Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Militia member loses foster kids, blames ‘pressure from the feds’

One of the most visible members of the armed militia that took over a wildlife refuge in Oregon says his four foster sons were taken away due to his involvement in the standoff, and he blames the federal government who “must have gotten to the governor.” Robert “LaVoy” Finicum and his wife Jeanette have fostered more than 50 boys over the last decade at their ranch near Chino Valley, Arizona. The couple is licensed and has a care contract with the Catholic Charities Community Services. Many of the children came from mental hospitals, drug rehabs and group homes for emotionally distressed youth, he told Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB). “My ranch has been a great tool for these boys,” Finicum said. “It has done a lot of good.” He traveled to Oregon to take part in the takeover of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge at the beginning of January, leaving Jeanette to care for the four boys. But now the Finicums have no more fosters to care for. A social worker began removing the last four of the family’s foster kids on January 4, the fourth day of the Oregon standoff. The last left five days later, he said. “They didn’t go out at the same time,” Finicum said. “One was there for a year, one of the boys was there six months, another eight months, and a month. I don’t know where they ended up.” He blamed the kids’ removals on “pressure from the feds.” “They were ripped from my wife,” Finicum said. “We are very successful [foster parents]. Our track records are good, it’s been a good relationship. [Federal authorities] must have gotten to the governor, who told the state to get them out of there.” A 2010 tax filing showed that Catholic Charities paid the Finicums $115,343 to foster children in 2009, OPB reported. That year, foster parents in Arizona were compensated between $22.31 and $37.49 per child, per day. If the couple was paid the maximum rate, they would have cared for an average of eight children a day in 2009...more

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