By Joseph Snook
Medford, OR – Out of the twenty-seven judicial districts for the State of Oregon, Judge Grensky ranks in the bottom 2% of all judges according to The Robing Room, an online website that publicly reviews Oregon Judges. Out of the 173 Circuit Court Judges in Oregon, there are only three Judges with worse ratings than Grensky. Notably, almost half of Judge Gresky’s poor reviews are from attorney’s. The Oregon Court of Appeals is currently looking into how many cases Grensky has had overturned. And now, Grensky’s judicial authority has come into question yet again.
Grensky’s most recent miscarriage of justice took place in an ongoing child custody case between Christi MacLaren and her ex, Sean Lenzo, over their six-year-old daughter.
Judge Grensky removed custody from Christi on Oct. 13, 2015 (Judge Grensky formally granted status quo custody on May 19, 2016, although daugther has been with Lenzo since Oct. 13, 2015) when Department of Human Services (DHS) Child Caseworker, Cori McGovern, testified that Chirsti had mentally abused her own daughter. Christi had previously reported that Sean Lenzo (biological father) had rubbed, “magic cream” on her daughter’s vagina in a really fast motion until bleeding/severe burning occurred – this according to her daughter. Next, the young girl reportedly claimed Lenzo took a picture of her vagina while it was bleeding, eventually showing her the photo as he laughed. This allegation, while cruel in nature, might not be “sexual” as originally reported.
Eventually the father was cleared by police after a sex abuse polygraph exam was passed. The test only included three questions provided by Child Caseworker, Cori McGovern. Other forms of abuse, including torture – were never explored during the polygraph. Once the court-inadmissible test was passed, Child Casworker McGovern turned around and labeled the mother a “mental abuser”, which Judge Grensky used to grant the father custody – the same person the daughter had identified as her abuser.
Apparently, the abuse has continued since Grensky granted Lenzo custody. Since removing the child from her protective parent, twelve new claims and documentation of child abuse and torture at the hands of Lenzo have been brought to the attention of authorities – none of which are sexual in nature.
It was reported that the daughter will not disclose these allegations to anyone other than her mother, as she does not trust the agency (Department of Human Services) because they “lied to her” by telling her she would be safe, then removed her from the very person she wants to be with – her mother, and placed her with the man she identified as the abuser. The child is also reportedly in fear of retaliation by Lenzo, not only against her, but her mother and her mother’s family members, which was also reported. Instead, the brave six-year-old has asked to talk with Judge Grensky – to date, he has not allowed this.
Although the claim that Christi had mentally abused her daughter was later reversedby Cori McGovern’s own superiors in a formal letter, Judge Grensky’s actions have shown that he’d rather believe a child caseworker who does not have the ability or credentials to diagnose. Not only would he believe the caseworker over her own superiors, he has seemingly taken the caseworker’s word over Licensed Clinical Social Worker Victoria Bones, who stated, “I recommend all contact (daughter and Lenzo) stop immediately, including supervised visits.” Victoria Bones has the ability to diagnose, unlike McGovern, who has a dark past (1, 2) as a child caseworker.
Finally, almost a year and a half later, trial for custody was initiated. Judge Grensky said there would only be a one day trial against the wishes of the attorneys involved. A one day trial that started on Jan. 19, 2017 has now turned into four days, scattered over several months. The final day of trial (if several more days are not necessary) is now scheduled for April 13, 2017.
Judge Grensky has clearly shown his lack of knowledge in this case, which was likely influenced by his own actions, allowing the trial to last several months. He has forgotten several key pieces of evidence and testimony, even apologizing at one point for his memory loss. His actions thus far have clearly demonstrated that he does not want to remove custody from the father, even in the face of overwhelming evidence, misconduct, and violation of orders by Lenzo to further keep the child from her mother.
One witness recently stated, “If Judge Grensky’s actions in court are any sign of how he will rule, the mother will not get custody…”
An attorney who has read transcripts of recent hearings, but is not associated directly with this case stated, “Judge Grensky has violated nearly every judicial canon (code of judicial conduct) there is!”
Here are just a few violations named by the attorney:
3.2 Ensuring the Right to be Heard
“A judge shall accord to every person who has a legal interest in a proceeding, or to that person’s lawyer, the right to be heard according to law.”
Christi MacLaren told Judge Grensky that her daughter wants to talk to him, and that she also wants the same. She stated this several times, saying that her daughter said she was told by Stacey Hubbard, one of the counselors that, “The Judge is the person who makes decisions.” Judge Grensky completely ignored this testimony, denying the young girl her right to be heard which is now part of the court record. Judge Grensky also disallowed other witness testimony by initially saying there would only be a one day trial, preventing subpoena’s for other witnesses that Christi wanted to testify.
3.7 Decorum, Demeanor, and Communication with Jurors
(B) “A judge shall be patient, dignified, and courteous to litigants, jurors, witnesses, lawyers, court staff, court officials, and others with whom the judge deals in an official capacity…”
Judge Grensky is an, “arrogant pompous piece of garbage.”
— Senator Alan Olsen, Vice Chair of DHS’ Oversight Committee
Judge Grensky stated there would only be a one day trial with knowledge there were around twenty witnesses subpoenaed to testify. Since Judge Grensky did not allow proper scheduling, this trial will touch its fourth calendar month before it’s likely resolved. His actions have been anything but patient according to what several witnesses and myself have seen. His rude demeanor, as referenced by comments at the Robing Room have also been very clear in this case. Judge Grensky has been extremely rude at times to both parents’ attorneys and the parents themselves. Judge Grensky’s neglect of courtesy has also extended to several of the witnesses. After reviewing transcripts of this case, Oregon Senator Alan Olsen, a champion for children, referred to Judge Grensky as an, “arrogant pompous piece of garbage.”
3.8 Encouraging Settlement and Serving as a Settlement Judge
“A judge may encourage parties to a proceeding and their lawyers to consider settling matters in dispute but shall not act in a manner that coerces any party into settlement.”
According to direct witnesses, Judge Grensky has repeatedly pushed for settlement after settlement in this case. He has also done so on court record. This case is now approaching two years without resolve. All parties to this case reportedly owe, or have paid their attorney’s a combined $100,000.00 in legal fees, yet Judge Grensky still pushed for settlement. Is pushing for settlement after settlement while clients pay $100k in legal fees not enough to be considered coercion?
(2)(b), “Acting as a lawyer in the proceeding.”
Judge Grensky has bordered on giving legal advice in this trial, if not directly providing it, and has asked more questions than one of the attorneys involved, Robert Good. Grensky questioned several witnesses over and over and over again…
Judge Grensky has made outlandish comments throughout trial, bolstering the belief that the father will retain custody when the evidence (two passed mental health exams by mother – expert testimony stating the child should live with her mother, and wants to live with her mother and her only other sibling – and mother being cleared by the caseworkers superiors in a formal letter, disproving Christi as causing mental abuse) has clearly shown the mother should have never lost custody to begin with.
Sadly, it appears by Judge Grensky’s actions that he will side with an admitted meth and cocaine abuser, Sean Lenzo. Although Lenzo claims to have several years of sobriety, he was never given a urine analysis to confirm or deny drug use before he was awarded custody. Lenzo was in drug court as recent as 2012 according to records. Judge Grensky also has knowledge of these facts. Judge Grensky also knows the child’s mother has a spotless record with no criminal convictions.
“My experience today revealed a threat to our community, someone who would harm for no particular reason, and be incredibly rude to all parties in the process. I witnessed a person with power acting dishonorably today – both legally and ethically. I hope this message is seen by someone who has influence. It’s a ‘slap in the face’ to the tax payer to allow this in our community justice system.” — John Heaslet (the Robing Room)
If you are a victim of Judge Grensky, you have a voice. Contact the US~Observer to see if we can help. If you have proof of any injustice committed by Grensky, you can also fill out a complaint form with Oregon’s Judicial Fitness Commission. Click here for the complaint form.
If you are unfortunate enough to end up in front of Judge Grensky, I would suggest that you communicate with your attorney about your options to recuse him.
I’ve spent the last ten years reporting on criminal and civil cases across the United States. As a reporter working predominately in courts, it perturbs me to see a case like this. Judge Grensky is without doubt the worst Judge I’ve witnessed to date and the saddest part is, people like him are rarely, if ever, held accountable. I truly believe Grensky will rule in favor of Lenzo, thus causing more legal fees, another case added to his appeals record, and a child forced to continue living with her alleged abuser, and that injustice is what saddens me most.
video produced before trial started
Edward Snook’s Note: While some of the following information might be a bit repetitive, I believe this case and this helpless little girl to be important enough to add my first-hand knowledge.
Christi McLaren first began taking her young daughter to professionals in June of 2015, because her daughter disclosed to her that she had been abused by her biological Father, Sean Lenzo. Subsequently, her daughter was taken to a court appointed, LCSW, ACHP-SW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over thirty years of experience. This well qualified professional believed that this young girl had been abused and she went to the extreme of recommending that she have no contact with Sean Lenzo at that time. Caseworkers Matthew Brody and Cori McGovern totally ignored this finding and they kept this child with the very person she claimed abused her. For the record, this girl described to me long ago exactly what Sean Lenzo did to her. What she described to me is absolute abuse, severe enough to ruin this child. I promise both of these incompetent and “dangerous” caseworkers that this young girl’s abuse is going to become an albatross to them – one they will find very difficult to rid themselves of!
Is This Justice?
A trial commenced on January 19, 2017, in front of Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Ronald D. Grensky. It was originally scheduled for 2 days and then cut to one by Grensky. The trial did not conclude on the 19th. Grensky continued the trial to February 2, 2017. The trial did not conclude on the 2nd. Grensky continued the trial to March 7, 2017. The trial did not conclude on the 7th. Grensky continued the trial to April 13, 2017. We will soon see if the case concludes or if Grensky continues yet again. Christi’s daughter is currently six-years-old, however, at one point in this trial Grensky stated her age to a witness and he was a year and a half off. Obviously, when a judge holds a trial one day at a time, with huge gaps between days, he gets quite forgetful of the facts.
Sean Lenzo has had numerous drug charges and has admitted on the record that he has used Heroin, Meth and Cocaine. Christi Maclaren has a spotless record, in fact, she supported their daughter for years without any financial support whatsoever from Lenzo. There has been more than enough evidence provided on the record for Grensky to have concluded that this precious young child should be with her Mother, however, this poor excuse of a human being continues this complete charade, knowing that he is going to leave the girl with her “abusive” father.
Joseph Pulitzer once quipped, “Newspapers should have no friends, but seek the truth.” The US~Observer takes this quote very serious. In the pursuit of this ideal, we assure all involved that each and every fact in this case will be made public and we also guarantee each and every player involved that their friends, relatives and communities will know exactly and factually what they have done and not done regarding their lack of protection of this very special young girl and her exceptional Mother.