Judge scolds Williamsport mayor, ex-wife
WILLIAMSPORT – A Lycoming County judge is highly critical of Williamsport’s mayor and his former wife, saying their ongoing battle over their children “is one of the most egregious this court has dealt with.”
Judge Joy Reynolds McCoy in an opinion urged Mayor Gabriel J. Campana and his former wife Sonia “to stop the destruction they are imposing upon their children.”
She is at a loss on how to order a halt to it, she said.
It is clear the parents despise one another, the judge wrote, dismissing contempt petitions each filed against the other.
Texts submitted as evidence show both parents’ inability to treat the other in any type of civil or respective manner, she concluded.
“Over five days of testimony addressing eight different filings, the court has found both parents are guilty of failing to follow court directions, failing to co-parent their children and failing to in any way put their children’s best interests forward.
“It is clear both parents have no problem accusing the other of contempt.”
Based on the testimony she heard, McCoy wrote each are guilty of the same actions
She found both parents are hypocritical in their complaints about the other and both, to some extent, have engaged in conduct consistent with parental alienation.
If she found one in contempt she would have to find the other, she wrote. Any sanctions would be a wash, she said.
Citing the $11,810 in attorney fees bills submitted by both, the judge said she finds it punishment enough they have chosen to spend “this considerable amount of money on battling each other rather than their own children.”
Their three oldest children have exhibited significant emotional and psychological ramifications from the on-going battle, McCoy wrote.
Unless the parents change their ways, she said the two youngest children also will start to suffer from the same ramifications.
The opinion details why she dismissed four contempt petitions filed by Campana and two by his former wife related to custody arrangements for the children, two of whom refuse to spend time with their father.
“Neither parent comes before the court with clean hands regarding shared legal custody,” the judge wrote.
Although the opinion resolves the pending contempt petitions, McCoy noted a three-day custody trial is scheduled for October.
Sonia Campana filed for divorce in June 2017 alleging the marriage had been “tainted by abuse.” She claimed she feared for her safety and the well-being of their children.
Campana will be mayor only six more months because he chose not to seek re-election. He failed to win a Republican nomination for Lycoming County commissioner.