From FB: Social Workers wanted immunity for lying and perjury–justices say no

http://www.ocweekly.com/news/judges-reject-orange-countys-claim-that-social-workers-didnt-know-lying-in-court-was-wrong-7774616

Judges Reject Orange County’s Claim That Social Workers Didn’t Know Lying In Court Was Wrong

U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit panel discussing dishonest Orange County government conduct: judges Stephen S. Trott, John B. Owens and Michelle T. Friedland in October 2016EXPAND

U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit panel discussing dishonest Orange County government conduct: judges Stephen S. Trott, John B. Owens and Michelle T. Friedland in October 2016
R. Scott Moxley

Using taxpayer funds, government officials in Orange County have spent the last 16 years arguing the most absurd legal proposition in the entire nation: How could social workers have known it was wrong to lie, falsify records and hide exculpatory evidence in 2000 so that a judge would forcibly take two young daughters from their mother for six-and-a-half years?

From the you-can’t-make-up-this-crap file, county officials are paying Lynberg & Watkins, a private Southern California law firm specializing in defending cops in excessive force lawsuits, untold sums to claim the social workers couldn’t have “clearly” known that dishonesty wasn’t acceptable in court and, as a back up, even if they did know, they should enjoy immunity for their misdeeds because they were government employees.

A panel at the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit this week ruled on Orange County’s appeal of federal judge Josephine L. Staton’s refusal last year to grant immunity to the bureaucrats in Preslie Hardwick v. County of Orange, a lawsuit seeking millions of dollars in damages. In short, judges Stephen S. Trott, John B. Owens and Michelle T. Friedland were not amused. They affirmed Staton’s decision.

But to grasp the ridiculousness of the government’s stance, read key, Oct. 7, 2016 exchanges between the panel and Pancy Lin, a partner at Lynberg & Watkins.

Trott: How in the world could a person in the shoes of your clients possibly believe that it was appropriate to use perjury and false evidence in order to impair somebody’s liberty interest in the care, custody and control of that person’s children? How could they possibly not be on notice that you can’t do this?

Lin: I understand.

Trott: How could that possibly be?

Lin: I understand the argument that it seems to be common sense in our ethical, moral . . .

Trott: It’s more than common sense. It’s statutes that prohibit perjury and submission of false evidence in court cases.

Lin: State statutes.

Trott: Are you telling me that a person in your client’s shoes couldn’t understand you can’t commit perjury in a court proceeding in order to take somebody’s children away?

Lin: Of course not, your honor.

Trott: Of course not!

Owens: Isn’t the case over then?

Trott: The case is over.

Lin: Thus far we have not been presented with a clearly established right that tells us what our clients did which was remove the children pursuant to a court order . . .

Friedland: The issue here is committing perjury in a court to take away somebody’s children and you just said that’s obviously not okay to do.

Lin: According to our moral compass and our ethical guidelines, but we’re here to decide the constitutionality of it and we look to the courts to tell us.

Trott: You mean to tell us due process is consistent with a government official submitting perjured testimony and false evidence? How is that consistent? I mean I hate to get pumped up about this but I’m just staggered by the claim that people in the shoes of your clients wouldn’t be on notice that you can’t use perjury and false evidence to take away somebody’s children. That to me is mind boggling.

Lin: In criminal proceedings we know this to be true because . . .

Trott: No, no! It’s a court proceeding with a liberty interest, a fundamental liberty interest at stake.

Lin: And on the reverse side . . .

Trott: And you’re telling us that these officials [weren’t] on notice that you can’t commit perjury and put in false evidence?

Lin: I understand broadly the principle that common sense tells us that lying is wrong and lying to . . .

Trott: Yeah, but it’s more than common sense. We’re using statutes against this kind of behavior.

Lin: I, uh, I don’t. I was not presented [sic]. I have not been seen [sic] any federal law or case law or law that tells me that in this situation that we were faced in that, which is what we have to look at . . .

Trott: Well, say your clients hired six people to be actors and to go into court and to say, ‘We’re neighbors and we saw all this terrible stuff.’ And then your client presented those witnesses in court. You’re telling me that they would have no reason to believe that you can’t do that because there was no federal case that says you can’t bring actors into court to swear falsely against somebody?

Lin: But again here we’re appealing to a sort of broader definition of what is a clearly established right. I mean we have to find the clearly established right in the context our, um, social workers were presented with, which was they were faced with a court order.

Trott: Again, I cannot even believe for a micro-second that a social worker wouldn’t understand that you can’t lie and put in false evidence!

Owens: Let me ask the question a different way. Is there anything you know of that told social workers that they should lie and that they should create false evidence in a court proceeding?

Lin: No, and, of course, that is, uh, we contend that is not what happened here.

Successfully arguing for Hardwick, attorney Dennis Inglos of San Jose followed up to Lin’s dismal performance, stating, “Lying is bad. It’s obviously bad. It’s constitutionally bad . . . They keep fighting the proposition that lying is bad. This is astounding to me that this case is still being fought. It’s so simple. The lies are on paper in a transcript—the deliberate falsehoods.”

Now that Lin and county officials have been alerted by the Ninth Circuit that lying by powerful bureaucrats is bad, the civil case resumes inside Orange County’s Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana.

From Ken Ditkowsky–Nursing Home Fraud and Robert Jaycox

The nursing home eviction are a side of the coin that also has to be addressed.    An eviction from a nursing home usually occurs when the last dollar has been extracted from the ‘victim’ and no matter what is tried the poor soul just will not die!

The Robert Jaycox case was so typical it barely raised an eyebrow.    Jaycox was the victim of an undiagnosed drug reaction.     The medication left him with severe and unrelenting spasms of pain in his legs that totally disabled him.   This was one of the side effects of the medication that his doctor prescribed for him, but no one in the hospital or the nursing home took the time to read the sheet on side effects.
Jaycox’s problems began when he invested his and his significant other’s life savings with a crooked real estate operator.   This led him to a doctor who did what most doctor’s do – he gave him a medication.    This medication had a side effect – i.e. the unrelenting spasms!    Of course without terminating the medication the side effects continued as did the massive unrelenting attempts to find an organic cause.     The little money that Jaycox had soon disappeared, and so did the benefits of private and public health care.     However, an Esformes controlled nursing home was available and Jaycox was transferred.
To access the money available from government health care, papers had to be signed.   Jaycox was not incompetent and smelled a rat.  He refused to sign – he was not happy with being a commodity.    No problem – the nursing home had the Court “wired” and the Office of the Public Guardian was summoned and they petitioned for a guardian to be appointed for Mr. Jaycox.    His significant other, Jaycox, and family members were of course threatened with eviction but there was government money available and the Political/Judicial elite were not going to allow a dime to escape.
The guardianship proceedings were thwarted when I was hired to defend.   I extracted from the physician who found Jaycox incompetent a fatal admission and the guardianship proceeding was NOT dismissed – it was continued.    (The Office of the Public Guardian had to regroup! )
Within days Mr. Jaycox had an real fatal disease – Aspirated pneumonia  –  this plus the recovery from “falling out of bed” and breaking a hip made him helpless.    The mission was completed – every dollar was extracted from every source, and especially the government!
Footnote:  when Jaycox died, he was cremated post haste!

Ken Ditkowsky

From Ken Ditkowsky–good drivers beware, mass fraud still occurring at red stop lights

In case you are an Illinois resident and your strong stomach is not in a turmoil — Our Political elite are engaged in rank FRAUD and no one gives a damn!

Red-light cameras reap suburbs millions: Sun-Times/ABC7 special report

THE WATCHDOGS  05/22/2017, 11:16pm

Red-light cameras at the intersection of North and 25th avenues in Melrose Park are among the most lucrative ones in the Chicago area. | Tim Boyle/For the Sun-Times

Red-light cameras brought in nearly $67 million last year for 86 Chicago suburbs and the companies that operate the devices, an investigation by the Chicago Sun-Times and ABC7 Chicago’s I-Team has found.

Fines collected from drivers accused of running red lights in the suburbs now far surpass the amount of money reaped by the city of Chicago’s extensive and unpopular network, the Sun-Times and ABC7 found.

Between the start of 2014 and the end of last year, cameras in the suburbs brought in a total of nearly $170 million, according to records obtained from suburban governments throughout the area.

And the Sun-Times/ABC7 analysis of those documents shows suburban red-light revenues are rising sharply every year, as more and more local governments install cameras at intersections. The total collected from cameras in the suburbs increased almost 50 percent between 2014 and 2016.

Of the 10 suburbs whose cameras rang up the highest revenue totals during the past three years, nine have contracts with SafeSpeed LLC, a Chicago company that’s a growing force in the red-light enforcement industry. From its downtown offices, SafeSpeed has built a roster of more than 20 suburban clients. Though the competing RedSpeed has deals in far more suburbs than any company, SafeSpeed operates what are by far the most lucrative cameras, the Sun-Times and ABC7 found.

In an unprecedented study of cameras across the Chicago area, reporters sent Freedom of Information Act requests to government officials in about 100 towns that have received permits for cameras from the Illinois Department of Transportation. A few communities never installed cameras, while some officials said they once had them but removed them.

But nearly 90 suburbs now have red-light cameras churning out more than 770,000 tickets a year.

No communities have benefitted financially from the cameras more than Berwyn, Melrose Park and Hillside, records show. Those suburbs collected more than $8 million each from red-light camera violators in the three years ending Dec. 31.

Berwyn and Melrose Park have contracts with both SafeSpeed and RedSpeed. But in both suburbs, SafeSpeed’s cameras account for the vast majority of the fines collected.

Other SafeSpeed clients whose cameras are bringing in large amounts include North Riverside, Lakemoor, Hillside, Country Club Hills and Skokie. These communities reported getting more than $2 million each from red-light camera tickets last year, records show.

Matteson collected more than $4 million in the first 13 months since SafeSpeed began operating five cameras at two intersections in February 2016, village records show.

Chris Lai, SafeSpeed’s chief operating officer, declined to disclose how much the company makes. The privately held company is owned by him and three other investors.

A set of red-light cameras at the intersection of Mannheim and Roosevelt Roads in Hillside. | Tim Boyle/For Sun-Times Media

Under its deals with Chicago suburbs, the company gets nearly 40 percent of the money from tickets issued by its cameras. Records show suburbs that use SafeSpeed took in a total of more than $70 million from its red-light cameras over the past three years.

Lai says the company has been successful in luring suburbs away from its competitors because SafeSpeed is “better” and “more effective” at catching violators. In some cases, as in Skokie, the company gave municipalities the chance to try out its cameras, and officials saw they were issuing 25 percent to 30 percent more tickets than their previous red-light camera vendors, according to Lai.

Because SafeSpeed is local, its crews can quickly replace any cameras that aren’t functioning properly, maximizing revenues, he says.

SafeSpeed CEO and co-founder Nikki Zollar is a former head of the Chicago election board and was director of the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation under former Gov. Jim Edgar. She also was a trustee of Chicago State University until stepping down last month.

Zollar formed SafeSpeed with Lai and two others, Omar Maani and Khaled Maani, in 2007, after she was involved in a crash in which another driver ran a red light and T-boned her car, injuring her mother-in-law, Lai says.

Chris Lai, chief operating officer of SafeSpeed | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

He says SafeSpeed has distinguished itself with its “dedication to making sure we capture every violation.”

“We’ve very proud of what we do,” Lai says.

But some drivers who showed up to contest tickets issued by the company’s cameras say they did come to a complete stop — and, in many cases, the video evidence backs them up.

At a hearing this month in Melrose Park, Rick Koch, a 20-year-old from Villa Park, showed up with his grandmother, whose car he was driving when a camera photographed him making a right turn at North and 25th avenues. That corner generates huge revenues for Melrose Park and SafeSpeed.

“Originally, I was going to pay it, get it out of my way,” Koch says.

Instead, he took time off work to fight the ticket and found the video proved he stopped before turning. Koch slumped his shoulders in relief when the adjudicator for the village dismissed the case, saying he may have been unjustly cited because he stopped the car well short of the white line in the right-turn lane.

There were other cases with similar findings in evidence at a recent hearing in Berwyn. Bryant Anderson’s car was recorded making a right from Cermak Avenue onto northbound Harlem Avenue just after 2:45 p.m. Feb. 11. A little over a month later, Anderson got a citation from Berwyn, which said SafeSpeed’s camera caught him breaking the law.

Rather than pay the $100 fine by mail, he challenged the ticket, showing up for a 3 p.m. hearing at the Berwyn police department on April 18. The video showed his car clearly stopped before turning onto Harlem.

“I shouldn’t have had to come here to contest this ticket because, once your wheels come to a complete stop, you are stopped,” Anderson said after the hearing.

That same afternoon in Berwyn, Sejal Shah of Oak Brook also got his ticket tossed after being accused of running a red with his Tesla at the same intersection. Again, the video vindicated Shah, a 44-year-old doctor who had to leave work at MacNeal Hospital early to attend the hearing at 3 p.m. on a Tuesday.

“It should have been dismissed to begin with because I did make the stop before moving forward,” Shah says.

In Berwyn, as in other suburbs, officials say a police officer reviews the video sent by the red-light camera vendor before tickets are sent out.

Sejal Shah of Oak Brook successfully appealed a red-light ticket he got in Berwyn. | ABC7

Berwyn’s attorney, Anthony Bertuca, is the adjudicator in the town’s red-light camera court. He starts every session by calmly lecturing all of the defendants, then reviews the evidence on a screen that the defendants also are invited to look at.

He advises everyone to make a long stop on red if they want to make sure to avoid having to come to court again or pay another fine.

“If you counted ‘one Mississippi, two Mississippi, three Mississippi,’ you wouldn’t be here,” Bertuca tells those at the hearing. “That’s not the law. But, if you did that, you wouldn’t be here today.”

Mark Wallace, a radio-show host who’s executive director of Citizens to Abolish Red Light Cameras, notes that the law only requires a stop at a red light — not that drivers must stop for an extended time, as Bertuca advises. Wallace says he thinks many people pay to avoid the hassle of fighting the tickets, even when they aren’t at fault.

The Sun-Times and ABC7 found that fewer than 5 percent of those cited based on the cameras fight the tickets.

RED-LIGHT REVENUES:   Click here to see how much money each suburb makes off red-light cameras

“If you look at those suburbs, as opposed to the city of Chicago, the suburbs actually have a right-turn lane at the light,” Wallace says. “Because the intersections, in many respects, are badly designed, the person has to pull out a little further to be able to make a judgment about whether or not it’s safe to turn. But by the time they’ve done that, they’ve surpassed what the villages call the ‘traffic line.’ ”

About 95 percent of suburbanites getting tickets are accused of making illegal right turns against a red light, Wallace estimates. Bertuca, the Berwyn attorney, agrees that about 95 percent of the cases he sees in traffic court involve drivers turning right.

Lai, the SafeSpeed co-owner, says mistakes by his company, such as those cited in the dismissed cases in Berwyn and Melrose Park, are “very rare.”

“The number who are ticketed who came to a complete stop is actually very, very small,” Lai says.

Although a federal study in 2010 found that right turns were factors in just 1.2 percent of crashes, red-light camera operators and municipal officials say the cameras are about safety first, not money.

“There’s no doubt that these red-light cameras do raise revenue,” Bertuca says. “But the main thing [officials] are concerns about is safety.”

Berwyn city attorney Anthony Bertuca. | ABC7

Jen Donahoo — who successfully contested a ticket she got from a SafeSpeed camera in Melrose Park —  doesn’t buy that argument.

“I definitely think it’s for them to get money,” says Donahoo, 33, who works in digital marketing. “They’re hoping people won’t contest and will just pay the ticket.”

Contributing:  Jason Knowles, Ann Pistone and Madeline J. Scott of ABC7 Chicago. To read the ABC7 report,  click here.

On Friday, May 26, 2017, 8:19:19 PM CDT, kenneth ditkowsky <kenditkowsky@yahoo.com> wrote:
Illinois is on the verge of Bankruptcy.    The State owes billions, yet Illinois fosters corruption a War on the Elderly and the Disabled, tax cheats (including a candidate for the Democratic Nomination of Governor, *******.
Our current governor promises us that he would ‘Shake up Springfield!’    We all imagined fire and fury, instead we get platitudes about duct tape and MORE TAXES!      Of course the State Income taxes owed by the political elite who are fostering and supporting a real shooting was against the ELDERLY and the Disabled are given a pass on the ‘booty’ that they join in stealing from Federal and State Health Care programs as well as the millions that are stolen from the individual elderly and the disabled.    This “booty’ is the result of a breach of the public trust and because Federal crimes are involved 18 USCA 371 makes all the participants liable – jointly and severally.    Thus, Jerome Larkin owes taxes on every guardianship he has participated in the cover up.    This for instance includes 3 million dollars from the Sykes case alone.
Today’s WALL STREET JOURNAL laughs at Illinois as it reports the total lack of respect that our political elite show for the Citizens of Illinois —

Illinois’s ‘Privilege Tax’ Proposal Forgets Citizens’ Right to Leave

The state can’t even pass a budget, but it wants to put a new 20% levy on fees to

From Ken Ditkowsky–time to stop the Fraud at the IARDC by Jerome Larkin

To: Iardc Postmaster <postmaster@iardc.org>, and 100 others…
Subject: Jerome Larkin frauds
Date: May 24, 2017 10:09 PM
Mr. Larkin and members of the IARDC
Is it not time for Illinois to enter the 21st Century and for the IARDC to end its racism!   I know that so far the media has placed a curtain of silence on your Jim Crow activities, but, let me make it very clear – hundreds of independent citizens are upset by the racism that Mr. larkin and the IARDC exhibited toward Lanre Amu and Civil Rights icon Diane Nash and rest assured one conversation at a time we will get the word out and demand Justice for all regardless of the color of their skin!
The Lanre Amu case is a blot on the integrity of the State of Illinois and the United States of America whether you are able to quash media coverage of the Jim Crow or not.    As Crain’s Chicago Business made the same averment as Mr. Amu, it is clear that Mr. larkin committed perjury.   Perjury is a felony!  Denial of Mr. Amu’s civil rights by a public official is similarly a serious Felony!   The use of the mail to accomplish these felonies is indeed the felony of MAIL FRAUD!
Maybe Mr. Larkin’s clout will protect him now – but, there is an new Sheriff in town!   Maybe – the US Attorney will feel obliged to see that every citizen – including those with dark skins – will enjoy equal protection of the law and in particular protection from public officials who breach their public trust!
What do I want?    I want the Illinois attorney registration and disciplinary commission to do what they were designated to do — tell the truth, protect the public from corrupt judges, lawyers and judicial officials and conduct itself with honor, honesty and integrity!
I realize that with Mr. Larkin as the administrator this is a great deal to ask – but it is not too much!    Reinstate the license wrongfully taken from Amu and Denison now!    The Lynching of Amu makes Illinois live in infamy!   It is something that cannot be tolerated.
Mr. Larkin should be disbarred and prosecuted for his 18 USCA 371 co-conspiracies and his other criminal acts!    An Honest investigation will reveal his perfidy!    The COVER UP cannot continue.
Kenneth Ditkowsky

From FB: Michigan AG suspends questionable practice of acquiring homes in foreclosure from the deceased

Now this is an interesting practice:

http://www.wxyz.com/news/local-news/investigations/michigan-ag-suspends-probate-foreclosure-practice-in-wake-of-investigation

I can understand someone watching for homes that fall into foreclosure because the owners died, but to somehow make massive profits off of this is just unreal.

And for relatives not to be notified there is a problem and let them fix it first is also very troubling.

There are many probate practices that simply have to be done fairer and with more justice.

Let’s hope the Michigan Attorney General does something to protect the public from these vultures, although I wonder about the chances of that happening since significant numbers of the poor in Michigan are still left with brown drinking water that has not been fixed for years. That should be a crime too.

JoAnne

From FB (CKF)-Guardianship is ripe for Reform, Editorial

Editorial: Guardianship secrecy in NM is ripe for reform

the original post can be found here  https://www.abqjournal.com/1007274/guardianship-secrecy-in-nm-is-ripe-for-reform.html?utm_source=email-a-story&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=email-a-story

There is no shortage of things that need to be fixed in New Mexico’s system of guardianships and conservatorships for people who are declared incapacitated, but without question the excessive secrecy that shrouds the system ranks high on the list.  So critics can take some comfort in the fact that a commission appointed by the state Supreme Court to review the system and recommend changes has honed in on the lack of transparency as one of the key issues.Retired state District Judge Wendy York, who was appointed to chair the commission, says it is one of the recurrent themes presented during the commission’s first two public meetings. “We are hearing about notice of court hearings, involvement of family members and what is the appropriate line to draw between complete access to information and privacy.”

And it isn’t just aggrieved family members who have complained they are shut out of the information loop at the whim of for-profit, court-appointed guardians and conservators who take control of their loved one and his or her assets. Attorney Brian Vogler told the commission during its May 13 meeting that the secrecy of the process raises “due process concerns.” Vogler says his client needed to get some information from his guardian but the guardian declined to provide it. “It seems there needs to be a window in to see how the court is proceeding,” he said. After the meeting he said his inability to see how judges behave or have behaved in the past prevented him from learning information he needed and he wanted to speak to the commission to provide a perspective that the secrecy “doesn’t just impact families.”

And that secrecy is a thick blanket, with family members and others saying that in addition to difficulty getting information, they have been threatened with fines and penalties for revealing matters they learned in their own cases.

In theory, only a docket sheet in a guardianship case is considered a public record. But many clerks don’t know the law. The docket sheets have not been posted online, as they are supposed to be, and in a recent case a printed copy of a docket sheet obtained by the Journal had a questionable redaction by district court personnel – the name of a paid medical professional.

And as a practical matter, there isn’t even a simple provision that requires guardians, conservators and other for-profit professionals to adhere to fee schedules to keep costs to estates low. The fees are reviewed “ad hoc” – meaning at the judge’s discretion and measured against an unknown standard.

As for the commission itself, it has taken the troubling position that people who testify or submit material by email cannot use names and if they do so in written communications those communications will be returned. While the commission and the judicial system isn’t equipped and shouldn’t be expected to “redo” past cases, this procedure could be interpreted as not wanting to know if bad apples are playing the system. Wouldn’t it be useful if patterns emerged? Patterns that could be forwarded to the appropriate disciplinary boards? Perhaps there is a middle ground on this issue.

But there is no wisdom in throwing out the good and holding out for perfect. Other states have taken on the hard work of reforming the guardianship system, and identifying secrecy as a reform topic is right on point. This commission is doing important work at the Supreme Court’s direction and under York’s leadership.

This editorial first appeared in the Albuquerque Journal. It was written by members of the editorial board and is unsigned as it represents the opinion of the newspaper rather than the writers.