Saturday, April 27, 2024

Woman accused of starving 79-year-old mother to death, stealing $47,000

by: Andy Cordan

HICKMAN COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) — A 79-year-old Tennessee woman was allegedly starved to death at the hands of her own child, authorities said.

According to Hickman County investigators, it all began in the winter of 2023. That’s when Hickman County EMS responded to the home of 79-year-old Virginia Totty.

Totty was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead.

According to Lt. Mike Doddo, Virginia – who ate through a feeding tube – was very malnourished. An autopsy later revealed she died as a result of a homicide due to malnourishment and other medical issues.

According to Doddo, Hickman County investigators working with Adult Protective Services and the district attorney’s office pieced together a complete timeline of medical and financial records.

Doddo said the autopsy revealed that Virginia’s daughter, her only caregiver, starved her own mother to death.

This week, a Hickman County grand jury indicted Virginia’s daughter, 44-year-old Lorrie Totty, who lived with her mother and served as her mother’s caregiver, according to investigators.

“She was 100% dependent upon her daughter to help her and her daughter failed her,” Doddo said.

In addition to first-degree murder, Lorrie was also charged with aggravated neglect of an elderly or vulnerable adult, theft of property, and financial exploitation of an elderly or vulnerable adult.

According to Doddo, Lorrie allegedly stole $47,000 from her mother, money that was designated for Virginia’s health care.

Lorrie was jailed without bond. She refused an interview with WKRN about this arrest.

“It’s very sad, very disturbing, very upsetting that an elderly person in our community would be treated like that, no less her own family member, her own blood, very hard to stomach,” Doddo said.

Another person living at the Totty residence was also indicted and arrested.

Randy Rochelle, 56, was charged with financial exploitation of an elderly or vulnerable adult. He was implicated in the theft of Virginia’s missing $47,000.

 His bond was set at $75,000.

Full Article & Source:
Woman accused of starving 79-year-old mother to death, stealing $47,000

Worker Accused Of Taking Cash From Elderly, Stealing Wheelchair From Assisted Living Center

By Field Walsh

NEW BOSTON, Texas–A man who allegedly “borrowed” hundreds of dollars from elderly residents of an area assisted living center where he was working in maintenance was arrested on multiple felony charges last week and is being held with bonds totaling nearly half a million dollars.

In addition to multiple charges of exploitation of the elderly, James Milton Guyton, 64, is also accused of theft in connection with a power wheelchair worth $3,000 which he allegedly pawned at a business in Texarkana, Arkansas, and which had been donated to the Autumn Wind Assisted Living Center in New Boston by the family of a former patient.

An 89-year-old resident of Autumn Wind allegedly told investigators that Guyton had come into her room on April 11 and asked to “borrow” $200, which she agreed to do “in her vulnerable state.”

A 72-year-old resident reported that Guyton had borrowed $200 from her in February “because his wife was sick,” and that on other occasions he’d taken her debit card and made purchases with it. Guyton allegedly “gave excuses” when asked to pay the money back.

An 81-year-old man told investigators that he’d loaned Guyton $120 because Guyton told him his bank accounts were frozen and that he’d never paid the money back. An 88-year-old Autumn Hill resident reported that Guyton had borrowed $450 from him in March and April that had never been repaid.

Guyton allegedly accepted money from at least one of the residents – some of whom are on fixed incomes – for work around the resident’s room that was included in his job duties and for which he was being paid by the nursing home.

Guyton’s bond on each of the four exploitation charges has been set at $100,000 and bond on the theft charge has been set at $20, for a total bond of $420,000.

If convicted of exploitation, Guyton faces two ten years in prison on each count. If found guilty of theft, he faces six months to two years in a state jail.

Full Article & Source:
Worker Accused Of Taking Cash From Elderly, Stealing Wheelchair From Assisted Living Center

Friday, April 26, 2024

New law could give people with dis­abil­ities guardianship pro­tec­tions

By Jeff Allen

ORLANDO, Fla. — A bill Florida lawmakers passed unanimously is aimed at giving people with disabilities more power when it comes to guardianships. House Bill 73 would allow people a legal framework to make their own decisions instead of being placed into a guardianship.

What You Need To Know

  • A bill Florida lawmakers passed unanimously is aimed at giving people with disabilities more power when it comes to guardianships

  • House Bill 73 would allow people a legal framework to make their own decisions instead of being placed into a guardianship

  • The measure would give people with disabilities who are of sound mind the chance to make their own decisions with the support of others, instead of letting one person make their decisions without them having a say in what those decisions are

  • If it becomes law, it will take effect on July 1, 2024

Michael Lincoln-Mccreight says he hopes the measure will help others avoid what he had to go through, an unwanted and unneeded guardianship.

McCreight has autism, and he says when he aged out of the foster care system, someone successfully petitioned for him to be placed into a guardianship. A guardianship allows someone to control of a person’s finances, making them in control of most aspects of that person’s life.

“Someone filed a guardianship without me even knowing they filed a guardianship, and I had doctors and attorneys showing up and first I was like what the heck is going on,” said McCreight.

McCreight says it was a struggle to get out of the guardianship.

“I had to hide in a closet, smuggle in a cell phone, call disability rights and then, once I got my rights back, I became the first person in Florida to get a term called 'Supported Decision-Making' recognized by the state,” said McCreight.

For several years, McCreight worked with lawmakers in Tallahassee to pass legislation. HB 73 would give people with disabilities who are of sound mind the chance to make their own decisions with the support of others, instead of letting one person make their decisions without them having a say in what those decisions are.

“It just brings more options for that individual to make his own decisions with the support of people they trust,” said McCreight.

Mccreight is now living the life he wants to live and he hopes his efforts will help others do the same.

“I’m hoping it avoids people going through what I went through,” said McCreight.

This measure passed both the Florida House and Senate unanimously, and is on its way to the Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk for him to sign it into law.

If it becomes law, it will take effect on July 1, 2024.

Full Article & Source:
New law could give people with dis­abil­ities guardianship pro­tec­tions

Special report: How can Michigan fix a guardianship system that fails some kids and older adults?

by Estelle Slootmaker

This article is part of
 State of Health, a series about how Michigan communities are rising to address health challenges. It is made possible with funding from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund.

Courts often appoint a guardian to take over legal responsibility and make all legal, social, financial, and health care decisions for a child or an incapacitated adult, known as a ward. The purpose of guardianship is to make sure that wards are protected from harm, homelessness, neglect, or financial fraud. And while few court-appointed guardians take intentional advantage of their wards, the guardianship system as it works today in Michigan puts wards at risk for both unnecessary forfeiture of all civil rights and diminished quality of life.

In some cases, family members have been passed over in favor of professional guardians; wards have been moved from their long-time homes into nursing homes, with their treasured personal items ending up in the garbage; guardians have prevented visits with loved ones; and guardians have spent wards' money in questionable ways.

"We've prosecuted a number of professional guardians in the last two years because they siphoned off resources of the people that they were appointed to protect," says Scott Teter, Michigan assistant attorney general and leader of the Michigan Attorney General’s Office Elder Abuse Task Force.

Guardianship is a hot topic for many agencies, policy advocates, and elected officials in Michigan, who are pursuing a variety of solutions to ensure that guardianship is judiciously applied to the benefit of Michigan's wards and that alternatives to full guardianship are made more available.

"A problem in the present system is there's not good education on the alternatives to guardianship. So part of our legislative agenda this past year was to increase the alternatives," Teter says. "We don't have guardian certification in the state of Michigan. There are no mandatory minimum educational requirements, background checks, criminal history checks, bonding requirements, nothing, and no continuing education. All that you need to be appointed to take over another human being’s life in the state of Michigan is that the judge appointed you."

One solution to Michigan's guardianship issues, endorsed by the Elder Abuse Task Force, is a set of bills currently making their way through the state legislature. Michigan House Bills 4909-4912 and 5047 would require guardians to visit their wards monthly instead of quarterly; set a caseload cap on guardians appointed to serve indigent individuals; and ensure that guardians ad litem — the court-appointed professionals who assist courts in determining if guardianship is warranted — report uniform, high-quality information to probate courts.

"Judges who are assigned to appoint these guardians and make those determinations on whether or not somebody needs one don't get the best information," Teter says. "Part of our legislative package is to make sure the lawyer who's appointed to represent the ward would have an adequate time to review the report and then cross-examine on it like we deal with any other piece of evidence submitted in court. In addition, we have increased the requirements in medical assessment."

This means the guardian ad litem would be required to communicate with wards at their locations, away from other interested persons, and in a language they can understand. The guardian ad litem would be required to explain the person’s legal rights, ask who they want or do not want as a guardian, and take steps to ensure they are able to attend their guardianship hearing. If they can’t, efforts could be made to move the hearing or provide other reasonable accommodations.

"The irony is that you cannot buy a Christmas tree in the state of Michigan without having to go through a licensed grower and a licensed seller. We have more regulations and supervision over the people who grow potatoes in the state of Michigan than we do the people who control other people's lives as a guardian or conservator. That makes no sense at all," Teter says. "Part of our legislative package is to require guardian certification. If you're going to have that kind of power and that kind of responsibility over another human being’s life, we believe you ought to be properly trained to execute those responsibilities."

Guardianship and health care delivery

Sarah Milanowski, enrollment and marketing manager for LifeCircles PACE in Ottawa County, sees firsthand how guardians sometimes drop the ball. In her work with older adults participating in a PACE (Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly), she has seen guardians who do not fully understand the rights, responsibilities, and expectations that go along with their role. She's also seen PACE participants who have guardians appointed in a different county "fall off the radar."

"If we don’t know who is the person making a medical decision in a crisis situation, we're in a pickle as a health care provider," Milanowski says. "Another common challenge we see is professional guardians. Most of them have to take on a lot of cases to make the business run financially. While those agencies are often very well intentioned, they are usually the ones handling the most intense cases with the most significant crises. Sometimes clients in crises aren't able to access the services they need because the agency is putting out fires for other people."

Milanowski notes that while more Michiganders are living longer, they are not living better. Complicated living situations, complex health issues, and financial constraints make it difficult to make decisions.

"Do we need a permanent guardian for every single decision?" she says. "Or do we need alternatives so the person can make decisions based on what matters most to them with the support of a trusted person?"

Milanowski says that while the intent of the new state legislation is good, she would prefer to see available alternatives to guardianship utilized more often. For example, adults can proactively appoint a family member or loved one as a power of attorney over their financial and health affairs, to be activated only if they are incapacitated. Limited guardianship can preserve more of an individual’s civil rights. She would also like to see a state office or program to help people navigate guardianship decisions and provide education on other alternatives.

"Professional guardians are needed. I don't want to see us create so much legislation that we leave them out, because that creates a whole other problem," Milanowski says. "The solution has to be multifaceted. Support what already exists, but also educate people. The public guardians that exist in our area now are doing the best they can with really challenging circumstances. If we don't have a great comprehensive plan, we might put people at more risk."

A new alternative: Michigan Guardianship Diversion Project

With funding from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, the Michigan Elder Justice Initiative (MEJI) is collaborating with probate courts and local organizations in Genesee, Bay, Grand Traverse, and Muskegon counties on a two-year pilot called the Michigan Guardianship Diversion Project (MGDP). Launched in March 2024, the project seeks to reduce unnecessary guardianship of older adults and adults with disabilities by connecting them to community services, public benefits, and legal alternatives to guardianship.

MGDP staff are working with probate court staff, guardians ad litem, lawyers, health care providers, and other community partners to troubleshoot cases where an alternative to guardianship may exist. Organizers say the pilot is already showing positive results.

"We hope that we can produce something that's scalable, sustainable, can draw attention, find solutions, develop protocols, and develop trainings and materials that can benefit lots of people all around Michigan and beyond," says Laura Kubit, MEJI staff attorney and MGDP co-coordinator.

Kubit brings nearly 30 years of experience with Adult Protective Services and 10 years as a civil legal aid attorney to the project.

"We can try to craft solutions that hopefully work for everyone and really make a difference," she says. "When you know the inner workings of that system, you can advocate in a way that will be most effective."

The alternatives that MGDP staff facilitate for folks can include appointing powers of attorney for health care or finances, and representative payees for Social Security or veterans' benefits. Those appointees can be trusted family members or friends who can also help the person in supported decision-making. The program also connects people to home- and community-based services like Meals on Wheels or transition services for people in long-term care facilities who want to reenter the community.

"The options are out there already. You don't need to create them," says MGDP co-coordinator Rachel Richards. "I've worked with the adult elderly and disabled populations since 1995. I think Michigan has seen some great strides that are long overdue. This project is one of them."

Kubit says current guardianship law has the potential to work well, but practical barriers prevent all evidence from being considered in a guardianship appointment, while potential wards are not guaranteed the right to communicate what’s important to them. Current law requires that guardians communicate to the greatest extent possible with wards about important decisions in their lives, exercise authority in the least restrictive way, and promote autonomy.

"A lot of professional guardians, whether they're public, private, family members, or lay guardians, don't necessarily have the knowledge, support, resources, or time to provide all of the needs in the best possible way that the law contemplates," Kubit says. "I do think that most people are doing the best that they can."

Kubit also wants wards to be able to get out of guardianships more easily. She recalls a past client who was discharged from the hospital to a nursing home. His Medicare coverage ran out and he was trying to apply for Medicaid. While temporarily physically incapacitated, he was fully able to handle his own finances. His bank refused to release needed bank statements unless he came to get them in person. With great difficulty, Kubit was able to jump through all the hoops necessary to enroll him in Medicaid. Without her help, the nursing home would have had two options for addressing his growing bill: evict the man against his will or petition for guardianship. 

In other cases, guardianships are overly restrictive. Richards explains that instead of granting limited guardianships, courts usually grant full guardianships that take away a ward’s autonomy over decisions that they're still capable of making for themselves. When a guardian is not a family member or friend, they may not know the individual or their expressed wishes. Because professional and public guardians have multiple wards, the amount of time they can spend with the person is limited, and it is difficult for them to determine the person's wishes and desires.

"Where do they want to live? Who do they want to have relationships with? What do they like to eat? What are their daily habits? Those are some of the ways that this falls short," Richards says. "There are times when bad actors abuse authority. For our project, that's a concern. But individuals are coming to us before the guardianship occurs to try to look at alternative methods to alleviate the need for guardianship."

Better enforcement, education, and certification

Former Elder Abuse Task Force member Steven Burnham worked for 17 years as the Kalamazoo County probate register. During his tenure, he was often asked why Kalamazoo County had fewer guardians appointed than any other county in the state. His answer was "My diversion programs." At Burnham’s recommendation, the county hired an investigator to look into guardianships before, or sometimes after, they were put in place. He also worked with a Western Michigan University Medical School program, Active Citizenship, to send students to interview guardians and wards.

By better getting to know what was going on in prospective wards’ lives, the court was able to come up with individual alternatives that suited some people better than guardianship. For some, a guardian was the best solution. Because not all Michiganders have a friend, family member, or other trusted individual who can take on that role, public and professional guardians will always be needed.

"Sometimes we’ve got to step in and get a substitute decision-maker to help make decisions as to their wellbeing, their health care, who they hang out with," says Burnham, who also serves on the board of the Michigan Guardianship Association (MGA). "A large and growing segment of those that need a public guardian are much younger, [in their] 30s, 40s, 50s. It could be a traumatic brain injury or substance abuse."

Burnham does not support the proposed guardianship legislation. He says that the current situation in Michigan reflects poor enforcement of existing laws and wonders if new laws will be enforced any better. Like Milanowski, he worries that requiring guardians to spend more time with wards without additional compensation may shrink a workforce already squeezed by shortages. Guardians with a ward living solely on Social Security are paid $83 a month.

However, like the Elder Abuse Task Force, Burnham and the MGA strongly endorse more education for guardians and a state-mandated certification process.

"To become a nail technician or dog groomer takes hundreds of hours of training in what to do [and] what not to do," Burnham says. "And here’s the scary thing: if I put your name on a line in a petition and a judge decides you’re incapacitated and no family member is trying to be appointed, you’d have a big shock. With respect to guardianship, we’re more concerned about pets and French nails than adults."

Lead graphic by Jay Hero. All other images courtesy of the sources.

Full Article & Source:
Special report: How can Michigan fix a guardianship system that fails some kids and older adults?

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Anne Heche’s Son Homer Claims Estate Cannot Pay Its Debts: New Docs

By Esther Kang

(L) Anne Heche and Homer Laffoon. Photo: Rachel Murray/Getty

Anne Heche
's son, Homer Laffoon, says her estate is unable to pay its outstanding debts.

In court documents obtained by PEOPLE, Laffoon has claimed that the estate is "not yet in a condition to be closed" due to its inability to pay back its pending charges.

Laffoon, who serves as the proprietor of Heche's estate, reported that the late actress' estate consists of a "modest bank account, royalty payments and other residual income from pre-death projects, a corporation in which the Decedent was the sole shareholder (used for projects in development and business functions related to Decedent’s career in the entertainment industry), an LLC membership interest related to a podcast Decedent helped create and tangible personal property items." 

Anne Heche. PHOTO: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Though the report says that some assets have amounted to $110,000 and others are being appraised, seven creditors have filed claims against the estate - and three are seeking $2 million. They were filed by the couple who owned the home Heche crashed into when she lost her life and another woman who was renting the property and lost her belongings. Heche's ex Thomas Jane is also among the creditors, seeking $149,106.04, according to the report.

With creditor claims totaling over $6 million and the "anticipated value of the combined Inventories and Appraisals," Laffoon reports that the estate will not be able to pay its debts.

The 22-year-old proprietor also reported that sales for Heche's posthumous memoir Call Me Anne were "not strong" and claimed that its total income is estimated to be less than $25,000. In addition to a planned estate sale, Laffoon notes that he is "actively engaged in attempts to negotiate appropriate settlements of the claims against the Estate." 

Anne Heche with her sons Atlas Tupper and Homer Laffoon. PHOTO: Anne Heche/Instagram

Though efforts have included "substantial meet and confer efforts with the creditors in an attempt to avoid protracted and expensive litigation," Laffoon is "cautiously optimistic that the creditor claims can all be resolved fairly and without litigation."

PEOPLE has reached out to Laffoon's attorney for comment. 

Heche died after being involved in a car accident in Los Angeles on Aug. 5, 2022. After being in a coma, the state of California declared Heche legally dead on Aug. 12. She was temporarily kept on life support to prepare her organs for donation. Two days later, her rep confirmed to PEOPLE she had been taken off life support.  

Full Article & Source:
Anne Heche’s Son Homer Claims Estate Cannot Pay Its Debts: New Docs

See Also:
Anne Heche's Son Homer Laffoon, 20, Named General Administrator of Her Estate

Anne Heche’s Son Homer, 20, Reveals His Mom Left Behind ‘Modest Bank Accounts' And No Real Property As Fight With Late Actress’ Ex James Tupper Heats Up

Anne Heche's Ex Claims Her Son Homer Has Treated Half-Brother, 13, in 'Hostile Manner' Since Her Death

Homer Laffoon Petitions for More Control Over and Access to Late Mom Anne Heche's Financial Assets

James Tupper Has 'Little to No Claim' in Legal Proceedings with Anne Heche's Son: Legal Expert 

Anne Heche's Son Homer Claims Actress's Signature on Will Presented by Ex James Tupper Is Invalid

Anne Heche's Estate Battle Boils Over With New Accusations

Florida Man Sentenced for Laundering Proceeds of Nigerian Romance Scams and Business Email Compromises

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Florida man was sentenced today in federal court to 48 months in prison for his role in laundering the proceeds of scams against American consumers and businesses to co-conspirators located in Nigeria.

According to court documents, Niselio Barros Garcia Jr., 50, of Winter Garden, was part of a network of individuals who laundered proceeds of fraud from romance scams, business email compromises and other fraud schemes. Garcia supplied bank accounts to his co-conspirators for the purpose of receiving proceeds from the scams. After he received the proceeds, Garcia used a cryptocurrency exchange to conceal and transfer the funds in Bitcoin to co-conspirators in Nigeria.

Business email compromises involve criminals hacking or spoofing business email accounts to initiate fraudulent money transfers. Romance scams involve fraudsters creating fake online personas to gain the trust and affection of victims, leading to financial exploitation. These schemes not only cause significant financial losses, but also deeply impact the lives of victims.

Garcia pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering in the Southern District of Florida in January. According to Garcia’s plea agreement, Garcia personally laundered over $2.3 million of criminal proceeds. As part of his sentence, Garcia was ordered to forfeit $464,923.91 in proceeds that he personally received from the offense. Four additional defendants have been charged in this scheme but remain at large.

“This case demonstrates the department’s continued commitment to prosecuting transnational fraud and those who knowingly facilitate it,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “By facilitating the concealment of illicit profits, third-party money launderers enable large-scale transnational fraud schemes. This case underscores the department’s commitment to protecting consumers and disrupting the infrastructure that makes these crimes lucrative.”

The FBI Buffalo Field Office investigated the case.

Trial Attorneys Lauren M. Elfner and Matthew Robinson of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch are prosecuting the case.

If you or someone you know is age 60 or older and has experienced financial fraud, experienced professionals are standing by at the National Elder Fraud Hotline: 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). This Justice Department hotline, managed by the Office for Victims of Crime, can provide personalized support to callers by assessing the needs of the victim and identifying relevant next steps. Case managers will identify appropriate reporting agencies, provide information to callers to assist them in reporting, connect callers directly with inappropriate agencies and provide resources and referrals, on a case-by-case basis. Reporting is the first step. Reporting can help authorities identify those who commit fraud and reporting certain financial losses due to fraud as soon as possible can increase the likelihood of recovering losses. The hotline is open Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. ET. English, Spanish and other languages are available. 

More information about the department’s efforts to help American seniors is available at its Elder Justice Initiative webpage at For more information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts, visit Elder fraud complaints may be filed with the FTC at or at 877-FTC-HELP. The Justice Department provides a variety of resources relating to elder fraud victimization through its Office for Victims of Crime, which can be reached at

Updated April 23, 2024

Concerns over conservatorship exploitation in Nebraska's senior population

by Nicole Steward

APRIL 22, 2024 - Concerns over conservatorship exploitation in Nebraska's senior population

Nebraska — A Missouri woman faces charges, as prosecutors allege she stole from her father while she was his conservator.

Dawn Hildreth is charged in Furnas County Court. Authorities say she stole more than $20,000 through purchases made and also made illegal cash withdrawals over $28,000.

NTV investigated the measures being taken to safeguard individuals in conservatorships and ways to protect a loved one before it's too late.

The projected surge in the senior population is being termed as a "senior tsunami" in Nebraska. If careful planning for the future isn't undertaken, others might end up making decisions for you.

The Nebraska Office of Public Guardian reports that ten years ago, there were 260,000 seniors in Nebraska. However, by 2030, this number is expected to reach 400,000, potentially leading to a substantial increase in the need for guardianships and conservatorships.

It's noted that 85% of those who exploit vulnerable individuals are family members.

Matthew Wurstner, an attorney at Carlson and Blakeman, mentioned that there are approximately 15,000 combined conservatorships and guardianships in Nebraska. In his experience, instances of fraud are relatively low.

"In my experience, it's really low. I'm going to say it's less than ten percent of the time."

According to Wurstner, this is due to the stringent safeguards in place.

"They have to obtain a bond with the court. They have to undergo guardian conservator training. They have to report to the court and all interested parties, typically the family members, once per year. So, it's not only a complex process but also a process in which it's really hard to steal," stated Wurstner.

It's hard, but not impossible.

Michelle Chaffee with the Nebraska Office of Public Guardian recommends taking early steps.

"I think the best possible thing is to identify who they want as a conservator before they become disabled."

Chaffee also recommended appointing more than one person to protect a loved one who becomes vulnerable, ensuring that joint decisions will have to be made on their behalf.

Full Article & Source:
Concerns over conservatorship exploitation in Nebraska's senior population

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Missouri woman charged for theft from Nebraska elderly father under her conservatorship

FURNAS COUNTY, Neb — A Missouri woman faces charges after investigators said she stole thousands of dollars from her father while she was his conservator.

Dawn Hildreth, 50, of O’Fallon, Missouri, is charged in Furnas County Court with theft by unlawful taking (more than $5,000), perjury and abuse of a vulnerable adult.

Court records said that in January 2023, Hildreth was named temporary guardian and conservator of her father, who is in a nursing home after being diagnosed with dementia and/or Alzheimer’s.

A Furnas County judge later limited the conservatorship before removing Hildreth as conservator. Heartland Trust Company was named the man’s conservator in April 2023.

An arrest affidavit said Heartland Trust later discovered $20,581.33 worth of transactions from Amazon, Apple, Poshmark, Target and travel expenses that appeared to only benefit Hildreth. Heartland Trust said they also discovered $28,713.52 in unexplained cash withdrawals.

A complaint outlining the charges states this occurred between Jan. 17, 2023, and April 2024.

A warrant for Hildreth’s arrest was issued Friday. The warrant is extraditable for states surrounding Nebraska.

Court records do not list Hildreth’s next court date.

Full Article & Source:
Missouri woman charged for theft from Nebraska elderly father under her conservatorship

New minimum staffing mandate for nursing homes rolled out by Biden Administration


WASHINGTON (TND) — More help could be coming to nursing homes across the country.

On Monday, the Biden Administration announced the first-ever minimum staffing rule for nursing homes in the United States. Opinions are split on the new rule with some saying it's what the healthcare industry needs right now but finding qualified employees could be tough.

(It) couldn't be coming at a worse time in regards to the labor market," said Brian McGarry, a health policy researcher at the University of Rochester.

Under the new minimum staffing rule, any nursing facility receiving Medicare or Medicaid funding must provide at least 3.48 hours of nursing care per resident daily.

Nursing home in Maine (WGME)
Nursing home in Maine (WGME)

"It's definitely going to be a challenge," McGarry said.

Included in the list of requirements is a registered nurse that must be on-site at all times.

"All day long and all night long and all evening long in the long-term care facility," said Richard Ricciardi, a professor and Associate Dean at George Washington University.

The new rule will be rolled out in phases. Rural areas will have more time to find additional staff and temporary exemptions will be made for places with workforce shortages.

Direct care workers sort through files in a hallway at Burcham Hills nursing home in East Lansing, Mich. on Nov. 29, 2023. (Rachel Louise Just/WWMT)
Direct care workers sort through files in a hallway at Burcham Hills nursing home in East Lansing, Mich. on Nov. 29, 2023. (Rachel Louise Just/WWMT)

"So we're going to give facilities time to adapt to these policies," McGarry said.

But to make this a feasible rule, McGarry tells us wages need to be discussed.

There are certainly workers out there but they are choosing not to work in this industry and that's because of the nature of the job coupled with the pay and benefits," said McGarry.

Plus, he said the resources available to healthcare workers should be a priority.

"We need to kind of make sure that these jobs are not only lucrative for people to work in but also rewarding," McGarry said.

Full Article & Source:
New minimum staffing mandate for nursing homes rolled out by Biden Administration

Man accused of exploiting $10K from elderly woman

by Brad Johnson


BELINGTON — A Barbour County man has been arrested and charged with taking more than $10,000 from an elderly woman for gambling funds.  

Chad Bolyard, 46, has been charged with financial exploitation of an elderly person.

According to the criminal complaint, prepared by Senior Trooper B.S. Stout of the West Virginia State Police, on Jan. 3, an officer was told that Bolyard had taken the debit card of a 70-year-old woman and refused to give it back to her, making charges she did not know about.

A Freedom Bank employee told police that Bolyard and the woman came into the Belington bank, and when she was told her checking account was overdrawn “due to some gambling charges,” she said she didn’t know anything about that, the complaint states. Bolyard allegedly said he had made the charges but didn’t tell her about them.

Officers learned that she had attempted to move money from another account into her checking account but the bank declined to transfer the funds, due to the influence of Bolyard, who told her to “shut up” when she stated, “I don’t even know why I’m here,” according to the complaint.

Bolyard allegedly became “agitated” and “verbally aggressive” with bank employees, demanding that they transfer the money, the complaint states.

Police were told Bolyard had been “in the background of phone calls” and in person telling the elderly woman what to say and what to do with her finances.

Officers also learned Bolyard’s overdraft on the woman’s account meant that she could not “get the utilities hooked up” at her residence, according to the complaint.

Bolyard allegedly took “approximately $6,708 in ATM withdrawals, $548 in gambling charges, $243.58 in Amazon charges, $231.61 in Elevate Jewels charges, and $2,300 in cash back from deposits, for a total of $10,031.19 in financial extortion,” the complaint states.

Full Article & Source:
Man accused of exploiting $10K from elderly woman

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Bill promises ‘generational investment’ in senior living and care workforce

by Kimberly Bonvissuto

Proposed federal legislation would make a “generational investment” in the senior living and care workforce at a time when the aging population is growing exponentially and an increasing number of older adults are living with chronic conditions and disabilities, according to its sponsors.

The Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act, introduced by Democrats, was met with mixed reviews from senior living industry advocates on Tuesday, however.

US Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, called direct care workers the “backbone” for long-term services and supports and said they are “irreplaceable” and “essential” during a Tuesday committee hearing focused on long-term care workforce shortages.

“Here is the bottom line — if we claim that their work as caregivers is essential, we should accord them the status of a professional,” Casey said in introducing the bill, S 4120, co-sponsored by Sens. Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). “By professionalizing and supporting the long-term care workforce, we can better recruit and retain professionals in this vital field.”

Casey said the bill would ensure that caregiving can be a sustainable, lifelong career by providing “substantial” new funding to support workers in every part of the long-term care industry, from assisted living communities to nursing homes to home care. Specifically, he said, the bill would provide pathways to enter the care workforce, improve wages and benefits, ensure a respectful and safe working environment, and introduce best practices on recruitment as well as training strategies to promote retention.

Pointing to a PHI report, Casey noted that caregivers earn a median wage of $15.43 per hour, resulting in almost 70% of assisted living communities and 92% of nursing homes reporting significant or severe workforce shortages. 

US Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI) introduced companion legislation in the House of Representatives, HR 7994, calling caregiving the “foundation of our economy” that allows for all other work to be possible.

“No care workers should have to live below the poverty line to do this work that millions of Americans depend on,” Dingell said in a statement. “This legislation will make much-needed investments in our care infrastructure and workforce, including family caregivers, to ensure they have the support they need, are paid a living wage, and are able to continue doing their critical jobs.”

‘Time is of the essence’

Provider advocates had varying responses to the bill.

Argentum said it appreciated recognition of the workforce shortages and potential resources to address it but added that “time is of the essence,” with the need to create more than 3 million new jobs in senior living by 2040 to care for a rapidly aging population.

Argentum Senior Vice President of Public Policy Maggie Elehwany said that workforce issues have been one of the few areas of bipartisan agreement in the 118th Congress, with multiple congressional hearings and calls from both sides of the aisle to “stem the exodus of healthcare workers.” 

The association, she added, continues to champion public policy efforts to bolster the senior living workforce, including support for the Safeguarding Elderly Needs for Infrastructure and Occupational Resources (SENIOR) Act, which targets assisted living workforce development, and the Care Across Generations Act, which addresses twin senior and childcare workforce shortages.

The American Seniors Housing Association told McKnight’s Senior LIving that the act prioritizes the need for workforce development programs as the industry and nation face the “real risk of not having enough available and willing workers to keep pace with the growing demand for their services.”

“This important legislation makes a significant investment in workforce development and training grant programs to be offered at the state level, offering a wide range of worker supports, skills training, demonstration projects, technical assistance, as well as worker protections,” ASHA Vice President of Government Affairs Jeanne McGlynn Delgado said. “These are all worthy goals, and if enacted and successful in creating a pipeline of trained long-term care workers, the industry will be well served.”

But Delgado said the legislation is only a partial solution, adding that immigration reform is a necessary component to addressing the sector’s workforce shortage challenges. ASHA said that Congress must take action to advance “one of the many reforms” already proposed, including creating a new visa category for caregivers, accelerating the timeframe an asylee can seek work authorization, and granting green card status to essential workers who worked during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Congress will have to address the broken immigration system, and the sooner it does, the better for our seniors,” Delgado said. 

The Center for Excellence in Assisted Living, CEAL@UNC, which formally endorsed the legislation, said the act calls out “discriminatory” immigration actions, but “unsurprisingly” doesn’t go so far as to address the “third rail” of immigration.

“CEAL@UNC encourages supportive immigration policies to build the pipeline of new workers into assisted living and other long-term care settings,” Sheryl Zimmerman, MSW, PhD, executive director of CEAL@UNC, told McKnight’s Senior Living.

Zimmerman also said that although the federal government calls for recognizing the importance of the long-term care workforce, CEAL@UNC suggests going one step further and formally recognizing all of those providing direct care.

“The Center for Excellence in Assisted Living appreciates the federal government’s recognition of the essential nature of the direct care workforce, the fact that’s it’s important to virtually every family at some point in their lives, the evidence tying its sufficiency and competency to the well-being of older adults, and that the Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act expressly references the importance of the workforce in assisted living,” Zimmerman said.

Workforce bill ‘misses the mark’

Some senior living and long-term care industry advocacy organizations, however, said the proposed bill “misses the mark” and wouldn’t produce its intended effects.

“The entire long-term care continuum, no matter the type, faces a growing caregiver shortage that impacts access to care for our nation’s seniors and individuals with disabilities,” Clif Porter, senior vice president of government relations for the American Health Care Association / National Center for Assisted Living, told McKnight’s Senior Living. “This legislation ignores a wide swath of the profession and fails to address the elephant in the room — Medicaid frequently doesn’t cover the cost of care, making it difficult for providers to offer higher paying, competitive jobs.”

Porter added in a statement that it’s important for policymakers to recognize that assisted living communities and nursing homes “do everything possible to hire more caregivers.” 

“We must focus on meaningful and comprehensive policies that will actually help long-term care facilities recruit and retain workers, as well as build a strong pipeline of caregivers,” Porter said in a statement. “We hope to continue working with Congress and the administration to find more supportive ways to ensure our nation’s seniors have continued access to care.”

AHCA / NCAL said it supports several bipartisan bills to address workforce challenges facing providers, including the Healthcare Workforce Resilience Act and the Train More Nurses Act as well as three pieces of legislation that apply specifically to nursing homes: the Protecting Rural Seniors’ Access to Care Act, the Building America’s Health Care Workforce Act and the Ensuring Seniors’ Access to Quality Care Act

LeadingAge, which also pledged its support to the above-mentioned bills, similarly said that the “devil is truly in the details.”

President and CEO Katie Smith Sloan, in written comments submitted to the committee, urged policymakers to pay attention to “necessary refinements” on funding for the education and training initiatives needed to build and sustain the workforce and investment in coordinated state and federal infrastructures to ensure programs achieve desired goals.

Among LeadingAge’s recommendations was passage of the Expanding Veterans’ Options for Long Term Care Act, the Home and Community-Based Services Relief Act, the Better Care Better Jobs Act and the Expanding Service Coordinators Act to address “inadequate” reimbursement mechanisms. 

In addition, LeadingAge called on Congress to pass legislative proposals addressing gaps in the US immigration system and to develop and streamline federal training requirements for direct care professionals, including exploring how licensed vocational / practical nurses and experienced direct care professionals can assume increased training responsibilities for professional caregivers. 

“This should be done with a focus on developing stackable certifications and opening pathways for aging services staff to engage in a lifetime of career development and learning,” Sloan wrote in her comments. 

Addressing the newly introduced Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act, Sloan suggested dedicating a specific fund to clear HCBS waiting lists, including long-term care providers in both the rate-setting process and the formation of any passthrough threshold for which they would be held accountable by their states, combining grant funds under one roof, and including home health and hospice in the definition of long-term care. 

Senate Aging Committee Ranking Member Sen. Mike Braun (R-IN) cautioned against a federal “one-size-fits-all” approach, suggesting that innovation at the state and local levels is needed to meet the increased demand for direct care professionals. 

“Giving more power to the federal government usually means printing more money and forcing top-down solutions. These solutions are partisan and will not get us anywhere,” Braun said. “To grow the long-term care workforce, the federal government should make it easier for people to enter by removing barriers.”

Elehwany said that Argentum agrees with Braun’s stance on partisan solutions and the need to “work together to pass bipartisan solutions that offer flexibility.”

‘Historic’ legislation addresses job quality

PHI called the bill “historic” and said that it “enthusiastically endorses” the legislation designed to systematically improve direct care job quality and address the sector’s workforce crisis. The organization said the bill enshrines many of PHI’s long-standing policy priorities related to compensation, training, employment conditions and evaluation.

Specifically, the organization noted that the bill authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to award grants to support workforce recruitment, training, compensation and retention. This authorization includes a $10 million investment in pilot projects on education, training and career advancement across settings, as well as $10 million to support a national technical assistance center to support states’ workforce efforts. 

PHI also supports the bill’s proposal to create a National Direct Care Professional Training Standards Commission to develop national training standards for the direct care workforce, as well as an advisory council to develop a national direct care compensation strategy. 

Issues are ‘multi-dimensional’

Jasmine Travers, PhD, RN, an assistant professor at New York University Rory Meyers College of Nursing, testified during the hearing that the issues affecting the recruitment, retention and morale of the direct care workforce are “multi-dimensional and compounded by an external environment that devalues this work.”

She said the realities that make direct care work unsustainable include low wages and limited benefits, inequities, chronic under evaluation and a demanding work environment, insufficient training and limited growth opportunities.

Travers called for a multi-pronged approach involving federal and state governments, managed care organizations, aging organizations, payers, providers, advocates, care recipients and direct care workers to create solutions for a stronger direct care workforce. 

Financially, she called for competitive wages and benefits, and spending minimums for staffing for Medicaid-funded facilities. She also called for enhanced training programs and opportunities for career advancement, fostering a positive work environment through culture change, focusing on recruitment and retention and sharing best practices. 

“To improve access to and quality of long-term care, we must ensure that all direct care workers receive a living wage, a safe, respectful work environment; opportunities for advancement; adequate training; and accessible benefits to maintain their health and well-being,” Travers testified. “Only when we recognize that these workers are critically important, hardworking professionals, can we begin to improve equity and health outcomes for staff and patients alike.”

Brooke Vogleman, a licensed practice nurse with senior living and care operator TLC Management of Marion, IN, said that staffing should be about training, education and retention.

“We need workforce development programs that help us grow the care force, incentivize caregivers to choose a career in long-term care, and invest in their career development,” Vogleman said. 

Some hearing witnesses testified in favor of access to worker supports and protections. You can read witness testimony on the hearing website.

The Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act is endorsed by 44 organizations, including the Center for Excellence in Assisted Living, or CEAL@UNC; the Gerontological Society of America; the Coalition to End Social Isolation and Loneliness; the American Geriatrics Society; the National Coalition on Aging; and Justice in Aging.

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Bill promises ‘generational investment’ in senior living and care workforce

Bay Minette woman convicted of financially exploiting elderly

Renee Williams(Baldwin County Corrections Center)

By WALA Digital Staff

BAY MINETTE, Ala. (WALA) - A Baldwin County circuit judge set a June 12 sentencing date for a Bay Minette woman convicted this week of exploiting the elderly.

Fifty-seven-year-old Renee Williams on Tuesday was convicted of one count of first-degree financial exploitation of the elderly, the Baldwin County District Attorney’s Office announced.

The prosecutor’s office said the case was launched after nursing and social services staff at Crowne Healthcare of North Baldwin reported concerns to the Bay Minette Police Department.

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Bay Minette woman convicted of financially exploiting elderly

Monday, April 22, 2024

Lifetime’s ‘The Bad Guardian’ Stars Melissa Joan Hart, La La Anthony

 By Georgia Makitalo

Melissa Joan Hart is back on Lifetime with the new movie The Bad Guardian. This thriller also stars La La Anthony and Eric Pierpoint. What happens when the person you trusted to care for your parent turns out to take advantage of them?

This is a cautionary tale that all fans of the network will want to tune in.

What Is Lifetime’s The Bad Guardian About?

In this latest Lifetime movie The Bad Guardian, a daughter fights to keep her father from being taken advantage of. What happens in this new movie? According to The Futon Critic, Jason, Leigh’s father, has a serious fall. As Leigh is out of town, the court has assigned the injured senior a guardian named Janet.

Initially, things seemed to go well. Janet appears to take good care of Jason. However, things take a turn for the worse.

“Janet is legally in charge of every aspect of Jason’s life, and doesn’t waste any time placing him in a nursing home, auctioning off his house, all worldly possessions, and using the excuse that the proceeds are needed for his care.”

Alarmed, Leigh tries to find out what is happening. But, as Janet has full legal control, she prevents Leigh and other family members from seeing their father.

“In Janet’s care, Jason’s health deteriorates, to the point that he needs a life-saving treatment which Janet decides is too expensive. As the whistleblowers around Jason meet untimely ends, Leigh finds the strength to take down the guardian and the corrupt system that supports her.”

When Is The Premiere Of Lifetime’s The Bad Guardian?

The premiere of Melissa Joan Hart and La La Anthony’s new movie The Bad Guardian is on Saturday, May 18, at 8 p.m., Eastern, on the Lifetime Channel. In addition, this movie will be available on the app the next day.

What Does La La Anthony Say About New Lifetime Movie?

On Instagram, actress La La Anthony wrote about her role in this upcoming Lifetime movie. “New movie alert!!🚨 My character, Janet Timms, is one for the books! It’s crazy how people like Janet are out here scamming or trying to get over on the elderly! 😢😢😢 Check out my new movie #TheBadGuardian with my girl @melissajoanhart. We had such a great time making this! Don’t miss the premiere Saturday, May 18 at 8/7c on @lifetimetv.”

Is The Bad Guardian A Ripped From The Headlines Movie?

Lifetime is known for its true-crime movies in its Ripped From The Headlines movie collection. Is The Bad Guardian one of these movies? No. However, “It is inspired by the countless true stories of individuals who have been put in the care of a guardian by the courts and raises the questions–are these caretakers helpful or harmful?”

Don’t miss the premiere of The Bad Guardian on Saturday, May 18, at 8 p.m., Eastern, on Lifetime.

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Lifetime’s ‘The Bad Guardian’ Stars Melissa Joan Hart, La La Anthony

Legislation allowing doctor-assisted suicide narrowly clears Delaware House, heads to state Senate

There are 10 states, along with the District of Columbia, that have laws legalizing medically assisted suicide.

DELAWARE -- A bill allowing doctor-assisted suicide in Delaware narrowly cleared the Democrat-led House on Thursday and now goes to the state Senate for consideration.

The bill is the latest iteration of legislation that has been repeatedly introduced by Newark Democrat Paul Baumbach since 2015, and it is the only proposal to make it to a floor vote. After lengthy debate, lawmakers voted 21-16 for the measure, which needed at least 21 affirmative votes for passage.

Among those voting for the bill was Republican Rep. Kevin Hensley of Townsend, who voted against the proposal in previous legislative sessions.

"I did not get confused," Hensley assured fellow lawmakers after the vote. Hensley said his perspective on the issue changed after his mother, who lived in California, opted for physician-assisted suicide a year ago.

"This was probably one of the toughest votes I've ever had to make," said Hensley, the only GOP lawmaker to vote for the bill.

California is one of 10 states, along with the District of Columbia, that have laws legalizing medically assisted suicide.

Several Republican lawmakers expressed ethical concerns about the Delaware legislation. They also questioned the need for it, given advances in hospice and palliative care in recent years.

Baumbach said the measure is not intended to replace palliative or hospice care, but to complement them. Data from other states indicate that hospice care is involved in the vast majority of cases involving doctor-assisted suicide, he added.

Baumbach said the "end-of-life option" offered in the bill gives terminally ill individuals certainty that they can choose to end their pain if it becomes greater than what hospice or palliative care can alleviate.

"This puts the choice in the dying person's hands to determine whether or not they wish to self-administer the medicine," he said.

The legislation allows an adult resident of Delaware who is diagnosed with a terminal illness and expected to die within six months to request lethal prescription drugs from a doctor or advanced practice registered nurse who has primary responsibility for the terminal illness. A consulting physician or nurse would have to confirm the diagnosis and prognosis of the patient, who must have "decision-making capacity."

The patient would have to be evaluated by a psychiatrist or a psychologist if any of the medical professionals involved is concerned that he or she lacks decision-making capacity. A person also would not qualify for doctor-assisted suicide solely because of age or disability.

The patient would have to make two oral requests for a lethal prescription, followed by a written request, and would have to wait at least 15 days after the initial request before receiving the drugs. The attending doctor or nurse would have to wait at least 48 hours after the written request, which must be signed by two witnesses, before prescribing the drugs.

The bill states that any provision in a contract, will or other agreement that would affect whether an individual could make or rescind a request for lethal prescription "is not valid." It also states that requesting, prescribing or dispensing the lethal medication "does not, for any purpose, constitute elder abuse, suicide, assisted-suicide, homicide, or euthanasia."

The legislation goes further to assert that the act of killing oneself with self-administered prescription medication does not invalidate any part of an insurance policy or annuity.

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Legislation allowing doctor-assisted suicide narrowly clears Delaware House, heads to state Senate

Sunday, April 21, 2024

‘Flagrantly Violated’: Lawyer Fighting Carol Burnett’s Daughter Erin’s Plea for Visitation With Son Despite Claims of Sobriety

By:Ryan Naumann

Carol Burnetts daughter Erin Hamilton was slammed by the guardian representing her son Dylan after she pleaded for visitation to be reinstated.

According to court documents obtained by, Dylan’s guardian, Jodi Montgomery, opposed the recent emergency motion brought by Erin.

Carol and her husband Brian filed to place Dylan under a guardianship in 2020. The comedian claimed her daughter had a long history of addiction issues. She said Erin was not a suitable parent to raise her grandson nor was the child’s father.

The court appointed Carol and Brian as co-guardians until they hired Jodi to take over.

In this case, Erin was awarded visitation with Dylan. She was allowed monitored Zoom calls. Last year, the visitation was suspended after the court-appointed lawyer for Dylan accused her of violating the court order.

The lawyer claimed Erin had “run into” Dylan and his father while they were out. The trio then had dinner. The lawyer said this was against the rules and asked that visitation be suspended due to Erin’s “erratic and unpredictable conduct.”

The court agreed and suspended Erin’s visitation.

As we first reported, this month, Erin pleaded with the court to reinstate her visitation and allow her to attend Dylan’s upcoming high school graduation.

Erin said she has been sober for months. She complained that the hearing on her visitation has been pushed to September — which would make it one year since she spoke to her son.

Erin’s lawyer wrote, “There was no evidence of any danger to the child presented that would be resolved by prohibiting the monitored, remote viz Zoom visitations. Moreover, stopping all contact for a year is draconian as well as punitive. The hearing where the order was issued terminating all visitation was not even a hearing on the visitation issue – it was an annual status report hearing.”

He added, “There was no showing of any danger from the monitored remote visitations. Accordingly, it is appropriate and the right thing to do to reinstate Ms. Hamilton’s monitored visitations and allow her to attend her son’s graduation in May.”

In a declaration, Erin wrote, “I am hardly a danger to my child. I have been drug/alcohol tested consistently since moving back from Hawaii and I work with people in treatment and I must remain completely sober in order to keep my job. I love my job and I love being sober.”

Now, Dylan’s guardian Jodi demanded the emergency motion be shut down.

Jodi argued there was no real emergency and Erin could wait until September. She said she needed to present witnesses and evidence at the upcoming hearing.

She said, “This Ex Parte is an attempt to end-run around that upcoming evidentiary hearing by asking that all the substantive issues to be decided at it be decided now instead, on the papers.”

“The Guardian needs her own opportunity to present witnesses and evidence, as well as to cross-examine Applicant’s witnesses,” she added. “This case has a long history of Applicant violating the Court’s visitation orders and, even to her own admission, Applicant’s claimed sobriety is only 6 months’ long.”

Jodi said Erin had “flagrantly violated” the court order numerous times. “Guardian is further informed and believes that Applicant’s violations of this Court’s visitation orders are still occurring with unmonitored contact, as we will show if an evidentiary hearing is scheduled upon this Ex Parte,” she said.

In addition, Jodi said Erin’s lawyer claimed in August 2023 that Erin was living at a sober living facility. “Further investigation revealed that this was false,” said the motion.

“Applicant has a long history of struggling with her drug and alcohol addictions. While Guardian certainly wishes that Applicant’s current claims to be clean and sober are true, sadly Applicant has made these claims before, and her periods of sobriety have been short-lived,’ lawyers for Jodi wrote.

Jodi argued the matter should be heard in September. She said if the court allows Erin to attend the graduation there should be strict rules in place.

The judge set a hearing for next week.

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‘Flagrantly Violated’: Lawyer Fighting Carol Burnett’s Daughter Erin’s Plea for Visitation With Son Despite Claims of Sobriety