Saturday, May 24, 2008

Macomb County Probate

An audit report about Macomb County Probate Court produced a scathing memo of the court that blames the judges for ongoing problems and has resulted in the suspension of the court administrator and an investigation into a guardianship and conservator company.

Carl Gromek, director of the State Court Administrative Office, wrote a May 16 three-page memo to the Supreme Court justices two days after The Whall Group of Auburn Hills issued its 113-page audit report.

Gromek blames many of the problems on the inability of the two judges -- Judge George and Judge Pamela Gilbert O'Sullivan -- to get along, and has resulted in low morale among the more than 40 employees at the Mount Clemens courthouse.

"The court has become dysfunctional"

"Staff morale has been destroyed by the acrimony and lack of communication between Judge George and Judge O'Sullivan"

"The acrimony between Judge George and Judge O'Sullivan eliminates any hope of these two judges correcting the problems that continue in the MCPC"

Gromek points out that O'Sullivan, when she was chief judge, and Administrator Donald Housey failed to implement recommendations made by the Whall Group in 2006 following a 2005 audit report.

"Many of the same conditions found in 2005 persist, and some conditions appear to have gotten worse"

"O'Sullivan demonstrated poor oversight of the Probate Court"

"George demonstrated poor oversight in appointing ADDMS Guardianship Services"

Because of the audit report, ADDMS will be suspended from handling any more cases, and its workload of 85 pending cases are being handed over to a group of 10 attorneys, who will work mostly pro bono. Attorney John Chase Jr. was named as a "special fiduciary" to oversee the group's handling of the cases and investigating any wrongdoing.

Full Article and Source:
Probate Court Lambasted

The head of the State Court Administrative Office has recommended the removal of Macomb County Chief Probate Judge Kathryn George as chief judge, in the wake of an audit that found "flagrant violations of both law and practice" and "outrageous conduct committed against the individuals that need protection the most" in conservator appointments by the judge.

Macomb Probate Court policy calls for the court's two judges to appoint guardians and conservators from a list of approved agencies on a rotating basis. But a Detroit News report in November found that George sent far more cases to Shelby Township-based ADDMS Guardianship Services than to the other agencies in the past two years.

"The responsibility for the problems with appointments lies with both judges"

The audit found that ADDMS charged exorbitant fees for its services and made questionable sales of the property owned by people for whom the firm was caring.

Full Article and Source:
Official: Remove chief judge


justice advocated said...

This national and ongoing problem must be addressed.lEGISLATORS MUST
Probate courts and their conservators/guardians are mishandling and abusing the rights of the elderly.
Locking them away, isolating from family and friends, taking their life savings and possessions and even worse, eventually in cases,thir lives!!
Thank you for the courageous journalists and others who speak out against this abuse of power.

Anonymous said...

Judges are to blame, and they know better. If overseeing guardianship cases are to much for them they they should hire and pay for someone or people to watch the cases out of county funds. The judges are to blame, because they care about their friend the attorneys and guardians, and all of their pockets and not the person that they should really be thinking of and that is the ward.

Anytime that a guardian is allowed by the court to sell property to someone for under the estimated value of that property, then they are not doing what is in the best intrest of the ward or their estate.

Anonymous said...

Crooked and inept Probate Judges are at the heart of the Guardianship problems! Here we seem to have both. I'm just glad to see this problem is getting the exposure it deserves and to warn others to stay out of court whenever possible!

Anonymous said...

More of the Guardianship racket is esposed. Thank you for your efforts and courage by opening the closet door.

Follow the $$$ sign: It is no secret that properties are routinely sold below market value to middlemen, who resell the properties for a profit.

The buying and selling of the Wards' properties can have a long list of individuals for the purpose of hiding information; tracking the trail of records, difficult if not impossible.

The amounts of the sales to the middlemen are "on the record" as the buyers. And, then the middlemen receives fees for services.

The real estate records, deeds etc. are hidden in a trail of records and names, with the true ownerships many times hidden in corporations in others names.

Again, this particular situation screams of many CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES, including blackmail and extortion.

WASHINGTON DC: The federal agents, FBI and others need to begin to investigate the entire probate racket, including corrupt and/or lazy, uncaring judges - yesterday.

BEWARE: The Probate racket is organized crime at it's best and they have their eyes on US!

Anonymous said...

Judges should be held accountable for their part in the "crime" of guardianship/conservatorship and it's nice to hear somebody say it!

Judges pander to guardians/conservators and their lawyers and rubberstamp their every wish, while treating the "protected person's" family like second class citizens, or worse, and while treating the Wards as non-humans.

They could say "no" but they choose to say "yes".

The buck stops with the Judge. Sometimes maybe literally.

Anonymous said...

How does this happen? Knowing the truth has my belief in the justice system. It is unbelievable and time for an overhaul!

justice advocated said...

Thank the good judges (Judge Weaver)for holding the other judge
accountable and addressing the problem. And the 10 attys. now
handling the cases.
As more people become aware and
stand up for what is right and just, then we will hopefully weed out the corruption and give the elderly the rights they are due by law!!
The vulnerable need our voice to protect them and eventually ourselves in this national problem
that robs and abuses the seniors in
this country.

Anonymous said...

Judge Kathryn A. George has no business making decisions about the lives of other people. She and her buddies Alan Polack and Leonard Reinowski at ADDMS stole money from the most vulnerable people and have gotten away with it thus far. Let's hope the attorneys investigating her files now see the truth and get these people some justice.