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April 19, 2007

This 8th day of the hearing took place in a stuffy room, where there was inadequate space for the 75 people in attendance. Given that this was a public hearing, there was concern among the audience that the public was not provided adequate space to witness the proceedings.

Many of us were aware that Dr. Jones had spent countless hours preparing information on Mycoplasma fermentans, at the request of the health department attorney. As the hearing began, the attorney withdrew his request for this information.

The first witness called was JS, the father of the two children from Nevada that Dr. Jones had successfully treated for Lyme and co-infections. Mr. S indicated that he had been divorced from the children's mother in 2003, and he saw the children on weekends (from Sunday to Monday), and on school vacations. By 2004, it was changed to every other weekend. Although Mr. S shared legal custody, the children.s mother was granted physical custody.

Mr. S has since moved to California, and is now planning to see the children on school vacations. Mr. S stated that his ex-wife had file complaints against him with the police, but that he was never arrested, and all charges were dismissed. The divorce was finalized in February of 2006.

Mr. S characterized his ex-wife as a hysterical woman, and alleged that she claimed to have various illnesses, as well as concerns (implications being that they were false) about their children's health. At one point, he stated that he had told a doctor that "we got divorced because my wife can't stop lying."

Mr. S indicated that he had had no knowledge that his son was out of school (see prior synopses) until told by his son, and when he learned that an IEP meeting was scheduled, he went to school. He did acknowledge later in the testimony that he had not attended parent-teacher conferences.

Mr. S denied that he saw any indication of illness when his children visited with him. Although he denied problems with his son, he did acknowledge that S was in a special education class, and stated that a special arrangement needed to be made, with parental involvement in the classroom for a month, when there were behavioral problems.

(Note: For background, read the synopsis of the testimony given on Day 5 by the children's mother)

When Mr. S discussed the feedback he had gotten from the children, regarding their visit to Dr. Jones' for their first appointment, he claimed that the children told him Dr. Jones had spent 5 to 10 minutes with them. Mr. S's claim that he had repeatedly requested medical information from Dr. Jones' office and had not received the information was refuted by Dr. Jones, who said he released the records once he had the proper documentation confirming Mr. S right to the records. Dr. Jones also stated that he had had 2 or 3 conversations with Mr. S, after his right to information had been properly established.

Dr. Jones' attorney brought up issues regarding Mr. S -- His objection to home schooling, yet his denying the behavior problems his son was having in school was one issue. Also presented was the TRO (temporary restraining order) Mr. S's ex-wife had against him for stalking. Also brought into evidence was a report by the school psychologist indicating behavior problems at "home", with Mr. S stating "What is home -- his mother's home or my home?", a statement that appears to be misleading, given that his ex-wife had sole physical custody. Mr. S continued to deny his son's social isolation issues, as well as health problems both children were having.

Upon cross-examination, Mr. S acknowledged that he had bitten the children, and that he'd acknowledged that to the police. (The biting had been a source of a complaint filed by his ex-wife, as she had testified previously -- see Synopsis of Day 5) Mr. S implied that his ex-wife had mental problems. He contended that a CPS worker had recommended that he file charges against her for "Munchausen's by Proxy". He testified that his attorney advised him against that action.

Mr. S acknowledged that there had been custody issues discussed in the courts for 5 years, and that his ex-wife retained physical custody of the children. His testimony clearly implied that he believed that she had mental problems, and that these were major concerns of his.

Following Mr. S's testimony, the school psychologist from Nevada testified. She confirmed that the son was seen by the teachers as having problems with behavior and inattention. He was withdrawn, and the teachers had "social concerns."

There was also telephone testimony from two physicians in Nevada, who had briefly treated the children. Both acknowledged that they did not know much about Lyme disease.

Editorial comment: In summary, the testimony of the father alleged that medical problems were not an issue with his children, except as seen by his ex-wife. Mr. S appears to have become involved with the school only when there was a chance that his son would be home schooled, or placed on homebound instruction. In the end, Mr. S moved to another state, over 300 miles away, despite his expressions of concerns for his children's welfare.

Sandy Berenbaum, LCSW, BCD
Family Connections Center for Counseling
Brewster, New York
(845) 259-9838

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