Governor Mary Fallin signed the extradition order for Dusten Brown, the biological father of “Baby Veronica.”
Brown is contesting Veronica’s adoption to Matt and Melanie Capobianco of Charleston, South Carolina. His arguments have now been rejected by the United States Supreme Court as well as courts in South Carolina and Oklahoma.
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley requested Brown’s extradition from Oklahoma to South Carolina on August 13. Brown, who has refused to release Veronica to her adopted parents, faces charges of custodial interference in South Carolina.
Brown’s extradition does not affect the current placement of Baby Veronica.
Gov. Fallin's statement:
“My goal in the Baby Veronica case has been to encourage both Mr. Brown and the Capobianco family to reach a quick settlement and come to an agreement that protects Veronica’s best interests,” Fallin said. “I said previously that I was willing to delay Mr. Brown’s extradition to South Carolina as long as all parties were working together in good faith to pursue such a settlement. I also outlined parameters for what I believe to be acting in ‘good faith:’ both Mr. Brown and the Capobianco family should be able to see Veronica; both parties should continue meeting to pursue a resolution outside of court; and both parties must obey the courts and the rule of law.
“Unfortunately, it has become clear that Dusten Brown is not acting in good faith. He has disobeyed an Oklahoma court order to allow the Capobiancos to visit their adopted daughter and continues to deny visitation. He is acting in open violation of both Oklahoma and South Carolina courts, which have granted custody of Veronica to the Capobianco’s. Finally, he has cut off negotiations with the Capobianco’s and shown no interest in pursuing any other course than yet another lengthy legal battle.
“As governor, I am committed to upholding the rule of law. As a mother, I believe it is in the best interests of Veronica to help end this controversy and find her a permanent home. For both of these reasons, I have signed the extradition order to send Mr. Brown to South Carolina.”
The Cherokee Nation sent the following statement about Fallin's decision to sign the extradition order:
We are unspeakably saddened that Governor Fallin chose to sign the extradition warrant of Dusten Brown and subject him to arrest. This illegitimate charge stems from allegations that Dusten did not appear for a court ordered meeting in South Carolina, when all parties involved knew that Dusten was out of state serving his country at National Guard duty, and thus unable to comply with the order.
We feel that the governor has failed in her duty to protect our most vulnerable citizens, which is exactly what Veronica Brown is-- a minor child and citizen of the great state of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation. We all continue to pray that a court will determine what is in Veronica's best interests, which has yet to happen.
The Oklahoma Supreme Court has stayed the transfer of custody of Veronica Brown, and even with this knowledge, Governor Fallin has hastily inserted herself into the judicial process as Dusten seeks his due process. Instead of allowing the courts to decide this case, Governor Fallin has used her authority to attempt to coerce Mr. Brown into handing over his daughter. The civil rights of both Dusten and Veronica Brown are being ignored. Dusten has the right to due process, and the right to object to the unethical adoption that already took his daughter away once. The events of today, and the events that have unfolded over the past four years should frighten every parent, and more specifically, every single father in Oklahoma.
Additionally, Governor Fallin has issued a statement that contains false information about Mr. Brown, knowing full well that Mr. Brown, who is bound by a court's gag order, cannot respond and defend himself in the media. This is unacceptable and Oklahomans will not forget.
We urge those who support father's rights and tribal rights, to contact the governor's office to voice their displeasure with this unnecessary overreach in authority. Please keep Dusten, Veronica and the entire Brown family in your prayers.
-- Cherokee Nation Secretary of State Chuck Hoskin, Jr.