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Corruption filmmaker gathers local testimony

A man who dubs himself a leading authority on judicial corruption came to a place some would argue is the epitome of judicial corruption to interview a woman who has been the face of corruption victims.

Bill Windsor, a 63-year-old Georgian who claims to have been the victim of a corrupt judge himself, brought his documentary film venture to a room in the Hampton Inn Friday, videotaping testimony by seven area people who claim they are victims of corrupt public officials.

The avuncular Windsor is on a 143-day tour of all 50 states taking such testimonies, with plans to edit it all into a movie titled “Lawless America.” At 5 p.m. Friday, with pizza boxes on the bed and a root beer bottle on the dresser, he sat down to record Sandy Fonzo.

Fonzo gained national fame following the February 2011, conviction of former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella in the so-called “kids for cash” scandal, a moniker he was flatly rejecting on the courthouse steps after the verdict when Fonzo screamed her contention that Ciavarella’s mishandling of her son’s case as a juvenile led to his suicide.

“I’ve heard unbelievable stories,” Windsor said, “Sandy’s – as tragic as it is – at least it focuses a light on corruption here.

“And it’s not just here, there is rampant dishonesty bred from power, greed and ego.”

The son of a man who proved a bit of a lawbreaker himself – Windsor said his father wrote jokes at the age of 16 for W.C. Fields until his age was discovered – Windsor originally expected to get testimony from 750 people and now predicts at least 1,200.

He lapses effortlessly into storyteller mode, recounting a 15-year-old who claimed abuse by her father and was ignored by officials, a women who spent three years in jail following two minor traffic violations, and a man beaten “worse than Rodney King” by police.

“I’ve lost sight of what I would say was the worst story,” Windsor said.

Despite flying below the radar of most media, Windsor said the number of people approaching him at each stop has grown rapidly. He requires they write a three-page “testimony,” primarily to help organize their thoughts, and usually spends 30 to 60 minutes with each.

His itinerary and instructions on how to get in on his project are available on the website www.lawlessamerica.com.

He concedes this venture is likely to lead to lawsuits, joking there is a betting pool “on how many times I’m going to be sued.”

Yet he notes that no one has sued yet.

He also said he will check out all the stories, and invite those accused in the video to come for an interview.

The 143-day deadline – Friday was day 38 – was set so he’ll be home before Election Day in November. He said he is an independent candidate for U.S. representative. He’s planning to present the three-minute testimonies to Congress. He has also proposed changes in the law to stop judicial corruption, beginning with allowing anyone to record court proceedings.

“It’s been sad, exciting, maddening and motivational,” he said. “People told me I’d get worn out, but the experience has just made me that much more committed.”


Mark Guydish can be reached at 829-7161

Attribution: Wilkes-Barre Times Leader

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