Saturday, August 12, 2023

Houston-area grandmother covered in bruises, hospitalized after incident at nursing home

By Matthew Seedorff

Woman says grandmother beaten at nursing home

Only on FOX, heartbreaking allegations were made against a Houston area nursing home. A woman claims her grandmother was beaten up and left to suffer by workers at the facility. FOX 26's Matthew Seedorff has more on how the grandmother is doing.

Texas Health and Human Services are investigating a Houston-area nursing home after a grandmother was taken to a hospital from the facility covered in bruises.

"They told me that she fell," said Tiffany Chioles. "They said she fell sometime that morning and that they found her around 7 o-clock."

On Saturday, Tiffany says she went to see her 87-year-old grandmother, Katie Medeiros, at Cypress Creek Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center. When she arrived, Tiffany says Medeiros had been isolated in a wheelchair and had bruises all over her body.

"She [has] all of the bruising on her face," said Chioles. "The bruising wraps around both arms. Then, she has it on her bottom. If you fall forward, you’re not going to bruise your butt. Somebody did this to her. This was not her doing it to herself."

The grandmother told FOX 26 in a Zoom interview from a hospital room Wednesday that her memory is "fuzzy" involving what happened at the nursing home.

"I’m doing pretty good," said Medeiros. "But, I’m very weak."

According to Chioles, the staff wouldn’t call for medical help when she told them her grandma’s health was deteriorating. As a result, Chioles says she called 911 on her own, but then she says the staff wouldn’t let Medeiros leave with paramedics.

"I had the staff telling me that she wasn’t leaving the facility with paramedics when they got there," said Chioles. "I’m in tears because it’s just a mess and my grandma needed help, and they’re not letting her get help. They delayed her medical treatment by maybe an hour."

Chioles tells FOX 26 her grandmother was taken to a nearby hospital and received several tests. She says among other things, her grandmother has a concussion. In addition, Chioles says her grandmother had an infection that was being ignored.

The family is now working to put together a police report. They say they waited until now because initially the grandmother didn’t remember anything. Then, on Monday, Tiffany’s grandfather died. Now, they’re hoping to meet with police, so they can investigate what exactly happened.

"I wouldn’t send my dog to this place after what I saw," said Chioles. "They need to be shut down."

In a statement Thursday morning, the Cypress Creek Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center said, "We are aware of your report involving Cypress Creek Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center. As per state guidelines and our company policy all incidents are reported timely. The outcome will be discussed with resident and their responsible party. Due to HIPAA we cannot share any information with the public or anyone who isn’t the resident's responsible party. We are in compliance with state and federal regulations and look forward to helping any outside agencies complete their own investigations. Our top priority, as always, is to provide an ongoing environment of care and safety to the population we serve."

The facility gave a later statement saying, "The allegations made by Ms. Tiffany Franklin were reported to the Texas Health and Human Services who after completing their first investigation determined there was no substance to Ms. Franklin’s allegations of abuse or neglect. Because of the inaccurate reporting, Texas Health and Human Services has since returned to our facility, and we are cooperating fully with their new investigation. Unfortunately, we are prevented from sharing information or rebutting the false allegations made by Ms. Franklin due to privacy and confidentiality laws. Cypress Creek Health and Rehabilitation Center is committed to the care and safety of its residents, it is our top priority to ensure each resident’s safety."

A spokesperson from Texas Health and Human Services says there is "an ongoing investigation at this facility."

"Pray for me that the next nursing home I have to go, which will be soon, [they] will do their job," said Medeiros. "Treat us like we’re human beings."

Full Article & Source:
Houston-area grandmother covered in bruises, hospitalized after incident at nursing home

New Connecticut law to protect seniors from financial abuse, exploitation

by Press Release

HARTFORD, CT In a press release, Connecticut Senate Republican Leader Kevin Kelly, R-Stratford, shared news of the ceremonial signing of legislation establishing procedures to protect senior citizens from suspected financial abuse and exploitation.

“With the signing of this law, Connecticut is doing its part to better protect one of the most valued and vulnerable populations in our state – our senior citizens,” said Kelly, who co-signed the bill. “Every senior citizen deserves to be protected from financial exploitation and provided with resources to maintain financial health.”

Gov. Ned Lamont signed Public Act 23-161 into law after it was approved in the House of Representatives by a vote of 150 to 0 and in the Senate by a vote of 35 to 0.

The legislation implements procedures into state statutes that protect seniors from suspected cases of financial fraud, scams, and exploitation by a person who is taking care of an older adult.

Specifically, this law authorizes financial institutions to temporarily suspend or hold transactions involving an account of an adult over the age of 60 if there is a reasonable suspicion of financial exploitation, which is defined as taking advantage of an eligible adult by another person or caretaker for monetary, personal, or other benefit, gain, or profit, according to the governor’s press release.

When such cases occur, the financial institution should disclose the suspected abuse to the Connecticut Department of Banking or the Connecticut Department of Social Services, who will investigate the report and refer it to law enforcement authorities if appropriate, Lamont said.

The law permits banks and credit unions to suspend or hold transactions on the account for up to 45 days. To encourage financial institutions to be vigilant in identifying these cases, those who act in good faith when suspending or holding a transaction will be immune from liability that might otherwise come from denying immediate access to an account holder’s money. This law takes effect July 1, 2024.

“Cases of financial exploitation and fraud involving caretakers of seniors is far too common and can result in an older adult having their savings depleted or lost entirely,” Lamont said. “These cases are infuriating and heartbreaking, and we need to have strong laws in place that can prevent suspected abuse before a thief can access someone else’s money. By encouraging banks and credit unions to put a hold on transactions and report this kind of suspected abuse to authorities, we can add a strong layer of protections to prevent seniors from being financially exploited.”

Kelly, the former ranking member of the Aging Committee, said he is pleased to see legislation enacted that protects Connecticut residents age 60-and-older from fraudulent and criminal banking activity. Nearly 20-percent of the state’s residents are 65-and-older, and more than 23-percent are 60 years of age or older.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the number of suspicious activity reports filed by banks concerning elder financial exploitation between 2013 and 2017 quadrupled. In addition:

  • More than 1 in 10 elderly people fell victim to fraud in 2022.
  • Over 8.68 million incidents of elder fraud occur every year in total.
  • Average loss per case is $20,015.
  • In all 50 states, losses due to elder fraud total $113.7 billion.

Full Article & Source:
New Connecticut law to protect seniors from financial abuse, exploitation

Feds urge prison time for Argillite woman

 By Mary Jane Epling

ASHLAND The United States recommends a former nurse and care home owner to spend more than two years in federal prison for defrauding her elderly patients.

Donna Sue Glass, 52, of Argillite, the former owner and operator of Glass Family Care Home was indicted in December 2022 on seven counts of wire fraud after the United States alleged she swindled three patients out of nearly $100,000.

According to a sentencing memorandum filed in U.S. District Court, Glass became the guardian over two of her residences — giving her full access to their finances and later a third after she became a signor on their bank account.

Glass’s actions, according to a U.S. attorney, constitute a 26-month incarceration. “Elder financial exploitation is the type of cynical, insidious crime that must be met with a serious sentence of incarceration,” the document reads.

According to plea agreement documents from April, Glass admitted to operating with the intent to deceive.

Per case documents, Glass became a co-signor on an elderly resident’s account when a physical ailment left him unable to sign his own checks.

Court records indicate Glass depleted the man’s account and spent $73,251 “to which she was not entitled,” between April 2014 and April 2019.

The U.S. also alleged Glass charged the man $1,500 per month in rent for a shared 16-by-20-foot room, with no access to a private toilet, while using the patient’s additional funds for vacation, mortgage payments and monthly subscriptions to Sun Tan City.

“She housed more residents than state statute permitted. ... She squeezed residents into housing conditions that were inadequate at best — not providing a wall for a bathroom is humiliating,” Assistant United States Attorney Kathryn M. Dieruf wrote in reference to Glass’s actions.

Glass became guardian to a second patient in October 2014. She is accused of depleting the woman’s account by “unlawfully (stealing)” $14,299.

In the case of the second patient, Glass is accused of collecting rent from other residents, “commingling funds to the point of inextricability.”

After the account was “bankrupted,” Glass increased the woman’s rent well beyond her monthly income — abusing her role as both guardian and landlord, Dieruf wrote.

Glass remained the woman’s guardian after she was moved to a new facility and, per court documents, Glass neglected to pay the new facility.

According to court documents, Glass was given access to a third patient’s benefits and financial accounts and she continued to collect his Social Security benefits after he was moved from the Glass Family Care Home.

“The defendant’s residents were senior citizens whose mental and physical capacities had deteriorated to the point of needing the care of a family care home. The defendant took advantage of her residents’ vulnerabilities, lack of oversight and trust in her to use and abuse their bank accounts or outright steal their income,” Dieruf wrote.

Dieruf also asks for restitution in the case, requesting the judge to order Glass to pay the amount lost to each of the resident’s estates.

The prosecuting sentence memorandum says the Glass Family Care Home is currently listed for sale at $260,000 and requests that any proceeds of a sale should be applied toward payment to her victims.

Glass’s attorney, Michael Curtis, also filed a sentencing memorandum, requesting the judge sentence Glass to home incarceration.

Curtis wrote Glass “has been a nurse and ... had done an excellent job in caring for her patients.”

“She is an extremely passionate person who feels for the other people and her sole job was caring for those in need,” Curtis continues.

Dieruf seemingly responded to that line in the U.S. memorandum with: “She insists she only cared for the well-being of her residents. The facts of this case demonstrate otherwise.”

Curtis says Glass’s mistake was commingling money — confusing her fiduciary duties.

The defense requested Glass receive mental health treatment if she were to be incarcerated, “or if she is released on some alternative form of sentencing,” Curtis wrote.

Curtis wrote home incarceration and supervised release would “reflect the seriousness of the offense and likewise promote respect for the law and provide just punishment.”

Glass’s official sentence, which will be decided by a judge after taking the sentencing proposals from counsel into consideration, will occur on Aug 14.

Full Article & Source:
Feds urge prison time for Argillite woman

Friday, August 11, 2023

Joel McHale Files For A Conservatorship To Care For Autistic Son

by Mike Walters

Comedian Joel McHale and his wife are stepping up to continue the care of their adult autistic son, by filing a conservatorship for him.

According to legal documents, obtained by The Blast, Joel and Sarah McHale are asking a judge in the Los Angeles County Courts to give them a conservatorship over their 18-year-old son — Edward Roy McHale — so they can continue working on his medical treatment and education.

As you know, McHale has been very open about the diagnosis and treatment of his son and detailed the situation in interviews with the media.

In most situations like this one, after a person becomes an adult, their medical information and treatments become confidential — even to their parents. A conservatorship is necessary for the parents of an individual to be involved in their medical care or to make important decisions regarding their lives.

Joel McHale Details To Court Reasons For Needing A Conservatorship For His Son

In the filing, Joel is asking for the ability to “access the confidential records and papers, the right to contract for the limited conservatee, the power to give or withhold medical consent, and the power to make decisions concerning the education of the limited conservatee.”

Specifically, McHale touches on his son’s special needs, saying his “primary diagnosis is Autism, with ADHD, and anxiety.”

The good news is that Edward has signed a consent form to have his parents as conservators, and his signature was included in the request to the court.

Back in 2021, ‘The Soup’ host opened up about learning of his son’s diagnosis including having two holes in his heart as a baby. The comedian and his wife welcomed Eddie in 2005 and learned of his serious issues at just 2 weeks old. The comedian shared he bonded with Jimmy Kimmel over the diagnosis his son Billy had with congenital heart disease.

‘Animal Control’ Star Joel McHale Opens Up About Son’s Diagnosis


McHale spoke candidly on the ‘Meditative Story’ podcast about what he was doing when his wife called him with the news. “I’m parked outside of an audition. There’s a script in my hand and I’m about to go in when my wife Sarah calls me. Sarah is at the pediatrician with our 2-week-old son Eddie. We’re in that parenting phase where it feels like you’re at a doctor every other day — but right away I hear something very different in her voice,” he began.

He continued, Sarah explained how doctors heard “some sort of heart murmur,” and Eddie needed to see a specialist right away.

“Well, if I get this job I’ll have enough money to pay for whatever is going on with Eddie,” McHale described feeling at the moment.

Unfortunately, Eddie required a heart surgery to repair the issue and the comedian explained, “Before the surgery, our friends and family would say stuff like, ‘We’re so sorry this is happening to you. I’m so sorry,’” he said. “Here on the pediatric cardiology floor, other parents say, and I’m not joking, ‘Oh we were hoping that our kid had your kid’s problem.’ And they say it kindly and warmly.”


Adding, “After months of feeling like we were unlucky and had a terrible challenge, I’m realizing that we were the lucky ones. It seems so weird because it does seem kind of like, luck, one elevator goes up and another one goes down.”

After the successful surgery, Eddie was diagnosed with Autism, severe dyslexia, and ADHD.

At this point, the conservatorship will need to be signed off on by a judge — but, it shouldn’t be an issue considering Eddie signed off on the situation.

Great guy. Great father. Period.

Full Article & Source:
Joel McHale Files For A Conservatorship To Care For Autistic Son

New task force launched by Hamilton County prosecutor focuses on crimes that target elderly

by Brian Hamrick

Protecting senior citizens in Hamilton County intensified Wednesday as the prosecutor’s office launched a new task force to deal with crimes that target the elderly.

The Elderly Justice Unit was developed by Hamilton County prosecutor Melissa Powers.

She announced the program as she spoke to more than 100 seniors at the Green Township Senior Center.

The task force will be based in the prosecutor’s office and use specially trained attorneys to focus on crimes targeting seniors, from rapidly growing scams to elderly abuse.

“Our office is taking a very hard stand that if a senior is targeted in a crime, you will be held accountable, you will be prosecuted and we want to put you behind bars,” Powers said.

Part of the program will be educating seniors about how to keep from being a victim of a scam and training local law enforcement.

A similar task force was developed in Butler County several years ago.

Since then, Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser said they’ve prosecuted a couple of dozen of these kinds of cases every year.

In 2011, the first conviction was Corrin Easterling. She was sentenced after stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars from Mary Kempling.

“We were all Shocked,” said Kempling’s family member Michele Hughes. “Mary was devastated. She trusted this woman.”

Full Article & Source:
New task force launched by Hamilton County prosecutor focuses on crimes that target elderly

Thursday, August 10, 2023

Guardianship Bill of Rights for adults passes ABA House; 'it is needed'

By Amanda Robert

The ABA House of Delegates passed a resolution Monday urging all law and policymaking bodies to adopt the Guardianship Bill of Rights, which recognizes 21 rights for adults who have a guardian.

Speaking in support of Resolution 506 at the ABA Annual Meeting in Denver, Robyn Shapiro, the chair of the Commission on Law and Aging, said the bill of rights “is the first nationally recognized statement of such rights in this country.”

She added: “And it is needed because today we have pretty sparse legal protections for rights that are post-adjudication of the guardianship itself.”

In 2022, the National Guardianship Network—which includes the ABA Commission on Law and Aging and the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law—created the Guardianship Bill of Rights to serve as a model, according to the report that accompanies the resolution. It divides rights into three main areas: access-to-justice rights, core human rights and decision-making rights.

Some examples are:

  • The right to be present and participate in court.
  • The right to ask a court to review and possibly change a guardianship or guardian.
  • The right to be treated with dignity and respect.
  • The right to personal privacy.
  • The right to fully participate in all decisions.
  • The right to receive necessary services.

The full list of all 21 rights is found here.

Follow along with the ABA Journal’s coverage of the 2023 ABA Annual Meeting here.

The National Guardianship Network convened the Fourth National Guardianship Summit in May 2021 and proposed 22 recommendations for guardianship reform. The first recommendation was to establish a task force to draft a model Guardianship Bill of Rights.

During the 2022 ABA Midyear Meeting, the House of Delegates adopted the recommendations of the Fourth National Guardianship Summit and encouraged all legislatures and policymakers to incorporate them when improving guardianship laws, policies and practices.

Resolution 506, which is sponsored by the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice, the Commission on Law and Aging, and several other entities, also urges law and policymaking bodies to assure meaningful due process in guardianship cases.

That “is so important, of course, because guardianship removes or restricts the legal rights of a person,” Shapiro said. “That demands careful protection of due process.”

David English, a Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law representative to the House and immediate-past chair of the National Guardianship Network, also spoke in support of the measure. He encouraged his colleagues to remember the ABA has been active in guardianship reform for at least 40 years.

“Our approval today will let the ABA continue its advocacy efforts in the area of guardianship and in fact enhance those efforts,” he said.

See also:

ABA Journal: “Guardianship battles in the spotlight spark new calls for reform”

Full Article & Source:
Guardianship Bill of Rights for adults passes ABA House; 'it is needed'

Bilirakis receives Guardian of Seniors’ Rights Award


U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis has been recognized for championing seniors’ rights.

He has been awarded the Guardian of Seniors’ Rights Award from the American Association of Senior Citizens, according to a news release from Bilirakis’ office.

The award acknowledges Bilirakis’ continuous efforts to preserve critical programs that benefit seniors, such as Medicare and Social Security, the release says.

The congressman also championed a wide range of legislative measures aimed to prevent exploitation, enhance supportive services, ensure access to quality care options and provide financial relief for our nation’s seniors.

Bilirakis has been a strong supporter of the Older Americans Act reauthorization, which provides funding to help seniors age independently in their homes, and of the Community Development Block Grant, which funds critical senior programs, such as Meals on Wheels, the release noted.

He has fought to expand and protect access to Medicare Advantage, a flexible option chosen by nearly half of the seniors who reside throughout Florida’s 12th congressional district. Locally, he also recently secured $2 million in federal funds for a senior center in Central Pasco County and has sponsored a community budget project to provide an additional $2 million in funding for affordable senior housing options throughout Pasco County, according to the release.

“It is said that a society can be judged by how well it treats its most vulnerable populations,” Bilirakis said, in the release.

 “As a former elder law attorney, I understand the challenges that many seniors face as they endeavor to age with dignity – and with as much independence as possible. Record inflation has hit seniors particularly hard, which is unfair given that most live on a fixed income. We have to do more to ensure cost of living adjustment more accurately reflects the pressures seniors face and to ensure they have access to high quality care and treatments. I will always continue fighting to ensure a strong safety net to protect all seniors, and I am honored to receive this prestigious award.”

Published August 09, 2023

Full Article & Source:
Bilirakis receives Guardian of Seniors’ Rights Award

Investigation uncovers financial exploitation of vulnerable adults by Hawley home care provider

By Gretchen Hjelmstad

HAWLEY, Minn. (Valley News Live) - The Minnesota Department of Health is investigating a home care provider in Hawley, Minnesota, for alleged maltreatment and financial exploitation of vulnerable adults.

According to the investigative reports, the Health Department substantiated two complaints against Comforting Angels Homecare, which is located at 202 Highway 10 in Hawley.

In both cases, the owner of Comforting Angels is accused of withdrawing money from client’s bank accounts for personal use. The first investigation involved more than $135,000 missing over 16 months and the second included more than $246,000 over nine months.

Each investigation included review of bank statements, billing statements, and interviews with administrative staff, nursing staff, and unlicensed staff at Comforting Angels. The investigator also contacted law enforcement. Detailed information from the Health Department Rapid Response Investigative Report can be found below.

Maltreatment Claim 1

Officials determined that someone affiliated with Comforting Angels withdrew $135,543.26 from a client’s bank accounts over a 16-month period. Investigators say, the suspect made as many as five withdrawals per month and did not provide the client with billing statements or a reason for the withdrawals.

The Health Department investigator says the client received comprehensive home care services from Comforting Angels in their home. However, the home care agency did not have documentation of the client’s diagnoses, the client didn’t have a service plan, and no assessments were completed on the client.

In total, the client’s bank statements identified approximately 35 withdrawals over that 16-month period. The transactions ranged from $259.14 to $13,000, according to the investigative report. The client’s bank statements also included a $1,800 deposit made at a bank in Arizona and $1,800 that was withdrawn on the same day.

The client was charged anywhere from $27,000 to $30,000 per month for 24-hour care, but the investigation found that bank statements included various other expenses including $998.11 in unidentified expenses one month, $540 for incontinent products another month, $75 for one month’s worth of wipes and gloves, $188.06 for groceries, and $341.07 for a motel.

The Department of Health investigation found that the statements the owner of Comforting Angels sent the investigator did not match the statements they provided to the client’s power of attorney. The amounts listed on either set of statements also did not line up with the withdrawals, and the dates of the withdrawals did not line up with the billing cycle dates.

During an interview, the client’s family member said she recently became the client’s power of attorney as she was made aware of concerns regarding the finances. The family member said she obtained copies of the client’s bank statements and noticed $100,000 had been taken from one account and almost $50,000 was missing from a savings account.

The family member said after several requests, Comforting Angels finally sent her a stack of invoices covering the 16 months the client received services. The invoices totaled about $341,000, which they said, “seemed shocking, considering the poor care she was getting.”

Full Article & Source:
Investigation uncovers financial exploitation of vulnerable adults by Hawley home care provider

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

‘Incapacitated’ People’s Homes Are Being Sold by Their Guardians With Little Scrutiny

Flipping the homes of people in guardianships is big business in Florida—and advocates and former wards are calling foul.

 by Rebecca Gibian

The knock on Jan Garwood’s door one afternoon was unexpected. Garwood had been through a lot in the last few years: She suffered a major car accident, one of her sons died, and a fall caused her major neck and head injuries. And then, someone—she still isn’t sure who—tipped off professional guardian Rebecca Fierle of Garwood’s precarious health, encouraging Fierle to file a petition to put Garwood into guardianship. A guardianship installs a surrogate decision-maker for people who, for whatever reason, can’t make choices about their life, including their finances, healthcare, and living arrangements, and the person who showed up at her Florida home that day in 2017 was her new guardian. They’d come to tell Garwood that she was now under guardianship—and to take away her house keys.

For the next three years, Garwood struggled to find a way out of the unwanted guardianship. During that time, she lost everything. Two years in, while Garwood was stuck in an assisted living memory ward, her house was sold to an employee from the facility where she was living, who was also related to an administrator there. Her guardian had to request the sale through the court, and Garwood was allowed to speak at the hearing. A former real estate agent herself, Garwood asked the court not to sell, saying the sale was “not right.” 

But the sale went through. 

Finally, Garwood used a phone smuggled into the assisted living facility by her son and with the help of a nurse, she posted a desperate plea on Facebook, asking for someone to help her get out of the guardianship. By a stroke of luck, an advocate saw her post and helped get Garwood released. But when she walked out of the hospital for the first time in three years, she found there was little left of her former life. 

VICE News has identified over a dozen cases like Garwood’s in Florida public records from the last six years, of guardianship wards’ homes being sold for cheap in potentially shady deals. Sometimes the buyers were real estate agents who later flipped the home for a profit. In other cases, the houses were sold to the agent’s friends or family members. In each of these sales, the guardian profits because they’re paid out of the ward’s accounts. And while some guardians sell low out of negligence, others have been charged with committing fraud, and the entire process leaves rooms for personal profit making.

Advocates and experts claim that because of a lack of regulation at the state or federal level, the guardianship system is ripe for exploitation by guardians who want to profit off the people they’re supposed to be helping. And because the people who find themselves in a guardianship are sometimes vulnerable individuals without family members to take care of them, guardians can take advantage without pushback from a person who knows and cares about the ward.

The guardianship system is ripe for exploitation by guardians who want to profit off the people they’re supposed to be helping.

“Unfortunately with guardianship, there is such the near-occasion of sin. The temptation is so strong, and there’s no safeguards… that temptation is just so strong and out there,” said Ken Burke, Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller for Pinellas County and the former Head of the Guardianship Improvement Task Force in Florida.

A flawed system

In Florida, anyone can submit a petition to determine another person’s incapacity. Once a petition is filed, the court appoints an examining committee consisting of three members, which then conducts an evaluation and gives that to the court. Once a person is deemed incapacitated, they are made a ward of the state and a guardian is appointed by the court to make both financial and personal choices for the ward.

Some advocates say the process of initiating a guardianship is unfair, as the examining committee is not always made up of people whose expertise is in mental capacity. Hillary Hogue, the advocate who answered Garwood’s plea, also fought to get her father out of an unwanted guardianship. There is always a licensed physician on the panel; for Hogue’s father’s hearing, that doctor was a gynecologist. 

“So his whole career was spent looking at women’s anatomy, in that sense, nothing to do with mental issues,” she said during a phone interview with VICE News. 

The existence of this committee, however, makes the process more stringent in theory than in other states, which typically require one medical professional to conduct an incapacity evaluation. And some changes to the Florida law have been made following major revelations about fraud and abuse in the system. For example, when Garwood was deemed incapacitated, a professional guardian could file a petition to initiate a guardianship against anyone. However, in 2020, Florida restricted guardians from filing petitions unless the guardian is related to the person. 

According to a 2018 report by the National Council on Disability, there are an estimated 1.3 million Americans currently under guardianship, but the true number is hard to pinpoint, because most states don’t keep databases of guardians or wards. Due to this lack of data, in May of this year, Sen. Bob Casey (D-Penn.) and Sen. Mike Braun (R-Ind.) of the Senate Special Committee on Aging sent a letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) asking the office to examine guardianship laws and reform efforts across the country. 

Irene Rausch, a professional guardian for over 40 years and a major contributor in the development of Florida’s training materials for guardians, said that as the state’s aging population grows, many people lack familial help. 

“They’re down here on their own with no support system,” she said. “So who’s going to step up?”

Some guardians bill hundreds of dollars an hour to the ward’s estate, and one guardian can have hundreds of wards.

Currently in Florida, any adult can become a legal guardian after a background check and 40 hours of training. Continued education is required as well. The fees guardians charge vary, but some guardians bill hundreds of dollars an hour to the ward’s estate, and because the state puts no cap on how many clients a private guardian can have, one guardian can have hundreds of wards. In the most extreme scenario, the guardian can take over all the ward’s communications and assets, potentially leaving the ward with little to no ability to live their own life. 

The pitfalls of protection

In 2021, the Guardianship Improvement Task Force, headed by Burke, heard complaints from people across Florida, as well as recommendations about how to improve the guardianship system. They held eight meetings in total, and the recommendations included data transparency, statewide uniformity in processes and practices, increased oversight, safeguards, court monitoring, and enhanced education and qualification requirements of professional guardianships. Rausch presented the professional guardian’s perspective, giving recommendations on continuing education and guardian fees, among others.

While Garwood, whose story was originally reported by WFTS ABC Action News I-Team, languished in an unwanted guardianship, Rausch was attempting to fix the system from within. She created her own curriculum for guardianship training because she disagreed with the state-mandated one. She mentors new guardians, still has five active wards, and is the author of a handbook for guardians, “A Practical Guide to Guardianship.”  She says that many guardians join the industry for the right reasons: to make sure that elderly and disabled people have support and protection. 

“It’s not a job. It’s a calling,” said Rausch. After getting a masters degree in Applied Anthropology, Rausch worked at a senior center in Florida, going door-to-door asking seniors about their needs and hooking them up with services. From there, she got into guardianship. 

Rausch concedes that fraud, mismanagement, and harmful guardianship practices exist due to flaws in the system, but she thinks the majority of guardians are doing good. 

“The papers never print the good guardian stories, the successes, nobody wants to hear that. They want to hear the dirt. So it makes all of us look bad,” said Rausch.

But evidence shows the problems in guardianship may be more widespread than that, with people knowingly taking advantage of the system—including those who took control of Garwood’s home and estate.

During her years in guardianship, Garwood had two guardians: Rebecca Fierle and Denise Willis. Fierle recently made headlines in Florida when she was charged with the 2019 death of one her wards, Steven Stryker. It was later revealed that she regularly filed Do Not Resuscitate orders on her wards, among other offenses, such as double-billing wards, over-charging assisted living facilities, and pocketing refunds meant for wards. At times, Fierle had hundreds of wards in her care. Her professional guardianship license has since been revoked, and she currently awaits sentencing for neglect of an elderly person after accepting a plea bargain.

Meanwhile, Denise Willis is also no longer a practicing guardian following various infractions cited in an order revoking her license, including reimbursing herself for “purchases for a ward” without court approval or receipts, failing to provide the court an accounting of ward's assets, failing to provide a guardianship plan to the court, which updates a judge on a ward's condition, and neglecting to visit, or even electronically check in on a ward for more than 13 months. Neither Fierle or Willis responded to a request for comment.

“What we’re seeing is guardians taking advantage of incapacitated persons, taking advantage of significant family discourse and the chaos that results in, and committing fraud against the person that the system was intended to protect, against the integrity of all others that are in the system,” said Anthony Palmieri, Deputy Inspector General and Chief Guardianship Investigator for the Palm Beach County Clerk of the Circuit Court and Comptroller. “Because frankly, the bad stories out there are deteriorating the public’s trust in a system that is really a necessary system, a last resort… for truly people that need help, their safety, their health, their welfare is compromised and the court has to step in to protect those people.”

After Hillary Hogue saw Garwood’s Facebook post, she sought help from Florida attorney Vito Roppo. When he spoke with Garwood for the first time, Roppo was surprised she was in a guardianship at all. 

“She sounded perfectly capable of making decisions herself when I asked her the history of her case and talked to her about her current situation,” he said. “She was able to recite it all, which a lot of times people who are in guardianship, especially elderly people, they can’t give you a correct recitation: where the case is and where they are, what year it is, who’s the president, just really basic things… and she was able to do all that, in fact very well. So it was a little shocking that she was in this situation to begin with.”

But by the time Roppo got involved, Garwood’s house had already been sold.  

The price of a ward’s home

While Garwood was residing in a memory ward in an assisted living facility, Willis, then Garwood’s guardian, proceeded to put Garwood's home up for sale. In order to make a major decision, like selling a ward’s home, the guardian has to request approval from a judge. When Willis petitioned for the sale, Garwood fought the sale in court. 

Despite Garwood’s pleadings, the judge ruled that Willis was permitted to move forward with listing the property at $260,000. No formal appraisal was done on the property, and the court-approved list price was $50,000 less than the tax assessment value and over $100,000 less than the Zillow estimate. Through a review of real estate websites, VICE News found that comparable houses in the same neighborhood went for $300,000 to $350,000. The judge approved the $260,000 listing because Willis claimed the home was in a “distressed condition” and needed repairs—but, filings show that repairs on the house and maintenance on the pool were being paid for with funds from Garwood’s account, Guardian Special Needs Trust.

Willis received an offer of $250,000 before she even listed the property. That offer was from the daughter of the administrator of the living facility Garwood was put in, and the daughter also served as director of marketing at the facility. 

Willis petitioned the court to accept the offer, even though it was lower than $260,000, saying it was more than Garwood would get if the home was listed and sold for $260,000 (since it was a direct sale, she cut out the 6% real estate commission). The court approved the sale at $250,000.

According to WFTS, records show that Willis deposited $171,000 from the sale of Garwood's home into a special needs trust. Garwood would be able to access this money once she was out of the guardianship—but she and Roppo told VICE News that by the time she was released, Willis and attorneys had drained much of the money from the sale to pay costs including Willis’ guardianship fees and attorney fees.

Through our investigation, VICE News looked through dozens of sales, finding many that resembled Garwood’s: Houses owned by people under guardianship that were sold at bargain prices. Some, like Garwood’s, are still held by the initial buyer. Others got minor fixes (or in some cases, no documented fixes at all), and were sold at twice the previous selling price a few months later. 

One ward’s home was sold for $35,000 and was flipped less than four months later for over $70,000. In one case, a home was sold for $192,000 and sold just two weeks later for $230,000. Another was sold for $47,000 and flipped less than three months after for $137,000. A $230,000 home was flipped for $320,000 less than four months after the guardian sold it. And a $70,000 home was flipped for $240,000 seven months later.

A $230,000 home was flipped for $320,000 less than four months after the guardian sold it. And a $70,000 home was flipped for $240,000 seven months later.

The guardian has a fiduciary responsibility to their ward that requires them to obtain the fair value for any possessions the guardian sells. But proving that the guardian violated this fiduciary duty can be difficult, particularly in the volatile housing market. Additionally, the homes of wards can fall into disarray—sometimes due to the ward being unable to upkeep it due to physical or mental illness—and therefore, they can naturally become lucrative ventures for someone interested in flipping. Guardians also cited in their petitions the need for quick money to cover expenses for the ward. 

There is one safeguard meant to avoid exploitation or unfair sales: judges have to sign off on home sales. However, since the real estate market is in constant turbulence, judges often defer to the guardian’s judgment or a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA), done by whoever the guardian chooses — sometimes the real estate agent the guardian is working with to sell the home. Official appraisals aren’t required and aren’t sought in many instances, because some guardians claim that the appraisal would cost too much. Even if an appraisal or CMA is done, it doesn’t necessarily represent the home’s true value. As President and broker of Florida State Realty Group, Stephen McWilliam claims, “What’s the property worth? What somebody will pay for it.”

Some wards’ homes never even reach the market and are sold to someone who promises a quick sale in cash. But Roppo said that there are “very few situations” he could think of where a guardian would need money that quickly to take care of their ward. 

“Even if you need to do a fire sale on a property, there’s no reason that you can’t put it on the market for a week or two weeks and take the best, highest offer,” said Roppo. “I think that the best thing to do is to always put it on the market and let the market dictate the price you get, because you can never walk away from it thinking ‘I could have gotten more.’ You can never walk away from it thinking that you got ripped off.”

McWilliam, meanwhile, claims that, "Not allowing the free market to determine the value, could potentially result in the sale being less than they would have gotten had they gone to the open market,” but he also commented that if the house is in disrepair, it can be hard for someone to get financing to purchase the home so deals outside of the free market could be beneficial for the seller.

Investigations into an ever-changing market

Palmieri, in his role as Deputy Inspector General, and his office investigate cases of fraud within guardianships, the vast majority of which are personal issues such as visitation, isolation, right to association, frivolous spending by the guardian, or a disagreement on how the guardianship assets are being used. 

But in 2022, Palmieri’s office investigated a guardian for selling multiple wards’ homes far below market rate and for allegedly colluding with the real estate agents. 

According to Palmieri’s report, in one instance, the real estate agents sold a ward’s home to one of the agent’s brothers, who flipped the home four months later for nearly $80,000 more than what he paid for it. In another case, the ward’s home was sold to a trust for $120,000; the trust then sold the home back to the real estate agents for $100. They flipped it less than six months later for $298,000. 

In the third case, the same guardian and real estate agents sold a ward’s house to one of the agent’s business partners, who flipped it three months later for $130,000 more than they paid for it. In May of this year, the guardian was reprimanded by the Office of Public & Professional Guardians (OPPG) and required to complete 8 hours of continuing education for this sale in particular. VICE News cannot verify if the guardian completed these hours.

In each of these cases, the property was either not listed publicly for the initial sale or listed as “pending sale” on the day of listing. The agents handled both the initial sale and the flip. 

In each of these cases, the property was either not listed publicly for the initial sale or listed as “pending sale” on the day of listing.

VICE News found an additional home belonging to a ward that was sold by the same agents. The home was sold to an acquaintance of one of the agents, as shown through a Facebook post showing the agent’s brother and the buyer together at the brother’s bachelor party, renovated by the agent’s brother, and then listed 6 months after for over $220,000 the initial sale price. It sold two months later, at the higher price. Neither agent responded to Vice’s email request for comment. 

VICE News found that the guardian sold another home, this time working with a different pair of real estate agents. The home was bought for $305,000, and then sold for over $500,000 four months later.

Palmieri submitted his report to the sheriff's department, who then passed it off to Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FLDE). A few months ago, FLDE told Palmieri that they were not going to take the case because there is not enough evidence to suggest a crime had been committed.

“FDLE initiated a preliminary inquiry, which included in part, the review of documents from your office related to the complaint. Following the completion of the preliminary inquiry, no evidence was developed to substantiate a criminal predicate, therefore, FDLE will not initiate a criminal investigation into the matter at this time,” the response said.

FLDE, in response to a request for comment, told VICE News, “After reviewing all materials and conducting interviews, agents found [the guardian] received a court order to sell the property. Because of the court order granting her permission to sell the property, no criminal laws were violated. Without criminal predicate, we were unable to move the case forward.”

The guardian in question is still active, and has nearly 20 wards, based on a VICE News review of court records. The guardian did not respond to VICE’s request to comment, and OPPG denied multiple requests for interviews. 

McWilliam, a broker himself, reviewed the home sales and determined they were not unusual in terms of profit margin given the renovations that occurred in between the sales periods. Therefore, although there may be hundreds of thousands of dollars in difference in total between all the flips, the profit was most likely far less than that. While the system allows room and opportunities for fraud to occur, it is hard, if not impossible, to tell if it is happening purposefully. 

“I think what we’re seeing throughout the state is a system that is not uniform,” Palmieri told VICE News. “There’s no consistency amongst the 67 counties, the [20] Circuit Courts throughout the state. What we’re seeing is business processes, guardian practices that have, in some cases, have gone unchecked for, five, ten, fifteen, twenty years, and then a complaint is lodged and then all of a sudden we're applying … the statutes and the standards to that guardian’s practice. And, frankly, any practice going on unchecked has the capability of kind of going off the rails.”

Burke, for his part, does not think the courts are best positioned to decide if a guardian should be allowed to sell a house, and for what price. Instead, Burke says, the market “should dictate some of this,” and the home should be listed for a set amount of time to receive offers that all must be considered equally. 

“Judges are basically trained to call balls and strikes on the law, they’re not trained in this area,” said Burke, whose office is also in charge of auditing guardianships. “This is a very odd area of the law compared to everything else they do. [In a] civil case or divorce case, you have two parties who are fighting each other, so the judge kind of acts as the mediator. When they get a thing to sell a house, and there’s a market analysis done by a realtor, who's the other side to say, ‘Hey, this isn’t right?’ There is no other side.”

He also thinks there should be a follow-up on any ward property that’s sold by their guardian, to check it was not flipped for profit to the detriment of the ward.

“Within six months, we should be seeing: ‘Hey, has that property changed hands again into great profit, and no permits were pulled for improvements?’ and so forth,” Burke said.

The Guardianship Improvement Task Force presented its recommendations in January 2022, which resulted in a bill, sponsored by Florida Representative Linda Chaney, to create a statewide database of guardians and their wards. Currently, there’s no easy way for a judge to check how many wards a guardian already has before assigning them a new one. 

Burke, who is assisting in the creation of the database, said he’s very proud of the project, and he hopes it will be completed by the end of this year. 

But advocates say the industry needs other reforms. When it launches, the database will not track financial information like the total amount a guardian and attorney are making in fees a year or how much money is currently being held by wards in total throughout the state, which Palmieri says is an oversight. Burke said that he hopes once the database goes live, additional fields will be added. 

Among her recommendations to the Guardianship Task Force, Rausch suggests raising the number of continued education hours required for guardians to remain active. She says that despite the abuses Garwood and others have experienced, guardianship is necessary and generally good.

“I think there’s so many people doing so many good things, and no one hears about it. And it’s incredibly rewarding, but incredibly challenging,” she said. 

Hogue sees it differently. “In the almost six years that I've been advocating for changes, I’ve never heard not one family member come out and say, ‘guardianship was the best thing that ever happened to my mother, my loved one,’” Hogue told VICE News. 

“I’ve never heard not one family member come out and say, ‘guardianship was the best thing that ever happened to my mother, my loved one.’”

The human cost of the holes in the guardianship system are hard to quantify, especially since the database is still in the works. And if Garwood’s case is any example, it is clear that guardianship, if mismanaged or fraudulent, can destroy someone’s life. 

These days, Garwood shares an apartment with her son Alex and his girlfriend. Her car was sold and many of her possessions were thrown away while she was under guardianship. She had “everything stolen from her,” she says, and now lives on food stamps. Her clothes and furniture come from Goodwill and thrift stores. Her health is shaky—she is currently bedridden, and her son is taking care of her—and she lives in fear of getting placed back into a guardianship and once again being unable to communicate with her friends and family.

When Alex came to get her from the facility she’d been locked in for three years, Garwood stood waiting for him by the elevator door. As they hugged, Garwood told him, “I don’t want to let go.”

“We have all the time in the world now,” Alex replied. 

Full Article & Source:
‘Incapacitated’ People’s Homes Are Being Sold by Their Guardians With Little Scrutiny

Human Rights Watch’s Opposition to SB 43

Letter to California Assembly Appropriations Committee

Assemblymember Holden
Chair, Assembly Appropriations Committee
1021 O Street, Room 8220
Sacramento, CA 95814

Re: Human Rights Watch’s Opposition to SB 43 as amended July 13, 2023

Dear Assemblymember Holden,

Human Rights Watch has carefully reviewed SB 43[1] and the amendments to SB 43 and must respectfully voice our strong opposition. SB 43 expands the definition of “gravely disabled” increasing the number and categories of people eligible for involuntary hospitalization and conservatorship and lowers the legal standards for conservatorship proceedings. We urge you to reject this bill and instead to take a more holistic, rights-respecting approach to address the lack of resources for autonomy-affirming treatment options and affordable housing.

Proponents of SB 43 rightly raise that too many Californians are living without adequate housing and appropriate treatment.[2] However, this bill does not propose workable solutions, address the structural causes of houselessness, or provide rights-respecting treatment.

Instead, this bill expands the circumstances[3] under which the State can deprive people of their autonomy and liberty, making it easier to remove both housed and unhoused people from society.[4] Given the racial demographics of California’s unhoused population,[5] and the barriers to adequate mental health care faced by Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) communities regardless of housing status [6] this plan is likely to disproportionately place many BIPOC Californians under state control.

Involuntary Treatment is Ineffective

SB 43 loosens the legal standard required to force a person into involuntary hospitalization and conservatorship. It does so by expanding the definition of “grave disability” to include additional reasons for involuntary holds and conservatorship, including a “severe substance use disorder.”[7] Conservatorship can potentially strip an individual of their legal capacity and personal autonomy, subjecting them to forcible medical treatment and medication, loss of personal liberty, institutionalization, and removal of power to make decisions over the conduct of their own lives in violation of international human rights law.[8]

This involuntary approach not only robs individuals of dignity and autonomy but is also likely ineffective.[9] Studies of involuntary mental health treatment have generally not shown positive outcomes.[10] Evidence does not support the conclusion that involuntary outpatient treatment is more effective than intensive voluntary outpatient treatment and, indeed, shows that involuntary, coercive mental health treatment is harmful.[11]

Similarly, studies of court ordered substance use treatment have also not shown positive outcomes.[12] Indeed, studies have correlated coerced treatment to increased occurrence of overdoses and relapse compared to voluntary treatment.[13]

Involuntary treatment is not an effective means of addressing mental health conditions or harmful use of substances. Instead, this approach risks traumatization and discouraging individuals from seeking out voluntary treatment in the future.

Involuntary Treatment Violates Human Rights

Under international human rights law, all people have the right to “the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.”[14] Free and informed consent, including the right to refuse treatment, is a core element of that right to health.[15] Having a “substitute” decision-maker, including a judge, make orders for health care can deny a person with disabilities their right to legal capacity and unnecessarily and unduly infringe on their personal autonomy.[16] 

Under the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, governments should “holistically examine all areas of law to ensure that the right of persons with disabilities to legal capacity is not restricted on an unequal basis with others. Historically, persons with disabilities have been denied their right to legal capacity in many areas in a discriminatory manner under substitute decision-making regimes such as guardianship, conservatorship, and mental health laws that permit forced treatment.”[17] The US has signed but not yet ratified this treaty, which means it is obligated to refrain from establishing policies and legislation that will undermine the object and purpose of the treaty.[18] Such actions include creating provisions that mandate long-term substitute decision-making schemes like conservatorship or court-ordered treatment plans.

The World Health Organization has developed a new model that harmonizes mental health services and practices with international human rights law and has criticized practices promoting involuntary mental health treatments as leading to violence and abuse, rather than recovery, which should be the core basis of mental health services.[19] Recovery means different things for different people but one of its key elements is having control over one´s own mental health treatment, including the possibility of refusing treatment.

In its most recent session, the United Nations General Assembly took note of the World Health Organization’s model and adopted a resolution on mental health and psychosocial support echoing many of these themes.[20] This resolution acknowledged that “good mental health and well-being cannot be defined by the absence of a mental health condition but rather by an environment that enables persons to live a life within which their inherent dignity is respected.”[21] It also urged member states to eliminate “medical institutionalization and overmedicalization”[22] and instead create conditions where people with disabilities are able to live independently with a range of voluntary supported decision-making mechanisms available to them.[23] In contrast, SB 43’s involuntary process does not center the dignity of the person.

Further, to the extent SB 43 would perpetuate racial disparities, it also risks violating international law. Under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), which the United States has ratified, all persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law.[24] The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD), which the US has similarly ratified, prohibits governments from engaging in acts or practices of racial discrimination against persons, groups of persons, or institutions.[25] ICERD further imposes the obligation on governments to take effective measures to amend, rescind, or nullify any laws that have the effect of creating or perpetuating racial discrimination.[26]

To comport with human rights, treatment should be based on the will and preferences of the person concerned. Disability or housing status does not rob a person of their right to legal capacity or their personal autonomy. Expansive measures for imposing treatment, like the process that SB 43 proposes, infringe on the right to health and discriminate on the basis of disability.

SB 43 Creates Due Process Concerns

The bill expands the definition of ‘gravely disabled’ in a way that creates confusion and will lead to people being detained against their will. It will also deprive people of their fundamental rights to privacy and liberty without offering voluntary community-based services.

The redefinition of “grave disability” in SB 43 encompasses multiple alternative rules and sets of criteria, rather than a single set of criteria or legal standard. SB 43 also includes vague terms that have no commonly understood meaning. For example, one set of proposed criteria for meeting the definition of “gravely disabled” under SB 43 includes evaluating whether a person can “provide for their basic personal needs for food, clothing, or shelter, personal safety or necessary medical care.”[27] There are no commonly understood meanings to the terms personal safety or necessary medical care, and the subjective, circular definitions[28] offered by SB 43 fail to create clear standards upon which those making these assessments may base their determinations. This lack of guidance creates an improper risk of arbitrary and discriminatory decision-making unmoored from consent, in violation of international human rights law. [29]

Additionally, SB 43 would create an exception[30] to normal hearsay rules for health practitioner statements in medical records discussed by an expert witness during conservatorship proceedings. The creation of this new hearsay exception will further erode the due process rights afforded to individuals in conservatorship proceedings and violates the human right of access to justice.[31]

SB 43 threatens to create a separate legal track for people with mental health conditions and harmful use of substances, without adequate process, negatively implicating basic rights.[32] Even with stronger judicial procedures, this program would remain objectionable because it expands the ability of the state to force people into involuntary treatment.

SB 43 Will Harm Unhoused and BIPOC Community Members

Despite the rhetoric of its proponents,[33] SB 43 will not help unhoused community members living with untreated or undertreated mental health and harmful substance use conditions. Decades of research shows that treatment is far more effective when individuals are safely housed in permanent affordable housing.[34] In contrast, expanding involuntary treatment mechanisms that risk enmeshing people in cycles of institutionalization, without housing support, will only serve to destabilize them and their communities.

Due to a long history of racial discrimination in housing, employment, access to health care, policing, and the criminal legal system, people from BIPOC communities have much higher rates of houselessness than their overall share of the population.[35] SB 43 in no way addresses the conditions that have led to these high rates of houselessness in communities of color. Instead, it proposes a system of state control over individuals that will compound the harms of houselessness.

Further, extensive research shows that due to bias, misinterpretation of trauma, and a lack of cultural competency, mental health professionals over-diagnose and misdiagnose Black and Latinx populations with certain mental health conditions at much higher rates than they do white populations.[36] One meta-analysis of over 50 separate studies found that Black people are diagnosed with schizophrenia at a rate nearly 2.5 times greater than white people.[37] A 2014 review of empirical literature on the subject found that Black people were diagnosed with psychotic disorders three to four times more frequently, and Latinx people approximately three times more frequently, than white people.[38] Therefore, SB 43 risks placing a disproportionate number of BIPOC community members under involuntary state control.

California Should Invest in Voluntary Treatment and Supportive Services

Californians lack adequate access to supportive mental health care and treatment.[39] However, this program does not increase that access.

Investing in involuntary treatment ties up resources that could otherwise be invested in voluntary treatment and the services necessary to make that treatment effective.[40] California should provide well-resourced holistic community-based voluntary options and remove barriers to evidence-based treatment to support people living with mental health conditions and harmful substance use who might also face other forms of social exclusion. Such options should be coupled with investment in other social supports and housing.

Expanding forced treatment is a regressive, costly, and inequitable approach to addressing the structural barriers that keep communities from thriving. We respectfully urge you to reject SB 43 and instead direct resources to making voluntary treatment, housing, and other supportive services accessible to all.


Olivia Ensign    
Senior Advocate/Researcher    
US Program    
Human Rights Watch

John Raphling
Associate Director
US Program
Human Rights Watch

Human Rights Watch’s Opposition to SB 43