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Kevin Burus - Remarks about the transcripts by Gaetane

Taken from Gaetane's blog by Laura Napolli - 2002

To better understand the content of this page, listen to the audio tape between Tatiana and Kevin or read the transcript first.  

Kevin Burus is an attorney in Houston, Texas who was appointed as Guardian ad Litem by the Harris County 309th Family Judicial District Court to represent the best interests of my children in the contested custody and visitation case between my ex-husband and me in November 2001.  


For those who don’t know the role of a Guardian ad Litem (sometimes also called Attorney ad Litem) and would like to know more, please click here. But a Guardian or attorney ad litem pretty much investigates a family and reports his findings to the courts. The guardian’s main focus is to keep the children’s best interests. 


It was Mr. Burus' job, to find out what was going on in this family and then to represent the best interests of the children. In this 23 minute long telephone conversation between him and Tatiana it is obvious to anyone that he is not doing that.


In this 23-minute phone call Tatiana reports eight times that her father “yells” at her. Not one time do you ask her, Mr. Burus, about the yelling.  She says: “And I get very, very scared when he yells at me.” I think you would too, Mr. Burus. This is how she described it to Ms. Gerber (a social worker she was court-ordered to see in 2010): ”When dad yells, he yells at the top of his lungs, cursing, screaming demeaning & belittling things to me, half an inch from my face, turns red, and screams so loudly that spit comes out of his mouth, URGH.” And like Sebastien describes it, in his letter to you: “it looks like his hair is going to fluff out.” Now imagine a 6 ft. 2 tall, 40 year old man doing this to a less than 5 ft. tall little girl.... on a weekly, sometimes daily basis.


And how about the “grabbing”? Tatiana mentions, “grabbing” four times in this phone call. Why didn’t you, Mr. Burus, ask Tatiana to explain what she meant by “grabbing”? She said it hurts! She said: ”I think he’s gonna grab me cause he has before”. I guess Mr. Burus, you will never know what she meant by "grabbing". I know, because I have suffered a lot of “grabbing” by Mr. Lutomski over the years. When Mr. Lutomski “grabs”, whether your arm, your wrist, your leg, your neck, your ear, your hair, or any other body part, he usually grabs it and twists it. Tatiana uses the word “twist” one time in this phone call. Because Mr. Lutomski is usually very angry when he does it, he is not aware of the amount of force he is using and so “it hurts” as describes Tatiana. And it will leave your arm, your neck or wrist “really really sore”, she says. Sometimes it will turn "purple". The first time Mr. Lutomski “grabbed” me was in 1991 and the last time was in 2012. The last time Mr. Lutomski “grabbed” me was in front of Chloe. It scared Chloe so much she cried and screamed, begging her father to stop. The police was called and a report was made. But what good does that do. One more report to my collection. But if you Mr. Burus had done your job in 2001, maybe none of us would have continued to suffer any "grabbing" at Mr. Lutomski’s hands.


At minute 11:30 into this phone call when Tatiana is describing the incident when her father pulled over on the side of the highway: “He yelled and twist ... he grabbed Sebastien and he made a sore on his arm but it wasn’t as bad as the past. And it was really really sore, really purple. I thought, I mean, when he parked the car I was scared ... oh my gosh, here we go again.”


Mr. Burus, Tatiana just told you how her father “grabbed Sebastien and he made a sore on his arm.” This is where your job came in as the Attorney ad Litem. Again, Mr. Burus, it was your job, to find out what was going on in this family! So why didn’t you ask her more about what she was telling you? About the sore, for example. Why on earth are you asking her where it happened? You could have asked her that later. She is telling you “it wasn’t as bad as the past.” Why didn’t you ask her what she meant by that? You could have asked her to give you more examples of what happened in the past. Isn’t that what “an investigator” does? She also said it was purple. Why not ask her about that? And why didn’t you ask her about Chloe? How was she feeling? She was in the car too. Tatiana said she was scared. Chloe is younger. She must have terrified. And Tatiana’s statement: “Oh my gosh, here we go again.” What was that supposed to mean, Mr. Burus? Her tone of voice on the tape is very telling!


Mr. Burus, at minute 18:00, Tatiana makes a very clear statement to you. She says: “I’m just so scared he’s gonna win because of his lies and we’re gonna loose because we’re telling the truth.” Your answer to her, Mr. Burus is very deceitful and confusing. Earlier in this conversation, at minute 02:00, you are telling Tatiana: “I know he is lying. I know he is lying.” And here you say: “We will know if he is lying. He’s not gonna be able to lie and get away with it.”  Mr. Burus, you have done nothing about Mr. Lutomski’s lying. What this child has learned from you Mr. Burus, is that people who lie, win in a court of law. And people who tell the truth loose. 


Mr. Burus, you should be ashamed of yourself. At minute 19:00 into this phone call, after Tatiana makes another very clear statement to you: “My dad thinks my mom hurts me, but he really does.” Your response to her is: “the question is whether your dad is gonna hurt you, okay. That’s the question.”


Mr. Burus, you completely disregard what she is saying and just switch the subject on her. Mr. Burus, from this phone call alone, anyone can see that Mr. Lutomski has a history of hurting these children. And it was your job Mr. Burus to also review the documents that were given to you which included medical reports, CPS reports, and police reports, all validating a history of abuse by Mr. Lutomski. So the answer to your own question should have been very easy for you to answer with all the facts you had in front of you plus this phone call now. Let me tell you something Mr. Burus, just in case you don’t know. Abuse doesn’t just magically go away. You knew that Mr. Lutomski was court-ordered anger management in 1999, and today, in 2001, from just a 20 minute phone conversation, you find out that Mr. Lutomski still “yells a lot”, leaves a purple sore on Sebastien’s arm, etc. and yet you do nothing!  


You also told Tatiana: It’s determined that your dad doesn’t hurt you, okay.” Wow, after everything she just told you! Really? And you are telling her this in the past tense, as if you made up your mind before the phone call. Now this is a very interesting statement: Had you already decided this before calling Tatiana, Mr. Burus? Had you already decided what the outcome of this case would be before the call? Then why the call? Then why ask her to write letters to you, if “It’s determined that your dad doesn’t hurt you.” Then why still arranging home visits? Is this why you are not listening to Tatiana? I am trying to figure this out. Are you just running up a bill to make more money?


“We think he’s not gonna hurt you.” This must have been so hard for Tatiana to hear. You just invalidated everything she just told you. And who is “we” by the way? 


At minute 20:00 into the call, Mr. Burus, after everything Tatiana has just told you about her dad, you tell her: “he might deserve to see you a little bit more.  Okay?  He might deserve to see you a little bit more than he does. That’s, you know, that’s kind of important.” 
"Deserve???" What message are you sending this child, Mr. Burus? You hurt people then you "deserve" something? No! Your message to this child should have been: When you hurt people there are consequences: less time, for example. I don't understand, Mr. Burus, you know he is hurting these children, and you are going to give him more visitation time? Something is wrong with this picture. Is Mr. Lutomski paying you? Is there money involved here?


At minute 21:00 Tatiana tells you: “And I don’t want like every week to go with him because I have to spend the mornings on school days and that would be horrible ... I don’t mind like if I see, if I see like on Tuesday nights 6 to 8 and that’s all ...”


This was a great opportunity for you Mr. Burus to ask Tatiana what’s so “horrible” in the mornings on school days at her dad’s house. But only a person wanting to find out what's going on in this family and looking out for the children’s best interests would have asked. Because I know what happens in the mornings on school days at their dad's house. And it can be "horrible" when Michael gets into a rage. You should ask Sebastien what happened to him on one of those mornings on a school day when he couldn't find his boxer shorts and Michael got into a rage. This incident happened after the 2002 divorce decree. Yes, after. It could have been prevented if you had done your job, Mr. Burus. My children suffered a lot of abuse after the 2002 divorce decree thanks to you.   

It would also have been interesting to ask her why, if she has to see him more, she prefers to see him like Tuesday night from 6 to 8 and that’s all.” I know you didn't care to find out but here is why: Because when Michael has them on Wednesday nights from 6pm to 8pm from the current divorce decree, he picks them up from my home at 6pm, takes them out to eat and brings them back. So the children feel safer because Michael doesn't get abusive in public. (Well that changed later, ask Chloe.)    


Anyway, I could go on and on about how unprofessional and inappropriate you were with my child. How you did not represent the best interests of my children for the court. And how thanks to your behavior my children continued to be abused by their father.

It's because of people like you, Ms. Sharon Gerber, Ms. Barbara Chase-Hopkins, Mary Sean O'Reilly, the Judges in Court 309, and the harrowing betrayals of many others that my family went through years of abuse. The children are adults now and they can tell you themselves. 



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