Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Guardianship Abuse Spreads to Pennsylvania Part 2

by  Michael Volpe

When F. Harvey Whitten was a medic in the Korean War, he held dying soldiers in his arm so they wouldn’t die alone, now at the behest of the Montgomery County (Pennsylvania) Orphans Court and its main players- Judge Stanley Ott and Diane Zabowski- Whitten is headed toward that very fate.

Harvey, a long term advertising executive, is worth millions if not tens of millions.  Harvey is also gay and was in a long term relationship with Robert Sprau.

In 2010,  Harvey Whitten had a stroke and was diagnosed with vascular dementia causing some of Whitten’s nieces and nephews to petitioned the court to have Harvey Whitten guardianized and the case wound up in front of Judge Stanley Ott, of the Orphan’s Court of Montgomery County. Like in the previous case involving Jannie Myers, Ott eschewed Whitten’s request for his own counsel and ordered Diane Zabowski to act as his counsel.

During a fact finding interview with Zabowski, Coz remembers that Zabowski was fixated for most of the duration of the interview on Harvey being gay and at one point remarked that the Whitten family was one of the most dysfunctional she’d known.

In fact, both Mary and Coz say their family is far from dysfunctional and the charge was absurd and provocative.

A long protracted family legal fight was avoided, when Harvey Whitten was declared incapacitated and Coz and Robert Sprau agreed to be the guardian and co-guardian on August 11, 2011. Harvey Whitten went to live with Sprau at his retirement home at the  Shannondell in Audobon Pennsylvania. The Shannondell is considered among the most magnificent retirement communities in the country. Univest Bank was made guardian of the estate and their employee Julianna Van Duyne-King was the point person because Judge Ott had worked with her before.

In 2012 Sprau developed an aggressive lung cancer and passed away on September 22, 2012, but not before handpicking the aides who would be with Harvey twenty four hours a day while he continued living in Shannondell.

Zabowski then lobbied to have Deborah Klock, a nurse, to replace Sprau as co-gaurdian on November 16, 2012.

Both Mary and Coz told RebelPundit that Klock exhibited problems right away. Mary Whitten especially has written numerous complaints against Klock in which she alleges: Klock impersonated a family member, made herself the emergency contact, and changed the medication with notifying the family.

The change in medications done behind the family’s back, say Mary and Coz, caused Harvey to have a psychotic break at the end of 2012. He began experiencing various ailments and outbursts went from Shannondell to three hospitals in January 2013, before winding up in the Meadows at the beginning of February 2013; the Meadows is a psychiatric unit for especially difficult cases also located within the Shannondell confines only unlike the rest of the place, this portion is much like something from One Flew Over a Cuckoo’s Nest.

Full Article & Source:
Guardianship Abuse Spreads to Pennsylvania Part 2

See Also:
Guardianship Abuse Spreads to Pennsylvania

Boomers Beware of Guardianship Abuse

Harvey Whitten, Pennsylvania Victim


NASGA Member said...

It never ceases to amaze me how the widespread overuse of psychotropic drugs is not prosecuted.

Barbara said...

Drugging of the elderly should be prosecuted. If it were, some of the facilities would quit doing it.

I will pray for the Whitten family.

Brian said...

Another good article, thanks Michael Volpe!

StandUp said...

Mr. Whitten certainly sounds like he was a kind and gentle soul and he deserves better. I hope this article is spread across the country.

Anonymous said...

All the current guardians want is Whitten's money and they'll continue to get it until he dies. Removing the niece was a big red glad of their greedy intent.

Laurie said...

Dysfunctional my arse. This family loves Harvey.

Anonymous said...

Another great report by journalist Michael Volpe. Harvey Whitten's story is a lesson to all that you must have advance directives so your family can take care of you without a guardianship. We all get old or vulnerable. We must look ahead!