Saturday, January 12, 2013

Vulnerable adults protection: Lawmakers push for tougher background checks

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota lawmakers gathered Wednesday to push legislation at both the state and federal levels aimed at protecting vulnerable adults from financial exploitation.
More than 25,000 Minnesota residents have a court-appointed guardian or conservator to take care of their finances, and the number is expected to rise in the future as more Minnesotans enter retirement age.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., joined Attorney General Lori Swanson and other state officials at the West 7th Community Center in St. Paul to propose ways to implement tougher background checks and electronic monitoring to ensure that court-appointed guardians aren't taking advantage of seniors.
"The last thing that they should have to worry about or that their family should have to worry about is that someone is ripping them off, that's stealing their last money, that's abusing them in some way," Klobuchar said. "It's our obligation as a society to make sure that that doesn't happen."
Klobuchar has sponsored legislation in Congress aimed at helping states beef up background checks and improve monitoring of guardians' financial decisions.
Rep. Debra Hilstrom, DFL-Brooklyn Center, planned to introduce a bill Thursday that would require tougher and more frequent background checks for all guardians. The checks would not only look at criminal history, but would also include whether the individual had been denied a professional license or filed for bankruptcy.

Full Article & Source:
Vulnerable adults protection: Lawmakers push for tougher background checks

Woman arrested for financial exploitation of 93-year-old man

A 57-year-old Wadsworth woman faces charges for allegedly taking advantage of a 93-year-old man by using his credit cards and getting him to give her $30,000 from his certificate of deposit (CD).
Melissa Reilly of the 14000 block of Kaiser Road, Wadsworth, was charged with aggravated identity theft and financial exploitation of the elderly, according to the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

Full Article & Source:
Woman arrested for financial exploitation of 93-year-old man

Friday, January 11, 2013

Lawless America: Marjorie Partch

Lawless America: Marjorie Partch

Recommended Website and Book: Marked for Destruction

A Shockingly Powerful Story; A True Crime Exposed.
by Officer John Caravella /retired

What Adele Fraulen might have thought to be nothing more than a meaningless bad dream one night in 1935 would actually come true. At age 79 she would find herself living a nightmare -- a struggle for her life, simply because she innocently trusted the wrong professionals to help with her portion of a Million Dollar inheritance; they would steal her very existence. Her neighbors, Chris and Patricia Zurillo, would realize that Adele's life was going terribly wrong and dedicate themselves to freeing her from captivity.

“Marked For Destruction” is a rare book that exposes an ever-expanding crime against our elderly.


From the Author:


Imminent danger to the alleged incapacitated person, who is criminally and civilly innocent, begins with a court ordered pre-trial examination by an examining committee.

Court ordered examinations, and examining committee members, are controlled by statute. If indicated, the committee's examination must be comprehensive and include:

1. A physical examination;
2. A mental health examination;
3. A functional assessment;
4. A diagnosis, prognosis, and recommended course of treatment.

Read the Essay: Freedom From Interference

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Lawless America: Jamie Lamborn

Lawless America: Jamie Lamborn

Americans Support Physician-Assisted Suicide For Terminally Ill

Voters in Massachusetts were the latest to weigh in on whether it should be legal for doctors to prescribe drugs to help terminally ill patients end their lives.

The measure was controversial, and on Election Day it fell just short.

Before the vote, we wondered how Americans viewed physician-assisted suicide. So we asked in early October.

The results from the latest NPR-Truven Health Analytics Health Poll show that most Americans favor physician-assisted suicide for people with less than six months to live.

Overall, 55 percent of respondents favored it, and 45 percent were opposed. Those proportions were unchanged from July 2011, when Truven asked the same questions.

Support for the idea varied by age and income.

Fifty-six percent of people 65 and older opposed physician-assisted suicide for the terminally ill; 44 percent supported it. Among people younger than 35, the results were reversed: 59 percent for and 41 percent against.


Full Article & Source:
Americans Support Physician-Assisted Suicide For Terminally Ill

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Case continues involving guardianship of brain-injured man

Motions will be argued later this month as part of a Horseheads woman’s legal fight to end Chemung County’s guardianship of her brain-injured husband.

Bobby Schindler, the brother of Terri Schiavo, is petitioning to serve as guardian for Gary Harvey, according to the Terri Schiavo Life and Hope Network, of which Schindler is executive director.

Motions are scheduled to be argued beginning at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 30 before state Supreme Court Judge Judith O’Shea, the Chemung County Court Clerk’s Office confirmed.

Harvey suffered a traumatic brain injury following a heart attack and subsequent fall down a flight of stairs in January 2006 and remains in a persistent vegetative state.

His wife, Sara Harvey, sought guardianship of her husband, but the county Department of Social Services was appointed as his legal guardian indefinitely.

Sara Harvey has said that her husband has suffered under significantly inadequate care and has fought in state Supreme Court for guardianship.

Attorney Christopher Johnson filed Schindler’s petition, the county clerk’s office confirmed.

Mary Schindler, Schiavo's mother, was a Corning native and graduated in 1959 from Northside High School in Corning. Her maternal grandparents, the late Mike and Cecilia Tammaro, also lived in Corning, where Mike Tammaro managed Keenan's Rexall drug store.

Schiavo, who was diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state, was at the center of a series of legal challenges that resulted in a seven-year delay before her life support was terminated in 2005.

Full Article & Source:
Case continues involving guardianship of brain-injured man

Sites Sharing Press Release:
Deacon John's Space

See Also:
Schindler's list: Terri's brother now saving others

Terri Schiavo's Brother, Bobby Schindler, Petitions Court to Intervene in Guardianship Case

Bobby Schindler Files Petition Requesting to be Gary Harvey’s Guardian

The Dictators of Non-Compassion: Gary Harvey Case and the Unexpected Twist

New York conduct commission votes to discipline three judges

ALBANY, N.Y., Dec 27 (Reuters) - The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct recommended discipline for three judges, including one who took part in a profane exchange with a 17-year-old criminal defendant.

The commission on Thursday said Buffalo City Court Judge James McLeod should be admonished for his "crude and offensive manner" in speaking with the defendant, who was not named, in February 2011. McLeod made the comments after the defendant hurled obscenities at him, the commission said.

"Even in the face of provocative, disrespectful comments by a litigant, a judge is required to be an exemplar of decorum and dignity in the courtroom, and not allow the proceedings to devolve into an undignified exchange of taunts, insults and obscenities," the commission wrote in its determination.
It said McLeod, who has been a judge since 1999, accepted "full responsibility" for the exchange. Admonishment is the mildest form of discipline the panel may recommend.

McLeod did not immediately respond to a request for comment. His attorney, Michael Mohun, was not available to comment.

The panel on Thursday also censured Erie County Family Court Judge Paul Buchanan and admonished Douglas Horton, the town justice in Mexico, Oswego County.

Buchanan in 2011 visited a 14-year-old girl in a Buffalo hospital while he was presiding over her juvenile delinquency case, the commission said. The girl had overdosed on prescription drugs in an apparent suicide attempt, and Buchanan brought her gifts and told her "she had a lot to live for," the commission said.

Buchanan did not seek permission from the girl's mother or attorney to visit her, and did not disclose the visit during court proceedings, the panel said. After one of the attorneys in the matter found out about the visit and protested, Buchanan transferred the case to another judge.

Section 100.3 of the state Rules Governing Judicial Conduct bars judges from having private conversations with litigants, which are known as ex parte communications.

Full Article & Source:
New York conduct commission votes to discipline three judges

Cuts in federal aid hurting NJ senior centers

Two years ago, Marianne Wall was able to serve fresh, warm lunches to nearly 80 senior citizens a day as the director of the Thomas J. Riley Senior Center in Westwood.

Now, the center — a popular place for local seniors to socialize, enjoy activities and get something wholesome to eat — is down to just 40 meals a day, Wall said.

Budget cuts, she said, are to blame.

For roughly three years, senior citizens in North Jersey have been affected by sweeping congressional cuts to a popular federal grant program, leaving towns already working with tight budgets — and in some cases, even the seniors themselves — to make up the difference.

“The federal government has cut these programs pretty considerably,” said Bergen County spokesman Joseph Appio. “I understand volunteers help out to make ends meet at these places, and we are very concerned about this.”

The Community Development Block Grant program — one of the longest-running in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s history — funds local community development, affordable housing, anti-poverty programs, infrastructure improvements, and senior centers and programs.

Congress passed a 2012 budget that reduced funding for the program by 7.9 percent, according to figures from the White House.

In 2012, Bergen County received more than $8 million in block grants from the federal government, with $702,000 going directly to senior programs, county records show. That’s a decrease from the $900,000 designated for senior-specific programs in 2010. Funding for 2011 was higher than normal — close to $2 million — due to construction projects and improvements at some area senior centers.
Overall, the CDBG grants have been on a steady decline since 2010 when the county received close to $12 million and $9.8 million in 2011, according to figures from Bergen County.

Full Article & Source:
Cuts in federal aid hurting NJ senior centers

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Lawless America: Paul Simmonds

Lawless America: Paul Simmonds

Important Changes to Illinois Probate Law

(b-5) Upon the filing of a verified petition by the guardian of the disabled person or the disabled person, the court may terminate the adjudication of disability of the ward,  revoke the letters of guardianship of the estate or person, or  both, or modify the duties of the guardian if: (i) a report  completed in accordance with subsection (a) of Section 11a-9  states that the disabled person is no longer in need of  guardianship or that the type and scope of guardianship should  be modified; (ii) the disabled person no longer wishes to be  under guardianship or desires that the type and scope of  guardianship be modified; and (iii) the guardian of the  disabled person states that it is in the best interest of the  disabled person to terminate the adjudication of disability of  the ward, revoke the letters of guardianship of the estate or  person, or both, or modify the duties of the guardian, and  provides the basis thereof. In a proceeding brought pursuant to this subsection (b-5), the court may terminate the adjudication  pf disability of the ward, revoke the letters of guardianship of the estate or person, or both, or modify the duties of the guardian, unless it has been demonstrated by clear and  convincing evidence that the ward is incapable of performing  the tasks necessary for the care of his or her person or the management of his or her estate.


(755 ILCS 5/11a-4) (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 11a-4)     Sec. 11a-4. Temporary guardian.     (a) Prior to the appointment of a guardian under this Article, pending an appeal in relation to the appointment, or pending the completion of a citation proceeding brought pursuant to Section 23-3 of this Act, or upon a guardian's death, incapacity, or resignation, the court may appoint a temporary guardian upon a showing of the necessity therefor for the immediate welfare and protection of the alleged disabled person or his or her estate on such notice and subject to such conditions as the court may prescribe. In determining the necessity for temporary guardianship, the immediate welfare and protection of the alleged disabled person and his or her estate shall be of paramount concern, and the interests of the petitioner, any care provider, or any other party shall not outweigh the interests of the alleged disabled person. The temporary guardian shall have all of the powers and duties of a guardian of the person or of the estate which are specifically enumerated by court order. The court order shall state the actual harm identified by the court that necessitates temporary guardianship or any extension thereof.     (b) The temporary guardianship shall expire within 60 days after the appointment or whenever a guardian is regularly appointed, whichever occurs first. No extension shall be granted except:
        (1) In a case where there has been an adjudication of disability, an extension shall be granted: 
            (i) pending the disposition on appeal of an djudication of disability; 
            (ii) pending the completion of a citation proceeding brought pursuant to Section 23-3; 
            (iii) pending the appointment of a successor guardian in a case where the former guardian has resigned, has become incapacitated, or is deceased; or 
            (iv) where the guardian's powers have been suspended pursuant to a court order. 
        (2) In a case where there has not been an adjudication of disability, an extension shall be granted pending the disposition of a petition brought pursuant to Section 11a-8 so long as the court finds it is in the best interest of the alleged disabled person to extend the temporary guardianship so as to protect the alleged disabled person from any potential abuse, neglect, self-neglect, exploitation, or other harm and such extension lasts no more than 120 days from the date the temporary guardian was originally appointed.

 The ward shall have the right any time after the appointment of a temporary guardian is made to petition the court to revoke the appointment of the temporary guardian.

Cook County Guardianship Abuse Victim's  Manual

Monday, January 7, 2013

Sunnybrook lifts ban, allows daughter to see aging veteran father

TORONTO - Canada's largest veterans facility has lifted its ban on a woman who complained about bedbugs and a threat to a resident's safety.

Following a weekend meeting, Sunnybrook said Jackie Storrison could see her aging dad at its veterans centre, from which police escorted her more than a week ago.

The facility did insist security was on hand when Storrison went to see her father on Saturday.

"To have security sitting outside the room was beyond humiliating," Storrison, 61, said Sunday.

"I felt as though I was under house arrest. I felt like I had been convicted of a criminal offence and basically given probation with the condition that I attend mediation."

Sunnybrook banned Storrison, who has spent most evenings over the past three years caring for her 91-year-old father at the veterans centre, after nurses apparently accused her of going on a "verbal rampage for hours on end".

Storrison, who denies being abusive, said the allegation came after she alerted staff to an elderly resident wandering down the hallway alone and on another occasion to bedbugs in a patient's room.

Sunnybrook spokesman Craig DuHamel said Sunday the no-trespass order had been lifted unconditionally, and there was no need for security to be present during Storrison's future visits.

Storrison, a mother and grandmother who works in a lawyer's office, has been among a group of relatives with loved ones in Sunnybrook who have spoken publicly about what they call neglect of the most frail vets.

They also said the facility had consistently shut down their attempts at raising concerns.

Those allegations — all strenuously denied by Sunnybrook — prompted Veterans Affairs Minister Steven Blaney to order an audit of the 500-bed facility, something no level of government had done in more than seven years.

Results of the audit are pending.

Storrison said she was really bothered that neither executive vice-president Malcolm Moffat nor operations director Dorothy Ferguson asked at Saturday's meeting for her side of the story.

Full Article & Source:
Sunnybrook lifts ban, allows daughter to see aging veteran father

Disciplinary case filed against former Fernley judge

CARSON CITY - The Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline has filed a formal case against a former Fernley Municipal Court judge, accusing him violating judicial canons when he pulled over a woman and presented himself as a police officer.

Judge Daniel Bauer resigned in February after Lyon County prosecutors charged him with two misdemeanors stemming from the September 2011 incident. The criminal charges were then dropped.

But Bauer, a retired Nevada Highway Patrol trooper, now faces a hearing before the judicial discipline panel.

Full Article & Source:
Disciplinary case filed against former Fernley judge

101-Year-Old Man’s Alleged Abuse Adds To Medicaid Crisis

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. – Thursday afternoon Julie Johnston, the granddaughter of the alleged abuse victim, held a press conference where she released audio recordings of her grandfather’s claim.

In the recordings, you hear the 101-year-old man claim that Desmond Kimbrough, a former Mount Pleasant Manor employee sexually assaulted him.

“I said you’re killing me, you’re hurting me so bad. My back was hurting me so bad and he was having sex with me,” Johnston’s grandfather said.

Now Johnston says she’s having a hard time getting her grandfather out of Mount Pleasant Manor, where the abuse is said to have occurred.

A hidden camera caught a lot of the activity. All of the video has not yet been released to the media but an attorney for the family did show a few clips.

The video recorded just last week, over a 24-hour period ending on December 7 resulted in the arrest of Kimbrough. He was in bond court on Tuesday morning charged with Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult.

Full Article & Source:
101-Year-Old Man’s Alleged Abuse Adds To Medicaid Crisis

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Tonight on T.S. Radio: Janet O'Brien on Elder Exploitation in Washington State

Janet O’Brien is a Seattle based private investigator who has worked on numerous cases of elder abuse at the hands of professionals and occasionally family members who operate in collusion with probate courts to loot the estates of the elderly who committed what must be the new crime of [aging with assets].

Janet hosts her own cable TV program “Public Interest Issues”  on the Seattle Community Media channel in Washington state where she highlights these issues.

Of special interest to Ms. OBrien was the strange case of Dorothy Grega.  O’Brien took this case all the way to the Supreme Court. This case was accepted for Conference of September 24th, 2012 for the United States Supreme Court consideration under the Case Obrien v. Kirley Washington State case on the docket for Sept 24 for Conference {case number is 11-1489}.  While the Supreme Court reviewed the case they chose not to hear it, treating as they have many other cases presented for their consideration on the issue of predatory fiduciary’s and the complicity of corrupt probate courts in facilitating the kidnaping, isolation and forced medicating of elderly individuals who have large estates which are then looted by the predators.  They found it interesting but not worthy of their time.

Robert Hamlin was also a victim of a guardianship case in Washington State and Janet will be talking at length about this case.

Please join us for what will be a very interesting broadcast detailing what one woman has done in her efforts to stop what can be nothing other than a national disgrace.  To call what is happening to our seniors “abuse” is an understatement.  This is human trafficking for profit at its worst.

Tonight:  7:00 CST...5:00 PST … 6:00 MST … 7:00 CST … 8:00 EST

LISTEN LIVE or listen to the archive later

For-Profit Nursing Homes Fuel Rise In Fraud And Abuse Charges

The rise of for-profit nursing homes is proving tragic for some of the nation's most vulnerable people, resulting in a spike in waste, fraud and abuse charges brought by federal authorities, according to a new report.

An investigation of government data and court filings from Bloomberg News reveals horrifying circumstances at these facilities: A 92-year-old lung cancer patient given physical therapy after spitting up blood. An 80-year-old woman who couldn't support her own head forced into a "standing frame" for over an hour. An unattended 77-year-old patient who choked on her dinner.

The profit motive is having an outsize affect on quality of care, according to Bloomberg, which obtained U.S. government data through Freedom of Information requests. "Thirty per cent of claims sampled from for-profit homes were deemed improper, compared to just 12 percent from non-profits," according to the article.

Seventy percent of nursing homes were operated on a for-profit basis in 2010, according to an audit by the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission, which counsels Congress. For-profit nursing homes perform better financially: Their profit margins from treating Medicare patients were 21 percent in 2010 compared to 10 percent for non-profit nursing home companies, the commission reported.

Cases filed against the firms by law enforcement and by families of patients who died allege that for-profit nursing home companies pressure facility managers to minimize the number of employees and keep down their hours to save costs. At the same time, these firms push for patients to receive services they may not need, according to the allegations cited by Bloomberg.

Full Article & Source:
For-Profit Nursing Homes Fuel Rise In Fraud And Abuse Charges

Trial ordered for Carrollton Township man charged with sexually assaulting incapacitated woman

SAGINAW, MI — A Carrollton Township man will stand trial on a charge that he sexually assaulted an incapacitated woman last year.
Saginaw County District Judge Kyle Higgs Tarrant on Dec. 21 concluded the preliminary hearing for Anthony S. Broemer by ruling that prosecutors had shown probable cause to take him to trial in Circuit Court.

Broemer, 27, is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct against someone who is incapacitated.

Broemer's arrest warrant alleges that he sexually assaulted a woman who was “mentally incapable and/or physically helpless” May 27 in Saginaw. The woman was unconscious at the time of the alleged assault, police said.

Full Article & Source:
Trial ordered for Carrollton Township man charged with sexually assaulting incapacitated woman