Saturday, February 21, 2009

Fatal Druggings

Three high-level employees at Kern Valley Hospital District were arrested Wednesday for elder abuse and other charges.

The suspects worked for KVHD's skilled nursing facility in Lake Isabella and are accused of forcibly administering psychotropic drugs for staff convenience rather than the patients' medical needs.

Former director of nursing Gwen Hughes, former pharmacist Debbi Hayes and current staff physician Dr. Hoshang Pormir were arrested following a two-year investigation, according to a news release from California Attorney General Jerry Brown's office.

Full Article and Source:
Nursing home workers arrested in fatal druggings

More information:

The complaint alleges a nursing director, pharmacist and physician drugged at least 22 elderly residents with mood-altering medications to quiet and control them, leading to the deaths of three.
Reports detail fatal druggings at nursing facility

They were supposed to care for their patients. But instead a doctor, nurse and pharmacist are under arrest, accused of over-medicating Alzheimer's patients to make their jobs easier.
Hospital officials speak about employees' arrest

Psychotropic drugs were used to control residents who didn't need them at a Kern Valley Healthcare District center, complaint alleges. Three people died.
3 arrested in nursing home deaths in Lake Isabella

Plots Against the Elderly

Five people were indicted in four separate fraud schemes all aimed at weaseling elderly Valley residents out of their money.

Sylvia Cubit, a phlebotomist at Scottsdale Healthcare Shea, was indicted in a plot to steal patients' checkbooks and credit cards while they were staying in the hospital. When police searched her home, they found receipts for a TV, video-game system and gift cards.

Janice E. Lindahl faces 10 counts of fraud theft and elder abuse after police say she fleeced a 91-year-old neighbor who suffers from Alzheimer's, out of $85,000. Police say she convinced the Phoenix woman to sign over her power of attorney and allow Lindahl to pay her bills. According to the probable-cause statement, Lindahl purchased televisions, video-game systems and car work with the victim's money, and hired Lindahl's mother to care for the woman, even though the mother had no caregiving experience.

Nicholas King and Nathan Cameron Spotten have also been indicted. Police say they called elderly residents, claimed to be bank representatives and convinced the victims to give up debit-card and pin numbers.

Benjamin Baker pled guilty to attempting to take the identity of another on Feb. 6, when he opened a charge account using his 78-year-old grandmother's identity.

5 indicted in fraud plots against elderly

Fighting Financial Fraud

Julia Wyson, coordinator of the Financial Abuse Specialist Team in Ventura County, will give a free presentation on elder abuse at 11 a.m. Fri., March 6 at the Moorpark Active Adult Center, 799 Moorpark Ave.

Wyson will discuss the prevention, recognition and reporting of financial abuse of elders and dependent adults.

She will screen a 25-minute video titled "Fighting Financial Fraud" and offer free local resources and directories.

For more information or reservations, call (805) 517-6261

Free talk on elder abuse

The Child's Advocate (TCA)

A group of attorneys and mental health professionals have launched The Child's Advocate (TCA), a nonprofit which aims to ensure that every child who comes into contact with the courts has access to high quality (free) legal representation—and to ensure his or her psychological needs are met during the process.

In addition to full-time and trained pro bono attorneys, TCA will also have mental health workers with experience in child development and family dynamics on staff. This team will be able to represent the child in the most constructive manner and be able to determine whether additional services are needed. The organization expects to serve 100 to 300 children each year. It also hopes to be a model for other communities across the state and nation to replicate and to serve as a "think tank" on children's legal issues, as well.

Full Article and Source:
New Project Aims to Ensure Wake Children’s Voices Are Heard

Friday, February 20, 2009

Mother Files Appeal

The mother of a 30-year-old developmentally disabled woman who lives in a Norwich group home filed an appeal in Superior Court of a probate judge's denial of her request to be named legal guardian over her daughter.

Named in the appeal by Ophelia Coles, a Ledyard resident, is Salem Probate Judge John Butts; Department of Developmental Services Commissioner Peter O'Meara; James McGaughey, executive director of the state Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities; and Attorney Jeremy Booty, who was named the temporary guardian of Tyesha Coles. The case was first heard in Ledyard probate court over a year ago, but transferred to the Salem court after the mother complained to the state probate court administrator about the way her case was handled in Ledyard.

South Eastern Connecticut Advocates for Developmental Disabilities Inc., an advocacy group that represents families, has been working with Ophelia Coles and supporting her efforts to regain contact with her daughter.

The developmental services department initiated the guardianship change in 2006 after opening an investigation into charges that Tyesha had been abused and moved the young woman from the family's home in Ledyard to a group home. Ophelia Coles said no abuse occurred and no one was charged as a result of the investigation, and that the decision to appoint Booty as guardian was made before the investigation was concluded.

She said she wants her daughter to remain in the group home but would like to be able to visit and call her, and that group home staff and DDS officials have denied her and all members of her family from having any contact with her.

On Jan. 27, she said, she filed a neglect charge against the group home with the Office of Protection and Advocacy over Tyesha's care, based on what she observed the last time she was able to visit.

Full Article and Source:
Mother appeals decision in custody case

Lengthy Legal Battle

The fate of a 4-year-old boy at the center of a bitter custody battle may now be decided inside the Jackson County Family Court.

The Missouri Court of Appeals Western District recently ruled that the rights of the biological father cannot be terminated, stopping attempts by another metro area couple trying to adopt the child.

In legal documents, the Appeals Court will send the case back to the Jackson County Family Court a third time to decide if the child should remain with the one family he has always known or the biological father who began his fight for custody weeks after the child was born.

Full Article and Source:
Fate of 4-Year-Old Boy in Legal Limbo

More information:
Investigators: Adoption Dilemma

Legal Battle over KC Child Remains in Court

Opposition to Adoption Legislation

Senate Bill 68, sponsored by Shelby County Gary Tapp, would prevent unmarried couples from adopting children in Kentucky. Gatewood, a family court attorney who works on cases where abused and neglected children are looking for permanent homes and is also openly gay, said he believes the bill's intent is to prevent gay couples from adopting and is similar to legislation already filed in states.

Gatewood: "They're essentially creating a 'Catch 22.' They're arguing that we shouldn't be allowed to be parents because we're not married and they pass a law that says we can't be married...Senator Tapp wants to send the Cabinet for Health and Family services into people's bedrooms. Instead of looking at whether people are appropriate placements, have an acceptable home, or whether they have a criminal record, let's see if they're having sex."

Gatewood said the bill would have unintended consequences that would limit the number of homes where abused and neglected children could go.

David Edmunds, with the Family Foundation of Kentucky, said his nonprofit educational group supports the bill.

Edmunds: "This bill is about children's needs, not adults desires. All the statistics show that children do better in a married home. Unmarried homes are more likely to break up, more likely to foster abuse, and the statistics bare that out pretty consistently."

Edmunds rebuffed the idea that SB 68 was specifically targeting gays and lesbians.

Full Article and Source:
Opposition Grows To Kentucky Adoption Legislation

McDonalds Survey Scam

MS - Attorney General Jim Hood warns Mississippi citizens of a fraudulent email circulating in a form that claims to be a McDonalds Customer Satisfaction Survey. The completion of the customer satisfaction survey is not the real purpose of the email. The emails real purpose is to obtain consumers personal information.

The email congratulates the consumer on being selected to participate in a quick survey and encourages them to be a part of improving McDonalds services. As a thanks for completing the survey, the email states McDonalds will issue an $80 credit to your account. Once the survey form is completed, the consumer is prompted to enter their name, email address, credit card number, expiration date, verification number and pin number.

The Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney Generals Office confirmed with McDonalds corporate office that there is no association between McDonalds and this survey scam.

Attorney General Jim Hood: "Unfortunately, this is one of many examples where imposters use reputable companies to try to obtain personal information from consumers. Consumers should not respond to emails seeking personal information."

To report similar emails, please call the Mississippi Attorney General's Office, Consumer Protection Division at 1-800-281-4418.

McDonald’s Customer Survey Scam

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tighter Rules For Guardians

Lawmakers are moving to tighten Minnesota's standards for guardians and conservators, proposing wide-ranging changes to the largely unregulated system charged with safeguarding the lives and assets of citizens deemed unable to make their own decisions.

The House version of the bill, filed this week, would create a statewide register of guardians and conservators, and require them to alert the court each year if they were convicted of a crime or removed from a case by a judge. The legislation would also provide more opportunities to challenge a conservator's spending and the guardian's annual report on a ward's well-being.

It would create a 15-point bill of rights for wards and protected persons, including the right to treatment with dignity and respect, the ability to marry, vote, and visit with whomever a ward chooses, and to petition the court to end the guardianship.

The bill came on the heels of a Star Tribune report on the case of Peggy Greer of Excelsior.

Full Article and Source:
Minn. House bill urges tighter rules for guardians

Jury Selection Scheduled

Anthony "Tony" Marshall, Brooke Astor's only child, was indicted on criminal charges including grand larceny, possession of stolen property, forgery and conspiracy.

Jury selection for the criminal trial, which also involves Marshall's attorney, Francis Morrissey Jr., who faces charges including forgery and scheming to defraud, is scheduled to begin Monday.

A lawyer representing Marshall, Fred Hafetz, would say only that there would be "no plea" and that he hopes his client will "be vindicated."

Full Article and Source:
Brooke Astor would have been 'mortified' by son's trial

More information:
People of the State of N.Y. v. Anthony Marshall, Francis Morrissey

See also:
Marshall's Criminal Trial

Battle Over Royalty Rights

The family of Grammy award winning R & B artist, Donny Hathaway, is battling over royalty rights for the deceased singer.

Donny's daughter, Donnita is suing her step-mother Eulaulah Hathaway, her two half sisters, Kenya (a backup singer in the American Idol house band) and Lalah and Universal Music for fraud by not giving her royalties from her father's expansive and impressive music library catalogue.

Donnita claims that her step-mother has denied her existence, and that she was not Donny's daughter. However, A probate court has ruled that Donnita is one of Hathaway's heirs.

Full Article and Source:
Hathaway Family Lawsuit: Where Is The Love?

More information:
Court Documents (pdf)

Cohabitating Bill Fails

The legislature's House Health and Human Services Committee put a bill that would allow cohabitating people to adopt children on hold, after it didn't get enough support to pass.

The committee heard testimony from the public, with those against it arguing that traditional parents are better for children than a same-sex couple, and those in support stating there's no difference.

Those opposed to the bill argued that cohabitating couples could be granted guardianship and gain the same rights as adoption. But bill Sponsor Rebecca Chavez-Houck said there would be differences in Social Security and insurance benefits.

The bill failed five to one, and will how be held indefinitely.

Full Article and Source:
Bill to Allow Cohabitating People to Adopt Children Fails in Legislative Committee

More information:
Bill to Prohibit Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation Fails in Legislative Committee

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Brother Against Brother

In 2000, a doctor diagnosed Harry Sable with Alzheimer's disease. One year later, another physician found the elderly Cherry Hill man unable to care for himself or run his jewelry business, court papers say.

But in October 2003, one of his sons, Barry Sable, took him to a lawyer who drew up a new will. It left the entire estate of Harry Sable, then a married father of three, to one person -- Barry Sable.

That change, made weeks after Harry had been involuntarily committed, deepened a family feud and fueled a long legal battle between Barry Sable, a Burlington County resident, and a disinherited brother, Michael.

Now, a state appeals court has come down in Michael Sable's favor.

The three-judge panel upheld a Superior Court ruling that the October 2003 will, and another prepared a short time later, were invalid and were prepared under Barry Sable's undue influence. The judges also supported an order that Barry Sable must pay more than $700,000, an amount that includes money missing or spent improperly from his father's accounts, as well as legal expenses for his brother.

Full Article and Source:
Family feud reaches new heights

Seniors Being Victimized

Senior citizens increasingly are being victimized by desperate people looking for soft targets in Michigan's hard economy.

Fraud and violence against the elderly are on the rise throughout Metro Detroit, according to law enforcement and advocates for senior citizens.

"It's stunning, the level of violence we are beginning to see," said Thomas Wenzel, principal Wayne County prosecutor for elder abuse.

When seniors suffer physical, emotional and financial abuse, it's usually at the hands of relative caregivers. But local officials say they have seen a recent rise in violence and financial fraud against the elderly by strangers and others who won their trust. At a time when FBI statistics for Metro Detroit show decreases in the major reported criminal categories, prosecution of violent crimes against the elderly rose 75 percent last year in Macomb County. Overall crimes involving senior victims spiked 42 percent in Oakland County. In Wayne County, prosecutors say the numbers haven't risen, but the level of brutality involved in the crimes has.

Dangerous stereotype --
that the elderly are weak, easily confused and distrusting of banks during hard times -- is leading desperate people to believe they might be easy marks for scams, strong arm robbery and worse.

Full Article and Source:
Violence against seniors on the rise

Victim Breaks Silence

Exclusive Interview to Newschannel 15

The victim of an incest case says she endured more than a decade of abuse by her half brother, 46-year-old Donald Medsker. He is accused of fathering seven children with her over the course of about 15 years.

She tells Newschannel 15 that she's speaking out now because all five of the children who lived with her have been taken away by the state. She says she's never abused or neglected them, and feels like she's being blamed for what happened.

It started when Medsker gained custody of her when she was 1, right after their mother died.

"He was supposed to be my guardian. He was supposed to be the dad figure in my life and he abused that right, over and over again," she said.

By age 14, Medsker had allegedly gotten her pregnant. She says she felt helpless, had no where else to go, and no family to save her. Over the next 14 years, she says she had six more children by Medsker, and gave up two for adoption. She finally went to police after he allegedly began abusing one of them.

All five of her kids, ages one to ten, had been living with her until Thursday when police and social workers unexpectedly came and took them away.

"They acknowledged that they were here to take the kids and and I got no explanation."

Full Article and Source:
Incest victim breaks silence

Looking For Intruder

IN - An elderly Claymont woman was robbed by the same man she attempted to help earlier in the day, police reported.

About 10:30 p.m., the unemployed man returned to the woman’s home in the 300 block of Pyramid Avenue and told her his car had broken down and he needed to use her phone. The 75-year-old woman picked up her phone and handed it to the man, who was standing outside. When he was finished calling someone and she reached back outside to retrieve the phone, the man grabbed the her arm and forced his way inside.

New Castle County police spokesman Cpl. Trinidad Navarro said the intruder implied he was armed and threatened to kill the victim is she didn’t give him some money.

The victim, meanwhile, hit the man in the head with the phone and struck him in the body with a broom.

Navarro said the man ran upstairs to a bedroom while the woman ran to another room and called police. When officers arrived at the house minutes later, the man had already escaped.

The victim’s pocketbook was found in the bedroom turned upside down with no obvious items taken.

The victim told police the man first came to her door around 1 p.m. Thursday, asking if she needed someone to do her yard work. He told the woman he recently lost his job and needed to buy diapers for his child. The victim agreed to pay him $30 to rake leaves, which took about 40 minutes to complete.

After the woman paid him $30, he complained the she owed him more money. The woman refused to give him any more but allowed him to use her telephone outside before he left.

The man is about 5’9 inches tall, between 25-35, with short blonde hair. He was last seen wearing blue jeans and a plaid shirt.

Anyone with information on his identity is asked to call Detective Michael Zilinski at 395-8110 or Crime Stoppers at (800) TIP-3333.

Contact Terri Sanginiti at 324-2771 or

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

11-Year-Old Claims Guardian Abuse

The state Child Abuse Hotline was notified after an 11-year-old complained of excessive corporal punishment by his legal guardian.

The boy had been picked up by his mother for her weekly visitation when she noticed that his face was reddened and swollen. The boy told her that his guardian had slapped him several times following an argument.

The boy went on to say that he has been physically abused in the past, on occasion with a belt. An investigation is continuing.

Boy complains of abuse by legal guardian

Lawyer Offices Shut Down

The State Bar of California has shut down three Southern California offices of attorney Mitchell W. Roth, who was recently declared a "vexatious litigant" by a federal judge.

Roth, who had expanded his law practice to include foreclosure cases, has been hospitalized due to severe depression since Jan. 23, according to the State Bar. His other cases have involved credit, debt, collections, personal injury, medical malpractice, wills and trusts and probate. On Jan. 30, U.S. District Judge Manuel Real of the Central District of California declared Roth, who has filed dozens of lawsuits in recent months, a vexatious litigant.

The State Bar, using a court order, shut down Roth's offices in Sherman Oaks, San Diego and Riverside. A recording at his Sherman Oaks office said: "Due to the illness of attorney Mitchell W. Roth, this law office is temporarily closed."

The State Bar said it will inventory the files of Roth's law firm and notify clients of the developments.

Three Offices of Attorney Declared 'Vexatious Litigant' Shut Down

Elder Abuse Victims Act

The House of Representatives passed a bill that would fund elder abuse prosecution and establish education and therapy programs for victims and their families.

The Elder Abuse Victims Act sailed through the House with a 397-25 vote. As part of the bill, Congress would direct the attorney general's office to conduct research into current state and local elder abuse prevention programs. The legislation also would provide funding for elder abuse prosecution at local, state and federal levels, as well as law enforcement training and nurse-investigators to identify and evaluate elder abuse cases.

Full Article and Source:
House passes elder abuse legislation

See also:
Elder Abuse Victims Act of 2008

Lawyer Ethics Probe

The Iowa Supreme Court Attorney Discipline Board suspended the license of Marc Casey, a Dyersville lawyer, for two months for several ethical violations.

The charges stem from Casey's representation of clients in a 2001 personal injury case and a 2004 probate matter.

In the estate case, Casey told the district court he would have it resolved in 30 days but delayed so long that the court certified the matter as delinquent, according to the ruling. Casey did not take care of costs and documentation regarding a bequest, the ruling says. The discipline board tried to reach Casey about that case, but Casey did not respond. The board found many errors in Casey's work and discovered that Casey had taken his entire fee for the probate matter and placed it in his firms account before the final report was filed.

Full Article and Source:
Dyersville lawyer's license suspended in ethics probe

Monday, February 16, 2009

States Look to Uniform Guardian Laws

Guardian Kelly Qualey watched helplessly from afar as one of her wards, a vulnerable adult from Fargo, ended up with a convicted felon as a roommate after he moved to Texas.

Qualey’s guardianship didn’t travel with the man, who suffered from dementia and mental illness, because the state of Texas didn’t recognize her authority.

Ultimately, the former Fargo resident was placed in an assisted-living facility, where he is better protected from those who would prey upon the unsuspecting. But his case underscores the need for uniform state guardian laws, said Qualey, who is with Guardian and Protective Services.

North Dakota and Minnesota are among a handful of states considering legislation to adopt a standard guardianship law to prevent pitfalls such as the one Qualey’s client faced last year.

Full Article and Source:
ND, Minnesota look to uniform guardian laws

Abuse of Psychiatric Patients

Shock advocates have proven impervious to science and to public criticism. Like men who beat their wives and abuse their children, shock doctors escalate their violence when criticized. Like other abusers, criticism by itself will not stop them. Shock treatment must be banned. We can begin by banning it on children eighteen and younger, and involuntary adults.

Electroshock for Children and Involuntary Adults
by Dr. Peter Breggin

America and Australia are two countries I vastly admire. Nonetheless, they are continuing to abuse psychiatric patients with electroshock treatment (ECT). In America involuntary adults are being shocked despite the best efforts of psychiatric reformers. In Australia psychiatrists have taken shock treatment to a new level of barbarity by shocking 55 toddlers age four and younger in Victoria.

The controversy over shocking children has a long history. In 2000 before his untimely death, Steve Baldwin, at the time a professor of psychology in Australia, and his co-author Melissa Oxlad wrote a book reviewing and condemning the practice throughout the world.

Electroshock "treatment" was discovered in the 1930s in a slaughterhouse in Italy. Before being killed, hogs were knocked out by a jolt of electricity to the head and brain. If they weren't slaughtered, after a while the animals awoke and were able walk around on wobbly legs. Two Italian psychiatrists learned about this phenomenon and immediately tested it on an involuntary patient. The patient wasn't knocked out by the first jolt and struggled from the table screaming "Murder!" The doctors gave him a bigger jolt. When he awoke, he was docile and no longer complained. A miracle treatment was born and the two psychiatrists became famous.

Why in the world would medical doctors be so excited about a jolt of electricity that knocked out a hog without killing it?

Full Article and Source:
Electroshock for Children and Involuntary Adults

See also:
Remember Ray


Brookfield Probate Judge Joseph Secola, who in recent years has been the leading advocate on maintaining the current court system, said that Gov. M. Jodi "blindsided a lot of people" by calling last week for a consolidation of the probate jurisdictions from 117 to 36 as she attempts to restructure state operations during a time of severe fiscal crisis.

Mr. Secola staunchly opposed efforts by James Lawlor of Waterbury, the former court administrator, to consolidate the system in response to reports that it is financially insolvent.

Mr. Secola, who was initially elected in 2001, said in a phone interview that the current probate court structure allows for citizens, particularly immigrants, to get personal attention without the cost of having to be represented by a lawyer.

"I don't know who is giving her advice, but it is bad advice," Mr. Secola said of Mrs. Rell's announcement in her Feb. 4 budget address that she wants to pare down the size of the probate court system, which has been in place for 300 years.

Full Article and Source:
Brookfield's Probate Expert 'Blindsided' by Rell's Plan

See also:

Protection From Public Records

A bill currently under consideration by the state legislature would remove Social Security numbers and birthdates from state probate records, and it is a bill that Covington County Probate Judge Ben Bowden favors.

Bowden: "I am in favor of anything that would protect the identity of our citizens. I’m for this bill and want to work with my fellow probate judges across the state to develop some means to protect this kind of information."

Information like Social Security numbers and birthdates is listed on public records held at the state’s county probate offices. However, as more of that information is being transferred to the Internet, questions have arisen about the safety of including such information in a place where anyone could easily access it.

Bowden said the bill would remove SSNs and similar information from probate records in the future, both hard copy and online archives. He added that there are ways to mask the information in the existing digital archives, but doing the same for the bound printed public record may prove to be difficult.

The bill is enumerated as S.B. 11 and is sponsored by Sen. Kim Benefield.

Full Article and Source:
Bill could remove SSNs from records

See also:
Probate and Identity Theft

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Grand Jury Investigation

A state agency denies a license for the former president of the industry group that represents professional guardians and says she made false claims on her application. She denies lying.

One of California's most prominent professional conservators has been denied a license by the state and is the focus of a grand jury investigation.

The decision to deny Melodie Jo Scott a license marks a significant shift in the oversight of professional conservators, who answered only to probate judges until a 2005 Times series highlighted abuse in the field and prompted a licensing requirement that took effect in January.

Until this year, conservators, who control the healthcare and finances of adults deemed in Probate Court to be incapable of looking after themselves, were less regulated than hairdressers and guide-dog trainers. The Times series described how some were able to gain control over the lives and finances of elderly adults without their knowledge or consent, neglect their wards, isolate them from relatives, run up fees and in some cases steal from their clients.

Scott's licensing problems come as the San Bernardino County grand jury is examining many of her cases as well as others handled by a former associate, Lawrence A. Dean II.

Records show that Probate Court officials began delivering case files involving both conservators to the grand jury in October. They provided more files as recently as last month.

Full Article and Source:
Conservator Melodie Jo Scott under investigation

See also:
Conservator Could Be Out of Business

Money Used Up

An Excelsior woman joined the ranks of Minnesotans who lose control of their finances to lightly regulated guardians and conservators.

Peggy Greer will be 86 in March. That month will mark the fourth anniversary of her strange journey through the justice system in which she overcame a life crisis but her assets disappeared with the approval of a Hennepin County judge.

For more than two years, Greer was among a growing number of Minnesotans living under the authority of a guardian and conservator. The court- appointed officials had broad power over her life once a judge deemed Greer incapable of making decisions about her housing, health care or finances.

Disturbed by the decisions made on her behalf, Greer repeatedly fought to regain control of her affairs. During that time, the guardian, Professional Fiduciary Inc. (PFI), and the conservator, Wells Fargo Elder Services, spent more than $600,000 of her money, much of it on health care for her that some family members called excessive. Nearly $100,000 went to lawyers.

Greer: "My money was all used up, was all gone, without my knowledge or OK or anything."

In Greer's case, in the spring of 2007, the guardian no longer opposed having her rights restored. The change coincided with the fact that Greer's assets had been exhausted.

Full Article and Source:
2 years, $672,808 gone

State to Take Guardianship

Iowa Gov. Chet Culver said Monday he'll likely call for tougher state laws after the discovery that mentally disabled men from Texas had for years been lodged in an unsafe and poorly heated house while working at an eastern Iowa turkey processing plant.

The governor said local officials were going to court to allow the state to take guardianship of the men and would launch an investigation of how the situation in Muscatine County was allowed to continue for 20 years.

"It's too soon to know the extent of the potential criminal and civil penalties and fines," Culver said at a Statehouse news conference. "This is going to be a very extensive and thorough legal process."

Culver appeared with Department of Human Services director Gene Gessow, who said the state first became aware of the situation last Thursday when a caller to a DHS hot line reported the abuse.

Iowa may seek new laws after turkey plant reports

More information:
Bunkhouse case may move slowly

Iowa agency: Housing disabled men was criminal

Iowa probes plant that employed mentally retarded

FBI Investigates Employer Of Mentally Disabled Workers Found In ...

See also:
"Kind Care"

Adoptive Dad Fights For Benefits

Wayne LaRue Smith wanted to ensure that the foster child he was raising wouldn't be taken from him, so he sought permanent guardianship. He really wanted to adopt the boy, but under a 32-year-old Florida law that bans adoption by gay people, that seemed out of the question.

Now, two years later, Smith faces a legal Catch 22. In August, a Key West judge declared the state's gay adoption law unconstitutional, allowing Smith to adopt his foster son. But state child welfare administrators have declined to provide the boy a host of financial benefits available to foster kids who are adopted.

Their reason: Because the boy was already in a guardianship, he was no longer a foster child when he was adopted.

Department of Children & Families Secretary George Sheldon: ''We have never granted an adoption subsidy in a guardianship case.''

Full Article and Source:
Gay adoptive dad fights for state benefits for his child

See also:
High Court To Rule

Adoption Ban Ruled Unconstitutional