PRESS RELEASE

Contact: Teri Stoddard
Phone: 301-801-0608
Email: tstoddard@saveservices.org

One Perjurer, One Unethical Prosecutor, One Wrongful Conviction. SAVE Calls on Judge to Vacate Conviction of Vladek Filler

Washington, DC/August 13, 2012 — Victim advocacy group Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE) is calling on Judge Robert E. Murray to vacate the conviction of Vladek Filler for allegedly pushing his wife Ligia Filler in April 2007.  The custodial father of two children has been sentenced to 21 days in jail. The conviction follows five years, two criminal trials and appeals involving prosecutorial misconduct.

The charges stemming from Filler’s child custody dispute ranged from spousal rape to splashing water on his wife.  The 1st trial court and Maine Supreme Court found prosecutor Mary N. Kellett had engaged in misconduct.  The divorce court granted Filler sole custody of his children, found his wife made false allegations and was a violent child abuser. But prosecutor Kellett announced Filler will still be re-prosecuted for the same claims which failed in the 1st trail and dismissed in District Court findings.

In 2011 SAVE filed a Grievance Complaint[1] with the Board of Overseers of the Bar (BOB) demanding Kellet’s disbarment.  Bar Counsel J. Scott Davis in an 18-page Disciplinary Petition[2] charged that Kellett “has acted in a manner unworthy of an attorney,” violated nine rules[3] of conduct, failed to provide defense with discovery, violated a court order, and instructed police officers not to cooperate with defense subpoenas.  Davis stated that Kellett then made “misrepresentations to the jury of the actual facts”, and concluded “she should receive such appropriate disciplinary action as is provided for by the Maine Bar Rules.”

In a Washington Times editorial Michael Conzachi wrote “I do not believe that the sanctions are sufficient and Ms. Kellett should face federal criminal civil rights violations as well. Mr. Filler, who has been trapped in a nightmare of a family-law case filled with false allegations of child abuse and sexual abuse, has been subjected to violations of his civil rights.”[4]

Indeed, Filler’s retrial, evidence used to convict him, and the harsh punishment need further investigation since Filler is a substantiated victim of serious prosecutorial misconduct.[5]  “Men who have no criminal record get a fine or an afternoon DV class for allegations like this. Not only did the judge sentence Vladek to jail, he sentenced him to 21 days,” says SAVE spokesperson Philip W. Cook, “It was all very personal and had nothing to do with what they convicted him of.”

The BOB will convene a disciplinary hearing against Kellett for misconduct in the Filler case. SAVE calls for Kellett’s disbarment and vacation of Vladek Filler’s conviction and sentence.

Stop Abusive and Violent Environments is a victim-advocacy organization working for evidence-based solutions to partner violence: www.saveservices.org

[1]  http://www.saveservices.org/wp-content/uploads/COMPLA1.pdf
[2] http://www.saveservices.org/wp-content/uploads/Kellett-Disciplinary-Petition.pdf
[3] http://fenceviewer.com/site/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=75933:hearing-scheduled-on-complaint-against-assistant-da&Itemid=938
[4] http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/aug/8/prosecutorial-persecution-in-maine
[5] http://www.fathersandfamilies.org/2012/04/12/me-bar-counsel-recommends-discipline-for-ada-mary-n-kellett