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

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Among The Bee’s findings:

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

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

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

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

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

ADVOCATE STUNNED

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In January, a Sacramento judge dismissed the cases.

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

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

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

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

LINKED TO PRISON DRUGS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ON THE JOB AFTER HARASSMENT

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

HISTORIES ALARM COLLEAGUES

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

CRIMINAL CHECKS NOT UNIFORM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By then, Foster already was working for CPS.

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

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

US opens new mass facility in Texas for migrant children

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Question. When the stock market plummets, should not the probate courts send out warnings to all estates that are holding stock market based assets?

Numerous Illinois trusts and Estates, guardianship and decedent’s estates, are currently holding millions and millions in stock based investments.

What is the duty of the attorneys to warn, the court to warn, the judges to warn, beneficiaries to file motions to get those assets currently out of stock market based assets.

In 2008,I personally watched many clients when their Pension and 401K’s and other stock based assets plummet 50% or more when the US stock market dived and they had their funds in stock market based assets.

The federal deficit has blossomed into $22 million with tax cuts to the wealthy and fake tax cuts to the middle class and poor which people are now feeling.  The corona virus is expected to infect our food chain and limit food supply and affect exponentially food prices.  A bottom line.

The US stock market will follow these trends.  The US govt is doing nothing about this or ignoring it.

See these charts:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1zQNbZT47CaaDdudk6-XF06YIk5SheBMd

Warning: move your investments to bond and securities or get them into bank accounts, FDIC insured ASAP.  File Emergency Motions

From FB: Mary Bush files federal Writ of Habeus Corpus for her Mother abused in lock down nursing home; Federal Judge denies any relief to her

Not only did this horrible judge deny relief to Miss Bush, but he also told her the state court judge should have absolute immunity from harm to her.

Please write or fax the Senate Committee on the Judiciary and on Aging and ask that they intervene and free Mary Bush.

Original Article can be found at this link:

Pennsylvania: Federal Judge Denies Plea to Release Mom from Guardianship

Read on.

Federal Judge Denies Plea to Release Mom from Guardianship

  • The elder Ms. Bush resides in a care center where the Plaintiff Daughter says she is only allowed one paid visit per month for one hour.
  • “This legal form of kidnapping is happening in communities across the country, in many cases with little or no recourse available.”
  • Ms. Bush has appealed Judge Savage’s decision to dismiss and the case is currently pending before the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

A federal judge in Pennsylvania has denied a forlorn daughter’s pleas for the release of her aging parent from court appointed guardianship. In filing a petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Mary Bush was seeking redress for the right of communication and association with her 89-year old mother Genevieve Bush.

A group of adult children sued the state of Florida’s governor and attorney general in Florida Northern District Court, alleging that, under court appointed guardianship, their parents’ estate, assets, 401k funds, social security money, jewelry, cars and homes are being stolen.

The elder Ms. Bush resides in a care center where the Plaintiff Daughter says she is only allowed one paid visit per month for one hour, which is court ordered to be monitored by a Sheriff and an Adult Protective Services (APS) supervisor.

“The petitioner [Mary Bush] seeks to end her harassment and terminate her mother’s guardianship arrangement,” wrote U.S. District Judge Timothy Savage in his Nov. 18 Memorandum. “Because the petitioner [Mary Bush] is not in custody, she is not entitled to habeas relief. The petitioner, as a non-attorney, cannot proceed with this action on behalf of Genevieve.” 

A Writ of Habeas Corpus is typically reserved for prisoners incarcerated in a penitentiary but in her Oct. 15 Motion for Reconsideration of the federal judge’s dismissal, the Plaintiff Daughter Ms. Bush stated that the goal of her petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus is not just for the release of her mother but to ensure due process under the US Constitution.

“Petitioner Mary Bush filed as next friend on behalf of her mother Genevieve, clearly telling this court that her mother is isolated and has no means to communicate out of her incarcerated situation,” she said.

Ms. Bush’s federal complaint is one of many filed by adult children under various causes of action across the country that are highlighting the emerging downsides of adult guardianship programs, which are designed to help the elderly and people with disabilities to manage their lives. Instead, these programs have been plagued with allegations of neglect, abuse, starvation, over medication, wrongful isolation and financial exploitation.

In response to the increased number of adult children who are crying for federal authorities to intervene, members of Congress introduced HR 4174 on August 7, which is currently pending before the House Committee on the Judiciary.

“H.R. 4174 is definitely a step in the right direction,” said Richard Green, author of Agents of Deceit: The True Story of Life Inside Today’s Chaotic and Dysfunctional IRS, who rescued his own mother from court appointed guardianship in Tennessee. “It provides online resources for guardianships and makes grants for state oversight program that are independent of state courts, which are often corrupt.”

If enacted, HR 4174 would activate protections against elder abuse, exploitation and neglect under court appointed guardianship.

“This legal form of kidnapping is happening in communities across the country, in many cases with little or no recourse available, and recently in Florida directly resulting in a death,” said Florida Congressman Charlie Crist in a joint statement.

Probate court-appointed adult guardianships are designed to help the aging and people with disabilities manage their lives but in recent years a slew of federal and state lawsuits have been lodged across the country, alleging financial exploitation, civil rights violations, isolation, medical neglect, abuse, wrongful death and Americans with Disabilities Act violations.

In most American states, it is not uncommon for the elderly and people with disabilities to lose their individual rights around residence, visitation, choice of meals, health insurance, marital status, medical care, assets and property once they become a ward of the State under a guardianship ordered by a state or county Judge.

The plaintiff daughter in this case named Chester County Court of Common Pleas Judge Katherine B.L. Platt as a defendant, alleging that her mother has been allowed to suffer neglect, abuse, improper medical care and treatment.

“Defendant Judge Katherine B.L. Platt cannot provide any legitimate reasons or grounds for the restraint and detention of Genevieve Bush and Mary Bush,” wrote the Plaintiff Daughter in her petition. “This writ thus stands as a safeguard against ongoing imprisonment, loss of rights and liberties of both mother and daughter being targeted in violation of the law and guaranteed rights.”

When asked for comment, Stacy Witalec, spokesperson for Pennsylvania courts and judges, said that no information can be provided.

“Defendant [Judge Platt] has been maliciously inciting public hatred towards petitioner that has resulted in physical attacks, injury, further identity thefts, financial destitution and continued irreparable harm,” stated Ms. Bush in her brief.  “Petitioner can prove that she and her mother have been intentionally targeted by defendant, Judge Katherine B.L. Platt, for cash and property.”

However, the Honorable federal judge Savage ruled that even legal or factual error, personal malice or the performance of an act in excess of jurisdiction will not remove the cloak of the Honorable Judge Platt’s judicial immunity.

“The Defendant [Judge Platt] is protected by judicial immunity,” Judge Savage wrote. “Only when a judge performs a non-judicial act or acts in a “clear absence of all jurisdiction” is the protection of judicial immunity lost.”

Ms. Bush has appealed Judge Savage’s decision to dismiss and the case is currently pending before the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia.

“Convicted felons have more rights, freedoms and protections,” she said. “Mary and Genevieve Bush have committed no crimes.”

 

More court documents in the Miriam Solo Executor of a $28 million estate of Ralla Klepak

Link to the documents can be found here:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1lKiJWm8k0oh-IXGg3rsDFu2MkZT6c7RU

On November 12, 2019, Miriam Solo (aka Soloveichik/Grienfield/Faskowitz) filed a Petition for Authority to disburse funds from the Estate of Ralla Klepak to various charities:

a. Victory Gardens Theater for $100,000

b. Steppenwolf Theater for $100,000

c. Northlight Theater for $100,000

d.  WFMT for $50,000,

e.  John Marshall Law School for $250,000, etc.

You get the point.  The petition was supposed to be presented on January 8, 2020. It was filed with a proposed order.

However the day before, on January 7, 2020, the Illinois state ATG filed an appearance in the matter, Kawme Raoul and Pasquale Esposito.

After a file check, it appears most of the file is missing, including any order from January 8, 2020.  In addition, it appears that the January 8, 2020 order never issued.  The Probate Clerk’s offices are investigating and looking for the order, if it was in fact issued.

No inventory has been filed in the case, but as the estate is an “unsupervised” type, no inventory is required to be filed.

I will inquire further of the state ATG and see if I can get them to provide any information on the distribution of such large amounts of cash to various charities.

From BC: More documents show Miriam Solo a threat to Alice Gore’s well being

For documents referred to in this post, see the following link:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_Z_h-7aC9Lyl3rJY_og8zSUqLnMTrLjf

Probate case No. 06 P 482, Circuit Court Cook County, Daley Center
In re Alice Gore, a disabled adult, age 95
Judge: Kowamoto
GAL: Miriam Solo (aka Soloveichik, Greenfield, Fisk)
Atty for Bev Cooper, daughter and prior guardian: Karen Bowes, Rinella and Rinella

Our story begins in April 2007. Mother Alice Gore is subsisting in an abusive nursing home chosen by the Cook County Guardianship court with the approval of numerous attorneys, including Miriam Solo and other courtroom vendors, including Benjamin Topp, MSW from Rehab Assist. None of these persons, during this story, appeared to report the egregious abuse to anyone, nor did they seem concerned at all that 95 year old Alice Gore was placed in a nursing home with inadequate crappy food, had no bed linens and was sleeping directly on a plastic mattress, had constant bed sores, and was often found dirty and smelly. The room she was in often had a pervasive foul odor of urine.

On April 3, 2007 Bev Cooper sent an email to her attorney Karen Bowes asking her to get a detailed invoice of the $6,000 per month from Lakeview Nurwing home for her mother’s care.

She notes that the food is insufficient in the amount and nourishment and the “caloric value is zero”. P. 1 This is of crucial concern because her mother, Alice Gore has lost some 48 lbs recently and she should be on a high calorie, highly nutritious diet.

At the time, Alice Gore is 95.

Mrs. Cooper further complains that the court has put in place her mentally ill daughter, Kimberly Cooper who has been in and out of mental facilities all her life and struggles with mental illness. She notes that Kimberly Cooper has had 54 placements over the years in metal health facilities.

She also notes that Alice Cooper has “failure to thrive” and was diagnosed with pneumonia. P.1

P. 2. Mrs. Cooper is concerned that the deliberate weight loss is so the nursing home may perform an unnecessary procedure and insert a feeding tube. Mother eats slowly and Bev Cooper has been faithfully chopping and feeding her mother which is a task the nursing home does not want to be bothered with.

P. 2, § 2, Bev Cooper is concerned that mother’s pinky finger is broken, black and infected.

At the top of page 2, she notes her mother has a bed sore on her back. Bed sores in nursing homes are considered malpractice and negligence per se.

Mrs. Cooper notes she saw a “gentleman in a wheelchair” who was left in place for six hours, two hours before she came, and four hours while she was there.

Page 3, Mrs. Cooper complains to her attorney Karen Bowes of Rinella and Rinella that her mother is not being fed properly and has been diagnosed with “failure to thrive”

She further complains that her mother is not being hydrated and does not have access to water or a water pitcher.

She complains that her mother (who has recently lost 48 lbs) is grossly underweight. Mother has no bed linens but sleeps on a plastic sheet. Mrs. Cooper notes this is a classic case of “elder abuse”. Page 4.

On April 15, 2007, Bev Cooper complains the temperture in her mother’s room was 85 degrees and an overwhelming smell of stale urine in the room. Again, there is no sheet on her bed and Mother is sleeping on a plastic mattress cover. Page 4.

She complains that her mother is dangerously underweight, but gets low calorie and low fat and low protein meals.

Page 4A, Attorney Miriam Solo (aka Soloveichik/Greenfield/Faskowitz) threatened to file complaints against any attorney that tried to help my mother, gave guardianship and power of attorney for health care to my daughter Kimberly who has a long documented history of mental illness and has been psych hospitalized many times, threatened to put a feeding tube in Mother in retaliation for my complaints which would prevent her from ever eating again, threatened me and my lawyer, the judge will never listen to my complaints of egregious elder abuse my mother has suffered. Page 4A.

Bev Cooper complains her mother is constantly hungry, thirsty, filthy, smelly, ulcerated and underweight–in the nursing home which Solo arranged for Alice Gore which is far from daughter Bev Cooper’s home in Highland Park. The nursing home is on Diversey Parkway in Chicago. Page 4A.

On April 22, 2007, Bev Cooper complains to her attorney regarding the threats of inserting a feeding tube against Mother’s wishes and consent, that it would be a dangerous and ill advised procedure in light of her “distended bowel”. Page 5.

On page 6, the issue of bed sores or pressure sores continues. These are per se malpractice for any nursing home, yet Miriam Solo insists that Mother Alice Gore be kept in this nursing home.

Although the nursing home is being paid $6,000 to care for Alice Gore, instead of moving her to a competent nursing home near daughter Bev Cooper, the attorneys recommend a private duty nurse (paid for by the Estate) to come every day to care for Alice Gore. Page 6.  This drives up the cost to care for Alice Gore by thousands per month–money that is given to preferred court room vendors

Page 7, regarding the nursing home chosen by Miriam Solo, Bev Cooper responds “I would not keep my dog in [this nursing home]”.

Page 8, things improve at the nursing home, but Mother still is not provided with a linen sheet on her bed and she continues to sleep directly on a plastic mattress covering.

Page 8, a CNA explains the improvements were due to the fact the state was coming to inspect the nursing home, but the CNA warned after the inspection, things would go back to normal–no good food, dirt and filth and residents ignored for hours at a time with no assistance.

Page 9, on April 25, 2007 Dr. Baumash recommends that Mother Gore be transferred to a nursing home in Highland Park. This never happens.

Page 10. On May 1, 2007, Bev Cooper continues to complain to her attorney, Karen Bowes to insist that she advocate for Alice Gore because Mother is being abused at the nursing home. Case Manager, Benjamin Topp, MSW from Rehab Assist is involved and he is doing nothing about the situation.  The situation does not change at all for poor Alice Gore.

Page 11. On May 1, 2007, daughter Bev Cooper complains that her mother had been placed in a room with an ill patient that had created a “bio hazzard and contaminated room”. This was a dementia patient who for 7 hours continuously spewed vile language. The patient was tied to her wheelchair for 7 hours, until she managed to escape and fell to the floor.  It is not know if this person was ever helped after that and when they were helped.

On April 30, 2007, daughter requests her mother be weighed, but the weighing process was done with her mother in a sling with blankets and pillows and a result of 111 lbs. Despite repeated requests by daughter Bev Cooper to take Mother’s weight with the right procedure and the right equipment (a chair scale), this never happened.

On page 12, Bev Cooper’s complains that it appears the nursing home called the police on her for simply asking her mother be removed from a contaminated room with a vile roommate, a bio hazard situation and that her mother be fed fresh foods (see below).

On page 12 to 13, Bev Cooper complains that the puddings served to her mother have expiration dates of 2001-2002 and the food in the containers is clearly degraded.

Finally, on page 13, Bev Cooper notes that now Miriam Solo has brought an “order of protection” against Bev Cooper because she advocates for her mother and will not tolerate the filth, bad food, lousy living conditions of Lake View Nursing home. Co conspirators in the abuse, besides Mirima Solo include: Rehab Assist, Michael Elkes, etc.

On page 14, Bev Cooper again complains to her attorney about Benjamin Topp doing nothing about the elder abuse her mother is suffering. She asked Heidi Kronenberg, a case manager from Rehab Assist to also help end the elder abuse her mother is suffering and for the credential of Rehab Assist and were they properly licensed by the State of Illinois. She received no action and no response on an entirely reasonable request. Page 15.

On page 16, the court orders that Bev Cooper can only visit her mother with a court ordered supervisor, Jeanette Lounghein for a maximum of 5 days per week and that the supervisor can terminate visitation at any time she deems fit. Kindred Guardian Services will continue to provide a private duty nurse (at a nursing home? Really?) P. 17. A citation continues to remove Bev Cooper as Guardian of the Estate (for protecting her Mother from abuse). The court order mentions nothing about the abuse of Alice Gore. Pages 16 to 18. Order was entered Aug. 28, 2007.

On May 14, 2008, Bev Cooper writes to Judge Timothy Evans, the Chief Judge of the Circuit Court about the abuse of 95 year old Alice Gore. Page 19.

She complains about the continuing abuse of her mother and how both Miriam Solo and Judge Kowamoto have continued to aide and abet the abuse and/or cover it up by not allowing Bev Cooper to speak in court.

On Page 20, Bev Cooper complains bitterly about Miriam Solo’s complete lack of ethics and how she inserted herself into an estate in Florida, when it appears that Miriam Solo and her siblings are completely related to that decedent and she has directly, or indirectly appeared to have filed false affidavits and pleadings with the Florida court system;

Page 21, Bev Cooper has a chronic cough and finger nail fungus which is never treated at the nursing home. She continues on in detail about how her mother’s life has constantly been threatened by the inadequate care received at Lakeview Nursing home, and how the attorneys and judges aided and abetted the elder abuse as well as tried to cover it up in court.

Page 22, Bev Cooper notes that the cost of all the court room vendors, case managers and supervisors has run up the bill on the nursing home to $20,000 per month.

Page 23, Bev Cooper details how Miriam Solo wtihdrew her brother from an Estate in Florida because her brother, Mordechai, is on disability and she did not want him to lose his disability, but that is nothing but public assistance fraud.

Page 24. Judge Timothy Evans expressed in a letter to Beverly Cooper, he is not concerned about the situation with Alice Gore but has pushed the matter over to presiding judge Henry Budzinski. No assistance whatsoever comes from either Judge Timothy Evans or Judge Henry Budzinski for Alice Gore’s abuse and trauma at Lakeview Nursing home.

Page 26, on June 3, 2008, Bev Cooper writes a letter to the Chief for the Illinois Dept. Of Public Health complaining that they are wrong to do nothing about the egregious abuse and torture of poor elderly Alice Gore. They had sent photos and numerous documents to back up their claims of abuse at the nursing home.

Page 27, response letter from the Illinois Dept. Of Public Health, which regulates nursing homes. Page 28. The finding was “no violation” by Lakeview Nursing Home.

Page 29, Bev Cooper’s letter to the FBI dated June 16, 2008 in which she details the corruption in the Cook County Guardianship Court and the facts of her mother being abused while a ward of the state of Illinois. The FBI does nothing.

Page 31, Bev Cooper writes to the Chief Judge in Bartow, Florida about the fraud perpetrated by Miriam Solo and siblings in the Irving Faskowitz case. Judge Langford does nothing.

Page 32. On July 22, 2008, Bev Cooper is finally banned from seeing her Mother, due to all the complaints she filed with the ARDC, the Judges and Presiding Judges and Chief Judges and the Nursing Home regulatory agencies with the state of Illinois. Atty Miriam Solo is discharged but replaced by Atty David Martin.

Page 37. On July 14, 2008 Case Supervisor Annette Jungheim resigns but complains about “inappropriate comments” being made by Bev Cooper. No one ever says what the comments are or why they are inappropriate in or out of court.

Page 38. A Motion to Terminate Visitation is also filed by Miriam Solo. The fax date is 8/6/08. The inappropriate comment is that people were trying to “kill” Mrs. Gore. But it would appear by placing her in a contaminated, bio hazard room, and by ignoring her severe weight loss of 48 lbs, and feeding her bad food, inadequate food, etc. it would appear that people were abusing and torturing Alice Gore and that at 95 she could easily end up dead from the abuse and torture that no one ever seemed to correct or care about, from the Presiding Judge of Cook County, to the presiding Judge of Probate in Cook County, to the guardianship judge, Lynn Kowamoto. § 7 seems to indicate that speaking truthfully about a severely abused elderly woman, is somehow “emotional abuse” and requires that Bev Cooper seek therapy. Page 39, second paragraph. Of course, no one thinks that Judge Evans, Budzinski, Kowamoto, or Attorney Miriam Solo or the social workers from Rehab Assist are the real one who need therapy because they do not seem to take action or care when an elderly person is being tortured and abused at a crappy nursing home like Lakeview.

Page 44. Miriam Solo claims that Bev Cooper appears to have “serious problems” because she wants to protect her Mother from abuse. Miriam Solo appears to be asking attorneys Michael Norris and Phillip Tortorich to help her to cover up the abuse and not let Bev Cooper into Lakeview nursing home to check on her mother’s well being.

Page 45. Incredulously, Miriam Solo, as GAL petitions the court to put Kimberly Cooper in place as the Guardian for 95 year old Alice Gore. Miriam Solo has been told about Kim’s long history of mental illness, her frequent psych hospitalizations and the fact that she is psychotic, engages in reckless and dangerous behaviors. Miriam Solo puts Alice Gore in harm’s way with this court filed document.

Page 47, a sister warns the court that Kimberly Cooper is psychotic and should not be appointed the guardian of anyone. Sister Shannon Sandow is concerned that her grandmother is “dying and not receiving proper care.”

Page 48, Beverly Cooper files a Motion to vacate her removal as guardian. She states that the “evidence” used to remove her were unspecified allegations which were not made under oath or supported by any evidence.

I would like to than Bev and Ken Cooper for sharing these documents with us.