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.

From Karen Federighi–Listen to her story 5/26 at 10 pm EST

As many of you know, Karen Federighi is a smart nurse with advanced degrees and who was teaching CNE (Continuing Nursing Eduction) and working 2 jobs when a greedy relative produced some bogus reports and in under an hour, she was declared incompetent by the State of Florida.  No one would do anything to help her and the State “professional” guardian took all her ID’s, her bank accounts, all her personal belonging and her home, and kept her in a hotel.  The reason? She is due an inheritance. So Karen escaped to another country. She posts nearly every day on Facebook and if you think she is incompetent, then you’re for sure ready for a real guardianship.

She has been struggling every day to get out of the guardianship. But none of the lawyers, the judges and of course the “professional” guardian will let her, so she just escaped to another country where she is fighting the guardianship from there and hoping one day soon it will be dismissed, and she can go back to her work as a nurse and educator for CNE.  She had to leave because she knew the next step was a police arrest and a locked down nursing home on psychotropic drugs where they would kill her next as soon as the inheritance was paid.

What a sad story, but she is surviving and posting every day on FB, but the lawyers and judges ignore her pleas.

Joanne

 

05-26-2017 @ 10:00 PM EST.
Kerri Kasem and Kathleen Wright-Brawn, of Kasem Cares Foundation share information about their personal stuggles with being isolated from their loved ones and the mission of Kasem Cares Organization.

The interviews will air on Pastor Ernie Sanders program “What’s Right, What’s Left”. Pastor Sanders will be contacting Perry County officials and attorneys to defend serious accusations of corruption brought by John McTernan and John Holman against them. We want you to hear on the radio why Perry County, attorneys, the legal system and law enforcement are protecting the abusers of the elderly.

The interviews will expose corruption throughtout the United States by elected officials and unethical professionals to deny the elderly their civil rights, isolate them from family and rob them of their assets.

The interviews will be broadcast May 18, 19, 23, 24, 25 and 26.

You can listen on The Word 1220 AM in Cleveland or on Faithtalk FM 92.7, AM 1500 in Detroit or on the Internet via both stations. The program is also broadcast on TUNEIN radio app for cell phone. The show is broadcast
EST 10 PM-12 Midnight Mon-Fri
EST 9 PM-10 PM Sundays.
The shows broadcast can be listened to by phone 1-701-719-3438 when prompted press 2.

Listeners will be invited to call in and comment.
The call in number will be given on the air during the broadcast.

Sent from AOL Mobile Mail
INTERVIEWS SCHEDULE UPDATE

05-23
10:00 PM EST
Karen Ferderighi
Karen’s story sounds like someone escaping Nazism. She is being hunted like an animal and forced into hiding to escape a court ordered guardianship.

05-24
10:00 PM EST
Mary Bush and John Holman
Will expose the lawlessness in Chester County regarding her mothers court ordered guardian.
This is a shocker!

05-25
10:00 PM EST
John McTernan and John Holman
Listen as McTernan who was lead federal criminal investigator in Harrisburg, Pa for the Treasury department lays out his report of investigation with overwhelming evidence of official corruption by Perry County, PA elected officials, law enforcement and attorneys who have conspired to destory the elderly’s rights and make them prisoners in Kinkora Pythian nursing home!

05-26-2017 @ 10:00 PM EST.
Kerri Kasem and Kathleen Wright-Brawn, of Kasem Cares Foundation share information about their personal stuggles with being isolated from their loved ones and the mission of Kasem Cares Organization.
After listening I know you will want to sign on with Kasem Cares to stop elder abuse!

From NASGA–Univ. of Cal. study says, the more you hang out with Mom, the longer she’ll live.

http://nasga-stopguardianabuse.blogspot.com/2017/05/study-shows-more-you-hang-out-with-your.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+blogspot%2FURWOK+%28National+Association+to+Stop+Guardian+Abuse%29

Study Shows the More You Hang Out With Your Mom, the Longer She’ll Live

Inviting Grandma over for dinner may actually extend her life — and increase its quality — a new study shows.

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco found that loneliness plays a large role in the decline so often associated with old age. The study followed 1,600 adults, with an average age of 71 — despite controlling for socioeconomic status and health, the lonely consistently held higher mortality rates. Nearly 23% of lonely participants died within six years of the study, as opposed to only 14% of those that reported adequate companionship.

“The need we’ve had our entire lives — people who know us, value us, who bring us joy — that never goes away,” Barbara Moscowitz, senior geriatric social worker at Massachusetts General Hospital, explained to The New York Times.

The elderly place great value in those relationships, so much so that they often overlook a great deal more than their children or even their grandchildren do. It comes down to important relational skills, Rosemary Blieszner, a professor of human development at Virginia Tech, told The New York Times — skills that our grandparents have had a lifetime to hone.

“They’re pretty tolerant of friends’ imperfections and idiosyncrasies, more than young adults,” she said. “You bring a lot more experience to your friendships when you’re older. You know what’s worth fighting about and not worth fighting about.”

Beyond inviting our older relatives and friends into our homes, it’s important to encourage elderly relationships — which is why, despite popular belief, older folks tend to thrive in independent or assisted living environments. These living arrangements provide more ways to mingle, to connect, to thrive.

Full Article and Source:
Study Shows the More You Hang Out With Your Mom, the Longer She’ll Live

From FB–Gov Quinn signs bill that eliminates Limitations period for sexual abuse survivors!

I know that for too many of you, sexual abuse as a child just killed off a part of you that will never heal.  Far too many people in power have hurt innocent young children and gotten away with it, but at least this is hope for the future:

http://www.chicagocac.org/gov-quinn-signs-law-to-remove-statute-of-limitations-for-child-sexual-abuse-ensuring-survivors-no-longer-run-out-of-time-to-seek-justice/

Gov. Quinn signs law to remove statute of limitations for child sexual abuse, ensuring survivors no longer run out of time to seek justice

Press Release | August 8, 2013

This afternoon, Governor Quinn signed a bill into law that eliminates the criminal statute of limitations for sex offenses that occurred when the victim was under 18 years old. The legislation is a significant victory for victims and survivors of child sexual abuse, many of whom take years to disclose the abuse.

“We are deeply grateful to the legislators who championed this change, which helps ensure that justice is possible for all victims of child sexual abuse,” said Char Rivette, executive director of Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center. “Moving forward, no survivor will finally gather the courage to report abuse, only to be told it’s too late to do anything.”

The majority of child abuse victims – 96 percent those served at ChicagoCAC – are abused by someone they know personally, such as a parent, close relative, family friend or other caregiver. Perpetrators’ familiarity with victims, as well as their additional manipulative tactics, are often among the factors that make it difficult for children to disclose the abuse.

“This bill sends an important message to the people of Illinois: survivors of sexual abuse need not be silent,” said Governor Quinn. “It’s imperative that we support justice for victims and keep kids safe by charging and prosecuting offenders.”

The bill removes the statute of limitations for child sex abuse that occurs on or after January 1, 2014. The legislation is not retroactive; survivors are subject to the law that was in place at the time of their abuse. Similar legislation, Senate Bill 1399, also passed this session, removing the civil statute of limitations for sex offenses that occurred when the victim was under 18 years old.

In addition to ChicagoCAC, proponents of the legislation included Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, Children’s Advocacy Centers of Illinois, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) and other victim advocacy organizations.

From Joanne;

I am for biartisan laws that protect all of us, so thank you very much for this law!

From Gloria Sykes–Michigan changes to elder abuse law makes it easier to charge a perp

http://www.macombdaily.com/government-and-politics/20170111/amendment-makes-it-easier-to-charge-vulnerable-adult-abuse

Detroit is a hot bed of guardianship corruption with Mary Rowan handling over 100 cases, forcing the elderly into locked down nursing homes and drugging them and forcing the sale of their homes. Will she be charged with this?

And remember, Flint Mich. still hasn’t cleaned up their deadly water, so I wonder what’s up with this.  Only Mich. politicians could be worse than Illinois, purposefully poisoning the population–men, women, children, the elderly, and nothing is done about it.

 

From the Michigan Paper —

A bill originally sponsored by a local assistant prosecutor makes it easier for prosecutors to charge someone with abusing a vulnerable adult without noticeable injury.

Public Act 480 of 2016, signed into law last week by Gov. Rick Snyder, says a person can be charged if he or she intentionally commits an act that poses an unreasonable risk, harm or injury to a vulnerable adult, regardless of whether physical harm results. Previously, physical injury had to be shown.

The change affects fourth-degree vulnerable adult abuse, a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail.

Derek Miller, a former Democratic state representative from Warren, introduced the bill after he worked several years an assistant prosecutor in Macomb County and before he was appointed county treasurer in January 2016. He lost the treasurer’s post in the November election to Republican Larry Rocca and was rehired recently by county Prosecutor Eric Smith.

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Miller previously prosecuted vulnerable-adult cases as a member of Smith’s Senior Crime Unit along with former assistant prosecutor Suzanne Faunce, who is now a district court judge in Warren. Both of them said they got frustrated with learning about certain types of abuse but being unable to prosecute the offender.

“One of the things that I got frustrated was attempting to prosecute a case in which a vulnerable adult was tied up or bound to a bed or laying in their own feces or urine … because the vulnerable adult statute didn’t provide any way to prosecute folks if there wasn’t physical harm,” he said. “The act is egregious enough that it is deserving of a criminal charge.”

Miller said a vulnerable adult must be treated civilly even if it is difficult because the person is suffering from dementia.

“They (vulnerable adults) are still human beings,” he said. “(Offenders) need to be held accountable.”

State Rep. John Chirkun, D-Roseville, took over shepherding the bill to passage after Miller left his state post. Chirkun worked 29 years for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office.

“As a former law enforcement officer, I know what can happen when a caregiver fails a vulnerable adult,” Chirkun said. “We need to be aware of abuse that leaves no physical signs because it is just as damaging and harmful to the victim.”

 

From Ken Ditkowsky–What is the “new” American liberalism that turns its head on racism and injustice in the courts?

Subject: Re: We clearly live in tough times, much tougher than most people want to face.
Date: May 15, 2017 4:59 PM
The problem from this part of the world is not the views expressed, but the issue on honesty.
Let me give you an example.   There is not a sane political figure who is not in favor of equal protection of the law and equality before the law.    Even the most venal of political figures gives lip service to the fact that racism in any form is wrong and not allowed under American law.   Jim Crow is absolutely prohibited!
Indeed a person with a dark hue to his/her skin is just as equal as a person with a light hue to his/her skin and both are entitled to full rein of the American dream – or so it is said and advertised.
Here in Illinois such is NOT TRUE!   All we have to do is run over to the Prudential Building in Chicago, go to the offices of the Illinois Attorney Registration of Disciplinary Commission and grab the disciplinary file on Lanre Amu.    Mr. Amu was charged with practicing law while black and for his crime received an interim suspension of his law license and a three year suspension thereafter.    No Mr. Mayor – the formal charge was not “practicing Law while Black” is was much more subtle.   Mr. Jerome Larkin under oath with intent to violate the Illinois Constitution of 1970 and the 13th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution lied about Mr. Amu’s behavior even though a respected Business Publication made the exact same claims that Mr. Amu made and the subject of Mr. Amu’s complaint cannot and has not denied them.
The Supreme Court of Illinois in issuing an interim suspension found that by telling the truth Mr. Amu was so dangerous that he had to be suspended from the practice of law then and there.    The absurdity and wrongness of the action by Mr. larkin (IARDC administrator) and the Supreme Court of Illinois did not raise an eyebrow.   There was no hue and cry in the media and not one of the civil rights or attorney organizations raised a finger to protest – Today Mr. Amu ( a scholarly man with a dark skin = as he actually came to America from Africa) is wrongfully barred from practicing law.    Such Icons of civil rights as Illinois two Senators are dead silent!    Illinois Representatives in the Congress are dead silent.  Indeed, law enforcement is silent and our local racist public officer administrating the IARDC is lauded for his keeping them ****** where they belong.
So absurd is this situation that Larkin even got away with denying public accommodations for an Icon of the Civil Rights movement and one of the organizers of the Selma March!    Again silence.
Even that great bastion of justice, the Illinois Supreme Court is an actor in this Jim Crow incident and not one of the justices has the courage to join in the call for remediation and/or an HONEST INVESTIGATION.
Is this a symptom of the new brand of American liberalism–a liberalism that really does nothing and says nothing about injustice?    Not only has there not been a squeak of protest from the liberals, but Illinois is controlled by the Democrats who have the loudest voices in protesting inequality!   Those loud voices however appear to be a facade when it comes to action.   Protest and words are more important than acting against racial discrimination and overt racism!   Cover-up and diversion is the true meaning of American 21st Century politics!
The MacDonald case is another example of just how form and trumped substance.   MacDonald was shot 16 times by a policeman.   On film the killing was demonstrated to be unjustified.  However, the mayoral election was days away, and the mayor – a friend and high ranking adviser to Obama – realized that the Ferguson riots would be a church tea is the African American Community learned of this outrage in Chicago, thus, the ‘family’ of MacDonald was bribed with a five million dollar settlement (paid with City of Chicago funds) to keep quiet.    Not a single one of Chicago’s Alderman voted against the payment!     Not a single Chicago media outlet broadcast information as to the incident and its cover -up  – until the mayor was safely re=elected!
Use any fancy word you want to describe this situation, but this is rank RACISM!
Jerome Larkin had nothing to do with the MacDonald shooting, but, to deny that the political establishment in Illinois and in particular Chicago is not racist is akin to denying that the Sun rises in the East and sets in the WEST.      He clearly has not disciplined the numerous city lawyers refusing to turn over crucial videos in a timely manner, as required by the Rules of Court.  We do not need any new words to describe the old sickness!    What we need is to bring back HONESTY AND HONOR to our government.
Many of our politicians today simply abhor HONEST GOVERNMENT.   This can be demonstrated by their silence in the Amu case and their acceptance of the insults to Diane Nash, Mr. MacDonald, and YOU!   If the establishment had one ounce of pride and loyalty to America, Jerome Larkin would be in jail and the members of the Illinois Supreme Court who rubber stamped his racism would be back in private practice!

From Ken Ditkowsky–Happy Mother’s Day

Subject: Happy mother’s day
Date: May 14, 2017 6:52 AM
If we do not learn from the past, the future is in jeopardy.     I heard laments all the time from people who cannot bring themselves to recognize that Democracy has a major side effect – RESPONSIBILITY.   To preserve it we have to intelligently protect it from the demigods who cannot accept the results of elections and/or use their public positions to violate the public trust.
After Operation Greylord was in the books and the Circuit Court of Cook County disgraced itself completely, the court went back to its old ways with a vengeance.    Even the clerk of the Court proved herself to be a blatant criminal.   The most recent revelation was found in the Court Sun-Times:
The political and judicial elites are however well prepared and the machinery of DEMONIZATION is well at work.   Anyone, whether it be high ranking public servants, or low ranking Attorneys are not immune.    The adage – ‘do not confuse me with the truth, I’ve made up my mind’ is well at work and anyone who is not in lockstep with the Establishment is in for the parcing of every word uttered and demonization.  Indeed, if a lawyer reports corruption in the Courts, the full force of the establishment is brought to bear to silence the voice of dissent.    The fact/truth be damned!    The lackeys of the forces that accept democracy only when it serves their ends could care less.   Such is true at every level.
Lanre Amu reported a Judge whose corruption was blatant.   The well connected judge could see no conflict of interest by her being on the Board of Directors of a litigant being sued in her courtroom.   Even the fact that the Judge’s brother was one of the attorneys for the litigant made no impression on the establishment.   Hell in Cook County an honest judge is one who when bribed stays bribed!   Why else would anyone pay $100,000 to purchase such a job?     The Establishment in the guise of the Attorney Disciplinary Commission (IARDC) jumped at Amu to quash him!    With a respected business newspaper CRAINS CHICAGO BUSINESS lamenting the same allegations of corruption of the Court by the same Judge that Mr. Amu was complaining, the Disciplinary commission held kangaroo hearings on perjured pleadings authored by Jerome Larkin and found made finding that were 100% inaccurate and contrary to the truth.    Amu was severely punished for practicing law while Black.
On another level, a Presidential candidate was being investigated for thwarting the Government Secrets Act.   The FBI supervisor assigned to supervise the investigation had a major conflict of interest.   A close associate of the Presidential candidate under investigation made a very substantial campaign contribution to the wife of the FBI Supervisor.   Of course a decision not to prosecute was made and the media raised no hue and cry and could care less.   Even today the obvious conflict of interest and lack of moral compass remains unfazed by the establishment and those who in knee jerk fashion support the elites.
Honest disclosure, Honest investigations, Honor, Integrity et al are not part of today’s lexicon.   A narrative of propaganda that protects the establishment is the norm and people who speak out in favor of Democracies values are condemned.   The crimes by Jerome Larkin and the Illinois establishment against JoAnne Denison are remarkable in their venality and in good people’s total lack of interest.    I’ve written about them apparently to deaf ears, to wit:
On Mother’s day, maybe it is time for respectable citizens to rise up and demand Justice.   The Demand is made not for the demander, but for his/her children who will pay the price of the corruption!
Ken Ditkowsky,
Ken Ditkowsky Law Offices
5330 W Devon #206
Chicago, IL 60647
From Joanne;
And I want to say a special heartfelt Mother’s Day for all of you who cannot see their mothers because the probate court/ guardian is abusing them and/or isolating them from you, or your mother was murdered or suffered abuse in gship.  This includes–Mary Sykes (murdered), Helen Rector (murdered), Iwanna Lahoody (abused, at risk), Helen Stone (abused, at risk), Jay Brouckmeersch (murdered), etc.
If I forgot your mother’s name, just email me and I will put it on today’s list.
Please say a prayer for these mothers and children who were abused and isolated and even murdered in the probate court system.
The problem still continues, with the latest murder of Jay Brouckmeersch in Mar. 2017 by Judge Quinn and the OSG (Office of State Guardian), so the need is still great to prevent these deaths.
Please be sure to write, fax and call both the Illinois Supreme Court, presiding judge and the ARDC Jerome Larkin and tell them that something MUST be done about the perfidy and murder in probate court.
An ARDC attorney asked Ken Ditkowsky if he was “sorry” that the Naperville Police Chief (I forget his name) received 500+ email complaints about how Mary Sykes was being isolated and abused in Naperville.  Ken thought that was nuts, but it sure is evidence of a cover up at the ARDC (much like the fact the ARDC has not gone after a single attorney at the City of Chicago for refusing to turn over 27 videos of South Side blacks being gunned down by Chicago Police).  In any case, incredulously, the ARDC atty asked the Naperville Police Chief what he did with the 500+ citizen complaints–he replied he just archived them!  More evidence of Obstruction of Justice and a mass cover up of a string of felonies.
As Ken says, you cannot make this stuff up!
Both the ARDC and the Naperville Police Dept. were actually proud of the fact 1) they refused to investigate; and 2) they are happy to archive (cover up) any evidence of a crime!
So pray for all those mothers and children out there today.
My prayers and thoughts are with you all today.
JoAnne

From Ken Ditkowsky–The War on Truth by the ARDC continues–with a false judgement

This proves there is no end to the perfidy spewn by the ARDC (Illinois Attorney and Registration Commission)

Today I found their false and fictitious judgment against me recorded at the recorder’s offices and this is well after they had been informed the court reporter at my trial was unlicensed.

See the link: False $18,000 Judgment

Now from Ken Ditkowsky:

JoAnne;
 
The document that you sent to me  represents a very serious BREACH OF THE PUBLIC TRUST and it requires me to Pursuant to 18 USCA 4 and lawyer Rule 8.3 to report the felony that it represents.   It is my duty as a citizen to report the actions of Mr. Larkin and the IARDC (and others) for this case of very serious extortion, Wire Fraud, violation of Civil Rights.   The aforesaid promulgation of the submitted document  by Jerome Larkin, individually and as the administrator of the IARDC steps far over the line of decency.     Such action cannot be tolerated in Illinois or any State that has come under the Jurisdiction of the United States of America.     The aforesaid conspiracy by Larkin and others to violate Federal Law brings into play 18 USCA 371 and it is further averred that unknown persons employed by the public entity IARDC are similarly involved, and must suffer the consequences of their miscreant behavior and breach of Civil protections guaranteed by the UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION AND ARTICLE 1 OF THE ILLINOIS CONSTITUTION OF 1970.
 
I base these allegations on the fact that Mr. Larkin commenced his fraud by joining into an agreement to deny you your Civil Rights and in particular you First Amendment Right to petition your government and demand an HONEST INVESTIGATION of a Conspiracy to defraud Federal Health Care programs, Insurance carriers, and senior citizens entitled to the protection of the Americans With Disabilities Act.
 
It is alleged upon reliable information and belief as follows:
 
1) Mary Sykes was against her will removed from her home in Cook County, Illinois and isolated from her friends, family members who loved her (in particular Gloria Sykes) and kept a virtual prisoner.
 
2) That to accomplish certain nefarious and wrongful acts, the Circuit Court of Cook County was enlisted and in particular Judge Maureen Connors.     Connors pursuant to the agreement of certain individuals was to assume jurisdiction over the victim so that:
 
    a) A certain petition for a protective order filed against Carolyn **** would not be heard by the Court.  (This protective order “fell” from the docket and the file was later found secreted away in Judge Flanagin’s ante room.)
 
    b) A certain safety deposition box containing approximately a million dollars in gold coins cold be accessed and control thereof could be appropriated.  (see Gloria Sykes Affidavit and order to drill safe deposit box in Jan 2010 signed by Carolyn Toerpe)
 
    c) Mary Sykes property could be removed from her and distributed to the co-conspirators.
 
    d) Mary Sykes could be used as a vehicle to obtain Federally funded Health Care funds including but not limited to Medicare that were excessive and fraudulent.
 
    e) Mary Sykes could be used as a vehicle to obtain from others, including the health insurance company insuring spouses of Chicago Police Department officers over-charges and other moneys that were wrongful and fraudulent.
 
3) That pursuant to an agreement between Attorney ***** representing the guardian, Guardian ad Litem ******, Guardian ad Litem ******, Judge Connors, and others a lawsuit was filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois as case 09 P 4585.
 
4) That at all times relevant each of the co-conspirators was aware of provisions of the Illinois guardianship at 755 ILCS 5/11a -1 et seq and in particular sections 3, 3b, and 10 and was aware that a special summons disclosing the RIGHTS of a person being accused being declared incompetent.
 
5) That the Attorney from the petitioning prospective guardian in an attempt to deceive ignored the provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Law and the aforesaid 755 ILCS 5/11a – 10 and tried to create the impression that the statute was complied with by instructing the Sheriff of Cook County to serve summons on Mary Sykes in Cook County when he, his client, the two guardian ad litem, and Judge Connors were all aware that Mary was being kept isolated in DuPage County, Illinois.
 
6) That Judge Connors was fully aware at all times relevant that:
 
    1. No service of summons was had on Mary Sykes (according to the Sheriff of Cook County) and the Court file did not contain any return of service.
 
    2.  The required Notice of a hearing (as required by the 5th and 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United STates of America) referred to by the Illinois Supreme Court as jurisdictional was not given to the next of kin of Mary Sykes.   In particular no notice of a competency hearing for Mary Sykes was ever given to Gloria Sykes daughter or either of the two siblings of Mary Sykes.
 
    3) that to determine a person to be incompetent the said person must be proven incompetent by clear and convincing evidence  755 ILCS 5/11a -3
 
    4) no hearing was held to determine competency.  Instead GAL ***** submitted an order to Connors appointing a guardian knowing full well that not a scintilla of honest proof had been presented to establish incompetency of Mary Sykes.
 
    5) that Judge Connors was predisposed to create a guardianship.  (Wired) see page 91 of her evidence deposition taken by Jerome Larkin’s office.
 
7)  That during the course of the guardianship it is estimated that 3 million dollars was extracted from Mary Sykes’ assets and an indeterminate amount was taken from Federally funded health care programs and Insurance carriers.
 
8)  That when the perfidy noted supra was discovered Jerome Larkin, Lea Black, Sharon Opryszek***** (employees of public entity IARDC) were enlisted by the two Guardian ad Litem wrongfully appointed by Judge Connors and the Attorney for the wrongfully (and without jurisdiction) appointed plenary guardian.    These attorneys were enlisted in violation of 18 USCA 371 to ‘cover up’ and foster the theft of Mary Sykes assets and to stifle and prevent Attorney JoAnne Denison and Kenneth Ditkowsky from demanding HONEST INVESTIGATIONS of the violation of ADA, Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, Civil Rights, thefts of government health care funds *****.
 
9)  That Larkin and the other co-conspirators agreed to act in such a manner as to intimidate attorneys and in particular JoAnne Denison from disclosing the multitude of criminal frauds and wrongs being perpetrated in case 09 P 4585 and in dozens of similar cases on the 18th Floor of the Daley Center, Chicago, Illinois.
 
10) that Larkin and the other co-conspirators filed documents under oath in disciplinary proceedings with the express intention of misleading the Supreme Court of Illinois to believing that Judge Connors et al  and the Court appointed miscreants were complying with 755 ILCS 5/11a – 1 et seq (and the Constitution).    At all times relevant Larkin and his 18 USCA 371 co-conspirators knew that an examination of the file in 09 P 4585 would reveal the human trafficking of the elderly, and in particular, that of Mary Sykes.   
 
11) That when JoAnne Denison was not intimidated and published on her blog MARYGSYKES the terrible abuse of the public trust of Judge Connors and other Judges sitting in the Circuit court of Cook County disciplinary hearings were had and perjury was fostered.    When even kangaroo hearings and extra judicial proceedings did not deter Denison from continuing to expose corruption of Larkin et al. (it is believed and therefore alleged) instituted more Procrustean measures which included altering Court transcripts, subordination of perjury, covering up false testimony of Judge *****, hiring non-licensed Court Reporters ******.   Larkin in Court documents filed with the Supreme Court of Illinois referred to the exposure of corrupt judges as being akin to “yelling fire in a crowded theater” and materially misrepresented the holdings of the SCOTUS (particularly the Alvarez case.)
 
12.   That Larkin, still unable to intimidate Denison from enjoying her First Amendment Rights petitioned the Supreme Court of Illinois for reimbursement of certain fraudulent costs.  (Illinois Statutes prohibit payment of Court Reporter fees submitted by a non-license Court reporter – these are included).   
 
13.  That it appears that the fraudulent cost petition has been reduced to Judgment and further fraud and deprivation of Rights has been had on Attorney Denison.
 
As a Citizen of the United States of America, by this e-mail I am calling on the President of the United States, the Department of Justice, and all law enforcement to Act to prevent further dissipation of the Citizen Right of JoAnne Denison and all other citizens of the State of Illinois by the 18 USCA 371 co-conspirators, and for an HONEST INVESTIGATION of the Elder Cleansing of Mary Sykes and other senior citizens domiciled in the State of Illinois.  

From Joanne;

Please join with me in writing Larkin and informing him that his continuing crimes against the citizens of the State of Illinois are not going unnoticed and that his perfidy in filing a false judgment against Joanne Denison in an attempt to shut down her blog about ongoing criminal activities against the elderly will not be tolerated under the First Amendment.

You can fax or write Jerome Larkin at:

312 565-2320

Mr. Jerome Larkin

Administrator

illinois ARDC

130 E. Randolph St, 15th Floor

Chicago Illinois 60601

From ECG–the continuing story of the Abuse of Mr. Siegel and his 2 daughters Lisa and Devora in Guardianship

http://medicalkidnap.com/2017/05/01/massachusetts-senior-citizen-and-attorney-medically-kidnapped-estate-plundered-represents-national-epidemic/

by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff

Retired lawyer Marvin Siegel of Boxford, Massachusetts, has lived an isolated and heavily-medicated existence, against his will and wishes, after court proceedings in August in 2011 resulted in his being placed under a court-appointed guardianship and conservatorship that his family considers to be unlawful.  His meticulous estate planning has been eviscerated, and millions of dollars continue to be plundered from the 88-year-old’s estate.

He is being held prisoner in his own home, under medical providers that his daughter has termed “24/7 guards.” Meanwhile, his daughters Attorney Lisa Siegel Belanger and Devora Kaiser tirelessly advocate for him in the court system, despite those who are working vigorously to shut them out of their father’s life.

At this point, those in charge of Mr. Siegel’s estate have drained half of the retired attorney’s approximate nine-million-dollar estate deceptively and fraudulently, according to Lisa.  Further, as Lisa began to research her father’s case, she uncovered a network of corruption within the family and probate court system of Essex County, where the case is, as well as in other Massachusetts counties.  The daughters’ court documents allege fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering, involving 40 litigants in the Siegel case alone.

Earlier this month, Lonnie Brennan of Boston Broadside broke the story in his article, “ISOLATE, MEDICATE, LIQUIDATE:  How to Fleece a Senior.”  It is a “Warning to Seniors:  Rich or Poor, You’re Worth a LOT to Lawyers, Courts, and Service Agencies!”

In 2011, Mr. Siegel was starting to slow down a little, and he needed help around the house.  His family stepped in to help, and they also arranged for a part-time worker to check in on him and tend to any unmet needs.  Mr. Siegel asked Lisa and her family to move in for nurture and care.

Medical Kidnapping: Family Power of Attorney Revoked

One day, the worker reportedly called 911, stating that Mr. Siegel was believed to be a harm to himself or others.  An ambulance arrived and took him to Beverly Hospital and then to a psychiatric facility for evaluation. That is where he was placed on lock-down, without any notification of his family.  As Lisa and her family arrived home from a day out, they found Mr. Siegel being placed in the ambulance.

However, court documents state that Lieutenant Riter of the Boxford Police Department, who had known Mr. Siegel for ten years at the time, “had no experience with the elder being a legitimate threat.”  Lieutenant Riter went on to say that the concerns that prompted the 911 call were “more benign than indicated,” and that “there has been no legitimate reason to use a section 12.”

Lisa said that once Mr. Siegel was placed in psychiatric facility, his financial advisor Brian Nagle reportedly facilitated having Attorneys Edward Tarlow and Catherine Watson go into the psychiatric ward to revoke the Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) that he had previously executed in February of 2003.

Further, the attorneys brought with them papers retaining Attorney Tarlow and his firm, to “do whatever they wanted to do.” She went on to say that the paperwork also named accountant William Austin, who had a long, established relationship with Nagle, the new DPOA.  Lisa said that Austin later refused to be attorney-in-fact.  She felt that this was because he knew that she “wouldn’t be someone to run over.”

Lisa had been assigned DPOA when Siegel was fully of sound mind, but somehow attorneys were able to go into a psych ward and obtain his signature to revoke that document. Lisa accuses Nagle of “refus[ing] to carry out his fiduciary duty and honor the Durable Power of Attorney.”

Seigel Marvin and Lisa Siegel Belanger_Graduation_via_Lisa cropped

As a result, a guardianship and conservatorship were subsequently appointed over their father without their approval. The family has been embroiled in litigation over this ever since.  It is nearly six years later, and the Siegel family is having to fight for the rights that Mr. Siegel appointed to them back in 2003.

Robbing Seniors – How the State Plunders the Estate of Senior Citizens

According to Lisa, in 2003 her father obtained expert lawyers to prepare a DPOA intending to safeguard him from ever having to enter probate court or be labeled incapacitated. Lisa was named the primary attorney-of-fact, and her sister Devora was the successor attorney-of-fact.  Therefore, a guardian and conservator should have never been appointed to make decisions regarding Mr. Siegel and his estate.

Attorney James Feld became Mr. Siegel’s court-appointed conservator, and Attorney Brian Cuffe became his court-appointed guardian.  Marsha Kazarosian is Mr. Siegel’s private attorney.

Seigel Kazorosian

Lisa said that Kazarosian has been working against the family and has allied herself with the court-appointed conservator and guardian.  Attorney Mr. Siegel tried to terminate Kazarosian in 12/14/11, before the 911 event, but she refused to withdraw her representation as legal counsel.

Seigel Marvin tries to fire Kazarosian via Boston Broadside

Lisa said that Kazarosian is supposed to be in an adversarial position against the court-appointed guardian and conservator.  But, she said that Kazarosian has sold out Mr. Siegel, calling her “a turncoat.”  Lisa said that her father had Kazarosian attest to his competency in writing.

Seigel Kazarosian responds to Marvin trying to fire her via Boston Broadside

Attorneys Work Together with Hospitals to Medically Kidnap Seniors and Rob Their Estate

Prior to the medical kidnapping, Lisa said that her father had never been diagnosed with any psychotic/mood disorder.  Devora said that the court has never allowed them to get a second opinion.  Lisa said that her father had his own medical providers that he had been seeing for years.

But the first thing that the guardian and conservator did was get rid of all of his medical providers and put in their own network.  Lisa filed a complaint stating that there is a conflict of interest among the court-appointed guardians/conservators because they have their own dealings with the medical providers and hospitals.  She said:

They ask for one another to be appointed in court.  It’s so incestuous—it’s unfathomable.

She continues:

This is all about the money.  What people need to know is, this starts from your local hospitals. These attorneys who are also court-appointed guardians/conservators/GALs [Attorney Guardians ad Litem], they just happen to be attorneys who are private counsel for these very medical facilities.  They have a financial interest in wanting elders to be judicially deemed wards of the state.  There’s a purposeful motivation of wanting to dismantle the family unit.

Siegel Feld and Kazarosian at bank vault via Siegel family

 

Siegel Feld counting the money via Siegel Family

Devora adds:

Now, the family unit—nothing.  Dismantle them, and they have complete control.  That’s the first piece of the puzzle.  It gets very complicated.  They take away any control you have. They take away your rights.

Devora goes on to say:

One thing we’ve asked for over the years is for is consistency with the caregivers. They change caregivers so often, which is not good with an Alzheimer’s patient. Some of them speak very little English, understand little English. I don’t even have the right to say or to approve the people taking care of him.  I can’t say anything.

We should never be where we are five years later.  Lisa was appointed [attorney-of-fact].

Siegel Marvin and Devora_b via Siegel Family

Lisa told Health Impact News:

The big problem is that this situation should have been stopped from the get go had the court been applying the law.  In five years, it has not been one iota of applying the proper, existing law.  It’s been outright lawlessness.  I refuse to stop fighting against it.  Because, I know what the truth is.  And, I know what the law is.  And, unfortunately, most people can’t endure the viciousness and vile tactics that these attorneys employ.

The sisters said that they receive scathing emails on regular basis from the attorneys involved in the case.  Devora said that the stress from this has been detrimental to her health.  She now defers to Lisa when it comes to corresponding with them.  She told us:

I couldn’t take the viciousness of their attacks. It was horrendous.

Rule of Law Thrown out the Window in the Kangaroo Court

Lisa said that probate court blatantly disregards the entire instrument, or the estate planning documentation, that Mr. Siegel had prepared in 2003, and as a result, the court dismantles the family infrastructure—preventing the truth from coming out.

Lisa said:

Once they get you into probate court they just completely disregard that entire instrument, as if it never existed.  And, the whole purpose would be because they want to be able to have the court-appointed guardian conservator to be able to get themselves into the family infrastructure and dismantle it.  So, when that happened to us, especially myself being an attorney, I said to myself, this is not something I’m understanding here. I’d been an appellate attorney—at that time for at least 15 years.  It didn’t matter.  Rule of law was thrown out the window—it was purely a kangaroo court.  And, that’s what it has been for five years, is a kangaroo court.

The sisters went on to say that if a person does not have the money to fight, it is doubtful that they will ever have justice.  According to Lisa:

The way the court system exists, people are prevented from being able to have the truth be heard a lot of times because most people can’t even afford the transcripts cd or electronic recording, let alone the transcript CD.  Then you have the filing fees.  Basically, these people have been able to get away with it because there has been no outrage, they haven’t been made to be able to be seen in public for what they are.”

Devora said:

It’s horrible when somebody can’t fight something because they don’t have the funds to pay the filing fees.  Where’s the justice in that?  And, the court knows that.  And they’re bullies.  And that’s part of their game.  They just keep hoping that we’ll quit fighting.

At one point, Lisa reports that she was offered $100,000 by Attorney DeNapoli, paid from the trust if she would not seek legal action to validate her father’s 2003 DPOA, which would eliminate all court-appointed attorneys and make Attorney DeNapoli a permanent fixture.  Lisa viewed it as a bribe and declined the offer.

How Many More Seniors Is This Happening To?

The sisters are reaching out to the media in the hopes that they will get a force behind them that will hold the people involved accountable in the public eye.  Lisa said:

The local media, they refuse to report on it.  No one wants to go up against them, no one. My sister and I are just trying to somehow…it’s not just for our own personal endeavor, but this is something that will hopefully help other people.

They believe that this is happening to numerous other families around the country.  Devora said:

I wonder, if we could find out how many people this has happened to, if everyone would step forward. I wonder how many thousands would.  And, that’s bad.  And, we’re supposed to be United States of America!  Something is wrong in the court system.

Seigel Marvin with family_a_via_Lisa

According to Lisa:

They make things up. They want to say dementia or whatever–psychotic delusions.  At no time have they ever put down any factual information as to what kind of psychotic delusions.  They just put down a statement and that’s it.  That’s the problem is that there’s no oversight.  There’s no justice in the court system.

She said that people have the perception that when you go to court that the judge will hear the evidence, and then do a diligent job at reviewing what was presented.  However, she said:

That is just a complete myth.

Regardless, Lisa said that she and Devora will continue to pursue justice for their father in the courts.

Until these people are forced into the public, the court system is all we have.

Not Only Rich Seniors are Targeted

Lisa said:

The scary part of it is that this is not an isolated incident.  This is business as usual.  It is a pattern of isolate. Medicate. Liquidate.”

She pointed out that people that think this only happens to people who have large sums of money, but that is not the case.  Of her four years of personal research, she said:

It doesn’t matter the amount of a person’s estate, even if a person has virtually nothing to their name.  The fact that an elder is receiving some sort of government benefit that automatically brings you into their clutches.  People don’t realize that it affects basically everyone.  I also find, I’m probably kind of a lone attorney in this process, because it’s so insidious.  Because, a lot people who even hire attorneys, they don’t even realize that their attorneys are playing along to get along with the opposing side.  So, many people think that their attorneys are supposedly advocating on their behalf, when in reality, they’re stabbing them in the back, for lack of a better term.

Seigel Marvin and Lisa_sitting in chair_via_Lisa

Rapid Deterioration After Unnecessary Drugging

Marvin and Sophie via Siegel family

Devora said that her father has gone downhill since he was stolen from his family.  His communication is to the point to where he cannot carry on a conversation.  She said that when they are together, she only gets a few words from him.  It is really difficult for her to witness what is happening to her father.  She said:

I’m there to hold his hand.  I try to talk to him.  He’s aware of what I am saying to him and answers when he desires.

See other stories we have covered about medical kidnapping of senior citizens:

Husband of Retired Missouri Couple Medically Kidnapped—Estate Plundered to Pay for Unwanted Medical Confinement

Elder Medical Kidnapping in Texas Results in Abuse and Death of Elderly Mother

Adult Medical Kidnapping in New York: 1950s Air Force Veteran Held Hostage in Hospital

World War II Veteran Medically Kidnapped in New York Dies in Pain on Thanksgiving Day

California Kidnaps Elderly Brother of Medical Malpractice Attorney

Medical Kidnapping of Baby Boomer Seniors Not Rare – Now the Norm

Obamacare: America’s Elder Medical Kidnapping Epidemic is Leaving Seniors Homeless

How You Can Help:

Governor Charlie Baker may be reached at 617-725-4005 or contacted here. His Facebook is here.  His Twitter is here.

Representative James Lyons Jr. may be reached at 617-722-2460 or contacted here.

Senator Bruce E. Tarr may be reached at 617-722-1600 or contacted here.  Facebook is here.  His Twitter is here.

Attorney Lisa Siegel Belanger’s website is here. Her Twitter is here.

Poem for Her Father by Lisa

A TRIBUTE TO: MY FATHER – MARVIN H. SIEGEL

MY FATHER TAUGHT ME:

To Live in Hope

To Have Loyalty, Morals

To Have Compassion, Kindness

To be Gentle When Stroked, Fierce When Provoked

To Fight for Justice for Family, for Others

To Not be Silent When People Suffer at the Hands of Others—

To be Heard in Defending Others

To Right the Wrong and To Not Stop Until Won

And to Be Able to Look in the Mirror When the Day is Done

I Miss You–More Than Words Can Ever Say;

Yet, I will Overcome the Obstacles in Our Way—

Because of What You Taught Me

I LOVE YOU,

LISA

by Lisa Siegel Belanger for her father on Father’s Day 2012 (Source)

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From Ken Ditkowsky and the Vermont Bar Journal Spring 2017–A great review of R. Grundstein’s Book–Bad Minds, High Places

If you thought that Ken and I and Mr. Amu were railroaded by the State of Illinois ARDC, wait until you read this book.  I have and I found it to be a must read to understand corruption in the court system in the US.

So very sad.

BAD MINDS, HIGH PLACES
AMERICA’S ARCHIPELAGO
OF LEGAL FAILURE
by Robert Grundstein
Reviewed by Ken Ditkowsky, Esq.
I persistently call for honest investigans of defective state legal systems. The
prevailing question remains: what state actor or agency will conduct them? Mr. Grumdstein’s book provides an answer: None of them. In his experience, Ohio and Wash-
ington proved that it is possible for a region to deteriorate into a criminal enterprise
from the smallest municipal court to the local Federal District. He believes that
without a federal intervention, Cleveland, Ohio would have continued to operate
as a benign version of Albania. The “soggy white people” of Washington State, as
Counselor Grundstein refers to them, have established the courts as a private means of income distribution.
Mr. Grundstein has written an entertaing first -person account of how he believes
“he was persistently prosecuted, pursued, and jailed for exercising his First Amend-
ent rights to expose this happenstance.  He was extradited from Vermont to Ohio
based on what he calls falsified charges to a Grand Jury after being exonerated by the same panel.  It took an allegedly illegal representment in Cleveland for the County sheriff to get the desired results after the author published an editorial about a Cleveland suburban judge. The author has not been wrong.  Yet in his account, which reads like a crime drama the FBI confirmed his claims by conducting a huge corruption investigation
using 125 agents over 10 years. Arrests are still being made. Not only was the judge
Mr. Grundstein wrote about subject to this investigation and removal, the law director and associate in that ourt were convicted of corruption and bribery.  The  County Sheriff was put in jail as was the docket clerk who he claims falsified the Mr. Grundstein’s court record.
The prosecutor was forced to resign and another prosecutor related to his Ohio
case was put in jail.
From Grunstein’s perspective, the state made sure he had no voice. An order was
entered ruling that he was not allowed to file in any Ohio court. The appellate courts
would not review his exclusion from their state courts; all of them. When he went to
Federal Court, the local federal court immediately imposed a permanent filing ban
against him.
His book is an important book for several reasons; first, it shows the grass root character
failure of America’s ethical consensus.  Organized failures of this scale aren’t likely
to occur without the acquiescence of entire administrations and their constituents. Second, Mr. Grundstein shows how the benefits and protection of legal systems and the
police power is extended on a selective basis.  There is a tiered system and those without
the status of personhood get legal behaviors as a lower-tiered member. Personhood
is often assigned on the basis of partisan affiliation, income, power and preferential
association. Third, the book shows how politicized judicial systems make le gal
failure possible. Collective failure is not necessarily conspiracy. It can start with illegal
agreements, but it is not likely to involve 20 judges, prosecutors and police sitting
in a room planning an illegal agenda.
Grundstein argues that there is a different model for how elected judiciaries and
unified bar systems fail. Collective failure can occur when parties downstream to an
event are faced with the consequences of contradicting or not cooperating with the
people who started an event. This is very common in elected judiciaries. Judges,
prosecutors and attorneys don’t like to offend powerful people by exposing improper
agendas and failures. It’s not necessarily conspiracy but rather the prudential behavior
of a failed system. Fourth, Grundstein shows the irony of how corrupt people
love ethical systems and rely on them.
Finally, it warns of a national decline and cites alleged failures similar to Cleveland’s
in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Washington.
Mr. Grunstein warns that the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution is being
used to export regional ethical failure and because of this notes that we’re in trouble.
The book is entertaining and filled with mordant humor, surreal unreality and irony.
Most people finish it in one or two sittings.
Ironically, it is fun to read even though the story of dest royed virtue and trust in
the very system paid to protect this virtue and trust is quite the opposite. However,
it needs to be told. Mr. Grundstein made sure the medicine tastes good. We should
all take it.
Ken Ditkowsky has practiced law for over 50 yes, trying cases in state and federal
courts, including trying the case of Terrazas vs. Vance before the US Supreme
Court. His office is in Chicago. http://www.ditkowskylawoffice.com.

 

You can order the book here on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Bad-Minds-High-Places-Archipelago/dp/1505889146

As far as I am aware, Mr. Grundstein was disbarred for his activism in eliminating tons of corruption and being part of a huge FBI investigation resulting in the removal of scores of public officials, including judges , attorneys and clerks of court.

I do not believe he has received back his law license yet.

Please write the Vermont State Bar and demand that he receive his law license back and an apology and award for his crucial activism.

Office of Bar Counsel

Michael Kennedy, Esq.
Costello Courthouse
32 Cherry Street, Suite 213
Burlington, VT 05401
Phone: 802-859-3000

Office of Disciplinary Counsel

Sarah Katz, Esq.
Costello Courthouse
32 Cherry Street, Suite 213
Burlington, VT 05401
Phone: 802-859-3000

Professional Responsibility Board

Deb Laferriere, Program Administrator
Vermont Supreme Court
Professional Responsibility Program
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609
Phone: 802-828-3204

Also write to the Chief Judge, Vermont Supreme Court

Honorable Paul L. Reiber

Chief Justice

Vermont Supreme Court

111 State St, Montpelier, VT 05602

From Ken Ditkowsky–Serious problems in nursing homes across the nation still persist, even after many efforts have been made to rectify problems

This article is located at:

http://www.readingeagle.com/news/article/nursing-home-problems-persist-despite-reforms

Failing care: Nursing home problems persist despite reforms

Wednesday December 7, 2016 12:01 AM
Lobbying money

The nursing home industry is a powerful lobbyist group — both in Washington and Pennsylvania — that has spent millions to influence favorable government policy.
In 2015 alone, the American Health Care Association spent more than $3.7 million in lobbying activity.
And in the commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Health Care Association and its subsidiaries have donated more than $500,000 to state and national campaigns since 1998.
Source: FollowTheMoney.org and OpenSecrets.org

Related Links

About the series

Read more stories

Skilled nursing care for elderly Americans has been studied for decades in an effort to improve quality and educate the public.

The Government Accountability Office, for example, has examined nursing home quality and safety issues since 1998. Numerous congressional hearings have been held. And Congress has passed sweeping reforms that created a resident bill of rights and nursing home sanctions.

The problems still persist.Nearly half the nursing homes the federal government reviewed a decade ago cycled in and out of compliance, leading the GAO to conclude efforts to strengthen enforcement has done little to deter the worst offenders.The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office also highlighted this, filing three lawsuits against some of the state’s largest nursing home operators, accusing them of pocketing millions in federal payments but failing to provide basic services.Despite the collective hand-wringing in Washington and Harrisburg, sustainable solutions have been elusive. Yet advocates and researchers contend it is not an insurmountable problem. Although no single solution will improve the quality of care, many of the fixes are generally accepted – increased nursing home staff, better enforcement and stiffer penalties.”The regulatory system inherently allows bad things to happen to a vulnerable population,” said David Hoffman, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania who brought lawsuits against nursing homes in the 1990s.Hoffman added: “It’s very difficult to turn a bad nursing home into a good one. It’s not that difficult to turn a good one into a bad one.”In the past two decades, half of the state’s nursing homes have had serious health and safety issues that resulted in a fine, ban or temporary or revoked license, a Reading Eagle investigation has found.It’s a troubling issue that is only expected to worsen as the nation ages and Pennsylvanians require more skilled care.


Staffing in U.S. nursing homes

Federal law requires facilities to provide enough staff to adequately care for residents but does not specify how many is enough. Sufficient nursing home staff is universally recognized as the key to making quality care possible. The U.S. average is four hours and nine minutes per resident daily. More than 40 percent of states, including Pennsylvania, fall below average staffing time for nurses and aides.


But the greatest challenge – as Pennsylvania’s own yo-yo enforcement shows – just might be building a coalition strong enough to implement policies that create lasting change.

“It’s a political problem,” said Charlene Harrington, a University of California at San Francisco professor emeritus of sociology and nursing, who has studied the industry for decades. “There’s a lack of political will.”

Outdated staffing standards

Sufficient nursing home staff is universally recognized as the key to making quality care possible. Although state law addresses this with staff requirements, facilities are rarely cited for failing to meet standards.

Pennsylvania established its current standard in 1999, requiring facilities to provide 2.7 hours of care to each resident every day. Patient acuity has since increased significantly, but staffing standards haven’t kept pace.”In 24 hours, all that someone is entitled to get is 2.7 hours of care,” said Matt Yarnell, president of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania. “That’s not very much care. If you increase staff, that means better care, less falls, cleaner rooms.”Federal law requires facilities to provide enough staff to adequately care for residents but does not specify how many. Research indicates a minimum staffing of 4.1 hours of direct daily care is needed for each resident. A third of the states – including Pennsylvania – fall short of that.”The big question we have to ask all of ourselves is, what kind of care do we want to give our elders?” Yarnell said.The industry would support increased staffing ratios, but not without also increasing the state’s Medicaid funding, said W. Russ McDaid, CEO of Pennsylvania Health Care Association, which represents 500 long-term care and senior service providers.”The workforce is also the most expensive piece that they have,” McDaid said.Although providing sufficient staff to meet resident needs is a condition to participate in and receive Medicare and Medicaid payments, studies show facilities are rarely cited for staffing deficiencies. Less than 1 percent of the nation’s nursing homes in 2013 received a staffing deficiency, according to a Center for Medicare Advocacy report.Failing to meet and enforce standards of care – including staffing – harms nursing home residents.One in three Medicare beneficiaries in skilled nursing care for a two-week, post-acute stay in 2011 were harmed in some way, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The majority required either a prolonged nursing home stay or hospital transfer. Six percent died.This indicates that merely raising outdated staffing requirements is not enough. Oversight agencies also need better enforcement.”Quality issues are just going to continue if there’s no enforcement or such weak enforcement,” Harrington said.

‘There’s got to be somebody to enforce it’

Staffing isn’t just a nursing home issue, though.

Fewer than 150 health department inspectors, including supervisors, have the daunting task of overseeing the care Pennsylvania’s 700 nursing homes provide 80,000 residents each day.



Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Karen Murphy has promised more boots on the ground but has not yet determined how many.

“One of the easiest and most impactful things the department can do is to revamp its investigative process,” said Sam Brooks, an attorney with Community Legal Services of Philadelphia.Until a spate of new hires in 2015, the number of inspectors had been dropping since 2008. With fewer hands to do the work, the number of state enforcement actions also declined.But advocates warn it’s not enough to hire more surveyors. In 2015, despite increasing staff by more than 10 percent, the state imposed 70 percent fewer sanctions than in 2003.”It’s not just the numbers,” Hoffman said. “If you don’t train and educate all your staff, it’s in effect a meaningless number.”Brooks agreed. He recommends training that follows the blueprint the federal government has already outlined.”No matter what recommendations you make, there’s got to be somebody to enforce it,” Brooks said.Additionally, Pennsylvania’s penalty structure, which has some of the lowest maximums in the nation, hasn’t been revised in nearly four decades. It’s something Auditor General Eugene DePasquale addressed in his July performance review of the health department.State statute permits a fine of up to $500 a day for each deficiency of care, every day the deficiency continues. By contrast, New York and Texas have a $10,000 a day maximum.Any discussion of nursing home reform – researchers and advocates said – should also include financial accountability.The majority of nursing home stays are paid for through Medicaid, the federal social health care program for low-income adults, their children and people with disabilities, which is jointly funded with the states.Most states have a Medicaid reimbursement threshold, but Pennsylvania is an outlier that imposes two caps limiting administrative costs. Medicare reimbursements have no such requirement.An analysis of California nursing home revenues showed facilities increasingly allocated more for administrative costs and profits while shrinking the share allotted for resident care.A possible policy option then could be for both federal programs to have a cap on administrative costs and allocate payments to specific categories rather than the current Medicare practice of an overall rate, which can be spent at the operators’ discretion.Harrington found that if California had had such requirements, the Golden State could have saved $139 million in 2010.

‘It can be done’

When Linda Rhodes took office in 1987 as the Department of Aging secretary, Pennsylvania did not have a law protecting the elderly from abuse and neglect.

So, Rhodes rolled up her sleeves and brokered a deal between the state House and Senate, which at the time had very different philosophies on the issue. The result was the Older Adults Protective Services Act.”Within eight months, we had a law,” Rhodes said. “It can be done.”


About the ombudsman program

Mandated by federal law and overseen by the local Area Agency on Aging, ombudsmen investigate nursing home complaints on behalf of consumers.

In Berks County, call the Office of Aging County Services Center at 610-478-6500.For a complete list of county agencies, go to http://www.aging.pa.gov.Source: Pennsylvania Department of Aging


A health department task force report in October made a number of suggestions that reflected the shifting landscape in the nursing home industry, specifically the need for a culture change that emphasizes quality of life care.

Murphy, the current health secretary, said she is working on new regulations to address many of these issues but declined to share specifics.”Hopefully with our new regulations, we’ll have a lasting impact on the quality of care in our nursing homes,” Murphy said.State lawmakers such as Sen. Judy Schwank, a Ruscombmanor Township Democrat, said the Eagle had highlighted an issue they would follow in the months to come for possible legislative fixes.But with a projected shortfall of at least $1.7 billion for the state’s coming fiscal year, finding money for continued funding could prove challenging.”When we get to budget season, there’s going to be significant pressure to cut government operations,” said state Sen. Art Haywood, an Abington Democrat serving parts of Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. “Getting more resources or maintaining current resources for the Department of Health is going to be severely tested in the upcoming budget.”More than increased staffing, better agency enforcement and stiffer penalties, real reform requires the public keeping a spotlight on the issue.”You have to keep the state’s feet to the fire, so to speak, and use all the penalties they have at their disposal,” said David Grabowski, a Harvard Medical School health care policy professor and task force member.After finding in a 2000 performance audit the health department was slow to investigate complaints – even life-threatening ones – and deficient in imposing sanctions, the state saw a bump in enforcement actions. In 2002 alone, state investigators issued 140 sanctions. That’s more than were issued in the past five years combined.



No one believes the data show nursing homes suddenly improved or worsened.

Last year, in the wake of the Golden LivingCenters lawsuit, Murphy called for the first performance audit since U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. conducted a review as auditor general two decades ago. The health department has already doubled the number of sanctions imposed in 2014. Nursing home citations are also up significantly – a healthy sign the agency is looking for and finding areas to improve.But that can change.In the three years after Casey’s audits, the number of sanctions increased each year. But as the light of public scrutiny faded, sanctions sloughed off precipitously. By 2006, six years after Casey’s second audit, sanctions had dropped by half.Without a sustained commitment from lawmakers and the public to keep nursing home care in the forefront, advocates warn that in five or 10 years, the data could again show a bump in enforcement – this time in 2016 – that hastily dropped after the issue of nursing home care fell from the front pages.”Unless there are reforms with long-lasting effect, this will keep reoccurring,” said Brooks, the Philadelphia legal aid attorney. “It can’t get to the point every time that it’s so terrible that something has to be done.”Contact Nicole C. Brambila: 610-371-5044 or nbrambila@readingeagle.com.

From Ken Ditkowsky–Judges for sale!

When Operation Greylord scandal made the media, not a lawyer in Cook County, Illinois was surprised.   We all had learned to grin and bear it, and hope that our cases would be routed toward the Judges who would give us level playing field and an honest decision.   Most of us knew the ‘crooks,’ the occasionally crooked, and those who had integrity.   The latest two categories encompassed the large majority of the judiciary.    Thus, they system functioned and served as the escape valve of our society.    When you appeared before one to the crooks you tried your case for appeal and prayed.
As my career closed out after more than 1/2 a century the level playing field still existed but it was bit more difficult to feel that a fair shake was in the offing.   I personally was fortunate and until I found myself on the 18th Floor of the Daley Center (Probate Division) I felt confident in the integrity of the jurists before whom I appeared.    Indeed, Judge Maureen Connors was a shock!   I never considered her to be a good judge, but, it never occurred to me she would do what she did in the Mary Sykes case.
When I first pulled the file in the Mary Sykes case and saw that the Sheriff of Cook County was being directed to serve summons on Mary when the petitioner, the petitioner’s attorney, the two guardian ad litem, and Judge Connors herself all knew that Mary had been forcibly removed to an adjoining county – DuPage – I knew something was amiss.    Indeed, I read 755 ILCS 5/11a – 1 et seq, and in particular 3b, and 10.   I also knew that to meet the criteria of due process Mary had to be afforded some kind of NOTICE AND HEARING.     The Court also had to have jurisdiction over her.   I understood immediately why I had received threatening telephone calls from the attorney for the guardian and one of the guardian ad litem!    The Court never obtained jurisdiction, never given notice, and never held a hearing to make the 755 ILCS 5/11a – 3b determinations.
Jerome Larkin and his 18 USCA 371 co-conspirators also are aware of this malady, but, in their effort to cover-up the criminal conspiracy, fraud, and other felonies they have resorted to the age old method of dealing with problems when you are dead wrong, to wit:  Lie loudly and use your clout to obfuscate the truth.
Recently the Chicago Sun-Times has run a series of articles that are significant.   Jessie Jackson Jr. can always be counted on to demonstrate the MO of the Chicago Political Elite.  Mr. Ng Lap Seng who became famous in the Clinton campaign finance scandals of he mid 1990’s relating to foreign money flowing ot the Democratic National Committee allegedly employed Jessie as a consultant.   After Jessie received all the money and the Fed found out about it he offered to wear a wire!   Chicago Politics right out of the cesspool!
Chicago has a tawdry reputation to preserve so the publicists employed by Chicago dug up Judge O’Hara.   Judge O’Hara is boring!     She just committed mortgage fraud.   She filed the tried and true MO of the Chicago Political and Judicial elite.   The steps employed are fool proof!  1) lie on a mortgage application, 2) after you get the money refinance and or set up a fraudulent sale, the the purchaser can get more money out of the bank.   Paying down the loan is simple – place a price on litigants to get a favorable decision.    The Bank has handled hundreds of these transactions for area judges and the learned the lesson – scratch my back and I scratch yours.
The Chicago Sun Times recognized that this is a NON ELECTION Year so that informing the public of what is going on in Chicago is not dangerous to the survival of the paper.   Indeed, even pointing out that the miscreants are of a particular political party is safe copy.
As everyone knows, a columnist (John Kass)  from the Chicago Tribune wrote an article informing the public how a lawyer became a judge.   If you google the article you will not find it, but many read it and I believe that JoAnne Denison actually archived it in her blog.    JoAnne has a nasty habit of exposing corruption in her blog MaryGSykes.com and Justice4every1.com.    The Column is worth a read.
On the recent pages of the Sun-Times is another revealing article.   It details how Judge Richard Cooke dealt with the Judicial Elite and the judicial system are disclosed.    The Article on Judge Cooke is not complete and does not reveal the whole story, but, it gives a clear insight into why the judicial system here in Cook County, Illinois is a cesspool and not a swamp!
Richard Cooke was faced with the dilemma that John Cass described in his column = he wanted to become a judge.   Ergo, he had to go to the store selling judgeships and make a purchase. He picked out a judgeship that was uncontested and paid “more that $67,000” to Democratic Party leaders  and another $40,000 to a company owned by State Representative Arroyo, D-Chicago.    Interestingly enough the ‘blood money’ is $7,000 more than another lawyer was charged for disappointed slating.   The non-slated attorney was assured that he would be an associate judge.
Judge Cooke was to be assigned to a cafeteria Court – i.e. traffic court.   Cooke told the Suntimes that he created a $660,000 war chest to run for this uncontested office.    What did he not tell the Sun-Times?    In the ‘old days’ the lawyers who had to purchase judgeships gave assurances of “party” loyalty.   This usually meant they were given some illegal task to perform, which they did – and they got away with it; however, it was held over their head anytime a ‘special favor’ was required.    Did Cooke refuse?    Did he make available the ungodly sum of $660,000 so as to purchase his way out of the pledge of ‘party loyalty?’
Cooke is not going to tell us, and the Sun-times if they know the the answer is certainly not going to tell you or me!    They have certain incurred the wrath of JEROME LARKIN and the Illinois Supreme Court, as they have made the John Kass disclosure with facts and actual numbers to back it up!   It is a very good thing that Dan Mihalopoulos  (the reporter) is not a lawyer – I got a 4 year suspension for asking for an HONEST INVESTIGATION of the Mary Sykes case and JoAnne Denison an interim suspension and 3 years  – ditto for Lanre Amu — All we asked for was an INVESTIGATION of obvious fraud in the Cook County Court System.   Mr. Mihalopoulos disclosed FACTS and numbers!
I wish that I could tell people that all this criminality was confined to Chicago – It is not.   See:

$140,000 for a Judgeship?

TUESDAY, AUGUST 22, 2000 AT 4 A.M.

Juris prudence: Judge Maxine brings the gavel down on patronage.
From http://exposecorruptcourts.blogspot.com/2009/06/140000-for-judgeship.html

Good Article found on DNRs and tube feeding

One of the things many doctors still recommend and hospitals and nursing homes will want to force on a patient and family is the concept of tube feeding.

Of course, if the patient is in a coma or will not accept food from a spoon, tube feeding or a PEG (implanted food tube) is necessary.

But in the tragic case of Alice Gore and Jay Brouckmeersch, a feeding tube was forced upon them, without their consent.

It turns out that THERE IS NO CLINICAL STUDIES TO SHOW THAT A FEEDING TUBE HAS ANY ADVANTAGES OVER SPOON FEEDING, AND THEY HAVE A NUMBER OF RISKS TO THE PATIENT.

Hospitals routinely administer “swallow tests” where they watch a patient eat a cookie. How unscientific is that?  Then somehow they decide that swallowing isn’t good enough or efficient enough, they recommend implanting a feeding tube.

Why do they do this?  Because it’s much easier to hand up a bag of food and let it drip into the patient’s stomach than it is to cut food, puree food and feed it spoon by spoon to an elderly patient.  Of course, most the food nursing homes serve is total crap (my clients tell me they have searched the dumpsters of nursing homes only to find packages of soy product highly processed foods and well beyond expiration date foods (empty containers, mind you, not expired food thrown out).

Nursing homes do not offer whole foods, low carb organic programs of the finest ingredients, that’s for sure.  A bologna or cheese sandwich or cheap hot dogs, ground who knows what meat will do, thank you very much.  Most nursing home trays are filled with crap, just check them out.

It just costs too much in the US to hand feed the elderly.  But what do the probate courts do?  Rip the elderly from the loving hands of their families and force them into locked down nursing homes where they are isolated.

Here is a great article on DNRs and feeding tubes.

http://www.cancernetwork.com/articles/terminal-patients-need-facts-about-dnr-tube-feeding

Terminal Patients Need Facts About DNR, Tube Feeding

NEW YORK–Good communication about the dying process can reduce fear and promote decision-making, but accurate information about resuscitation and artificial hydration and feeding is often not communicated, Judith C. Ahronheim, MD, said during a teleconference on communication of end-of-life issues organized by Cancer Care, Inc.

“In a setting of advanced metastatic cancer, the chances of surviving cardiac arrest are slim, and that should be communicated to patients,” said Dr. Ahronheim, an internist who specializes in geriatric care and is also deputy executive director for Choice in Dying, an organization that fosters patient autonomy in medical decision-making.

She stressed that when discussing Do Not Resuscitate orders, “it is very important to let the patient or loved one know that going without CPR will allow death to occur peacefully and naturally.”

Although patients in intensive care are generally receiving a number of life-sustaining treatments, people view the respirator as the prototype of the treatment they want to avoid at the end of life because they fear it will be uncomfortable and unnecessarily prolong life.

Dr. Ahronheim said that the respirator and accompanying treatments can be uncomfortable, but, she pointed out, many patients are sedated during this time, either intentionally with medication to keep them comfortable and keep their breathing synchronized with the respirator, or naturally because the disease produces a natural sedation.

If the Patient Is Alert

She noted that many people would rather be alert while on a respirator, but when they are alert, “the situation changes.” If the patient is expected to recover, use of the respirator is generally not an issue, but patients who are aware or fear that they’re going to die may be preoccupied with thoughts of dying and fear having the respirator disconnected.

“They need to talk about this in advance and be reassured that their dying can be made peaceful if they are taken off the respirator,” she said.

Dr. Ahronheim believes that myths have grown up around artificial hydration and nutrition, and thus patients may base their decisions about receiving such treatments on inaccurate information.

In her research (Clin Geriatric Med, May 1996), she has found four common myths .

Four Common Myths About Tube Feeding

  1. Tube feeding is ordinary care.
  2. Tube feeding prevents aspiration pneumonia.
  3. Tube feeding prevents a cruel, painful death associated with starvation.
  4. Swallowing evaluations can predict who will benefit from tube feeding.

With few exceptions, she said, there is little evidence that tube feeding provides comfort to dying patients. “In most cases, a patient will be more comfortable if food and fluids are given according to his or her desire,” she said.

Tube feeding also has many potential side effects and is often very poorly tolerated, she said. Theoretically, nasogastric feeding could impair swallowing and reduce the competence of the lower esophageal sphincter, while gastrostomy tubes might enhance gastroesophageal reflux, she commented.

As for preventing aspiration, Dr. Ahronheim said there is no reliable information that tube-fed patents do better or worse than impaired spoon-fed patients, and a review of the literature fails to demonstrate any evidence that any form of tube feeding reduces the risk of aspiration pneumonia.

Forgoing artificial nutrition and hydration at the end of life will not lead to a painful death, Dr. Ahronheim said. Rather, it is consistent with a peaceful and pain-free death, as occurs when a patient is in a coma. Life-sustaining treatments may awaken patients from this natural anesthesia, preventing death from occurring peacefully and naturally.

From Roseanne Miller–when the judge says “you are required to have an attorney” that’s a lie

One of the basic tenants of American jurisprudence is the freedom to hire any lawyer your want, even starting as young as age 12, and not have anyone else interfere with that right.  You even have the right to NEVER hire a lawyer.

After listening to hundreds of stories and  complaints about lawyers from running this blog, I have to say I am utterly apalled at what is actually going on in Illinois, and since the ARDC is too busy running its own schemes and scams to protect corrupt lawyers (Seth Gillman who bilked Medicare and Medicaid some $100 million up until the very day he turned states evidence, and then there’s Jerome Larkin, Sharon Opryszek, Stephen Splitt and Melissa Smart who lied about this blog and tried to shut it down illegally–even to the tune of using an unlicensed court reporter, I say shame on you.)

After all this, who in their right mind would want to hire a lawyer. There is NO true regulation of them via the ARDC, that’s a govt. scam also.

So read the decision in this case:

Click to access 2007-Ohio-3038.pdf

I know for a fact Judge Riley was telling litigants they “must” get a lawyer, and Judge Malone.  Stop that nonsense.

And if you write to Tim Evans and complain, he just tells people to get a lawyer when people complain HE is not doing his job and taking complaints about the judges seriously.

Here are the important excerpts from this case:

Appellants are correct. The Ohio Supreme Court has clearly ruled on this issue: “It cannot be questioned that an executor has the right to employ counsel to assist in the performance of various duties in the administration of an estate. The employment of counsel, however, is not mandatory as the executor may perform all such duties.” In re Estate of Deardoff (1984), 10 Ohio St.3d 108, 108, 461 N.E.2d 1292. The Supreme Court’s logic is apparent from the wording of R.C. 2109.03, which states that a fiduciary (which includes an executor) must identify an attorney “if any” who will represent him or her. The phrase “if any” clearly indicates that the retention of counsel is discretionary. Other courts have noted that “it is well settled that executors and administrators have discretion in selecting counsel to represent them in their role as fiduciary.” In re Estate of Craig (1993), 89 Ohio App.3d 80, 83, 623 N.E.2d 620. Since the executor, administrator, or personal representative has the option whether or not to employ counsel, the probate court cannot refuse to issue letters of administration simply because the person does not choose to retain the services of an attorney. {¶29} In general, a probate court’s decision regarding the granting of letters of administration in an estate is reviewed for abuse of the court’s discretion. In re Estate of Henne (1981), 66 Ohio St.2d 232, 421 N.E.2d 506. A court abuses its discretion when its decision is arbitrary, unreasonable, or unconscionable. In re Adoption of Ridenour (1991), 61 Ohio St.3d 319, 320, 574 N.E.2d 1055. Furthermore, abuse of discretion “connotes more than an error of judgment; it implies a decision which is without a reasonable basis, one which is clearly wrong.” Angelkovski v. Buckeye Potato Chips Co., Inc. (1983), 11 Ohio App.3d 159, 463 N.E.2d 1280, paragraph three of the -12- syllabus. If a court enforces a local court rule or policy that is diametrically opposed to clear Ohio State Supreme Court caselaw and statutory law, that would constitute an abuse of discretion. {¶30} From the outset, it is clear that even though various officers of the probate court referred to a local rule that required the fiduciary to obtain the services of counsel, we have not been able to locate any such rule in the published local rules of the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division. One of the probate court magistrates stated that this was actually an unwritten policy rather than a written rule. In a recent case that also involved the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division, this court held that the probate court could not rely on unwritten local rules to govern its affairs: “[T]here is no provision in the Rules of Superintendence for purely oral local rules. Sup.R. 5(A)(1) does allow courts to adopt written local rules of practice that do not conflict with other rules established by the Ohio Supreme Court. Sup.R. 5 also provides for a hearing and appropriate notice of the rule, and filing the rule with the Supreme Court. Obviously, if the rules must be filed with the Supreme Court, they must be written.” In re Estate of Traylor, 7th Dist. Nos. 03 MA 253, 03 MA 254, 03 MA 255, 03 MA 256, 03 MA 257, 03 MA 258, 03 MA 259, and 03 MA 262, 2004-Ohio-6504, ¶19, {¶31} This court has also ruled that the Mahoning County Court of Common Pleas, Probate Division, cannot attempt to expand its powers through the use of local rules that conflict with state law. In re Testamentary Trust Created Under Last Will & Testament of Ford, 7th Dist. Nos. 04 MA 255 and 04 MA 256, 2005-Ohio-5121. -13- {¶32} Part of the court’s rationale for requiring Norman C., as executor, to obtain the services of an attorney was to ensure that all the beneficiaries could be represented by counsel, rather than allowing the fiduciary to try to represent them in an unauthorized manner. There is some basis for the probate judge to be concerned about the unauthorized practice of law in this context, as R.C. 2109.03 specifically mentions the subject: “No probate judge shall permit any person to practice law in the probate court for compensation, unless he has been admitted to the practice of law within the state.” Yet the very next sentence in R.C. 2109.03 states: “This section does not prevent any person from representing his own interest in any estate, matter, action, or proceeding.” It should be apparent that representing one’s own interest, as a fiduciary, beneficiary, or in some other capacity in probate proceedings, does not automatically equate with practicing law. {¶33} The record here reflects a fundamental misunderstanding of the function of a fiduciary and the role of the fiduciary’s attorney in a testamentary estate. It is axiomatic that the position of executor and the position of attorney for the estate are two completely distinct offices and perform distinct functions in a probate estate. In re Estate of Duffy, 148 Ohio App.3d 574, 2002-Ohio-3844, 774 N.E.2d 344, ¶7. {¶34} In re Deardoff states: “R.C. 2109.03 provides that upon court appointment, the fiduciary has discretion to select counsel who will represent him during the administration of the estate. Under this statutory scheme, it is important to note that the attorney represents the fiduciary, not the estate.” Deardoff, 10 Ohio St.3d at 109, 461 N.E.2d 1292. Since the attorney represents the fiduciary and not the beneficiaries, -14- it does not matter how many beneficiaries there are, or who they are. The trial court’s apparent view that fiduciaries necessarily act as attorneys and its presumption that the fiduciary’s attorney necessarily represents the beneficiaries seem to underscore some serious difficulties in the practice of the probate court. {¶35} An executor, administrator, or other personal representative of a testamentary estate is a fiduciary, not an attorney. R.C. 2109.01 defines a “fiduciary” as “any person * * * appointed by and accountable to the probate court and acting in a fiduciary capacity for any person, or charged with duties in relation to any property, interest, trust, or estate for the benefit of another.” A fiduciary relationship is “one in which special confidence and trust is reposed in the integrity and fidelity of another, resulting in a position of superiority or influence acquired by virtue of the special trust.” Laurel Valley Oil Co. v. 76 Lubricants Co., 154 Ohio App.3d 512, 2003-Ohio-5163, 797 N.E.2d 1033, ¶40. The fiduciary duties of an executor are primarily to collect the estate assets, pay debts, and make distributions. The executor also owes various duties to the beneficiaries of the estate, duties involving keeping proper accounts, giving timely notice, preserving assets, and avoiding the commingling of property, as well as basic duties of trust and loyalty. Purposefully absent from this list of fiduciary duties is the duty to give legal advice, because that is the exclusive province of those duly admitted to the legal profession. Pietz v. Toledo Trust Co. (1989), 63 Ohio App.3d 17, 24, 577 N.E.2d 1118. {¶36} We cannot deny that a fiduciary may be tempted at times to disobey the law by giving legal advice. Green v. Huntington Natl. Bank, 4 Ohio St.2d 78, 212 -15- N.E.2d 585, paragraph two of the syllabus. Nevertheless, a fiduciary does not engage in the unauthorized practice of law simply by performing the functions and duties of a fiduciary, even though those functions and duties are sometimes similar to those performed by attorneys at law. Dayton Supply & Tool Co., Inc. v. Montgomery Cty. Bd. of Revision, 111 Ohio St.3d 367, 2006-Ohio-5852, 856 N.E.2d 926, ¶8; see, also, Green, 4 Ohio St.2d at 81, 212 N.E.2d 585; Judd v. City Trust & Sav. Bank (1937), 133 Ohio St. 81, 12 N.E.2d 288, paragraph three of the syllabus. Nor could the probate court simply assume that Norman C. necessarily would be practicing law by acting as executor. The judge had no legitimate reason for rejecting the application to administer the estate on the basis of unauthorized practice of law. {¶37} Appellants’ second argument is that the probate court erred in requiring a bond in all cases because Ohio law does not always require a bond in every probate estate, particularly when the will waives the bond requirement. Once again, appellants are correct, although some explanation is in order. R.C. 2109.04(A) states: {¶38} “(1) Unless otherwise provided by law, every fiduciary, prior to the issuance of his letters as provided by section 2109.02 of the Revised Code, shall file in the probate court in which the letters are to be issued a bond with a penal sum in such amount as may be fixed by the court, but in no event less than double the probable value of the personal estate and of the annual real estate rentals which will come into such person’s hands as a fiduciary. * * * {¶39} “(2) Except as otherwise provided in this division, if the instrument creating the trust dispenses with the giving of a bond, the court shall appoint a fiduciary -16- without bond, unless the court is of the opinion that the interest of the trust demands it. If the court is of that opinion, it may require bond to be given in any amount it fixes.” (Emphasis added.) {¶40} According to the statute, a bond is generally required unless the “instrument creating the trust,” which in this case is the decedent’s will, dispenses with the bond requirement. If the will does not require a bond, then the court “shall appoint a fiduciary without bond, unless the court is of the opinion that the interest of the trust demands it.” The word “shall” in a statute normally refers to a mandatory duty. Dorrian v. Scioto Conservancy Dist. (1971), 27 Ohio St.2d 102, 271 N.E.2d 834, paragraph one of the syllabus. Therefore, if the will does not require a bond, the presumption is that the court will not order a bond, unless it specifically finds that other factors necessitate a bond. Even under those circumstances, the bond amount would be discretionary with the court. {¶41} We are mystified, to say the least, why the probate court would have a policy or unwritten rule that bond is required in absolutely every probate case when the aforementioned statutes clearly indicate that no bond is required when the will dispenses with the bond. {¶42} There may be an indication in the record that Norman J. Usiak’s probate estate was estimated to be worth $95,000, and the court may have imposed double this amount as a bond. There is no indication that the court considered any factor in imposing this amount other than its own presumed rule that there must always be a bond posted. Although the probate court specifically says it relied on a local rule -17- requiring a bond in all such cases, we have not been able to locate this local rule, and if there were such a rule, it would conflict with R.C. 2109.04(A)(2). The probate court cannot automatically impose a bond when the clear statutory requirement is for the court to waive the bond requirement if the will waives the need for a bond. The only reason for imposing a bond in such situations is if the court makes a finding that the “interest of the trust demands” a bond. R.C. 2109.04. The probate court cannot artificially create this demand by simply having an unwritten rule that bond is always required. {¶43} It appears that the probate judge was concerned because Norman C. was not a resident of Ohio and believed that this fact gave rise to a bond requirement. R.C. 2109.21(B)(1) states: {¶44} “(B)(1) To qualify for appointment as executor or trustee, an executor or a trustee named in a will or nominated in accordance with any power of nomination conferred in a will, may be a resident of this state or, as provided in this division, a nonresident of this state. To qualify for appointment, a nonresident executor or trustee named in, or nominated pursuant to, a will shall be an individual who is related to the maker of the will by consanguinity or affinity, or a person who resides in a state that has statutes or rules that authorize the appointment of a nonresident person who is not related to the maker of a will by consanguinity or affinity, as an executor or trustee when named in, or nominated pursuant to, a will. No such executor or trustee shall be refused appointment or removed solely because the executor or trustee is not a resident of this state. -18- {¶45} “The court may require that a nonresident executor or trustee named in, or nominated pursuant to, a will assure that all of the assets of the decedent that are in the county at the time of the death of the decedent will remain in the county until distribution or until the court determines that the assets may be removed from the county.” {¶46} The statute clearly allows for out-of-state executors and specifically states that letters of administration cannot be denied simply because the executor does not reside in Ohio. The statute allows the court to demand an assurance that all the decedent’s assets will remain in Ohio, and Norman C. gave that assurance. The probate court’s insistence that there was some local rule with more severe bond requirements for out-of-state executors is contradicted by the court’s local rules themselves. Loc.R. 78.7(C) merely says that a bond “may” be required for an out-ofstate executor or fiduciary, not that a bond must be imposed.

From Ken Ditkowsky– Cook County Judge quits after 142 days, citing ethics concerns and lack of response from Timothy Evans

The Americans With Disabilities Act means nothing to our Courts!   Nor do human rights.   Even if you pay your dues to the “party” you had better ******
 

THE WATCHDOGS: Why Cook County judge quit after just 142 days

THE WATCHDOGS 05/05/2017, 05:15pm

Former Cook County Judge Richard Cooke, holding his judicial robe, at his Logan Square law office. | Max Herman / Sun-Times

At the orientation for what he thought would be his dream job, Richard Cooke says he and other rookie Cook County judges were told they should appreciate their ascension into “career paradise” — and never question the boss.

“This job as a judge, we were told, came with unbelievable perks: high salary, incredible respect, five weeks’ paid vacation, basically unlimited, compensated sick days, minimal supervision, great health insurance and an outstanding pension,” Cooke says.

Cooke mounted an aggressive effort to land the job as a Cook County judge last year, showering campaign contributions on political decision-makers to help him. Yet he quit the $194,001-a-year job on April 25 — just 142 days after being sworn in.

Offering an unusual peek inside the workings and internal politics of the judiciary, Cooke says there’s more to his leaving than the way his brief tenure has been portrayed by Chief Judge Timothy C. Evans’ spokesman, who says Cooke defied orders assigning him to traffic court. And he complains about the “sick culture” of the Cook County judiciary.

“I am not the egotistical judge who was too good to preside in traffic court,” he says.

After Cooke was assigned to preside over marriage ceremonies for a few months, Evans called him before the Cook County Circuit Court’s executive committee to explain his “noncompliance with his judicial assignment” to traffic court. The committee referred Cooke’s case to the state agency that has authority over judicial conduct.

Though he immediately resigned, Cooke says he had valid reasons for not accepting his assignment to traffic court. And he says Evans and other top judges punished him unfairly.

He says he quit rather than bunker in at the marriage court while his case moved through the Illinois Judicial Inquiry Board.

“I could have sat in the basement of the county building for years collecting over $200,000 a year in annual salary and benefits, all at the taxpayers’ expense, for doing close to nothing all day,” he says. “But I am unable to do that. That is not who I am as a person.”

Cooke, 50, is a Loyola University-educated lawyer. He also owns carwashes and gas stations in Chicago that have city, county and state contracts. That would have posed a “clear conflict of interest” when those government bodies had cases before him in traffic court, he says.

Because of those contracts, he says it would have been “a violation of the highest order of the ethical rules governing judicial conduct if I heard traffic court cases” and also if he presided over criminal cases.

Generally in such cases, Illinois Supreme Court rules say, “As soon as the judge can do so without serious financial detriment, the judge should divest himself or herself of investments and other financial interests that might require frequent disqualification.”

Cooke says he tried unsuccessfully to get his partners to buy him out but doesn’t think he needed to divest himself of his business interests because that would have caused him serious financial harm.

He also says his brief stint in traffic court proved difficult because he’s dyslexic.

“Using acronyms or reading handwritten cursive or sloppy printing is very difficult for me,” he says. “I had tremendous difficulty reading the handwritten tickets and charges that were the basis of why the defendant were in court.”

To run for judge, Cooke had moved from River Forest to an apartment he owns above his law office near the Logan Square CTA train station. That qualified him to run last year in the county’s Sixth Judicial Subcircuit.

He poured $660,000 into his campaign in the form of a loan. He gave more than $67,000 of that to other politicians, including the Democratic Party leaders who oversaw his slating as a judge candidate, records show. The checks went to four Democratic ward organizations in the subcircuit, House Speaker Michael Madigan’s Democratic Party of Illinois and the 14th Ward Democratic organization headed by Ald. Edward Burke, who oversees judicial slating for the party.

State records show Cooke also paid $40,000 for campaign help to a company owned by state Rep. Luis Arroyo Sr., D-Chicago, and his wife.

Most of Cooke’s loan to his own campaign went unspent. He says the main reason he put so much into his campaign fund was to scare away potential rivals and that he did that on the advice of Democratic ward committeemen. Sure enough, he ended up running unopposed.

On Dec. 5, Cooke put on his black judicial robe and was sworn in for a six-year term with other new judges. His family was there for the ceremony. In his pocket, he carried Mass cards from the funerals of his grandmother and grandfather.

“Now, finally, my dream was being realized,” Cooke says.

But soon, he says, he saw that he and other judges were being “conditioned not to express opinions that differed from that of Chief Judge Evans.”

Chief Cook County Judge Timothy Evans. | Sun-Times files

At a weeklong training program for new judges, he says, “Senior judges spoke openly that being a judge in Cook County was a career paradise. We were told that every judicial assignment is a good assignment and never, under any circumstances, question Chief Judge Evans.”

Cooke says his veteran colleagues also offered another tip: Don’t use the judges’ elevator at the Daley Center courthouse if you want to skip out of work early because reporters have been known to wait in the ground-level lobby outside the elevator doors.

“With a wink, during lunch, I was told that we were expected to work until 4 p.m. each day,” he says. “But I was also told how to sneak out of the Daley Center early through the concourse level.”

After orientation came the training stint in traffic court.

Cooke says he offered to go instead to even the least desirable civil courtroom. He also says he told his bosses that, alternatively, he’d go to a criminal courtroom but only if Evans put in writing that this couldn’t constitute a conflict of interest.

Cooke says he tried to meet with Evans about his issues with being in traffic court but his requests were ignored for weeks, until two aides to the chief judge offered to have someone sit next to him in court and read the ticket information aloud for him. Cooke says that would have been “ridiculous” and “embarrassing.”

The chief judge then met with Cooke on Feb. 1. “He said he was going to assign me to a call where my dyslexia and ethical conflicts would not impact me or the administration of justice,” Cooke says.

Cooke was sent to marriage court — which he calls “judge jail” — and says his life insurance was cut off.

“It has dim lights, broken and dilapidated furniture, stained carpeting, dirty walls, sagging ceiling tiles and is infested with roaches,” he says. “The boredom was intolerable. I felt as if I was stealing taxpayer money by collecting a salary. I was sitting and doing very little actual work.”

In the past, others assigned to marriage court have included a judge who had sex in court chambers and another accused of lying on a mortgage application. 

Every night, Cooke says he hung his robe in a garment bag in the closet of the marriage court office. Some mornings, he says, he found the robe stuffed into a garbage can.

He emailed Evans on April 24 to demand he reassign him. Within hours, he was summoned to a meeting the following day of the court system’s executive committee.

Judge Tommy Brewer. | Sun-Times files

Cooke says Judge Tommy Brewer questioned him at that meeting about how, given his dyslexia, he had received good ratings from bar associations.

Brewer, recently promoted by Evans to presiding judge of the Markham branch courthouse, had been hit with liens by the IRS for more than $227,000 in unpaid personal income taxes, the Sun-Times reported in 2015.

“It was surreal to have one presiding judge, who is well-known to be dealing with multiple IRS liens for non-payment of taxes, leer at me and question my conduct,” Cooke says.

Brewer says there “was some discussion” about Cooke’s dyslexia but declined to say more, saying he had to check first with Evans.

Cooke says he told Evans and the others on the judges’ committee he’d quit if they referred his case to the Judicial Inquiry Board.

Evans’ spokesman says Cooke “is making statements that are nonsense” and “insults the collective intelligence and dedication of the nearly 400 men and women who serve in the judiciary.

“Chief Judge Evans promotes a culture of professionalism and works to accommodate judges with any concerns regarding their service,” says spokesman Pat Milhizer. “If Mr. Cooke believes that he was being mistreated and is right in his assertions, then why didn’t he allow the JIB to place him under oath and then make his case? Instead, he resigned.”

Cooke acknowledges that clout ensured he got elected. But he thinks he was dealt with harshly because some of his backers pushed behind the scenes last year to take away the chief judge’s role that Evans has held since 2001.

Richard Cooke holds his unused judge’s nameplate. | Max Herman / Sun-Times

Now, Cooke says he is reopening his law office — and won’t ever run for judge again.

He has no regrets about quitting but wishes he got the chance to be a judge in a real courtroom. He says his brass judge’s nameplate, given to him after he took the oath of office, never was slid into a slot at the front of a courtroom. He still has it. It’s in the bubble wrap it came in.

kenneth ditkowsky

11:15 PM (5 hours ago)

to Ditkowsky, Probate, Bev, JoAnne, Jay, Andy, Robert, Janet, Nasga, Newseditors, Scott, Diane, Douglas, Glenda, Cynthia, KRISTI, Jeffrey, Fiduciary, Ginny, Richard, Candice, FBI-, ABAJournal.com, Rabbi, Angela
In case you missed it – please read the Watchdog article “Why Cook county Judge quit after just 142 day” again.
 
THIS TIME FUNCTION ON HOW MUCH IT COST TO RUN UNCONTESTED FOR JUDGE IN COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS!     Nb.   The Judge did not mention how much it cost him to be slatted!

From Ken Ditkowsky–where the real problem with Illinois corruption lies

Here in Chicago the murder rate is well over a murder a day and shootings are measured by the number per hour, rather than the number per month or year.     We have the strongest gun laws in the United States and the political elite call for more laws.    The big problem is that we have three criteria here in Illinois, to wit:

1.       Pass Laws

2.       Restrict freedom

3.       Complain bitterly and divert attention

Enforcement of the law is NOT an option as it could make someone who has some clout unhappy.     Let’s call a spade a spade.     Come election time, the gangs are important sources of votes for the dominant political party.    All those poor souls who lose children to gang violence are easily intimidated or fooled into voting against their best interests.     Need an example – take the last mayoral race.     Not only was the current mayor re-elected by all the minority alderman voted to ‘pay off’ the claimed family members of a youth who was shot 16 times by an alleged rogue policeman.      This payoff occurred because if the 4th Estate (the media) had  disclosed the perfidy the non-minority mayor would have gone down to defeat.

Racial discrimination and Jim Crow laws are still well protected in Chicago and in the State of Illinois.    Public Accommodations were denied to an icon of the Civil Rights movement and a lawyer who immigrated from Africa, obtained a number of advanced degrees, and citizenship made the mistake of complaining about a corrupt judge.    A public agency – the Illinois attorney registration and disciplinary commission and the Illinois Supreme Court forfeited his law license and his rights of citizenship.     Mr. Lanre Amu was convicted of practicing law while black!     Even the fact that the same disclosure that Mr. Amu made was affirmed and made by a respected business publication (Crains Chicago Business) did not prevent, mitigate, or in any way impede the perjury and Civil Rights violations committed by Jerome Larkin and his criminal co-conspirators.

 The nefariousness of the forgoing does not raise even a scintilla of protest from any of the media, civil rights organizations, opposition political parties, civil leaders or even the general public.        It is so sad!

Our president has vowed to “Make America Great Again”!       Is this another empty promise?      The answer to these questions are not available at this time; however, we all know that each of us will grow old and grow vulnerable.      Unlike our forefathers we are looking for government to provide us with health care so that our lives will remain fruitful as we grow more and more vulnerable;  however, once again we do nothing!       The corruption in the health care industry is so obscene that it is almost unspeakable.     There is a 700% fraud surcharge to the average medical bill and to even question or ask for an HONEST INVESTIGATION of the crimes associated with predation on the elderly can have serious side-effects to the questioner.     Mr. Larkin the administrator of the Illinois attorney registration and disciplinary commission is not satisfied with perjury, tax evasion, fraud ***** he wrote to the Illinois Supreme Court that a blog that disclosed judicial corruption was akin to “yelling fire in a crowded theater!”       (You cannot make this stuff up!)

 In a recent edition of the blog “Probate Sharks” the editor wrote the following:

 Editor’s note: This Shark reported that when Alice Gore’s daughter complained about a nursing home resident eating lunch off of a commode, the nursing home administrator took the only action he could.  He called the police on Alice’s daughter.  Lucius Verenus, Schoolmaster, ProbateSharks.com

This is our future!       Philip Esformes was indicted in the Federal Court in Miami of stealing a billion dollars from Medicare and the State of Florida health care fund.     The Esformes clan’s nursing homes are a legend here in Chicago!      It was revealed to me, and I believe my source that the Guardian ad Litem who orchestrated the travesty and the abuse of Alice Gore (and her family) was “kin” to Esformes and used Esformes facilities to complete the task of stripping the Gore estate of 1.5 million dollars and the grains of gold that were in Alice’s mouth as she lay helpless, alone, and dying!

 We do not need more legislation, nor do we need more complaining – we need LAW ENFORCEMENT!

18 USCA 371 and other conspiracy statutes draw the public officials – such as Jerome Larkin – into the ring of fire.     Larkin by his wrongful use of the mails and wire (and wireless) communications to cover-up the criminal activities and intimidate those who demand JUSTICE is as an example a public official who is culpable and also liable for the Federal and State Income taxes (including interest and penalties) due on the booty.      Larkin by his breach of the public trust is despicable and he his activity of teaching legal ethics should be moved from a public venue into a more restricted venue – jail!

  Honest and diligent Law enforcement is our salvation.     Government does not want Americans resorting to self-help!       What remedy does the parent of child shot on the streets of Chicago have?     What remedy did Alice Gore or Mary Sykes have?   ********         Maybe the remedy for you and me is *******!

Ken Ditkowsky

www.ditkowskylawoffice.com

From Joanne;

Please do not forget poor Jay Brouckmeersch who was killed last month in probate.  Her daughter fought for days to have her transferred to the ER when she needed IV fluids and a transfusion.  Finally Mother B. went to the NWMH Emergency Room where a worker from the Office of State Guardian actually called the hospital and told the ER doc “not to treat.”

The law is, once a patient reaches the ER, hospice or DNR or not, they MUST be treated.

What happened in Judge Quinn’s court when the daughter went there at least a half dozen times in just a couple of weeks prior to her mother’s death?  Well, as you might expect, basically nothing.

When Judge Quinn tried to ask about the signoffs for a DNR/hospice (which was illegal from the get go btw),  all the attorneys did was mumble.  No one had the paperwork and they didn’t even say they would get it to the judge!  It was like a courtroom of keystone cops, but at $300 per hour–billing the Mother, of course.

You can’t make THIS stuff up.

Now, Daughter Joy HAD her mother’s Powers of Attorney and she had cared for her mother for years.  So what did Judge Quinn do about that?  She summarily and illegally terminated them!  That’s right, no due process for either mother or daughter, she just took out a big old rubber stamp and said “suspended” which is the same thing as saying “mom, you’re dead.”  Why because the state takes over.

So why did they do all of this?  Because Northwestern Memorial Hospital has clout.  It has money.  It also has bad docs who overdosed mom on heparin and they didn’t want a malpractice suit, so they filed a petition for Letters of Guardianship because their tied in crony hospital/OSG guardian then would never sue them for malpractice.

But wait, it gets even better.  Apparently after an autopsy, it turns out Mother had pneumonia. Which means NWMH had Mother, didn’t diagnose the pneumonia and then they discharged her without treatment.

This is how we treat the elderly in Chicago.  And if I or Ken dares to complaint that the courts and the major hospitals are Snafu (military term, go look it up), WE get disciplined.  We get booted out and our names smeared.

While Larkin, Opryszek, Smart, Steven Splitt (who teaches attorney Ethics, of all things, go figure) and the Illinois Supreme Court couldn’t give a damn about the murders of 99 year old Alice Gore, 94 year old Mary Sykes, 92 year old Jay Brouckmeersch, 85 year old Alan Frake–all MURDERED in their precious and all so allegedly perfect court systems.

Today Paul Abramson faxed the Illinois Supreme Court and called them on the carpet about their perfidy in creating and running the cover up operation in Chicago and Springfield known as the ARDC or Attorny Regn and Disciplinary Comm.

Maybe you should too.

Otherwise our seniors will continue to be MURDERED in probate by the likes of Judge Quinn with impunity, just like the blacks gunned down in cold blood in the streets of Chicago.

The families of black youth get millions.  The families of the murdered elderly get their cases kicked out of the courts and covered up.

JoAnne

From Paul Abramson in Cal. to the Illinois Supreme court–Please DO SOMETHING about corrupt lawyers and courtrooms

Faxed to the Illinois Supreme Court today:

May 3rd 2017

Chief Justice Lloyd A. Karmeier
3101 Old Jacksonville Road
Springfield, IL 62704
(217) 558-4490
(217) 785-3905 (fax)

RE: Malfeasance –Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC) Chicago ILL

Your Honor,
I have faxed your office at least three times over the past several weeks favoring you letters as to the malfeasance that is transpiring at the ARDC office in Chicago Illinois. They have refused to ever prosecute any of the twelve complaints I have filed against Illinois attorneys. I know other victims of attorney abuse and corruption that have filed even more than that many complaints without prosecution of any as well. Apparently since the Governor of your state does not care and the Supreme court has over sight of the ARDC I am bringing this serious matter to your attention as unfortunately based on my experience the ARDC only takes action against attorneys that speak out against corruption (ie. JoAnne Denison) and not those that commit it. I await your action and response. Thank you for your time and help.

Truly Yours
Paul Abramson
****
Glendale CA ****
818-*****

From FB: Radio Show on What Happened to Willie Jo Mills?

Join us Wednesday night on F.A.C.E.U.S. with Robin and Lulu Host Sherry Johnston WHAT HAPPENED TO WILLIE JO MILLS? Sherry said her mom was overmedicated and shriveled to 89 pounds while under the care of the court-appointed guardians and looked like a concentration camp victim and barred from visiting her mother at Silverado Kingwood Memory Care Community after she complained about the lack of attention paid to her mom. *** Listen Here Live*** May 3, 2017. 6-8 pm PST/ 7-9 pm MST/ 8-10 pm CST/ 9-11 pm EST (7:00pm Colorado Time) Join online http://www.blogtalkradio.com/…/faceus-robin-lulu-host-sherr… OR call our GUEST LINE 845-241-9962. Press 1 to join the conversation. Willie Jo mills was an elderly lady that raised 3 children and was a widow since 1993. Willie Jo had a stroke in 2007, her son with a POA (Power Of Attorney) locked her out of her house in 2007- 2008, refused to share information with the family, tried to put Willie Jo Mills in Hospice, took all the money and hid it. The daughters filed a lawsuit against him and the judge froze the money. In retaliation, he filed an application for guardian and creation of 867 trust and forced Willie Jo Mills into a guardianship without any “DUE PROCESS’ Willie Jo’s home was sold and all her assets liquidated. Willie Jo was drugged on and off for 5.5 years and forced to live in an memory care facility with all her mental faculties intact, costing $7,000 a month for minimum care, her Probate Court case was in Harris County, Texas. Tune in to BlogTalk Radio Channel Hidden Truth Revealed F.A.C.E.U.S. with Robin and Lulu.

From Ken Ditkowsky–when a nursing home murders, fines are hapless, toothless and a slap on the wrist

Fines against unsafe nursing homes are considered a slap on the wrist

POSTED AUG 01, 2016 04:25 AM CDT

BY  STEPHANIE FRANCIS WARD


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Mary Mims. Photograph by Don Levey.

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Mary Mims has 32 years of experience working as a registered nurse, including time spent managing nursing home staffs. None of that could save the life of her mentally ill daughter, Letasha, who at the age of 36 died after an almost two-year stay at the Chicago nursing home Alden Wentworth.

Mims felt she could trust Alden Wentworth. After all, she once worked for its parent company, Alden Management Services, as an administrator overseeing various facilities, including the home where she placed her daughter.

“The mistake I made was gambling on the fact that these people knew me, and I trusted them to take care of my daughter,” Mims says.

Letasha Mims had been diagnosed with schizophrenia after she started showing symptoms in her 20s. Around that same time, Letasha stopped speaking. “I always felt that was a psychological thing, and whatever the trauma was, the health care system never got to the bottom of it.”

When assigned to outpatient care, Letasha frequently wandered away from home. Mims would have preferred to care for her there, but the need to work to support them both made that a practical impossibility. Finally, Mims decided that Letasha needed to be in a nursing home, where her condition could be monitored and Letasha would be safe. That proved problematic.

In the 11 years before her death in August 2014, Letasha Mims lived at six different nursing homes. Each move had been made necessary by Mims’ fear that her daughter’s safety was in jeopardy. As a registered nurse, Mims believed that at times her daughter was being overmedicated with sedatives and antipsychotic drugs; at others, Letasha had bouts with a highly contagious skin disease known as scabies. But Mims says she worried most about the potential for sexual assault because Letasha was placed in locked units, often with men diagnosed with mental illness and side effects of drug abuse. Many nursing homes often refuse to admit young women precisely because of the high risk of sexual assault. And in places that do, supervision is often scant.

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Letasha Mims shortly before her death. Photograph Courtesy of Mary Mims.

In February 2014, Mims was visiting Letasha after work when she realized that her daughter was running a seriously high fever. “I bent down to kiss her, and the heat was just coming off her,” says Mims. When Mims asked that Letasha be properly hospitalized for what appeared to be a life-threatening fever, the staff balked. “I had to insist that Letasha be sent to the hospital for evaluation because her fever was 104, in spite of having had a couple of rounds of antibiotics,” Mims says.

Letasha never returned to Alden Wentworth and died six months later in hospice care. Her fever had subsided, but never left. Mims believes that her elevated temperatures were the result of a pressure sore that developed into osteomyelitis. “She had a sacrum wound. It got infected down to the bone. She never recovered from that wound. She finally broke down, and that was the end of it.”

It was not the end of it for Mims. She has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Alden Wentworth. As a nurse and a former colleague, Mims says she had hoped for better treatment for her daughter. But Letasha’s last days at Alden Wentworth were spent in what Mims remembers as a cesspool of systemic negligence: days marked by urine-soaked linens, feces-laden toileting pads, aggravated bedsores, malnourishment and gangrene.

A FINE SYSTEM

The lack of regulatory response was even more galling to Mims. Illinois state regulators investigated the circumstances of Letasha’s death and found no wrongdoing at Alden Wentworth. As in many states, nursing home regulation in Illinois has become what some describe as toothless and sporadic. And a brief history of state intervention at Alden Wentworth before and after Letasha’s death suggests a curiously comfortable relationship between regulators and the regulated.

In 2010, the facility had been cited by the state for negligence involving the sexual assault of a female resident. Surveyors noted that the male accused in the incident had been allowed access to particularly vulnerable female residents—those with Alzheimer’s and dementia—before he had been evaluated for such a potential risk. Likewise, in 2010, a 41-year-old patient with a history of substance abuse had died of an overdose from a Fentanyl patch. Three weeks before his death the Alden Wentworth staff had dispensed to him both the Fentanyl patch and Vicodin, despite a hospital discharge instructing that he not receive narcotics. And in 2008, the home was cited for ignoring foot blisters on a 58-year-old paraplegic with Type 2 diabetes. By going untreated, the blisters became wounds deep enough to make visible the muscles in her feet.

Even had there been a finding in Letasha’s case, the actual outcome of the penalties associated with those earlier violations at Alden Wentworth suggests that any regulatory response would have been minimal. For the overdose death the facility was assessed $5,000. For failure to treat the diabetic, a $10,000 fine was reduced to $2,000. And for the negligence that led to the sexual assault, Alden Wentworth was assessed no fine at all.

This kind of significant fine reduction is a standard practice within the tangle of interdependent state and federal agencies that oversee nursing home regulation. In fact, it’s a regulatory system structured around administrative fines—fines that are reduced so routinely that they have become widely considered a cost of doing business rather than an incentive to provide quality care.

From 2014 through March 2016, the nation’s nursing homes had been fined $121 million for deficiencies, according to federal regulators. In addition, nursing homes that fail to correct deficiencies are at risk of losing Medicare or Medicaid payments for new residents until the corrections occur.

But on closer look, the fines are discounted, often automatically, as a matter of policy. Under federal law, nursing homes can waive their right to appeal fines and get an automatic 35 percent reduction. Between 2008 and 2012, Alden Wentworth was fined a total of $75,000, fines later reduced to $27,500. Between 2005 and 2014, the 27 homes in its parent company, Alden Management Services, were fined $976,675, later reduced by 65 percent to $342,245.

A similar pattern exists statewide. The  ABA Journal  analyzed  Illinois deficiency reports, which show that the state assessed $7.17 million in fines for 934 deficiency findings from 2010 to 2014—the most recent full year for which data was available. Those fines were ultimately reduced by an average of 42 percent to $4.17 million.

In Illinois, nursing homes can challenge deficiency findings through informal dispute resolution or administrative evidence hearings. Most deficiency disputes settle before reaching an administrative hearing, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, and it seems that the nursing home operators take full advantage.

For instance, 43 percent of the fines were reduced automatically when the homes cited waived their right to appeal the findings. Another 39 percent of the homes had fines reduced after administrative hearings. In other words, 82 percent of fines levied by Illinois regulators were reduced as a matter of policy.

Even when residents die in nursing homes, fines related to those cases are frequently and significantly reduced. Between 2004 and 2013, the Illinois Department of Public Health examined complaints related to 114 nursing home deaths. The state assessed a total of $3.6 million in fines from those cases. Yet that number was reduced to $1.6 million for final assessed fines. The average final fine amount for a death was just over $14,000.

To complicate matters, nursing homes also can appeal findings in federal administrative evidence hearings. Those rulings can be appealed, as well, to the departmental appeals board. And if a party disputes a DAB finding, it can be appealed to the federal court system. Thus, there is every incentive to delay, appeal or even ignore regulatory action.

“It can take five years or more to exhaust all of these steps, and at each step the fine might be reduced by settlement or an administrative law judge court decision,” says Joseph Bianculli, an Arlington, Virginia, lawyer who defends nursing homes in federal hearings.

Brian Lee, executive director of the advocacy group Families for Better Care, puts it more bluntly: “It’s more profitable for nursing homes to roll the dice with the potential for enforcement, or litigation, than to hire more staff, especially with some penalties being little more than slaps on the wrist.”

Taking care of people who need skilled nursing is a difficult job. Patients arrive with ailments such as dementia, immobility, blindness and respiratory problems, and are often in advanced stages of other diseases. Under these conditions, faltering health could give a false impression of substandard care.

“If you have problems like diabetes—and you’re wheelchair-bound or bed-bound and you’re incontinent—it’s not a surprise to see that pressure sores develop,” says James E. Phelan, a Chicago lawyer who has defended various nursing homes, including Alden, in personal injury lawsuits.

RISK AND REWARD

In Illinois, nursing homes receive $148.92 per day on average for each Medicaid resident. Home operators argue that amount makes it difficult to provide quality care and make enough money to stay in business. A plethora of laws at the state and federal levels make compliance a complicated and expensive process, and excessive fines would be counterproductive.

“If you look at its legislative history, the sole purpose of [fines] imposed by the government was to provide an incentive for providers to come into compliance. It’s remedial, not punitive,” says Alan C. Horowitz, a former federal regulator who now represents skilled care facilities on regulatory issues for Atlanta’s Arnall Golden Gregory.

“This isn’t about the nursing home; it’s about the residents. And if the nursing home is driven out of business or if funds used to pay civil money penalties are diverted from being used for … staff and/or equipment, the fines are not productive,” he says.

But nursing homes are profitable—a significant segment of the senior housing market. Welltower, a real estate investment trust specializing in health care real estate, reported $884 million in net income last year and holds $29 billion in assets. Alden Management Services, a far more modest system owned by Floyd Schlossberg, reported $18.6 million net income in 2014.

Michael Grice believes the sources of profit are personnel-driven. A quadriplegic with cerebral palsy, Grice spent two years in a Chicago nursing home he describes as chronically understaffed. Personnel often worked double shifts and call lights routinely went unanswered. Grice says he had to assert himself. “I was not going to tolerate not being changed and not being fed.” Grice, who now lives on his own, had to insist upon being turned every two hours to avoid pressure sores. But when he was lifted, he says, he was sometimes dropped—once resulting in a broken hip.

The home he was in is Southpoint Nursing and Rehabilitation Center on the Far Southwest Side, whose owners of record are Michael Blisko and Moishe Gubin. Between 2007 and 2014, nursing homes owned by the pair were assessed  $169,500  in fines on 15 separate deficiency reports. Those fines were reduced more than half, to  $75,565.  Blisko and Gubin’s homes reported net income of $5.2 million in the 2014 fiscal year.

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Michael Grice spent years in a Chicago nursing home he says was chronically understaffed. Photograph by Wayne Slezak.

Fines, even in such a profitable environment, do not need to be punitive to be effective, says David Hoffman, a former federal prosecutor who handled health care fraud and abuse cases. Based in Philadelphia, he now does reg-ulatory compliance consulting with nursing homes. He says that if a client doesn’t want to comply with regulation, he will fire them.

“It doesn’t have to be about banging providers over the head with fines, but there are some providers who need to be clubbed over the head.”

REGULATION MATTERS

The enforcement of nursing home regulations is managed by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. But the CMS relies on state health departments to investigate facility complaints and conduct annual surveys, and then share their findings with the federal government. When inspectors find problems, they list them as “statements of deficiencies,” which come with fines for serious infractions.

Deficiencies can include mistreatment of residents; failure to assist residents who need help with eating, drinking, grooming and personal hygiene; and failure to provide proper care to treat or prevent bedsores. Nursing homes must submit written plans of correction to the state for deficiencies cited, but these are not considered admissions of guilt.

Nursing homes can challenge findings through state administrative evidence hearings or informal dispute resolution. Challenging a fine may be a strategic decision, says Bianculli, the former regulator. He once had a client who appealed a $400 fine, believing that a successful appeal would stop future civil litigation.

“You have to decide in advance what part appealing the fine is going to play in terms of compliance, regulation and your business plan,” Bianculli says. “If you’re going to use the regulatory process to keep the surveyors from running amok or raise issues that need to be addressed, it’s good.”

The CMS makes the final determination for fines related to patients over 65 whose short-term stays are paid by Medicare. But states are responsible for determining fines related to patients whose stays are paid by Medicaid, the joint federal and state program that covers low-income individuals and pays for indefinite nursing home stays.

Of the numerous changes to nursing home regulation set out under the Affordable Care Act of 2010, only a few involved actual enforcement. For instance, proposed new rules would allow binding pre-dispute arbitration agreements between facilities and residents, limiting litigation as an option for residents, a change opposed by the American Bar Association.

In the ACA, nursing home regulation is focused on transparency issues—mainly  ownership and management records—hoping to help consumers make informed decisions about their nursing home choices. A pre-existing ratings system, for instance,  assigns ratings  based on qualitative issues such as health inspections and staff, as well as overall quality of care. But some are skeptical.

“I think that policymakers and politicians love the idea of public reporting of health care quality, because it’s intuitively appealing,” says Tamara Konetzka, an economist and University of Chicago professor who sits on a CMS advisory board. “If you tell consumers which nursing homes are high-quality, they will make their own decisions. Of course it’s much more complicated than that.”

Staff, and issues with staff, are key to a wide range of complaints and deficiency reports. If nursing homes used some of their net earnings to hire more staff, goes the logic, they’d have fewer regulatory deficiencies.

“Illinois is not unlike any other state that has problems, and the reason they have the problems is because they continue to have low staffing at nursing homes,” says Lee of Families for Better Care. “It always comes back to staffing. Whatever the issue is, the underlying problem always goes back to turning people and answering call lights.”

COST VS. CARE

Viewed bluntly, as some do, a regulatory system based almost solely on fines becomes more negotiation than administration, a system that pits cost against patient care. Even the optics of an investigation suggest as much, says Grice, who complained to no avail when his hip was broken after nursing home staff dropped him.

“When the Department of Public Health inspector comes to the nursing home, they may talk to the resident, and they may talk to some staff. Then they talk to the administrator and owner behind closed doors, and a resident never really sees what the end result is.”

Like Grice, Mims has little confidence in the system. “Sadly, the fines are not a deterrent to providing substandard care,” she says. “I absolutely believe that the large [nursing home] chain companies have attorneys that do nothing but fight these types of cases from leading to significant penalties or consequences.”

During the time Letasha was at Alden Wentworth, her mother spent most evenings with her. After a time Mims found herself feeding Letasha, who could no longer feed herself. Before leaving she’d give Letasha a sponge bath and dry her off. These were things the staff should have been doing, but did not.

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“I will never forget my daughter’s suffering and what she experienced at the end of her life,” Mims says. Photograph Courtesy of Mary Mims.

On weekends Mims brought home Letasha’s clothes to wash. On occasion, she says, her daughter’s clothes would disappear, and she might see other residents wearing the items. But she noticed that the clothing was frequently soaked with urine and feces. And when she complained about it, Alden Wentworth’s director of nursing ignored her concerns.

“Then I did a show and tell,” says Mims, who emptied a bag of Letasha’s dirty clothes in the director’s office. “A pee smell went all over her room, and I said ‘This is what I have to deal with every single week.’ ”

The woman told Mims that she’d handle the problem. She did, Mims says, and for a few weeks her daughter had clean clothes. “Then it went back to what it was.”

One day while picking Letasha’s dirty clothes out of the hamper, Mims noticed rodent feces at the bottom of it mixed up with the bed linens. She again went to the director of nursing and began lining the clothes hamper with garbage bags, thinking that would keep the rodents at bay. Then came the bedsores. Mims was usually the first person to notice them; because of her nursing experience, she knew that wounds would develop if her daughter was repositioned too infrequently.

Under Illinois law, residents who need skilled care are required to get 3.8 hours of nursing and personal care daily. Mims saw no evidence that Letasha was getting even the minimum. She thought a show of generosity might influence the staff to give her daughter better care. She brought them dinner on Thanksgiving, bought lotions and gels for them at Christmas and handed out boxes of candy on Valentine’s Day.

“That didn’t change a thing,” Mims says.

Calling attention to Letasha’s care problems didn’t help either. She frequently complained about Letasha being overmedicated, her bedsores and weight, which according to Mims dropped from 160 pounds to 107 during the Alden Wentworth stay. And as Letasha withered, Mims says, the staff seemed almost defiant.

“They knew I knew what to expect. They knew I knew the system, and they knew I knew the regulation like the back of my hand,” Mims says. “Here’s the problem that I have: That did not bother them. How do you neglect the resident whose mother knows all the regulation? Either you’re cocky, or you just don’t give a hoot.”

Mims began taking pictures of the wound that developed from Letasha’s unattended bedsore. The photos begin with what looks like a scrape, then progress to a gaping wound that exposes her sacrum. When she developed an infection, the staff tried unsuccessfully to treat it with intravenous antibiotics.

When the staff balked at removing Letasha to a hospital with a 104-degree fever, Mims decided it was a matter of money. “It’s an unwritten rule that you don’t send out residents. If the staff doctor gives the residents antibiotics and fluids, then the nursing home still gets to keep the Medicaid payments.” Mims insisted Letasha be moved. She died six months later in hospice care.

After Letasha’s death, Mims sent her photos to Illinois regulators along with her complaints. She was disappointed, but not surprised, when the department found no violations. “I think they had no intention of having any findings. There’s no way you could look at those pictures and not see that there was a problem.”

In 2014, Mims filed a wrongful death suit in Cook County against Alden Wentworth, one of 11 lawsuits filed against the facility in the past two years (see “Lawsuits Fail to Bring Improvements to Nursing Homes”). Omar J. Fayez, a Chicago lawyer who represents Alden Wentworth in the Mims suit, says his client has a policy of not discussing specifics in ongoing litigation. He told the  Journal  that his client “vehemently denies” any allegations of wrongdoing by Mims and her attorneys.

Mims has since left the nursing home industry, where she worked for 10 years. She now manages quality control for a program that provides health services to Medicaid recipients.

“I have no confidence with the regulatory system whatsoever. That’s the reason I’m not working in long-term care anymore. I knew I was fighting a losing battle,” Mims says. “I will never forget my daughter’s suffering and what she experienced at the end of her life. It is what keeps me driven to change this horrible system called long-term care.”

Jeff Kelly Lowenstein contributed research and editing to this story. He’s an investigative journalist who has worked on stories about nursing homes since 2004, and his previous coverage helped spark state and federal reform; in 2015 his work earned recognition from the National Press Club.

This article originally appeared in the August 2016 issue of the ABA Journal with this headline: “The Human Cost of Doing Business: Fines against nursing homes are routinely reduced and considered a slap on the wrist rather than incentives to provide better care.”

Sidebar

METHODOLOGY

The  ABA Journal  filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Illinois Department of Public Health to receive data on nursing home fines from 2010 to 2014, the most recent full year for which data was available. The request asked for, and the agency provided, information about the amounts and dates of the initial and final fines, as well as whether the facility decided to appeal the fine. The  Journal  used that information to calculate the percentage of fines that were appealed, the average time the IDPH took to arrive at a final fine and the amount by which the original fines were reduced. For the analysis involving fines and deaths, the  Journal  looked at quarterly reports posted between 2004 and 2013 on the IDPH website for all incidents where any facility in the state was fined at least $20,000. The  Journal  used the docket or incident number from the FOIA request and the website to confirm that they were the same.