Dollars for drug trials


Other organizations, individuals in case connected in possible conflicts of interest 

By Diane Bukowski

August 7, 2011 

The New Oakland Child-Adolescent & Family Center, which reported Maryanne Godboldo to Child Protective Services for taking her 13-year-old daughter off the controversial drug Risperdal, has had paid connections with pharmaceutical companies since at least 2004.

Kimberly Smith, LMSW, head of New Oakland's pharmaceutical research division

According to the Center’s website, Kimberly Smith, LMSW, of China, Michigan, has been Director of Pharmaceutical Research for all its facilities since 2004. It says she also provides “clinical support and supervision” for the Clinton Township facility. Additionally she heads the Center’s Office of Recipient Rights.

“Presently, Kimberly is coordinating Adult and Pediatric CNS [Central Nervous System] Clinical Trials for a number of pharmaceutical companies and has been for the last ten years,” says the site.

The center, a private facility, is headquartered in Livonia and has sites in Centerline, Clarkston, Clinton Township, Davisburg, and West Bloomfield.

VOD contacted Ms. Smith at her office Aug. 4. She admitted that she is paid by the drug companies she works with, and that trials she is paid to conduct are among those carried out at New Oakland’s facilities. She refused to give further information on specific drug trials, saying that information is “private.”

“We must sign a confidentiality agreement with the company,” she said. She claimed reports are only published after the FDA approves a drug.

National Institues of Health Clinical Center, Bethesda, Md.

That statement is only partially true, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health, on their site at http://ClinicalTrials.gov.

The site indicates, “The Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 (FDAAA or US Public Law 110-85) was passed on September 27, 2007. The law requires mandatory registration and results reporting for certain clinical trials of drugs, biologics, and devices.” (For further information click on http://prsinfo.clinicaltrials.gov/fdaaa.html.)

A clinical trial of Depakote, sponsored by Abbott Laboratories, for which New Oakland recruited participants, was listed on the site while it was still ongoing with the following details:

 “Clinical Trial: An Outpatient Study of the Effectiveness and Safety of Depakote ER in the Treatment of Mania/Bipolar Disorder in Children and Adolescents. . . .New Oakland Child/Adoles. and Family Center, Clinton Township, Michigan, United States; Recruiting: Kimberly Smith MSW, 586-412-5321 ext. 310, ksmith@newoakland.org, Ismail Sendi, M.D. Principal Investigator.”

Ms. Smith said that parents are required to complete a detailed form when their child participates in such a study, but said she did not have a blank copy of the form she could send to VOD. A sample consent form for a drug research study can be viewed by clicking on http://www.niams.nih.gov/Funding/Clinical_Research/invest_form.asp

Drug companies’ payment of medical professionals both to recommend, market and prescribe  their products is a national scandal, according to many sources. (Click on VOD post http://voiceofdetroit.net/2011/08/07/u-s-johnson-johnson-wrongly-marketed-risperdal-to-kids/.  )

But even beyond the New Oakland Center’s drug connections, those involved in seizing Ariana Godboldo-Hakim are connected to each other in a tangled web, getting big bucks for children they take from families, and for medical treatment, including drugs, that are given to the children.

DHS head Maura Corrigan with Govr. Ricktator Snyder

Government officials including Judge Lynne Pierce, Department of Human Services chief Maura Corrigan, and others also have their ties. (See chart for condensed info.) As Supreme Court Justice, Corrigan was a member of the Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care and also of the ultra-right wing Federalist Society. (Click on Pew Commission on Children in Foster Care to read its executive summary.) She is now head of the Michigan Department of Human Services, and recently partnered with Governor Rick(tator) Synder to advocate speedy adoptions of foster care children. Many believe this may lead to speedier termination of parental rights as well.

Children's Center

Maryanne Godboldo first took her daughter to The Children’s Center, located at 79 W. Alexandrine in Detroit, when she began experiencing adverse reactions to the immunizations she received in September, 2009. Unknown to her at the time, the Children’s Center is one of six partners in Behavioral Health Professionals, Inc (BHPI), a non-profit based in Michigan. 

The others are Development Centers, Inc., Hegira Programs, Inc., Neighborhood Services Organization (NSO), New Center Community Mental Health Services, Northeast Guidance Center, Southwest Counseling and Development Services, and The Guidance Center. 

BHPI is the parent organization for ConsumerLink and CareLink, which network with insurance companies and refer children to the various partners and other organizations.  

Amber Kozlowski, a “social worker/hospital liaison,” testified Aug. 5 that she was responsible for Ariana’s admission to Hawthorn Center on March 25. There, her prosthesis was removed in violation of her disability rights, she was re-medicated with Risperdal and other drugs, and allegedly became the victim of sexual abuse, as stated in a police report filed by her family. 

Kozlowski said she works for NSO directly and contracts with ConsumerLink for the hospital liaison part of her job. NSO’s board of directors includes executives from various health and insurance agencies, including the Detroit Medical Center, Pro Care Health Plan, and the Health Alliance Plan. 

But that’s not all about Children’s Center, which is primarily funded by the Department of Human Services. It has its own foster care/adoption division, and is funded at the rate of $34 per day for foster care provision, according to state budget documents. Such funds, which are also funneled to numerous other private foster care agencies in the state, originate with the federal government. 

Lauren Phillips, atty. at Dykema Gossett, Judge Lynne Pierce's daughter

The Children’s Center also receives substantial grants from Ford Motor Company, and three Ford family members sit on its board. Judge Lynne Pierce’s daughter Lauren Phillips is an attorney with Dykema Gossett, and the Judge has frequented the firm’s offices for various events, including a Women Lawyers of Michigan luncheon this past March.

Dykema-Gossett counts Ford among its top clients. Dykema Gossett also has a separate Family Law practice, run by Attorney Joanne Lax, which assists clients with adoptions.

When such matters become thorny, according to their website, “In the sensitive area of family law, many of the services our clients require fall outside the realm of legal counsel. In these cases, we can recommend a network of highly experienced counseling agencies and professionals to provide the appropriate assistance and advice.”

Atty. Joanne Lax

Lax also specializes in Health Care Law at the firm. According to its website, “Joanne represents health systems, hospitals, prepaid in-patient health plans, nursing homes, homes for the aged, assisted living facilities, hospices and home health agencies” regarding various matters.

These include state and federal regulatory compliance, and litigation and hearings in numerous areas such as licensure and certification, Medicare/Medicaid and provider enrollment, human subject research and clinical trials, medical records access and retention, and patient rights and biomedical ethics, including those involving recipient rights and minors and legally incapacitated individuals.

Wayne Co. Exec. Robert Ficano (r) with Pierce husband Raymond Andary at Carribean Getaway

Pierce’s husband Raymond Andary is also an attorney, although his practice is dissimilar to their daughter’s. However, he recently participated in a 2011 March of Dimes Caribbean Getaway July 20, which raised money to support children with serious illnesses. The March of Dimes this year gave a grant to the Northeast Guidance Center, one of BHPI’s six partners.

In the video below, Gov. Snyder and DHS Director Maura Corrigan swear in new DHS workers, most for CPS, as they pledge to speed up adoption process, imperiling rights of biological parents. 

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  3. Thank you for your thorough investigation and story. It hurts my heart so to think that money is the real reason that Miss Arielle is being put through these traumatic stages in her life…. It hurts even worse that these “human beings” are getting away with this mess!

  4. J. Holderbaum says:

    I had to post this:

    The following case fixing tactics are taking place in our courts across the United States and around the world against parents, pro se litigants, indigents, and crime victims:


    “Impute” income to jack up child support orders.
    Lower a fit parent’s parenting time to jack up child support orders.
    Dole out restraining orders like candy.
    Allow perjury and other fraud upon the court.
    Promote fraud upon the court.
    Commit fraud upon the court in orders
    Suppress evidence.
    Ignore evidence of criminal misconduct.
    Ignore precedence.
    Deviate from the presumptions of equal custody, decision making, parenting time, etc., without a showing of parental unfitness.
    Pit moms against dads in a “custody battle” and encourage domestic violence scams.
    Encourage Parental Alienation.
    Deviate from the presumption of truth in affidavits without cause or reason.
    Reclassify pro se filings and then provide no reasons for denials or state something like, “To the extent that the father is requesting dismissal (or reconsideration, or…”)…
    Deny access to the court system.
    (From Brad Howe): Refuse to enforce visitation orders, but will enforce custody orders.
    (From Jay Paul Vonkoffler) Upon the death of his ex wife, Jay’s child was given away to a man who has a record for violent assault against the mother and a record for abuse/negligence against then child, his daughter. Since Jay lives in a different state, he, like many of us, is treated by the Judicial Mafia as a criminal, forced to endure never-ending litigation and cost, and prevented from moving his daughter out of the county to come live with him, and thus lose their federal funding for his case.
    (From Dawn Kelly) Base new rulings on evidence from a prior trial. Base rulings on their own “personal” belief and stating such on the record; Allow witnesses to discuss case openly outside of courtroom when instructed explicitly not to, giving the opposing side inside knowledge, time to change story, and advantage when testifying. Interviewing minor children in chambers with only a stenographer present. Ordering one of the parents to stop filing pleadings.
    (From ChildrenNeed Parents Equally) Use the ‘status quo’ lie; Change the status quo from 50-50 to sole custody in favor of one parent, which breeds parental alienation. The more evidence of parental alienation, the wore the judge agrees with the court evaluator to change the status quo even further in favor of the custodial parent.
    (From Julian Brachfeld) Refuse to order a warranted forensic evaluation in a case with clear and convincing evidence of emotional child abuse by the custodial parent.
    (From Family-Court Political Prisoner) First judge failed to disclose business relationship with other judge who issued an “ex parte” restraining order (despite no request by police); After simply listening to wife’s attorney, judge told him he needed therapy; Referred both parents for DV assessments at a local battered women’s shelter that the court has a contract with; converted his property to his ex-wife and impoverished him; he is now indigent and homeless, but smartass judge still has the audacity to tell him to “get an attorney” if he wants help (which I have also heard countless times in my case because nearly all attorneys are participating in the buying and selling of justice these days and will gladly churn a case until the victim goes away).

    Court Administration; State and Federal Clerks (this is a group to watch, as they appear to be benefiting from the kickbacks, payoffs, bribes, gifts, favors, etc., just like the corrupt judges and attorneys):

    Issue their own orders.
    Decide cases for judges (sometimes without their knowledge).
    Deny access to the judicial system.
    Refuse to file court documents.
    Refuse to provide court forms.
    Refuse to seal subpoenas.
    Refuse to serve complaints for indigents.
    Throw away or misplace indigents’ IFP applications and other court documents.
    Alter the ‘Register of Actions’ when decisions are appealed.
    Rename or renumber exhibits, or lump several exhibits under one number (so some or all can be withheld in the event of appeal).

    Court Reporters:

    Refuse to produce transcripts.
    Alter transcripts when decisions are appealed.
    (From Julian Brachfeld) Provide requested transcripts within hours for custodial parents (and prosecutors), but delay transcripts for months for NCPs, indigents, pro se litigants…


    Refuse to answer discovery requests.
    Refuse to dismiss cases that ‘ought not to be prosecuted.’
    Knowingly advance a case without establishing probable cause.
    Knowingly advance a case without jurisdiction.
    Knowingly advance fallacious arguments and openly commit fraud upon the court.
    Knowingly violate their oaths of office, both as an attorney and as a prosecutor.
    Withhold exculpatory evidence.
    Participate in the altering of exhibits.
    (From Dawn Kelly) Traveling from one courtroom to another and billing two clients $350 for the same hour.
    (From Dani McEvoy) Threatening and intimidating litigants to facilitate the case fixing. (In my cases, I observed law enforcement and prosecutors doing all sorts of things for the case fixers (who they should have been arresting) to pressure me into an unfair and unlawful plea deal in a criminal case and to get me to drop my complaints when I brought formal chargers against the case fixers.)

    Public Defenders:

    Refuse to do anything to defend.
    Refuse to move for dismissal, challenge probable cause, challenge jurisdiction…
    Refuse to order transcripts.
    Refuse to do anything in writing.
    Refuse to file court documents or just present them in court so the clerks can throw them away.
    Make only verbal statements in court and only statements that will keep the case going.
    Participate in the altering of exhibits.

    All Officers of the Court, in conspiracy (Judges, Clerks, Court Reporters, Attorneys, Prosecutors, Public Defenders, etc.):

    Learn of the parents’ finances from their Financial Affidavits and churn the case until they are broke.
    (From David Carlin) Conspire and commit serious crimes against defenseless children and parents: Falsification of court records, fraud upon the court, case churning, abuse of discretion, theft of assets from families, theft of public funds, denial of children’s civil rights to access to both parents, creation of the need for their services, exploitation of children’s emotional stability during divorce, encourage Parental Alienation, and systematic infliction of PTSD, depression, psychological trauma, and other crimes against humanity; all to increase profits and federal funding.
    (From JusticeFor AbdulrahmanKhalil) Intimidating parents and filing false criminal complaints against them.
    (From Lisa Arlin) Churn adoption cases.
    (From Diane Booth) Quebec is stealing children, processing them in secret trials, and placing them in group homes, for profit (just like CPS does here in the United States).
    (From Frances Claspill) Use a “Hired Gun Psychologist” to render their professional opinion in a case, so judge can justify an arbitrary or biased order.
    (From Lea Sage) `In chambers` meetings. (very common; Pro Se litigants: You have a right to attend these meetings, and while you are in chambers, ask the judge for his oath of office, as they are all required to hang it on a wall in their office; you can even stop a hearing or trial and ask to go in the judge’s chambers to see if his oath is displayed. Lea: Do this to Perkins next time in court.)
    (From Chris Bengle) Refuse personal service of your motions and other pleadings; i.e. won’t accept their copy (there are many of these cowards in law; they know they don’t have a case, so they try to trip you up in a variety of ways like this).

    Child Support Enforcement caseworkers:

    Refuse to verify facts, review, adjust, modify, etc.
    Refuse to credit payments.
    Alter Title IV-D accounts.
    Refuse to correct interstate accounts, sometimes under the guise of the ‘full faith and credit’ laws.
    Steal and extort from the noncustodial parents, sometimes even under ‘color of law.’
    Lien and levy bank accounts without due process, even kids’ trust accounts if held under S.S.# of noncustodial parent.
    Suspend driver’s licenses without due process and refuse to use appropriate discretion to reinstate under the circumstances.
    Report known false arrears balances to credit reporting agencies, and without due process.
    Commit and suborn perjury.
    Send Lien & Levy Notices to your bank, but hold yours so you will miss the appeal period.
    (From Jeff Okkonen) Increase support collection, without a hearing, then garnish from paycheck, also without a hearing.
    (From Brad Howe): Levy bank accounts repeatedly just to increase federal funding.
    (From Dawn Kelly) Knowingly allow custodial parents to use child support money for expenses not related to child care.
    (From Julian Brachfeld) Deny modification unless unemployed noncustodial parent (NCP) can prove they are mentally or physically incapacitated.

    Law Enforcement:

    Refuse to look at evidence.
    Refuse to do investigations.
    Refuse equal protection.
    Refuse crime victim services.
    Help paint the ‘breadwinner’ as a bad parent.
    (From Dani McEvoy) Threatening and intimidating litigants to facilitate the case fixing. (In my cases, I observed law enforcement and prosecutors doing all sorts of things for the case fixers (who they should have been arresting) to pressure me into an unfair and unlawful plea deal in a criminal case and to get me to drop my complaints when I brought formal chargers against the case fixers.)

    Guardian Ad Litems (GALs), “Child and Family Investigators” (CFIs), Child Protective Services (CPS), CAFCASS, Custody Evaluators, Psychologists, Women’s Shelters, Mediators, ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’ personnel, and other court cronies that help fix cases against the noncustodial parent (NCP):

    Commit fraud upon the court in their Reports and Recommendations.
    Commit perjury on the witness stand.
    Program children to despise the ‘other’ parent, the noncustodial parent (NCP).
    Coax children to act out against the NCP.
    Ask the kids leading questions during investigations and misquote them if they say anything endearing about the NCP.
    Refuse to interview the NCP’s witnesses.
    Recommend psychological evaluations and then repeatedly contact the pschologist during their ‘independent’ evaluation to influence the report against the parent already secretly chosen to be the NCP.
    (From Matt Thompson and Brad Howe) Ignore formal complaints and evidence, and tell the NCP to take their issues up in court; and going along with the custodial parent’s lies to the kids and frauds upon the court.
    (From Paul James Summerfield) Cafcass canceling appointments, refusing interviews of parents, falsely reporting facts and refusing to correct mistakes in the record; Courts promising to sort out matters, but failing to do so.
    (From ChildrenNeed Parents Equally) Kid’s counselor conspires with custodial parent to reduce the non-custodial parent’s time with the kids even further, and recommends police exchanges and supervised visitation.
    (From JusticeFor AbdulrahmanKhalil) Protect abusive foster parents.
    (From Julian Brachfeld) GALs telling the judge that NCP’s kids didn’t want them at their practices, games, or school events and that NCP’s calls and texts to kids to say ‘I love you’ were “harassing” them; CPS interviewing kids without either parent in the room and asking the kids pointed questions.
    (From Family-Court Political Prisoner) Mediators conduct lop-sided fact-finding sessions in a way very prejudicial and unfair to the NCP, usually the father, and routinely recommend supervised visitation for the NCP; Women’s Shelter chosen by judge for DV assessments framed him for DV because he didn’t leave the house the moment his wife ordered him to do so, despite wife’s admission that she had physically assaulted him; when he began investigating them for corruption, they sent cops to his job to threaten him and the next day his children were completely removed from his care, without any court proceedings and based solely upon the decision of the shelter’s administrator; his parental rights were eventually terminated despite no evidence of abuse or unfitness.
    (From Chris Bengle) Mediation will accomplish nothing. (Anyone have any experience with Mediators and ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’ personnel refusing to do anything or seeming to know all about the case fixing and participating?)

    Apparently many Private Investigators, Court Watchers, Parental Rights ‘Advocates,’ the Press, and others that could make a difference for thousands of broken families if they weren’t receiving “Hush Money” from the Judicial Mafia:

    Refuse their services to Pro Se litigants, indigents, NCPs and other ‘Targeted Individuals.’


  5. J. Holderbaum says:

    Well written, Diane Bukowski. Thank you for your outstanding coverage of this story. We need more like you !!!

  6. John Harvey says:

    Congratulations are in order for this extraordinary revelation of deeply embedded systemic corruption allowing organizations to institute abuses that no decent person tolerates and to dress them as fulfillment of their purposes of providing care and protection. I hope that the country’s politicians begin to feel the heat of public outrage at these abuses and the need for profound change in the way institutions approach their role in “helping” families.

  7. J. Holderbaum says:

    (1) “racketeering activity” . . .
    Section 1503 (relating to obstruction of justice)
    Section 1510 (relating to obstruction of criminal investigations)
    Section 1511 (relating to the obstruction of State or local law enforcement)
    Section 1512 (relating to tampering with a witness, victim, or an informant)
    Section 1513 (relating to retaliating against a witness, victim, or an informant)
    Sections 1581-1592 (relating to peonage, slavery, and trafficking in persons)
    Section 1954 (relating to unlawful welfare fund payments)
    Section 1957 (relating to engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from specified unlawful activity)
    sections 2251, 2251A, 2252, and 2260 (relating to sexual exploitation of children)
    (2) “State” means any State of the United States, the District
    of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, any territory or
    possession of the United States, any political subdivision, or
    any department, agency, or instrumentality thereof;
    (3) “person” includes any individual or entity capable of
    holding a legal or beneficial interest in property;
    (4) “enterprise” includes any individual, partnership,
    corporation, association, or other legal entity, and any union or
    group of individuals associated in fact although not a legal
    (5) “pattern of racketeering activity” requires at least two
    acts of racketeering activity, one of which occurred after the
    effective date of this chapter and the last of which occurred
    within ten years (excluding any period of imprisonment) after the
    commission of a prior act of racketeering activity;
    (6) “unlawful debt” means a debt (A) incurred or contracted in
    gambling activity which was in violation of the law of the United
    States, a State or political subdivision thereof, or which is
    unenforceable under State or Federal law in whole or in part as
    to principal or interest because of the laws relating to usury,
    and (B) which was incurred in connection with the business of
    gambling in violation of the law of the United States, a State or
    political subdivision thereof, or the business of lending money
    or a thing of value at a rate usurious under State or Federal
    law, where the usurious rate is at least twice the enforceable
    (7) “racketeering investigator” means any attorney or
    investigator so designated by the Attorney General and charged
    with the duty of enforcing or carrying into effect this chapter;
    (8) “racketeering investigation” means any inquiry conducted by
    any racketeering investigator for the purpose of ascertaining
    whether any person has been involved in any violation of this
    chapter or of any final order, judgment, or decree of any court
    of the United States, duly entered in any case or proceeding
    arising under this chapter;
    (9) “documentary material” includes any book, paper, document,
    record, recording, or other material; and
    (10) “Attorney General” includes the Attorney General of the
    United States, the Deputy Attorney General of the United States,
    the Associate Attorney General of the United States, any
    Assistant Attorney General of the United States, or any employee
    of the Department of Justice or any employee of any department or
    agency of the United States so designated by the Attorney General
    to carry out the powers conferred on the Attorney General by this
    chapter. Any department or agency so designated may use in
    investigations authorized by this chapter either the
    investigative provisions of this chapter or the investigative
    power of such department or agency otherwise conferred by law.


  8. Mark Valenti says:

    These are things that are not new, but things that people only believe once they’ve experienced them first hand. I was naive about the system myself until it happened to me.

  9. J. Holderbaum says:

    You could say that child protection is only looking to protect the children. They like to use the term, “in the best interest of the child.” You could feel all warm and fuzzy over the endless list of treatment plans and services available to assist children and families in need. You could, that is, unless you have ever actually experienced being assisted by anyone affiliated with child protection.

    Were Ariana’s best interests served when she was prescribed a drug that is restricted to individuals over the age of 18? Were her best interests served when a caseworker lied about medical neglect, when, in fact, Ariana’s mother was working out a treatment plan elsewhere, with another medical doctor? Were her best interests served when she witnessed a standoff that included a SWAT team because there was no court order to remove her? Were her best interests served when she was returned to Hawthorn center even though there were allegations that she was sexually assaulted at the facility? To date there is little evidence that shows any concern about this child’s best interests whatsoever!

    You could say that this is yet another clear example of taking the child of a low-income family, who they thought would not be able to afford to defend themselves, and trying to warehouse the child in either a foster home, group home or institution, without due process or any evidence to prove that intervention was even necessary, all the while collecting federal matching funds and Medicaid funds to do so.

    This case has exposed a serious problem in the way child protection is handled in the state of Michigan, certainly in the city of Detroit. The bad news is that this is how child protection is being done in every city in the nation. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. There is a name for the kind of activity child protection is engaging in and laws already in place to prevent it from continuing: Racketeering.

    Definition of Racketeering from FindLaw: Federal and state racketeering, profiteering, and RICO (Racketeer-Influenced and Corrupt Organization) laws make it illegal for criminal organizations to profit from any legitimate business operations. Many of these laws allow for the confiscation and seizure of the criminal organization’s legitimate enterprise assets, and are typically used against known “organized crime” groups. The goal is to cripple the operation financially, and cut off sources of cash that support ongoing criminal activity. http://criminal.findlaw.com/crimes/a-z/racketeering_rico.html?DCMP=GOO-CRIM_Racketeering-Define&HBX_PK=racketeering+definition

    Do the research. Who is being served in this case? This is how it is in child protection nationwide. In the best interest of the child? I don’t think so.

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