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Happy 14th Birthday Ashlie

16 Sep

Soldier’s Prayer

13 Sep

I asked God for strength, that I might achieve,
I was made weak, that I might learn to serve….

I asked for health, that I might do greater things,
I was given infirmity, that I might do better things….

I asked for riches, that I might be happy,
I was given poverty, that I might be wise….

I asked for power, that I might have the praise of men,
I was given weakness, that I might feel the need of God….

I asked for all things, that I might enjoy life,
I was given life, that I might enjoy all things….

I got nothing that I asked for – but everything that I had hoped for,
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am among all men most richly blessed.


GAL Grane and Arlington’s McCandless Get Even with Medicaid Whistleblower

24 Aug
GAL Karen Grane Wages War On Ashlie Mae O'Brien's Family

GAL Karen Grane Wages War On Ashlie’s Family

Arlington’s war on Ashlie’s family continues.  This past week, based solely on proffers of GAL Karen Grane, with the support of Arlington County Attorney Jason McCandless and Arlington Commonwealth Attorney Theo Stamos, misdemeanor charges were brought against Ashlie’s Grandmother for, in effect, allegedly caring about her 14 year old grandchild who continues to be locked up somewhere and barred from having contact with her family at the urging of Suzanne Eisner’s Arlington DHS.   Ashlie’s grandmother allegedly, violated a baseless “no contact order.”    Actual contact between Ashlie and her grandmother was NOT alleged.   See, Arlington Circuit Court Case, Commonwealth v Heffernan, Case No. CR13001445-00.

Based on a tenuous motion filed by GAL Karen Grane, that was not supported by any affidavit and only contained hearsay and proffers of GAL Grane (in violation of the newly adopted Rules of Evidence),  the presiding judge, Hon. Daniel S. Fiore II still allowed a criminal charge proceeding to go forward for alleged minor “indirect” violations of that baseless “no contact order” — again, based solely on hearsay and proffers of GAL Karen Grane, as well as Jason McCandless in the court.

Notably, through Ashlie’s Grandmother’s research and efforts, Karen Grane and Jason McCandless have been alleged to have conspired to use fraudulently justified Medicaid funds to place Ashlie in institutions to prevent her from having any contact with the outside world.

Ashlie After Brutal Beating

Ashlie After Brutal Beating

The illegal incarceration of Ashlie in institutions at Medicaid expense occurred after Ashlie was viciously attacked by Arlington County Sheriffs Deputies when she tried to testify that she did not want to be adopted out and instead she wanted to return to her family.  That illegal and unjustified incarceration took place  after Judge Varoutsos denied Ashlie an attorney to represent her and failed to notify her family prior to commitment.  Other abuses that Ashlie has endured are described in a Petition for Habeas Corpus. that is currently pending in an appeal of the Petition for Habeas Corpus before the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Jason McCandless Supporting  Theo Stamos Election

Jason McCandless Supporting Theo Stamos Election

Chesterifled County

Map of Chesterfield County and the Many Roads that Go Through It

In addition to bringing these trumped up charges, GAL Grane and Jason McCandless, with the active support of Commonwealth Attorney Theo Stamos, requested that Judge Fiore impose an additional condition on a bond (beyond those contained in the “no contact order”) barring Ashlie’s Grandmother from being anywhere in Chesterfield County.    The draconian ban on her being (or even passing through) Chesterfield was based on the proffers of GAL Karen Grane that Ashlie is now located in a group home somewhere in Chesterfield County.   Chesterfield County is 437 square miles, has Interstates 95 and 295 running through it, as well as major state highways/roads 76, 288, 360, 631, 647, 699, and 754.   Without looking at a map to see the illogic of what GAL Grane, McCandless and Stamos were advocating, the Judge refused to reconsider and narrow the scope of their proposed county wide banwith the exception of allowing the Grandmother to drive on Interstate 95.    That left other interstate and major state roads, and where Ashlie’s Grandmother was living, in the 437 square mile forbidden zone.

Ashley Mae O'Brien

Ashlie Mae O’Brien

Ashlie’s Grandmother’s home was located in the upper left hand corner of the 437 square mile Chesterfield County — within a mile of the Richmond border.  The outrageous county-wide prohibition required that Ashlie’s Grandmother would have to move out of her home in the area (whose rent was prepaid).    The Judge gave her less than 48 hours to gather her belongings and leave her home.     An emergency petition is pending before the Supreme Court of Virginia seeking to bar the enforcement of this ban, which violates her constitutional rights.

Arlington County’s child protection agency, DHS, has become a narcissistic house of horror and injustice for families and children.  They teach children that the system is not there to help you, but instead to take you away from your family, and then go after your family.


Court of Appeals of Virginia Hears the Landmark Appeal of the Mistaken Removal of Ashlie by Arlington DHS

6 Jun

Yesterday, in an open hearing in the historic Alexandria courthouse, the Court of Appeals of Virginia heard the three appeal cases for the CPS mistaken removal and separation of Ashlie from her loving family.   Delores Heffernan vs. Arlington DHS (Record 1471-12-4, and 1520-12-4) and Patricia Tackett vs. Arlington DHS (Record No. 1519-12-4)

Ashlie Mae OBrien


The many Ashlie Supporters who attended were very complimentary of the polite demeanor and intelligence shown by the members of the panel.  (Honorable Chief Judge Honorable Walter S. Felton, Jr., Honorable Robert J. Humphreys, and and Honorable D. Arthur Kelsey).  After each case, the panel members showed tremendous humility and grace by getting up from the bench and personally greeting each counsel and pro se Appellant Delores Heffernan.

Other notable highlights of the hearing was the concession of Arlington Assistant County Attorney Jason McCandless that Ashlie’s parents were not provided any notice as required for the proper removal of Ashlie.   It was apparent that the court panel thought this was a major mistake by Arlington DHS.   It showed their disregard for the rights of Ashlie’s parents.

Ashlie Mae OBrien and James Toscano

An unenergetic sounding Assistant County Attorney Mr. McCandless  also tried to convince the court that “past behavior is the best predictor of future behavior.”     Apparently he did not think through the implications of his statement.   If a Freudian slip, it shows that Arlington County, in fact, considers no parent  “reformable,” and thus worthy of having their children returned — a clear violation of the federal law and Virginia law requiring that the goal be return of children to their families.   Mr. McCandless has personally been the primary impediment to the reunification of Ashlie with her family.   Although not a social worker nor having any qualifications as such, he personally vetoed allowing Ashlie to even have a telephone call with her sister or any other member of her family for the last year.   Mr. McCandless also made many false statements to the court that were not supported by any evidence or findings of the trial court record.

Karen Grane, GAL

GAL, Karen Grane looked severely depressed and disheveled.  She took typically two minutes to tell the court the same “boilerplate” statement to the panel that contributed nothing to the legal issues being discussed.

Sherri BrothersSherri Brothers, the Arlington DHS supervisor, seemed more interested in texting during the hearing than paying attention to what was being discussed with regard to Ashlie’s fate.   Her fingers were feverishly tapping at her telephone keyboard throughout.    This, despite the warning on the court door that phones must be turned off in the courtroom.     Hopefully whoever she was texting (it is assumed it was texting, rather than playing a game) appreciated the devotion she had to her texting activity.

Attorneys Kramer and Tuomey did excellent jobs of representing their clients, Ashlie’s Mother Patricia Tackett and Grandmother Delores Heffernan, respectively.   Both helped the court sort through complex issues of “first impression,” that will no doubt set precedent for the Commonwealth.

Delores Heffernan O'Brien and Ashlie Mae O'Brien

Delores Heffernan and Ashlie

Ashlie’s Maryland Circuit Court Appointed Guardian and grandmother, Delores Heffernan presented an emotional, but accurate, picture of how Ashlie’s removal and the subsequent process were violative of both moral and legal principles.   How Ashlie had suffered.   She also made the case how Judge Kendrick plageurized an affidavit from the JDR court proceeding for his findings and, possibly an indication of his failing mind, read statements that were complete non-sense.  As as result, it was shown that Judge Kendrick violated the requirements for a de novo trial in circuit court.  She also pointed out that Ashlie’s home state at the time of removal was Maryland.   Her mother was also living in Maryland.   Thus, Arlington took Ashlie without proper subject matter jurisdiction.

All and all, those who attended were impressed with the Court of Appeals panel, and found the panel a refreshing contrast to quality of what they had seen in the Arlington County courthouse below.

Ashlie would be proud of how her family is fighting for her return to her family and the broad support her cause is getting from many citizens.