JUDGE CLIFFORD H WOOSLEY (OAH) ELDER FIRST LAKE CHURCH
The Injustice of California’s Faulty Systems
Clifford H. Woosley
Administrative Law Judge and Elder First Lake Church
A chance opportunity for a young woman to become a lawyer under the tutelage and mentorship of a prominent Los Angeles law firm, ultimately culminated in an extramarital affair; an unplanned pregnancy; emotional distress, and a slanderous arrest that unjustly placed a young, mother of with three children behind bars.
The Saret-Cook vs. Gilbert Kelly case first attracted media attention in 1996, when it was revealed that the victim’s perpetrator, Clifford Woolsey, was not only Saret-Cook's boss—a partner in the prominent Los Angeles law firm for which Saret-Cook had been employed—but also an Elder at the Hollywood Presbyterian Church. The ensuing allegations and legal frenzy resulted in shattered lives and defamed reputations for all those involved—including the very systems designed to protect against victimization.
Now, 15 years later, the case that had finally been quieted has once again crept back into the lap of the media, dragging with it further proof that our protective “systems” are faulty, and that power and prestige is not always earned, nor is it always well-governed. Right now you may be asking, why is a 15 year old law suit demanding media attention.
The answer lies with following the career of Clifford Woolsey, former partner of the prominent law firm cited in the case. Today, Clifford H. Woosley is an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) in the Van Nuys regional Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), where he's been employed since February of 2009. “Judge” Woosley received his bachelor degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in Journalism. He received his law degree from Loyola Law School. Before coming to the OAH, he was in private practice and served as an ALJ pro tem for four years, completing the required training necessary to conduct mediations and administrative hearings.
During his tenure with the prestigious downtown Los Angeles law firm when he was still in private practice, his psychiatrist, UCLA Dr. Leonard Kram, had diagnosed Woosley as suffering from depression. For a brief period of time, Woosley underwent psychiatric treatments and then decided to discontinue them against the advise of his own treating medical psychiatrist. As a consequence, Woosley was eventually asked to step down from his partnership.
In February 1996, he resumed psychiatric care. He lost over 30 pounds, could not sleep and suffered from anxiety muscle spasms, restlessness, and suicidal thoughts. He was diagnosed as having major depression, placed on permanent disability, and was prescribed anti-depressant and anti-anxiety medications.
Woosley admitted in his deposition on May 10, 2010 he was on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for 10.5 years because he qualified for a total permanent emotional disability, which he himself coined the phrase describing it as “post traumatic stress syndrome”.
According to Woosley at a 5150 evaluation he stated he had Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD) and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disordera(ADHD) is something that can be outgrown in 6 months. Here we have it, a comprehensive medical understanding about psychiatric disorders directly from from a judge. Most recently Woosley admits to not providing his daughter with the medically necessary Dr. prescribed ADHD medications, because he believed that those medications were not medically necessary.
Woosley testified in the same deposition he owed Social Security for his SSI permanent Disability a repayment $48,000 because they made a determination in February of 2009 he was making more income than he was allowed to. Hmmmm…. Sounds suspicious doesn’t it? It looks like we have a judge, who makes educational decisions for special need school children directly affecting not only their lives but also those of their families’ and he can’t seem to calculate whether or not he is entitled to receive SSI benefits!
Later we discover from Woosley’s own blog; he was employed in January of 2009 and was entitled to receive Social Security benefits on the basis of being permanently disabled when he was employed 60% of the time with the state of California. How many people do you know are working and receive permanent disability benefits?
"Expense items to 3 decimals
Posted by: Clifford H. Woosley on Jan 05, 2009 5:34pm
Strange as it may seem, the State of California's mileage reimbursement rates is $0.585/mile. In Expense Types, I added the CA Mileage type for my contract work with the State. However, the cost per item [unit price] only goes to 2 decimal points.
When I put in .585, it rounds up to .59.
Believe it or not, the State returned one of my invoices last year because my billing system indicated it was billing at 1/2 of one cent too much.
[At first, could not get the unit price to 3 decimals.
Is it a big deal to have expense types' unti prices go to 3 decimals?
Otherwise, I will have to find a billing system that will. CA state is 60% of my business.
Woosley’s very colorful history.
During his tenure with the large downtown law firm of Gilbert Kelly Crowley & Jennett, his resume his reflected his attendance at USC. A subpoena of Woosley’s official transcript from USC shows he enrolled and withdrew without ever attending any classes. Woosley continues to misrepresent his educational achievements. Recently he informed the Department of Children’s and Family Services (DFCS) he attended classes for “6 weeks" at USC. This is in direct contradiction to his official USC transcript. Conveniently this is not on his ALJ online resume.
Woosley’s resume at the ALJ online claims he was a partner at a major downtown Los Angeles law firm while true it omits important facts: Testimony from the Gilbert Kelly trial states: he was in fact asked to step down. At the time Woosley had an affair with his paralegal, Elizabeth he was a general partner at this law firm as well as an elder of his church where Rev. Lloyd John Ogilvie, of First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood, California was quoted as stating the following: "Mr. Woosley confided in me the two had had an intimate relationship. Believing his behavior was inconsistent as an elder in the church he offered his resignation. I accepted."
CAN YOU BELIEVE HE IS CURRENTLY AN ELDER ELDER AFTER THIS AT FIRST LAKE CHURCH IN SOUTH PASADENA, CALIFORNIA.
Even his geni.com site is in question it lists his father as Arnold Woosley but doesn’t include his second wife Helen (who uses the last name of Woosley and has been with him over 20 years) nor does it include his wife’s ex-husband or his wife’s true and correct name. Woosley claims his father Arnold Woosley adopted his two stepbrothers but yet again more lies? The site lists their father as someone other than Arnold Woosley. Woosley claims his father has had a wife Helen Woolsey for hte past 20 years BUT yet again he omits his " step mom" fropm his geni.com site - Does shse just use the last name Woolsey or is she really married to Arnold Woosley.
Here are some of the facts about Woosley:
*General partnership and job focus. At one time Woosley was one of 16 general partners at Gilbert Kelly Crowley & Jennett. He was the head of his section and had oversight over all the paralegals and law clerks. As an elder in his church Hollywood Presbyterian he insisted on providing counseling to others including Saret-Cook who was Jewish. Unfortunately, Woosley did not take his job or counseling seriously enough. He involved himself in extracurricular extramarital activities and got one of his paralegal’s pregnant. In a voicemail message produced at trial, he stated that he had power over her and that he had hired her because she had great legs.
*As a general partner making over 200k a year he borrowed from his paralegal 10K in a written note promising to pay her back to satisfy an ( IRS) tax lien against him. We have located no proof of repayment of these funds ( she made 36k a year and emptied her savings to help him). This was not the first or last of his IRS tax liens. is this okay as an Administrative Law Judge?
*Instigated the felony arrest of the mother of his child more than 15 years ago for mistakenly cashing an original paycheck check for $1000.00 instead of a replacement check she was told by office personal a stop payment had been placed on.
a) This occurred following the birth of her child by emergency caesarean section, and a broken leg at 8.5 months into her pregnancy from an injury sustained during the January 1994 earthquake.
b) The arrest four police officers drew guns in front of her three minor children. The case was promptly dismissed in the interest of justice once the judge realized it was a frivolous case based on Woosley's ongoing efforts to obtain a civil advantage in the sexual harassment suit filed against him.
c) In March of 2010 regarding the felony arrest case a motion was made for expungement. Not only was the case expunged but the judge issued a rare factual finding of innocence. She found Woosley’s conduct in this arrest was willful and done with intent to gain a civil advantage. The judge ordered everything with this case to be destroyed. The case no longer exists and despite this, Woosley continues to tell others she was arrested for a felony. This includes informing DPCS about her arrest.
* Woolsey claimed he attended USC on his resume at Gilbert Kelly Crowley & Jennett. He reaffirmed this during a recent interview with DCFS stating he had attended USC for 6 weeks even though not true. He enrolled and withdrew without attending any classes.
* 1996 he received the first private disability under the law firm’s policy Republic when this ran out he then received SSI under the strict guidelines of social security for permanent disability for more than 10.5 years.
* He withdrew $80,000 January 1997 from his Gilbert Kelly Crowley & Jennett pension depositing it at Home Savings, shortly after going on disability. At the time his pension was in excess of $230,000.
* In 1996 Woosley received a settlement from Gilbert Kelly Crowley & Jennett Gilbert Kelly Crowley & Jennett with a cover letter signed by the managing partner, Thomas Viola to Woosley.
* Collected Supplemental Security Income (SSI) for disability starting around January of 1997. Question: Was his pension in excess of $230,000? Was the $80,000 withdrawal disclosed to SSI at the time he left Gilbert Kelly? Was the 100,000 disposable income the judge found he had from his pension disclosed to SSI, the loan from his brothers Stephen Woosley in the amount of 25,000 and finally the monies he started receiving in 2008 as executor and beneficiary of his deceased brothers Stephan Woosleys estate (which consisted on a home in Covina in excess of 400,00 owed free and clear) Woosley admitted in his deposition he had received over 120,000 and was still owed another 60,000. Instead of paying SSI the 48,000 he owed or putting money away for his child’s education he purchased a new car for 40,000 cash.
*In 2000, the judge who determined child support found Woosley had a disposable income of $100,000.
*In 2008, Woosley who was the executor and beneficiary of his deceased brother Stephen Woosley’s estate - received according to his depositions $120,000 of which he spent $40,000 on a new car for his wife - $40,000 on his private debts and then put away $40,000. Woosley contends in his deposition he is still owed $40,000. Question: How could Woosley continue to collect and receive SSI payments for disability when he had large sums of money coming to him from earnings and inheritances?
*Testified to having to pay back SSI over $48,000 but when asked for proof of payment on this claim, it is learned that he is required to make payments of $500 a month starting supposedly April 2010 then when asked yet again for proof of this and ordered by the judge to produce documentation it then the payments were to start June 1 of 2011. One wonders if (Social Security) is aware of Woosley’s monetary windfalls, which include a 1996 loan from Stephen Woolsey for $25,000. HE even withheld a student loan he is paying. Why is this important because he claimed to be “BROKE” Yes, that is the exact word he used and his college aged would have to go to a community college even though he and his wife made over 150,000 jointly. Was it mentioned Woosley pays Citibank for student loans for his older child? Taking home a salary in excess of 84,000 a year along with his wife’s salary of 50,000 and a pension allows him the right to tell DCFS he is “BROKE” .
* Violation of Court Orders. Manipulated his knowledge of the law to gain access to confidential court sealed depositions. He himself acknowledged were under protective orders and should not have remained in his possession. He purports to have destroyed these, and later quotes verbatim from the documents, which he claimed in written letter he no longer has copies of and is aware he's not entitled to them.
* Assisted in helping others obtain SSI benefits and answered questions regarding how to best approach the administrative judge assigned to the case. In fact he asked to have the paper work faxed to him so he could review it before the appeal hearing on two SSI children’s cases.
* As of April of 2011 Woosley had not even filed his 2009 tax return.
* Woosley’s personal biography states he was in private practice years before becoming an ALJ full-time in February of 2009. Question: How can an employed person receive SSI benefits from 2005 through February of 2009 under the classification of permanent disability?
Against the child's psychiatrist’s recommendations, the Woolsey’s have changed for the worse and taken away virtually every aspect of the child's life, including school, academic success in school, friends,relationships with their siblings, mental health providers, physical health providers, tutors, religion, and even their name.
How sad when the child's established parental relationships with their step-dad a former award winning child actor who went on to create a TV series and produced celebrity sports events that raised millions of dollars for important charities raised this child as their own" and they treated as him their ONLY DAD" in every sense of the definition of FATHER from before even being born until age 16 now has aggressive prostate cancer and osteoporosis affecting the bones. He has not seen his child in over a year.
Woolsey continues to repeatedly disobey court orders for two monthly visits with her " DAD". Woosley was ordered to facilitate these visits instead has ignored repeated requests to make these happen.
How will the child deal with all the lost time she could have spent with "Dad" now forever lost because of his agressive proate cancer. ***contempt proceedings are being considered against Woosley for not facilitating court ordered sibling and "Dad" visits as this is written).
For well over a decade, Woosley was permanently and totally disabled under stringent Social Security Administration (SSA) Guidelines for mental health disability and allegedly unable to handle any stress. It belies common sense the failure to investigate whether the man who presently has custody of the child is mentally and emotionally fit to raise a child in a stable, loving and safe home.
Woosley sadly is still an elder after 15 years ago after stepping down as one at First Presbyterian Church, in Hollywood. He is now back as an elder on the Ministry Board counseling those in need of truth at Pasadena Lake Church.
We must question how Woosley having had his own extra marital affair and then ripping the child away from its entire family can resume counseling others ethically or morally? Woosley’s belief no matter how many times you knowingly turn your back on what’s right all that’s required is to pray for forgiveness. It’s time Woosley stops his lies and steps down as an Elder and is not allowed put others in the same place he did Elizabeth.
Sadder is Woosley blaming Elizabeth for what he himself told her during the time she was pregnant with their child. His wife Sonja Woosley aka Brown aka Harrelson aka Burrier whose legal name is not even Sonja but “Theresa” waited 15 years to tell Woosley she had an affair with her boss and their then 15 year old son was likely not biologically his. Testimony at trial concurs Woosely told others he was having a blood test to determine paternity. How does one do this to a 15 year old child? Woosely was the only father he had ever known.
The note Woosley sent Elizabeth clearly goes to the depth of who “Theresa” is. Theresa told Woosely the difference in their affairs was she had sex with her then boss and Woosley had made love to his paralegal. Sonja a role model for Elizabeth’s child! Sonja married at age 15 – never disclosing it to her own family her prior marriage to “Michael Burrier”. She kept her affair with her boss and the paternity questions of her son hidden until she had no choice but to disclose. She fails to use her legal first name “Theresa” for unknown reasons. She herself had no relationship with her father nor completed even high school. She met Woosely on a public bus, knowing he was involved and sleeping with other women at the time telling him she could not get pregnant. Months later shows up you guessed it? Pregnant demanding marriage.
Sonja actually told this child ( her step-child) at 15 they never should have been born. Her own grown son apologized for his mother's behavior. This is a woman who holds herself out as having been the administator for Pasadena Christian Shcool and on the schools site she is listed as a mere adminitrative "ASSISTANT" a glorified secretary. Now she works for a church in Pasadena where she is listed on their web site as having come to them with years of experience as a school administrator. Refer to her likedin site ( she was nothing more than an administrative assistant). This is a women who never gradtuated high school married at 15 and has no college education. Keeping her affiar and paternity of her son hidden from her husband and family for 15 years. Does THE biological fatehr have a right to know ABOUT HIS SON?
Ironically, Woosely told Kathleen Leonard the first love of his life, Elizabeth was his sole mate and thru it all Kathleen and Woosely still promised each other they would someday end up together even when Woosley repeatedly recommitted thru god to his wife while starting stopping and then resuming his affair with Elizabeth. Sonja not even realizing this. Sonja then refused to allow Woosley to even communicate with his only friend Ms. Leonard who found herself in a very similar situation to Woosley’s. Woolsey was a very sad lonely man trapped in a loveless marriage looking for any excuse out.
The real question why has Woosley been given so much power? He has been able to completely alienate this mother and her entire family from the child and continues to do so without any consequences. We must consider the total and utter destruction to the mother and her family being unable to reunite in over a year with the child now 17. He has gone to an extreme to alienate this child from their mother by lying not only to the child BUT everyone involved, stating the mothers "Parental Rights" were terminated.
All this mother even wanted was the truth and for her past not to equal her present nor her future. I asked Elizabeth what she wants now " her child to know she will always love her".
UPDATE - Woosley has continued to pursue this child's mother all the way into criminal court. He is now attempting to not only to violate court orders BUT to completely alienate any relationship between mother and daughter with a criminal no contact order. How long will the system designed to protect families allow this one to be destroyed?
The mom has two tumors and has been unable to have surgery because of this man and the vengence he has for her. His words" THIS IS HIS LAST CHANCE TO GET HER" As a judge he has no concern for any of hte collateral damage he causes to her, her daughter or anyone in his way.
Stand up and read this administrative judges opinions and see the bias he has. Do we really want him making decisions that directly impair and effect the quality of life for our school aged children. I was told this judge was the most papered in his division.