Monday, March 21, 2016

Arguments Set In Metro Conservatorship Case

By Walter F. Roche Jr.

After months of inaction, a Davidson Circuit Court Judge has set a date for final arguments in a suit attempting to hold Metro Nashville government liable for funds stolen from a man locked in a conservatorship.

Senior Judge Ben Cantrell has signed an order setting deadlines for filings by both sides in the case and fixing a June 10 date for final arguments in his courtroom.

The case is one of two in which a specially appointed conservator is attempting to recoup money stolen from residents placed in conservatorships in Davidson County.

Disbarred Nashville attorney John E. Clemmons is currently serving a 17 year prison sentence after pleading guilty to stealing about $1 million from four clients including Donald Griggs.

Filing the suits was Paul Gontarek, who was appointed to replace Clemmons after the thefts were discovered. The suits charge that Metro government should be held liable for the losses because officials in the Davidson Probate Clerk's office failed to properly monitor Clemmons activities after his appointment as conservator.

Gontarek is seeking to recover $157,050 for Griggs, while the claim against Metro in another pending case is $515,907.

Gontarek was appointed by Davidson Probate Judge David "Randy" Kennedy.

Under the recent order from Cantrell both sides are required to file cross motions for summary judgment by April 1. Further responses are due on May 2 and May 13 to be followed by the June hearing.

Cantrell already has rejected a Metro motion to dismiss the case.

Clemmons, once a fixture in Davidson Probate Court, began serving his lengthy prison sentence in 2014, shortly after entering his guilty pleas. According to Department of Corrections records he is due for release on Nov. 16, 2038.

The cases filed by Gontarek were assigned to Cantrell after Circuit Court Judge Thomas Brothers recused himself from the cases.

Clemmons cases and several others led to a series of public hearings across the state by the Tennessee Bar Association. Subsequently a reform proposal was submitted to the General Assembly, approved and signed into law by Gov. Bill Haslam.


Full Article & Source:
Arguments Set In Metro Conservatorship Case


Sylvia Rudek said...

Guardianship / Conservatorship: In the best interest of the protected person? Or in the best financial interests of those who profit?

Deep appreciation to Walter F. Roche Jr. for his dedication and determination to educate society, to expose the truth of a broken out of control system.

StandUp said...

It is a conservator's duty to go after stolen funds. Seems like the devastation caused by John Clemons continue to grow.