Federal Lawsuit Names Embattled Canadian Co. Judge, Juvenile Center

Friday, December 20th 2019, 9:09 am
By: Grant Hermes

A man in a bitter custody dispute is suing a Canadian County Judge, the embattled juvenile center he runs and the center’s disgraced former director in a new federal lawsuit claiming he’s been wrongfully denied custody of his son.

The suit is the latest in a series of alleged problems at the Canadian County Children's Justice Center.

The man behind the lawsuit, Zachary Waller, says he's been trying to regain custody of his 7-year-old son for more than a year. He says he despite passing multiple drug tests, mental health evaluations and still having custody of his other children, Canadian Co. Judge Bob Hughey has repeatedly denied him custody without reason.

At the heart of the lawsuit is a missing video of a meeting between the Judge and an opposing attorney. Waller said he asked for the video multiple times and alleges it's being illegally kept from him as retaliation by the Judge.

This lawsuit is latest in an ongoing scandal of alleged misconduct at the El Reno juvenile center, although it is the first set of allegations against Judge Hughey. The center's former Director Dan Kern was recently fired after News 9 stories about allegations of harassment and lewd behavior.

Kern and the Center are currently being sued by former employees over the alleged incidents.

Waller, who runs a construction company in El Reno, says the time spent fighting for his son has cost him at least $1 million in business and he's now suing for that amount.

Judge Hughey was not available for comment on the lawsuit. 

This is a developing story.