Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Sister, brother file for legal guardianship of embattled county recorder

SALT LAKE CITY — Family members of embattled Salt Lake County Recorder Gary Ott are seeking legal permission to make decisions for him, according to court documents that a judge acted on Monday.

An attorney for his brother, Marty Ott, and his sister, Kathy Ott Chamberlain, filed a petition for the "appointment of guardian and conservator of incapacitated adult" in Salt Lake City's 3rd District Court on Friday.

Judge Mark Kouris on Monday signed an order at the family's request, as well as temporary orders related to guardianship and financial decision-making.

But Ott's office aide, who many have identified as Ott's girlfriend, said Monday that she is the county recorder's would-be guardian and financial manager.

Few details were available about the judge's decision. The documents remain sealed, and Chamberlain referred comment to her attorney Mary Corporon.

Corporon, who is also Gary Ott's ex-wife, declined to comment about the case.

"At this point, we don't have anything that ought to be public," Corporon said. "These kinds of cases are private for a reason. They're extremely sensitive."

The document also names Kristine Ott Williams as a petitioner.

Gary Ott has been the target of public scrutiny for a year and a half as questions about his health have surfaced following a series of Deseret News stories. Colleagues say his visits to the office have been much more sporadic in recent months, raising additional concerns about his well-being. Earlier this month he made a series of incoherent statements in a 45-minute interview with the Deseret News.

Karmen Sanone — the aide who describes herself as Ott's "longtime friend" who has also been identified as his girlfriend and fiancee — said Monday that she and Ott were dumbfounded by the family's court filings. Sanone said Ott's family has not been involved in his life for years, and said she believes the court filings are financially motivated.

Sanone said for the first time that she is identified in Ott's living will — which she estimates was created three or four years ago — as his would-be guardian and financial manager if the need arises. The pair was on their way back from a restaurant, Sanone said Monday night, and Ott declined when she asked if he wanted to talk to a reporter.

"I'm just very concerned. Gary's with me. He's shocked. We just finished dinner," she said.

The pair's relationship is part of Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill's monthslong investigation into Ott's situation, as well as allegations that Ott lives outside of Salt Lake County and allegations that Sanone and Ott's chief deputy, Julie Dole, are taking advantage of Ott's situation. Both women have denied those allegations.

"There is no nepotism," Sanone said Monday evening.

Marty Ott could not be reached for comment Monday. Earlier this month, however, he expressed concerns about his brother’s finances. A “notice of default” obtained by Ott’s own Salt Lake County Recorder’s Office indicated that Gary Ott hadn’t been paying his home equity loan for almost a year.

He said the "question of the hour" was where his brother's paycheck been going over the past 11 months. "That's a big question," Marty Ott said, adding that the default notice "absolutely" amplified his concerns for his brother.

Gary Ott earns nearly $190,000 annually in salary and benefits.

Sanone blamed an account number for the lack of payments. She said the loan default matter was a surprise to Ott and would be quickly sorted out.

Marty Ott said he and other family members have been troubled by his brother's situation and they planned to advocate for the man's best interests.

"All of our focus and energy is being directed to one thing: Gary's well-being," Marty Ott said on June 14.

Gill on Monday praised Gary Ott's "lifetime of devoted service" to the county, saying the situation is a tragic one.

"I share the same concerns about Gary and his health and I'm happy to see some family members are stepping up," Gill said, saying he wants the best for Ott.

Issues surrounding Ott have led to a series of recent closed sessions by the Salt Lake County Council, which last week announced plans to use its power of the purse strings to take action against the recorder's office. A discussion of the budget for the recorder's office was set for Tuesday but has been postponed.

That comes after at least two closed meetings with the district attorney to discuss a "personnel matter," according to the council's agenda.

Bound by closed meetings rules, council members have been tight-lipped about the details of those discussions, but the meetings came after Mayor Ben McAdams called for Ott's resignation following the Deseret News' ongoing investigation into Ott's well-being.

Earlier this month, Sanone said Ott, 66, is considering retirement before the end of his current term, which ends in 2020.

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Sister, brother file for legal guardianship of embattled county recorder

Archangels of Justice Podcast With Salvatore E. Rastrelli and Ira B. Robins

Archangels of Justice is a podcast that follows two experienced private investigators, as they look into different cases involving misclassified murders, law enforcement corruption, and the wrongfully imprisoned. 

Each series will take the listener on a journey through these complex cases and give the families point of view along with law enforcement and crime scene experts. Investigators, Salvatore E. Rastrelli and Ira B. Robins review actual cases to identify the problems within the justice system and determine the cures. 

They seek to reverse the breakdown in public trust, alleviate the hostility on both sides, and reduce the number of senseless deaths. Both are former police officers and private investigators with more than 88 years combined investigative experience. It’s been easy for law enforcement to misclassify crimes like murders as suicides or robberies as thefts because of inept police work, to reduce their crime statistics, or to tip the scales to wrongfully convict someone they decide is guilty, or to protect one of their friends. 

They cover-up their own criminal conduct involving wrongful death and brutality by hiding facts and lying. Rastrelli and Robins have the courage to assist those who have had their civil rights trampled by corrupt police and prosecutors. 

They review cases submitted by victim’s families, find the ineptitude or misconduct, and reveal methods to alleviate the problems in order to effect change. 

Each series, will take the viewer on journey, as they will see both sides of the issue and the facts will be presented in way that ultimately the viewer has to decide what they believe. 

Our hope is that this will lead to a serious public conversation about the training and responsibilities of our Law Enforcement. The Archangels of Justice are will lead this conversation to make sure Law Enforcement and Courts answer for their mistakes.

View the podcast on ITunes

Two charged with taking financial advantage of elderly people

Louise McLendon
Two people have been arrested and charged with taking financial advantage of elderly people.

On June 21, investigators with the Dothan Police Department arrested and charged Stephen Fredrick Beck III, 36, of Dothan, with financial exploitation of the elderly and identity theft.

According to Dothan Police Lt. Will Glover, Beck had taken advantage of a family member with health issues, which benefited Beck with an automobile. He also used the same family member’s name to obtain automobile insurance on the vehicle. However, once the victim realized what had occurred, she contacted the Dothan Police Department.

Investigators also arrested and charged Louise McLendon, 66, of Dothan, with financial exploitation of the elderly. McLendon was the caregiver for a 76 year-old victim.

According to Glover, family members of the victim noticed a decrease in the victim’s checking account. Glover said the suspect had written several checks totaling $7,000, and forged the victim’s signature.

Both cases are still being investigated by the Dothan Police Department. Anyone with any additional information can call the Dothan Police Department at 334-615-3000.

A person convicted of taking at least $2,500 in cash or property through exploitation of an elderly person is guilty of a Class B felony, punishable by between 2 and 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000.

Full Article & Source:
Two charged with taking financial advantage of elderly people

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Dennis Crawford Imprisoned For Financial Exploitation Of Ward

DATE/TIME: 11/20/15 @ 1100 hours LOCATION: Derby, VT VIOLATION: Financial Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult, Grand Larceny, Abuse Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult, False Information to a Law Enforcement Officer ACCUSED: Dennis Crawford AGE:46 CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE: Orleans, VT VICTIM: Theodore Ackley AGE:86 CITY, STATE OF RESIDENCE: Derby, VT SUMMARY OF INCIDENT: In August 2015 the Vermont State Police became involved with a case involving a vulnerable adult and a family member who was taking advantage of him. On 11/20/15 after several months of investigation a search warrant was executed at the residence of Crawford with the help of Border Patrol K-9 Unit, VSP Computer Crimes and local BCI personnel to look for further evidence of the above crime. Crawford was arrested for the above violations and taken before the Judge. Crawford was released on conditions.

Dennis Crawford Imprisoned For Financial Exploitation Of Ward


The United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Dennis Crawford, 48, who now lives in St. Johnsbury and formerly lived in Newport and Orleans, was sentenced today in United States District Court in Rutland to 18 months of imprisonment following his guilty plea to a charge of wire fraud. U.S. District Judge Geoffrey Crawford also ordered that Crawford serve three years of supervised release following completion of his prison term and pay restitution of more than $77,000. The court ordered Crawford to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on Aug. 1 to begin serving his sentence.

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Dennis Crawford Imprisoned For Financial Exploitation Of Ward

Law license of former York County probate judge suspended for 2 years

Former York County Probate Court Judge Robert Nadeau.
The Maine Supreme Judicial Court has suspended the law license of former York County Probate Judge Robert Nadeau for two years for multiple violations of the state’s code of judicial conduct.

The court’s 34-page decision, handed down Tuesday, is the latest setback for Nadeau. He was suspended 30 days last summer while he was still on the bench, then lost his bid for re-election in November.

Nadeau has been operating a law practice in Biddeford, but will not be allowed to practice in Maine for two years beginning Aug. 1. He also must pay a $5,000 fine.

“This is now the fourth time that Judge Nadeau has appeared before us for ethical violations and the third time for conduct that occurred while serving in a judicial capacity,” the court’s ruling states. “Here, his actions were often carried out in an intemperate and vindictive fashion against former colleagues of his law practice and their associates. Attorneys’ reputations were harmed, and litigants before him were pressured to support his efforts to increase court resources and his compensation.”

Despite the ruling, Nadeau defended his record in a statement Tuesday night.

“I am proud to have made a positive difference in the lives of nearly 20,000 children, adult incapacitated persons, and their parents, grandparents, adult children and others during my 16 years of service for York County and its probate court,” Nadeau said in an email. “This is so, despite the probate court’s woeful lack of adequate support and exercise of substantial interference by its county commissioners and despite the unfortunately high degree of politicization of Maine’s elected private judges by those commissioners, their uninformed manager and probate register, the York County bar, and others who oppose an elected judiciary.”

Nadeau was first elected as probate judge in York County in 1996. He served three four-year terms before losing re-election in 2008. However, he won back his seat in 2012.

The most recent allegations against him were detailed in a report filed Jan. 16, 2016, by the state’s Committee on Judicial Responsibility and Disability, which governs members of the bar.

Full Article & Source:
Law license of former York County probate judge suspended for 2 years

Woman charged after police say she wiped out mother's bank accounts

KANAWHA COUNTY, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- A woman is being charged after police say she neglected and exploited her elderly mother.

Amanda Reavis, 36, is charged with abuse or neglect of an incapacitated adult and financial exploitation of an elderly person.

According to a criminal complaint, Reavis' mother was admitted to the hospital in August 2016 with a low body mass index and cognitive abilities in decline.

Dunbar Police say Reavis has had power of attorney of her mother since January of 2015 to oversee her mother's health, well-being and her financial affairs.

Reavis took control of two of her mother's bank accounts, one of which had $58,000 in it. By March 2016, police say that account was down to just $85.

Police say from September 2015 to September 2016, Reavis was also receiving monthly social security deposits for her mother, each totaling $1,724.

According to the criminal complaint, Reavis left her mother in less than desirable conditions which included bed sores, soiled clothing and being placed in a bedroom with little to no interaction.

Reavis was turned into Adult Protection Services for neglect.

Full Article & Source:
Woman charged after police say she wiped out mother's bank accounts

Monday, June 26, 2017

Former Guardian Jailed After Missing Report Deadline

Laura Cooper
The former guardian of a Jefferson County widow is being held without bail until she accounts for hundreds of thousands of dollars advocates say is missing.

According to court documents, 43-year-old Laura Cooper of Clinton, Arkansas appeared in a Tallahassee courtroom on Tuesday to plead for more time to produce a guardianship report.

But Leon Circuit Judge Robert Long ordered Cooper held without bond until she produces a report the court first demanded May 24th.

Advocates for Delores Caracci contend more than $400,000 in cash, real estate, and vehicles is missing from her estate.

Full Article & Source:
Former Guardian Jailed After Missing Report Deadline

Governor Bill Haslam signs bills to protect elderly citizens from exploitation, abuse

(WJHL) – Gov. Bill Haslam signed two bills into law on Wednesday, both meant to better protect the elderly in Tennessee.

One of the laws aims to do more to stop people from financially exploiting senior citizens.

Co-sponsor Sen. Rusty Crowe said banks were previously afraid to report the crime due to liability concerns, so lawmakers made a change to give those banks better protection and direction.

In addition to financial exploitation, the law also increases penalties for people who abuse or exploit the elderly or vulnerable adults.

State senators credit our 2013 Community Watchdog investigation as the reason for their continued focus on elder abuse.

That investigation prompted harsher penalties and the creation of a state elderly and vulnerable abuse task force.

Full Article & Source:
Governor Bill Haslam signs bills to protect elderly citizens from exploitation, abuse

Antipsychotics Found to Harm Hospice Patients With Delirium

A February 16, 2017 article in Neurology Today takes aim at the harmful misuse use of antipsychotic drugs to treat symptoms of delirium for patients receiving hospice care.

The article, "Antipsychotics Found Ineffective for Patients with Delirium in Palliative Care", is centered on a recent study in which Haldol and Risperdal were found to worsen delirium and increase mortality when given to hospice patients. Patients given a placebo fared better. The authors conclusion: “Antipsychotic drugs should not be added to manage specific symptoms of delirium that are known to be associated with distress in patients receiving palliative care who have mild to moderately severe delirium.” Non-pharmacological approaches were recommended.

Antipsychotics Found to Harm Hospice Patients With Delirium