OK governor signs extradition papers for Veronica's biological father

Dusten Brown with Veronica.
Dusten Brown with Veronica.

OKLAHOMA CITY (KOTV/AP) - Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin today signed the extradition order for Dusten Brown, the biological father of "Baby Veronica," according to KOTV in Tulsa.

"His arguments have now been rejected by the United States Supreme Court as well as courts in South Carolina and Oklahoma," Fallin's said in a news release.

Fallin said Brown must go to South Carolina to face accusations that he is interfering with custody of the girl.
Fallin said Wednesday she had signed an extradition order that sends Brown to South Carolina. She had said last month she wouldn't sign the document if Brown showed a willingness to work with Matt and Melanie Capobianco, who want to adopt 3-year-old Veronica.
Fallin's order does not change Veronia's current placement with Brown's family.
Brown was charged with custodial interference last month after refusing to give Veronica to her adoptive parents. The Capobiancos were finalized as her adoptive parents in July, but Brown did not turn the girl over.

The remainder of Fallin's statement follows:

"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 Capobianco's 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 Capobiancos 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 Oklahoma Supreme Court had granted an emergency stay to keep Veronica with Brown, on Friday. Brown and Matt and Melanie Capobianco, participated in a hearing Tuesday to decide which court should handle the case: South Carolina's, Oklahoma's, or the Cherokee Nation's.

Brown has been fighting with the Capobiancos for custody of the girl for years. After Tuesday's hearing, Brown and the Capobiancos left without comment.

Both sides were in a Nowata County court on Friday. The Oklahoma Supreme Court granted an emergency stay to the Nowata court's ruling that Veronica should be transferred immediately to the Capobiancos.

In a letter to the Oklahoma Supreme Court on behalf of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, the writer, Haley's chief legal counsel notes both the United States Supreme Court and South Carolina Supreme Court terminated Brown's parental rights, and the Capobiancos were named Veronica's parents on July 31 of this year.

A warrant for Brown's arrest was ordered in South Carolina on August 9 after Veronica's biological father did not return the child to the Capobiancos. Brown has since been released on bail.

The Cherokee Nation released a statement in response to the extradition warrant being signed.

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.

Veronica's birth mother put her up for adoption. Brown is Veronica's birth father and a member of the Cherokee Nation. He fought the Capobiancos' adoption of Veronica under the Indian Child Welfare Act, but the U.S. Supreme Court has said the act doesn't apply in this case.

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