Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bob Queener Guardians Deal With More Care Hurdles

Bob Queener of Des Moines, a dementia patient who has become the face of what some say are injustices in how elderly and mentally disabled Iowans are treated, is again facing uncertain living arrangements that his guardians describe as cruel.

The latest news: Queener was shipped to a psychiatric ward at the Veterans Administration hospital in Des Moines about 10 days ago, and his court-ordered care facility — Trinity Center at Luther Park — is now taking steps to assure that he won’t return to its care, his co-guardians say.

The guardians also say they were not notified of a commitment hearing in Polk County on Friday, and that the situation has left people who oversee Queener’s care to scramble in an attempt to find suitable living arrangements for the 80-year-old Korean War veteran, who also has autism.

“He’s a fine man,” Sen. Dennis Black, D-Grinnell and Queener’s co-guardian, said on the Senate floor Monday. “He’s done great things for this country. He’s always attended to his own business and never has been involved in crime, and now he’s being thrown away by the system.”

Full Article and Source:
Queener Guardians Deal With More Care Hurdles

See Also:
Bob Queener: "Slowly Tossed Away"

OH Woman Sentenced in Medicaid Fraud Case

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced Wednesday that Yvonne Alexander was sentenced to 18 months in prison for Medicaid fraud in the theft of $53,000 in benefit income from a resident of Graceworks Lutheran Services group home, which serves developmentally disabled individuals.

Alexander forged documents to gain control of a resident's Ohio Public Employee Retirement System (OPERS) survivor benefits. In all, Alexander was sentenced to 19.5 years in prison for multiple counts of theft for stealing a total of $105,000 from several residents and for the Medicaid fraud. She was also ordered to pay the Attorney General's Office $3,000 in investigation costs.

Full Article and Source:
Local Woman Sentenced in Medicaid Fraud Case

Friday, February 17, 2012

A Legacy Challenged

A land donation that would have more than doubled the size of Lincoln County's parks system has dwindled dramatically after the donor's sons triumphed in court proceedings to take control of their father's assets.

The donor, former state Sen. Walt Brown, said he feels "massive disappointment" at the development and has relocated to Louisiana as a "judicial refugee," seeking recourse through that state's differently structured legal system.

"I have massive disappointment in the conduct of my sons," he said, "massive disappointment in the conduct of the attorneys - the law firm that the County retained to assist them. I've got massive disappointment in the judges."

Brown donated 184 acres of land on either side of the Siletz River to Lincoln County in 2007, with instructions that it be used to create a park in memory of his wife, Barbara, who died in 1999.

The park would have been far and away the largest in Lincoln County, whose total park inventory at the time amounted to 150 acres.

However, Brown's decision to donate the land did not sit well with his sons, who launched legal proceedings in Clackamas County to have their father declared incapable of handling his affairs.

Brown's oldest son, Jeffrey Brown, told Clackamas County Circuit Court that his father had multiple "mental and physical problems" and had been unable to properly manage his finances for several years.

In a ruling later supported by the Oregon Court of Appeals, the Clackamas court appointed Jeffrey Brown as conservator of his father's estate.

Jeffrey Brown then filed a motion in Lincoln County Circuit Court, alleging that the County "intentionally or mistakenly" misled his father about the tax advantages of the donation and asking that the land be returned to him as conservator.

At their June 8 meeting, the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners approved a settlement that would see the County retain 74 acres of the land at a total cost of roughly $45,000 for conservation easements and legal fees (see panel).

The remaining 110 acres would be returned to the conservator, a position now occupied by Portland-based law firm Nancy MacDonald & Associates, LLC.

Speaking from Louisiana, Brown said the terms of the settlement do not honor his wishes.

Full Article and Source:
A Legacy Challenged

Who Protects and Serves When the Elderly are Fleeced?

Nine months ago, before my mother passed away, before this horror show (my awareness of my parents' money being stolen right out from under everyone's noses) began, if anyone had suggested to me just how easy it is to steal from the elderly and just how often it happens -- AND how unattainable justice is after the fact -- I think I might have gasped incredulously but privately I'd probably have reassured myself with something like, "It's a terrible crime, of course, but it could not possibly happen with that kind of frequency. Surely, in this great country of ours, such horrendous and flagrant violations of the law could not possibly go unpunished!"

And guess what? I'd have been dead wrong. This is not Law and Order, and it will not get neatly wrapped up at the end of sixty minutes. In fact, hard a pill as it is for me to swallow, I now know it will never get wrapped up, neatly or otherwise. Hence the birth of my upcoming film, Last Will and Embezzlement -- a feature-length documentary which delves deeply into the topic of elder exploitation. I had to something ...

Full Article and Source:
Who Protects And Serves When The Elderly Are Fleeced?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

TN: Proposed Legislation for Reform in Conservatorship Adjudication

[On 1/26/12], I hand delivered a copy of this proposed legislation to Senator Mae Beavers, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, and to Senator Joe Haynes. At a luncheon that was addressing an amendment to the Tennessee Constitution pertaining to the Tennessee Plan, a plan that is utterly unconstitutional, now there is proposed legislation to amend the Constitution to fit the law they’ve been breaking pertaining to judicial selection. Senator Beavers has championed judicial reform and is for judicial election, not selection, which is consistent with the Tennessee Constitution.

A miracle occurred when Senator Beavers addressed the issue of Conservatorships and the complaints that have come across her desk addressing the abuse of this Conservatorship Code.

The fundamental problem lies in the venue where this law is adjudicated, the Probate Court. A law of preservation adjudicated in a court of liquidation. The Probate Court is the venue where the deceased’s estate is liquidated and divided amongst the heirs, yet this same court has been vested with the authority to adjudicate a law protecting the assets of the incompetent. It’s an utter contradiction in jurisprudence.

Please read and consider this legislation. It’s a reasonable and logical proposal. The probate court is the wrong venue and there are inherent conflicts of interest with this law being adjudicated in the probate court.

I’m calling on each and every one of you to do your part to effect change. Not often does a legislation like this require from a moral imperative. We don’t all have the responsibility to stand up and choose sides over every issue that comes down the pike, but we all have a moral responsibility to stand up for those that cannot stand up for themselves, and there are countless legions of elderly victims, locked away and silenced while there estates are looted before they are in the grave. This is the moral imperative and I challenge you all to make the calls, write the letters, send the emails and let your voices be heard.

“All power is inherent with the people…” (TN Constitution)

Now is the time to remind our public servants who possesses the power. ”We, the people…”, that’s who. And in this important moral issue, we must all take a stand to protect those who cannot protect themselves. The adjudication of this law must be removed from the probate court and put in a venue where its intent can be faithfully effected.

Full Article and Source:
Pauper v. Probate: Proposed Legislation for Reform in Conservatorship Adjudication

In Good Hands?

YouTube: "Inside E Street" - In Good Hands?

See Also:
Impeach Randy Kennedy

Danny Tate, Tennessee Victim

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

No Right to Life: The Fight for Gary Harvey to be Reunited With His Wife, Sara

Where do you turn when you become disabled, vulnerable, or old and become unlawfully a victim of the system?

There are no kind words for the injustice that Chemung County New York has visited upon Gary Harvey and his wife Sara.

Gary Harvey a veteran who served his country and fought for our freedom is being denied his. Until January 2006, Gary was leading a normal life.

Although Gary Harvey is still a living person, he has not been treated as such since 2006 when he fell down a flight of stairs and sustained traumatic brain injury. Sometime later, his prognosis worsened into a vegetative condition, but this would only be the beginning of his nightmare.

St. Joseph Hospital billed Sara’s private insurance nine hundred and thirty two thousand ($932,000) last year, out of those submitted claims eight hundred ($800.00) were for therapy.

Sar reported the 15 episodes of sepsis in a 2 year time frame to NYSDOH. Neither St. Joseph hospital, nor Chemung County nursing facility has reported this per public health law 2819. Bed sores, and a dislocated hip that Sara recently learned about but was never informed of.

Sara has no say in the matter; the county uses HIPAA as their shield for protection.

She reports it to Gary’s court appointed attorney Kevin Moshier from MHLS and unbelievable his trail goes back to Chemung County Law Department via. Davidson & O'Mara he wrote to her “Some of your concerns might well merit your advocacy, but not necessarily mine”.

Gary Harvey has been institutionalized for more than 5 years and isolated from the love and compassion of his wife.

Gary deserves the love and companionship of his wife, the comfort of his home and friends. Not only is it inhumane to continually deny him quality care, treatment and testing but cruel to continue restricting his wife's visits.

The crime against disabled, vulnerable and elders is growing.

Gary Harvey remains today in the hands of his abusers, the very same people who tried to end his life.

Sara is now representing herself in Federal court, if you know of someone that can assist her in the Federal Court Judicial Office please contacte
Full Article and Source:
No Right to Life; The Fight for Gary Harvey to be Reunited With His Wife, Sara

See Also:


As America Grays, the Need for Elder Abuse Shelters Grows

They're weak, physically or mentally disabled or both, and often at the mercy of people they depend on the most: relatives and caretakers.

They're the nation's fast-growing elderly population, and many are prime targets for abuse — physical, financial, sexual or emotional.

Concern among the elderly and their advocates is mounting as the number of seniors soars and more of them live longer.

The Cedar Village Retirement Community in the Cincinnati suburb of Mason this month opened a long-term care facility to victims of abuse. It is the first elder abuse shelter in Ohio and one of only a half-dozen in the country, all of them funded by non-profit groups.

"There is a genuine recognition by those who are concerned by the abuse of elders that there need to be appropriate safe houses for them to get them out of immediate harm's way," says Sally Hurme, AARP's senior project manager in education and outreach. "Nationally, we've been aware of the need for elder abuse shelters, but they've been slow in coming into fruition."

Full Article and Source:
As US Grays, Elder Abuse Risk and Need for Shelters Grow

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Wrongful Death Suit Filed in Case of Dementia Patient Who Died From Exposure

The family of a San Francisco dementia patient who died last year filed a wrongful death suit against transit agencies responsible for his transportation and his conservator for what they call elder abuse and negligence.

San Francisco attorney Ingrid Evans announced the litigation in a news conference today with members of Kenneth Chin's family.

Chin, 73, lived in an assisted living facility in San Francisco's Richmond District and was transported daily by a shuttle operated by MEDSAM Enterprises and San Francisco Paratransit to Irene Swindells Center for Adult Day Services, his family said.

On Feb. 25, 2011, Chin did not arrive at home, and his caregivers immediately alerted police and his conservator, Jewish Family and Children's Services.

A search for the man lasted several days, until Chin's body was discovered on March 6 in Lincoln Park, less than a mile from where Chin was supposed to be dropped off.

The night Chin disappeared was cold and stormy, and autopsy results indicated Chin died from hypothermia, Evans said.

Full Article and Source:
Charges of Elder Abuse, Negligence After Dementia Patient Dies of Exposure

Live-in Aide Convicted of Drugging Alzheimer's Patient

A Dumont home health-care worker has been convicted on charges that she drugged an elderly woman with sleeping pills to make her job easier.

Nina Powers, 59, was hired by a family in September 2010 to provide full-time care to a 74-year-old woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, said Jessica Gomperts, an assistant Bergen County prosecutor.

Shortly after Powers moved into the home and started working, the family noticed that the elderly woman, who often woke up in the morning and stayed active for most of the day, had begun a pattern of napping on the couch all day, Gomperts said.

The elderly woman’s son and daughter-in-law became more suspicious when the woman came out wandering out of her bedroom one day, carrying a receipt for over-the-counter sleeping pills, Gomperts said.

The daughter-in-law then searched Powers’ drawers and found sleeping pills, Gomperts said. The daughter-in-law began counting the pills almost every day when Powers was away and found that five to nine pills went missing per day, Gomperts said.

“She was drugging her with these sleeping pills to knock her out so that she doesn’t have to do her job,” Gomperts said.

Full Article and Source:
Live-in Aide Convicted of Drugging Alzheimer’s Patient

Monday, February 13, 2012

Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act

MANY CASES AROUND THE COUNTRY DEMONSTRATE THE NEED FOR legal reforms to prevent individuals suffering SEVERE cognitive impairment from being financially exploited at the time they execute wills, deeds, trusts, POAs and other important legal/financial documents -- and also prevent the ruinous litigation which often results under such circumstances.

In order for legislation like this to be effective, it needs to put in place specific safeguards like the interview protocol recommended here, which addresses what most medical and legal authorities recognize but fail to adequately address, namely (1) cognitive impairment is a disability, and (2) the more severe the impairment, the greater the disability and susceptibility associated with it.

This interview protocol is based upon the following five steps
• STEP 1: Use a CHECKLIST to identify situations which involve individuals with SEVERE cognitive impairment and so require the rest of the protocol to be followed
• STEP 2: Have an INDEPENDENT examiner ask the transferor OPEN-ENDED questions to learn what business, if any, he wants or expects to conduct at this time
• STEP 3: Have an INDEPENDENT examiner ask the transferor to provide details about what he expects the document to include
• STEP 4: Have an INDEPENDENT examiner ask the transferor questions which others might reasonably want to ask if they were present, including questions about the transferor's understanding of the suspicions that his signing the document might raise and the transferor's ability to address those suspicions
• STEP 5: Have an INDEPENDENT examiner explore potential conflicts between the transferor's expectations and the content of the document

Full Article and Source:
Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act

Note: For more information, email Tom Fields at

Senators Blumenthal, Whitehouse, Franken, Casey Introduce 'Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act'

Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Al Franken (D-MN), Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) today introduced the Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act, a bill to implement a comprehensive network of elder abuse prevention and response measures.

"A spreading epidemic of seniors who are abused or exploited by family or caregivers must be stopped,” said Blumenthal. “Rigorous screening and reporting to detect and deter abuse, physical or financial, is necessary to help remedy seniors who may be too fearful or embarrassed to report it themselves. This measure would require tough national standards for screening and reporting so wrongdoers can be stopped and prosecuted. There is no excuse for one in ten seniors continuing to suffer the physical injury, emotional anguish and anxiety, and financial hardship, costing upwards of $3 billion every year.”

"Our nation’s seniors deserve the peace of mind of knowing that they are protected from physical and emotional abuse and financial exploitation," said Whitehouse. "I am proud to be an original cosponsor of this bill, which would strengthen and improve State programs to better prevent and address elder abuse."

Full Article and Source:
Blumenthal, Whitehouse, Franken, Casey Introduce Elder Protection and Abuse Prevention Act

Sunday, February 12, 2012

TN Senator Beavers and Judges at Odds Over Ethics Panel

A plan backed by Tennessee judges that would change the ethics panel that disciplines jurists is at odds with arguably the judiciary’s biggest critic in the legislature — Sen. Mae Beavers.

The differences in opinion came out this week at a debate before the Tennessee Press Association between Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, and Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Jeff Bivins.

Beavers has long complained that the ethics board, known as the Court of the Judiciary, is dismissing too many citizen complaints against judges accused of serious misconduct.

The judges are backing legislation that would make it more difficult to dismiss a complaint against a jurist. But they still insist that the vast majority the disciplinary board be made up of judges.

The majority of members now are judges appointed by the Tennessee Supreme Court.

“I just think it looks bad when you have judges appointed by judges to judge judges,” Beavers said at the debate.

Beavers wants fewer judges on the panel and thinks they should be appointed by the speakers of the House and Senate.

Full Article and Source:
Senator Beavers and Judges at Odds Over Ethics Panel

Jim Reeves Royalty Dispute Ends

A long-running legal battle over the fate of 1960s country singer “Gentleman” Jim Reeves’ music royalties ended this week with a ruling that his wife’s second husband isn’t entitled to claim a share.

Terry Davis married Jim Reeves’ widow, Mary, in 1969, five years after Reeves and his piano player were killed in a Brentwood plane crash. Mary Reeves Davis died in 1999.

Davis is not entitled to any further share of his late wife’s estate than the $100,000 she specified in her will, Judge Randy Kennedy ruled at the end of a legal fight that has gone on for more than a dozen years. That money was distributed years ago. Davis had sought a percentage of the estate and a year’s worth of spousal support instead.

Full Article and Source:
Jim Reeves Royalty Dispute Ends

See Also:
Battle Over Singer Jim Reeves Royalties Nears End