A judge awarded guardianship of 79-year-old Bob Queener of Des Moines to his niece and a state senator, ending a seven-month battle with the Iowa Department of Human Services over who should oversee his health, housing and general well-being.
Polk County Associate Probate Judge Ruth Klotz appointed guardianship of Queener, who has dementia, to Cheri Jensen of Altoona and Sen. Dennis Black, D-Lynnville, overruling DHS’s opposition.
“Now we’re able to work on filling his bucket list,” said Jensen, who celebrated today’s news with her uncle and several relatives. “Bob’s welfare is what this means to me. He’s still able to walk and talk, and why keep him locked away just because we have a short-term memory problem?”
Queener’s relatives spoke out publicly after a DHS worker removed him from his home Dec. 8 without notifying any family members, who panicked when they discovered he was missing.
The court-approved emergency removal led to a series of decisions that were outside the family’s control. Queener was isolated for months in locked psychiatric and nursing home units, unable to leave on family outings. A court-appointed conservator began to dispose of Queener’s possessions without his knowledge – including memorabilia from his military service – then put up for sale the mortgage-free house he’d kept tidy for four decades.
In her ruling Wednesday, Klotz made a point to say that despite criticism about what happened to Queener, she believes DHS officials followed the law “in all instances.” Klotz also defended the two volunteers the court appointed to serve as guardian and conservator.
Full Article and Source:
Court Awards Guardianship Over Bob Queener to His Niece, State Senator
View Judge Ruth Klotz' Ruling
Update on Bob Queener Case