Saturday, July 26, 2014

Washington State's "Death With Dignity" Law Imperils the Poor

Last week’s article by an assisted suicide/euthanasia advocate struck me as a bizarre article for Real Change, which advocates for the dignity and self-determination of the poor. (“Terminally ill patients face shortage of right-to-die drug amid controversy over capital punishment,” Real Change, June 18)

Washington’s assisted suicide law was passed in 2008 and went into effect in 2009. This was after a deceptive initiative campaign promised us that “only” the patient would be allowed to take the lethal dose. Our law does not say that anywhere. See Margaret K. Dore, “’Death with Dignity,” What Do We Advise Our Clients?,” King County Bar Association, Bar Bulletin, May 2009.

In Oregon, which has a similar law, there are documented cases of that state’s Medicaid program using the law to steer patients to suicide. In other words, indigent patients are offered suicide in lieu of desired treatments to cure or to extend life. The most well-known cases are Barbara Wagner and Randy Stroup. See: Susan Donaldson James, “Death Drugs Cause Uproar in Oregon,” ABC News, August 6, 2008, at ; and “Letter noting assisted suicide raises questions,” KATU TV, July 30, 2008, See also the Affidavit of Kenneth Stevens, MD, filed by the Canadian government in Leblanc v. Canada.

Finally, consider this quote from a March 8, 2012 Jerry Large column in the Seattle Times. He says that at least a couple of his readers suggested euthanasia “if you couldn’t save enough money to see you through your old age.” For the poor, this would be non-voluntary or involuntary euthanasia. So much for the dignity and self-determination of the poor.

~ Margaret Dore, Esq., MBA * Seattle Washington

Washington's "Death With Dignity" Law Imperils the Poor

See Also:
Terminally-ill patients face shortage of right-to-die drug amid controversy over capital punishment

Assisted Suicide

Is Assisted Suicide Legal in the United States?
Yes, assisted suicide is legal in the states of Montana, Oregon and Washington. Vermont has also passed a doctor-prescribed suicide bill, and earlier this year a judge ruled to allow it for terminally ill patients in New Mexico..
Sadly, what was once considered immoral is now being accepted by many. We will only see a rise in these so called "death with dignity" bills in other states.

We here at the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network believe in promoting a Culture of Life by embracing the true meaning of compassion by opposing the practice of imposed death. We must love and care for those who are sick and dying, not kill them.

Facebook:  Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network

Learn more on the law in your state

Guardian Angels Volunteering to Make an Impact

Nobody knew much about Roger. His niece had dropped him off at the nursing home one day, saying there was a family emergency. Could they keep him overnight?

Days passed, and then weeks.

Some thought that Roger’s niece had been pocketing his Social Security checks, and when authorities started catching on, she bolted. Whatever the reason, she never came back.

Mark Desmond
Enter Mark Desmond, Roger’s volunteer guardian. Mark, a newly retired sales manager, was determined to find out all he could about Roger, which was difficult given that he didn’t say more than a few words at a time. With a little digging, Mark learned that as a young man, Roger had worked on a dairy farm in Kansas.

Over time, Mark also discovered that Roger loved bananas. So each week before Mark would visit, he’d stop at the grocery to pick up a bunch.

“He’d have two or three right off the bat, and we’d just sit outside his room, and he’d smile,” Mark remembered. “It cost 39 cents for a pound of bananas. … It was just amazing how much enjoyment he got out of that.”

Volunteering as a guardian is about honoring the little things that make life better.

Full Article and Source:
Guardian Angels Volunteering to Make an Impact

Suspended SC Attorney, Kathleen Devereaux Cauthen, Linked to Massive Health Insurance Scam

A Richland County attorney who served on Blythewood Town Council has been linked to an alleged $28 million health care embezzlement scheme that bilked more than 17,000 customers before authorities shut it down.

The scheme, in which attorney Kathleen Devereaux Cauthen faces federal felony charges, also involved shell corporations – some set up to allegedly launder money – in various states, including South Carolina, as well as in the Bahamas and possibly Pakistan, according to documents filed in federal court in Nashville, Tenn.

Efforts to reach Cauthen, who was suspended from the practice of law by the S.C. Supreme Court late last month, were unsuccessful Monday. She could face eight years in prison if convicted.

The court order suspending her gave no specific reason. It also ordered a receiver, Peyre Lumpkin, to take custody of her legal files and trust accounts. According to court documents, the scheme that Cauthen aided involved setting up corporations that purported to offer legitimate health care coverage to more than 17,000 people and employer groups and the collection of more than $28 million in insurance premium payments. The people who paid premiums were in Arkansas, Indiana, Tennessee and other states, according to legal documents.

When people submitted claims for their coverage, those claims were “unjustly denied or turned down,” according to a separate filing in the case, an indictment in which she is named as an unindicted co-conspirator.

Some of those premiums people paid for health care coverage went into a bank account controlled by Cauthen and a co-conspirator, William Worthy II, at the First Citizens Bank & Trust Co in Blythewood, according to Cauthen’s information and Worthy’s indictment.

Full Article and Source:
Suspended SC Attorney Linked to Massive Health Insurance Scam

Read more here:

Read more here:

Friday, July 25, 2014

Mom Before and After and at Christmas 2013

Mom Before and After and at Christmas 2013

Judge Accused of Lying Suspended With Pay

A Seneca County judge indicted on charges that he lied about a 2013 beating outside of court has been suspended with pay.

The New York Court of Appeals' suspension of Honorable Roger W. Barto, acting justice of the Waterloo Village Court, was effective on July 16 — the day of the ruling.

Barto is accused of lying about a 2013 beating  outside court, falsely collecting insurance money and stealing gas from the Seneca County village.

The Seneca County District Attorney's Office unsealed a nine-count indictment charging Barto with five felonies and four misdemeanors stemming from the August 13, 2013 incident.

Barto told police that he was attacked from behind as he locked up Waterloo Village Court after an arraignment. Specifically, he claimed he'd been choked and hit on the head with a toilet tank lid left in a nearby garbage container during building renovations.

Barto allegedly lied about the encounter and also on insurance forms several days later, according to court documents, and is accused of collecting more than $3,000 in medical benefits through mid-June.

He's also accused of stealing gasoline that belonged to the village at Maple Grove Cemetery, according to Seneca County District Attorney Barry Porsch.

Barto pleaded not guilty in Seneca County Court to the indictment, which includes third-degree grand larceny, fourth-degree corrupting the government, third-degree insurance fraud, first-degree falsifying business records and defrauding the government, all felonies. He's also facing charges of third-degree falsely reporting an incident, petit larceny and two counts of official misconduct, all misdemeanors.

He was released on his own recognizance and is slated to return to court Aug. 11.

Full Article and Source:
Judge Accused of Lying Suspended With Pay

The White House Conference on Aging - WHCOA

We’re late, we’re late, we’re very, very late. For at least two years now, many senior organizations and advocates have been trying to get someone’s attention to focus on the next White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA).

President Truman held a National Conference on Aging in 1950. This was followed by a White House Conference on Aging being held in 1961, 1971, 1981, 1995, and 2005. At least four of these five conferences were preceded by legislation three to five years before.
President Truman held a National Conference on Aging in 1950. This was followed by a White House Conference on Aging being held in
1961, 1971, 1981, 1995, and 2005.
This history would suggest that the next WHCoA should be held in 2015 and it could also mean that we are already quite late in planning for the next conference.

The purpose of these conferences is to make recommendations to the President and the Congress concerning the aged. Considering the current major issues like Social Security reform and Medicare which directly affect all Senior Citizens, it is more important than ever to seek advice from the elders. A WHCoA next year would provide that opportunity.

....I don’t know whether this is too little, too late, or not. By the time you read this article, half of this year will be behind us.

Full Article and Source:
The White House Conference on Aging - WHCOA

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Conflict of Interest? Explanations Needed!

In 2012, longtime Portsmouth resident, 92-year-old Geraldine Webber, changed her will to make then 33-year-old officer Aaron Goodwin the primary beneficiary of her estate and it is the year she died.

Also, in 2012, the state of New Hampshire earned a "D" on the New Hampshire Corruption Risk Report Card ( by the State Integrity Investigation (a joint project of the Center for Public Integrity, Global Integrity and Public Radio International.

Police Sgt. Goodwin claims he received ethical clearance from his "superiors" to pursue a personal relationship with a woman in her 90s afflicted with dementia, enabling him to become the primary beneficiary of her $2.7 million estate, which resulted in the disinheritance of her only surviving relative (a disabled grandson) and of her long-term local friends who took her for meals and provided rides, structure and socialization for her for more than a decade, and also reduced inheritances for esteemed health care and educational institutions, and our own Portsmouth Police and Fire Departments (that is, the taxpaying citizens who employ Goodwin).

Ironically, as can be seen in Webber's 2012 estate planning DVD prepared by attorney Gary Holmes, Webber laments that she does not know how to reach Whitey Bulger, a career criminal linked to corrupt law enforcement in the 1970s. She would like to hire him to knock off anyone who tries to interfere in her plans to change her will. In addition to noting her questionable mental status on the DVD, one can only speculate about why Webber dwelled on the memory of a criminal noteworthy for his links to corrupt law enforcement during the process to revise her will.
The public needs to know if Goodwin is accurate in his claim that the leadership of the Portsmouth Police Department "cleared" him of "any ethical conflicts" when he pursued a relationship with Webber, as reported in the Portsmouth Herald's July 9 publication. The public also needs to know on what basis Goodwin's "superiors" make their ethical decisions.
The impact of questionable ethical guidance must not be swept under the rug through a mediated out-of-court settlement as is being advocated by the legal representation for Goodwin, attorney Chuck Doleac, and for attorney Gary Holmes who revised Webber's will in 2012; defense of this 2012 will is being provided by attorney Ralph Holmes.

Hospice Care: Separating Fact From Fiction

In the living room, a grandfather laughs and plays video games with his granddaughters. Later, he joins the rest of his family to say grace before enjoying a meal together. Moments of life like these may seem ordinary to most; so you may be surprised to learn this grandfather, Robert Mihelbergel from Buffalo, New York, was dying and on hospice care.

Many people think that being on hospice means lying in a bed, barely conscious. Mihelbergel was a patient who proves that is not case. Many of his final moments were anything but ordinary and they would not have been possible without the help of hospice.
Mihelbergel’s experience is not unique. The mission of hospice is to provide specialized care for end-of-life patients and their families. More simply, hospice care supports living one’s life to the fullest with dignity regardless of how much time remains. When Mihelbergel was diagnosed with cancer, he wondered “if there was any chance of getting my quality of life back while I was still alive. I knew at that moment it was time to call hospice,” he said in an interview prior to his passing.

There are many common myths about hospice, here are a few:
Myth: Hospice care means leaving home.
Myth: Hospice means forgoing all medical treatment.
Myth: Hospice means strangers care for you.
Myth: Hospice care ends when someone dies.
Myth: People on hospice are in bed, waiting to die.

Full Article and Source:
Hospice Care: Separating Fact From Fiction

Maintenance Worker Charged With Theft From Probate Court Office

A Saginaw County maintenance employee is charged with larceny in connection with the theft of money from the county's Probate Court office.

Sandra L. Burger, 57, is charged with larceny from a building, a felony that carries a maximum penalty of four years in prison.

Burger's arrest warrant alleges she stole money from the office, housed in the Saginaw County Governmental Center at 111 S. Michigan in Saginaw, from May 9 to June 17.

Full Article and Source:
Saginaw County Maintenance Worker Charged With Larceny in $525 Theft From Probate Court Office

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness: Denied in San Bernadino County

An elderly woman with Alzheimer's disease was taken from her home, imprisoned, and isolated at an assisted living facility. A step-granddaughter seized the entire estate. Sheriff's deputies aided and abetted the crimes. Social services agencies ignored the abuse. California Assembly Bill AB 937 (2013) was passed in response to the unlawful isolation.

Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Happiness: Denied in San Bernadino County

See Also:
Carol Hahn, California Victim

AZ: Siblings Sue Candidate for Secretary of State Over Trust Money

A lawsuit filed by six siblings of Wil Cardon accuses the candidate for Arizona secretary of state of abusing family trust funds with spending on his unsuccessful U.S. Senate candidacy in 2012 and to support a lavish lifestyle.

The suit filed July 16 in Maricopa County Superior Court contends that Cardon abused his role as trustee by improperly transferring $6.5 million for the 2012 campaign and an additional $3.2 million to himself this year.

Cardon is one of three candidates running for the Republican nomination for secretary of state.

Siblings Sue Wil Cardon Over Trust Money

Nursing Home Administrator Charged With Financial Exploitation

A nursing home administrator was charged with four counts of financial exploitation, the state attorney general’s office reported Tuesday.

Roberta Donaldson, 67, is the administrator of the Willow Haven Nursing Home, in Tonkawa.
On June 9, 2011, Donaldson told the nursing home’s receiver she wanted to buy four brown leather recliners for the nursing home’s common area, according to the probable cause affidavit.

That day, a fund that held money in trust for residents’ personal use had been taken. The amount totaled to $1,691.69 all together. None of the residents’ family members or guardians were consulted before the purchase was made, according to the affidavit.

Donaldson said it was a proper expenditure of the money from the fund when the receiver asked her four days later, according to court documents.

Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigators found Donaldson claimed she was given permission by the residents’ families to use the money in the trust funds.

Donaldson could face up to 40 years in prison and fines of up to $40,000 if convicted.

Nursing Home Administrator Charged With Financial Exploitation

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Facility Employee, Cesar Ulloa, Gets Life in Elder Abuse Case

A former employee at a Calabasas senior living facility has been sentenced to life in prison nearly three years after allegedly abusing several elderly residents.

In April a jury found Cesar Ulloa guilty of torture and seven counts of elder abuse committed in 2007 at the Calabasas Silverado Senior Living home, which specializes in caring for people with dementia and other memory-impairing diseases.

Ulloa, 21, was sentenced two weeks ago to six years for elder abuse and a life sentence for torture. The victims—three men and one woman—all suffered from dementia and were unable to speak or report the abuse.

The Reseda resident was a caregiver at Silverado between February and November 2007, according to the Los Angeles district attorney’s office.

Dep. District Attorney Robin Allen said Judge Martin Hercovitz sentenced Ulloa after several family members of the victims spoke of their loss and anger. Allen is with the district attorney’s elder abuse unit.

He did say that some stories, including one that Ulloa jumped off a dresser onto a client, were “bogus.” But he emphasized that Ulloa was absolutely guilty of abuse and was likely a sociopath, comparing him to serial killer Ted Bundy.

“We had no clue of his actions,” Shook said. “In every way he looked like the model caregiver. He had all the characteristics of a sociopath. No one can determine the problems until they see the trail left behind. That’s how this guy duped us.”

Authorities were alerted after a Silverado employee called 80- year-old Elmore Kittower’s widow and told her that her husband’s death in November 2007 was the result of abuse.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department arrested Ulloa in October 2008 after a yearlong investigation that revealed Kittower had been abused for months before his death.

Full Article and Source:
Employee Gets Life in Elder Abuse Case

See Also:
Brutal Abuse at Calabasais Retirement Home

State Sues Arlington Nursing Home, Alleging Neglect of Patients

The state is suing Oakwood Nursing and Rehabilitation in Arlington over allegations that patients with pressure sores did not receive proper treatment, including one man who died of an infection after he was hospitalized.

The suit against Oakwood was filed earlier this month in Tarrant County court by the Texas attorney general’s office on behalf of the Department of Aging and Disability Services, the agency that regulates and licenses nursing facilities. The department conducted investigations in March and April of 2013 after receiving complaints about treatment of patients with pressure sores.

The suit is seeking up to $20,000 per violation, alleging that Oakwood violated minimum care standards, and health and safety codes for treating patients with pressure sores, commonly known as bed sores, and for failing to maintain proper medical records.

 The state is also seeking permanent injunctions against the company to prohibit operating nursing facilities in violation of licensing standards and from failing to properly monitor patients with pressure sores.

 Recommended penalties
Gale said the agency recommended penalties including termination of Medicare and Medicaid certification, but the state’s recommendation was rescinded by the federal government. 

 Other recommendations included denial of payments for new Medicare and Medicaid admissions, and the federal government imposed that penalty from May 11 through June 30 of 2013. Oakwood was also ordered to pay a $156,835 penalty.

 Oakwood has also applied to renew its license, which expires on Aug. 1 of this year.

This is the second lawsuit to be filed by the attorney general in recent weeks against assisted living or nursing facilities.

Full Article and Source:
State Sues Arlington Nursing Home, Alleging Neglect of Patients

Read more here:

97-Year-Old Veteran: CA Retirement Home Booted Me to Homeless Shelter for Ukulele Music

A 97-year-old California man said he was recently forced to move from his retirement home to a homeless shelter because he was playing the ukulele too much.

Jim Farrell explained to KPIX that Redwood Retirement Residence in Napa took issue with his love for music.
“Management continually suppressed my talents,” he recalled.

“Management would stop me and say these words: ‘Go back to your room!’ Like a kid,” Farrell said. “No more.”

Farrell’s caretaker, Carol Elridge, pointed out that she only had a few weeks notice that he was being evicted.

“You just don’t put a 97-year-old on the street,” she remarked.

As of last Thursday, Farrell had spent three nights in a local homeless shelter.

“Here’s this frail man and he’s got his head held up high going in the doors of this shelter and knowing that this is not the place I ever expected him to ever be,” Elridge lamented.

Redwood Retirement, however, insisted to KTVU that it had evicted Farrell because his messy room had become a health hazard, and his behavior had become aggressive.

Farrell said that the facility sent him a $1,500 cleaning bill, making it impossible for him to afford to pay rent.

But on Friday, the 97-year-old veteran of three wars caught a break. An anonymous Napa resident donated enough money to help him move into Piner’s Nursing Home. His veteran’s benefits should be enough to cover his month-to-month expenses.

“Wonderful people are helping me. Beautiful people. Beautiful women,” Farrell observed.

Full Article and Source:
97-Year-Old Veteran:  CA retirement home booted me to homeless shelter for ukulele music

OH: 7 Cases Certified to Attorney Discipline Board

Court News Ohio
The Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline today announced seven cases recently certified to the board by a probable cause panel.

In each case, a certified complaint has been sent to the respondent, and the respondent has been asked to file an answer to the allegations contained in the complaint. Once an answer is received, the case will be assigned to a three-member hearing panel of the board, and the hearing panel will conduct further proceedings in the case.

Typically, a public hearing is scheduled within four to six months after the case is assigned to a hearing panel. Please consult the Upcoming Hearings schedule for a monthly schedule of board hearings. Contact the board’s office at 614.387.9370 to confirm that a hearing will be held as scheduled or for more information about a case. Case documents can be obtained via e-mail upon request.

If the board finds that a lawyer or judge has engaged in professional misconduct, the board will file a report with the Supreme Court that includes a recommended sanction. The Supreme Court is responsible for reviewing the case record and imposing discipline.

An asterisk (*) denotes a waiver of probable cause by the respondent that results in immediate certification of the case to the board. To access the complaints in these cases, click on the individual case numbers below.

Trumbull County Bar Association, Relator v. Csaba A. Bodor, Respondent
Case No. 2014-048
Respondent’s address: 8256 East Market Street, Suite 1150, Warren
Respondent’s counsel: None
Columbus Bar Association, Relator v. Joseph D. Reed, Respondent
Case No. 2014-050
Respondent’s address: 713 South Front Street, Columbus
Respondent’s counsel: None
*Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Relator v. Howard F. Schuman, Respondent
Case No. 2014-051
Respondent’s address: 2267 Fenwick Road, University Heights
Respondent’s counsel: None
Trumbull County Bar Association, Relator v. Ralph A. Zuzolo Jr., Respondent
Case No. 2014-052
Respondent’s address: 700 Youngstown-Warren Road, Niles
Respondent’s counsel: None
Trumbull County Bar Association, Relator v. David K. Roland, Respondent
Case No. 2014-054
Respondent’s address: 4505 Loganway, Hubbard
Respondent’s counsel: None
Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association, Relator v. Gary R. Axner, Respondent
Case No. 2014-055
Respondent’s address: 4403 St. Clair Avenue, Cleveland
Respondent’s counsel: None
Mahoning County Bar Association, Relator v. Roger R. Bauer, Respondent
Case No. 2014-056
Respondent’s address: 244 Seneca Avenue, Warren

Seven Cases Certified to Attorney Discipline Board

Monday, July 21, 2014

Los Angeles Superior Court Accused of Violating Voters' (Under Guardianship) Rights

Los Angeles Superior Court unlawfully strips voting rights from thousands of disabled Americans who are under adult guardianship, an advocacy group claims in a complaint to the Department of Justice.

The Disability and Abuse Project of Spectrum Institute, "as next friend of limited conservatees under the jurisdiction of the Los Angeles Superior Court," sent a formal complaint against Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday to the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division.

Project director Dr. Nora Baladerian said in a statement: "Being told that you are less than other Americans and that you cannot exercise your right to vote has a detrimental emotional and psychological effect on people with disabilities. We trust that Attorney General Eric Holder will take action to protect the rights of these deserving American citizens."

 According to the 8-page complaint, thousands of people with developmental or intellectual disabilities lose their right to vote after parents petition probate court to allow them to make legal, financial and medical decisions for their adult children.

The advocacy group claims the violations stem in part from court conservatorship workshops, in which parents are prompted to check off a box confirming their adult child is unable to complete an affidavit of voter registration.

Judges rely on that stroke of a pen to find that conservatees are disqualified from voting, according to the complaint.

Disqualifying adults with developmental disabilities in this way violates the Voting Rights Act of 1965, because the court is using a literacy test to make a determination, and court-appointed attorneys disregard federal laws that allow parents to assist their adult children in filling out voter registration forms, according to the complaint.

The project's legal director Thomas Coleman said there was no mention of the Voting Rights Act when he attended a seminar for Probate Volunteer Panel attorneys hosted by the Superior Court and the Los Angeles County Bar Association.

"The attorneys were told by a judge that proposed limited conservatees will lose their voting rights if they are unable to complete a voter registration form on their own accord. The judge did not mention disability accommodation laws. He specifically stated that a mother could not help her son by filling out the registration form for him," Coleman wrote in the complaint.

 Roughly 1,200 new limited conservatorship petitions go through the court every year. Most parents who file do not have a private lawyer to guide them through the process and rely on the court's self-help clinics, in addition to court-appointed attorneys.

Full Article and Source:
Courthouse News:  LA Court Accused of Violating Voting Rights

Family Sues Nursing Home; Claims Neglect Led to Patient's Death

The family of a woman who died at a Medford nursing home has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the facility, its owners and employees alleging neglect led to her death.

Aurelio Rios, 72, a retired dental assistant from Central Islip, died Oct. 26, 2012, of a heart attack because she wasn't attached to a ventilator at night as ordered by her doctor, according to the suit.

For nearly two hours, the nursing staff at Medford Multicare Center for Living ignored audible and visual warnings indicating that Rios was in serious danger with a faint pulse and low blood-oxygen level, the suit states.

Full Article and Source:
Family sues Medford nursing home, claims neglect led to patient's death

Utah Attorney John Ciardi Disbarred After "Belligerent" Courtroom Episode

A Utah attorney was disbarred recently after he allegedly became belligerent when a judge refused to hear his case. And at a later hearing regarding this behavior, he called witnesses "liars" and "idiots."
The July-August edition of the Utah Bar Journal outlined the incidents that led to Ivins-based attorney John Ciardi’s April disbarment.
According to the journal’s "Attorney Discipline" section, Ciardi appeared in 5th District Court in St. George to represent a client in a criminal case. However, neither Ciardi or his client was in the courtroom when the case was called, and the judge dismissed the case and sent it back to a lower court.
During the judge’s next roll call hearing, Ciardi entered the courtroom and interrupted the judge’s calendar, the Journal reports, and asked the judge to recall the case.
The judge asked Ciardi to sit down, and eventually had a bailiff escort him from the courtroom.
"Mr. Ciardi caused a disruption and swore loudly as he was leaving the courtroom," the Journal reports. "And he continued to yell loudly outside the courtroom and made disparaging remarks about the judge."
The Journal reports that the episode continued after Ciardi went to the judge’s clerk’s office, where he became "belligerent," yelling and making disparaging remarks about the judge. Eventually, bailiffs from three different courtrooms were called to escort the attorney from the courthouse.
As Ciardi was removed from the building, he yelled obscenities at the bailiffs, the Journal reports.
Later, at a hearing before the Utah Supreme Court Ethics and Discipline Committee, Ciardi allegedly made disparaging comments about the Utah judicial system, judges and committee members.
"Mr. Ciardi repeatedly interrupted witnesses who were attempting to offer testimony, and referred to witnesses as liars and idiots," according to the Utah Bar Journal.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Tonight on T.S. Radio: Human Trafficking: The Demographic Management of Everyone

Connie Lee, founder of will join us at 7:30 pm CST to talk abut her organization. Hopefully we can develope a similar organization for addressing the rampant abuse of the elderly at the hands of predatory guardians and corrupt probate courts. The FACSA Foundation (Family and Friends Fighting Against Child Sexual Assault) has been traveling the U.S.A. and Canada on a 115 city, Shattering The Silence Tour and Documentary Project filming a documentary on survivors stories from across the nation, conducting research on how child sexual assault is affecting our local communities, and hosting free public education prevention conferences across the nation, on prevention of child sexual assault and human trafficking.

At 8:00 pm CST, we will be joined by Dr Arden Gifford American Board of Psychiatry Addiction Psychiatry Former USAF Major Psychiatry Modern Psychiatry originally was based on the humane treatment of serious clearly psychotic illness to now include in 2013 Diagnostic and Statistical Manual V every aspect of human behavior entirely that can be labeled without due process to a person permanently through life and now digitized in the NSA to justify all payment to the doctor, any length of voluntary/involuntary incarceration, denial of medical treatment, to death and the ultimate administrative supervision.

Please note: Dr. Gifford cannot diagnose or treat anyone while on the air. This will be an informational interview discussing the relationship and the rights of the patient and how psychiatry is being used in today’s world especially with regards to the elderly.

LISTEN LIVE or listen to the archive later

Former Lawyer/Guardian Janet Mastronardi to Serve 30 Months Home Confinement for Embezzling from Elderly Woman

An East Greenwich woman and former lawyer who was charged with embezzling nearly $130,000 from an elderly woman will serve 30 months of home confinement and pay full restitution after pleading no contest to the embezzlement and elder exploitation charges on Wednesday.

Janet Mastronardi, 54, of 76 Goodwin St., reached a plea agreement with prosecutors and was sentenced by Superior Court Justice Walter R. Stone to seven years in prison with 30 months home confinement.

Fifty-four of those months were suspended with probation, which means Mastronardi, who allegedly bilked an 80-year-old woman she was given power of attorney over out of $129,107.57, will avoid spending time at the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston.

Prosecutors had argued for some time spent in jail, "but the court agreed with the defense request for home confinement in consideration of the defendant paying full restitution," Attorney General Peter F. Kilmarin said in a release.

Mastronardi was arrested after a State Police investigation concluded that she stole the money from the woman beginning in 2005 after she was given power of attorney and eventually, was appointed guardian.

The victim, identified as Jane Jacques, was suffering from deteriorating health and didn't have nearby family to take care of her.

In 2010, an employee of Mastronardi noticed "financial irregularities" while preparing a report of Ms. Jacques' finances for Probate Court.

"Specifically, it appeared as though Mastronardi was double billing Ms. Jacques for services rendered in conjunction with the guardianship," Kilmartin said.

Full Article and Source:
Mastronardi to Serve 30 Months Home Confinement for Embezzling from Elderly Woman

Editorial: Guardian Regs Must Rule Out Conflicts

I have been reading with interest about Franklin County Probate Judge Robert Montgomery’s efforts to improve Ohio’s guardianship laws. As a young attorney working in Cincinnati in the early 1980s for a seniors’ organization, I became the legal representative for someone whose situation continues to haunt me.

His guardian’s conflict of interest was astounding to me, and yet it was perfectly legal. Victor was an elderly gentleman with a sharp mind and a frail body, living alone. He was widowed and had no children; he had emigrated from Italy as a young man. He had no relatives who could come to his aid.

Fortunately, he did have a few surviving friends, and one of them contacted us about his situation. It turned out that, when Victor had been admitted to the hospital, a social worker made the decision that he was unable to continue living on his own. On Monday, Victor found himself being transported by ambulance to a nursing home rather than back to his apartment. What happened next is a nightmare that I hope will never again occur in Ohio.

The nursing home was a dingy, smelly, utterly depressing old house. There were no recreational facilities or activities for the residents.

Victor did not want to remain there, but he found out that he had been placed under a guardianship by the nursing-home owner, without ever being examined by anyone from the Probate Court.

Instead, the doctor employed by the nursing home had signed an affidavit saying that Victor needed to be placed under the guardianship of the nursing-home owner. By the time our organization became involved, the nursing-home owner had control over Victor’s retirement benefits and received Medicaid benefits to keep him in the home.

Challenging the guardianship proved to be difficult, but eventually it was transferred to me and we moved Victor to a much better facility.

I would hope that guardianship reforms also will ban the granting of guardianships where there is a clear conflict of interest. With Ohio’s current patchwork of 88 county laws, I’m sure that the situation I’ve described is not unusual.

A person whose business stands to benefit financially from obtaining a guardianship should be barred from acting in this fiduciary role.


Guardian Regs Must Rule Out Conflicts

Conservatorship of the Person of G.H.: On Appeal, Probate Court Order Reversed

C.A. 6th;
The Sixth Appellate District reversed a probate court order reappointing a conservator under the Lanterman-Petris-Short Act. The court held that the probate court exceeded its authority in granting a conservator’s petition for reappointment as a sanction for the conservatee’s refusal to submit to a mental examination in the absence of a court order compelling such an examination.

In 1998, the Santa Clara County Superior Court established a conservatorship over G.H.’s person pursuant to the Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act. G.H. was thereafter under continuous conservatorship.

In March 2012, the Santa Clara County Public Guardian filed a petition to be reappointed G.H.’s conservator under the LPS Act. The petition alleged that G.H remained gravely disabled as a result of mental disorder.

The trial court set the matter for an evidentiary hearing on May 9.

On May 9, G.H. was not present in court. The Public Guardian explained that G.H. had refused to submit to a mental examination with the Public Guardian’s doctor, and that it did not intend to transport G.H to court unless G.H. submitted to the mental examination.

At a continued hearing on May 25, G.H. again failed to appear in court. The Public Guardian informed the court that G.H. had again refused to submit to examination.

The probate court thereafter granted the Public Guardian’s request for a discovery sanction and granted the reappointment petition. In its written order, the court explained that G.H.’s failure to submit to a mental examination with the Public Guardian’s doctor authorized the court to impose an evidence or terminating sanction pursuant to Code Civ. Proc. §2032.410. The court found that G.H., as a consequence of his repeated non-compliance, had forsaken his right to an evidentiary hearing.

The court of appeal reversed, holding that, in the absence of a court order compelling G.H. to submit to an examination, his refusal to do so did not give the probate court authority to issue a terminating sanction.

Section 2032.410 states: “If a party is required to submit to a physical or mental examination … but fails to do so, the court, on motion of the party entitled to the examination, may make those orders that are just, including the imposition of an issue sanction, an evidence sanction, or a terminating sanction....” The problem here, the court explained, was that G.H. was never required to submit to an examination.

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Conservatorship of the Person of G.H.

MN Woman Accused of Financially Exploiting Her Grandmother

A Rochester woman will make her first court appearance July 24 on charges of felony financial exploitation of her grandmother.

Robin Joy Vale, 35, was charged in June by summons in Olmsted County District Court with three counts of exploiting a vulnerable adult.

The case began May 29, 2013, when a 76-year-old woman gave power of attorney to Vale, her granddaughter. 
The woman had a checking and savings account, with deposits made from her benefits and pension.
On Aug. 1, the woman was admitted to a Grand Meadow nursing home, the report says; Vale completed and signed the admission forms. She made one $550 payment on Dec. 11, despite the woman's alleged need for clothing and personal items.
A review of the bank statements from July through December 2013 revealed $8,978.12 in deposits from the alleged victim's benefits and pension. The statements indicate $8,022 in cash withdrawals and $1,148.71 in debit purchases.
The nursing home bills, addressed to Vale, went unpaid, the report says, and accrued a balance due of $7,610 by the December statement.
According to the criminal complaint, Vale said Kwik Trip expenditures on the bank account were for gas for driving to the nursing home to visit the woman, but surveillance video showed the transactions included food, fuel, tobacco and DVDs.

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Woman Accused of Financial Exploitation