Designed to protect people's assets, the Probate Courts did anything but in several cases assigned to Dinah Turrentine-Sims.
A World-Herald examination of police and court records and interviews with judges, attorneys and other conservators showed that several simple fixes could have prevented the staggering losses that Turrentine-Sims is accused of causing.
And, experts say, most of the fixes could be paid for through reasonable fees assessed against the assets of the wards whose estates would be protected.
Douglas County Attorney Don Kleine charged Turrentine-Sims in two cases. He said Omaha police are continuing to investigate Turrentine-Sims' actions. So far, misappropriations are suspected in a handful of cases.
Kleine said it's paramount that legislators and judges make swift changes.
“It doesn't take much to figure out that something is very wrong here,” he said. “This whole system was set up to protect the most vulnerable, to protect those who can't protect themselves. It failed.”
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