Thursday, July 24, 2014

Conflict of Interest? Explanations Needed!

In 2012, longtime Portsmouth resident, 92-year-old Geraldine Webber, changed her will to make then 33-year-old officer Aaron Goodwin the primary beneficiary of her estate and it is the year she died.

Also, in 2012, the state of New Hampshire earned a "D" on the New Hampshire Corruption Risk Report Card (www.stateintegrity.org/new_hampshire) by the State Integrity Investigation (a joint project of the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International.

Police Sgt. Goodwin claims he received ethical clearance from his "superiors" to pursue a personal relationship with a woman in her 90s afflicted with dementia, enabling him to become the primary beneficiary of her $2.7 million estate, which resulted in the disinheritance of her only surviving relative (a disabled grandson) and of her long-term local friends who took her for meals and provided rides, structure and socialization for her for more than a decade, and also reduced inheritances for esteemed health care and educational institutions, and our own Portsmouth Police and Fire Departments (that is, the taxpaying citizens who employ Goodwin).

Ironically, as can be seen in Webber's 2012 estate planning DVD prepared by attorney Gary Holmes, Webber laments that she does not know how to reach Whitey Bulger, a career criminal linked to corrupt law enforcement in the 1970s. She would like to hire him to knock off anyone who tries to interfere in her plans to change her will. In addition to noting her questionable mental status on the DVD, one can only speculate about why Webber dwelled on the memory of a criminal noteworthy for his links to corrupt law enforcement during the process to revise her will.
 
The public needs to know if Goodwin is accurate in his claim that the leadership of the Portsmouth Police Department "cleared" him of "any ethical conflicts" when he pursued a relationship with Webber, as reported in the Portsmouth Herald's July 9 publication. The public also needs to know on what basis Goodwin's "superiors" make their ethical decisions.
 
The impact of questionable ethical guidance must not be swept under the rug through a mediated out-of-court settlement as is being advocated by the legal representation for Goodwin, attorney Chuck Doleac, and for attorney Gary Holmes who revised Webber's will in 2012; defense of this 2012 will is being provided by attorney Ralph Holmes.
 

Hospice Care: Separating Fact From Fiction

In the living room, a grandfather laughs and plays video games with his granddaughters. Later, he joins the rest of his family to say grace before enjoying a meal together. Moments of life like these may seem ordinary to most; so you may be surprised to learn this grandfather, Robert Mihelbergel from Buffalo, New York, was dying and on hospice care.

Many people think that being on hospice means lying in a bed, barely conscious. Mihelbergel was a patient who proves that is not case. Many of his final moments were anything but ordinary and they would not have been possible without the help of hospice.
Mihelbergel’s experience is not unique. The mission of hospice is to provide specialized care for end-of-life patients and their families. More simply, hospice care supports living one’s life to the fullest with dignity regardless of how much time remains. When Mihelbergel was diagnosed with cancer, he wondered “if there was any chance of getting my quality of life back while I was still alive. I knew at that moment it was time to call hospice,” he said in an interview prior to his passing.

There are many common myths about hospice, here are a few:
Myth: Hospice care means leaving home.
Myth: Hospice means forgoing all medical treatment.
Myth: Hospice means strangers care for you.
Myth: Hospice care ends when someone dies.
Myth: People on hospice are in bed, waiting to die.

Full Article and Source:
Hospice Care: Separating Fact From Fiction

Maintenance Worker Charged With Theft From Probate Court Office

A Saginaw County maintenance employee is charged with larceny in connection with the theft of money from the county's Probate Court office.

Sandra L. Burger, 57, is charged with larceny from a building, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison.

Burger's arrest warrant alleges she stole money from the office, housed in the Saginaw County Governmental Center at 111 S. Michigan in Saginaw, from May 9 to June 17.

Full Article and Source:
Saginaw County Maintenance Worker Charged With Larceny in $525 Theft From Probate Court Office

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness: Denied in San Bernadino County

An elderly woman with Alzheimer's disease was taken from her home, imprisoned, and isolated at an assisted living facility. A step-granddaughter seized the entire estate. Sheriff's deputies aided and abetted the crimes. Social services agencies ignored the abuse. California Assembly Bill AB 937 (2013) was passed in response to the unlawful isolation.

Source:
Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness: Denied in San Bernadino County

See Also:
Carol Hahn, California Victim

AZ: Siblings Sue Candidate for Secretary of State Over Trust Money

A lawsuit filed by six siblings of Wil Cardon accuses the candidate for Arizona secretary of state of abusing family trust funds with spending on his unsuccessful U.S. Senate candidacy in 2012 and to support a lavish lifestyle.

The suit filed July 16 in Maricopa County Superior Court contends that Cardon abused his role as trustee by improperly transferring $6.5 million for the 2012 campaign and an additional $3.2 million to himself this year.

Cardon is one of three candidates running for the Republican nomination for secretary of state.

Source:
Siblings Sue Wil Cardon Over Trust Money

Nursing Home Administrator Charged With Financial Exploitation

A nursing home administrator was charged with four counts of financial exploitation, the state attorney general’s office reported Tuesday.

Roberta Donaldson, 67, is the administrator of the Willow Haven Nursing Home, in Tonkawa.
On June 9, 2011, Donaldson told the nursing home’s receiver she wanted to buy four brown leather recliners for the nursing home’s common area, according to the probable cause affidavit.

That day, a fund that held money in trust for residents’ personal use had been taken. The amount totaled to $1,691.69 all together. None of the residents’ family members or guardians were consulted before the purchase was made, according to the affidavit.

Donaldson said it was a proper expenditure of the money from the fund when the receiver asked her four days later, according to court documents.

Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigators found Donaldson claimed she was given permission by the residents’ families to use the money in the trust funds.

Donaldson could face up to 40 years in prison and fines of up to $40,000 if convicted.

Source:
Nursing Home Administrator Charged With Financial Exploitation

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Facility Employee, Cesar Ulloa, Gets Life in Elder Abuse Case

A former employee at a Calabasas senior living facility has been sentenced to life in prison nearly three years after allegedly abusing several elderly residents.

In April a jury found Cesar Ulloa guilty of torture and seven counts of elder abuse committed in 2007 at the Calabasas Silverado Senior Living home, which specializes in caring for people with dementia and other memory-impairing diseases.

Ulloa, 21, was sentenced two weeks ago to six years for elder abuse and a life sentence for torture. The victims—three men and one woman—all suffered from dementia and were unable to speak or report the abuse.

The Reseda resident was a caregiver at Silverado between February and November 2007, according to the Los Angeles district attorney’s office.

Dep. District Attorney Robin Allen said Judge Martin Hercovitz sentenced Ulloa after several family members of the victims spoke of their loss and anger. Allen is with the district attorney’s elder abuse unit.

He did say that some stories, including one that Ulloa jumped off a dresser onto a client, were “bogus.” But he emphasized that Ulloa was absolutely guilty of abuse and was likely a sociopath, comparing him to serial killer Ted Bundy.

“We had no clue of his actions,” Shook said. “In every way he looked like the model caregiver. He had all the characteristics of a sociopath. No one can determine the problems until they see the trail left behind. That’s how this guy duped us.”

Authorities were alerted after a Silverado employee called 80- year-old Elmore Kittower’s widow and told her that her husband’s death in November 2007 was the result of abuse.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department arrested Ulloa in October 2008 after a yearlong investigation that revealed Kittower had been abused for months before his death.

Full Article and Source:
Employee Gets Life in Elder Abuse Case

See Also:
Brutal Abuse at Calabasais Retirement Home

State Sues Arlington Nursing Home, Alleging Neglect of Patients

The state is suing Oakwood Nursing and Rehabilitation in Arlington over allegations that patients with pressure sores did not receive proper treatment, including one man who died of an infection after he was hospitalized.

The suit against Oakwood was filed earlier this month in Tarrant County court by the Texas attorney general’s office on behalf of the Department of Aging and Disability Services, the agency that regulates and licenses nursing facilities. The department conducted investigations in March and April of 2013 after receiving complaints about treatment of patients with pressure sores.

The suit is seeking up to $20,000 per violation, alleging that Oakwood violated minimum care standards, and health and safety codes for treating patients with pressure sores, commonly known as bed sores, and for failing to maintain proper medical records.

 The state is also seeking permanent injunctions against the company to prohibit operating nursing facilities in violation of licensing standards and from failing to properly monitor patients with pressure sores.

 Recommended penalties
Gale said the agency recommended penalties including termination of Medicare and Medicaid certification, but the state’s recommendation was rescinded by the federal government. 

 Other recommendations included denial of payments for new Medicare and Medicaid admissions, and the federal government imposed that penalty from May 11 through June 30 of 2013. Oakwood was also ordered to pay a $156,835 penalty.

 Oakwood has also applied to renew its license, which expires on Aug. 1 of this year.

This is the second lawsuit to be filed by the attorney general in recent weeks against assisted living or nursing facilities.

Full Article and Source:
State Sues Arlington Nursing Home, Alleging Neglect of Patients

Read more here: http://www.star-telegram.com/2014/06/19/5912544/state-sues-arlington-facility.html?rh=1#storylink=cpy

97-Year-Old Veteran: CA Retirement Home Booted Me to Homeless Shelter for Ukulele Music

A 97-year-old California man said he was recently forced to move from his retirement home to a homeless shelter because he was playing the ukulele too much.

Jim Farrell explained to KPIX that Redwood Retirement Residence in Napa took issue with his love for music.
“Management continually suppressed my talents,” he recalled.

“Management would stop me and say these words: ‘Go back to your room!’ Like a kid,” Farrell said. “No more.”

Farrell’s caretaker, Carol Elridge, pointed out that she only had a few weeks notice that he was being evicted.

“You just don’t put a 97-year-old on the street,” she remarked.

As of last Thursday, Farrell had spent three nights in a local homeless shelter.

“Here’s this frail man and he’s got his head held up high going in the doors of this shelter and knowing that this is not the place I ever expected him to ever be,” Elridge lamented.

Redwood Retirement, however, insisted to KTVU that it had evicted Farrell because his messy room had become a health hazard, and his behavior had become aggressive.

Farrell said that the facility sent him a $1,500 cleaning bill, making it impossible for him to afford to pay rent.

But on Friday, the 97-year-old veteran of three wars caught a break. An anonymous Napa resident donated enough money to help him move into Piner’s Nursing Home. His veteran’s benefits should be enough to cover his month-to-month expenses.

“Wonderful people are helping me. Beautiful people. Beautiful women,” Farrell observed.

Full Article and Source:
97-Year-Old Veteran:  CA retirement home booted me to homeless shelter for ukulele music