Oklahoma Governor signs extradition order for "Baby Veronica's" biological father
Governor Mary Fallin has signed the extradition order for the biological father of a child at the center of a heated custody case.
Dusten Brown was arrested in August and charged with custodial interference involving his three-year-old daughter, Veronica. Brown is the biological father and has been battling her adoptive family from South Carolina for custody.
South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley requested Brown's extradition after he turned himself in but Governor Fallin waited to review the case. On Wednesday, she signed the order and said Brown is "not acting in good faith" and is in violation of multiple orders:
"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 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."
Brown's extradition does not affect the current placement of Baby Veronica, which is still being debated.
Brown of the Cherokee Nation says the Indian Child Welfare Act dictates his daughter should remain with him, but the U.S. Supreme Court has said the act doesn't apply in this case.
Matt and Melanie Capobianco of Charleston, S.C., have tried to adopt the girl since she was born. Veronica's mother agreed to the adoption but Brown has since intervened.
A hearing before an Oklahoma Supreme Court referee was held Tuesday. The referee is expected to recommend which court should take the case: South Carolina's, Oklahoma's or the Cherokee Nation's.