Friday, March 07, 2014

Florida congressman in nasty divorce

A Florida newspaper reports:
A judge has granted a temporary protective injunction against U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson after his wife filed paperwork accusing the Orlando congressman of shoving and injuring her during an incident this past weekend.

Lolita Grayson's petition for the injunction, dated Monday, says her husband pushed her against a door, causing her to fall to the ground, during a confrontation Saturday at their home on Oak Park Road near Windermere.

In a statement, Alan Grayson's press secretary, Lauren Doney, wrote that the allegations "are absolutely false, completely unfounded, and clearly designed to vilify and harm Congressman Grayson."

"Congressman Grayson firmly denies Ms. Grayson's frivolous accusations," the statement said.

The incident comes just less than two months after Lolita Grayson filed a divorce petition stating that their marriage of nearly 24 years was "irretrievably broken."

Asked about the incident, Orange County Sheriff's Office Capt. Angelo Nieves said in a written response that the agency "is currently conducting a Domestic Violence investigation which is open and active at this point." ...

Her complaint alleges that "from time to time" in the past, her husband "has battered [her] and the parties' minor children," though she has not previously sought an injunction against him.

The petition says she now fears for her safety, citing the latest incident and his "history of physical violence toward" her.

In the statement released by his office, Alan Grayson said his wife initiated the violence.

"Sadly, it was Ms. Grayson who physically attacked the Congressman as he attempted to visit with his children. He did not respond to Ms. Grayson's violent assault," the statement said.

It added that Lolita Grayson has become "increasingly erratic" since filing for divorce, and her husband "is deeply concerned by her recent behavior and is profoundly pained by her accusations." ...

Lolita Grayson filed for divorce in January, seeking joint, but primary, custody of their four minor children. She was also seeking their marital home — where Saturday's incident occurred — distribution of assets, alimony and child support.

In response to her petition, an Orange County circuit judge signed an injunction granting Lolita Grayson temporary custody of their children and possession of the home, and barring contact by her husband. Judges typically grant temporary injunctions in domestic-violence cases until both parties appear in court.
You see stories like this in family court all the time. It is usually impossible to tell who is telling the truth. The wife can often use a story like this to get a temporary child custody advantage.

Here there were some witnesses, but it is not clear that there is any benefit to investigating the claims. Obviously there is some hostility. Maybe there is good reason for hostility. But they are getting divorced, so the problem should take care of itself.

Update: Apparently the charges were false:
The wife of Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson has voluntarily dropped a temporary restraining order against him following an allegation that he shoved her.

“Ms. Carson-Grayson has apparently dropped the petition for injunction that she levied against the Congressman last week, and will no longer pursue a restraining order against him. Ms. Carson-Grayson’s complaint was voluntarily dismissed today,” said Lauren Doney, a spokeswoman for the Florida Democrat, in a statement released by his office on Wednesday night.

“While this is certainly positive news, we want to emphasize that these baseless charges should never have been brought in the first place. Two eyewitness accounts, video evidence, a thorough police investigation, and Ms. Carson-Grayson’s own 911 call confirmed the Congressman’s innocence - and that Ms. Carson-Grayson was, in fact, the aggressor.”

Doney added: “For the sake of the all parties involved, we sincerely hope that this concludes Ms. Carson-Grayson’s efforts to misrepresent and exploit the family’s private affairs.
Remember, people are innocent until proven guilty.


Anonymous said...

You left out a couple paragraphs about one witness (other than the parties or their children):

Juan Lopez, the congressman's director of constituent services, told the Orlando Sentinel on Tuesday that he was present at the Grayson home Saturday and watched the incident from about 15 feet away.

Lopez said Alan Grayson never shoved or struck his wife: "Absolutely not .... It's just unfortunate that this is happening and that she would say something like this."

Anonymous said...

I hope she gets prosecuted for making such an obvious false accusation.

Anonymous said...

we need lie detectors in civil court. still about a decade away but they will be game changers in terms of determining exact truthfullness of parties.

Doty said...

Lisa - I agree with your desire for a way to determine truthfullness in Family Court, but polygraphs is not the way to go due to the unreliabilty of the instrument. Google passing a polygraph and learn how it can be easily fooled. Plus, when a nut job actually believes what they are saying, they will also pass.
Best protection is video/audio taping ALL encounters. It works! My honey wore a hat with a built in camera and it saved his life and his relationship with his daughter.