From NASGA – National Assn to Stop Guardianship abuse

National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse


 

National Association to Stop Guardian Abuse


Fighting Back Against Isolation: Travis Campbell and Catherine Falk Join Forces

Posted: 07 Feb 2016 11:00 PM PST

When a loved one is in the hospital, you naturally want to be at the bedside. But what if the staff won’t allow it? What happens when a loved one is wrongly isolated from family and friends?

Glen Campbell’s Son Travis Campbell and The Daughter of the Late Peter Falk, known as “Columbo” are speaking out about the importance of adult visitation legislation [the Campbell~Falk Bill] which coincides with the push of the Peter Falk Bill.

After Catherine Falk was a victim herself in the attempts to see her ailing father, Catherine’s former probate attorney drafted the Peter Falk Bill in 2011 and the first draft was handed to Assemblyman Gatto. After many amended drafts and hard work by her former lawyer, Catherine took one of the amended drafts to other states. California passed the visitation bill in 2015.

Catherine has since broadened her scope beyond just an adult child seeking visitation with an ailing parent but for all wards in isolation within Conservatorships/Guardianships exposed to abusive guardians who isolate our loved ones. Now Travis Campbell is in the same predicament. He too is in a fight for his right to see his ailing father Glen.

How can we put an end to this isolation that continues to impact society as a whole? The mission is to go to every state in this country to pass a very important Bill/Law protecting the rights of families, specifically when a family member is being isolated from his/her loved ones or there is elder abuse involved. Let’s all join together to make this bill a reality!

Source:
Fighting Back Against Isolation

See Also:
Catherine Falk Organization

NASGA:  Legislative Action

Joe Roubicek: The Criminal “Civil Matter”

Posted: 07 Feb 2016 10:30 PM PST

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” Mark Twain

January 1991 – The house was perfect for this sting operation, unoccupied and up for sale by an owner kind enough to lend it out for a couple of days. The most important feature about this house was its plumbing, which happened to be in excellent condition. It had to be for the whole case could … Well, go down the toilet.

A 75-year-old woman, an actress provided by chief LaGraves of the prosecutor’s office, was wearing a hidden microphone, sat patiently on a couch in the living room waiting for the doorbell to ring. Soon she would be presenting herself as a poor, frail and confused old lady, just ready for the taking.

Our technical unit had set up a video camera that spied on the exterior east wall of the house from inside a neighbor’s home. A detective was parked a half block up the road, waiting to give the signal when the suspect arrived, and three more detectives sent by the camera and the neighbor’s house. Two patrolmen cruised a couple blocks away, ready if called upon, and a special prosecutor, Mark Springer, stood by his desk for progress reports. The bait was set, everyone just waiting for the suspect to arrive.

He was considered a figurehead in a tunneling fraud operation that had burned victims for tens of thousands of dollars each. His real tools weren’t a shovel or backhoe – they were deception and extortion. Michael Angove, or “Mike The Plumber,” was known to dig a mountain of dirt for a mountain of cash that he demanded from elderly homeowners, using their limited mobility and dependency on others against them.

Dorothy Darling, an 80-year-old disabled woman, was one of those victims. She called for a plumber because her toilet made a constant leaking noise. She didn’t know that the plumbing was actually in good condition. A “leaking flapper,” the small rubber piece that keeps the water in the tank, could have been easily fixed with a $10 repair kit.

After Angove of A Aachen Plumbing in Fort Lauderdale checked it out though,he left Dorothy’s bathroom and went to his truck to begin a very different type of repair. He grabbed a shovel and dug a one-foot-deep hole by the side of the woman’s house, filling the hole with water from the garden hose.

Full Article and Source:
Joe’s Cases: The Criminal “Civil Matter”

Health worker charged with stealing from elderly person she cared for

Posted: 07 Feb 2016 10:00 PM PST

Mia Vela

A home health care worker is charged with stealing from an elderly person she was hired to care for, according to a news release from the Bartlett police.

Mia Vela, 40, of the 15000 block of Turlington Avenue in Harvey, was arrested Wednesday and charged with a class 2 felony count of financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability, police said.

According to police, Vela was hired in July 2014 as a home health care worker to care for a 61-year-old Bartlett resident. Police said Vela stole approximately $10,000 from the victim’s bank account and made approximately $5,000 worth of unauthorized purchases with the victim’s credit card.

Vela was given a $75,000 bond Thursday at the Cook County court facility in Rolling Meadows.

Full Article & Source:
Health worker charged with stealing from elderly person she cared for

Guardianship bill gets unanimous support

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 11:03 PM PST

The Florida Senate on Wednesday unanimously backed the expansion of the state’s regulation of guardians who care for frail elders, including allowing the state Department of Elderly Affairs to discipline private guardians who violate care standards.

At the same time, a similar measure cleared its final House committee, meaning the bill is now ready for a floor vote in the House.

“We all recognize there is a problem,” said Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, who has called the bill (SB 232) her top priority for her final regular session in the Legislature.

The measure follows up on a law that Detert helped pass last year to curb abuses in the adult guardianship system, including regulations on public guardians, who are appointed to care for incapacitated seniors who are poor.

The new bills extend a series of regulations and state oversight to private guardians, who now must have a background screening and meet certain training requirements. It would include a system for investigating complaints and disciplining private guardians.

“It left a whole segment of the elderly open for abuse and they have been targeted, especially wealthy older women,” Detert said, adding it is a problem not only in Florida but across the nation.

She said Florida would have “the strongest laws” in the country if the bill becomes law as anticipated. “I know you will agree that protecting the elderly is one of our top priorities,” Detert said.

In a tribute to Detert, the 39 other senators agreed to become co-sponsors of the legislation as it heads to the House.

Earlier in the day, the House Judiciary Committee unanimously backed a bill (HB 403), sponsored by Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Seminole, that would expand the Department of Elderly Affairs (DOEA) power to monitor and regulate public guardians to include private guardians.

All the guardians would be required to register and would be regulated by the DOEA’s renamed Office of Public and Professional Guardians.

“Under this bill the office can investigate allegations of abuse and fraud and take disciplinary action when warranted,” Ahern said.

Ahern cited the press reports of abuses of elderly Floridians as one of the motivations for the legislation. The Herald-Tribune’s December 2014 series, “The Kindness of Strangers,” highlighted cases of frail seniors who had been taken advantage of by unregulated private guardians.

“We don’t want to read another story about someone who has been appointed by the courts and given complete autonomy over a person’s life and estate and uses that position to take advantage of the person they were entrusted to protect,” Ahern said.

The House committee also heard from Doug Franks, who has fought to remove his mother from a private guardianship in Pensacola.

“This bill is going to put some oversight on this where before we had no oversight on professional guardians,” Franks said, adding he wanted to eventually see stronger laws, including criminal penalties for guardians who abuse their trust.

Under the current law, Franks said it is difficult for family members to “get their parents back because once they’re in guardianship, professional guardianship, they can’t get out.”

“It’s not like foster care where you get a chance to get your children out. When they’re in guardianship, forget it,” Franks said.

The legislation has the support of the AARP and the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops. Detert said the legislation also has the backing of Gov. Rick Scott and DOEA Secretary Samuel Verghese.

The bill provides $822,000 in funding for the DOEA’s expanded guardian office, which will include six full-time employees.

Full Article & Source:
Guardianship bill gets unanimous support

Appeals board reverses another VA executive’s punishment

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 10:30 PM PST

WASHINGTON – An appeals board has handed the Department of Veterans Affairs a third straight reversal in a high-profile executive malfeasance case, this time voiding the dismissal of the embattled director of the Albany-Stratton VA Medical Center in New York.

But VA Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson is vowing not to reinstate the director, saying the Veterans Choice Act that Congress passed in 2014 gives him the authority to discipline staff, intensifying a growing battle between VA and the Merit Systems Protection Board, which hears appeals from federal employees about punishments.

“I am disappointed that the MSPB judge in this case did not afford my judgment the deference the Choice Act envisioned, but I will nevertheless continue to hold VA senior executives to the highest standards of conduct regardless of the risk of having my decisions overturned,” Gibson said in a released statement after the decision to reverse the dismissal of Albany-Stratton Director Linda Weiss. “Because of this high standard, I do not intend to return this individual to any position, in Albany or elsewhere, where she would be responsible for patient care or safety.”

Veterans Affairs officials have withstood criticism from lawmakers, who have harangued them routinely for not punishing executives accused of wrongdoing. Now department leadership faces a new challenge: an appeals board that is routinely voiding disciplinary actions, contending the VA is going too far in their punishments of executives.

In announcing the decision of Judge Arthur S. Joseph to overturn Weiss’s dismissal, the Merit Systems Protection Board did not give reasons for the decision, saying it will be released by Feb. 16.

“This is yet another MSPB ruling that defies common sense,” said Jeff Miller, R-Fla., the chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs. “It will likely force VA to create a do-nothing job for an employee it has no confidence in.”

At times, judges have struggled with Veterans Choice Act rules that force them to adjudicate VA appeals within 21 days. In one recent ruling, a judge who reversed VA’s proposed demotion of St. Paul (Minnesota) VA Regional Director Kimberly Graves noted she and the lawyers involved had just 2 ½ weeks to pore over 3,800 pages of documents.

William Spencer, spokesman for the Merit Systems Protection Board, would not comment Monday on the Weiss ruling or the board’s disagreement with VA over the department’s authority to discipline executives.

A VA spokeswoman said Monday that Weiss received information in March 2015 showing a certain nursing assistant “should not be involved in direct patient care” but did not remove the assistant from patient care until July. The spokeswoman did not offer more specifics.

More so, Weiss retired in January after finding out she would be removed and it is unclear what the judge’s ruling means as far as the department’s obligations, the VA spokeswoman said. Two staff members were caught stealing drugs at the Albany-Stratton medical center during Weiss’ tenure as director. One staffer was found in the hospital incoherent with a used syringe nearby, according to the Albany Times-Union.
Weiss could not be reached for comment Monday.

The week before the Weiss decision, two other VA executives had high-profile disciplinary positions overturned. Diana Rubens and Graves, the directors of the Philadelphia and St. Paul VA regional offices respectively, were found to be involved in a scheme to move themselves to new positions with lesser responsibilities at their higher salaries while also receiving about $400,000 in relocation compensation.

VA had recommended Rubens and Graves be demoted and separate judges found both were guilty of wrongdoing. Yet, the MSPB overturned their punishments, finding the VA was inconsistent in its punishments.

The MSPB’s decisions also appear to be emboldening Miller to expand the scope of his criticism beyond VA, calling for reform of the entire federal employee disciplinary system.

“The MSPB coddles and protects misbehaving employees rather than facilitating fair and efficient discipline,” he said. “And as long as we have a system in place that requires a similar standard to discipline federal workers as it does to send criminals to prison, accountability problems at VA and across the government will only continue.”

Full Article & Source:
Appeals board reverses another VA executive’s punishment

State to hold training sessions on investment fraud

Posted: 11 Feb 2016 11:11 PM PST

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A series of training programs to teach certified public accountants about investment fraud and financial exploitation will kick off this month in Las Cruces.

The state Securities Division is holding the programs so CPAs will be better able to “recognize signs of vulnerability to financial exploitation and make appropriate referrals for (those) deemed vulnerable or for those who’ve already been defrauded,” according to a news release.

The first session will be held from 10 a.m. to noon Feb. 22 at the Thomas Branigan Memorial Library. Other sessions will be held on March 14 in Roswell, May 24 in Santa Fe and June 7 in Albuquerque.

Full Article & Source:
State to hold training sessions on investment fraud

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2 thoughts on “From NASGA – National Assn to Stop Guardianship abuse

  1. that this has been allowed and , in fact, planned against innocent , God. Fearing ,wholesome , hard working people is so incredulousl, so over the top and cannot be stopped . There hsve to be meetings and meetings to make sure this is done in a correct law abiding way….. The guilty , immune people are laughing at these goings on and have plenty of time to fix the books . We need our loved ones out of guardianships . And the guilty immune ones are the ones who have the power ? Something is way wrong here. This is like a cartoon or a bad movie .

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