Charleston County, S.C. Sheriff Al Cannon and S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley are using taxpayer resources to send three law enforcement agents to Oklahoma as a “precautionary measure” in a contentious adoption case.
Two Charleston County deputies and one S.C. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) agent are traveling to Oklahama’s capital city on the taxpayer dime in connection with the “Baby Veronica” case, in which two Palmetto State parents – Matt and Melanie Capobianco – are battling for custody with the three-year-old child’s father, Dusten Brown.
News of the trip was first reported by The (Charleston, S.C.) Post and Courier. Opponents of such expensive, high-level government intervention in the case were incredulous.
“I am sure that there is a four-year-old child in a bad part of North Charleston who would very much like to be able to play outside but can’t due to gang activity – and would very much appreciate these deputies or SLED agent patrolling her neighborhood instead of vacationing to Oklahoma,” one source told us.
We agree … no matter what you think of this case, wasting resources like this is ridiculous. These officers have no jurisdiction in Oklahoma, and Sheriff Cannon himself has admitted there are no new developments in the case which would warrant their trip.
Brown – a member of the Cherokee tribe – invoked the Indian Child Welfare Act to gain custody of his daughter in 2011 after he previously relinquished parental rights. However the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Brown’s use of the law this summer, and the S.C. Supreme Court has ruled that the adoption of the girl should proceed.
Brown has refused to turn over his daughter, though.
Our associate opinion editor Amy Lazenby has addressed the “Baby Veronica” issue once before – arguing that the Capobiancos should be permitted to adopt the child. To read her piece, click here.
Haley has issued an extradition request for Brown to Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin – seeking to bring him to South Carolina to face felony custodial interference charges. Fallin has said she would not act on the order prior to a September 12 hearing on the case in Oklahoma.