Monday, August 1, 2011

Frustration - Update on the Mary Sykes Case

In the 1600's, Lord Mansfield pointed out that society had a duty to protect those people who could not protect themselves. He singled out for protection children and those who were infirm. In approximately 1927 or thereabouts, Mr. Justice Oliver Wendel Holmes wrote in the case of Buck vs. Bell that "three generations imbeciles is enough" Indeed, our society has apparently taken those words to 'heart!' Reading NASGA and Probate Sharks web pages it is clear that in an effort to not create a hostile work environment for the lawyers, Judges, and guardians appointed by the Court, we have not only removed the ten commandments from the Courthouse but removed common sense and respect for the elderly.

In re: the Estate of Mary Sykes, pending in the Circuit Court of Cook County, is a magnet for miscreant conduct. In December 2010, Mary was taken to the hospital. Hospital personnel noticed that she had lost Ten Percent of her body weight. Had any inquiry been done as to this serious situation, the Elder Abuse mandatory reporters would have discovered that the plenary guardian admitted that Ms. Sykes had suffered from a swallowing disorder and was denied treatment until the extreme weight loss occurred.

As happens all together too often, there apparently was no report to the Illinois Department of Aging by the Hospital. The two guardians ad litem - who are now famous for their advocacy for the interests of the plenary guardian - also failed to report the clear neglect of Mary! In fact one of the guardians was quick to deny the admission made by the plenary guardian. Naturally, neither of the two GALs reported the admitted neglect to either the Court or the Illinois Department of Aging.

Reports by family members and friends to the Naperville Police Department, the Illinois Department of Aging, the Illinois State Police etc. resulted in absolutely no action! Even calling attention to the fact Mary had sought a 'protective order' against the plenary guardian before the plenary guardian was appointed Mary's guardian was met with a yawn!

It is unfair to say that nothing happened - something did! It is reported that Mary's youngest daughter and most active advocate was 'chained' to a chair in the Courtroom, forced to disclose where her money was, and the Court reached across the Indiana border to freeze her funds. This attempt to silence the younger daughter was unsuccessful, but has slowed down her ability to irritate the status quo and the guardians ad litem. Mary's isolation continues. Indeed, Mary's younger sibling (age 82) was denied unlimited visitation with her sister. The GAL disclosed that Mary's sibling is not fond of the abuser of her sister. [Apparently he thought that a condition precedent for one sister to visit unfettered with another was love for the abuser!] Thus, the younger sister was given restrictive (supervised) visitation after not seeing Mary for about 18 months!

It is now six months since Mary almost lost her life due to the alleged admitted neglect of the plenary guardian, yet Mary remains in the care of the plenary guardian without there ever being a hearing on Mary's sworn petition for a protective order. Mary is still isolated and both Guardian ad litem are diligently active to keep the status quo - i.e. Mary is being isolated and kept from her activities, her friends and her family. We all know how dangerous an 82 year old sibling can be!

Unfortunately, the GAO report and websites have disclosed the frustration that every victim and their family members must endure. How can this happen in America? The reality is that it has happened and we apparently are mollified by the lip service of the political elite and the meaningless words that they utter about concern for the elderly!

Yes, there are excellent and well meaning court appointed guardians and people working diligently to make life a little easier for the disabled and their family and friends, but by tradition we focus only on the miscreants whose avarice is so common. By necessity we focus on Mary Sykes and victims like her!

That said, the Sykes case is so obscene that it cries out for Justice; however, Justice, fairness, and appropriateness are absent as the Sykes family endures one outrage after another and each occurs unabated. Consider: What possible excuse can be rationalized to prevent a 92 year old person from freely visiting with her 82 year old sister! What possible danger can the 82 year old be to her 92 year old sister? Aunt Yo Bakken was indeed subjected to restricted visitation with 92 year old Mary Sykes! She had to go before a judge to obtain access to Mary Sykes. The restricted visitation granted to 82 year old Aunt Yo is a travesty and mocks the foundations of the justice system! It informs everyone that form trumps substance and *****.

Shame on you, and shame on me! We totally lost our sense of decency! We allowed this outrage to happen not only to Mary Sykes but to hundreds of other senior citizens while we mouth our concern for seniors, their health care and social security. We like the political elite could not care less! What good are few pennies of social security to seniors who are held hostage by a plenary guardian such as Mary Sykes has looking after her? What good is health care when it is denied until a senior loses 10 per cent of her body weight and suffers for days with a swallowing disorder! What good is our concern if we allow a senior to be isolated from her family, her friends and activities! Why do we have criminal code, and/or give any lip service to being compassionate concerning the elderly when we act in such a blatantly knowingly wrong manner?

Indeed the ten commandments, the Torah, the Bible or whatever we choose to call the words of the deity truly do not belong in our homes, our courts or our lives as when we let the Sykes style outrage continue month to month and year to year ***** Next time one of your elected representatives mouths off about how he is against cuts in Social Security or some other entitlement for the seniors - ask him/her why? Unless the political elite are concerned about senior civil rights, due process, and equal protection of the law all that health care, social security and the other entitlements are bribes that ultimately will unjustly enrich those who make their living exploiting the Mary Sykes' of this world. Worse yet - by supporting or buying into the lies of these hypocrites we are just as guilty as the miscreants. Democracy is not a spectator sport!

Ken Ditkowsky


Betty said...

Thank you, Attorney Ditkowsky, for your comments but even more for your support of Mary Sykes and her daughter, Gloria.

Gloria Jean Sykes said...

There are no words of understanding, wisdom of the wise, or laws of our land that can explain the horrors perpetrated by the Cook County Probate Court--first sanctioned by Judge Maureen Connors who after many complaints to the Judiciary Inquiry Board was promoted to the Appellate Court, and now by Judge Jane Louise Stuart, where complaints have fallen on deaf ears! That there are TWO Guardian Ad Litems, Cynthia Feranga and Adam Stern, and attorney Peter Schmiedel who represent [the devilish of all] my sister Carolyn Toerpe (who parades around as a Psychologist, PhD when in fact she is but an academic counselor at Bollingbrook High School) who freely 'misrepresent the facts' to the court and do so with such ease, that even Dr. M. Scott Peck, author of "People of the Lie" would be amazed at the level of "evil" these people, as written, "Evil deeds do not make an evil person. Otherwise we would all be evil. If evil people cannot be defined by the illegality of their deeds or the magnitude of their sis, the how are we to define them? the answer is by the consistency of their sins. While usually subtle, their destructiveness is remarkably consistent. This is because those who have crossed over the line are characterized by their absolute refusal to tolerate the sense of their own sinfulness.***The evil of this world is committed by the spiritual fat cats, by the Pharisee's of our own day, the self-righteous who think they can are without sin because they are unwilling to suffer the discomfort of significant self-examination. It is out of their failure to put themselves on trial that their evil arises. They are, in my experiences remarkable greedy people. A predominate characteristic of the behavior that I call evil is scapegoating. because their hearts they consider themselves above reproach, they must lash out at anyone who does reproach them. They sacrifice others to preserve their self-image of perfection."

These people, utterly dedicated to preserving their self-image of perfection, they ave not only shortened my Mother's life, but they have destroyed my life, as well as destroyed our family (which Toerpe is NOT and will NEVER be considered family)!

My sister's, who I beleive is a sick person, has been empowered by the Court, is a master of disguise, not apt to wittingly disclose her true colors --either to other or to herself. But I know her. Mom, Dad and I have been the target of her evil our entire lives. So has Aunt Yo and other family members.

People say I should have known this would happen, but I was blinded and ashamed. How could a sibling who had the same upbringing and education as I, from two loving parents who sacrificed all for their children, do this. What I've learned is this and perhaps I can help others as evil people are distinguished by these traits.

1.) Consistent destructive, scapegoating behavior, which may often be quite subtle. 2.) Excessive, albeit usually covert, intolerance to criticism and other forms of narcissistic injury. 3.) Pronounced concern with a public image and self-image of respectability, contributing to a stability of lifestyle but also to pretentiousness and denial of hateful feelings or vengeful motives. 4.) Intellectual deviousness, with an increased likelihood of a mild schizophrenic-like disturbance of thinking at times of stress.

This relates to trading? Yes, but more importantly it relates to life.

Gloria Jean Sykes said...

I am certain now that likes find like-minded people, so when my sister Carolyn Toerpe retained attorney Harvey Jack Waller, and he brought forth Cynthia Feranga, Adam Stern, Peter Schmiedel et al, she found great support and guidance in her fraud on the court and betrayal of family.

Now I fear she / they will do greater harm to my Mother and me as they are terrified that the pretense will break down and they will be exposed to the world and to themselves.

Why, what possesses them, drives them is basically FEAR.

The court watchers on July 8, 2011 will contest and testify to that!

As I have said, I will repeat, no devil in hell and no person in spirit will stop me from saving my Mother's life, my life and exposing the truth.

I love my Mother more than one can imagine. I appreciate all your help in stopping this evil, as if we can bring justice to this case, we can bring justice to many more.

Mike said...

A standing ovation for this attorney for speaking up! This is great.

You're right, Glorid, there are no words that can properly describe the horror.

Before NASGA, I felt like it was only happening to me. I thank NASGA for bring us all together.

Gloria Jean Sykes said...

Let me add that Carolyn Toerpe is a respondent on a verified petition for an order of protection. Mary G. Sykes, my mother filed a complaint with the Illinois Department on Aging stating that Toerpe had financially expoloted and willfully deprived her of her hard earned assets: The Illinois Department on Aging appointed Catholic Charities to investigate. Catholic Charities instead, bought into Toerpe's lies and accused me of the abuse (scapegoating) and even went under oath and made false allegations that Mother was abused by me in July and August 2009: Mother was being held captive at the Toerpe home in July and August 2009! There are two police reports with the Chicago 16th District from Mother against Toerpe: on or about May 23, 2009 and September 20 2009 and yet, I continue to be accused of the abuse and yet, thee is no record of conviction against me and no police reports either, just repeated complaints by Toerpe against me. Again, Mary G. Sykes filed a petition for an order of protection against Carolyn Toerpe on June 9, 2009 (a suggestion by Officer Wayland (sp) of the 16th District on or about 7th June 2009) and Toerpe, in retaliation, 'kidnapped' mother and went doctor shopping. And when Mother's primary doctor refused to sign the CCP211, Judge Maureen Connors instructed Toerpe to "find a doctor who will" sign the CCP211. I was then 'forced' to pay for that court friendly doctor. Then of course Toerpe accused me of stealing $1.3 million dollars from my Mother while Toerpe freely emptied out Mother's safety deposite box, took control of Mother's bank accounts, and removed mother's mattress, knowing that if was filled with 'cash'. And the Court ignored all the evidence and **** approved the accounting and inventory. Go figure!

Sara H. said...

Good article Mr. Ditkowsky and thank you for your ever dying and strength of support for Mary Sykes and all the other victims in this horror we all have involuntarily been assigned/destined by the courts to live. Whether it be from family disputes, to 3rd party preditors, stangers, or professional theives from all stages of the game.

A game they play and it is done with peoples lives. Wonder how they would like it if this happened to them?

Hang in there Gloria and please stay strong and stay away from the negative influnences..Close your ears and your eyes and keep your focus on the prize...your mom!

They want to talk bad let them. Been there done that. Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me.

My motto Gloria.
They can beat on me, spit me out and chew me up Gloria...don't care, just brush them off like a flea or bad taste in your mouth...just as long as they do not hurt my husband is all I care about. Someone who can not defend himself.

Tim said...

I find it odd that a less than reputable person who is in fact the named respondent on a petition for an order of protection can end up being appointed as guardian

but then too I am not surprised either

Anonymous said...

Probate judges have to make up facts; violate rights, find things that don't exist in their "findings," deny all pleadings by senior citizens and their families, keep information from the legislature,deny rights to due process in order to adequately isolate seniors so that they can be drugged to keep them calm for in their own best interest, for their protection. And this, in turn creates a friendly environment for senior citizens to grow up in, I mean. to reach their full potential, as human beings.

Citizen input against this judicial discretion should be ignored by officials. When citizen input is kept out of the system it is amazing what the government can accomplish. This may seem un-American to those uneducated or undereducated in the law, social work and government work, but it is best for all. You know it is best for all because probate judges consistently behave this way, and no government agency will take complaints seriously on allegations judges are doing this.

After all, if the senior citizen did not want the government to own him or her, the senior citizen did not have to save money or buy a house for old age. Did they? It is their own fault for working hard and saving their money all their lives.

It is their own fault for living in their family home under their own name where they could be found
by the government easily.

Peoople who set themselves up this way deserve to lose everything. And their families, who should have stopped the saving madness by stealing their parents' money, did not do it, deserve to have everything stolen from them too.
This is the new way of thinking and either get with the program or enjoy your old age drugged and isolated and poor.

Connie said...

It's a national problem and it's getting worse. I am so pleased to see an attorney in the heat of the battle and fighting for what's right!

I hope and pray you get your Mom home,Gloria.

Gloria Jean Sykes said...

The final precondition for "elder abuse and the abuse of the disabled" is affluence of assets, medical insurance, et al. These people are enjoying their 'evilness' without fear of consequences, or so they think. If they were not afraid of us, they wouldn't attack us as they have. Sara has a right to make decision for her husband Gary especially medial decision, and Gary has a need now more than ever to be under the care and love of his wife Sara, but the Guardian(s) and Court have an agenda and it isn't in the best interest of Gary Harvey or Mary G. Sykes .... Thank you for all your kind words and support. I thank Ken and NASGA, too.

Anonymous said...

Gloria, you are fortunate to have a competent attorney on your side. Mr, Ditkowsky has been an inspiratrion to many of us for some time.
It is beyond a normal persons understanding, why such tyranny is imposed on you and your mother. Maybe, there is only a certiorary to the U.S. Supreme Court left, if accepted. It seems, the elders in this society are past history. We paid our taxes, helped built an economy, but when we reached that age of "entitlements" we became a burden. To investigate the atrocities of Elder Abuse and Exploitation, and all the horrors that come with it, when disabled,is too costly in this National
Epidemic of corrupt members of the courts, and those which it empowers. Erna Bold

Norma said...

What's going on in the Sykes case is a direct commentary on what we've become as a people.

The judge in this case ignores her ward, her ward's wishes and her ward's needs.

Instead, she panders to the attorneys in the case and hides behind the "law."


The law intends Mary's preferences be given preferential treatment. If Mary wants to come home and she has the finances to support her at home and also can arrange for 24 hour care, then by golly, it should be a no-brainer and she should go home!

Is the judge asleep at the switch?

Alicia said...

You're right, Mr. Ditkowski, Democracy is not a spectator sport. I think we take so much for granted. We elect persons to office, but then we don't follow up to voice our enthusiasm for what they do right and our displeasure for what they do wrong, and we spectate.

This case is wrong on so many levels, but mostly because Mary Sykes is suffering in isolation from her family. How can any judge think that could be good for anyone? It turns my stomach.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Mr. Ditkowsky. You are a real gem!

Thelma said...

Tim said: I find it odd that a less than reputable person who is in fact the named respondent on a petition for an order of protection can end up being appointed as guardian.

Not odd; outrageous!
There has to be payola; quid pro quo!

Finny said...

The Sykes case is obscene. So many cases are. One has to wonder if Truth, Justice and The American Way can ever find the way back.

I am sorry, Gloria, that you can't see your Mother. I am hopeful that the people responsible for this terrible thing look at themselves in the mirror.

Anonymous said...

By now, it has become a typical "Cover-Up"- everyone
involved in thsi scheme, is covering their........
Erna Boldt

Ben said...

Guardians who isolate their wards should immediately be removed. Judges who allow this inhumane treatment (without proof positive), should be disciplined and removed from the bench.

Carole said...

Gloria, I hope you have filed a grievance on the judge and the GAL's.

Mary said...

I am praying for you and your mother, Gloria. And I join everyone here in thanking this attorney with a heart and vision.

Terry said...

Anyone who has Facebook, this is a good post to put on your own page.

I see NASGA's got it up on their page:

Anonymous said...

Thank you Terry. Kenneth Ditkowsky is very familiar with the Sykes case, but he is an advocate for all elders and the disabled caught in this trap and I believe his letter/article speaks volumes for all of us, not just Mary Sykes. A couple of local papers may pick it up and republish it and a few of the comments. I am praying for all of our loved ones, as we stand up to the Courts and fight for the lives of our loved ones and our lives, too. Together we will prevail!

Ken Ditkowsky said...

If people read the update on Sykes they will remember the facts and become aware that but for the grace of God they or a loved one could be in the very same situation as the seniors who have become victims of elder abuse and financial exploitation. The GAO report was clear in pointing out that Mary Sykes' situation is not unique! It is all too common as well as all to obscene and reprehensible.

What goes around, comes around! I hope that everyone who reads the message understands that writing a comment or agreeing with the message is not sufficient - everyone who understands that getting old is not a crime should out of sell protection and sell love write to the authories and demand the criminal prosecution of the miscreants who have plundered Mary Sykes' estate and her civil rights. I cannot get over GAL Stern's comment that Mary's 82 year old sibling should not visit her 92 year old sister because she did not like Mary's abuser! I did not like Adolph Hitler - does than mean I cannot get a Visa to go to Germany!!! It is no wonder that they had to take the 10 commandments out of the Courthouse!

Thank you for sending me copies of the comments.

Ken Ditkowsky

David said...

Life is supposed to go in circles and we get a chance to pay our parents back for all they did for us, including all their sacrifices.

To have court come in an usurp the family unit is just plain wrong!

helensniece said...

Ken Ditkowsky is one in a million, courageous and dedicated.

This is one time, maybe the only time, I can honestly say I am proud to be a citizen of Cook County IL knowing Ken D and other soldiers are fighting for the right reasons for the rights of the most vulnerable of our society.

God Bless and protect you Ken and thank you.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately that is exactly what the American Courts are doing: destroying the family. From child custody cases, to the elderly and disabled, to traumatic brain injured men and women, American courts are butting in and taking over deciding who can care for who, who cans see who, and in doing so, they're taking all the money they can find and people who once had good lives, end up in pauper's beds.

Carrie K. Hutchens said...

The article was enlightening & Ken Ditkowsky is to be commended for it and for all his endeavors to help the elderly & disabled victims of the system.

I'm sorry for what Mary, Gloria, the rest of the family and friends are going through as this horrendous event plays out. But don't give up. Don't any of you give up. People didn't know what was transpiring. Now they are finding out. With each awakening -- you are closer to making the necessary changes that have been evading each of you on individual cases. This is not to mention that you are forming a team of crusaders that are determined to right the wrong for all!

It is a crusade that I believe will definitely make a difference!!!

Anonymous said...

More victims need to fight back and expose those who are guilty of systemic elder abuse.

These "important" people, who abuse the elderly to make a buck, are pathetic.