Saturday, May 23, 2009

♪ My Mother ♪

My mother and father were married for 62 years. Nothing meant more to them than their family. Within one month of his death in late 2007, her health and the assurance of a comfortable lifestyle were at risk. My father’s directives for his wife’s care didn’t match my sister’s plans. I asked a Court to examine my mother’s circumstances and appoint a Guardian and a Conservator for her. Michigan laws narrowed the field of appointees to one or both daughters, her legally designated nominees – if they were “willing and able to serve.” Both of us were willing. I was the more active medical advocate and the only daughter entrusted with financial authority at the time. It didn’t matter which role was assigned to whom, as long our parents’ wishes were honored, with accountability under law.

Macomb County Probate Court

Regarding Petitions to Appoint a Guardian and a Conservator for an Alleged Legally Incapacitated Individual

Allusions to family animosity provide unscrupulous judges and attorneys with excuses to dwell comfortably amid dirt and trash under the snowy landscape of Law. Whether through omission or commission, sins of guardianship are traced to the doors of a derelict Court. Among Michigan’s 83 counties, several preserve the archaic practice of appointing attorneys as Guardians; Macomb is one.

♪ “The hangin' judge came in unnoticed and was being wined and dined . . .” A ‘Godchild’ Attorney drafted my mother’s legal papers. He is a family relation, my sister’s attorney, and I consulted with him and his son (another attorney) as my parents’ agent. The Court was required to examine two Power of Attorney documents - the validity of one was a petition subject, and the other included my mother’s choices for a Guardian and a Conservator in event of a protective proceeding. The Godchild Attorney initiated false rumors to the Court and warned prospective Hearing witnesses to stay home and seal their lips about negligent care. He pre-briefed the Guardian Ad Litem #1 (GAL), who filed a biased Report to the Court on all substantial matters, to my denigration. In negligence of duty, the GAL did not confirm the existence of my mothers legal documents. He implied that the Godchild Attorney represented his Godmother’s interests, so he did not ask the Court to appoint an attorney for her. He reported that my mother would attend the Hearing; dressed and ready to go, she was denied that right, too. The GAL falsely claimed that my mother shared my sister’s views, a historically preposterous contradiction. To conceal discovery of the documents and other legal faux pas, the Godchild Attorney fashioned a contesting case and a conspiratorial relationship with the Court, my sister and the future Guardian-Conservator.

The Chief Court Attorney ‘lost’ Proofs of Service and Hearing Notices mailed USPS Certified. Ex-Chief Justice Kathryn George permitted the Godchild Attorney’s Son to represent my sister without question as to authority. When a witness exposed conflicts of interest due to multi-layered relationships, he perjured himself. Judge George failed to address the allegation concerning the legal documents and my mother’s designated nominees. Suppressing the questionable documents provided a convenient opportunity to bypass rules of succession to the roles. She did not address the Petition to Appoint a Guardian. The judge focused attention on the young attorney’s attempts to counter allegations by accusing me of having unlawfully taken possession of my mother’s funds. That being an improvable falsehood, Judge George availed herself of the exaggerated dualistic positions between daughters and asserted that there was a “schism” regarding financial matters. Considering herself to have duly assessed the need to preserve and protect my mother’s estate, she stated her Decision to appoint an Interim Conservator from the Court’s rotating stable of attorneys. The Hearing was dismissed.

After the Hearing, the Chief Court Attorney could not explain why Ex-Chief Justice George did not mention an inevitable future Hearing on the interim (‘meanwhile’ or ‘temporary’) appointment. He claimed to have no knowledge of the Court’s procedures and administrative rules regarding such an Order. He didn’t know anything about irregularities such as a judge failing to address a petition on the Hearing for the purpose, or reporting perjury. The following business day, I called the Court Administrator to obtain the name of the appointed Interim Conservator. I learned that Ex-Chief Justice George changed her Decision after the Hearing and endowed the attorney with another Full-time Guardian and Conservator job. Several days later, I sent a letter to Ms. Chief Justice about the Hearing’s deficiencies and legal inconsistencies, after which the Hearing transcript was over-edited to correct every deficiency and legal inconsistency cited in the letter – point ● by ● point.

♪ “False-hearted judges dying in the webs that they spin - Only a matter of time 'til night comes steppin' in." On allegations of conservatorship cronyism, the Michigan Supreme Court ordered an investigation of the Chief Justice’s cases to uncover corruption and found what it was looking for. In May 2008, Chief Justice George lost her crowning title and all of her cases were transferred to Judge O’Sullivan, her political rival.

♪ “The judge, he holds a grudge – he’s gonna’ call on you. But he’s badly built and he walks on stilts – make sure he doesn’t fall on you.” Vowing to monitor the Court’s shenanigans, the Supreme Court told the Court Administrator to “Leave” for a while and sent a judicial diplomat in his place to put the Court back in order.

The Attorney Guardian-Conservator (G-C) confirmed an alliance with the Court, the Godchild Attorney and my sister.

Under his Guardianship: My mother’s medical appointments were cancelled; medications were altered or eliminated. She broke her wrist but did not receive medical treatment, resulting in loss of function and a permanent ‘forked hand’ deformity. She suffered from undiagnosed illnesses and “bleeding”, untreated infections, concussions, facial lacerations, a reported broken arm, unexplained bruises and abrupt, acute vision loss unrelated to the fact that her prescription glasses were taken away upon assertion that she could no longer read. Her handicapped permit was “lost”. Two Adult Protective Services claims were investigated. The Guardian failed to return calls concerning her urgent health matters, medical advocacy, care and living arrangements. The Chief Court Attorney routinely returned my letters requesting emergency Court response because “the judicial Code prohibits ex-parte communications in a pending matter” – even though communication was not ex parte and no matter was pending before the Court. (The Court Administrator later accepted all the correspondence.) To date, the Guardian has refused to discuss all guardianship matters with me.

“I’m all alone. Nobody can find me here.”
My Mother
June 27, 2008

On May 14, 2008, within one week of assuming control of my mother’s cash accounts, the G-C moved her from her home of 44 years to a remote ‘granny dump’– 15 minutes from my sister and a day’s drive from me. He did not inform the Court or me in defiance of stringent reporting requirements. She was dropped off with two garbage bags of clothes in the night at Belle River Pines – a Large Group Adult Foster Care home in Memphis, Michigan. On the same day, the G-C wrote a letter to the administrator of the facility prohibiting “all contact” between my mother and me, my husband, my son and anyone who shared our surname. A similar May 15 letter followed. A so-called ‘restricted list’ identified other individuals who were not allowed to speak with Mom. Her physician on Court record advised the Guardian to move his patient near me for the sake of her health; he ignored the recommendation. I discovered where my mother was by May 23 but could not speak with or visit her under threat of police action. Upon a family friend’s unrelenting insistence, the G-C permitted my mother to call me on my birthday, June 27; she cried for 17 minutes. For more than two months, the G-C threatened, intimidated, lied and deceived his way through inquiries about his abusive actions from family, friends, neighbors, attorneys, State agencies, a police detective and others. Challenged by a social worker with my mother’s witnessed statement of desire to contact me, the Guardian authorized scheduled, supervised visits of limited duration - if I would not “kidnap” my mother. According to staff, one person visited her “a couple” or “a few” times during the period of restrictions. My husband and I visited on six occasions in July. For the first time in months, my mother dined in restaurants, visited friends and laughed. By July’s end, she was distressed and angry over her imposed asylum. In response, she was sedated into lethargy, compromising safe mobility. Over the next few months, she incurred a series of injuries and illnesses. A December 2008 DHHS investigation yielded more defensive posturing from the Guardian. Despite confirmation of negligent injuries due to staff’s inability to provide necessary care, he claimed that my mother was “fine” and refused to move her to another residence to insure her safety. Within months, her health declined - radically. It is rumored that she receives Hospice care. Visits from nearby relations are negligible. Mine are limited in frequency and duration due to the G-C’s interference.

“Dear . . . you have inquired about my deceased grandfather’s ring that I have . . . It is a sentimental keepsake . . . He wore it every day that I knew him, for 26 years of my life. I understand that, for some reason, you are particularly interested in me returning the ring to you. There is absolutely no reason why I would return . . . the only real object of sentimental value that I own. I suggest that you take a much closer look at the veritable hoard of my grandparent’s’ possessions currently held by . . . took from them without any requests for permission . . . More importantly, these are possessions that still belong to my living grandmother.”
May 16, 2008

Under his Conservatorship: The Conservator has Letters of Authority, but a revoked Power of Attorney claimed title to cars, prevented installation of grave memorials that my mother ordered and controlled pre-distribution of her property against the terms of her Will. I demanded explanations for missing property, apparent vandalism, failure to authorize appropriate medical care and other issues, and the G-C locked me out of my mother’s house. Someone else lived there rent-free, for months. My sister has possession of all valuable collections, expensive furnishings and personal property, in general. The G-C said that I could purchase something. The Conservator scheduled an “estate sale” but switched the dates, so I could not attend. ‘Neighborhood Watch’ said that five vans and several cars filled with furnishings, driven by relatives, departed at the start of the sale. My mother’s former housekeeper made a public exclamation about the “despicable” sale of her property “while she is still alive!” Another neighbor was threatened under phony court order to leave the premises, and the G-C later threatened to sue her for stealing my mother's patio furniture. Someone sold my personal possessions, too – bike, vintage furniture, sentimental gifts, leather chair, clothes, etc. My mother’s house has deteriorated due to lack of maintenance. Instead of paying $24/week to the neighbor’s lawn service, he pays a special party $45/week. Due to lagging economy, the Conservator says that it is not timely to sell my mother’s house to enhance her care options. The house is rental property now; the G-C claimed that he left rare furniture in it - for the renters. The list goes on.

The Conservator’s Inventory of the estate was due within 56 days of his appointment. Seven months beyond Notice on Deficiency, two months beyond a scheduled Show Cause event, he filed the Inventory nine months after legal deadline. He declared one personal asset in the Inventory – a car valued at $1,220 – omitting bank accounts, life insurance annuity, valuable collections, and everything else required to list. He swore that my mother’s entire estate consisted of an old (devalued) car. Macomb County Probate Court accepted the fraudulent Inventory. Apparently, my mother now receives Medicaid assistance.

Regarding Petitions to Revoke/Modify the Guardianship and Conservatorship

Guardian Ad Litem #2 returned another bogus report to the Court replete with claims of my dastardly actions: I had sprayed my mother’s new hairdo with water, washed off her makeup and made her cry, etc. – and had kidnapped her, literally. Reaction to this gossipy Report was topped only by the judge’s acceptance of it as valid. Like the time before, the Court Clerk claimed that Proofs of Service for the Hearing mailed USPS Certified and signed by Court staff did not reach the Court. Justice Pamela Gilbert O’Sullivan claimed not to have read Court correspondence regarding my mother’s problems since Judge George appointed the G-C. As to why not, she replied, “I’m not Judge George!” Subpoenaed medical records were suppressed, and a Registered Guardian and my mother’s ex-employees received threatening calls from the G-C and the Godchild Attorney. Concerning the G-C’s and the Court’s failure to observe laws governing moving his ward from her home and reporting an Inventory, this judge stated on the record, “We don’t do that here,” and “We don’t follow those laws, either.” She stated that she based her Decision to retain the Guardian-Conservator upon GAL #2’s “Recommendation” - expressed in the following idiopathic form of logic:

1. The GAL stated, “I am certain that she did not understand much of what we talked about.”

2. The GAL stated, “She had no opinion regarding the conservatorship and guardianship when I asked her.”

3. The GAL stated, “She lacks sufficient understanding or capacity to make or communicate informed decisions.”

The GAL concluded, “She is completely satisfied with [the attorney] as her Guardian and Conservator.”

“These be seven curses on a judge so cruel:

That one doctor will not save him,
that two healers will not heal him,
that three eyes will not see him.

That four ears will not hear him,
that five walls will not hide him,
that six diggers will not bury him
and that seven deaths shall never kill him.”

Attempting to sever a mother-daughter relationship is a depraved action. Swearing that my mother is nearly penniless is vile, if for no other reason than that assisted/skilled care facilities are not obligated to accept new patients who receive Medicaid. Her care is substandard now; her estate has been wasted. Nearly every action by this Court and its Appointee defies Michigan’s goals of Guardianship and Conservatorship, and the Codes, Statutes and Court Rules intended to enforce them.

♪ Song Lyrics: Bob Dylan

May 2009 ~ Guardianship abuse victims recognized during Elder Abuse Prevention Month

Friday, May 22, 2009

Guardianship of Clara

Clara's Tale

Clara's Nightmare

Clara's Nightmare Part 2

Clara's Will

May 2009 ~ Guardianship abuse victims recognized during Elder Abuse Prevention Month More victim profiles - May 2009 EA Prevention Month

A Situation That's Ripe For Abuse and Neglect

It's often said that society can be judged on how it treats its weakest members. By that standard, Illinois isn't faring so well.

Some of the weakest members -- adults who are unable to manage their own affairs -- are assigned court-appointed guardians to help them. So far, so good. But reporters took an in-depth look at who watches the guardians, and found the answer is basically no one. There are no professional standards, no licensing requirements to be a guardian. Illinois regulates the people who do hair and nails more closely than the people put in charge of people's financial health and physical well-being.

It's a situation that's ripe for abuse and neglect.

A group of guardianship lawyers, judges and lawmakers in 2001 issued recommendations that would set up safeguards and help ensure that our most vulnerable are adequately protected. Sad to say, that report is sitting on a shelf somewhere, gathering dust.

Full Article and Source:
Guarding against abuse

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Against Her Wishes

In 2005, my sisters secretly took my mother to an elder law attorney and obtained a Durable Power of Attorney, Health care proxy, living will with them as agents. They put the family home in a trust and had my mother make her will. They had her transfer all her money to accounts in their names.

On Christmas Eve in 2006, my mother was abducted from the only home she has known for half a century. She was taken away from the people and things she loves under false pretences by my sisters. They told her she was going to get physical therapy to strengthen her weak legs, and to do everything the facility said, otherwise Medicaid would not pay for the therapy.

At first they took her to the hospital and then kept transferring her to different nursing facilities where they were drugging her with so many drugs that she could not lift up her own head and became so weak that she was unable to walk and talk and is now permanently in a wheelchair.

I filed a Writ of Habeas Corpus to get her out of the nursing facility but my sisters filed a guardianship Petition, and instead of bringing her home, the judge appointed a temporary guardian to put her at my sisters house because my sisters said in the petition that I abused my mother (we lived in the same house for 27 years). These allegations are false and at first devastated me. However, I later found that such accusations are a common pattern in guardianships because the goal in such a proceeding is not the person’s best interest, but rather it is about how unscrupulous people get the most money out of the estate. I was never given the opportunity to present any evidence or cross examine my sisters.

Instead, my mother is being still being held incommunicado at my sister’s home in Brooklyn in a wheel chair, with no phone in her room, no money to call a cab or cry out for help. And what can she do about it?

It is more evil and sad than you could ever imagine. It is emotional torture for both me and my mother who told everyone she wants to go home to see her dog, and to die in familiar surroundings. I have not seen or talked to her for almost a year and cry myself to sleep wondering how she must be feeling about the daughters she trusted who have betrayed her. And I wonder if she thinks I let her down.

My sisters filed the guardianship Petition asking to be able to put my mother into a nursing facility for good, and to be able to evict me from the family home and sell it. All of this is against my mother’s verbal and written wishes.

May 2009 ~ Guardianship abuse victims recognized during Elder Abuse Prevention Month

Mom Flees With Son

The man authorities believe could be with a Minnesota teenager who ran away to avoid chemotherapy did the same thing more than a decade ago in Massachusetts.

Officials believe Billy Joe Best could be traveling with 13-year-old Daniel Hauser and his mother. The Hausers allegedly fled New Ulm, Minn., after a court-ordered medical exam showed his Hodgkin’s lymphoma had worsened.

In 1994, 16-year-old Best ran away to avoid having more chemotherapy to fight his Hodgkin’s disease. He returned after three weeks in Houston when his parents promised they would not force him to have the treatments.

Daniel Hauser and his mother, Colleen Hauser, apparently left their southern Minnesota home sometime after a doctor’s appointment and court-ordered X-ray on Monday showed his tumor had grown.

Brown County District Judge John Rodenberg, who had ruled last week that Daniel’s parents were medically neglecting him, issued an arrest warrant Tuesday for Colleen Hauser and ruled her in contempt of court. Rodenberg also ordered that Daniel be placed in foster care and immediately evaluated by a cancer specialist for treatment.

Full Article and Source:
Man who fled chemo may be with missing teen

See also:
Forced Chemo

Alzheimer's Legal Program

Families affected by Alzheimer's disease and related dementia can attend an upcoming legal and financial program hosted by the Central Illinois Chapter Alzheimer's Association.

The two-part legal and financial forum is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. June 2 and June 9 at the association's office, 606 W. Glen Ave.

Local attorneys Karen Stumpe and Lori Luncsford will discuss patients' rights, power of attorney, guardianship, Medicaid, asset protection and spousal impoverishment.

The program is free and open to the public.

Alzheimer's group to host legal, financial program

Nursing Home Firm Charged With Crime

An executive with a nursing home management company -- the same firm that was hired last month to operate the Northumberland County Adult Day Services Program -- has been charged with bilking more than $30,000 from three residents at the Loving Care Nursing Facility in Selinsgrove.

Linda A. Sullivan, vice president of Wyndham Healthcare, has been charged by Detective Enoch T. Powell of the Snyder County District Attorney's Office with 14 criminal offenses, including theft by unlawful taking, theft by deception, theft by failure to make required disposition of funds received, misapplication of entrusted property and property of government or financial institutions, and securing execution of documents by deception.

Full Article and Source:
Nursing home firm charged with stealing $30K from clients

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Cash In

This is J.P. and Doris Manire. They have one son named Phil. My name is Kim and I have known the Manires for about 30 years now. Phil and I are married. J.P. and Doris have three grandchildren: Cody (19) Beth (14) and John (17 months). Doris was the owner of Vogue Beauty Salon for 35 years, which J.P. and she started together. J.P. was head of the Engineering Department of Parkland Hospital in Dallas Texas; he was also a WWII vet who served for four years in the U.S. Air Force, in Europe. J.P. also graduated from U.N.T. where he played football. Phil and I used to take care of any and everything J.P. and Doris needed, from painting, plumbing, and car maintenance, going to the store, watering the yard, peach trees and garden, changing light bulbs. Just any thing they needed we did to help. Think of the money they saved by not having to pay to have it done for them. We lived as one happy, loving family on their land in a trailer they got us so we could be together.

That was all taken from us by the Denton County Probate Court and its select group of “GUARDIANS” and attorneys, who took over half a million dollars in less than one and a half years. They cashed in CDs, a pension plan, IRAs, sold mineral rights to the land, and went through over $215,000.00 cash. They have been trying to sell the homestead that the whole family lived on, but has been put off with different legal motions. The group of people involved all friends, business partners, a personal attorney, and the ex-wife of the judge, these people were chosen over family members who had always been around the Manire’s and who helped them to save their money over their life time, just so that this group of people could put way over half of it in their pockets and lock this couple up in a nursing home and sell their homestead to put even more in their own accounts.

In Memoriam - "Speck" JP Manire

Comfy Care

Denton County Judge and Guardian

May 2009 ~ Guardianship abuse victims recognized during Elder Abuse Prevention Month

Legislator Pushing For Reform

A member of the Illinois commission that oversees the welfare of disabled residents wants the agency to consider reforms to the court guardianship system outlined in a News-Democrat story published Sunday.

State Rep. Angelo "Skip" Saviano said he plans to present reforms to the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission when the agency next meets on June 9.

The recommendations were featured in a package of News-Democrat stories detailing how poor record-keeping and lack of oversight in St. Clair County's guardianship system makes its wards vulnerable to exploitation.

Full Article and Source:
Illinois legislator will push reforms in guardianship program

Mom Wins Over Grandparents

The Supreme Court recently sided with a Las Vegas woman who has been mired in a nine-year custody battle with her parents.

In an order filed May 8, the state's high court upheld the February 2008 decision of then-Family Court Judge Nicholas Del Vecchio to award Chastity Primmer primary physical custody of her firstborn child, Jacob.

According to the order: "In this case, no finding of parental unfitness or extraordinary circumstances has been made to justify awarding custody to a nonparent."

Full Article and Source:
UPDATE: Court sides with mom against grandparents

HB 2290 Adds Due Process

Illinois General Assembly passed legislation to ban the sterilization of adults with disabilities under guardianship without due process. In so doing, the reproductive dignity of adults with disabilities under guardianship has been preserved. The bill, HB 2290, will now be sent to Governor Quinn.

Previously, there was no requirement that a guardian of an adult with a disability petition the court to authorize a ward's sterilization. In recognition of the fundamental rights at stake, and the history of involuntary sterilization of people with disabilities, most states have enacted statutes to provide due process protection for wards facing this life-changing, and potentially traumatic, situation. Prior to today, Illinois was one of only 16 states failing to provide statutory protections.

Full Article and Source:
Passage of Illinois House Bill 2290 Adds Crucial Due Process Protection Governing Sterilization of Adults With Disabilities

See also:
Sterilization Without Consent

Who watches the guardians?

St. Clair County's guardianship system, designed to protect the interests of people who are unable to handle their own affairs, is beset by poor record-keeping and little oversight and accountability, an examination by the Belleville News-Democrat found.

In one example, John F. Pawloski, a Belleville attorney, was accused of writing more than $50,000 worth of unexplained checks from a dead person's estate and stealing $6,300 from a disabled adult while serving as St. Clair County's public guardian.

A study by lawyers, judges and state legislators in 2001 also identified major problems with adult guardianship in Illinois. It found that training is not routinely provided for guardians, many public guardians are overburdened, and guardian performance is poorly monitored.

Since then, nothing has been done to address the problems, experts say.

Zena Naiditch, president of Equip for Equality, a legal advocacy group for disabled people: "There's no question we have a guardianship system, I think, that's pretty broken."

Full Article and Source:
Who watches the guardians? County program helps those in need, but lacks accountability

See also:
Lawyer Agrees to Repay Estate

Lawyer Appeals Judge's Demand

Ten Days to Produce Documents

John Pawloski Case

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Got Money?

Here’s my Mom and I. We have been victims of the guardianship and conservator business since 2004.
We have lost $400,000 of a 1.2 million dollar investment account. Our money is enriching two criminal guardianship businesses, their lawyers, our court appointed lawyer, a guardian ad litem and a trust company – all with the blessings of The Maricopa County Probate Court in AZ. Most of my own money was seized and put into the trust. My income was cut in half and I am subsisting on a $14,000 per year disability.

The litigation has ruined our health – all because a local guardianship business and their lawyer set out to steal our money. My Mother was placed into assisted living at exorbitant cost and the current guardian is billing the trust any amount of money she wants. All with the blessings of the probate court! This is by far the biggest criminal racket going on in AZ and probably the rest of America.

No one who has money of their own is safe.

I have written letters to dozens of agencies to no avail. My complaints to the courts and judges have been ignored. Hundreds of lawyers and racketeers are making millions in Phoenix. The attorney general turns a blind eye. Our government is corrupt beyond our imaginations and it is about time someone did something! Once our funds are exhausted, these criminals will move on to the next victim.

May 2009 ~ Guardianship abuse victims recognized during Elder Abuse Prevention Month

Can't Win Independence

Heather Wade-Moore wants to regain control of her life.

A civilian psychiatrist has certified that the 50-year-old U.S. Army veteran from East St. Louis is competent to handle her own financial affairs after years of battling mental illness and drug addiction.

But now Wade-Moore feels she has another battle to wage: Independence from a fiduciary and guardian appointed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and St. Clair County probate court.

Every month, Wade-Moore receives $3,600 in the form of two payments: a VA disability payment and a Social Security check. The payments go directly to her fiduciary and guardian, Sharon Mehrtens.

Mehrtens pays Wade-Moore's bills and gives her a monthly allowance of $800.

"She's not giving me enough money to take care of my home, my family or myself."

Full Article and Source:
Many wards can't win independence

Guardian Holds Wards Fate

Archie Sorth can't buy food or go to the doctor without asking for money from his court-appointed guardian, Sharon Mehrtens.

Sorth, 76, wakes before 6 a.m. most days in his downtown Belleville apartment above the Oregon Trail Roasting Co. coffee shop. He helps his landlady, owner Andrea Cox, by pulling chairs off tabletops and sweeping the sidewalk.

A former steamfitter and welder and a U.S. Army veteran, Sorth walks to Belleville pantries for food, Cox said, and does odd jobs for small amounts of money.

Mehrtens declined to discuss Sorth's case specifically, citing confidentiality. But, when speaking generally about her cases, she said, "When you have people with mental illness, you can't hand them cash."

Full Article and Source:
Guardian holds veterans fate in her hands every day

Monday, May 18, 2009

Held Captive

Jan. 2006, my husband Gary E. Harvey, age 55, suffered a tragic accident leaving him severely brain injured. As his wife and sole advocate, I’m fighting to ensure he gets the best possible care and quality of life. We’ve been abused and taken advantage of by Chemung County, CCNF, APS, DSS, Attorneys, and Supreme Court.

I pray that Gary has a full recovery. A man who served his country should not be treated this way! No matter what, I want him home where he’ll be loved, safe, and properly cared for.

The County is divorcing me from my husband and holding him prisoner.

All they care about is money. I only count when it comes to keeping health insurance on Gary and paying the bills; an obligation - not a WIFE. We are not rich and don’t want to see our home and all we worked our entire lives for, taken by the county.

While in Chemung County Nursing Facility-CCNF, Gary lost weight, teeth, and suffered black eyes. He laid in bile & feces, had defective feeding tubes left unattended, and received less than adequate oral care. All this with no justifiable reason as to how or why it happened. His tongue is like coarse sandpaper; his bottom lip is half gone due to their lack of compassion and aggressive behavior. During the time I was assisting with his care, he did not have any of these issues. The facility fails to mail or notify me of incident reports regarding accidents where he has received cuts, bruises, etc.

Adult Protective Service-APS restricts visitation to family (only) ... which means no friends; so he has only me. I feel harassed by staff when they prevent me from taking him out of his room for a change of scenery. I have also been instructed not to kiss or hug my husband. The list is endless. We lost all spousal rights; and my husband is being treated beneath the dignity of an animal rather than a human being.

My husband is a very strong man, a fighter who would not want me to give up on his recovery; nor have I. He has beaten many obstacles and tragedies in his life and I will never stop fighting to help him beat this one. I feel the more stimulation he has, the better his outcome will be. I am all he has and will do anything for him. I do not treat him as if something is wrong which adds to his confusion. Gary needs love - not mystery and abuse.

Who but his wife should decide for him?

May 2009 ~ Guardianship abuse victims recognized during Elder Abuse Prevention Month

Lawyer Mom Fled With Baby

A Portland attorney who fled to Texas with her 2-month-old son and the boy's father pleaded guilty to custodial interference and was sentenced to three years' probation.

Amanda Lynn Stanley sparked a nationwide search in February when she drove off with her baby out of fear that state child-welfare workers would win permanent custody of the boy.

Stanley, a tax and business attorney, received the recommended sentence under Oregon's sentencing guidelines. A charge that she stole more than $3,000 from client trust accounts in order to finance her trip was dismissed, but Stanley will have to pay the money back.

Full Article and Source:
Mom gets probation for fleeing with baby

Sunday, May 17, 2009

95-Year-Old Fights Back

Delores Forste is the daughter who was accused of kidnapping her own mother. Emma France is the 95 year old woman that claimed a government official in Jasper County Missouri charged that she was kidnapped by her 67 year old daughter. An appeal made by Emma France to free her daughter Delores Forste was made on video.

Emma France was represented by a court-appointed counsel, otherwise known as an guardian ad litem, but no testimony was offered suggesting that Emma was capable of taking care of her own affairs. Instead the judge in what appeared to be a very short probate trial signed away her free will. France challenged the charges against her daughter. She said Forste is not guilty of financial exploitation or kidnapping. She said she wanted to go to California and to get out of Jasper County after she was hospitalized and made a ward of the public administrator. She said both actions were taken against her will. An Alleged Kidnapping

Rita Hunter, Jasper County public administrator, her attorney and an area physician are named in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The lawsuit, filed on behalf of Emma France, stems from the actions that made France a ward of the public administrator.
Former Ward Files Suit

A class-action lawsuit was also filed asking that the Jasper County public administrator be removed as conservator of her 450 to 500 clients or be ordered to refund any fees she has charged them that the court deems excessive. The lawsuit was brought by the same attorney who won dismissal of criminal charges against France's daughter and her husband who had been charged with kidnapping the woman’s Carthage mother while she was a ward of the public administrator. Class Action Filed

Some former wards of Rita Hunter, former Jasper County’s public administrator, filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of taking money from their estates to pay attorneys for the county office. The lawsuit contends that there was no authority to take the fees because there was no written contract between the attorneys and the county office, a requirement of state law. The lawsuit names John Podleski, who served as attorney for the administrator’s office until Hunter’s term ended, and Gayle Crane, who held the post for the first two years after Hunter took office in 2004. Crane became a circuit judge. Attorney Fees Challenged

The state returned donated money amounting to more than $27,000 that had been taken out of Jasper County wards’ accounts by Rita Hunter, former public administrator. The office was working on the return of about $85,000 that was taken from wards’ accounts and sent to state health-care agencies in the last weeks of Hunter’s tenure. Hunter was also the subject of an investigation that was launched after it was learned that all the wards’ records had been taken from the public administrator’s files, and that computer files on the wards had been erased. Hunter later returned about 30 boxes of files, and additional materials were taken from her house as a result of a search warrant.
Some Money Returned - Investigation Continues

Rita Hunter was or is registered with the National Guardianship Association Inc., an organization that promotes a "standard of excellence in guardianship."

May 2009 ~ Guardianship abuse victims recognized during Elder Abuse Prevention Month

D.A. Resigns in Protest

Assistant District Attorney Lynn Peach, whose allegations of fraud against another prosecutor and a San Marcos police detective set off a firestorm, has resigned from her position.

Peach told The Mercury, “I have found that the profound philosophical differences that exist between office policy and myself is unworkable. Regardless of the circumstances or what happens in the future, I know that I did the right thing and will continue to do so.”

Mark Kennedy, the district attorney’s civil division chief, confirmed that Peach had resigned but declined further comment.

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Assistant district attorney resigns her post in protest

Deception and Opportunity

Crown prosecutor Ian Hay said that a sentence of five years in prison would be too little for Bryan Tickell, a former case worker with the Public Guardian and Public Trustee of B.C. who defrauded mentally incompetent clients,

Hay told North Vancouver Provincial Court Judge Tony Dohm that Tickell demonstrated a "blithe pattern of deception," married with a "keen sense of opportunity" to exploit clients who were unable to look after themselves.

"He needs to be separated from society for our own protection," he said, declining to recommend a specific jail term.

Tickell's lawyer, Scott Wright, characterized his client's crimes as "a misguided attempt at self-elevation." He argued that two years in prison, plus three years of probation, would adequately address the basic principles of sentencing, which include deterrence and denunciation.

After both sides were heard, Judge Dohm said he would deliver his decision on June 1.

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Five-year sentence sought for rogue employee in Public Guardian's office

Seniors and Taxpayers Obligation Protection Act

Catching criminals, stopping Medicare or Medicaid fraud, and recapturing an estimated yearly fraud loss of $60 billion are the aim of two proposed laws introduced in the U.S. Senate earlier this month.

The Seniors and Taxpayers Obligation Protection Act (STOP) is designed to reduce or eliminate massive financial losses each year by creating fraud prevention and detection systems.

The Medicaid Accountability through Transparency Act (MAT) will require transparency in billing for services and medical equipment.

If passed, the legislation will give the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Social Security Administration the tools and authority to prevent fraud before it starts and detect waste and abuse much earlier.

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New Legislation Proposed to Prevent Medicare Fraud