Friday, January 22, 2010

Press Release: Congressman Urges Investigation

P.O. Box 206 A, Derrick City, PA 16727
(814) 368-9165


BRADFORD, Pa. – U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak (Rep.-7th District) is urging the Pennsylvania Department of Aging to investigate how a longtime Bradford resident has been held for nearly three years in an assisted-living facility in Florida against her wishes and those of her loved ones.

Rita Denmark, 79, who suffers from age-apparent dementia, is under a court-appointed Florida guardianship. However, she is a resident of Pennsylvania, and neither she nor her family wants her in Florida.

In a letter dated Jan. 12, 2010, Sestak urged Acting Department of Aging Secretary John M. Hall to “please also investigate this matter, since the question of residency appears to be an issue." Sestak further asked that he be informed of developments in the matter.

After exhausting her personal financial resources for legal fees and travel over the past three years, Denmark’s daughter, Holly L. Peffer of Derrick City outside Bradford, contacted the Congressman for help this month.

Peffer, herself certified by the National Guardianship Association Inc., said “There are currently pending motions and notices before both the Pennsylvania and Florida courts” arguing that the Florida court had no jurisdiction to appoint a guardian for a Pennsylvania resident.

A member of the National Association to Stop Guardianship Abuse, Peffer said of the situation: “I would not wish this nightmare on my worst enemy... I would have never thought this could happen to an individual in this country."

“It has been quite a learning experience, and when the Congressman’s letter arrived in my mailbox on Saturday my heart was filled with joy to know that my mother really does matter.”

Peffer said she has come to realize that her family’s situation is only one, of thousands of cases in the United States where guardianship of an elderly person appears to benefit only a professional guardian. It appears, these professional guardians are accountable to no one. Currently legally prohibited from contact with her mother, Peffer says she and other friends and family are sincerely concerned for Denmark’s health and well-being under this guardian's care for a variety of reasons, including conditions found during on-site visits to the facility where Denmark is being held and whether that type of facility is appropriate for Denmark at all.

Now, however, Peffer hopes that the attention from Sestak and the Department of Aging will see her mother home by spring.

PLEASE NOTE: Peffer has detailed records of the case history, and may be contacted for further information or interviews at the phone or addresses above.


StandUp said...

Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU, Rep. Joe Sestak for getting involved. Your voice will be heard!

Thelma said...

It's good to see our legislators finally beginning to pay attention to the plight of the lawvics.

Anonymous said...

With NO ONE watching these so called Professional Guardian's, they are able to lie, cheat and steal anything they desire. This includes YOUR LOVED ONE'S remaining life too. It can happen to anyone and NO, you don't have to have done something wrong. The Professional Guardian that I've had the misfortune of meeting, pretended to be of such concern after mother was taken out of state. She communicated with me regularly while I delivered every piece of information she would need to sort this matter out and get mom home quickly. Did I mention the $242,000.00 that I wired?? Well you know... "we have 90 days to report to the court what happened then, we'll get her back home." I thought the elderly citizens were protected in this country. Nope, not so! Once the "Professional Guardian" had everything she needed, mom became a mear pension plan and nobody seems to be able to stop it. Of course why would they want to. The lawyer's, courts, nursing facilities, guardian... they are all being paid hefty pay checks from my mom's nest egg while she is alone and isolated from her family. It's as plain as the nose on my face!

Anonymous said...

Call Rep. Joe Sestak and tell him GREAT JOB, protect our parents! Support him in the upcoming elections!

timlahrman said...

I will email Congressman Joe and give him thanks.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Rep. Joe Sestak. If only there were a thousand like you! There are so many of us who have been victimized by the guardianship court system. The court will believe any lie told them without investigation in order for them to take an older person (who has money, of course) and put them under guardianship. The judge, the attorney assigned to the guardian and the attorney assigned to the ward (who is one of group so therefore doesn't stand up for the ward), ALL support one another without accountability from outside their circle. There needs to be an outside agency to whom this group has to give summation for their activities.

Anonymous said...

e-mail Rep. Joe Sestak and give him your support. He cares about your loved ones!!

Anonymous said...

So there's now a new crook at the helm of the Department of Aging. Good riddance to the departed crook. The Department of Aging is the problem, not the answer. Congressman Sestak needs to do something to change that or the elder abuse will continue.

Sylvia said...

Dear Holly,

Very best to you Holly. I hope and pray that you are successful in exposing how the guardianship predators stalk their prey under color of law. Your mothers well-being and life depends on you.

Thank you to U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak for your attention to this important matter. The senior citizens and the vulnerable have been silences, they are prey, they need a strong voice - you will be heard.

3 years is outrageous, one has to question the motives and how the court allowed the gang to disregard the laws.

Anonymous said...

If seniors gave away all of their assets, gardianship or conservatorships would not exist anymore.

Betty said...

Sure gives me some hope to see an elected representative pay attention.

Thank you Joe Sestak!

Max said...

We are praying for you and your Mom, Holly! Keep up your strength! Rep. Sestak has given us all hope!

Jane Branson said...

Congressman Joe Sestak, God Bless You for helping Holly! Please continue to fight the good fight. Our American Elders need champions of justice to rescue them from this horror of abuse. We can only imagine the tears of joy Holly felt when she found out someone was on her side to help Save her Mother. Jane Branson

Connie said...

How can this be happening in America? Why are guardians and conservators given so much power by the courts? I am so glad to see state Rep. Joe Sestak involved. Please help reunite this woman with her family.

Anonymous said...

Thank you all for your support and please support Rep. Joe Sestak because he cares about the elderly and this crime going on in our country. Contact him with you support.

Thanks again,

Dee King said...

One more tragedy--I will contact the senator, we need all the support we can get and hopefully the tide will turn and more elected
officials will start to do their jobs--represent the will of the people.
I am truly sorry for the plight of the family, they have my prayers and support. Dee King/Ct.

Unknown said...


Thank god there are people like you in this world, keep it up and kick some but, these so called guardians need guardians themselves. They should realize someday they will be in the same shoes the elderly are, would they want to be treated the way they are treating them. They need to be reminded,what goes around, comes around.