From Ken Ditkowsky on Elder Abuse–The Sallas case and Monsters in Black Robes in Illinois Probate

The human trafficking in the ELDERLY (Elder Cleansing) meets the definition that most States and the United States have for CRIMINAL ELDER ABUSE.    Why then is there no Criminal Prosecutions?

Elder Abuse generally falls in 7 categories, to wit:

·         Physical abuse is defined as any act of violence that causes pain, injury, impairment, or disease, including striking, pushing, force-feeding, and improper use of physical restraints or medication.

·         Psychological or emotional abuse is conduct that causes mental anguish. Examples include threats, verbal or nonverbal insults, isolation, and humiliation. Some legal definitions require identification of at least 10 episodes of this type of behavior within a single year to constitute abuse.

·         Financial abuse is misuse of an elderly person’s money or assets for personal gain. Acts such as stealing (e.g., money, social security checks, possessions) or coercion (e.g., changing a will, assuming power of attorney) constitute financial abuse.

·         Neglect is the failure of a caretaker to provide for the patient’s basic needs. As in the previous examples of abuse, neglect can be physical, emotional, or financial. Physical neglect is failure to provide eyeglasses or dentures, preventive health care, safety precautions, or hygiene. Emotional neglect includes failure to provide social stimulation (e.g., leaving an older person alone for extended periods). Financial neglect involves failure to use the resources available to restore or maintain the well-being of the aging adult.

·         Sexual abuse is defined as nonconsensual intimate contact or exposure or any similar activity when the patient is incapable of giving consent. Family members, friends, institutional employees, and fellow patients can commit sexual abuse.

·         Self-neglect is behavior in which seniors compromise their own health and safety, as when an aging adult refuses needed help with various daily activities. When the patient is deemed competent, many ethical questions arise regarding the patient’s right of autonomy and the physician’s oath of beneficence.

·         The miscellaneous category includes all other types of abuse, including violation of personal rights (e.g., failing to respect the aging person’s dignity and autonomy), medical abuse, and abandonment.

 

One or more of the categories of Elder Abuse is present in just about every guardianship case that has been mentioned in the blogs AAAPG, NASGA, MARYGSYKES, Probate Sharks *****.      As the cases referred to in the blogs are guardianship cases, we have a pandemic of ELDER ABUSE that is being openly and notoriously ignored.      Like the Americans with Disabilities Act we all talk about the Older Americans Act and it is a big mystery to us.    From Find Law I dug out the following:

 

created by FindLaw’s team of legal writers and editors | Last updated June 20, 2016

The Older Americans Act (OAA) is a federal law that promotes the well-being of Americans 60 years old and above through services and programs designed to meet the specific needs of older citizens. Services provided under the Older Americans Act include:

·         Home-delivered and communal meals

·         Family caregiver support

·         Health services home assistance for the elderly

·         Job training and volunteer opportunities

·         Protections from elder abuse

About 11 million people received services such as meals, home care, and transportation through OAA programs in 2010.

Objectives of the Older Americans Act

Congressional concern about the lack of community-based support services for older people helped spur the passage of the Older Americans Act. Like Medicare and Medicaid, the Older Americans Act was passed in 1965 as part of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society reforms. The Act seeks to ensure retirement income, physical and mental health, suitable housing, employment, protection from age-based discrimination and efficient community services for older individuals. The OAA works to accomplish these goals through direct funding to states and state services and the creation of federal agencies designed to implement the Act.

The Administration on Aging

The Older Americans Act created the Administration on Aging, the main federal agency tasked with carrying out the objectives of the Act. The Administration on Aging provides services and programs designed to help aging individuals live independent lives in their homes and communities. Perhaps the most well-known of these programs is the communal and home delivered meals program, sometimes referred to as “Meals on Wheels.” In addition to meals, this program focuses on health and nutrition education.

The Administration’s Office of Elder Rights Protection focuses on protecting older individuals from elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation through strategic planning and research. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program provides full-time ombudsmen, or public advocates, to help represent the interests of people in long-term care environments, such as assisted living facilities. Finally, the OAA funds employment and training programs for low-income, unemployed people 55 years old and above, which has helped more than 1 million participants enter or re-enter the workforce.

State and Area Agencies on Aging

The Older Americans Act funds many programs for the elderly through direct grants to states. Each state receives OAA funds based on the percentage of people 60 or above in the state. OAA funding, while small compared to programs such as Medicaid, provides an important safety-net for older individuals who might be at risk of hunger, food insecurity or loss of independent living.

As part of the Older Americans Act, each state must create a State Agency on Aging. State Agencies in turn manage Area Agencies on Aging, which plan, develop, and coordinate community services for older people. There are over 620 Area Agencies. These agencies connect older individuals to the important services provided through the Older Americans Act. You can check online to find the area agency nearest to you.

Who Is Eligible for Services Under the Older Americans Act?

Each state establishes its own eligibility criteria for receiving services under OAA programs. Generally, no one age 60 or above can be denied services from Older American Act programs unless the state establishes. States are prohibited from denying anyone services because of their income. That means that someone who might earn too much to qualify for services directed at low income individuals would still be able to receive services provided under OAA state programs. Contacting a State Agency on Aging will help you determine which services are available to you.

If you’re wondering about your rights as you age or if you’re caring for an aging parent or family member, consider contacting a qualified elder law attorney to discuss the unique issues you may face.

Many aggrieved elderly and their children have examined the laws protecting their parents and found the laws to be amazing protective, but the enforcement impotent and/or non-existent.      It is absolutely amazing to look into some of the Probate guardianship cases and see that no only are the most basic laws openly violated by Guardians but a sitting CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE stands ready willing and able to aid and protect the interests of a COURT APPOINTED GUARDIAN from compliance with the law.

·         A pending case in COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS is the Amelia Sallas case 07 P 5360.    The facts are straight forward.     Mrs. Sallas had a ‘stroke’ that apparently did not disable her as she continued to perform her chores in her home, drive a car, engage landscapers to address the exterior of her home as well as cook and clean.    Mr. and Mrs. Sallas were married for 50 plus years.     Sallas became vulnerable and reputed to have a net worth of 9 plus million dollars and an estranged family.       Thus, it was not long before Amelia was provided with a guardian of the person and a plenary guardian.    A Guardian ad Litem was appointed to provide ‘cover’ for the Court in obviating the objections that Mr. Sallas was certain to have when his wife was sequestered and placed under artificial control of the Court appointed guardians.      What followed was obscene.     The miscreants determined it was in their best interests (not the Sallas’) that husband and wife be separated from each other.     The presiding judge at the direction of the Guardian ad Litem used her authority to facilitate what amounts to a de facto involuntary dissolution of marriage coupled with a predatory property settlement.      As Dean Sallas (the husband objected) the Court facilitated his being deprived of an attorney[1].

·          The Helen Stone case out of Dade County, Florida is a classic breach of Trust by the supervising Judge complete with the placement of an un=necessary feeding tube and overt harassment and intimidation of Mrs. Stone’s Lawyer daughter who objected to the official violation of State and Federal Law.

·         The Alice Gore case and Mary Sykes cases out of Cook County, Illinois are examples of Court attornment to outright theft of a senior’s assets.     Mary’s husbands million-dollar gold coin collection just disappeared along with another 2 million dollars in assets (see Gloria Sykes affidavit).     Alice Gore not only had 1.5 million dollars disappear, but the ultimate insult was the GAL allegedly directed 29 of her teeth be removed so that the gold fillings could be retrieved.

·         The New Yorker Magazine guardian report of October 2018 reveals a serial guardian

·          The Orland Sentinel newspaper directs us to a Florida serial guardian, to wit:

TALLAHASSEE – Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Thursday a series of reforms to the state’s guardianship program, spurred by the case of Rebecca Fierle, who authorities said approved a “do not resuscitate” order against a client’s wishes and double-billed hospitals while overseeing hundreds of wards.

The bill requires guardians of elderly patients unable to look after themselves to get approval from a judge to sign DNR orders and places greater restrictions on how guardians are appointed to prevent conflicts of interest.

Prospective guardians will not be able to petition for their own appointment to a ward unless they are related to the patient.

The law takes effect July 1.

Lawmakers reacted after the revelations in the Fierle case, which came to light in May 2019 after her ward, Steven Stryker died in a Tampa hospital. Medical staffers said they could not intervene to save him because of the “do not resuscitate” order signed by Fierle on his behalf but over the objections of his daughter.

Fierle’s attorneys have argued that as a court-appointed guardian, the law did not require her to seek permission before signing a DNR order.

An investigation by Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond’s officer later found Fierle had double-billed AdventHealth for services for 682 patients worth nearly $4 million over the course of a decade. She was removed from the guardianship program in September by an Orange County judge, who cited the comptroller’s report.

“This law will go a long way in protecting Florida’s seniors and most vulnerable citizens from fraudsters and predators,” Diamond said in a released statement. “Thank you to the Florida Legislature for its good work in helping to protect Florida’s seniors and most vulnerable from those who would harm them.”

Fierle was arrested in February on charges of abuse and neglect of an elderly patient.

A series of Orlando Sentinel special reports last fall found that lax enforcement of guidelines for appointing guardians allowed them to petition for their own appointments, as well as cases of potential conflict of interest on panels judging whether a person needs a guardian.

The new law is designed to address those loopholes.

SB 994 was one of 21 bills with a Thursday deadline awaiting action by DeSantis. He still has 117 more pending before his desk, including one requiring business use E-Verify or a similar system to check the immigration status of potential hires and the $93.2 billion budget. He must act on them by July 1.

Another 26 bills have not been formally sent to him by the Legislature.

The Fierle case exposes another serial guardian who the Court not only allowed to run roughshod over ELDERLY people and their families but participated in the criminal activity.       So common is this scenario that Netflix had a documentary on guardianship in its series on DIRTY MONEY and the Government Accounting Office has sent 4 plus reports to Congress so that they could ignore them.

The arrogance and the Fascist tendencies of these Court ordered criminal ventures is highlighted in the Fierle fiasco.       Fierle determined which of the guardianship victims should live or die .     The GAL in the Gore case had the attornment of a sitting judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois to ravage the mouth of an elderly woman so that a few grains of gold could be obtained.     In Nuremberg, the World War 2 War Crimes Court convicted doctors who did similar atrocities!     In Cook County, Illinois, and the United States of America we sit on our hands and pass more legislation rather than punish the pernicious fiduciaries who abuse their wards.    We even pay them hundreds of dollars an hour for their infamy.

I apologize for not alerting you to the Older American’s Act sooner.      This Act may be a vehicle that can get the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA to join in our fight against City Hall and bring the corrupt Judicial and Political miscreants to Justice.      Hopefully in the process we can protect some of the elderly targeted for the FELONIES OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE ELDERLY.[2]

Laws that are un-enforced are as good as no laws whatsoever!       Public officials such as Judges who do NOT understand that a public position is a public trust have no business on the bench or in the practice of law.      The Covid 19 pandemic has killed of tens of thousands of people who should have been protected by the Act!      Why were they not?      Why did States like Illinois and New York allow this travesty to exist?    Unfortunately, we know why?    A five-letter word explains the situation, to wit: M O N E Y.        But for Covid 19 each of the miscreants would have gotten away with ELDER ABUSE on a grand and very profitable scale!

 

 


[1] Mr. Sallas is testing whether or not Federal Laws are going to be enforced or are merely words on paper to appease the elderly and people who care for them.    Tomorrow Mr. Sallas will have in the mail a complaint to several Federal agencies charged specifically with addressing the laws that were violated.

[2] The organized intimidation of the legal profession directing it to attorn to the criminal enterprise promulgated and being conducted in the Probate Division of so many of our Courts has been extremely effective and continues to be so.     Unfortunately, bureaucrats are ingrained from day one in the universal military principle – DO NOT VOLUNTEER!      Indeed, they have been true to their code regardless how heinous the crime committed on an elderly person or his/her family.      Lawyers who followed the dictates of ABA Rule 8.3 were prosecuted for violating Rule 8.4.    How dare you accuse a judge who has his hand in the till with having his hand in the till!      The administrator of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission pointed out that Attorney JoAnne Denison in exposing judicial corruption was disrupting the workings of the Illinois Court system and characterized her action as akin to “yelling fire in a crowded theater!”      The Illinois Supreme Court agreed, and Attorney Denison received a suspension of her law license.    They also insisted on an “interrim suspension” prior to when the Illinois Supreme Court would rule based upon the fact her blog was a danger or threat to the public.  Truth is the ultimate threat to the Illinois ARDC

OneDrive

From Dr. SS: Senior Lives Matter

published with permission

Senior Lives Matter

The endgame of professional guardianship exploitation in America is financial gain. That should be obvious. But what may not be so obvious is the stealthy strategy utilized by the probate court insiders to maximize their gains and leverage them in what can rightfully be called a formalized process of wealth transfer from wards to the court insiders.

The obvious and direct fashion by which lawyers, guardians and others expropriate the savings and earnings of a lifetime from award are through legal and guardian fees. These fees which are almost always excessive and redundant are routinely approved at nearly 100% of the ask by the complicit and compliant probate administrative judge.

But what goes on behind-the-scenes in order for the big cash out may be of interest to you because it reveals the sophisticated nature of the financial transactions necessary to fully leverage a guardianship for the benefit of the court insiders.

To illustrate this process let’s create a representative scenario using pseudonyms. The players are:

The Guardian: Ms. Screwem

Guardians’ lawyer: Mr. Cheatham

The judge: Judge Howe

The ward: Mrs. Whitehair

The charity: Archbishop O’Greedy

The  Appraiser: Mr. Foneybooks

The location: Greased Palm Beach. Florida

 

So Screwem Cheatham and Howe conspire to take Whitehair’s home which has an actual real market value of $1,000,000. Here’s how they do it.

After initiating guardianship by whatever means necessary, guardian Screwem musters all the assets of Whitehair by court order from Howe, including her fully paid for residence, any vehicles, the contents of her safe deposit box, any items of value in her home and all her documents relating to financial instruments including investment accounts, retirement accounts, annuities, life insurance policies, prepaid burial arrangements. Screwem immediately proceeds to dispose of them in order to make them into readily available cash deposited in accounts that only Screwem controls.  Some valuable items like expensive jewelry or collectibles suddenly “cannot be located “ or later mysteriously disappear from the mandatory accounting required by judge Howe who simply accepts this explanation. By sheer unbelievable coincidence some valuable items that look exactly like the ward’s property that had disappeared –never to be seen again by the family—seem magically to be  re-appear on the wrists, fingers and lapels of some of the court insiders and their cronies — just a coincidence to be sure. Items that cannot be sold or are not worth the effort of selling particularly those of only sentimental value are either

  • intentionally destroyed
  • auctioned off to desperate family members who must bid against each other for them
  • donated to either a charity in return for personal tax deduction for Screwem or
  • given to privately owned antique stores for resale, some of those stores belonging to the spouse of Screwem

Motor vehicles, leisure craft, boats, motorcycles and even bicycles wind up at sellers of used vehicles frequented by the court insiders for tiny fractions of their actual value (kindly certified by the use car vehicles own internal appraiser). Ostensibly this takes place because of the urgent need to raise cash to “care for the ward” and avoid having to deal with family members who might argue that the property had been sold at ridiculously low valuations.

During all this time, assets are “conserved” by not paying Whitehair’s

  • property insurance
  • property taxes
  • maintenance or maintenance fees
  • income taxes
  • utility bills
  • health insurance premiums

But at the same time, Cheatham and Screwem’s burgeoning hourly fees are accumulating. Amazingly their court request for payment of these fees will only be submitted to the court when the total of those fees is roughly equal to the value of an appraisal of the only remaining asset of Whitehair’s, her home, performed by Mr. Foneybooks who is the appraiser of choice for Cheatham. That appraisal for $200,000 takes into account the “dilapidated condition of the house, the need for repairs, the taxes that need to be paid” and all sorts of other assorted reasons why the house has been legitimately appraised at so far below market value. This appraisal is blindly accepted by judge Howe at $200,000.

Cheatham approaches Judge Howe in an emergency hearing telling a story that the guardianship is running out of funds “to pay for the care of the ward” and that the only option is to sell her home. Howe agrees and orders that the house be sold at the best possible price based on the lowball appraisal from Foneybooks.

Once the sale is authorized, rather than listing the house on the typical real estate listing services, the sale is not advertised to anyone except Cheatham. No offers are made on the house until Cheatham or one of his associates makes an offer of $100,000 cash. That offer is presented to the judge as the only available option to raise money for the “care of the ward”. Judge Howe approves the sale and Cheatham writes a check to the guardians account for the ward in exchange for ownership of the house.

Immediately, Cheatham arranges with Foneybooks to have a new appraisal performed this time appraising the house at its full real market value of $1 million. During the prior week’s he has already lined up an actual retail buyer, Joe Public, who is willing to pay $900,000 which is a below-market bargain. Public buys the house for cash.

By this time Cheatham and Screwem submit their bills to the court for services that are up-to-the-minute and they just happen to equal the total amount of the proceeds from the sale to Cheatham.

The court approves the fees and thereby wipes out the estate of the ward. Totally and legally. Now the ward has become totally dependent on taxpayer-funded services for every aspect of their life from residence to medications to health insurance and food and drink. Taxpayers are now footing the bill for Whitehair who before the guardianship had more than enough money to take care of herself for at least two lifetimes.

In the meantime Cheatham laid out $100,000 and wound up with a net profit of $800,000 for his trouble. Whether those profits are ever reported as income is not clear. It is also not clear whether Cheatham “compensates” Foneybooks for his generous appraisals– one lowball and the other highball.

All the past due taxes and fees are paid by the new owner who takes out title insurance and has still managed to get a million-dollar home for far below market value.

There is an alternative to this scenario however which is even more impressive.

Once Cheatham, a devout Catholic, acquires the property, he informs Archbishop O Greedy that out of the generosity of his heart he would like to donate the residence of the ward to the church. He proceeds to complete a quitclaim deed naming the church as the new owner of the property for $100. The church then does whatever repairs are necessary and sells it at full or nearly full market value– as appraised by Mr. Foneybooks again- through its extensive network of realtors and representatives. In return for his incredible largess, Archbishop O Greedy presents attorney Cheatham with a donation letter indicating that he can deduct nearly all of the full appraised value of the property he so graciously donated to the church from his income taxes over the next several years. This arrangement works so beautifully that Cheatham arranges the donation of over 100 such homes to the Archbishop’s church over just a few years in Greased Palm Beach County Florida, for example.

With all the cash money that is sloshing around from these transactions, all of them hidden from taxation, there is plenty to go around to grease the wheels for the next transaction.

The church also has other options since it pays no taxes, it can do minimal repairs on the property– often donated– and rent the property in perpetuity while at the same time taking out a mortgage on the property once or twice to dramatically increase cash flow. This might explain why certain church based organizations in Greased Palm Beach Florida have real estate divisions.

The impact on the ward is quite obvious– financial death. The impact on the federal and state government is also obvious no taxes paid on the property transfer, property tax or sales profit.

The records of all these transactions can be conveniently concealed since guardianship records are routinely sequestered by the court.

Another interesting business tactic is that guardianship firms like Screwem’s are established as nonprofits doing public good and thus not having to pay taxes. Despite raking in multimillion-dollar revenues every year, huge operating expenses and salaries which count against revenues amazingly wipe out any potential profit that might result in a tax liability. Of course official revenues for tax records don’t normally include or identify kickbacks to and from downstream vendors, bribes to law enforcement and politicians.

This culture of creative exploitation might also include judge Howe. How?

 

  • lawyers practicing in front of the judge procuring donations to the judge’s reelection committee
  • insider deals for real estate development
  • private placements for investment opportunity
  • blackmailing among and between members of the court insider cabal
  • mortgage and real estate fraud

The scheme and playbool under discussion is complex and opaque and beautifully hidden from the public and litigants. It is almost foolproof because evidence of these tactics is nearly impossible to acquire. It is the perfect crime.

When an innocent  individual loses their rights, especially to an unneeded, illegitimate guardianship populated by uncontrolled unmonitored and unsupervised greed based court insiders human traffickers, the outcome is almost always the same– financial ruin, exceeding cruel isolation and miserable death by guardianship.

Is it time for us to start chanting and demonstrating “Senior Lives Matter”?

written by  Dr. Sam Sugar, Director of aaapg.net

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianship

Phone: 855 913 5337
Fax: 954 613 5668
Email: drsam@aaapg.net

www.aaapg.net

From FB: Abusive Guardianship cost elderly couple $376k for 6 months; children banned from seeing parents

abusive guardianships in Detroit continue.

$376k for the guardianship.

Caring Hearts charges $46k for being guardian for 6 months. Owned by Katherine Kirk–Kirk writes thousands of dollars in checks, uses her husband as a lawyer, Robert Kirk.

Put up fence to block relative/children from seeing step mom and dad and charged estate $13,000 for a simple fence.

Probate lawyer charges $67k in legal fees

Judge Katherine George did this.

Attorney General intervened, noted the self dealing, but how did this happen in the first place?  Where was the AG when Caring Heart took guardianship

Called the home a “house of horrors”.  Guardian was harsh, made the elderly couple take cold showers alleged by family.

Barbara suffered a stroke and passed away.

Reporter admits many families fighting abusive gships in Michigan.

 

 

 

From FB: Nursing homes can’t handle sick people? Gov. C just figured that out

You know, I bet over and over Gov. C of NY has been told that nursing homes are horrible dangerous places that just kill people by neglect and often abuse.  Why do we have them?  I have no idea other than to allow the wealthy to soak up govt medicare/medicaid and state health care funds.

Notice how this NY Post article is careful to avoid even a mere whiff of mentioning the dangerous abusive care in most nursing homes.

https://nypost.com/2020/05/10/cuomos-nursing-home-reversal-is-too-little-too-late-goodwin/?utm_source=twitter_sitebuttons&utm_medium=site+buttons&utm_campaign=site+buttons&fbclid=IwAR23vMARkKzt-zYTzgdCODNhsLjkWzZeoWoraSwVHQ1wZM-vbRdgLLn8UAs

Michael Goodwin

MICHAEL GOODWIN

Cuomo’s nursing home reversal is too little, too late for those now dead: Goodwin

Gov. Cuomo will never be confused with Fiorello La Guardia. “When I make a mistake, it’s a beaut,” the legendary mayor of New York once confessed.

Unfortunately, Cuomo’s pride and political calculations don’t allow him to admit error even as he finally reverses one of the mostly deadly policy mistakes in New York history.

Nursing homes and rehabilitation centers have tallied more than 5,000 coronavirus deaths, yet the governor accepts zero responsibility despite his March 25th order forcing them to take infected patients from hospitals.

Now he says they no longer have to do that, announcing Sunday that “a hospital cannot discharge a person who is COVID positive to a nursing home.”

Indeed, the initial order denied nursing homes the right even to ask if patients being sent by hospitals had tested positive for the coronavirus.

Now hospitals must do discharge tests and only those who are negative can be referred to nursing homes.

Said one nursing home executive, “It feels at least a month too late.”

The move comes amid growing calls for an independent investigation of the nursing home catastrophe, where the death count dwarfs the total deaths in every other state except New Jersey.

Still, Cuomo claims the reversal is not a reversal, nor is it a recognition of the fatal impact of the initial order.

“Whatever we’re doing has worked, on the facts,” he insisted.

He should try selling that view to Maria Porteus. She lost her father, Carlos Gallegos, to the coronavirus in a Long Island nursing home last month soon after the state forced it to accept infected patients. She watched the governor Sunday and was left steaming.

“I’m still angry and I’m still hurt,” she said. “It’s a slap in the face for him because he’s not taking responsibility for what happened to my father and so many others.”

Porteus said she’s part of a Facebook group that has nearly 250 members who lost loved ones in nursing homes, adding: “The stories are all almost the same. And Cuomo’s still acting like he’s not the one who did this order, like it’s somebody else or it’s the nursing homes’ fault.”

Arlene Mullin, who lost her father under similar circumstances, also was unhappy with Cuomo Sunday. She said in an e-mail:

“In light of how many mothers lost their lives, it was distasteful to use his press conference as a tribute to his mother. He could have called her privately to wish her well on Mother’s Day. It was insensitive to those people whose mothers died in nursing homes due to his cruel policy.”

Cuomo insists the nursing homes “could have resisted” taking COVID-positive patients if they had no ability to care for them. The order, he seemed to be saying, was only meant to ensure that such patients were not discriminated against.

That point, he conceded, “was never really communicated,” as if the March 25 order was not meant to be taken verbatim.

So the only failure is a failure to communicate, though he didn’t specify whose failure that was. Certainly not his.

There are two gaping holes in that argument. First, nursing homes never believed they had any right to deny infected patients, saying the order from the state Department of Health would have included that option if that were the intent. The order’s language did not offer any hint of flexibility.

“No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19,” it reads. “NHs are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to ­admission or readmission.”

Worse, the order came without warning, took effect immediately and gave the homes no time to set up segregated beds and staff.

All nursing homes, good and bad, large and small, were treated as if they were fit for an influx of coronavirus patients.

The second problem with Cuomo’s claim is the case of the Cobble Hill Health Center, which lost at least 55 patients to the virus. The CEO, Donny Tuchman, showed reporters April emails where he asked state health officials for assistance, and was turned down. He also asked them if COVID-19 patients he had could be sent instead to the Javits Center or the Navy ship Comfort, both of which were far below capacity. He was rejected again.

It’s true there was one way Albany officials did help beleaguered nursing homes. The packages of equipment they sent included body bags.

From FB: Central Illinois nursing home besiged by CV-19

Nursing home reports 28 residents and five staff test positive for COVID-19

Nursing home reports 28 residents and five staff test positive for COVID-19

CORONAVIRUS

CLIFTON, Ill. (WCIA) — An Iroquois County nursing center confirmed Friday over two dozen residents and several staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

Molly Gaus, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for Ascension Living — which owns the Merkle-Knipprath nursing center in Clifton — said in an emailed statement Friday they proactively conducted testing for the virus out of an abundance of caution, to ensure the safety of their staff and residents.

According to the Merkle-Knipprath representative, 28 nursing center residents and five staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.

“The health and safety of our residents and associates continues to be our first priority,” Gaus said. “Every action and measure we put in place reflects our commitment to protecting people who are at higher risk for adverse health complications.”

Thanks to the tests, she added, they identified asymptomatic individuals who had the virus. Gaus said it allowed their team to quickly implement additional precautions.

“We compassionately care for 24 residents who are recovering in our community and are thankful for the care and support we are providing to keep them comfortable and safe,” Gaus.

At a Thursday press conference, the Iroquois County Public Health Department (ICPHD) Administrator said six residents of their county who have tested positive for the virus were hospitalized.

Our team is doing a heroic job in providing care and adapting to these unprecedented times as we provide care to all who have underlying medical conditions that have brought them to our community. In the midst of all of these clinical precautions, our focus remains on ensuring our residents and families feel safe and connected during this time. Our team is working as one to provide joy and support during this most unbelievable time. We are thankful for the support of the local community, government officials and our co-workers who continue to help us to provide care and support to those we are privileged to serve.”

MOLLY GAUS, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS FOR ASCENSION LIVING

Gaus also said they have restricted visitations to protect their residents, associates and families, instituted comprehensive screening of all visitors, adopted universal face masking of all associates, and clinical partners, and conducted stringent deep cleaning.

She also said they were maintaining open communications with family members.

“We will continue to implement ways to keep our residents and associates safe while continuing to be the skilled nursing partner our residents and healthcare system need in this most challenging time, including additional testing as it becomes available,” Gaus said.

The ICPHD reported six new cases of the virus Thursday. Out of their 84 reported COVID-19 cases, 22 have recovered and been released from isolation, and 55 remain isolation at home.

On Sunday, the ICPHD reported a woman in her 60s died. She earlier had tested positive for COVID-19.

Thousands of nursing home deaths (over 10k in NY alone) show the dirty and dangerous conditions of US nursing homes

Who is going to help these people?  Where is the outcry?

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/brooklyn-nursing-home-ravaged-55-deaths-most-new-york-during-n1188311

Brooklyn nursing home ravaged by 55 deaths, most in New York during pandemic

“We are doing it alone,” the facility’s CEO says, praising staff efforts in the face of shortages and lack of support during the coronavirus outbreak.

By Ron Allen

“Right here, we are doing it alone,” Cobble Hill Health Center CEO Donny Tuchman shouted Monday to cheering neighbors outside the nursing home in Brooklyn, New York. “These people right here,” he said, pointing to the line of the health care staff members in full protective gear who’d walked out of the facility to accept the applause.

It had been yet another challenging day at Cobble Hill. A report by the New York State Health Department listed 55 deaths presumably caused by the coronavirus at the facility since the outbreak began, the highest toll at any senior care center in New York.

The CEO’s impromptu pep rally was just one way Cobble Hill spent the day pushing back, insisting that the 364-bed nonprofit community had had little help from the city, the state or the federal government.

“These people are deserving of everything that there is in this world,” Tuchman said of his workers. “These people right here.”

For more than a century, the massive five-story red-brick building has stood on a narrow tree-lined residential street. A garden of spring flowers and shrubs rings the property. People wearing masks, pushing strollers and walking dogs pass back and forth. Nothing about Cobble Hill Health Center, which serves older adults who are “chronically ill, or disabled, or debilitated,” according to its website, suggests it would the nursing home in New York with the highest number of deaths presumably linked to the coronavirus epidemic.

New figures from the Health Department list 14 communities with at least 25 deaths. Five have had 40 or more deaths. The staggering toll is one of the most tragic aspects of the pandemic in New York and in nursing homes and senior care centers across the country.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

For weeks, state officials refused to release nursing home numbers, citing concerns about residents’ privacy. But after calls grew for transparency from families with loved ones in long-term care facilities, as well as local leaders fielding their complaints and concerns, Gov. Andrew Cuomo last week issued an executive order requiring communities to report deaths and tell families when a resident tests positive for the coronavirus. “We have had really disturbing situations in nursing homes,” Cuomo said.

Cobble Hill said in a statement seeking to put the crisis in context: “Our resident population is, by definition, fragile and vulnerable and almost all have significant underlying health issues. Any deaths we’ve reported have been based on the possibility of Covid-19 being a factor. Because Covid-19 testing in skilled nursing facilities has been extremely difficult to obtain, there is no uniform measure to determine conclusively whether Covid-19 was a contributing factor in a resident’s death.”

A spokesman added that the facility has made repeated requests for more resources, like test kits and personal protective equipment for its depleted staff. As many as 100 of its 350 health care workers have needed to take sick time.

The facility also tried to move some residents suspected of carrying the virus to the military field hospital set up at New York City’s Jacob Javits Convention Center. The response to those requests, Cobble Hill says, was that the area’s main hospitals were more overwhelmed and a higher priority for relief.

But all of that is of little comfort to families with relatives living at Cobble Hill, who demand to know what’s happening behind those red brick walls.

“The biggest thing is the lack of knowing,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams. “Families are calling me. They have not seen or heard from their loved one, many since right after the virus hit the city.”

Cobble Hill and other senior communities that are anywhere near the pandemic’s center stopped visitation weeks ago to keep the deadly virus out. The center’s website encourages families to sign up for email updates and to schedule virtual visits with frail loved ones.

“We all know these are difficult times and there’s a level of complication,” Adams said. “That became exacerbated by a lack of communication.”

Tuchman felt the stress, too. “The decision wasn’t easy,” the CEO wrote in a statement. “I lost sleep last night thinking of the anxiety and fear that patients and family members may feel as a result of the ban.”

The Trump administration has taken steps to increase transparency at nursing homes. One new rule requires facilities to report COVID-19 cases to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help the government build a database.

A federal rule now also requires nursing homes to inform residents and their families when someone tests positive at a facility.

Download the NBC News app for full coverage and alerts about the coronavirus outbreak

Seema Verma, administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, has called the requirements “a critical component” of the effort to build a national COVID-19 surveillance system as the U.S. economy begins to reopen.

The hope is that more information, transparency and data about the alarming numbers of nursing home cases and deaths will help shed light on this especially tragic and widespread aspect of the epidemic. There have been calls for investigations and special monitors and even calls for the National Guard to step in at a nursing home in New Jersey where as many as 70 residents have died.

In Brooklyn, several dozen residents who lined the street outside and clapped and cheered the nursing home staff members seemed to understand that they have been doing everything they can under enormously difficult circumstances.

“Thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” Tuchman said before he led the team back inside to resume caring for hundreds of frail, sick residents.

CORRECTION (April 21, 2020, 12:40 a.m. ET): A previous version of this article misspelled the last name of the administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She is Seema Verma, not Verman.

 

 

CV19 Thing you should know–cook county law library offering free Lexis

I haven’t tried this, but on the Cook County Law Library website it is showing:

Law Library Remote Reference Services
If you need legal research assistance, reference librarians are still available to serve you. Please e-mail your inquiry to law.lawlibrary@cookcountyil.gov or call 312.603.5423 and leave a message for the reference desk
Temporary Remote Lexis Access
For a limited time, CCLL patrons are able to receive remote access to the Lexis legal research database. Go to https://www.lexisnexis.com/en-us/pa-access.page to create a user account that is good for 30 days or until May 31st, whichever comes first.

Things you need to know: Comcast announces min. service plan of $14.95 per mo. for those that cannot pay their bill.

If your service has been interrupted for non payment, if you still don’t pay your bill by 5/3/19, you will be transferred to their “Assistance Program” and you will be allowed to pay only $14.95 per month until “further announcement”. Speeds will be minimal at 25/3 Mbps, but for many this will be a life saver.

Once the program is ended, you will be responsible for all past due balances.

They promise reconnection in about an hour, and I assume that’s once you fork over the min. $14.95 for the month.

I don’t know why they aren’t offering payment plans, but what ever.   I hope this really helps many people out there.

And for all those small businesses out there that got their stimulus loans bounced for big business, I hope they return all those millions so the true mom and pop businesses out there can get some relief.  I did apply but have heard nothing back.  I’m just so glad that the huge restaurant chains got $5 to $10 million forgiveable loans, Harvard (with an endowment of $40 billion) got $10 million and the rest of the peon and kulak businesses got zip.

Business as usual under the current administration.  No one ever lied to us about how horrible this would get. We all knew it all along and we have no one to blame but ourselves when this country turns into a oligarchy and kleptocracy.  What a mess to clean up.  If you can, make a donation to my charity, Justice 4 Every1, NFP via paypal, google pay or credit card.  you can email me for an invoice joanne@justice4every1.com.

But I am hard at work making face masks to survive.  They are $15 and washable and resuable and will not interfere with the supply of commercial masks our medical professionals need.  Please turn in your commercial masks today to your local hospital, clinic, nursing home, fire or police and purchase a handcrafted mask.  The ladies will thank you and so will hospitals, clinics, fire and police.

Mommasks.square.site is an online store or text me with your order 773.255.7608.  thanks

Comcast is providing free wifi service through its wifi locations

If you live near a Comast wifi node or location, Comacast has announced you can access its wifi for free.  This offer is for the public as well as existing customers.

But don’t forget to use an encryption app or program to receive and transmit this signal.  Otherwise it can be intercepted by others who can gain access to information transmitted as well as your computer.  Comcast does have an app for phones you can use to access the signal, as well as a PC app for your laptop or desktop computer.  Be sure to log in using the app or program so your data is protected.

They also announced a basic reduced price program for the indigent.  However, you must be a new customer or a customer without internet access for at least 90 days prior to application.  The procedure for signing up is automated.  I don’t know what they consider to be a reduced price at this time.  They normally run at about $90 per month including tax for high speed internet and basic tv/movies online at this time.  You do not need a set top box or other equipment to access the tv/movie feature.  It is done through your computer so you must have a newer tv which will work with a wifi link into comcast.

They also appear to have no phone customer service at this time.  I tried repeatedly to get through to an agent without success.

From ND: Comed Electric in Chicago extends no shut off deadline to June 1

from Next Door:

ComEd Taking Steps to Support Our Customers During COVID-19 Pandemic

Now that so many of us are staying home and using more energy, you may be thinking about future bills. The last thing we want you to worry about is whether your home will have power or what to do if you are without power. To help ease your concern, we have extended our suspension of disconnections and new late charges through at least June 1st. If you were disconnected prior to our suspension of disconnections, please call our Customer Care team at 800-334-7661 to have your service safely restored. Through our ComEd CARE program and flexible payment options, we will find a financial assistance solution that works for you to ensure your service remains on after this pandemic. Information about these options is available at ComEd.com/CARE.

From KD: Joliet nursing home petri dish for CV 19

I think we all knew this was coming.  Nursing homes are ghettos for the elderly and death traps. 

The scandal of the ‘sheltered care’ nursing homes is finally getting some media attention.        The problem in Illinois (and in many other states) is the marriage between the political establishment and the leaders of the industry.        It is suggested that the regulation of the NURSING HOMES is not only lax, but corrupt.       The Philip Esformes case, while having a situs in Florida, gave an intimate view of the industry, including the massive payoffs to public officials that fueled the operation of facilities.       The lack of media attention is also extremely interesting – including the benign manner that the 23 deaths are reported.         It is an open secret that paramedics have complained of nursing home deaths too often yield corpses that are in RIGOR when they arrive – and the deaths are attributed to various common natural causes.     Indeed, please read the Chicago Tribune Article, to wit:

 

 

23 coronavirus-related deaths reported at Symphony of Joliet nursing home, spokeswoman says

By Robert McCoppin

Chicago Tribune |

Apr 16, 2020 | 7:00 AM

A man takes a smoke break on April 15, 2020 outside Symphony of Joliet nursing home, where 23 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported.

A man takes a smoke break on April 15, 2020 outside Symphony of Joliet nursing home, where 23 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported.(Abel Uribe / Chicago Tribune)

Twenty-two residents and one staff member at Symphony of Joliet nursing home have died of COVID-19, a spokeswoman for the facility said Wednesday.

The number of deaths at Symphony has risen sharply since early last week, when it reported a total of three deaths, including the staff member.

Nursing homes nationwide have become epicenters and “accelerators” of the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.[1]

Symphony of Joliet spokeswoman Lauryn Allison said workers at the home are following all government guidelines for minimizing the spread of the disease, and have adequate staffing and protective equipment, despite claims by some nurses that many nursing homes have shortages of staff and equipment.  

It’s a global pandemic, there’s nothing they could’ve done to prevent it,” Allison said. “They’re working so diligently to protect their patients and guests. … We’d like to send the message that we are with our providers right now, they are such heroes, and our hearts go out to them.”

Earlier this month, Symphony began moving healthy residents from the Joliet home to other locations in its network,[2] Allison said last week.

A brother and sister of a woman who was among 23 people to die at Symphony say they were disappointed by care at the facility.

Diane Brooks was 65 when she died earlier this month and had lived about two years at Symphony of Joliet, her sister, Dorisell Brooks, said. She needed around-the-clock care and couldn’t walk after suffering an aneurysm and stroke.

Brooks, a former Cook County Clerk employee, complained that her feet hurt, but she often didn’t get her medication on time, Dorisell Brooks said. Dorisell and her brother, Michael Brooks, said they also found their sister in bed with bed sores and a soiled diaper.

“She was complaining that she was constantly in pain,” Michael Brooks said. “Sometimes she would defecate herself We’d come visit her, and who knows how long she was like that?” without them changing her.

The brother and sister said someone from the nursing home called over a week ago to tell them Diane Brooks had been taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital and was put on oxygen, but never mentioned the coronavirus. It was a hospital representative who told them their sister had COVID-19, and she died soon thereafter.[3]

“I’m disappointed with the way the nursing home handled the whole thing,” Michael Brooks said. “We’re still grieving. Nobody’s gotten over this.”

Latasha Allen said she worked as a certified nursing assistant at Symphony through an agency last year, and again for two days last month, but she stopped working because of the lack of proper care and equipment.

 

The media has known of this situation from before day one and ‘covered it up!’      In spite of the fact that PHILIP ESFORMES was alleged (and convicted) of stealing a billion dollars (nine zeros) from Medicare the trial of the century and the conviction got almost no press.      The SETH GILLMAN prosecution and plea of guilty similarly got almost no press – indeed, there was no press when suddenly the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission actively commenced proceedings against Gillman’s law license when it became public that he was co-operating with the FBI.     Indeed, the marriage between the human traffickers in the elderly and the political establishment is an open secret.      Now it is costing lives.

 

The guardianship scandal  reported on the blogs AAAPG, Probate Sharks, NASGA, MaryGSykes ****, in articles posted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New Yorker magazine (Oct 2017), Huffington Post, *****, 4 unread Government Accounting Office reports to Congress, Netflix program DIRTY MONEY documentary on Guardianship, and in layman’s fashion in Dr. Sugar’s book on GUARDIANSHIP the perfect crime – is a major factor in the Corvid – 19  virus scandal.      Indeed, as we sit confined in our homes the IN RE Estate of Amelia Sallas 07 P 5360 (Cook County, Illinois Circuit Court) slimes it way along[4].       Many more victims of the human trafficking (gulag) are serious potential victims of the political neglect by the States (especially Illinois) of its senior citizens.     Placing these citizens in easily contaminated premises with patently inadequate supervision would be murder if LAW ENFORCEMENT had the guts to do its job!

 

With the attornment of corruption at the highest levels of State government, the media and impotency by Law Enforcement the C19 virus will continue to liquidate America’s most vulnerable citizens.    BUT REST ASSURRED – come the election in Cook County, Illinois it is expected that every one of the dead and infirm will file their absentee ballots in favor of the dominant political party and 100% of the residents of the ‘killing fields’ will similarly case their vote for the candidates of the dominant political party!

 


[1] Nursing homes are intended to be sanctuaries not death houses.     Regulations however are routinely ignored, and it is not uncommon to be greeted by smell of urine (or something designed to hide the smell) as you enter the facilities.    Sanitation is spotty and many of the resident’s reek of neglect.     Residents appear to litter the hallways looking abandoned either in their wheelchairs or locked in front of the television.    Many appear Zombie like.    It is not uncommon for the residents who are being ‘elder cleansed’ to be doped and fitted with a feeding tube.     (There are exceptions – the exceptional facilities usually cater to the wealthy and the citizens who are patrons or contributors to the industry.    The ordinary individual  – such as you or me – can expect at the best poor relative treatment.      More often than not the persons working at the facility are “loaned” employees – i.e. contract workers from an agency.   In fact, most services are furnished by an agency so that management of the large chains has minimum actual exposure – but has the lion share of the profits.

[2] It is not uncommon for the ‘chain nursing homes’ to have a ‘show section’ in which patients are displayed in sanitary conditions, sans the hallway full of wheelchairs populated by ‘zombies’ and the smell of urine.      Sometimes the facility will have several floors that actually look hospital like, but *****.

[3] Deaths will occur from natural causes and for the virus – but when 22 died there is a strong implication (at least) that something is not right.     If the patient was properly monitored the first symptom would have caused a serious alert and a 911 call!     Even the ineptest media outlet has been screaming since at least day 5 that the virus was serious and elderly people were outrageous risks!      How then could a single patient’s symptoms go unnoticed so that hospital treatment was delayed an hour – much less for days.

[4] The Sallas case is a threat to America’s core values as it separates a couple who have lived in marital bliss for more than 50 years – until it became inconvenient for the appointed guardian.     As there was little tangible money for the guardian to feast upon, the interment, isolation, and segregation of the wife from the husband became a necessity.    The guardian however noted that the couple owned a home in Skokie, Illinois, and some other real estate.      The family home was easy pickings.   Most attractive was the $7k plus pension of Amelia who could fund the lifestyles of numerous probate lawyers and nursing homes

The guardian orchestrated the “refinancing” of the home and in direct violation of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 together with the lending bank arranged for Mrs. Sallas (his ward) to personally sign the refinance agreement.    The husband (Dean) was induced to sign upon the material representation that the then current payment arrangements would remain in full force and effect.     As making the payments as agreed would not gain the guardian a dime, he stopped payments after a few months and induced a default.    The Bank in direct violation of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 filed a foreclosure.    Dean discovered reality!

In Illinois in guardianship cases the RULE OF LAW is a bunch of words placed on paper – but mean nothing.    The Judge is disinterested and is little more than a rubber stamp, and attorneys who value their law licenses mouth the party line in word and deed.     Mentioning 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 is the functional equivalent of ‘yelling fire in a crowded theater!’     No “ethical” law would oppose a duly appointed guardian’s quest for cash!

Thus, allegedly in open court, the guardian blatantly purposed a settlement.    He could obtain a REVERSE MORTGAGE on the family home.    This would yield $20,000 for the couple and Dean could continue to live in the home.

Unfortunately, for the guardian Dean can count and determined that the Sallas’ were being shortchanged by several hundred thousand dollars and objected.     He tried unsuccessfully to obtain an attorney – no attorney would touch the guardianship case; however, he did obtain an attorney for the foreclosure case.     The attorney’s strategy is not invoke the protection of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 as it might offend.       As Sallas is now allowed by the Court to talk to his wife or communicate with her = and she has been placed in a “nursing home” ******

 

from BD: Nursing homes continue to be deficient in infection control and care

https://www.wcia.com/health/nursing-homes-cited-for-deficient-infection-control-prevention-programs/?fbclid=IwAR2SHhtNvYBssoAJRGH-6VDIUP3I6bC5PUuErw403HdBFQu-ZIl5Nf0lQeo

Yes, this was written by my son, he is a professional journalist, but I did not ask him to write this or anything else.  He has an employer who directs his activities.  But GOOD FOR HIM.  Well written.

Nursing homes cited for deficient infection control, prevention programs

HEALTH
nursing home_1495574509827.jpg

DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — If you saw a food service worker return to work without washing their hands after using the bathroom, you would probably think twice about returning to that restaurant.

At a nursing home, you might feel the same way if you noticed healthcare workers not washing their hands or using proper protective equipment before providing care.

According to state inspection reports submitted in 2019 to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), maintaining proper hand hygiene practices and use of protective personnel equipment (PPE) was reported as an issue for multiple nursing homes in Central Illinois.

Karen Liu reported Thursday for CU-Citizen Access that over half of the nursing homes in the State of Illinois that are Medicare or Medicaid certified were cited in 2019 for deficiencies in their infection prevention and control programs. Her investigation found 396 of 720 active nursing homes had been cited for such deficiencies.

In an inspection report dated Jan. 9 of this year, Prairie Creek Village in Decatur was cited for failing to follow ‘contact precautions.’ The report stated two certified nurse assistants (CNA) failed to wear gowns while caring for a resident who was experiencing urine incontinence. They also did not wash their hands after removing their gloves when they finished providing incontinence care.

The CNA told inspectors that “we don’t wear gowns when we do incontinence care, that’s only when the nurses do wound care.” The report added two CNAs at Prarie Creek Village were unable to “verbalize the reason for not utilizing barrier precautions.”

In another case, PPE simply wasn’t accessible to healthcare workers. An inspection report dated May 17, 2019 cited Gardenview Manor in Danville for failure to follow “Transmission Based Protocols” for two of their residents. One of those residents was on contact isolation due to wound infection, and a CNA reportedly failed to wear a gown when caring for them.

The report stated two of their CNAs “acknowledged they were suppose to have gowns on, but the rack on the door for PPE was empty of gowns.”

As for the other protocol violation, a registered nurse (RN) admitted they were supposed to have worn a mask before entering the room of a resident on ‘Airborne Precaution.’

WCIA examined these inspection reports, which are available for public access on the Medicare.gov webpage for comparing nursing homes, and reached out to many of the violating facilities for comment on how they responded to their citations.

In an August 5, 2019 inspection report, Lewis Memorial Christian Village in Springfield was cited after one of their CNAs failed to wash their hands in between changing gloves during wound and incontinence care.

Ray Dickison, Chief Operating Officer for Christian Horizons, which manages that facility, provided the following statement Wednesday.

On August 5, 2019, our community received a minor deficiency related to infection control involving a sample of 5 residents that resulted in no harm to any of the residents.  In response to the citation, our community developed and implemented a plan of correction which was submitted, reviewed and approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).  IDPH subsequently confirmed correction and our compliance on September 24, 2019. Our community remains in compliance to infection control regulations and also implemented an infection preventionist role on the clinical team.

Ray Dickison, Chief Operating Officer for Christian Horizons.

He added their organization took the following steps in preparation for the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Conducted additional staff training on COVID-19, hand hygiene, isolation precautions, and infection control policy and procedures.
  • Implemented measures from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), CMS and state guidance for enhanced infection prevention.  These measures included training, revised cleaning guidelines, daily screenings of associates and residents and visitation restrictions.
  • Purchased additional PPE and implemented optimization measures for supply and equipment management.
  • Completed an enhanced infection control assessment and follow-up action plan that continues to be monitored.

Champaign Urbana Nursing and Rehab Center was cited in a report dated Oct. 18, 2019, for failure to utilize proper handwashing practices or PPE in two separate instances.

Kansas Swain, Director of Publications for Premier Healthcare Management, said in an emailed statement Wednesday Champaign Urbana Nursing and Rehab was in compliance with all regulatory requirements, “including infection control requirements.”

“Resident safety is our top priority,” Swain added. “We are doing everything we can to ensure we prevent any cases of COVID-19 within our facility, including following all local, state, and federal health department guidelines to ensure we are taking all appropriate actions.”

Springfield’s Aperion Care Capitol was cited Aug. 30, 2019 after state inspectors found their facility was not following proper isolation precautions, and a CNA failed to wash their hands after providing incontinence care.

Heather Levine provided the following statement on behalf of Aperion Care, Inc.

Aperion Care is taking a proactive approach in protecting our residents by following the recommendations of the CDC & CMS on prevention methods, including following strict handwashing procedures, and in many circumstances, wearing gowns and gloves when interacting with residents who are sick. We also are staying up to date with the CDC recommendations as they are revised. In addition, our facilities are in close contact with the local and state health departments and are following their guidance. We have a certified infection preventionist through the Association for Professionals in Infection Control to assist with implementing the CDC recommendations. We are also a Joint Commission accredited facility that completes monthly handwashing competencies with our staff. We use these competencies as an opportunity for improvement and education while reviewing trends. We have eliminated all visitors coming into our nursing facilities until further notice. We are also screening each staff member as they report to work each shift.

HEATHER LEVINE

“Nursing home facility staff should always follow the infection control guidance from the CDC, IDPH, and their local health department, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kelly D. Richards, Illinois State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. “If individuals are aware of facilities not following infection control guidance, they can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health at dph.ccr@illinois.gov or by calling 1-800-252-4343.”

WCIA reported Wednesday that two additional residents died at the Fair Havens Senior Living nursing home in Decatur. A total of five of their residents have passed after contracting COVID-19.

Fair Havens was not cited for any infection control and prevention deficiencies in 2019, according to the most recent inspection reports hosted on Medicare.gov.

A full summary of all inspection reports completed since 2019 containing violations for infection control and prevention that were examined by WCIA for this story can be found below:

CHAMPAIGN COUNTY

  • Champaign Rehab Center
    • Failed to obtain orders for isolation.
    • Failed to post signage to indicate isolation.
  • Champaign Urbana Nursing and Rehab
    • Failed to prevent cross-contamination from resident’s infection by not wearing required PPE.
  • County Health Care and Rehab
    • Failed to perform hand washing.
    • Failed to follow contact precautions.
    • Failed to decontaminate an insulin pen prior to use and storage.
  • Illini Heritage and Rehab Center
    • Failed to implement contact isolation precautions due to improper use of PPE.
  • University Rehab Center of CU
    • Failed to ensure staff use PPE when delivering direct care to a resident on Contact Isolation Precautions and preventing cross-contamination.

COLES COUNTY

  • Charleston Rehab and Healthcare
    • Failed to thoroughly wash hands during wound treatment for a resident needings dressing changes
  • Mattoon Rehab and Healthcare Center
    • Failed to implement and follow ‘Transmission Based Precautions’ for a resident with a known infection, resulting in cross-contamination during incontinence care.
  • Odd Fellow-Rebekah Home
    •  Failed to ensure that staff and visitors use appropriate PPE for a resident on transmission-based precautions. In this case, a CNA told a visitor wearing PPE was ‘optional.’
  • Palm Terrace of Mattoon
    • Failed to use PPE while providing toileting care and a wound dressing change for a resident on contact isolation precautions

DOUGLAS COUNTY

  • Arcola Healthcare Center
    • Failed to perform handwashing and properly disinfect a glucometer after use for six residents.
    • Failed to implement and monitor the facility’s water management program to address the potential waterborne pathogens for contamination of the facility’s residential water distribution system.
  • Tuscola Healthcare Center
    • Failed to develop a water management plan that included a risk assessment and testing protocols.

EDGAR COUNTY

  • Paris Health Care Center
    • Failed to develop a water management plan that included a risk assessment and testing protocols.
    • Failed to disinfect the top of an insulin vial before drawing up the insulin.
  • Pleasant Meadows Senior Living
    • Failed to ensure fingernails and bed sheets were clean and failed to keep a catheter bag off of the floor to prevent cross-contamination.
    • Failed to post signage to indicate isolation.
    • Failed to appropriately sanitize scissors.
  • Twin Lakes Rehab and Healthcare Center
    • Failed to prevent cross-contamination by not performing handwashing during intramuscular (IM) medication administration.

IROQUOIS COUNTY

  • Sheldon Healthcare Center
    • Failed to wash hands and use PPE when caring for multiple residents. In this case, a CNA provided bathing assistance for a resident wehile wearing gloves that were contaminated from providing incontinence care. An RN also did not wash their hands before or after administrating medication.
    • Failed to have completed their Water Management Plan and testing protocol.
  • Watseka Rehab and Healthcare Center
    • Failed to have an Infection Prevention and Control Program that tracks and analyzes resident and employee infection data to identify trends or patterns.
    • Failed to disinfect a glucometer after use and prior to placing on top of a medication cart
    • Failed to use PPE.
    • Failed to perform handwashing during incontinence care and wound care.

MACON COUNTY

  • Imboden Creek Living Center
    • Failed to protect resident flooring from cross-contamination during isolation room cleaning. In this case, soiled clothes were dropped on the floor instead of being placed in a plastic bag.
  • Prairie Creek Village
    • Failed to review or update their infection control policy at least annually.
    • Failed to address or identify infection trends.
    • Failed to follow contact precautions.
    • Failed to handle soiled linens in a sanitary manner and maintain laundry equipment in a sanitary condition so as to prevent the spread of pathogens.
  • Villa Clara Post Acute
    • Failed to change a water filter per manufacturer’s directions to prevent bacteria accumulation in an ice machine.
    • Failed to follow their emergency interdisciplinary plan to monitor for signs, and symptoms of infection related to Legionella contaminated water.

PIATT COUNTY

  • Bement Healthcare Center
    • Failed to have an Infection Control Program that tracks and analyzes resident and staff infection data to identify trends and patterns.
  • Piatt County Nursing Home
    • Failed to develop and implement a water management program to address the potential for waterborne pathogens in the facility’s residential water distribution system.

SANGAMON COUNTY

  • Aperion Care Capitol
    • Failed to wash hands before leaving a resident’s room after performing care.
    • Failed to identify a potential eye infection.
    • Failed to maintain isolation precautions for residents with known infectious diseases.
  • Auburn Rehan & Healthcare Center
    • Failed to complete an ongoing infection control program.
    • Failed to maintain infection control practices. In this case, two CNAs did not wash their hands before handling a resident’s personal items.
  • Concordia Village Care Center
    • Failed to properly disinfect multi-use glucose monitors to prevent the spread of infection.
    • Failed to wash hands before or after caring for residents. In this case, an RN administered medications without washing their hands first. The RN previously helped a resident blow their nose.
  • Heritage Health-Springfield
    • Failed to wash hands and change gloves during incontinence care.
  • Lewis Memorial Christian Village
    • Failed to wash hands to prevent the spread of infection during incontinent care and wound care.
  • Regency Care
    • Failed to wash hands in between glove changes or after touching residents’ personal items.
  • Villa Health Care East
    • Failed to properly disinfect blood glucose meters.
    • Failed to wash hands before and after resident care.

VERMILION COUNTY

  • Gardenview Manor
    • Failed to make PPE accessible to staff.
    • Failed to develop a water management plan that included a risk assessment and testing protocols.
  • Hawthorne Inn of Danville
    • Failed to develop a water management plan including a risk assessment and testing protocols.
    • Failed to follow infection control practices by failing to remove contaminated gloves and wash hands after caring for residents
    • Failed to disinfect a blood glucose monitor after use.
  • Heritage Health-Hoopeston
    • Failed to wear PPE when providing direct care for residents in isolation.
    • Failed to have PPE accessible to staff.
    • Failed to wash hands after touching an electronic device.
  • North Logan Healthcare Center
    • Failed to develop and implement a water management program to address the potential for waterborne pathogens in the facility’s residential water distribution system.
    •  Failed to perform infection surveillance and data analysis of facility infections.
    • Failed to prevent potential cross-contamination by placing soiled linens and a soiled incontinence brief on the floor.
    • Failed to change gloves during incontinence care.

From ND: Something Important you should know in Chicago–Virus testing for seniors (over 65)

COVID-19 Testing Available

The State of Illinois is proud to announce another Community Based Testing Site (CBTS) is open to help screen Illinoisans for COVID-19. These Community Based Testing Sites will be open seven days a week to test individuals with COVID-19 symptoms. Here’s some important information that you need to know about these facilities. Who can be tested: -Healthcare workers *with* symptoms -Seniors (65+) *with* symptoms -Patients with underlying conditions *and* experiencing symptoms -First Responders *with* symptoms -All other individuals *with* symptoms Where are the Community Based Testing Sites: Harwood Heights Opens: 7:00am Address: 6959 W. Forest Preserve Road, Chicago IL

 

People are also advised to wear a mask so you don’t sneeze or cough on others.  The mask should be handcrafted and if you have any commercially made masks those should be donated to hospitals, clinics, police, fire.  If used,a  commercial mask can be autoclaved (sterilized).

If you need a custom mask, go to my online store and get one for $15.  mommasks.square.site.  Shipping is only $3 and this is a fundraiser for Justice 4 Every1.  If you would like to volunteer to make and sew masks, contact me at joanne@justice4ever1.com.

I want to thank all the docs and nurses and EMTS and other ladies who are sewing masks right now.  My sewing machine repair guy is very busy keeping the machines going and he says a lot of you ladies out there are working hard day and night to make handcrafted masks.

If anyone knows of anyone in need of a free mask who cannot afford one, plmk.

Joanne

Something Important you should know–USPS Informed Delivery

One of my clients told me his mail is being stolen, but he isn’t worried because he signed up for “Informed delivery” from the US Postal Service.

You can sign up at http://www.usps.com and it explains:

Informed Delivery® by USPS®

Digitally preview your mail and manage your packages scheduled to arrive soon! Informed Delivery allows you to view greyscale images of the exterior, address side of letter-sized mailpieces and track packages in one convenient location.*

* Images are only provided for letter-sized mailpieces that are processed through USPS’ automated equipment

go to http://www.usps.com and on the menu at the top you will find “Informed Delivery”.  Click on this and you will know what mail you were supposed to receive every day.

Thanks to GG for this info.

Joanne

Update on Custom Mask Sales Fundraiser

You can now buy directly online at facemasks.mom or the shop is at mommasks.square.site.

Masks are $15 each and all proceeds go to charity:  Justice 4 Every1.com to pay for rent so I can help the indigent and poor and those in need in an office.

Here is the link to my current selection of masks. Something for everyone, all colors, including premium glitter fabrics.

Thanks for your support

Joanne

Now selling Custom Face Masks $15 each any color, any style

Please text me or facebook message me if you need a mask.

It is likely the US govt will require this soon.

https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipND1PiyRb9URDKqCu5SOoxoA-bTyN1rbhuk_AM6s7LoIMfAnJRuy87m5ahaY9XuPg?key=S05ocjloNnQ4bFZuaU4tcC1mbm9zUDJGbms5OHFB

Here are some samples.

You can pay by credit card, paypal or stop by and pay with cash.

Masks are made from premium quilting fabrics and are a fundraiser for my charity, Justice 4 Every1.com

I can make your mask in any color:  WHITE, BLACK, PINK, TEAL, RED, BLUE, PURPLE, ORANGE, GREEN or YELLOW.

Check out my Facebook page at

https://www.facebook.com/Custom-Premium-Fabric-Face-Masks-104857557850760/?view_public_for=104857557850760

where I will post daily updates.

Friend me on Facebook at Joanne Marie Denison Chicago

Stay Safe, stay healthy.

you can purchase face masks online now at facemasks.mom or mommasks.square.site.

all proceeds go to Justice 4 Every 1, NFP

Joanne

The CDC announces that the US public should wear a face mask and $1200 rebates

The WH is considering an Executive Order that everyone must wear handcrafted face masks.  Commercial face masks should be donated to your local hospital or clinic in need.

I am making handcrafted face masks for $15 on Etsy as a fundraiser.  HOWEVER if you are poor or cannot afford one, contact me anyway and I’ll make yours for free and ship it to you.

Here is the link:

https://www.etsy.com/listing/778339514/handcrafted-face-masks-pure-cotton?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=handcrafted+face+mask+easter&ref=sr_gallery-1-14&organic_search_click=1&col=1

In addition, the Present Administration is considering now limiting any US govt benefits to those who have filed tax returns, even if you had no income. Let me know if you have questions about this.   This is to affect social security payments, social security disability, food stamps and medicare/medicaid.  So be sure to file your tax return even if you have zero income.

It appears the $1200 payments will be distributed in order of 1) those who filed tax returns in 2018 or 2019 and listed their bank account number and routing number; and 2) the lowest earning taxpayers first.  So if you have not filed your taxes for 2018 or 2019, now is the time to do it.

From KKD: Corvid 19 and nursing homes, how dangerous is this to our elderly and disableds?

Cc: The New York Times <executive-editor@nytimes.com>
Subject: Sunday Chicago Tribune page 1 article on Nursing homes
Date: Mar 22, 2020 8:10 PM
In today’s Chicago Tribune appears one of those “kissing your sister” articles on nursing homes and C19 Virus.    The article ostensibly details the fact that in most nursing homes (care facilities) violations of Federal Public Health guidelines is the rule rather than the exception.    The article focuses on the fact that many of the extended care facilities have 2 or more violations.
Left out of the equation are the facts that we learned in the Philip Esformes Federal Criminal Trial.  (Mr. Esformes was convicted – he allegedly stole 1.2 BILLION dollars from the Medicare program).   To reiterate what we learned was that STATE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS charged with protecting the public and in particular the elderly were either bought off or were disinterested in doing adequate inspections thereby facilitating the abuses.
As the mainstream media treats the health care frauds with benign neglect it is not surprising that even though the Tribune gave front page space to the current immediate health problem it trivialized the problem.   For instance, as reported on the blog MARYGSYKES many nursing homes actually advertise openly and notoriously that they provide ‘kickbacks’ for patient referrals.   I’ve actually seen one of the solicitation sheets.    Of course with the meager media coverage of the ESFORMES trial and the outrageous situation that operates openly and notoriously the public is unaware of the enemy within.   NB.  Remember the Hollywood Hills nursing home fiasco wherein 12 seniors died because the operator of the home would not transfer them roughly across the street to a hospital with open beds and working AC.  Some patients were literally cooked in the nursing homes and had temperatures over 120 deg. Farenheit. I wonder how many of these patients were in a gship and had (a grossly incompetent) guardian.
Unfortunately I have had the opportunity to see what really goes on in many nursing homes.     Most are unsanitary, and poorly staffed havens for overuse of drugs (in many cases opioids) and abuse.   It is not unusual to observe drugged zombies sitting in wheel chairs outside their rooms – this is call physical therapy.    I recall the Jaycox case.    Robert Jaycox was a businessman who had a serious business reversal.  His doctor prescribed a drug to help him through the crisis, however, Jaycox had a drug side-effect.   Unfortunately, the hospital, the physicians and medical staff were unable to diagnose the problem.
Jaycox having the pecuniary reverse was also unable to pay the nursing home bill.   Without hesitation the facility (nursing home) contacted a psychiatrist who wrote a report that Jaycox was disabled and unable to care for himself or take care of his financial affairs. This report and a verified petition were filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
Jaycox’s punishment for not attorning and for hiring an attorney was swift.   The protective bar on his bed was left in the down position and Jaycox fell out of bed breaking his hip.  I demanded a hearing for Mr. Jaycox on the issue of guardianship.   The hearing was fortuitously scheduled in the hospital on the day of the surgery.  The psychiatrist testified under oath as to Mr. Jaycox’s disability under questioning by the presiding judge.   On cross examination the nursing home and the shrink were surprised when I asked the question: “who signed the consent for the surgery?”  (Of course Mr. Jaycox had signed all the hospital forms indicating the staff believed he was competent at the time admission and treatment).
As Jaycox had signed the consent the case terminated abruptly and another date was scheduled.    A few days later Jaycox had aspirated pneumonia and was dying.   Of course he died quickly and was even more quickly cremated.
No all reluctant occupants of nursing homes are put to death.   Some are left to linger, doped to the hilt, and others ****.   Of course come election day every resident casts his/her vote.   It is respectfully suggested that the vote corresponds to the whim of the nursing home operator who often sells the votes to local pols.  This is well documented but never investigated, even when reported to the autorities, the FBI, in particular.    It should be noted that the State of Illinois’ regulatory agency was totally disinterested in what I would classify as the murder of Robert Jaycox.
Illinois authorities (along with regulators across the USA) could care less about the patients in the nursing homes.   It is an open secret that in many of the nursing homes it is an axiom  – if you go in – rest assured you are not coming out!    (except in cases where convalescence is the reason you are in – and your own personal physician and family are monitoring.
In Dr. Sugar’s book GUARDIANSHIP he points out that in the human trafficking (elder cleansing) cases a FEEDING TUBE is one of the first therapeutic devices you are fitted with.  A pair of handcuffs, or a chain attached to your neck would be too noticeable.   Even the blind, deaf State inspector would notice such appliances and might include them in his report.   Of course with sanitation a NO PRIORITY item the C19 virus might hasten the termination of stay of the elderly victim. (Thus, if you are seeking positives in relation to the C19 virus – here is one).
Proper supervision of the nursing home industry by the State (State of Illinois, Florida, New York, California et al) would eliminate many of the obvious problems that enhance the effect of the C19 virus, to wit:
1) proper staffing – in many nursing home, the staffing is farmed out to companies that provide nurses, technicians et al.    The facility then prepares a record showing that they paid to the staffing company for the correct number of RNs etc.  If the inspector finds that on inspection there is a deficiency = it is the staffing company’s fault.    The nursing home operators in various assumed names own all the stock in the furnishing company.   This company while owned by the same people who operate the facility it is run by a ‘young hotshot’ who will tell you want a genius he is and how he is the Good Lord’s gift to medical care.
2) pharmaceuticals, linen supply etc.    ditto operation.  prices adjustable to meet guidelines and orders on record to comply with guidelines.  If the linens are dirty or there are no linens, the linen company is to blame, but no where to be found.
3) the building is owned by a land trust with a corporate or trust beneficiary – in reality the operators also own the building.
4) Management if required to be done by an individual – he is a nominee – paid by a corporation owned by the operators.
The Enron style operation is done openly and notoriously.   Payoff to public officials are routine! Physician supervision is similarly a joke.   It was described to me in the following manner, to wit:  “Dr. X slows his care down to 30 miles per hour as he passes the nursing home.   He then bills for a 5 minute visit to every patient in the nursing home.  NB.  Obviously such is an exaggeration – the doctor slows his care to 5 MPH!
The criminal mismanagement and violation of Federal and State Standards does not exist in every nursing home.  It does exist in enough of them to cause great concern. As indicated by other reports the number of violations would be through the roof BUT FOR two factors.   Many of the regulators are on the nursing home payroll, and a large number have no idea what regulations, if any, they are sent out to enforce.   Some are on a revolving door payroll between nursing home operator and state nursing home inspector.
THE FOREGOING is the article that the CHICAGO TRIBUNE ought to have written.   However, I am grateful to the TRIBUNE – at least they wrote an article.   Apparently it is not POLITICALLY CORRECT to mention that the nursing home industry is a vital factor in the HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE ELDERLY.   In an article that has appeared on the blog PROBATE SHARKS in which a noted nursing home operative brags that the elderly are just a commodity to him.
Health care in the United States comes with a massive fraud surcharge.   This surcharge is reported to be 700%.    The criminal conspiracy that protects the HUMAN TRAFFICKING in the elderly (elder cleansing)is protected by REGULATORS who are bought and paid for.  The C19 virus if left unchecked will delete the human traffickers inventory!    Maybe that is the reason that the Tribune wrote its page 1 article – the criminals preying on the elderly will lose a great deal of money! Maybe the media desires Congress to protect the profits of the HUMAN TRAFFICKERS in the elderly!

From Cook County court, closed for 30 days

I was down at court on Thursday, March 19, 2020, and a sign was posted that the court was closed for 30 days (civil cases only) and the clerk told me that they would be sending out “postcards” to all litigant pro se and attorneys to reset the court dates.

She suggested I refile my motion to get a new court day at the end of the 30 day period, presumably to get the next available date.

The clerks are coming out to meet people in the hall who have questions for many of the divisions and then they send out one brave clerk.

I believe the Appellate Court division is not delayed or closed down, there are no announcements there.

Please email me if you are able to get further information. joanne@justice4every1.com

From IW: Cook County Court may be closed starting Tuesday–check before you go to court

Cook County Circuit Court considers closing due to coronavirus

 Print

Editor’s note: This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
Last updated: Friday, March 13, 2:45pm

The Cook County Circuit Court is considering closing due to concerns over the novel coronavirus COVID-19, sources have confirmed to Injustice Watch.

In a meeting Thursday with the court’s 15-judge executive committee, Chief Judge Timothy Evans weighed various measures in response to the outbreak, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the meeting. The judges weighed various options, including a bare-bones approach to court matters, a 30-day complete court closure, and cameras that would allow judges to work from home while hearing cases, according to the sources.

Evans has not yet made a formal announcement and a spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

Evans told the executive committee, composed of the presiding judges of the court’s various divisions, that funding was available if judges wanted to use cameras installed on their benches, which would allow them to work remotely. Some judges expressed discomfort with that idea since it only isolated judges from the risk of the coronavirus, while still requiring defendants, attorneys and clerks to appear in court, according to the sources.

Evans also heard suggestions from the presiding judges. One option considered was a 30-day court closure that would likely be treated the same way the court treats a holiday, where only central bond court and juvenile court are in session. Another option was a skeletal approach in which all nonessential court hearings would be postponed. In this approach, the courts would remain open but with a rotating fraction of judges hearing only the most immediate matters.

Read More

Cook County justice system responds to Coronavirus outbreak

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Illinois hit 25 on Wednesday, officials throughout the state’s justice system are moving to respond to the new threat.

No decision was made in the meeting, and the presiding judges were told to discuss with their staff which matters were absolutely essential and which matters they could not do from home.

Another meeting of the executive committee has been set for Friday afternoon.

Keeping the courts open during the pandemic could be an issue for both health and due process, said Nicole Gonzalez Van Cleve, a sociology professor at Brown University and author of “Crook County,” a book about the Cook County court system.

Defendants and their relatives could be forced to choose between going to court and potentially spreading disease, or losing their bond, Gonzalez Van Cleve said.

“If you are a person charged with a crime or a supportive family member…you’re gonna go [to a hearing], hell or high water,” she said.

If jurors are calling in sick, then prosecutors could push harder for plea bargains, she said.

“There’s so many levers at work [for prosecutors],” Gonzalez Van Cleve explained. “This would be an additional lever that would all but squelch the ability to choose a jury trial.”

As for a potential backlog of cases and overcrowding in the jail if the courts were to close, Gonzalez Van Cleve says that police will need to work closely with other officials to reduce arrests. “If we stop the cases from flowing in, then we don’t have the backlog,” she said. “The prosecutor, the police, the mayor, they need to start thinking about how they’re using these resources.”

On Friday, the Illinois Department of Corrections announced it would be suspending all visitation to state prisons beginning Saturday, March 14, “until further notice,” spokeswoman Lindsey Hess said in an email. She added that the agency is “expanding opportunities for video visits and phone calls” and that there are currently no confirmed COVID-19 cases in an IDOC facility. Illinois Public Radio reported earlier Friday that at least 55 men in Menard Correctional Center in downstate Illinois were being quarantined for flu-like symptoms and that IDOC is not currently testing anyone in state prisons for coronavirus.

The Illinois Supreme Court released a statement Friday afternoon encouraging local courts to postpone court events or conduct hearings by phone or video call if possible. The Supreme Court will livestream oral arguments scheduled to take place on March 17 and 18.

Other justice system agencies in Illinois began implementing measures in response to the coronavirus outbreak earlier in the week. The 18th Judicial Circuit Court in DuPage County suspended ceremonies for marriages and civil unions and the Domestic Relations Division of the Cook County Circuit Court moved parenting classes online and began conducting Family Mediation Services over the phone.

The Cook County jail announced additional restrictions on visitation Thursday, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s website. The jail will not allow entry “if indications are that a visitor is a possible carrier of the Coronavirus.” Detainees are now limited to one visit by one person per week, for at most 15 minutes.

Please check back for updates to this story. You can also follow us on Twitter for breaking news updates.

From AAAPG: Grandmother freed from gship in Michigan after TV investigation

This is such a rare case.  About the 3rd I’ve heard of.  Most people have to leave the country or at least the state.

Michigan Miracle: Detroit grandmother freed from guardianship after TV-7 Investigation

Michigan Miracle: Detroit grandmother freed from guardianship after TV-7 Investigation

Detroit grandmother freed from guardianship after 7 InvestigationDetroit grandmother freed from guardianship after 7 Investigation

DETROIT (WXYZ) — She’s a 78-year-old Detroit grandmother who just wanted a wheelchair ramp. Instead, she was put under court guardianship. The 7 Investigators were in court Thursday when the Chief Probate Judge terminated that guardianship, bringing a lot of joy to Bessie and her family.

Bessie Owens can now make her medical, legal and financial decisions.

And not only did the judge terminate this guardianship and conservatorship – he also put Adult Protective Services on notice that things need to change with how they’re petitioning the court to put seniors under guardianship.

Cheers and applause filled the halls of Wayne County Probate Court Thursday where supporters gathered to watch Chief Judge Freddie Burton Jr. terminate Bessie’s guardianship and conservatorship cases.

She’s a 78-year-old Detroit grandmother who just wanted a wheelchair ramp. Instead, she was put under court guardianship. The 7 Investigators were in court Thursday when the Chief Probate Judge terminated that guardianship, bringing a lot of joy to Bessie and her family.

“I do not want or need strangers or bureaucrats over my life or finances,” Bessie told the judge.

“I do not want or need strangers or bureaucrats over my life or finances,” Bessie told the judge.

Bessie called the 7 Investigators in August after she discovered Adult Protective Services investigator Tresna Tupper had petitioned the court, saying Bessie was “medically frail” and “unable to manage her affairs.”

At the time, Bessie says all she needed was a wheelchair ramp so she could get out of her house safely. Instead, court records show Tupper told Judge Burton that she couldn’t find Bessie’s adult children to tell them about the guardianship, as required by law, even though the 7 Investigators easily found Owens’ daughter on Facebook.

“It does look like there’s some things that, in the course of doing your job, that some things were missed,” Burton told an APS supervisor in court on Thursday. The supervisor was in court instead of Tupper.

Bessie’s three adult children were also present.

“It seems to me it would be pretty simple to find them. Were other efforts made,” Judge Burton asked.

The supervisor maintained that Tupper followed APS protocol, but ultimately no one objected to Bessie’s request to drop the guardianship and conservatorship.

“It’s clear to me there’s insufficient evidence to continue the guardianship, and so I will grant the petition to terminate guardianship as you requested,” ruled Judge Burton.

A large group of anti-guardianship protestors in the courtroom cheered and applauded the judge’s decision.

The 7 Investigators showed you last week how Bessie’s conservator, lawyer Cynthia Williams, was asking the court to approve $687.50 in legal fees, even though she never met with Bessie.

“Why are you trying to charge her $687 when she only has $6500,” Catallo asked.

“Because that is my fee for my services,” Williams said.

“What did you actually do though,” Catallo asked.

“It’s on my account, did you see it,” Williams said.

Today Williams argued briefly with the judge, but she ultimately waived her fees and the judge terminated the conservatorship as well.

“The thing that’s important here, Mrs. Owens now has her ramp, and the court is apprised. We need to get out of her way and let her go live her life,” Judge Burton said.

“[I’m] elated and glad it was terminated, there was no need for it. And I think there should be something addressed to keep this from happening to another person and their family and friends,” said Bessie after the ruling.

“Did you have any notice from Adult Protective Services this was happening,” Catallo asked Mischia Smith, Bessie Owens’ son.

“No. I talked to my mother, who I talk to on a daily basis and she informed me, they didn’t contact me at all. And I was very surprised by this whole thing. I believe they should be punished for what they do,” Smith said.

Judge Burton also put APS on notice that he wants a meeting with state officials to make sure they are giving family members notice, before taking the extreme step of declaring an adult legally incapacitated.

“It does look like there’s several things we need to shore up, particularly in terms of making certain notice is provided,” Judge Burton said.

Bob Wheaton, Public Information Officer for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees APS, issued this statement last week about investigator Tupper and this case:

“The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is committed to respecting human dignity and protecting the health, safety and well-being of vulnerable adults. Adult Protective Services takes very seriously its responsibility to protect vulnerable adults. APS follows policies put in place to help understand and respond to each unique situation, and when necessary, works with partners in the court who make the final decision on what’s best for these individuals. Adult Protective Services aims to provide the least-restrictive services that are necessary to keep a vulnerable adult safe. The department is looking into the concerns that have been expressed.”

If you have a story for Heather, please call 248-827-4473 or email her at hcatallo@wxyz.com

To read this story at the WXYZ.com story on their website, follow this link.

1 Comment on Michigan Miracle: Detroit grandmother freed from guardianship after TV-7 Investigation

  1. kathleen Morris // November 25, 2019 at 5:47 am //

    This news is a wonderful victory and will put all the crooked perverse probate judges in Michigan on Notice! Chief Probate Judge Burton from Wayne County, Detroit, Michigan is the ONLY probate Judge whom I have heard of who follows probate law and rules. Michigan probate courts are rife with lack of accountability, while Michigan state reeks with corruption, fraud, exploitation of elderly, collusion with crooked lawyers who are buddies with corrupt judges, where Kangaroo courts are the norm.. (when there is no justice in guardian cases, where the cases are prejudged setting up the soon to be ward of the court for sabotage by the corrupt predators of the court)! Judge Burton’s ruling of
    terminating Bessie’s unlawful guardian & conservator-ship must be a precedent in all other states as well. This highly organized crime racket of using humans for means of profit by denying them all civil and inalienable rights by snaring them in unlawful guardianship’s for the sole purpose to profit, steal, abuse, isolate,drug dangerous psychotropic drugs which causes their deaths (murder) needs to stop! Michigan judges put more adults under guardianship than any other state! Michigan is known to be the king guardian mafia! They love to fill beds to capacity in fake so-called care facilities, which Michigan Dept of HHS trains evil APS workers to go after prospects for guardianship even petitioning for guardianship’s failing to ever contact family, but lie through their teeth on court petitions they could not find any family ??? As in Bessie’s case and thousands of others, when in fact family was very easily found and outraged their own mother was kidnapped by the state, to profit from. Most often family & friends are barred and never again allowed rights to visit, or communicate by phone or mail! This is an outrage this state has not only
    allowed such crimes against humanity, but seem to love the abuse of power they have to terrorize our vulnerable elderly and disabled. Judge Burton is the first in Michigan history to follow any probate laws or rules in guardian cases I have heard of?! Michigan law is clear there must be clear and convincing evidence that person who is targeted for guardianship – that all avenues for alternatives to guardianship (least restrictive) must be exhausted before a guardianship is to be granted! IT IS UNHEARD OF ANY MICHIGAN PROBATE JUDGE DOING THIS! In fact the crony perverse probate attorney’s work hand in hand with crooked judges to unjustly snare anyone into a guardianship that is petitioned , ignoring all DPOA’s Power of attorney , which is considered in Michigan law an alternative to guardianship… which the law clearly states if POA is in place a guardianship cannot override it! But judges routinely ignore law and zap guardianship , stripping innocent vulnerable of all human and constitutional rights! I filed a formal complaint against several crooked judges . Judge Michael Jaconette, Chief probate judge of Calhoun County, MI… put my dear mom under a guardianship which ultimately killed her, when she had a long standing POA in place! I filed Judge Michael Jaconette must be recused off mom’s case when I hired a lawyer seeking visitation rights of my dear mom. The JTC let him off the hook, as they are all judges themselves and crooked lawyers, and dismiss 99 % of all valid complaints against judges.. case of fox guarding the hen house.. which is more proof of probate corruption, fraud..abuse. This crooked judge continued to allow moms guardian to bar me from visiting or talking to my own dear mom, in a staged kangaroo hearing ! Jaconette gave NO reason why.. only he just said so. I cited in my formal complaint against him, that ISOLATION is abuse and recognized as such nationally! The JTC condones elder abuse, and condones probate judges to violate laws set up to protect our vulnerable against abuse. These crooked judges need to have criminal charges brought against them for elder abuse and put behind bars for life for their crimes! With so many victims in Michigan of guardian probate crime in , it is appalling why the comment section of this great victory is not flooded???? as there are hundreds of Michigan families victimized by the probate guardian organized crime racket!
    Listen up people!!!! WE HAVE A REAL VICTORY HERE!!!! GET YOUR COMMENTS OUT HERE FOR GOD’S SAKE! Dr. Sam Sugar has given us a forum here to shout out for the world to read!!! We all need to have a victory rally in front of Judge Burton’s court and thank him for following the law and setting this beautiful wonderful Bessie free!!!! Where are you all???? Dr. Sugar was there for me when
    I was going through a nightmare hell, after mom was kidnapped by the guardian system, and was barred for 6 years from any contact with me and people she loved! Dr. Sugar was there for me to take my call, and give me moral support to keep up the fight .. gave me encouragement when there was no agency nor entity who would help because these gov. agencies are a blooming farce! Even the police force are involved in guardian racketeering! APS are dirty runners who show up in hospitals and sneak in to fill out papers for guardianship.. they get bonuses for referrals to nursing homes and those fake so-called assisted living facilities… which are prisons and take part in the secret society of using wards of the court for profit while denying them all rights. APS are known to be liars .. big fat liars.. making up outlandish allegations against anyone who may stop their money train scheme. APS show no proof of allegations… they say things they have no personal knowledge of.. just make up nasty stories to defame loving families who try to rescue their parents from court predators!
    This is the first time I have ever heard of a case.. ( especially in corrupt Michigan probate courts ) that a judge put Dept of HHS on notice for not following Michigan Probate laws and rules!!!!! Rah Rah Rah for Judge Burton!!!
    I believe this happened due to our forceful advocacy work going on from victims in Michigan exposing court sanctioned guardian abuse, fraud and corruption! We have been blasting our cases out on internet.. protests, and putting our true horror stories on video.. hearme.tv and thanks to one Detroit news media Heather Catallo for airing stories of guardian/conservator/ probate judge fraud and abuse of our elderly! Our message is getting out – WE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF THE COURTS BLATANT CORRUPTION AND ABUSE OF OUR ELDERLY, OF THEM VIOLATING EVERY LAW IN THE BOOKS AND WE ARE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE! Michigan Supreme court is the biggest farce of all who only cover for their good ol boy system, which is why Michigan judges are so brazen about their crimes.. THEY HAVE MICHIGAN SUPREME COURT ADMINISTRATOR MILTON MACK COVERING FOR ALL OF THEM!!!! MILTON MACK HAS A HISTORY OF COMMITTING EGREGIOUS ACTS OF INJUSTICE TO VULNERABLE DISABLED AND ELDERLY AS A PROBATE LAWYER.. I HAVE PRINTED ARTICLES PROVING IT! Yet somehow he got placed as Michigan Supreme Court Administrator??? Fancy that! Any complaints that go out Michigan judge’s he lets them off claiming frivolous, lacking merit!!!
    Dana Nessel MI Attorney General lined up some 80 lawyers and judges to supposedly hear our stories, over several month span this year… giving us victims and families 3 min to voice our complaints in so-called “listening tours”.. what a joke that was! There were no lay person on the panel, there were no victim’s or victims families on the panel???? Who paid all these 80 lawyers and judges to
    be part of this so-called task force??? Did these crooks just line up to drain the 50 million dollar grant given (by the state ) for this task force?? If so, that is just what the guardians/conservators do.. *** lawyers line up to steal every stinking penny of the wards estate and bank accounts.. when they drain them they move on to the next victim! Is that all this task for was?? Michigan has had many many task forces to supposedly “pretend” they are really digging deep into this guardian organized crime racket.. and not one stinking thing has ever changed!!! It is just a way to patronize us.. !!! Was it Michigan Supreme State Court Administrator who ordered probate lawyers NOT to sell their used Michigan court Laws and Rules books, Tompson West publishers, on Amazon anymore,
    since I have successfully ousted 2 crooked judges off the bench by citing all the violations Judge Philip Harter (and Judge Garbrecht) in well written formal complaints to the JTC… and another crooked probate Judge in Ionia,Michigan by the name of Robert Sykes Jr. (who did not get disciplined) for his egregious unlawful acts observed by me in his court.. while he arrogantly put a wealthy elder lady under a unwarranted guardianship to steal her mulit million dollar bank accounts and 340 acre farm… everything this crook did was so egregious I could not begin to list all of Judge Robert Sykes and his buddy lawyer, David Tripp, who actually plays the role as Judge Sykes lawyer ! Each case I court watch in, is worse than the last and each one I think this has got to be the ultimate corruption of a Judge, only to find the next one is even worse!!!
    Is it any wonder we citizens fear being hurled into these mafia courts where justice is only perverted… Is it any wonder many are fleeing the country to avoid the evil U.S. Probate courts???? America is a Banana Republic.. it is not going to be.. it is already there and it is high time we citizens resist and demand justice in our courts.. all of our courts are polluted by this massive
    evil judicial corruption that has run amok!!!!! I thank advocate Harold Jackson for compiling laws in magnificent format .. to help us in this battle.. ways to target criminals who are responsible for crimes in their personal capacity. His dear mom was snared in a unlawful guardianship, her home stolen by the probate racket, and put away with less rights than a convicted felon. He needs Judge Burton to hear his case to free his mom from an unwarranted guardianship! So many victims and each one is worthy of justice and freedom, no one case is more important than another. We have to keep up the fight, and Judge Burton’s just ruling for Bessie gives us a ray of hope we have not ever had before! I thank God for hearing our prayers and for freeing Bessie! We need to have a great celebration and send cards and letters of thankfulness this Thanksgiving to Judge Burton!!!!

Comments are closed.

From SS: The Probate Secret Society

THE PROBATE SECRET SOCIETY

For the past three decades advocates from various parts of the country who have been victimized by corrupt guardianship courts have attempted to rise up and do something about this system which is so obviously and clearly broken and corrupt.

They/we have taken every avenue they can to shine a light on the national playbook of guardianship and how it destroys families, kills wards and drains estates of innocent American vulnerables.  As a result of those efforts, laws have been changed, books have been written, blistering exposés have been published repeatedly, there have been attempts to engage local state and federal government at every level, the ADA has been invoked, the FBI has been informed, the Justice Department at the highest levels has been tasked to make record of complaints and gather data.  Complaints about judges have been filed, bar complaints have been filed, regulatory agencies like the OPPG in Florida have been created and the list goes on and on.  But it is clear based on reports from the field that continue to come in on a daily basis that the guardianship industry is alive and well and is enormously enriching the court insiders who inhabit the probate court swamp.

Why after all this time has there not been a solution to this immoral, corrupt, criminal activity?  Why are we still having meetings to discuss the problem with this official or that official who might or might not have some influence on the system?  Why is this abuse still not regarded as a crime? Why have we not finally come to the disturbing but blatantly obvious answer to why guardianship abuse continues unabated in this country?

Guardianship abuse and everything it entails is the direct result of a broken judicial system that functions like a country club and only members of that country club can reap its benefits.  

An instructive video by court whistleblower Carolyn Douglas (who was for a time married to a judge) which can be found at  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RyN-PgH_WB8&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR3YJDbf3ZX0T_l4QNJsZiyK7k1joliOWLSse_PY_Tn3vTwEhmKUEj5dB5I shines a light on this very issue.

She explains that the judicial country club has become the modus operandi in equity courts, particularly in probate and Family Courts which give judges enormous latitude and the ability to ignore statutes and law with absolute impunity.

Below find her list of the country club rules which should be very familiar to anyone who has attempted to litigate or represent themselves in these equity courts.

 Country Club Rules.docx

To complicate matters further, oversight and monitoring of judges in these courts is laughable.  Here is an excerpt from the Florida judicial qualifications committee’s own website about how their hearing panels deal with evidence and complaints submitted against judges:

The Hearing Panel has wide latitude to admit or exclude evidence and is not bound by the technical rules of evidence.  It may admit evidence that is relevant and reliable as described in The Florida Bar v. Tobkin, 944 So. 2d 219 (Fla. 2006)

The long-term record of this statutory agency designed to discipline judges is laughable in that the number of judges removed from the bench over the last two decades can be counted on one hand.  This is simply a reflection of the attitude that judges must be viewed as perfect and infallible.  Even though they cannot be sued because of judicial immunity for almost anything, their self-monitoring organization composed of other judges and under the massive influence of the State BAR and Supreme Court still finds its necessary to erect shields around even their most poorly performing judges just so nothing pierces the veil of judicial authority and perfection.

The net result is that judges are gods in their courtroom.  They collaborate with their swamp creature insider fraternity for the singular purposes of profitably clearing their docket.  They complain that they are overworked and underpaid.  They claim that they are understaffed.  They know that pro se litigants do not belong to their country club, they gum up the efficient works of the court and make cases and hearings last longer than they need to.

They make it clear that bothersome pro se litigants are not welcome, that they will not be assisted by the court, and that because of their naïveté and lack of understanding of the rarefied and exclusive privileges the court possesses, that such litigants can easily be intimidated, fined, sanctioned and even arrested if they become too much of an irritation for a hubris filled judge.  Furthermore, working in concert with the attorneys who make their living in front of these judges, they can team up to embarrass, defame, browbeat anyone who stands in their way by shamelessly and ruthlessly creating lie after lie that the court not only allows but encourages.  That’s just standard operating procedure in that country club.

Victims of guardianship abuse typically direct their rage and anger at the Guardians and lawyers that make their lives a living hell while robbing them blind in the process– and that is quite understandable.  But a more sophisticated perspective demands that we have a deeper understanding of how this country club racket works.  None of this, nothing, nada, zilch, zero could possibly ever occur without the complicity of the one person who has the authority and responsibility for the entire state guardianship system– the untouchable equity probate court judge.

Judges like the ones who gave embattled Guardian Rebecca Fierle hundreds and hundreds of cases over the years– and there are at least 10 other judges who acted just as badly in Florida– are directly responsible for the catastrophes of countless guardianships across the state.  The blood of innocent wards who were slowly murdered by the actions of court appointed corrupt guardians and the lawyers who enabled them is on their hands.  Aided and abetted by hospitals and facilities whose only concern was bottom line dollars, seniors across the state who could not defend themselves were used as chattel in a game to see which swamp creatures and moneyed businesses could bilk the system the most without getting caught.

But it all goes back to the judges.  It’s the judges.  Judges are the problem.

These judges are generally elected by the public but as we all know they appear at the very end of every ballot and voters know absolutely nothing about them and either fill in a name that sounds good or not fill in any name at all which results in these judges being elected by just a handful of votes.  In the coming general election we have an opportunity to vote out the worst of these judges.  That is where I believe we should focus our energies.

 

Your comments are welcome

From FB: Illinois DCFS suspiciously silent on 4 year old boy’s death

https://www.peoriapublicradio.org/post/public-guardian-blasts-dcfs-silence-tate-thurman-case?fbclid=IwAR3mpclxYV3lDk3G4YV1porGfYX7HsvGaqVqygyi4sdbJmRnrNi6VKm5xeM#stream/0
And don’t get me wrong, the Public Guardian is just as bad and corrupt as DCFS, –or worse.  Gov. Pritzker better get in there and clean up these agencies.  Over 100 children have died in DCFS care lately.

Public Guardian Blasts DCFS For Silence on Tate Thurman Case

  MAR 3, 2020

Cook County Public Guardian Charles Golbert said DCFS isn’t being transparent about its potential involvement with the family of a 4-year-old East Peoria boy who died last month.

“The response has been crickets,” said Golbert. “And of course that raises my suspicion antennas even higher.”

Golbert said his office requested a timeline of agency involvement in Tate Thurman’s life last week, but still hasn’t received that information. In other recent high-profile child death cases like the A.J. Freund case in Crystal Lake, he said the agency has released that information readily.

“If, in fact, this was another case where DCFS had warning after warning, and red flag after red flag, and a child ended up dying because of very poor judgment and social work practices, that would need to be exposed,” he said.

Golbert said the current silence from the child welfare agency is the “antithesis” of the transparency promised by Gov. J.B. Pritzker and DCFS acting director Marc Smith into the agency’s handling of cases.

DCFS hasn’t replied to WCBU’s multiple requests for a timeline or comment on this case. The agency was involved in removing two children from Thurman’s home following his death. Thurman’s infant sister was suffocated while co-sleeping with her parents in 2011. That death was ruled accidental.

WCBU is reaching out to Gov. Pritzker’s administration for additional comment.

Lesli Jett, 33, of East Peoria faces murder charges in the case. She’s being held in the Tazewell County Jail on $3 million bond. Tazewell County State’s Attorney Stewart Umholtz said Thurman faced significant abuse before his death.

From FB: States poised to limit your 1st amendment rights to protest publicly

https://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2017/02/24/gop-lawmakers-push-bills-to-limit-protesting-in-17-states

Lawmakers Push Bills to Limit Protesting in 17 States

FREE SPEECH?

Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

From FB: Corruption in NJ is reigned in, 44 arrested

44 Charged by U.S. in New Jersey Corruption Sweep

Agents led suspects from F.B.I. headquarters in Newark on Thursday. The inquiry began with questions on money laundering.
Credit…Louis Lanzano/Associated Press

A two-year corruption and international money-laundering investigation stretching from the Jersey Shore to Brooklyn to Israel and Switzerland culminated in charges against 44 people on Thursday, including three New Jersey mayors, two state assemblymen and five rabbis, the authorities said.

The case began with bank fraud charges against a member of an insular Syrian Jewish enclave centered in a seaside town. But when that man became a federal informant and posed as a crooked real estate developer offering cash bribes to obtain government approvals, it mushroomed into a political scandal that could rival any of the most explosive and sleazy episodes in New Jersey’s recent past.

It was replete with tales of the illegal sales of body parts; of furtive negotiations in diners, parking lots and boiler rooms; of nervous jokes about “patting down” a man who turned out to indeed be an informant; and, again and again, of the passing of cash — once in a box of Apple Jacks cereal stuffed with $97,000.

“For these defendants, corruption was a way of life,” Ralph J. Marra Jr., the acting United States attorney in New Jersey, said at a news conference. “They existed in an ethics-free zone.”

Mr. Marra said that average citizens “don’t have a chance” against the culture of influence peddling the investigation had unearthed.

Even veteran political observers were taken aback by the scope of the investigation. The mayors of Hoboken, Secaucus and Ridgefield were among those arrested.

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“This is so massive,” said Joseph Marbach, a political scientist at Seton Hall University. “It’s going to just reinforce the stereotype of New Jersey politics and corruption.”

The arrests had immediate reverberations in the governor’s race, and a member of Gov. Jon S. Corzine’s administration was forced to resign after federal agents raided his home.

The authorities laid out two separate schemes, one involving money laundering that led to rabbis and members of the Syrian Jewish community in Brooklyn and in the Jersey Shore town of Deal, where many of them have summer homes. The other dealt with political corruption and bribery and involved public officials mostly in Jersey City and Hoboken, where the pace of development has been particularly intense in recent years.

From FB: For profit foster child companies sponsor corruption as well as children

Senate Finds 86 Children Died In Care Of Giant For-Profit Foster Care Firm, Citing BuzzFeed News

Two years after a BuzzFeed News investigation, the Senate introduces the Child Welfare and Accountability Act to track foster care contractors.

Posted on October 18, 2017, at 9:04 a.m. ET

Milam County District Attorney

Two-year-old Alexandria Hill was murdered by a foster mother recruited and trained by the US’s largest for-profit foster care company, The Mentor Network.

At least 86 children died in a 10-year period while in the custody of a giant for-profit foster care company, according to an investigation by the US Senate Committee on Finance. In only 13 of those deaths did the company, The Mentor Network, conduct an internal investigation, the committee found.

The Senate committee said the company “falsely” claimed that its child death rate was in line with the fatality rates in the overall foster care system.

The Senate probe started in part because of a series by BuzzFeed News that profiled problems at the company, which was the largest for-profit foster care provider in the country. In one case a 2-year-old girl who was placed at a home run by Mentor was murdered by her foster mother. In another case, a series of boys were sexually abused by a Mentor foster father, whom Mentor paid as a foster parent for years despite a series of red flags. He had requested that he be sent boys who were “male, white, any age.”

Though Mentor denied the claim, employees told BuzzFeed News that the pursuit of profits sometimes took priority over child welfare. (The company is owned by Civitas Solutions, Inc., which recorded $1.4 billion in revenue last year and trades on the New York Stock Exchange.) As BuzzFeed News reported in 2015, profit margins in the business can be very high. For Mentor, BuzzFeed News reported, earnings before taxes and amortizations could be as high as 44%.

As a result of the committee’s investigation, the chairman, Orrin Hatch, and its ranking member, Ron Wyden, introduced legislation Monday to require states to disclose the contractors they use in privatized foster care, and to report to the federal government how those contractors perform.

In privatized foster care, states or local governments outsource child welfare duties to companies or nonprofit organizations. Those entities then hire the caseworkers, recruit, screen, and train foster parents, and place children with them.

The Senate, for its extensive probe, surveyed all 50 states, but the results, the report discloses, were too inconsistent to be useful in comparing foster care providers. Seventeen states didn’t even respond. “Some States collect information, perform reviews, and maintain data in paper files that are never entered into an electronic database or that are never synthesized into a single report or review,” the committee noted.

The Senate committee saved some of its harshest language to condemn a report that Mentor submitted in which the company claimed its fatality rate was not high. Mentor said that its death rates “are comparable with national norms.’’

But the committee said that the conclusion was “false,” “inaccurate and misleading.” In fact, the committee said, “MENTOR’s death rate among foster children is 42% higher than the national average.”

The committee also criticized the company’s incident reports, which it said were “incomplete” and included “inaccurate information and diagnostically implausible conditions.”

Mentor reported a total of 86 deaths between fiscal years 2005 and 2014. Of those deaths, 23 had been categorized as “expected” by the company, presumably meaning that the child was suffering from a grave illness, while 62 were “unexpected.” (In one case, the company didn’t provide that information.)

In an email to BuzzFeed News, Mentor said that it had just provided the Senate with updated figures indicating that 94 children died over a longer period, fiscal years 2005–2017. The company said that 56 “had medically complex conditions and/or a diagnosis (es) that would cause premature death.” The company said other deaths were out of its control.

Mentor also said that although the Senate reported that there were only 13 internal investigations of child deaths at the company, “This number does not represent the actual number of investigations.”

From FB: Lying CPS workers are at it again.

So tell me, why isn’t DCFS/CPS testing for psychopathy at the first internview?  Seems they’re actually attracted to psychopaths.

https://www.wjhg.com/content/news/Lynn-Haven-child-protective-investigator-arrested-for-falsifying-records-422031214.html?fbclid=IwAR2FoQJwIBDnJhwy_K8wtoq4ZDESg8oVsAfLpk_D0QSE94rf0-dgtDek_cM

Lynn Haven child protective investigator arrested for falsifying records.

    

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says it arrested a Lynn Haven child protective investigator for falsifying records.

FDLE agents say they arrested 37-year-old William Edward Bond for falsification of records. They say he is a child protective investigator with the 14th Circuit Court.

Agents say on July 29, 2015, Bond documented he conducted a face-to-face welfare visit with a foster child at the child’s residence on July 24th.

Officials tell us the child’s foster parents said he did not conduct that visit and records showed the foster child was not picked up from daycare until after the recorded in home visit.

Authorities say Bond’s mileage log for July 24th showed he did not document a visit to the foster child’s residence as he claimed.

Bond was booked into the Bay County Jail on May 10th. The Office of the State Attorney with the 14th Circuit will prosecute this case.

From FB: Dozens in Sacramento Cal. DFS have criminal records

https://www.sacbee.com/news/investigations/article2572308.html

 

 

Drug possession, domestic violence, repeatedly driving drunk, assault with a deadly weapon – any one of these charges or convictions could lead child protective services workers to remove children from a home or force a parent into counseling.

But all of those crimes and many others appear in the backgrounds of employees of Sacramento County’s Child Protective Services, a Bee investigation has found.

A review of the agency’s 969 workers employed as of Oct. 1 found that at least 68 individuals – 7 percent of the work force – have criminal records in Sacramento County alone. The number is likely to be even higher because some names were too common to retrieve all criminal complaints linked to them, and records in other counties were not searched.

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Although the county child protection agency has a policy to perform criminal background checks on prospective employees – and says it is alerted by the state if a current employee is arrested – the ranks at CPS include offenders convicted of such crimes as possession of heroin for sale, theft, embezzlement, spousal abuse, obstructing an officer, prostitution and identity theft.

One county worker who was a receptionist at two CPS offices is a registered sex offender. One social worker has a pending court case over claims that she harassed her neighbors with laser beams and obscene tirades. A family service worker was charged in August with stealing gas from a county pump.

CPS Director Laura Coulthard and her boss at the county, Lynn Frank, declined to be interviewed. But The Bee’s examination prompted Coulthard to issue two memos to agency employees in the past month, warning that their names and criminal histories might be published.

Neither she nor other top county officials would discuss their policies for deciding what kind of criminal background would preclude someone from being hired or when and why exceptions are made.

CPS workers are entrusted with Sacramento’s most vulnerable residents: abused and neglected children, living in broken families. These workers are charged with passing judgment on parents’ fitness. They testify under oath, serving as the eyes and ears of the juvenile court system.

“Just because they don’t carry a gun doesn’t mean they don’t exercise extraordinary power over children and families,” said William Grimm, an attorney at the Oakland-based National Center for Youth Law. “Forcing them to adhere to the highest level of conduct seems legitimate to me.”

Some Sacramento CPS employees’ arrests date back years, while others are current. Some committed serious crimes while working for the agency but remained on the job for months and even years – sometimes on paid leave.

Among The Bee’s findings:

Six CPS family service workers who go into people’s homes to help families have been convicted or face charges of drug possession, theft, embezzlement or possession of heroin for sale.

Many of the convictions are for driving under the influence and reckless driving, including 15 workers who have close contact with children and families. Some of their jobs require them to transport children to safe locations, often in the middle of the night. Three CPS social workers have multiple DUI convictions, including one arrested three times between 1999 and 2005.

At least 17 CPS office assistants who handle sensitive case files have faced some of the most serious charges, including spousal abuse, illegal weapons possession, witness tampering, failure to provide for a child, identity theft, grand theft, embezzlement of county resources, welfare fraud, injury to a spouse and obstructing an officer.

Repeated arrests – even for violence – do not appear to be an automatic impediment to CPS employment. One office worker employed since 2001 faces spousal abuse charges in a pending case and has previous arrests for DUI, gambling, spousal abuse and witness tampering, court documents state. A police report taken in that worker’s 1993 spousal abuse case states that “he admitted association with the Sacramento Blood Brothers, which is a violent gang.”

One worker, who prepares legal documents for children and families in crisis, faced charges between 1994 and 2000 that included two DUIs, assault with a deadly weapon, spousal abuse, theft and check fraud. She was hired in 2000, the same year she faced felony charges of forgery, fraud and methamphetamine possession.

ADVOCATE STUNNED

Criminal background checks for public and private employees are increasingly common, raising questions of fairness, privacy and the notion of rehabilitation.

And hundreds of CPS workers stay clean and do their jobs well, propping up fragile families and venturing into the toughest neighborhoods.

But one prominent child advocate believes the arrest histories uncovered by The Bee suggest deeply systemic problems.

“My sense is that this is the result of a leadership vacuum at CPS and a failure to demand accountability among the workers,” said Robert Wilson, executive director of Sacramento Child Advocates, whose attorneys represent children in dependency court.

One 36-year-old Sacramento mother, whose two children were removed from her care by CPS, said she is outraged that some agency workers have criminal pasts – yet may be in a position to testify against parents like her.

“I’m very angry,” said Desiree McCarthy, whose 6- and 14-year-old kids were taken amid allegations of drug use. McCarthy denies abusing illegal drugs but said she has struggled with prescription painkillers, and the aftereffects of head surgery.

“I think this is a disgrace – an outrage,” she said. “The bottom line is, they’re hypocrites.”

The Bee’s study of workers’ criminal histories stems from its ongoing investigation of problems at CPS, which began 18 months ago and has sparked a county grand jury investigation and an independent, county-ordered audit.

While investigating the death of a 3-year-old girl who died after being under CPS’ watch, The Bee found that the social worker in the case had problems of her own.

That social worker, Alexis Hince, said she believes her brushes with the law were an asset to the agency, helping her relate better to clients.

“I related to my clients in such a way that it is more than book knowledge or resource-related,” she said.

Hince was assigned to what became one of the agency’s most controversial cases last year, in which 3-year-old Valeeya Brazile was beaten to death after her CPS case was closed.

Valeeya’s mother and her mother’s boyfriend face charges in the death of the girl, who suffered a series of suspicious injuries before the fatal beating. Court records obtained by The Bee indicate Hince failed to report those injuries to the court or to the girl’s court-appointed attorney.

A review of Superior Court files shows Hince’s problems began before she was hired by the agency – and continued.

She was charged in 2000 with failing to report all her income and receiving overpayments of $7,509 in food stamps and welfare. She pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor and received probation, court records show.

CPS hired Hince in January 2005. A year later, she again was charged with welfare fraud stemming from payments received in 2002 and 2003. She pleaded no contest to two misdemeanors and was ordered to repay $6,368.

In that case, Hince was accused of taking money from Child Action, a program that administers child care subsidies to needy families – and is often recommended by CPS to its struggling families.

In January, a Sacramento judge dismissed the cases.

Hince, 35, said she was never asked about the 2000 case when she was hired and that she didn’t have to disclose it because it did not involve a felony conviction.

“The reality is, the department does background checks,” she said, “they were aware of my background and I would even go as far as saying my ability to be able to relate to the clients we serve is very important.”

Hince said she was never disciplined for her work at CPS, but added that she has been on paid leave since Oct. 2, the day a Bee story about her handling of Valeeya’s case appeared. She said she never was told why she was placed on leave, and that her superiors had told her not to talk to The Bee.

“If it’s your desire to create change, social workers are not the problem,” Hince said. “Your targets should be upper management, the courts, the Board of Supervisors.”

LINKED TO PRISON DRUGS

Hince was not the only social worker charged with a crime while employed by the agency.

Deanna Bennett was celebrating her 28th birthday when she drove onto the grounds of Folsom State Prison in April 2006 at about 6 p.m.

An associate warden watching her red BMW saw a plastic grocery bag tossed from the window and later discovered it contained 4 grams of methamphetamine, 30 grams of marijuana, two bags of tobacco and numerous lighters and rolling papers, court documents state.

Prison officials set up a stakeout and watched as two inmates mowing grass scooped up the contraband.

Bennett initially told investigators she ended up at the prison because she got lost after shopping at the Folsom Premium Outlets. She said she didn’t know anything about the package, court records say.

Investigators later identified Bennett’s passenger as a woman on felony probation for taking narcotics into the Mule Creek State Prison in Amador County. She was married to a Folsom prison inmate and told authorities she had prepared the package for delivery to him.

Bennett was charged with two felonies. In an interview, she denied knowing that her friend planned to throw the contraband onto the prison grounds, but she acknowledged that she pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor in 2007 and got three years of probation.

The social worker remained on the job for more than two years after the incident and, in the midst of management efforts to discipline or fire her, she was commended in writing at least twice for her work.

A Nov. 9, 2007, letter from Director Coulthard congratulated Bennett for “the tremendous contribution you make to children and families every day.”

Bennett said she was placed on paid leave last April. County documents cited “poor judgment” and “dishonesty” that show “you cannot be trusted to make decisions or provide credible sworn testimony on behalf of Sacramento County.”

She resigned last August but she said she thought it was unfair that she lost her job.

“I personally know other people in my department who have misdemeanor convictions, so I really didn’t think they could dismiss me for that,” she said. “I know people who had gang affiliations who were working there.”

ON THE JOB AFTER HARASSMENT

Another CPS social worker remains on the job after being convicted in El Dorado County for violating court orders that she stay away from neighbors she had allegedly harassed since 1999 with tirades, laser beams and other abuse.

Cynthia Lee Quinn was accused of harassing one family by “constantly flipping they and their friends off, repeatedly making obscene telephone calls, training a laser pointer or sight from a gun onto victims, videotaping victims, shining lights into the interior of the (victim’s) residence” and videotaping them, according to El Dorado Superior Court documents.

Her actions, which allegedly included repeatedly placing nails in one family’s driveway, continued despite restraining orders issued by the court, the documents indicate.

Sacramento CPS eventually found itself involved with the El Dorado County case. One family that moved to escape the harassment reported that six months later, Sacramento CPS workers came to their new home investigating an anonymous report that they “were beating their young daughter in the front yard,” court documents state.

“It should be noted that Defendant QUINN was at that time and is still, employed by the agency as a Family Maintenance Social Worker,” the records state.

Prosecutor Gloria Mas said she believes that Quinn, 49, was responsible for the call to CPS, adding that the social worker had sent angry letters to people using a Sacramento CPS fax machine. Quinn received probation in the original case, but Mas said she filed a petition in court Feb. 27 to revoke it.

Quinn, who could not be reached for comment, contended in court documents that she was the victim of harassment by neighbors who shouted at her and annoyed animals living on her property. She claimed that sheriff’s deputies were “rude and belligerent.”

HISTORIES ALARM COLLEAGUES

Some criminal histories uncovered in The Bee’s review of hundreds of court files are years old. Most of the older misdemeanors have been purged from county files, while other records show that defendants later returned to court, proved to a judge they had been rehabilitated and had the original charges dismissed.

Even after such dismissals, legal experts say applicants for public jobs or licensure by a state or local agency must reveal past convictions, if asked.

Within the agency, some workers expressed alarm about their co-workers’ pasts – and, in one instance, a 23-year-old case expunged in 1997 generated concern.

Until early this year, families arriving at Sacramento’s Child Protective Services office on Power Inn Road were greeted in the waiting area by receptionist Sandra Diane Queen, who is registered on the state’s Megan’s Law Web site as a sex offender with a conviction for lewd and lascivious behavior with a child under 14.

The roomy waiting area often is packed with children, playing on colorful wooden-bead tables while families await classes or meetings.

A CPS employee, who contacted The Bee in January after learning of Queen’s background, said her listing on the Megan’s Law site became known around the office last year and was particularly upsetting to social workers.

The county’s solution was to move Queen to the front reception desk in the administrative offices on East Parkway, which house Coulthard and Lynn Frank, director of the county Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees CPS.

In her new location, the 52-year-old county worker assigned to CPS continued to be among the first people members of the public met.

Court records show that Queen, then known as Sandra Diane Williams, pleaded guilty in Sacramento Superior Court on Sept. 16, 1986, to a felony count involving sexual acts with a child and was sentenced to a year in jail and four years of probation.

She petitioned the court in 1995 to declare the offense a misdemeanor to help her find work and to acknowledge that she had been rehabilitated.

Friends, co-workers and fellow church members wrote letters testifying to her good character, while the District Attorney’s Office and probation department opposed the move.

The court approved her motion in June 1997, records indicate. However, she still must register with law enforcement as a convicted sex offender.

Queen, who declined to comment, does not face restrictions on where she can live or on contact with minors.

A CPS spokeswoman acknowledged Queen’s employment with the county since December 2007 but pointed out that she is an assistant for the Office of the Director and technically not a CPS employee.

CRIMINAL CHECKS NOT UNIFORM

Office assistants at CPS are on the county’s list of positions subject to criminal history checks. That list includes other obvious positions, such as family service workers and social workers who have daily contact with children.

But the county’s policy allows each department discretion in deciding whether a conviction “will affect the applicant’s or employee’s qualification for the position” – or whether it can “be disregarded on the basis of mitigating circumstances.”

Before coming to CPS, office assistant Brian Matthew Foster, 40, worked with a company that contracts with the county to run community service programs for defendants.

Court documents allege that while in that job, Foster took cash payments from defendants, entered a lower amount in the books, then pocketed the difference.

He also offered to complete documents showing defendants had completed community service hours – even if they had not – in exchange for payments, the documents allege.

An investigator’s statement filed in court says more than $38,000 was lost in the scam, which ended when Foster called in sick and his replacement discovered the alleged ruse.

Hired at CPS in July 2000 while his case was being investigated, Foster ultimately pleaded no contest to a felony count in 2002 and was sentenced to 120 days in jail.

Contacted by The Bee, Foster denied the allegations and blamed clerical errors rather than criminal intent.

“It was more like it was an error in putting the paperwork in the wrong place,” he said.

Foster was ordered to pay more than $18,000 in restitution, documents state. He said he repaid the money and has had no other legal problems.

In 2005, a Sacramento judge agreed Foster had fulfilled the requirements of his sentence and dismissed the case.

Foster said one CPS supervisor indicated the agency was aware of his case, but nothing else was discussed about it.

In placing Foster on informal probation on Dec. 19, 2002, the judge ordered him to obey laws and “see and/or maintain regular and steady employment.”

By then, Foster already was working for CPS.

From FB; evil spreads with more mass detention facilities for migrant children open in Texas

https://apnews.com/259d11069cbd4a34be9b4e7a187352da?fbclid=IwAR3QbtDJSYs6FYwtcfJJ0aa-bw-nj4dUH4oLDvhi5RS6LxJDax5AMMIM-jI

US opens new mass facility in Texas for migrant children

June 7, 2019
FILE – This May 29, 2019 file photo released by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) shows some of 1,036 migrants who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border in El Paso, Texas, the largest that the Border Patrol says it has ever encountered. The federal government is opening a new mass shelter for migrant children near the U.S-Mexico border and is considering housing children on three military bases to add 3,000 more beds to the overtaxed system in the coming weeks. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP, File)

The federal government is opening a new mass facility to hold migrant children in Texas and considering detaining hundreds more youths on three military bases around the country, adding up to 3,000 new beds to the already overtaxed system.

The new emergency facility in Carrizo Springs, Texas, will hold as many as 1,600 teens in a complex that once housed oil field workers on government-leased land near the border, said Mark Weber, a spokesman for Office of Refugee Resettlement.

The agency is also weighing using Army and Air Force bases in Georgia, Montana and Oklahoma to house an additional 1,400 kids in the coming weeks, amid the influx of children traveling to the U.S. alone. Most of the children crossed the border without their parents, escaping violence and corruption in Central America, and are held in government custody while authorities determine if they can be released to relatives or family friends.

All the new facilities will be considered temporary emergency shelters, so they won’t be subject to state child welfare licensing requirements, Weber said. In January, the government shut down an unlicensed detention camp in the Texas desert under political pressure, and another unlicensed facility called Homestead remains in operation in the Miami suburbs.

“It is our legal requirement to take care of these children so that they are not in Border Patrol facilities,” Weber said. “They will have the services that ORR always provides, which is food, shelter and water.”

Under fire for the death of two children who went through the agency’s network of shelters and facing lawsuits over the treatment of teens in its care, the agency says it must set up new facilities to accommodate new arrivals or risk running out of beds.

The announcement of the program’s expansion follows the government’s decision to scale back or cut paying for recreation, English-language courses and legal services for the more than 13,200 migrant toddlers, school-age children and teens in its custody.

The Health and Human Services department, which oversees the refugee office, notified shelters around the country last week that it was not going to reimburse them for teachers’ pay, legal services or recreational equipment, saying budget cuts were needed as record numbers of unaccompanied children arrive at the border, largely from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. In May, border agents apprehended 11,507 children traveling alone.

Attorneys said the move violates a legal settlement known as the Flores agreement that requires the government to provide education and recreational activities to migrant children in its care. Last week, attorneys filed a motion claiming that the government also was violating the decades-old settlement by keeping kids at Homestead for months in some cases, instead of releasing them within 20 days.

“If they are going to open the program up in these numbers and they can’t even manage the influx facility that they have in a humane way, then compounding that is going to be disastrous,” said Holly Cooper, an attorney at the Immigration Law Clinic at University of California, Davis who represents detained youth.

Advocates have slammed the move as punitive, saying such services are typically available to adult prisoners.

“ORR’s cancelling of these services will inflict further harm on children, many of whom continue to languish for months without being placed safely and expeditiously into a sponsor’s care. That is not only unacceptable, it could be in violation of the law,” said Rep. Rosa DeLauro, a Connecticut Democrat who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee with oversight on the agency’s budget.

From FB: State police broke FOIA law when it refused to turn over body cam/dash cam video footage

James Rovella, commissioner of the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, speaks at a news conference at Bradley International Airport in October after a vintage plane crashed, killing seven people.
James Rovella, commissioner of the state Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, speaks at a news conference at Bradley International Airport in October after a vintage plane crashed, killing seven people. (Mark Mirko / Hartford Courant)

In a win for right-to-know advocates, the public and journalists, the state Freedom of Information Commission has ruled the state police broke open record laws when the agency denied a request by the Republican-American newspaper in Waterbury for dash and body camera footage of a high-speed chase and then refused to acknowledge for a time that the records existed.

And in what appears to be an unprecedented move that drives home the significance of the ruling, the commission ordered the state police to receive mandatory re-training on responding to requests for public information and meeting its obligation of transparency.

“We’re pleased the training was ordered,” Anne Karolyi, the newspaper’s managing editor, said Friday. “The commission has noted that there does seem to be a systemic failure by the state police to recognize that the public’s right to know is not an option.”

Journalists and members of the public seeking information from the state police have long encountered resistance. The Courant pressed for additional records on Sandy Hook shooter Adam Lanza for five years before the Connecticut Supreme Court ordered the release of thousands of pages of withheld documents last year.

Veteran Republican-American reporter Jonathan Shugarts, who initiated and pursued the complaint with the newspaper’s backing, reported the commission cited the state police on at least 29 occasions since 2010 for violating the “prompt release” provision of the FOI law. There were 60 FOI complaints lodged against the state police in 2019, he reported.

“It has been a frustrating few months dealing with this complaint, but all of it was necessary, and worth it, in order to obtain records on behalf of residents of the state,” Shugarts said. “I hope that state police personnel who are responsible for handling FOI requests take their retraining seriously and provide records promptly to the public in the future.”

 

State police officials had not seen the commission’s ruling as of Friday afternoon, but they are familiar with hearing officer Matthew Reed’s findings last month that formed the basis of the full panel’s decision.

“I’m certain we will embrace the recommendations,” said Brian Foley, an aide to state public safety Commissioner James Rovella, whose agency includes the state police. “Since the commissioner came here last year, we’ve been trying to improve transparency. This ruling should actually help us in that effort.”

The genesis of this case, Karolyi said, was reporting Shugarts did in the spring of 2019, in which he requested dash and body camera video from several area police departments, including the state police.

“It really was a test, a spot check on how the departments were responding to FOI requests,” she said.

Some of the departments responded right away and it was also revealed that one of the agencies hadn’t bought the body cameras it said it was going to buy. The state police acknowledged receiving the request — but did nothing more.

Reed, the hearing officer and a former South Windsor police chief, found that the state police erred when the agency said only a news release, not the requested records, were releasable. Reed noted the agency failed even to prepare the promised news release.

He found the department provided the Republican-American and Shugarts with “an incorrect summary” of the FOI law, and that records of arrest, despite the agency’s claim otherwise, are public form the time of arrest “and shall be disclosed.”

Reed noted that state police asked the prosecutor handling the criminal case related to the chase if the requested video files should be withheld “in light of the pending case.”

The prosecutor, Catherine Austin, said there was no objection to releasing the records.

Still, Reed noted, the state police refused to release the material. And Reed noted that, in any case, asking a prosecutor for permission “is not an action sanctioned by the FOI statute.”

Eventually, the state police released the video files, but Reed found that “a promptness request cannot be rendered moot through the act of providing public records at a later time.”

Karolyi said she hopes Rovella’s expression of respect for the FOI provisions “trickles down through the rest of the department.”

“This was a friendly reminder about the responsibility for those in state government to be transparent,” she said.

Josh Kovner can be reached at jkovner@courant.com.