufficient to violate this law. Martha Stewart, for example, was convicted of this crime because she made false statements to employees of the FBI and the SEC. Her lies were not made in a formal interview, and the only evidence of what she said was in the notes and recollections of the federal employees involved.

In fact, this crime can be committed even without making any false statement to a federal employee. All that is required is that the false statements have some connection to some matter within the “jurisdiction of the…United States.” Persons who lie to state agencies can be convicted of this crime if statements to that state agency might influence the functioning of federal agencies.

People have been found guilty of this crime because they lied to private contractors hired by a federal agency.[19] In April 2004, several executives at Computer Associates, the giant software company, were charged with this crime; three of them have pleaded guilty to the charges. They did not lie to any federal agent. Instead, they were charged with making false statements to attorneys working for Computer Associates who were conducting an internal investigation of allegations of improper conduct within the business. Since this internal investigation concerned activities that were within the jurisdiction of the United States, the government asserted that lies to the business’ attorneys were crimes. Prosecutors stated that the executives knew that their statements would be turned over to the government and because of this, they needed to tell the truth.[20]


Anonymous said...

Our school district lied to OCR and destroyed documents as well. They received and met all criteria for retaliation until the district lied and created a new allegation against the student. What became of your case? Did you pursue it further? Or did they get away with the lies? Another Frustrated Parent

faceofautism said...

My district got away with it. The OCR has put my district on some sort of plan. It doesn't have anything to do with my case, but they don't let the public know.

Anonymous said...

We're filing for due process in January and then heading into federal court right after. I'm sick at the things they did. They harmed my child with disabilities and put false records against him. As if we didn't have enough on our plates. Did your case make the news? What did they not let the public know?

faceofautism said...

My district hides the fact that they are under some sort of monitoring by the OCR. I am in Lee's Summit and they pretend that they are the best in Kansas City. I have been on the news many times. I have had articles written in newspapers. I was on the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Special Education Advisory Panel. The Commissioner for Special Education was aware of my situation. Nothing was ever done. My son dropped out of school when he turned 16 in May, 2009. I couldn't allow them to destroy him any longer.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you took your son out. We pulled ours out too. What they did to him was horrendous. I had to pinch myself to believe this was happening? Most frightening thing I ever lived through and we're still going through. We withdrew our son and now have private tutors, but he misses his friends dearly. He was only 12 when they abused him. He's now 13.

Our superintendent suddenly retired when I brought in legal to get the services we needed for my son. The new superintendent was the assistant superintendent and he came in midway this past year and oversaw all our legal filings. We haven't made the news yet, but we were big news amongst all school personnel in the district. Did you take yours to the news or did the media discover it on their own?