Saturday, November 5, 2022

Wendy Williams back in her purple chair after rehab

By Nicki Cox

Wendy Williams seemed ecstatic to be reunited with her purple chair.Instagram/thewendyexperiencepodc

How you doing?!

Wendy Williams was all smiles as she took her place in the iconic purple chair she used on “The Wendy Williams Show” for over 12 years.

The 58-year-old star took to Instagram on Thursday to tell her fans to “stay tuned” for her upcoming podcast, “The Wendy Experience,” adding, “About Last NIGHT… Team WENDY!”

Williams — who kept things casual in a pair of black leggings, a sweatshirt with the podcast’s logo on it and a pair of fuzzy boots — was also joined by her management team for one of the photos.

Fans were quick to comment on how happy and healthy the eponymous talk show host looked after spending two months in rehab. However, they also urged her to not jump back into the spotlight too quickly. 

She told fans to “stay tuned” for her upcoming podcast.

“Good to see you in the purple chair❤️,” one fan commented.

“You look amazing Wendy! We are waiting for your return! Let’s go! How you doing!πŸ’œπŸ’œπŸ’œ,” another chimed in.

“We love you. Your health and well-being is the top priority, please care for yourself,” a third added. “The way we treat ourselves should be the same as if it was someone we were caring for. πŸŒΊπŸ’˜”

Williams checked back into rehab in September.
GC Images

Williams, who has battled addiction for years, checked into a treatment facility in September after her health took a sharp decline following a relapse with alcohol.

She was released nearly two months later with her new publicist, Shawn Zanotti, telling Page Six, “We are happy to report that Wendy Williams is home and healing after being in a wellness facility since August.”

Via Zanotti, Williams added, “Thank you to my fans for your love, support and many prayers, I am back and better than ever.”

Full Article & Source:
Wendy Williams back in her purple chair after rehab

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Wendy Williams

November 1, 2022 Disciplinary Actions

The Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders disciplined 12 attorneys, suspending five, reprimanding one, revoking the licenses of five, and admonishing one. There are three reciprocal orders and one discipline order from prior to September 26 included.

Timmy W. Cox, Sr., 7401 SW 16th St., Plantation, suspended until further order of the Court effective immediately following an October 11 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2014) Cox failed to respond to The Florida Bar File No. 2022-50,604(17C). The Florida Bar filed its Petition for Contempt and Order to Show Cause on August 16, 2022, and the Florida Supreme Court order Cox to show cause by September 1, 2022. Cox failed to file a response to the Court’s Order to Show Cause. (Case No: SC22-1063)

Calvin Carl Curtis, 1135 E. South Temple, Salt Lake City, UT, disciplinary revocation with leave to seek readmission effective immediately following a September 1 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2012) In the United States District Court, District of Utah, Case Number 2:21-cr-00464, Curtis plead guilty to one count of wire fraud, a felony violation of 18 U.S.C. §1343; and one count of money laundering, a felony violation of 18 U.S.C. §1957. (Case No: SC22-697)

Steven Konstantinos Dimopoulos, 6671 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Unit D-275, Las Vegas, NV, admonishment for minor misconduct. (Admitted to practice: 2011) This is a reciprocal discipline action, based on Dimopoulos’ notice to The Florida Bar of a Letter of Reprimand dated November 20, 2020, by the Southern Nevada Disciplinary Board. While representing a client in a personal injury matter, Dimopoulos failed to adequately supervise his staff. Dimopoulos’ nonlawyer staff members exchanged emails with the insurance company’s adjuster without copying the associate attorney assigned to the matter. Therefore, it appeared that the nonlawyers were negotiating the client’s settlement. (Case No: SC22-162)

Vegina Trimetrice Hawkins, 4824 S.W. 24th St., West Park, suspended for 90 days with automatic reinstatement pending a Florida Lawyers Assistance, Inc., evaluation, effective immediately following an October 6 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2004) While a circuit judge in 2019, Hawkins placed her hands near or on a court employee’s neck and made back and forth shaking motions for less than two seconds. The Judicial Qualifications Commission filed charges and suspended Hawkins during the investigation. Ultimately, Hawkins resigned from the bench. (Case No: SC22-590)

Brian Alfred Mangines, 1515 N. Federal Hwy., Suite. 300, Boca Raton, suspended for two years, nunc pro tunc, effective August 24, 2022, per the October 13 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1997) Mangines pled guilty to one count of Patient Brokering, a third degree felony, and was sentenced to 24 months of probation, which included a condition that he could not engage in the practice of law during probation. The Florida Supreme Court suspended Mangines on August 24, 2022, after the Bar filed a Notice of Determination or Judgment of Guilt following his guilty plea. The court then suspended Mangines for two years after he entered into a consent judgment with the bar. (Case No: SC22-1110)

Scott Leonard Newman, 16 Sutton Ter., Jericho, NY, suspended for one year effective 30 days following a September 1 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1998) This is a reciprocal discipline action, based on a New York Opinion and Order dated March 3, 2021, which imposed a one-year suspension. Newman submitted an affidavit in the New York matter in which he conditionally admitted that he (1) misappropriated funds entrusted to him as a fiduciary incident to his practice of law; (2) commingled personal funds with funds entrusted to him as a fiduciary, incident to his practice of law; (3) failed to make or maintain required bookkeeping records for his escrow account; and (4) engaged in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness as a lawyer. Newman failed to participate in The Florida Bar’s disciplinary proceeding. Newman had no prior discipline, and he made restitution prior to the bar’s involvement. Rules violated: 1.15(a) and (d), and 8.4(h) of the Rules of Professional Conduct (22 NYCRR 1200.0). By operation of Rule 3-4.6, Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, the Opinion and Order of the Supreme Court of The State of New York Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department was conclusive proof of such misconduct in this disciplinary proceeding. (Case No: SC22-148)

Gordon Thomas Nicol, 8845 Chambore Dr., Jacksonville, disciplinary revocation with leave to seek readmission effective 30 days following a September 29 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1989) Nicol’s law firm failed to handle multiple client matters in a proper manner. Nicol failed to properly supervise non-lawyer staff and associates who were assigned to these cases. Nicol had no prior disciplinary history. (Case No: SC22-981)

Robert Laurence Pelletier, 233 E. Bay St., Suite 1020, Jacksonville, public reprimand and attendance at ethics school within six months of a September 1 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2012) Pelletier was hired to represent a client in a criminal matter. He was hired to represent the client by a co-defendant to the criminal charges pending against the client he was hired to represent. Pelletier did not obtain a waiver from the parties involved related to the potential conflict. Pelletier failed to diligently pursue his client’s criminal cases and failed to adequately communicate with the client. Pelletier also failed to timely respond to the Bar’s inquiries. (Case No: SC22-397)

Nah-Deh E. W. Simmons, P.O. Box 41083, Jacksonville, suspended for 90 days, attendance at ethics school, DDCS, FLA, Inc., evaluation and payment of disciplinary costs effective 30 days following an October 20 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2007) Simmons engaged in multiple cases of neglect, inadequate communication, failure to respond to orders to show cause issued by appellate courts, failure to appear for hearings, and lack of candor to the court in two separate cases. Simmons had significant mitigation. (Case No: SC21-21 and SC21-1762)

Thomas Edward Stone, P.O. Box 292, Madison, disciplinary revocation with leave to seek readmission effective 30 days following a September 29 court order. (Admitted to practice: 1976) Stone, an assistant public defender, was assigned to represent a defendant in several criminal matters that included felonies. The client violated probation related to her plea of the criminal matters. Stone was again appointed to represent the client in the violation of probation matters. Thereafter, Stone admitted that he engaged in a sexual relationship with the client who he still represented at the time. The client reported she felt pressured to engage in the inappropriate relationship because Stone was handling the client’s criminal matters.  (Case No: SC22-945)

Thomas Edmondson Whigham Jr., 4310 W. Spruce St., Unit 238, Tampa, disciplinary revocation with leave to seek readmission effective 30 days following a September 29 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2013) Whigham was previously suspended for 30 days and placed on probation conditioned on his compliance with a Florida Lawyer’s Assistance, Inc., rehabilitation contract. Thereafter, Whigham is alleged to have failed to comply with the terms of his FLA, Inc., contract. During the Bar’s investigation of Whigham’s non-compliance, he filed a Petition for Disciplinary Revocation with Leave to Seek Readmission. (Case No: SC22-979)

James Santos Wilkie, 1333 S. Ocean Blvd., Ste. 1323, Pompano Beach, disciplinary revocation with leave to seek readmission after five years following an October 27 court order. (Admitted to practice: 2013) Wilkie agreed to a disciplinary revocation concerning the misuse of client funds. (Case No: SC22-1009)

The Florida Supreme Court, The Florida Bar and its Department of Lawyer Regulation are charged with administering a statewide disciplinary system to enforce Supreme Court rules of professional conduct for the more than 110,000 members of The Florida Bar. Key discipline case files that are public record are posted to attorneys’ individual online Florida Bar profiles. To view discipline documents, follow these steps. Information on the discipline system and how to file a complaint are available at

Court orders are not final until time expires to file a rehearing motion and, if filed, determined. The filing of such a motion does not alter the effective date of the discipline. Disbarred lawyers may not re-apply for admission for five years. They are required to go through an extensive process that includes a rigorous background check and retaking the Bar exam. Attorneys suspended for periods of 91 days and longer must undergo a rigorous process to regain their law licenses including proving rehabilitation. Disciplinary revocation is tantamount to disbarment.

Full Article & Source:
November 1, 2022 Disciplinary Actions

Pa. man raped 94-year-old dementia patient inside care home: police

By Jonathan Bergmueller

An Allentown man accused of raping a now-dead 94-year-old woman with dementia at the care home where he worked at will go forward trial, according to the Morning Call.

A fellow aide at the South Mountain Memory Care testified Wednesday that she walked into the woman’s room on Feb. 2 at around 5 a.m. and saw Anthony Clark, 49, standing between the woman’s legs and holding her upper thighs, the newspaper reported.

Clark’s pants were pulled down and bunched around his lower legs, the aide told District Judge Jacob Hammon. Because of her condition, the woman was unable to communicate, according to the Morning Call.

“He let go of her and just stood there, staring at me,” the aide said.

After she reported the incident to a supervisor, they immediately fired Clark.

The aide didn’t see a sexual act occurring, but prosecutors said DNA evidence collected during the rape examination belonged to Clark, according to the Morning Call.   

Police charged Clark with rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, institutional sexual assault and sexual assault, in addition to rape of an unconcsious victim and rape of a person with a mental disability. The judge this week determined prosecutors had provided enough evidence to carry the trial forward to Lehigh County District Court.

The elderly woman died in June from unrelated causes, according to the Morning Call.

Full Article & Source:
Pa. man raped 94-year-old dementia patient inside care home: police

Friday, November 4, 2022

FRANK'S FATE American Pickers alum Frank Fritz’s judge makes major ruling in conservatorship case after star suffers from stroke

by Teresa Roca

AMERICAN Pickers star Frank Fritz’s judge has made a major ruling in the star's conservatorship case after the star suffered a stroke. 

Frank, 59, was hospitalized for a stroke on July 14 after a friend found him on the floor of his Iowa home. 

An Iowa judge has made a major ruling in American Pickers alum Frank Fritz's conservatorship case
An Iowa judge has made a major ruling in American Pickers alum Frank Fritz's conservatorship caseCredit: Coleman-Rayner
Frank's friends filed for emergency guardianship after the star suffered a stroke in July
Frank's friends filed for emergency guardianship after the star suffered a stroke in JulyCredit: Zachary Maxwell Stertz/History Channel

Frank’s friends filed an emergency appointment of temporary guardian and conservator for the star on August 18, claiming his “decision­-making capacity is so impaired.”

The U.S. Sun can exclusively reveal an Iowa judge approved the Guardian’s Initial Care Plan for Protected Person filed on October 18. 

As The U.S. Sun previously reported, Frank has been at a rehabilitation center since he was released from the hospital on September 6.  

According to the plan, the guardian’s responsibility will be to "facilitate all care needs, provide transportation to all medical appointments and help with all social and domestic needs.”

By the time of Frank’s discharge from the rehabilitation center, his Iowa farmhouse must have “ramps” and “handles” for the shower and toilet. 

The guardian will help Frank with his Crohn's disease treatment and continued physical therapy. 

He will also help the former American Pickers star grocery shop, cook and “get Frank to any activity he feels up to.”

The court papers revealed Frank has no will for his $6million fortune.

He was unemployed at the time of the stroke, according to the filing.


The U.S. Sun previously reported Frank would be under a temporary guardianship and conservatorship

The documents read: “Because of his stroke, Mr. Fritz’s decision­-making capacity is so impaired that he is unable to care for his own safety, or to provide for necessities such as food, shelter, clothing, or medical care without which physical injury or illness may occur.

“Mr. Fritz’s decision­making capacity is so impaired that he is unable to make, communicate, or carry out important decisions concerning his own financial affairs.”

An exhibit was mentioned in the court papers from a doctor, confirming Frank “does not have decisional capacity.”

The legal papers continued: “Decisions must be made for Mr. Fritz’s care and placement while he continues to recover and receive treatment for his injuries. 

“Appointment of a guardian and conservator is necessary to avoid immediate harm to him.”

The Petitioner requested a separate “longtime friend” of Frank’s, who “has been assisting him in decision-making since the stroke,” be his guardian. 

A bank would be the conservator to handle Frank’s financial affairs.

The guardian and conservator were both approved by the court earlier this month.


Frank was hospitalized for a stroke on July 14 after a friend found him on the floor of his Iowa home. 

In an interview with the Quad-City Times, an insider revealed that Frank was on the mend, and his health was improving daily.

The friend told the publication: "He would like everyone to know he continues to get better every day and is very determined.

"He really is getting better every single day.”

The friend also alluded that Frank was not happy his hospitalization was released to the public by his former friend and co-star Mike Wolfe.

The source said: "While Frank was not prepared at the time for his condition to be published, he is grateful for all the prayers and well wishes.”


Frank's former co-host Mike Wolfe, 58, broke the news of the stroke by captioning an Instagram photo of the ex reality star soon after the hospitalization: “I have been very private in the past year in regards to Frank's life and the journey he’s been on.

"There has been lots of opinions in regards to mine and Frank’s friendship and the show but now is not the time to set the record straight." 

“Now is the time to pray for my friend. Frank has suffered a stroke and is in the hospital. Please keep him in your hearts and thoughts. Frank I pray more than anything that you make it through this okay. I love you buddy," he concluded.

Frank previously confirmed to The U.S. Sun that the longtime friends had a falling out.


Frank last appeared on American Pickers during a March 2020 episode, as he took time off to recover from back surgery, which left him with 185 stitches and two rods in his spine. 

During his time off the show, Frank lost 65 pounds.

He also told The U.S. Sun that he entered rehab for alcohol addiction in Iowa for 77 days.

Frank previously said: “I went to rehab and I’ve been sober now for 11 months.

“I didn’t like drinking anymore. My mom was an alcoholic and she died five years ago and it was alcohol-related. My grandfather was an alcoholic and he died. That didn’t sit well with me.”

Frank said of his time in treatment: “They gave me a lot of information and we were booked up for 13 or 14 hours a day. There was no sitting around watching TV or eating food. You were scheduled out for an hour, then an hour and half, all through the day.

“They really give you a lot of one-on-one time. I read 12 self-help books while I was there. I didn’t f**k around. I really got into it. I went there to learn and get the most out of it that I possibly could. 

“I had a great time there and I helped other people who were having problems too. It’s one of the best things that have happened to me.”

Frank continued that he goes to meetings "twice a week” after the stint.


Frank was open about wanting to return to the History Channel series after his hiatus, as he said: “I’d still like to get back to my job, I miss my friends and my people and being on the road and meeting all those different characters.”

But Mike soon revealed Frank had been fired from the series.

Frank owns an Iowa farmhouse that he bought for $155,000 back on May 14, 2010.

The show currently stars Mike, his brother Robbie, and Danielle Colby.

A judge approved the guardianship plan
A judge approved the guardianship planCredit: Coleman-Rayner
Frank- here with ex co-host Mike Wolfe- was fired from American Pickers in 2021
Frank- here with ex co-host Mike Wolfe- was fired from American Pickers in 2021

Full Article & Source:
FRANK'S FATE American Pickers alum Frank Fritz’s judge makes major ruling in conservatorship case after star suffers from stroke

Nursing home bed prices approach $100K even with sluggish occupancy

by Joe Bush

Nursing care bed prices have risen 21% from their pre-pandemic levels, despite a glacially paced occupancy recovery and ongoing stigma against the sector, a noted long-term care analyst reported Tuesday.

NIC senior principal Bill Kauffmann of the National Investment Center for Senior Housing & Care outlined the continuing sales phenomenon in a blog post Tuesday, using NIC MAP Data.

In late 2019, the price per nursing care bed averaged $80,000, a value that tumbled to a pandemic low of $74,900 in the third quarter of 2020. But even with occupancy yet to fully recover, the price per bed at the end of the third quarter averaged $97,300.

“At the same time, there are headwinds against higher prices,” Kauffman wrote. “These include the risk of Medicare reimbursement cuts, low occupancy rates, chronic underfunding of Medicaid reimbursement in many states, a staffing crisis, and ongoing elevated inflation including wage rate growth.”

Private buyers have dominated transactions in the past three years, Kauffman pointed out, driving up prices through bidding.

The percentage of closed transactions attributed to these buyers has steadily increased. Through the third quarter of 2022, private buyers made up 94% of buying activity, up from 82$ in 2020.

That trend tracks with findings released earlier this week by LeadingAge and Ziegler that showed many large nonprofit providers have been reducing their footprint in the skilled care market. 

Beset by horrible news of pandemic infection and deaths of residents and staff, employee flight, census drops and facility closures, the nursing home market has been a symbol of COVID pain. Yet, Kauffmann wrote, investors see enough opportunity that they are actively bidding and buying.

He attributed the high sales values to:

*Strong private buyer interest;

*Compelling demographic trends favoring the necessary care required for aging adults with more complex medical needs;

*Changes in capital and debt markets;

*Financial support from the federal government during COVID.

Kauffman wrote that the Patient Driven Payment Model, started before the pandemic has the potential to create higher cash flow for operators of skilled nursing properties because it rewards levels of care rather than volume of it. 

“Buyers can justify paying higher prices per bed if they are estimating higher cash flow,” wrote Kauffman.

He added that higher interest rates and labor market challenges could soon provide additional reasons for sellers to bring properties to market. A rush of available beds could slow the explosion in value.

 “If more sellers do come to market and the cost of capital increases as inflation and interest rates continue to stay elevated, the pace of increases in the price-per-bed for skilled nursing properties may be limited in the near-term.”

Full Article & Source:
Nursing home bed prices approach $100K even with sluggish occupancy

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Judge dismisses theft charges against Stan Lee's former manager


FILE - In this April 23, 2018, file photo, Stan Lee, left, and Keya Morgan arrive at the world premiere of "Avengers: Infinity War" in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Los Angeles judge declared a mistrial and dismissed grand theft charges Tuesday against a former business manager of Marvel Comics mastermind Stan Lee.

Superior Court Judge George Lomeli dismissed the charges against Keya Morgan, who was accused of stealing from Lee, when a jury was deadlocked 11-1 in favor of acquittal after two days of deliberations and a 2 1/2-week trial.

Lomeli said he was stepping in to clear Morgan of three felony counts of grand theft from an elder "in the interests of justice," according to Variety.

My client and I have spent four years proving his innocence and today we prevailed," Morgan's attorney Alex Kessel said in an email to The Associated Press.

Prosecutors had alleged that Morgan, 41, stole more than $220,000 in proceeds from three memorabilia signings from Lee about six months before Lee died in 2018. Morgan was arrested the following year. Initial charges of elder abuse and false imprisonment against Morgan were dropped long before the trial.

FILE - In this June 28, 2017 file photo, Stan Lee arrives at the Los Angeles premiere of "Spider-Man: Homecoming" at the TCL Chinese Theatre. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)

The prosecution argued during the trial that Morgan had preyed on Lee when Lee was in mental decline in the last months of his life, and acted without authority on his behalf.

Kessel argued that the missing money actually went to Lee's daughter and heir J.C. Lee, who was a witness during the trial.

The proceedings were largely overshadowed by the simultaneous trials of disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and actor Danny Masterson, which were going on simultaneously with Morgan's in the same hallway of a downtown LA courthouse.

An after-hours email sent to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office seeking comment was not immediately returned.

Lee, the creative dynamo who co-created characters including Spider-Man, the Fantastic Four and the Incredible Hulk for Marvel and made beloved cameos in the movies that featured his creations, died in November of 2018 at age 95.

Full Article & Source:
Judge dismisses theft charges against Stan Lee's former manager

Defamation lawsuit filed over allegations of elder abuse in Aiken dismissed

By Matthew Christian

Nov. 2—The legal battle over the $8 million plus estate of an Aiken woman who died in early January appears to be over.

John W. Harte, attorney for former South Carolina House of Representatives candidate and George Funeral Home owner Cody Anderson, said that an agreement had been reached to dismiss a defamation lawsuit filed on Anderson's behalf against local attorney Ray Massey and accountant Wanda Scott.

Harte filed the defamation suit on Anderson's behalf against Massey and Scott on June 12 over allegations of elder abuse and undue influence made in legal documents filed during the spring legal battle over the estate of Mary Margaret Wenzell Crandall.

Massey and Scott asked the court in late January to use a will written in 2001 to distribute Crandall's assets. In that will, Massey and Scott were named as the people who distributed Crandall's assets.

Anderson asked the court in February and March to use a will written in 2020 to distribute Crandall's assets. In that will, Anderson was named the person who distributed Crandall's assets.

On March 17, Massey and Scott argued that Anderson had used undue influence to convince Crandall, who was diagnosed with dementia in 2018, to sign the 2020 will.

The allegation was denied by Harte in a statement sent after the Aiken Standard published an article about the legal battle.

Judge Courtney Clyburn-Pope eventually threw out the 2020 will because it did not meet the requirements of the South Carolina Probate Code. When the 2020 will was thrown out, Massey and Scott agreed to dismiss their claims of elder abuse and undue influence against Anderson.

Harte then filed two defamation lawsuits over the allegations over elder abuse and undue influence.

On April 5, Harte filed a defamation lawsuit on Anderson's behalf against Ed Hatcher, the owner of Hatcher Funeral Home and Cremation Service over comments Hatcher made on Facebook about the allegations over elder abuse. That suit was settled on Aug. 12.

Harte filed the defamation suit against Massey and Scott on June 12, alleging that the allegations of elder abuse and undue influence were made without evidence and with no investigation.

Billy Newsome, the attorney for Massey and Scott, said there had been no defamation and that the suit was "a ridiculous attempt to deflect from the truth, and we look forward to sharing the facts through the legal process — again."

That suit was dismissed by the parties on Oct. 17.

Harte, said in an emailed statement that Anderson, Massey and Scott had reached an agreement to dismiss the case without an admission of liability or a payment by any of the parties.

"After investigation, Anderson determined that Scott and Massey did not have a personal vendetta against him or knowingly make false statements against him without investigation or with the intent to hurt his professional reputation as a licensed funeral director," Harte said.

He added Scott and Massey's investigation did not reveal evidence of Anderson obtaining any of Margaret Crandall's funds before or after her death, and that Scott and Massey were not aware of Anderson participating in isolating Margaret Crandall from her friends and family or her financial assets.

Full Article & Source:
Defamation lawsuit filed over allegations of elder abuse in Aiken dismissed

Pensacola man arrested for allegedly trying to smother 86-year-old mother with pillow

by Benjamin Johnson

*Editor's note: This story has been updated to correct the age of the victim.

A Pensacola man was arrested Thursday morning after police were given a video that allegedly shows him attempting to suffocate an his 86-year-old mother.

Christopher Jerome Asmar, 54, is charged with two counts of attempted homicide and two counts of aggravated battery on a person 65 years of age or older after in-home caregivers of his mother saw Asmar allegedly beat her on Monday.

Asmar moved into the home around July, according to the arrest report, which is when caregivers said they began discovering unexplained bruises on his mother. The bruises always appeared in the morning after the caregivers were not on the property.

The caregivers told authorities they installed video cameras in the mother's living room where she sleeps "to make sure she was not falling out of bed, hurting herself unintentionally, and to find out how she was getting the bruises."

After picking the camera up Tuesday morning, one of the caregivers returned at 7:30 p.m. and hid behind the house where she heard Asmar "yelling obscene things" at his mother, seeing him "strike (her) with the pillow."

"(Caregiver) stated she could not watch any longer once she observed Asmar put the pillow over (the mother's) face and put his entire body weight on the pillow," the report states. "(She) stated it appeared as if Asmar was trying to suffocate (the mother)."

PPD officers were called and transported Asmar to the station for questioning.

Deputies viewed the recording from the cameras the caregivers installed, and reportedly saw Asmar striking the woman and screaming expletives toward her.

One video allegedly shows Asmar striking his mother in the face and body with a blanket multiple times while yelling "I'm done with your (expletive)."

While allegedly striking her with the blanket, he also allegedly said, "You wake up too much longer, I'll suffocate you myself."

"After striking her several times, Asmar is seen placing the pillow over (her) face and laying his weight on the pillow," the report states.

The report also alleges there are "several more videos" that show Asmar "berating" her as she calls out for help.

During Asmar's questioning, investigators reportedly showed him one of the videos of him beating his mother, and he identified himself, telling authorities "the video took place because he got angry" with his mother due to her dementia.

Asmar is held in Escambia County Jail without bond.

Full Article & Source:
Pensacola man arrested for allegedly trying to smother 86-year-old mother with pillow

Wednesday, November 2, 2022

Nursing home owner Bob Dean loses legal control as judge weighs Ida evacuation settlement


A Jefferson Parish judge is scheduled to consider a proposed class-action settlement Wednesday over nursing home owner Bob Dean Jr.’s botched evacuation of 843 south Louisiana patients for Hurricane Ida.

Dean likely won’t appear to testify, though he's received a subpoena. That's because a probate judge in Georgia last month granted a petition to appoint Dean's wife, Karen Dean, as his emergency guardian, records show.

Those records cite medical evaluations that “support a determination (Dean) is diagnosed with dementia, short-term memory issues, and bipolar disorder,” the court order states. 

In Georgia, judges may name a guardian or conservator if they find an adult “lacks sufficient capacity to make or communicate significant responsible decisions concerning the management of his or her property.”

The Sept. 26 order grants Karen Dean authority over her husband's medical treatment, contracts and legal matters. It says Bob Dean, 69, is at least $40 million in debt. There is no end date to the guardianship, a court official said.

How the Georgia order might affect the hearing this week before 24th Judicial District Judge Michael Mentz is uncertain.

Dean's lawyers have long argued that Dean suffers from dementia, and he's managed to avoid giving sworn statements over the evacuation of seven south Louisiana nursing homes to a Tangipahoa Parish warehouse. 

His attorneys are also fighting Dean's subpoena, citing the guardianship order from Georgia. Forcing Dean to appear in a Jefferson Parish courtroom would be "oppressive, harassing, embarrassing, and unduly burdensome" for the former nursing home magnate, they argued in a request for a protective order.

"Dean's health and finances are in a state of collapse," they said.

Attorneys for some of Dean's former patients have cast doubt on that dire picture, suspecting an attempt to skirt accountability for the squalor he allegedly left his patients to wallow in at the warehouse in Independence.

Dean's attorneys claim he was "never the same" after he underwent dental surgery in April 2021, months before he launched an evacuation of his nursing homes as Hurricane Ida approached. 

More than a dozen residents died in the evacuation’s aftermath, though coroners have classified only five of those deaths as "storm-related.” Records show Dean, who wasn't there, ignored staff pleas for help and browbeat state health inspectors who were trying to intervene.

Dean’s seven nursing homes were seized by lenders after state health officials pulled his operating licenses shortly after the evacuation. He quickly got behind on paying off a mountain of debt on the vacant homes. His attorneys cite $40 million in judgments related to those and other debts.

Dean also faces criminal charges related to the ill-fated evacuation. Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office booked him in June on eight counts of cruelty to the infirm, five counts of Medicaid fraud and two counts of obstruction of justice. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Advocates pushing for the settlement, led by attorney Rob Couhig, argue that time is wasting for elderly former patients who are rapidly dying off.

They say they’ve found little in the way of available assets to supplement insurance proceeds pegged at $13 million to $15 million. More than 100 of Dean’s former patients have died since the storm, attorneys estimate.

But lawyers for many of Dean’s former patients have balked at the proposed all-or-nothing settlement, calling it premature and claiming it lets Dean off the hook.

Morris Bart, whose firm represents scores of Dean’s former patients or their families, is opposing the proposed settlement, claiming it ignores possible assets Dean may be hiding.

Bart cites about $10.4 million that he argues could be available from additional insurance proceeds and frozen bank funds that Dean is trying to reclaim.

Staff writer Andrea Gallo contributed to this story.

Full Article & Source:
Nursing home owner Bob Dean loses legal control as judge weighs Ida evacuation settlement

Paychecks cut off for Caledonia probate judge whose law license had already been suspended

By Ethan Weinstein

Judge William Cobb. Law office photo
Caledonia County Probate Judge William Cobb, whose license to practice law was suspended earlier this year, will lose his salary beginning Nov. 3, the Vermont Supreme Court decided last week.

Cobb has the opportunity to file a motion for reargument about the salary decision, according to the Supreme Court’s Oct. 24 entry order.

Without his license to practice law, Cobb, a Democrat, will still appear on the Nov. 8 ballot. He’s being challenged by Annette Lorraine, a Peacham lawyer with nearly 30 years of experience who is running as an independent.

Cobb had been suspended with pay despite not being able to do his job. His law license, suspended on July 10, will not be restored until October 2023, and the Vermont Supreme Court reaffirmed that decision last month. 

In May, Vermont’s Professional Responsibility Board, which investigates ethics complaints against lawyers, found that Cobb had been “dishonest and deceptive” and had shown “little remorse.”

The board sanctioned him on five counts related to two different cases. According to the findings, Cobb disclosed confidential juvenile records and confidential client information, failed to provide competent representation because he did not review recordings of interviews or follow his client’s wishes about modifying conditions of release, and misrepresented his timekeeping.

In December 2020, Vermont’s Judicial Conduct Board sanctioned Cobb for abusing his judicial position to gain an advantage for one of his clients who was facing criminal charges. The board did not specify the nature of that abuse.

In addition to being the probate judge, Cobb is the sole practitioner at a St. Johnsbury law firm.

Full Article & Source:
Paychecks cut off for Caledonia probate judge whose law license had already been suspended

West Memphis caregiver arrested, charged with elder abuse after allegedly assaulting a patient

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Catherine Daniels assaulted a patient inside their home in May.

Credit: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation

Author: Jackson Brown

WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. — A woman from West Memphis, Arkansas, has been arrested and charged following an investigation into the abuse of a vulnerable adult.

On June 3, TBI began its investigation into Catherine Daniels after receiving information of alleged abuse. 

During the investigation, agents determined, while working as an in-home caregiver on May 30, Daniels assaulted a patient at a house in the 2200 block of Meadow Glade Lane.

On October 13th, the Shelby County Grand Jury returned indictments charging Daniels with abuse of a vulnerable adult and neglect of a vulnerable adult. 

Daniels was taken into custody Tuesday by TBI and booked into the Shelby County Jail. Her bond is set at $10,000. 

Daniels is no longer employed as a caregiver. This remains an active and ongoing investigation, TBI said. 

Full Article & Source:
West Memphis caregiver arrested, charged with elder abuse after allegedly assaulting a patient

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

San Joaquin County judge censured for DUI crash, allegedly misleading officers

by Aaron Leathley

A San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge was publicly censured by California's Commission on Judicial Performance in October 2022 for his involvement in a car crash while under the influence.  Clifford Oto/The Record

A San Joaquin County judge was censured by a California judicial misconduct commission for causing a car crash while intoxicated and misleading police officers and bystanders about the incident, the commission announced Thursday.

"Judge (Michael J.) Mulvihill’s conduct reflects poorly on his integrity, (and) negatively impacts the public’s perception of him, and of the judiciary in general," the Commission on Judicial Performance said in a statement.

Mulvihill, who has served as a San Joaquin County judge since 2015, agreed to public censure to end a preliminary investigation into his DUI crash and subsequent comments to police on New Year's Day, 2022, the commission's decision stated. 

Commissioners stopped short of removing Mulvihill from the bench, saying, "The misconduct here does not rise to the level of wrongdoing in which the Supreme Court has imposed the ultimate sanction." Mulvihill's attorney, Paul S. Meyer, declined to comment on Thursday.

Judge Michael Mulvihill, right, after being sworn in in 2015. Mulvihill faced public censure by a judicial misconduct commission in October following a DUI crash and what the commission described as misleading statements to police officers.
Judge Michael Mulvihill, right, after being sworn in in 2015.  Mulvihill faced public censure by a judicial misconduct commission in October following a DUI crash and what the commission described as misleading statements to police officers.  Clifford Oto/The Record

At about 6 p.m. Jan. 1 while driving, Mulvihill's car crashed into barriers on both sides of the road on Pacific Avenue near the Calaveras River in Stockton, according to the commission's description of the incident. No one was injured, a Stockton police spokesman said.

Before police arrived, Mulvihill tried to drive away, lying to bystanders attempting to keep him at the scene by saying the incident would be "extra bad" for him because he was a truck driver, according to the commission.

Mulvihill then walked away from the crash and was chased by a bystander, who convinced him to stay, the commission stated.

When a Stockton police officer arrived, Mulvihill told the officer he had been texting and driving, but did not disclose that he had been drinking, the commission stated.

When asked directly if he had been drinking, Mulvihill told the officer, "I had two beers." He later told an officer at the police station that he had had three pints of beer, according to the description of the incident.

After administering a sobriety test, police arrested Mulvihill for allegedly driving under the influence and texting while driving. A blood test taken about three hours after the crash showed his blood-alcohol content was 0.25 percent, more than three times the legal limit, the commission stated. The judge reported his arrest to the misconduct commission on January 4.

In June, Mulvihill pleaded no contest to DUI charges. He was sentenced three years of informal probation, a DUI class and 10 days in jail, the commission stated.

Since his arrest, Mulvihill has attended Alcoholics Anonymous daily and enrolled in a continuous alcohol monitoring program, the commission stated. In letters to the commission, Mulvihill's colleagues spoke about his "strong work ethic and fair administration of justice."

"The commission recognizes that all of the acts of misconduct ... arose out of one drunken lapse of judgment to get behind the wheel of a car," the decision stated. "However, that lapse is no more excusable here than when anyone else makes a similar mistake while under the influence."

The commission has the authority censure judges confidentially, publicly or remove them from the bench, Emma Bradford, the body's legal advisor, said. 

"Judge Mulvihill has taken significant steps to ensure that this behavior will never occur again," Presiding Judge Michael Coughlan of the San Joaquin County Superior Court said in a statement. "Through his actions following the incident, he has demonstrated a sincere commitment in that regard."

Full Article & Source:
San Joaquin County judge censured for DUI crash, allegedly misleading officers

EXCLUSIVE: Great-grandma uses cane to save elderly neighbor from violent purse snatching in Oakland

By Dion Lim

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A remarkable story is coming out of West Oakland Sunday after a cane-wielding great-grandmother saved another senior from getting robbed in broad daylight!

Ring video from 76-year-old Miss Faye's home shows her running out her front door on the afternoon of Oct. 12.

She had spotted a vehicle she thought was a rideshare driver, cruising down the street. That's when she says a young man came out of the sedan and attacked her elderly neighbor, who is also in her late 70s. She knew she had to jump into action.

In the video you can hear her yelling for her German Shepherd Troy to come out and help. Since Troy was in the backyard, Miss Faye ran out with her cane to stop the attacker who was grabbing her neighbor's purse. She even used her cane to hit the car several times, which led to the suspect dropping her neighbor's purse.

"If my knees weren't hurting me, I think I would have been out there a little faster," She laughed.

When asked if she was scared to intervene, Miss Faye says not one bit.

"I never thought about it. Fear never crossed my mind, cos I'm crazy I guess," She says laughing. "I don't know. It's just something that's in my nature. I do things, and it doesn't bother me until a couple hours later. That's how I've always been."

Law enforcement never encourages people to interfere with a crime in progress, so Miss Faye is grateful, because this situation could have been much worse. She has these words of advice for a more harmonious community.

"Just try to be neighborly. Watch out for your neighbors and surroundings, even for your personal self, because so many things have been happening lately. Not just in Oakland, but all over the world. Just be aware of your surroundings. That's all I have to say about that," she said.

Miss Faye says her neighbors have been calling her a hero and bringing her pies and other food to show their thanks. According to her, the victim in this crime is a little bruised but now doing okay.

EXCLUSIVE: Great-grandma uses cane to save elderly neighbor from violent purse snatching in Oakland

Monday, October 31, 2022

Montana U.S. Attorney Hails Sentences for Elder Fraud and Abuse

by Peter Christian

Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - U.S. Attorney for the State of Montana Jesse Laslovich hailed recent court cases and harsh sentences for those convicted of elder fraud and abuse in the state.

In an exclusive interview with KGVO News on Thursday, Laslovich shared the action of U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to focus on perpetrators of elder fraud and abuse.

“The Attorney General created a transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force in partnership with various U.S. Attorney offices throughout the country to ensure that we're holding people accountable who are exploiting older adults, as we call them, those over 60 years of age,” began Laslovich. 

Laslovich said there were hundreds of successful prosecutions that resulted in long prison sentences.

“Throughout the last year, we had over 260 cases involving over 600 defendants,” he said. “We had a case actually here in western Montana of someone who was a lawyer, but of course is no longer a lawyer, who is now in prison who was defrauding folks who he knew all of whom were over the age of 60, saying that he had a construction company. “He said that people could invest in the construction company, but instead he was investing in the futures market and lost a bunch of the money and started running a Ponzi scheme.”

In another egregious case, one Butte defendant embezzled over half a million dollars from a blind woman who trusted the defendant with her finances.

“Over $600,000, unfortunately, was stolen from that victim,” he said. “The issue in that case was that it was a caretaker, which made it particularly egregious and in our view, we look at those kinds of cases harshly. So it's one thing where you take advantage of someone who has a friend like the attorney in Corvallis where they have some kind of affinity and there's a trust there, which is egregious in and of itself, but it's another when you have been entrusted with the (physical and financial) care of someone else. In particular, someone who is disabled, who is in this instance blind, and stealing an exorbitant amount of money, over $600,000 from that person.”

KGVO asked Laslovich how friends and family of those who are elderly can help them avoid such criminal activity.

“If we have that skepticism or we ask questions; we ask other folks ‘Hey, John Doe is asking me to give him money. Have you heard about this? What do you think?’, and then of course, calling and asking state, local or federal authorities, here's what's been presented,” he said. “ Authorities can step in and ask, ‘Is there a crime occurring here or not?’ So people being vigilant, not hesitating to ask questions, and being disciplined about to whom they're giving their money will be a good start.”

Laslovich said the Elder Fraud Strike Force has added 14 new U.S. Attorney’s Offices, including Montana.

Full Article & Source:
Montana U.S. Attorney Hails Sentences for Elder Fraud and Abuse

21st District Probate Judge gets law license reinstated

Republican Probate Judge Peter Mariano speaks with Kathleen Donovan of Naugatuck on in May during the 21st Probate District Democratic nominating convention at Shepardson Community Center in Middlebury. Andreas Yilma Citizen’s News

By Andreas Yilma Citizen’s News

NAUGATUCK — 21st District Probate Judge Peter Mariano had his law license reinstated on Oct. 26 after about a year of it being inactive.

The district encompasses Naugatuck, Prospect, Beacon Falls and Middlebury. Probate courts oversee decedents’ estates and trusts, and handle a wide range of issues affecting children, the elderly, and people with intellectual and psychiatric disabilities.

Mariano, 62, of Naugatuck, was sentenced May 9 after he pleaded guilty to two counts of operating under the influence as a first offender and class B misdemeanor reckless endangerment on charges from last year. He served four days in jail earlier this year.

Before Mariano was sentenced and afterward, he was allowed to continue being probate judge because Mariano was grandfathered to a time when having a law license was not a requirement of being probate judge.

“I’m delighted that I have the law license back,” Mariano said. “I practiced law for 37 years and I’ve had an unblemished record in the practice law and as probate judge.”

Mariano said his law license will be effective as of Nov. 3.

Mariano’s friends — borough attorney Ned Fitzpatrick, attorney Carlos Santos, Naugatuck Mayor N. Warren “Pete” Hess, state Rep. David K. Labriola, R-Oxford, and attorney Kevin H. McSherry — sent a letter, last year, to Judge Salvatore C. Agati at Waterbury Superior Court asking the judge to suspend Mariano’s law license so he could get treatment as he previously struggled with alcohol before he was charged.

His same friends recently sent another letter asking for his law license to be reinstated several months ago to Salvatore.

“The Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel has received from the respondent, Peter E. Mariano, statements and documentation that disability referenced in count one of the amended presentment is being managed and the attorney is fit to presume the practice of law,” according to Waterbury Superior Court documents from Judge W. Glen Pierson.

Mariano said he submitted a certified copy of the Council on Probate Judicial Conduct findings from July, during his reinstatement of his law license.

No one testified against Mariano during his reinstatement, he added.

“There is not a record of complaints about his competence, integrity, demeanor or attention to his duties during that tenure,” according to the findings of the council on probate judicial conduct

“As a result, at the time of this public hearing Judge Mariano has been performing his duties in the Naugatuck Probate Court for more than seven months. The fact that he has performed his court responsibilities without negative incident and demonstrated a commitment to sobriety for that length of time is a credit to him,” the council on probate judicial conduct also stated in its findings.

Mariano previously asked for leave to address his alcohol issues where he received treatment soon after he was charged late last year.

For the past year, Mariano said he has conducted all of his probate hearings as the judge and his top priority has been being the judge and he’s recovering.

“My commitment was to my sobriety and my judgeship,” Mariano said.

Mariano, who is nearing the end of his fifth four-year term and has run unopposed for 16 years, is seeking reelection in the Nov. 8 election as he faces against state Rep. Rosa Rebimbas.

Mariano said his past borough firm where he was a partner, Fitzpatrick Santos Sousa Perugini, has asked him to return to practice law. He plans to return to the firm and looks to return to the probate judge seat as well.

Full Article & Source:
21st District Probate Judge gets law license reinstated

Flagstaff caregiver convicted of sexual assault

The victim's family sued the facility alleging negligence and elder abuse. Records show the facility settled.

Author: Bianca Buono

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — A medical technician at a Flagstaff nursing home is awaiting sentencing after he sexually assaulted an elderly woman with memory issues who he was supposed to be caring for.

Jonathan Chesley, 41, was found guilty of sexual assault, vulnerable adult abuse, aggravated assault and tampering with physical evidence.

Chesley was working as a medical technician at The Peaks, a nursing home in Flagstaff. He was working in the memory care unit on the morning of January 24, 2021, according to a report from the Flagstaff Police Department.

Chesley encouraged his two colleagues to take breaks at the same time, leaving him alone. That's when records show he walked into the room of an elderly woman with memory issues and sexually assaulted her.

Another employee walked into the room and witnessed it.

According to police, that employee screamed as she saw Chesley with his pants down standing over the victim.

In the minutes following the assault, documents show Chesley frantically grabbed cleaning supplies and went back and forth into the victim's room at least three times. 

Police arrived at the facility and Chesley initially told detectives he was changing the victim's clothing and his pants were too big so they fell down. However, he was subsequently arrested.

Earlier this month, he was found guilty. Chesley is scheduled to be sentenced in Coconino County Superior Court on December 1.

Flagstaff PD says they did not discover any additional victims in their investigation.

Michele Ortiz, the executive director of The Peaks, released the following statement:

"The Peaks, A Senior Living Community (The Peaks) is aware of the allegations and charges made against a former employee. Although we cannot comment on the specific allegations made against the former employee, The Peaks has been cooperating with the Flagstaff Police Department and the office of the County Attorney, and will continue to cooperate as needed. The safety and well-being of our residents is our highest priority. We are fully committed to providing a safe and caring environment for our residents."

Family says facility was negligent

The disturbing incident prompted the victim's family to file a civil lawsuit against Chesley, The Peaks, Northern Arizona Senior Living Community, and the Goodman Group which manages the facility.

The lawsuit alleged the facility was negligent. 

Prior to working at The Peaks, records show Chesley was a school teacher. He then worked at Brookdale, another assisted living facility. He was terminated for mishandling patient medications.

The civil suit also alleges employees at The Peaks broke protocol in leaving Chesley alone in the memory care unit. It says there was a delay in reporting the assault and Chesley was allowed time to dispose of evidence and have continued access to the victim.

Court records show a settlement was granted earlier this year.

ADHS involvement 

Online records show Arizona's Department of Health Services conducted a survey at The Peaks in December 2020, a month before the assault. ADHS records indicate surveyors did not go back until August 2022.

12News emailed ADHS asking if they conducted an investigation following the sexual assault but ADHS has not responded.

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Flagstaff caregiver convicted of sexual assault