Available on Etsy as a fund raiser. Search RGG lace lace sparkle collar. $50 free shipping.
|kenneth ditkowsky||Thu, Sep 17, 8:58 PM (7 hours ago)|
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HHS and the Sheer Stupidity of Giving for-Profit Nursing Homes MORE Money -Covid
OPINION – No Amount of Money is Going Incentivize a Morally Bankrupt and Profit Centric Nursing Home Owner/Operator/ Manager to Improve Care to Patients – More Oversight is Required
Whomever thought up the idea that shelling out MORE money to nursing homes, their owners, managers, wealthy entrepreneurs and magnates to reduce Covid-19 numbers doesn’t seem to understand the dynamics of the nursing home industry. In fact, that idea represents an utter and complete disregard for the entire history of the nursing home industry, the coining of money that occurs and the harrowing lack of oversight that lead to Covid-19 deaths.
It was not about a lack of funding for appropriate care. The deaths were caused by greed. The stockpiling of PPE (and respirators) so they could be traded or sold on a secondary market, represented greed.
The obscene amounts of money that has already been given to fabulously wealthy owners, operators and magnates in the form of PPP and EIDL loans has only allowed the wealthy to get wealthier. It has improved nothing else. And, you cannot buy a conscience with that money, which would be what is required to stop improve the quality of life of every individual currently residing in nursing homes and to prevent further death when Covid-19 ravages these homes again.
To many of the owners, operators and managers in for-profit care nursing and rehabilitation centers, a patient represents an equity interest in a financial gain, whether that gain is in the form of Medicare/Medicaid or private insurance, or in the form of a life insurance policy after a patient has died. Nursing care is not about improving the lives for human beings, the vulnerable and the most in need of care and compassion. It is not about preventing a spread of a deadly virus.
For every person who died from Covid-19, the owners, operators and magnates made money on life insurance policies where they didn’t on some other death benefit or healthcare payment. The owners, operators and managers are all but printing money in the basements of some of these homes, coining it. They DO NOT need more money. What they need is oversight.
For many of these nursing home owners, operators, managers and the equity interested individuals, providing additional access to money is like giving an opiate to an addict. You cannot instill in many of these individuals a sense of moral obligation to do right by their patients, clients and families. These people are not morally challenged they are morally bankrupt and the money only feeds into an ability to obtain more equity on human life and death.As the scandal perpetuate (but are covered up by the media) it is apparent that an HONEST INVESTIGATION by a specially impaneled GRAND JURY is required. The miscreants can and have purchased justice to the detriment of population they are supposed to service.
Our trusted public servants cannot and/or will not do the tasks that they were elected to do. In certain situations the failure is due to incompetence, but in too many circumstances it is pure greed.
If anyone needs a reminder of just how ‘dirty’ the HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN GRANDMA is, all they have to do is look at some of the cases. The Sallas case 07 P 5360 is a clear example. The public guardian certain knows all about 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22, yet he acted allegedly in concert with the ByLine Bank in a scheme to have Amelia Sallas sign loan documents that the Illinois Legislature made it a crime for the Bank to have Amelia sign them
How will the criminal action descried in 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 be addressed? Given the current pattern of ‘cover up’ in the Illinois Courts – it will be swept under the rug. If enough storm and drama is generated we will be offered more useless legislation. The miscreants will take their booty hide it and not be bothered to pay the INCOME TAXES due. In fact the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary commission will hurry to the aid of the miscreants and ignore their collective duties and their ethical considerations mandated by ABA Rule 8.3. The FIX IS IN!
Dean Sallas’ life was threatened for speaking up for himself. What will happen to him if he is successful in seeking Justice? The death threat to Sallas has been ignored by the authorities!
On Thursday, September 17, 2020, 02:52:50 PM CDT, kenneth ditkowsky <email@example.com> wrote:
Nursing home mogul Philip Esformes sentenced to 20 years for $1.3 billion Medicaid fraud
By DAVID JACKSON and MARIO ARIZASOUTH FLORIDA SUN SENTINEL |SEP 12, 2019 AT 7:57 PMChicago Tribune reporter David Jackson explains how wealthy nursing home operator Philip Esformes allegedly became the orchestrator of a $1 billion Medicaid and Medicare bribery and kickback scheme. Oct. 4, 2016.
Former Illinois and Florida nursing home mogul Philip Esformes wept and pleaded for mercy Thursday before being sentenced to 20 years in prison for what the U.S. Justice Department called the largest single health care bribery and kickback scheme in American history.
A separate hearing will be held in November to determine the amount of money and property Esformes may be required to forfeit.
Esformes, who once controlled a network of more than two dozen health care facilities that stretched from Chicago to Miami, garnered $1.3 billion Medicaid revenues by bribing medical professionals who referred patients to his Florida facilities then paid off government regulators as vulnerable residents were injured by their peers, prosecutors said.
Philip Esformes, shown in 2015, once controlled a network of more than two dozen health care facilities that stretched from Chicago to Miami, (Rob Latour / Rob Latour/Invision/AP)
He housed elderly patients alongside younger adults who suffered from mental illness and drug addiction — sometimes with fatal results. In Esformes’ Oceanside Extended Care Center in Miami Beach, “an elderly patient was attacked and beaten to death by a younger mental health patient who never should have been at (a nursing facility) in the first place,” prosecutors wrote in a pre-sentencing memo.
As he handed down the sentence, Judge Robert N. Scola Jr. said the length and scope of Esformes’ criminal conduct were “unmatched in our community. … Mr. Esformes violated the trust of Medicare and Medicaid in epic proportions.”
But Scola meted out a punishment significantly less than the 30 years prosecutors requested, saying Esformes also had an extraordinary history of helping people in need. Attorneys for Esformes had described him as a selfless philanthropist who had donated more than $15 million to synagogues, schools and needy individuals, often anonymously.Said Scola: “I think he should get some consideration for his philanthropy, although it’s dangerous to say because he was stealing money from Medicare, so people might say he was giving that money to charity. But the vast majority of the money he made, he made legitimately. More importantly he was a true friend to people known and unknown to him, and that is worthy of mitigation.” (comment – pure BS! It has been suggested that when money was given to a charity the charity had to kick back under the table. The Omnicare scandal also is an interesting situation.)
In arguing for a 30-year sentence, prosecutors said his yearslong bribes-for-patients schemes involved the corruption of medical professionals and government regulators, and entailed grievous injuries to a massive number of elderly patients.
“Miami is the epicenter of health care fraud, there was no one like Philip Esformes, he was king,” prosecutor Allan J. Medina told the judge in court Thursday.
Many of his younger, drug-addicted patients spent the daylight hours wandering the streets of Miami while he collected government payments for services that were never delivered, prosecutors said.
“Phillip Esformes used deceptive and calculated means to orchestrate a fraud of the magnitude that we have not seen before,” Medina said. “People who needed to get better, who wanted to get better, they had no shot.”
“His fraud involved thousands of patients, 16 nursing homes, the systematic payment of bribes, a complex web of bank accounts, and brazen obstruction of justice to try to prevent it all from coming to light,” prosecutor Elizabeth Young wrote in a sentencing memo filed with the court this week.
Esformes, who has been in maximum security detention for 37 months since his 2016 arrest, called himself a shattered, repentant man when he stood before the judge. His shoulders drooped beneath his baggy khaki prison shirt as he began rocking back and forth.
“I want to apologize to, your honor, the United States. Sorry. And my community.” As Esformes began to recite the names of his children, he briefly became incoherent. Groans and cries of “Oh God!” escaped from his family and supporters in the gallery.
“I’ve lost everything I love and cared about with the utmost intensity,” he said. “There is no one to blame but myself, me.”
While preparing his defense, Esformes told the judge, he had listened repeatedly to wiretapped conversations that revealed him arranging bribes. “I am disgusted by what I heard,” he said, at one point pounding a courtroom podium with his fist. “The Phil Esformes you heard was reckless … an arrogant man.”
Esformes said he was studying the Torah and praying for redemption. “I won’t miss that opportunity,” he said.
Prosecutors said Esformes should be forced to pay $207 million in restitution to Medicaid and Medicare; attorneys for Esformes sharply questioned that amount in court Thursday.
Judge Scola closely questioned prosecutors about how they calculated the value of the Medicaid proceeds Esformes stole over the years, ultimately finding the loss to be between $4.8 million and $8.3 million.In this 2011 court deposition, lawyers from Chicago’s Goldberg Kohn firm questioned Philip Esformes about how he and his father worked together.
Federal authorities arrested Esformes at one of his $2 million estates on the Miami Beach waterfront in 2016 and immediately placed him in the Miami Federal Detention Center.
At the time, he had a net worth of $78.9 million in bank accounts and investments, and hardly any debts, according to court papers filed by prosecutors. He maintained a Chicago Water Tower penthouse and a mansion in Los Angeles.
Esformes was deemed an extraordinary flight risk in part because he had been caught on a wiretap offering to help his business partner Guillermo Delgado flee from the U.S. to avoid prosecution as the federal investigators closed in on them.
Delgado, who helped Esformes defraud Medicare for mental health and prescription drug services, instead helped federal investigators bring Esformes to justice. He and his brother Gabriel Delgado are now serving prison time.
In one of Esformes’ crimes, prosecutors said, he used some $300,000 in stolen Medicare and Medicaid proceeds to bribe the head men’s basketball coach at the University of Pennsylvania to admit Esformes’ son to the school.
That coach, Jerome Allen, pleaded guilty in October to a money-laundering charge related to the Esformes bribes. He testified as a government witness against Esformes at the Miami trial. Allen received a probationary sentence and is now in his third season as an assistant coach with the Boston Celtics.
The dozens of nursing facilities Esformes ran with his father and business partner Morris Esformes for decades earned millions of Medicaid and Medicare dollars annually despite repeated federal law enforcement probes and Chicago Tribune investigations alleging substandard care and incidents when disabled patients were assaulted by fellow residents.
“Instead of changing his ways or expressing remorse after these settlements, Esformes simply altered his criminal scheme to avoid detection,” prosecutor Young wrote in the court filing.
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Esformes sold his Illinois nursing facilities in about 2012 but kept offices in the Chicago suburbs as he continued to operate homes in Florida with his father, government records and Tribune interviews show.
The latest case wasn’t the first time that Esformes faced fraud accusations.
In 2006, Philip Esformes was among the current and former owners of Larkin Community Hospital in Miami who were required to pay $15.4 million to settle federal and Florida civil health care fraud claims.
In that matter, one of the other defendants was Dr. Jack Michel, CEO of Larkin Community Hospital, who made his own headlines in 2017 after the 12 heat-related deaths of patients at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. Michel isn’t affiliated with Esformes in the latest Medicaid fraud legal battle that is sending Esformes to prison.
Nursing homes are becoming (or have been) nothing but illegal unconstitutional detention centers for the elderly
In this video Dr. Robert Sarahan, MD speaks out against the corrupt system known as “guardianship” in this country. His mother was abused and murdered in guardianship, his and my dear friend, Ms. Barbara Stone, JD, also had a mother who was abused and murdered in guardianship. Ms. Stone was arrested numerous times for speaking out against the severe gship abuse of her mother (story elsewhere on this blog) and she had to do months in prison for contempt (speaking out about her mother’s case) and interfering with the care of her mother (she took her mother out for a hamburger and fries and was able to show her mother ate just fine, tyvm, but the court and guardians put a feeding tube in her so that the nursing home did not have to take the time to hand feed her.
The abuse continues. Please sign Dr. Sarahan’s petition.
Article in Sun Times:
2 Cook County judges, indicted Ald. Ed Burke, 3 retired judges partnered in investment club
Judge Michael Toomin presides over the juvenile justice division and is running for retention in November. Judge James Shapiro hears family law cases.By Steve Garrison | Injustice Watch Sep 11, 2020, 5:30am CDT
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Two sitting Cook County circuit judges and three retired judges are partners in a company with attorneys including indicted Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), records show.
Participants in the company, called Table of Wisdom LLC, say it’s an investment club formed by a group of longtime friends who regularly met for breakfast and decided to pool their money so they’d have something to talk about.
Two of the partners in Table of Wisdom are sitting judges:
- Cook County Circuit Judge Michael Toomin, who is the presiding judge of the juvenile division and is running in November for another six-year term. Toomin might be more widely known as the judge who appointed former U.S. Attorney Dan K. Webb as special prosecutor in two high-profile cases, investigating Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx’s office’s handling of the Jussie Smollett case and re-investigating the death of David Koschman. That case resulted in former Mayor Richard M. Daley’s nephew Richard J. “R.J.” Vanecko pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter and going to jail.
- Cook County Circuit Judge James Shapiro, who hears family law cases in the domestic relations division.
Both declined to comment.
Other members include:
- Burke, the longtime Southwest Side alderman who is charged in a May 2019 federal racketeering and extortion indictment that accuses him of using his position on the Chicago City Council to withhold construction permits for a Burger King in his ward in an unsuccessful bid to get the restaurant to hire his law firm for property tax appeals. He has pleaded not guilty and remains in office. He didn’t respond to interview requests.
- Retired judges Margarita Kulys Hoffman, Clifford Meachem and Warren Wolfson.
- Attorney Barry Greenburg, who runs a firm that focuses on family law.
- And attorneys Marvin Leavitt and Michael Stiegel, who practice family law together in the Chicago firm that Leavitt started after he retired from the Illinois Appellate Court.
Judges aren’t prohibited from joining such investment clubs in Illinois, according to retired Lake County Circuit Judge Ray McKoski, now an adjunct professor teaching judicial ethics at UIC John Marshall Law School.
But Illinois law warns of the potential for conflicts of interest when judges go into business with attorneys. Judges should refrain from financial and business dealings that “involve the judge in frequent transactions with lawyers or persons likely to come before the court on which the judge serves,” according to the Illinois Code of Judicial Conduct.
Other states have taken a firmer stand on investment clubs. Judicial ethics boards in New York and Massachusetts have said judges should not participate in investment clubs.
“In our view, if a judge should not give investment advice to a charity, a judge should not be giving investment advice to twenty private persons in an investment club,” the Massachusetts Supreme Court’s Committee on Judicial Ethics wrote in a 1995 advisory opinion.
Table of Wisdom reflects the court system’s reputation as being largely white, older men with financial and personal ties to each other and the Democratic Party. Of the 10 company partners Toomin disclosed in forms submitted to the Illinois Supreme Court, the nine who could be identified are white, and all but one are men.
More than 70 percent of the Cook County judiciary is white, compared with 42 percent of the county’s population, and nearly 60 percent of judges are men, according to 2018 statistics provided by Chief Cook County Judge Timothy Evans.
Table of Wisdom was incorporated in May 2018, according to its filings with the Illinois secretary of state’s office.
Kulys Hoffman, who retired from the bench last year, said Table of Wisdom is an investment club. She wouldn’t say how much money members were expected to contribute to the investment fund and said she doesn’t know whether the group is still active.
Though Table of Wisdom filed its annual report in May with the secretary of state’s office, Steigel said the company disbanded earlier this year over “disagreements” on where to invest.
Leavitt is the group’s registered agent and, according to Steigel, was the group’s founder. Leavitt’s law firm was the third-highest contributor to the political action committee set up to retain Cook County judges, giving a total of $20,260 as of 2018.
A former circuit and appellate judge who served on the Illinois Appellate Court with Burke’s wife, Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke, Leavitt returned to private practice in 2002. He practices family law as a founding partner of Grund & Leavitt.
Contributing: John Seasly
Steve Garrison reports for Injustice Watch, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit journalism organization.https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.409.0_en.html#goog_1751104065Read more
HOW THE ENVIRONMENTAL LAWYER WHO WON A MASSIVE JUDGMENT AGAINST CHEVRON LOST EVERYTHING
LAST AUGUST, DURING the second-hottest year on record, while the fires in the Amazon rainforest were raging, the ice sheet in Greenland was melting, and Greta Thunberg was being greeted by adoring crowds across the U.S., something else happened that was of great relevance to the climate movement: An attorney who has been battling Chevron for more than a decade over environmental devastation in South America was put on house arrest.
Few news outlets covered the detention of Steven Donziger, who won a multibillion-dollar judgment in Ecuador against Chevron over the massive contamination in the Lago Agrio region and has been fighting on behalf of Indigenous people and farmers there for more than 25 years. So on August 6, Donziger left a Lower Manhattan courthouse unnoticed and boarded the 1 train home with an electronic monitoring device newly affixed to his ankle. Save for the occasional meeting with his lawyer or other court-sanctioned appointment, he has remained there ever since.
“I’m like a corporate political prisoner,” Donziger told me as we sat in his living room recently. The attorney, who is 6-foot-3, graying, and often used to be mistaken for New York Mayor Bill de Blasio when he was able to walk the city streets, was surprisingly stoic and resigned about his predicament during my two visits to the apartment he shares with his wife and 13-year-old son. But on this particular Wednesday, as the winter sunlight in his living room was dimming and the charger for his spare ankle bracelet battery flashed on a nearby shelf, his optimism about his epic battle against one of the biggest oil companies in the world seemed to be flagging. “They are trying to totally destroy me.”
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Donziger is not exaggerating. As he was arguing the case against Chevron in Ecuador back in 2009, the company expressly said its long-term strategy was to demonize him. And since then, Chevron has continued its all-out assault on Donziger in what’s become one of the most bitter and drawn-out cases in the history of environmental law. Chevron has hired private investigators to track Donziger, created a publication to smear him, and put together a legal team of hundreds of lawyers from 60 firms, who have successfully pursued an extraordinary campaign against him. As a result, Donziger has been disbarred and his bank accounts have been frozen. He now has a lien on his apartment, faces exorbitant fines, and has been prohibited from earning money. As of August, a court has seized his passport and put him on house arrest. Chevron, which has a market capitalization of $228 billion, has the funds to continue targeting Donziger for as long as it chooses.
In an emailed statement, Chevron wrote that “any jurisdiction that observes the rule of law should find the fraudulent Ecuadorian judgment to be illegitimate and unenforceable.” The statement also said that “Chevron will continue to work to hold the perpetrators of this fraud accountable for their actions, including Steven Donziger, who has committed a litany of corrupt and illegal acts related to his Ecuadorian judicial fraud against Chevron.”
The developments that led to Donziger’s confinement were, like much of the epic legal battle he’s been engaged in for decades, highly unusual. The home confinement is his punishment for refusing a request to hand over his cellphone and computer, something that’s been asked of few other attorneys. To Donziger, who had already endured 19 days of depositions and given Chevron large portions of his case file, the request was beyond the pale, and he appealed it on the grounds that it would require him to violate his commitments to his clients. Still, Donziger said he’d turn over the devices if he lost the appeal. But even though the underlying case was civil, the federal court judge who has presided over the litigation between Chevron and Donziger since 2011, Lewis A. Kaplan, drafted criminal contempt charges against him.
In another legal peculiarity, in July, Kaplan appointed a private law firm to prosecute Donziger, after the Southern District of New York declined to do so — a move that is virtually unprecedented. And, as Donziger’s lawyer has pointed out, the firm Kaplan chose, Seward & Kissel, likely has ties to Chevron.
Making the case even more extraordinary, Kaplan bypassed the standard random assignment process and handpicked someone he knew well, U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska, to oversee the case being prosecuted by the firm he chose. It was Preska who sentenced Donziger to home detention and ordered the seizure of his passport, even though Donziger had appeared in court on hundreds of previous occasions.
A Tainted Witness
Despite Donziger’s current predicament, the case against Chevron in Ecuador was a spectacular victory. The twisted legal saga began in 1993, when Donziger and other attorneys filed a class-action suit in New York against Texaco on behalf of more than 30,000 farmers and Indigenous people in the Amazon over massive contamination from the company’s oil drilling there. Chevron, which bought Texaco in 2001, has insisted that Texaco cleaned up the area where it operated and that its former partner, the national oil company of Ecuador, was responsible for any remaining pollution.
At Chevron’s request, the legal proceedings over the “Amazon Chernobyl” were moved to Ecuador, where the courts were “impartial and fair,” as the oil company’s attorneys wrote in a filing at the time. The move to Ecuador, where the legal system does not involve juries, may have also appealed because it spared Chevron a jury trial. In any case, an Ecuadorian court ruled against Chevron in 2011 and ordered the company to pay $18 billion in compensation, an amount that was later reduced to $9.5 billion. After years of struggling with the health and environmental consequences of oil extraction, the impoverished Amazonian plaintiffs had won a historic judgment from one of the biggest corporations in the world.
But Donziger and his clients never had a moment to savor their David-over-Goliath victory. Even though the ruling was subsequently upheld by the Ecuadorian Supreme Court, Chevron immediately made clear that it would not be paying the judgment. Instead, Chevron moved its assets out of the country, making it impossible for the Ecuadorians to collect.
That year, Chevron filed a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations, or RICO, suit against Donziger in New York City. Although the suit originally sought roughly $60 billion in damages, and civil trials involving monetary claims of more than $20 entitle a defendant to a jury, Chevron dropped the monetary claims two weeks before the trial.
In its statement, Chevron wrote that the company “focused the RICO case on obtaining injunctive relief against the furtherance of Donziger’s extortionate scheme against the company.”
Instead, that case was decided solely by Kaplan, who ruled in 2014 that the Ecuadorian judgment against Chevron was invalid because it was obtained through “egregious fraud” and that Donziger was guilty of racketeering, extortion, wire fraud, money laundering, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering. The decision hinged on the testimony of an Ecuadorian judge named Alberto Guerra, who claimed that Donziger had bribed him during the original trial and that the decision against Chevron had been ghostwritten.
Guerra was a controversial witness. Chevron had prepped him on more than 50 occasions before his testimony, paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars, and arranged for the judge and his family members to move to the United States with a generous monthly stipend that was 20 times the salary he received in Ecuador. In 2015, when Guerra testified in an international arbitration proceeding, he admitted that he had lied and changed his story multiple times. According to Chevron, Guerra’s inaccuracies didn’t change the thrust of his testimony. For his part, Judge Kaplan wrote that his court “would have reached precisely the same result in this case even without the testimony of Alberto Guerra.” In its statement, Chevron said that Guerra was relocated to the U.S. for his safety and noted that the court found that the company’s contacts with the Ecuadorian judge were “proper and transparent.”
Lawyers for Donziger said the changes in Guerra’s testimony completely undermined his original bribery allegations, which Donziger has consistently denied. In any case, that evidence emerged after the trial, and an appeals court declined to consider the new information and ruled against Donziger in 2016.
“He has effectively been convicted of bribery by the finding of a single judge in a case in which bribery wasn’t even the charge.”
Had Donziger been criminally charged with bribery, a jury would have assessed Guerra’s credibility. Instead, in the RICO case, which was civil, the decision about a key witness came down to one person — Kaplan — who chose to believe him. That choice has set the stage for the legal losses Donziger has suffered since, according to some close watchers of the Chevron case.
“On the basis of Kaplan saying, ‘I believe this witness; I find Donziger guilty of the crime of bribery of the judge’ — on the basis of that, he’s been destroyed. That is the pinnacle element of all of the other claims against him. And if you take that one out, the rest of them — they’re just not there,” said Charles Nesson, an attorney and Harvard Law School professor. “He has effectively been convicted of bribery by the finding of a single judge in a case in which bribery wasn’t even the charge,” Nesson said of Donziger. “I teach evidence, that you have to prove what you assert. But the proof in this case is the thinnest.”
Nesson, who represented Daniel Ellsberg in the Pentagon Papers case and the plaintiffs in the suit of W. R. Grace featured in the book and film “A Civil Action,” teaches Donziger’s case in his “Fair Trial” course, using it as an example of a decidedly unfair trial. “Donziger epitomizes a person in asymmetric civil litigation who can now be denied a fair trial,” he explains to his students.
Nesson is one of several legal scholars who have opined that Kaplan has a soft spot for Chevron, which the judge once described as “a company of considerable importance to our economy that employs thousands all over the world, that supplies a group of commodities, gasoline, heating oil, other fuels, and lubricants on which every one of us depends every single day.”
In contrast, the judge has exhibited antipathy for Donziger, according to his former lawyer, John Keker, who saw the case as a “Dickensian farce,” in which “Chevron is using its limitless resources to crush defendants and win this case through might rather than merit.” Keker withdrew from the case in 2013 after noting that “Chevron will file any motion, however meritless, in the hope that the court will use it to hurt Donziger.”
Donziger’s current prohibition from working, traveling, earning money, and leaving his home shows how successful Chevron’s strategy has been. But even as his fate hangs in the balance, Donziger’s case matters far beyond the life of this one lawyer.
“It should be nothing short of terrifying for any activist challenging corporate power and the oil industry in the U.S.,” said Paul Paz y Miño, associate director of Amazon Watch, an organization devoted to the protection of the rainforest and Indigenous people in the Amazon basin. “They’ve made it clear there’s no amount of money that’s too much to spend on this case,” he said of Chevron. “They will stop at nothing.”
The Chevron case may be most devastating for the plaintiffs in the Amazon, who never received their judgment despite being left with hundreds of unlined waste pits and contaminated water and soil from millions of gallons of spilled crude oil and billions of gallons of dumped toxic waste. Everything that’s happened to Donziger “is small potatoes compared to the fact that Kaplan has rendered the damage the company actually did as totally irrelevant,” said Nesson.
But the latest twists and turns in the Chevron case may also be particularly bad news for climate activists. A mere 20 companies are responsible for a third of the greenhouse gases emitted in the modern era; Chevron ranks second only to Saudi Aramco among them. And it’s increasingly clear that addressing the climate crisis will require confronting these mega-emitters, whose resources for litigation dwarf that of any individual.
Making Chevron and other companies clean up the messes created by their oil production will speed the transition away from fossil fuels, according to Rex Weyler, an environmental advocate who co-founded Greenpeace International and directed the original Greenpeace Foundation. “If hydrocarbon companies are forced to pay for the true costs of their product, which include these environmental costs, it will make the alternative energy systems more competitive,” said Weyler.
Accordingly, Weyler feels that the climate movement should focus on Chevron’s case — and Donziger’s legal battle. “One of the most effective things climate activists can do right now to change the system would be to not let Chevron get away with polluting in these countries, whether Ecuador, Nigeria, or anywhere” said Weyler. While some human rights and environmental advocates have tried to call attention to Donziger’s case and Chevron’s bullying of him, Weyler felt that the outcry should be louder.
After seeing what’s happened to Donziger, and some of his former allies, whom Chevron has gone after as “nonparty co-conspirators,” people may be afraid to stand up to the company. Donziger himself is living in fear. There is no set punishment when a judge files for criminal contempt of court, so he spends his days worrying over what will happen to him next. “It’s scary,” he told me. “I don’t know what they’re thinking.”
But Weyler pointed out that Chevron, which could still be forced to pay the multibillion-dollar judgment by courts in another country, is also afraid. “They are afraid of the precedent. Not only is Chevron afraid, the entire extraction industry is afraid of the precedent,” said Weyler. “They do not want to be held responsible for the pollution of their industry.”
Lots of eye opening details in this article. Nursing homes should not receive a dime of taxpayer money any longer until they clean up their act. And if an elder or disabled wants to go home, that should happen ASAP.
Someone has to put a stop to this horrific system of abuse and neglect for fun and profit.
As Florida nursing home residents died, operators raked in federal handouts
AUGUST 06, 2020 08:30 AM , UPDATED AUGUST 06, 2020 01:58 PM
Florida Gov. DeSantis gives coronavirus update
Gov. Ron DeSantis held a coronavirus news conference at Broward Health on Monday, August 3, 2020. BY THE FLORIDA CHANNEL
Heather Williams knew on April 28 that her mom, 63-year-old Sarita Redmond, had tested positive for COVID-19. But the Southern Oaks Care Center, which had become a petri dish of infection, would tell Williams nothing more.
Call after call to the Pensacola nursing home went unanswered, Williams said. And a state executive order intended to protect elders in long-term care barred her from visiting her mother.
Williams asked local police to make a welfare check in mid-May. The Pensacola Police Department told her that COVID-19 restrictions forbid that, too.
“I didn’t know what else I could do,” Williams said.
The day before Williams learned that her mother had COVID, Southern Oaks reported that 92 residents and 15 employees at the 210-bed facility had tested positive for the virus — the most cases of any nursing home in the state at that point.
It’s one of a number of troubled Florida facilities connected to Eliezer Scheiner, a New York nursing home operator who has made headlines for the poor quality of care in his homes in other states, although the connections are obscured in records. He is also known for his fundraising for President Donald Trump.
Nursing homes, which rely almost exclusively on state and federal payments from Medicaid and Medicare, are heavy political spenders and not shy about flexing that political muscle. As COVID-19 has led to more than 150,000 cases and more than 40,000 deaths nationwide in nursing homes, owners have pushed for immunity from lawsuits stemming from their handling of the virus. That is despite the fact that problems at some homes predate the virus and that industry insiders acknowledge many nursing homes didn’t have sufficient infection controls to stop the spread of the highly contagious COVID-19.
While they’ve had mixed success in winning immunity, nursing homes have gotten nearly $10 billion in federal funds from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services to help offset COVID-19 costs.
Late last year, Scheiner organized a fundraiser that brought in roughly $3 million to support Trump’s re-election bid, giving $750,000 himself.
“I want to thank Eli Scheiner for doing such an incredible job,” Trump said at last year’s fundraiser.
While Scheiner’s fundraising prowess has garnered praise from the president, his nursing homes have generated reproach from regulators.
Of the the 24 Florida nursing homes tied to Scheiner and a business partner, Teddy Lichtschein, more than a third are on the state’s Watch List for troubled nursing homes, and health regulators reported 114 verified complaints at the homes between November 2016 and November 2019, state records show.
Florida facilities connected to them have also racked up more than $485,000 in fines from the federal government since 2017 and nearly $70,000 in fines from the state of Florida in the same time period.
The coronavirus pandemic has further exposed the homes’ shortcomings. More than 100 residents and employees have died from COVID-19, the illness caused by exposure to the virus, at nursing homes linked to Scheiner and Lichtschein, according to the Miami Herald’s analysis of state records. The loss of life is among the highest totals of any network of homes in the state, a Miami Herald analysis of state and federal data shows.
The Miami Herald spoke with relatives of current and former residents at several of Scheiner’s 24 facilities. Many painted a similar picture of poorly managed homes that have kept families in the dark during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Florida to release names of nursing homes with COVID-19 cases
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis orders release of names of elder care homes with positive COVID-19 cases. BY FLORIDA GOVERNOR’S OFFICE
Lorraine Bydalek’s 44-year-old daughter, whose cerebral palsy leaves her wholly dependent on caregivers, contracted COVID-19 at the North Lake Care Center in Lake Park in early May, after the facility had been in lockdown for months. Bydalek said North Lake didn’t do enough to protect residents from contracting the virus, for example allowing residents requiring treatments at outside facilities to be in close proximity to her daughter.
“They’re constantly being exposed,” she said.
Crystal Knowles kept running into dead-ends whenever she tried to learn about the status of her 61-year-old father, George Knowles, who spent nearly two weeks at the Palms Care Center in Lauderdale Lakes in March in the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“It was very hard to have a family member there and not know what’s going on exactly,” she said. “Trying to call the facility was the worst customer experience I’ve ever had. It was the complete run-around.”
Williams’ assessment of the Pensacola home where her mother contracted COVID-19 was equally blunt: “That facility, in my opinion, should be shut down.”
Her mother’s care at the facility was even subject to an investigation for abuse and neglect by the Florida Department of Children & Families. The Southern Oaks Care Center said the investigation exonerated the home, but Williams said she hadn’t yet been informed of the results. The department confirmed the existence of the investigation, but would not confirm its findings.
The Pensacola nursing home said that it’s currently COVID-19 free and that it had the highest early COVID-19 totals because it had tested residents and staff earlier than other nearby facilities. Amanda Waddell, the home’s community liaison, said its phones went down in April because a contractor working across the street accidentally severed the facility’s lines.
Waddell defended the care provided by the facility during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“At our facility many who tested positive were asymptomatic and thankfully our mortality rates were very much below the averages at other skilled nursing facilities, but every loss was and remains tragic,” Waddell said in an e-mail.
The North Lakes Care Center pushed back on criticism of its practices.
“It appears that you are sending us a list of questions that are applicable to all nursing homes in the State of Florida and elsewhere in the country,” said the administrator, Steven Landa, in response to questions about complaints by family members about the care for patients during the pandemic.
Scheiner, Lichtschein and the Palms Care Center did not return phone calls or e-mails with detailed questions.
Property records for the facilities show that they are owned by companies listing Scheiner, Lichtschein or employees at their Brooklyn company, TL Management LLC, as the officers, with the same Brooklyn shipping store listed as the business address for all of the entities.
But Scheiner and Lichtschein aren’t listed as owners of any of the homes in state or federal nursing home records. Instead, another New York man, Michael Bleich, is listed as indirect owner of each facility in federal nursing home records and as an officer in state corporation records.
Bleich appears to have become involved with many of the facilities in 2015, according to Florida state records. In a master sublease agreement obtained by the Herald from the same year, a company controlled by Bleich, Care Master Tenant Inc., leased 11 of the properties from Scheiner and Lichtschein’s TL Healthcare Holdings. The agreement shows that Bleich wasn’t just leasing the property on which the facilities are located, but the licenses and medical records, too. When the lease ended, Scheiner and Lichtstein would retain control of the licenses and other related assets.
Bleich didn’t respond to phone calls and text messages. Reached by the Herald in late April, when Southern Oaks had first reported the most COVID-19 cases in the state, he told the Herald, “Call the facility, I’m not going to talk to you.”
DeSantis says healthcare workers have responded to 93 elder care facilities for coronavirus
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said on April 13, 2020, that teams of healthcare workers have responded to 93 nursing homes and assisted-living facilities due to coronavirus.
The complex legal structure of these homes isn’t uncommon among nursing homes and other long-term care centers. Trying to determine who actually owns a nursing home regularly involves navigating a maze of shell companies.
That’s by design.
A 2012 presentation by top law firm Baker Donelson touted the advantages of a “complex corporate structure” for long-term care facilities in limiting the scope of “regulatory sanctions or penalties” and potential damages in a lawsuit.
“Many plaintiffs’ attorneys will never conduct corporate structure discovery because it’s too expensive and time consuming,” the presentation aimed at nursing home executives and attorneys said.
Ken Connors, an attorney in South Carolina who has brought numerous suits against senior care companies in Florida and across the South, said: “It’s a byzantine arrangement that is calculated to obscure the people who are making the operational decisions and by virtue of that obscurity immunize the people making them.”
In the wake of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed nearly 3,000 residents and staff statewide, nursing home operators have sought formal immunity from negligence lawsuits related to their handling of the pandemic. The nursing home industry wrote a letter to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in early April requesting that he extend sovereign immunity to nursing homes, hospitals, assisted living facilities and other healthcare providers. So far, DeSantis hasn’t indicated whether he supports granting immunity to the owners.
But at the federal level, nursing home owners have found an ally in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, who has said he supports including liability protections in future rounds of coronavirus legislative relief.
Scheiner and Lichtschein redoubled their political efforts as COVID-19 spread this spring.
Scheiner wrote a $50,000 check to another pro-Trump committee in May and TL Management hired several federal lobbyists in April and May. The roster included Brian Ballard, the Floridian Politico called the “most powerful lobbyist in Trump’s Washington”; a former top aide to Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz, Nick Muzin; and Emily Hargan, the wife of the deputy secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, among others.
Filings show that they were hired to lobby on a range of topics including “Federal civil liability protection in regards to coronavirus for skilled nursing homes” and “obtaining federal and state assistance for nursing homes dealing with COVID-19.”
The efforts appear to have already paid off. The Florida facilities have received between $29.5 and $47 million in competitive federal coronavirus relief funds as part of the federal CARES Act, on top of increased federal reimbursements for testing and up to $8.6 million in additional federal funds distributed to nursing homes, according to a set formula. Nursing homes tied to Scheiner and Lichtschein in New York and Texas took in an additional $18.5 to $31.5 million in the competitive funds. All told, nursing homes tied to Scheiner and Lichtschein reaped between $48 million and $78 million in CARES Act funds.
Each Florida facility was awarded money from the HHS Federal Provider Relief Fund, which comes with no strings attached. Meanwhile, 21 of the 24 nursing homes tied to Scheiner and Lichtschein obtained between $14.5 and $32 million combined in paycheck protection program loans in late April and May, which is the most of any nursing home operator in the state, according to the Herald’s analysis of loan data and nursing home records. The loans are forgiven if they are used for payroll and other approved expenses. Recipients are supposed to indicate how many jobs were saved thanks to the money, but in data released by the U.S. Small Business Administration the number of jobs retained is listed as zero for 20 of the 21 loans.
Interviews and records suggest problems at the homes connected to Scheiner and Lichtschein long predate the virus’ spread.
The state of Florida denied two nursing home license applications submitted by Bleich in 2019, noting that 24 homes associated with Bleich had garnered 114 substantiated complaints between 2016 and 2019 — far more than other applicants for the same licenses. Bleich wrote in one application that he “acquired several troubled facilities in or facing bankruptcy in 2018” and had “also acquired other facilities, many with physical plants that are ending their useful lives.”
The Williston Care Center near Gainesville was fined $60,000 by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in July 2019 after staff at the home waited too long to perform CPR on a resident who was choking on her lunch, federal inspectors found. The resident was discovered slumped over in her wheelchair in the dining room, her lips blue and with no pulse. But instead of performing CPR immediately in the dining room, the staff wheeled the resident to her room, and transferred her to her bed before starting CPR. She was taken to the hospital 15 minutes later and pronounced dead two hours after that.
In January, Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration fined the Cypress Care Center in Wildwood, an hour outside of Orlando, $20,000 after a resident with diabetes and a related neurological disorder died in May 2019 after being left outside, unattended for three hours, according to the agency’s findings. He was discovered unresponsive by a kitchen manager and when local emergency medical workers were called to the nursing home, they determined that his temperature was 107 degrees. He was pronounced dead at the Leesburg Regional Medical Center of, among other things, respiratory failure, cardiac arrest and hyperthermia, which is a temperature greatly above normal.
Williams said that her mother nearly died during a previous stay at the Southern Oaks Care Center last fall, when Redmond had to be hospitalized after the facility gave her an accidental overdose of morphine. Her mother’s condition at the time was so poor that she was placed in hospice care, where she was expected to die.
Though Redmond was able to recover, her family had seen enough of Southern Oaks, Williams said. Williams wanted her mother to go elsewhere, but she was unable to find a home nearby with open beds.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the facilities connected to Scheiner and Lichtschein have been among the deadliest in the state. That includes the Gulf Shore Care Center in Pinellas Park, which has reported 22 resident deaths and one staff death, and the Sands at South Beach Care Center in Miami Beach, which has reported 16 resident deaths. The Southern Oaks Care Center has reported 10 deaths.
Statewide, the number of new deaths at long-term care facilities has shot up in recent weeks, after declining for much of May and June.
Before the pandemic, the homes tied to Scheiner and Lichtschein had lower staffing levels than the state average, federal nursing home data show. The disparity was particularly wide for registered nurses, who have the most training of the caregiving staff at nursing homes and, as a result, tend to be highest paid. Residents at the homes connected to Scheiner and Lichtschein received only three-quarters the amount of daily care from registered nurses as the average at nursing homes in the state.
Advocates say those differences can be crucial for residents in need of intensive medical care.
“Every minute is an eternity when it comes to care in a nursing home,” said Brian Lee, Florida’s former long-term care ombudsman and the executive director of Families for Better care. “Every minute may be the difference between life and death.”
‘ALL SHE KNEW IS THAT SHE WAS IN PAIN’
Bydalek said she believes that seemingly endless cutbacks at the North Lake Care Center in Lake Park have put her 44-year-old daughter Jennifer Soderlund and other residents at risk.
“They’re down to bare bones on things,” Bydalek said.
Jennifer Soderlund, 44, is a resident at the North Lake Care Center in Lake Park who became infected with COVID-19 at the home. COURTESY OF LORRAINE BYDALEK
Soderlund, who has the neurological condition cerebral palsy, first tested positive for COVID-19 in early May, and was moved into a room with another infected resident, Bydalek said. Soderlund was moved again recently after testing negative for the virus twice.
Soderlund’s positive test came well after nursing homes banned visitors, and Bydalek thinks the nursing home hasn’t done enough to ensure that residents don’t get infected from staff or other residents who require treatment outside the facility.
She said that her daughter, who has physical but not cognitive, impairments, begs to be moved in their communications. Bydalek would like her daughter to be closer to her Melbourne home, but can’t find another facility with an opening for a long-term resident.
“I just want my daughter in a safer environment,” Bydalek said.
Knowles didn’t want her 61-year-old father George to be placed in the Palms Care Center in Lauderdale Lakes, either, but Palms Care was the only place equipped to take her father when he needed specialized care, including a constant supply of oxygen, after open heart surgery in early March.
Knowles’ father was disoriented and would call them in the middle of the night, panicked about his condition.
“It was really scary,” she said.
Despite repeated calls to Palms Care, she and her family found it nearly impossible to get any information about her father’s status, Knowles said. Each time they called, they would be passed from one staff member to another, none of whom could provide information.
Finally, Knowles’ cousin drove there in an effort to get more information. Employees brought Knowles’ father to a window where Knowles’ cousin could see him, and what the cousin saw was troubling: “He didn’t have oxygen on, he didn’t have a mask on,” Knowles said.
What’s more, her cousin saw numerous people in street clothes going in and out, and passing by Knowles’ father without masks or any protective gear.
Knowles said she was furious.
“You lock down those facilities for a reason, she said. “My dad still had staples down his chest.”
Her father left Palms Care in mid-March and died of a heart attack on April 3. There’s no indication that his death was related to COVID-19.
For Williams, in Pensacola, the first sight of her mother after months of lockdown was even more horrifying.
Williams had been trying desperately to learn more about the status of her mother, Sarita Redmond, at Southern Oaks after the COVID diagnosis in late April.
“There was a period of time where the phones were just busy, for days,” she said.
Her efforts included imploring the Pensacola Police Department to pay her mother a welfare visit. The department declined.
And in the ensuing weeks Redmond’s health declined rapidly.
After she learned that an investigation was being opened into her mother’s care, Williams demanded that her mother be taken to the hospital, which is where she and her family saw Redmond for the first time since she had contracted the virus.
Williams described her mother as a gorgeous woman with a beautiful heart who was devoted to her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The woman they saw at the hospital that day was unrecognizable.
An image of Sarita Redmond in the final days of her life, a month after she had tested positive for COVID-19. COURTESY OF HEATHER WILLIAMS
She was emaciated and suffering from severe malnutrition. Her body was covered in bedsores and she was moaning in pain.
“She never looked like that before,” Williams said.
Her mother didn’t recognize Williams or the rest of her family.
“All she knew is that she was in pain,” Williams said.
Four days later she was dead.
RELATED STORIES FROM MIAMI HERALD
APRIL 13, 2020 5:19 PM
An earlier image of Sarita Redmond, who tested positive in April for COVID-19 at the Southern Oaks Care Center nursing home in Pensacola. COURTESY OF HEATHER WILLIAMS
Ben Wieder is a data reporter in McClatchy’s Washington bureau. He worked previously at the Center for Public Integrity and Stateline. His work has been honored by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, National Press Foundation, Online News Association and Association of Health Care Journalists.
But if you reveal corruption like this on a blog, the ARDC will come right after you and suspend you for years.
Ken Ditkowsky, Lanre Amu and I all revealed corruption in the courts in Cook County, all of which turned out to be true. In my case, the judge lied on the stand, and the court reporter was unlicensed. I caught the judge in her lies. The judge is long gone. But the ARDC will not apologize for their horrid behavior and automatically reinstate me. This is something they should do if they are ever able to regain the trust of the public.
Seth Gillman bilked the US govt millions in health care fraud for years and stole employee health care funds leaving employees without health care insurance. Did the ARDC care? Nope. It took them years to even begin the process to discipline Gillman.
But if you tell the truth on an attorney blog and it make some corrupt lawyer (Farenga, Waller or Schmeidel cry) or a corrupt Judge cry (Stuart), they will come after you lock stock and barrel with a fixed court system and claim you are a “danger to the public” and your blog is like “shouting fire in a crowded theater.” what utter nonsense.
But an attorney that does his job for sex, is again, not disciplined for years.
CHICAGO (CBS) — A Chicago family attorney who represented children in the midst of custody battles is accused of offering to recommend a parent get full custody of her children in exchange for sex, in addition to sexually assaulting several employees.
In 2016, David Pasulka offered to recommend that a judge give a woman sole custody of her two children, for whom he was appointed guardian ad litem — an attorney who represents children in a custody dispute — as long as she had sex with him, according to a complaint filed on July 13 by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC).
Pasulka also sexually abused three female employees of his law firm, David P. Pasulka and Associates, between 2012 and 2018, the complaint said.
In Cook County, a guardian ad litem serves as an attorney for the children of parents in divorce or other domestic issues. Guardians ad litem investigate cases and interview the children before ultimately presenting their findings to a judge, who determines the custody arrangement for the children.
The complaint details allegations of sexual abuse beginning in 2012, and documents obtained by CBS 2 indicate the ARDC received its first allegation in March 2017. When asked why the ARDC took over three years from the date of the first allegation to release the formal complaint, an ARDC spokesperson declined to comment citing Illinois Supreme Court rules that prevent the ARDC from discussing disciplinary action.
Pasulka has been suspended from serving as guardian ad litem in Cook County; Judge Grace Dickler, who presides over domestic relations cases, prevented him from doing so on Monday when she found out about the complaint, according to a spokesperson for Office of the Chief Judge of Cook County.
Dickler also suspended Pasulka from “any other Court Committee to which he has been appointed” in the domestic relations division due to the “serious allegations” in the complaint, the spokesperson said.
When asked why Judge Dickler found out about the complaint over a week after it was filed, the ARDC spokesperson replied “I do not know.”
The complaint says Pasulka was explicit about the arrangement: sex in exchange for a favorable recommendation regarding the custody of her two children.
According to the complaint, “[Pasulka] stated to [the woman] that, in order to receive his support in recommending that she receive sole custody, she only had to ‘do a little extra something’ and that she was a ‘smart girl’ and that if she really wanted her children, he could ‘do that’ for her if she would have sex with him.”
The complaint said this wasn’t the first time Pasulka had engaged in sexual misconduct in a professional setting.
According to the complaint, Pasulka repeatedly asked three female employees to engage in sexual acts with him, and often forcibly kissed and inappropriately touched them. The complaint also says that, on several occasions, Pasulka forcibly penetrated the employees.
According to the complaint, Pasulka used his position of power over the employees.
“As [the woman’s] employer, [Pasulka] maintained a position of power over her, in that she was financially dependent upon her job at the firm as her only source of income,” the complaint said of one of the women. “In addition, during the duration of her employment, [Pasulka] routinely told [the woman] about his connections in the family law field, including connections with judges, attorneys, and bar associations and implied his ability to affect her professional success.”
The complaint says Pasulka pressured the women, telling one “he was looking for a ‘team player’ and that she should be a ‘team player’ and that ‘you’re saying no when you should be saying yes,’” the complaint said, adding that Pasulka even told one woman “Your friend, [one of the women in the complaint], does not say no.”
The complaint also alleges “dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentations related to manipulation of an alcohol testing device” in a 2017 DUI arrest.
The complaint said that, in 2017, Pasulka consumed as much as a pint of vodka before driving to his home in north suburban Glenview. While driving on the Kennedy Expressway, he rear-ended another car and drove away without stopping, the complaint alleged. Pasulka exited the Kennedy Expressway and drove to a Starbucks in Niles and hit the Starbucks building with his car before driving away, according to the complaint.
Pasulka was eventually stopped by officers with the Niles Police Department, and refused to submit to a portable breath test, according to the complaint. He was charged with a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence of alcohol, and sentenced to 12 months of court supervision, the complaint said.
Pasulka agreed to abstain from drugs and alcohol and participate in Alcoholics Anonymous, as well as use a “Soberlink” device, which measures alcohol content, three times a day, the complaint alleged.
The complaint alleges, Pasulka later violated that agreement by relapsing and drinking alcohol on several occasions, as well as tampering with the device.
Pasulka hasn’t been charged criminally in connection with any of the incidents in the ARDC complaint. Both the Chief Judge’s spokesperson and the ARDC spokesperson declined to comment on potential charges citing Illinois Supreme Court rules. A spokesperson for the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office said “we have not been asked to review these matters by law enforcement who would conduct the initial investigation.”
Pasulka told CBS 2’s Charlie De Mar he denies all the allegations against him. Pasulka said he is a leader in his field and has represented thousands of children, and feels he is being “dragged through the mud,” adding that “this is the worst thing that’s ever been laid on me.”
Pro -se Petition of Dean Sallas
IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF COOK COUNTY, ILLNOIS
County Department Probate Division
The Estate of Amelia Sallas 2007 P 5360
OBJECTIONS TO “ACCOUNTINGS OF GUARDIANS,
AND FOR OTHER RELIEF.
Dean Sallas, a citizen of the State of Illinois, appearing pro se in support of his Petition states as follows:
1. Background. He (age 83) and Amelia Sallas (aged middle 70’s) have been married for more than ½ a Century. That at all times relevant prior to the filing of the proceedings herein he and Amelia Sallas resided together in their marital home in Skokie, Illinois as husband and wife. (NB. After the appointment of a guardian herein, he and Amelia continued to live together for about a decade). Even though from time to time Amelia experienced medical problems she was mentally alert and when she experienced difficulty, she (with the aid of Dean) checked herself in to Swedish Covenant Hospital. It is believed that Amelia’s independence and the overt demonstration of the impropriety of the appointment of the guardian precipitated and/or was a proximate cause of the Guardian removing Amy from the marital home) During the coverture of the marriage, including the period of time immediately prior to the filing of these proceedings Amelia Sallas drove her own car, shopped for herself and Dean, contracted and engaged tradesman to do maintenance jobs at the family residence. Indeed, she was very capable of managing her affairs. The marital estate at all time prior to the commencement of these proceedings had in the opinion of the pro se petitioner a net net value of Nine million dollars. Petitioner was a successful in Real Estate. (Some of this evidence was presented to the Court in a recent hearing when petitioner was represented by an attorney. Petitioner verily believes that the allowance of his attorney to withdraw without prior notice fiasco was a thinly veiled attempt to prevent his being able to proceed with the Petition to terminate the guardianship.
2. This Court unlawfully and wrongfully intervened in the half century marriage of the parties and in derogation of the mandate of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 3 appointed strangers as guardians for Amelia and entered orders that prevented the pro se petitioner (or Amelia) from accessing the marital funds to address financial crisis of 2008. As a proximate cause of this Court’s wrongful interference in the lives of Dean and Amelia Sallas the privacy of Dean and Amelia was invaded and their ability to access and manage their life savings severely restricted. It is estimated that approximately 8 million dollars in assets belonging to the marital estate were dissipated and lost due to the aforesaid interference by the Court appointed guardians in their lives and the economic crisis of 2008 and the recission that followed. .
3. That on or about 2008 the plenary guardian Jos Mitzen was appointed. He conducts business under the name and style of WHITEHEADFINK ELDER LAW. What function Mitzen performed (except to deny Amelia and Dean their 4th Amendment Right to privacy). Amelia for almost a decade continued to live in the marital home with Dean. Mitzen’s guardianship was in the opinion of petitioner un-necessary, wasteful and an in direct conflict with the provisions of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 3b. The Public Guardian’s office was similarly in direct conflict with the limitations of 755 ILCS 5/lla – 3b which states in words and phrases:
(b) Guardianship shall be utilized only as is necessary to promote the well-being of the person with a disability, to protect him from neglect, exploitation, or abuse, and to encourage development of his maximum self-reliance and independence. Guardianship shall be ordered only to the extent necessitated by the individual's actual mental, physical, and adaptive limitations. (Source: P.A. 99-143
, eff. 7-27-15.)
4. That on or about February 2, 2019 Amy Sallas was removed from the marital home by Mitzen. (actually, she had signed herself into Swedish Covenant Hospital and was removed from there where she was receiving treatment for the “hip” that Mitzen refers to in his report allegedly filed in March 2020. At all times relevant prior to forced involuntary termination of their marriage the petitioner and Amelia Sallas continued to reside as husband and wife and perform their joint marital duties. Both objected to the interference by the Court appointed guardians and the overt alienation of affections promulgated by the two appointed guardians.
5. That this Court and the guardians have unilaterally terminated the marriage of Dean and Amelia Sallas. Dean’s rights to consortium have been terminated, his access to marital funds obviated, he is denied by Josh Mitzen and this Court the companionship, love and any relationship with his wife, Amelia Sallas. Contrary to Mitzen’s averment in his report, Dean had to beg, and plead for information concerning the infection of his wife with Covid19 virus. The ‘love of his life’
6. That the Guardians in their Petitions for Fees represent to this Court that the marital estate has approximately $92,144.90. These funds are marital property.
7. That upon reliable information and belief, the pro se plaintiff verily believes and alleges that from day one the Guardians acted for their own parochial interests and NOT the interests of either Dean or Amelia Sallas. In particular, the parties were NOT informed of Amelia’s rights and privileges in relation to a guardianship that are set out in 755 ILCS 5/11a – 10 and in point of the fact the guardianship was a sham and should never have occurred. The medical reports that the petitioner previously sought to place in evidence (and support with testimony) are incorporated by reference, attached hereto, and made part hereof as group exhibit. In particular:
a. We were not informed that Amelia had a right to her own lawyer to look out after her own interests and have a jury trial,
b. We not informed that we had the right to contest the absurd psychiatric opinion as to Amy’s competency and had the right to present our own experts.
c. Other and different deficiencies.
8. Statement of the Law in my lay terms. A guardian is a fiduciary. As a fiduciary owes to his ward the highest standard of conduct and integrity – in addition to his/its exact compliance with the statutory mandates. A fiduciary cannot directly or indirectly obtain any profit or pecuniary benefit from his/its position as guardian. A guardian/fiduciary is not paid upon rote hourly charges, but is paid only for the work that he/it does that is reasonably calculated to benefit the Estate. It is further my understanding that for services rendered that benefit the estate (judged for fiduciaries by the clear light of hindsight) are compensated on the basis of the necessary services be paid a reasonable sum. This sum is calculated not just on an hourly rate, but on a rate that takes into account what was accomplished by the services. If no benefit no payment. Disloyalty or bad conduct also creates a situation wherein the fiduciary forfeits compensation and can be surcharged and required to reimburse the fiduciary estate for its losses.
9. The foregoing statements supra are applicable to all other Dean’s grievances made herein.
PETITION TO SURCHARGE GUARDIAN FOR LACK OF FIDELITY IN ADDRESSING THE PROPERTY OF THE MARRIAGE FOR WRONGFUL ACTS DURING GUARDIANSHIP
10. Violation of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22. Possible wrongdoing by Byline Bank (not a party to this lawsuit) and the Public Guardian’s office. That on or about July 8, 2020 the law firm of Kulek served on the pro se Petitioner a lawsuit entitled Byline Bank vs. Dean Sallas, Amelia Sallas case number 2019 CH 13960. This Mortgage foreclosure was filed in the Chancery Division of Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois. This lawsuit was filed in December 2019 while the respondent Guardian (believed to be the Public Guardian) was secretly holding in its possession more than $92,000.00 of marital funds. This Court is respectfully requested to take JUDICIAL NOTICE of its own records and in particular case 2019 CH 13960.
11. That at all times relevant because this Court allowed pro-se Petitioner’s attorney to withdraw without prior notice the Petitioner was unrepresented in this Court. It is respectfully averred that the Public Guardian’s office as Guardian of property for Amelia Sallas not only failed to protect her property, but apparently aided and abetted the dissipation of her and Dean’s marital property.
12. That amongst the laws of the State of Illinois there exists a statute 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22. This statute states:
(755 ILCS 5/11a-22) (from Ch. 110 1/2, par. 11a-22)
Sec. 11a-22. Trade and contracts with a person with a disability.
(a) Anyone who by trading with, bartering, gaming or any other device, wrongfully possesses himself of any property of a person known to be a person with a disability commits a Class A misdemeanor.
(b) Every note, bill, bond or other contract by any person for whom a plenary guardian has been appointed or who is adjudged to be unable to so contract is void as against that person and his estate, but a person making a contract with the person so adjudged is bound thereby.
(Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)
13. That attached to the foreclosure complaint in case 2019 CH `13960 are documents. This Court is respectfully requested to take judicial notice of these loan documents. Exhibit g is one of the documents attached. It is called a change in terms agreement and is dated. April 25, 2017. Therein in a paragraph stating “promise to pay” the paragraph states in part:
“Dean A Sallas and Amelia Sallas (borrower) jointly and severally promise to pay to the Byline Bank formerly known as North Community Bank ***the principal sum of One hundred eighty three thousand four hundred and Ninety three and 83/100 dollars ($183, 493.84) together with interest on the unpaid principal balance from April 25, 2017 *****.
14. At all times relevant this Court had adjudicated Amelia Sallas a disabled person and such fact was known to each of the guardians assigned to this guardianship and of record. The Byline Bank is charged with knowledge thereof and both the Guardian and the Byline Bank are deemed to know the criminal prohibitions of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22.
15. That it is believed and therefore alleged upon information and belief that Robert Harris an attorney employed with the Public Guardian’s office officiated at the signing of exhibit G and in violation of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 he agreed to bind Mrs. Sallas to the promise to pay aforesaid in direct violation of the aforesaid statute. (the documents attached to the complaint as exhibit G does not bear Mrs. Sallas’ signature)
16. That attached to the foreclosure complaint in case 2019 CH 13960 is exhibit H. This Court is respectfully requested to take Judicial Notice of this document that is part of its own records. This is a change in terms agreement and is dated January 25, 2018. This agreement in a paragraph commencing with the words promise to pay states.
“Dean A Sallas and Amelia Sallas (borrower) jointly and severally promise to pay to the Byline Bank formerly known as North Community Bank ***the principal sum of One hundred seventy three thousand three hundred and sixty six and 99/100 dollars ($173, 366.99) together with interest on the unpaid principal balance from January 25, 2018 *****.
17. The signature page on exhibit H bears the signature of Dean Sallas and Amelia Sallas.  In the 3 pages of Exhibit H there is no mention of the guardianship, however on an unlabeled page immediately following page 3 of this exhibit H there is another signature page. This unlabeled and undated document does bear a signature of the guardian. The connivance and possible criminal conduct of the Public guardian (the guardian of the property) is thus revealed.
18. That as per the agreement of the parties and the marital custom of Dean and Amelia Sallas part of the pension received by Amelia was to be used to pay this loan. This loan was secured by a lien on the marital home in which both Dean and Amelia resided.
19. That the guardian honored the marital agreement of the parties and his subject agreement and attornment to pay this illegal loan, until Dean was drained of the savings that he controlled and was most vulnerable. The guardian then and there unilaterally it is believed and therefore alleged as no notice was ever given to the pro se petitioner to the contrary stopped paying the aforesaid loan. (It is believed that no prior Court order was requested – the action was unilateral by the guardian.)
20. That it is averred upon information and belief that such action was taken by the guardian intentionally to cause a foreclosure of the home of Dean and Amelia Sallas and render Dean Sallas homeless and penniless.
21. That Dean Sallas is 83 years old. Amelia is 70 plus years of age.
Wherefore the pro se petitioner prays for the following relief, to wit:
1. That this Court refer this matter and the mortgage foreclosure to the STATES ATTORNEY OF COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS, and Attorney General of the State of Illinois for prosecution of the crime specified in 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22.
2. That this Court refer this matter and the mortgage foreclosure aforesaid to the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois for a possible CIVIL RIGHTS VIOLATION as the actions of the guardians (all of them including the GAL) are abusive and predatory and are reasonably calculated to cause pain and suffering to an elderly couple who have been unlawfully separated and deprived of their valuable marriage rights.
3. That the Public Guardian be surcharged all costs of investigation by the State of Illinois and the United States of America and petitioner be given leave to FILE a damage claim against the guardians appointed herein for such injuries and damages as are proximate to the breach of fiduciary relationship by the guardian.
4. That the Public guardian be dismissed from his position of guardian for Amelia Sallas and a new hearing following the criteria of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 3 (and appropriate notice) be had to determine if Amelia is in fact a disabled person entitled to a guardian. If a guardian is found to be necessary, that Dean Sallas be appointed without bond.
5. That the Public guardian’s petition for fees be stricken until a investigation be had into the possible criminal charges mandated by 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 and an accounting can be had as to how much of a surcharge should be assessed against the public guardian.
6. Such other and different relief as might be equitable and proper.
Deny all guardian fees and surcharge their Bonds
For Count 2 the pro se plaintiff states:
22. That the averments of paragraph 1 thru 22 are incorporated by reference and made part hereof as if set forth in detail.
23. That the Mitzen was appointed on October 7, 2009. During the next decade Amelia lived as a married woman with her husband virtually without serious complaint as husband and wife. During such period Amelia continued to be unsupervised by Mitzen as to her living arrangements and intercourse with the public and until almost a decade after his appointment Medical care. Then and there he allegedly placed her in a nursing home wherein she became infected with the Covid 19 virus. Petitioner, who has been wrongfully prohibited from having contact with his wife of ½ of Century understands that in addition the guardian care has resulted in a great lessening of Amelia’s mobility and other functions. The apparent function of Mitzen was to invade the privacy of husband and wife in direct violation of the Civil and Human Rights of the marriage. In Summary, exactly what, if anything, for this decade did any guardian do except wrongfully interfere with the Civil Rights and equal protection of the parties, to wit: Amelia and Dean Sallas. There was no positive benefit to the ESTATE! The guardianship of the property had a gross negative effect on the Estate, and it is averred cost the marital estate of Dean and Amelia approximately 8 million dollars.
24. That it is apparent from the Report of Mitzen that Dean and Amelia, except for some pecuniary interference that cost the couple 8 million dollars, were essentially left alone – UNTIL Amelia’s signing herself into Swedish Covenant Hospital in 2019 demonstrating that in the opinion of Dean Sallas that the guardianship was in fact un-necessary and violated the mandate of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 3b. Wrongfully in derogation of his obligations to his ward Mitzen participated in a scheme to deny Amelia of her independence, mobility, and her marriage. Unilaterally he with the attornment of this Court created involuntarily a wrongful de facto divorce. This divorce denied both parties of their long-term marriage relationship, their marital savings, and assets/ This action violates the 5th and 14th Amendments to the Constitution. Pursuant to Article 1 Section 12 of the Illinois Constitution it is respectfully suggested that this Court is obligated to rectify this “human trafficking in the elderly.”
25. No hearing was ever held by this Court (that [Petitioner is aware of addressing the creation and promulgation of the party’s ultra vires de facto divorce. No hearing was held before stripping Sallas of their assets and secreting $92,000.00 in secret funds. (secret from Sallas) Indeed, it is respectfully averred by the Petitioner that the guardians appointed herein have largely usurped the powers of this Court for their own benefit and when the Petitioner attempted to resist the overt violation of his Federal and State Constitutional Rights he was intimidated by statements such as: “you have no standing!.” Indeed, how can any elderly person stand up to an array of lawyers consisting of a 1) Guardian ad Litem who is reputed to be one of they experts in Probate and in particular Guardian law who consistently is referring to his NOT HAVING STANDING to protest the ex-parte abrogation of his marriage, the confiscation of his property rights etc; 2) The PUBLIC GUARDIAN who while undermining the marriages life savings now informs this court that it has secretly accumulated $92,000. This is the same Guardian who openly aided and abetted a clear violation of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22. And 3) a guardian of the person who refuses to communicate with the petitioner and who promulgates a de facto, ex-parte dissolution of a 50-year marriage.
26. That the Guardian ad litem, it is believed and therefore alleged knew or should have known of the breaches of fiduciary relationship that were occurring in this Estate, but instead of disclosing the same consistently attempted to intimidate Dean Sallas with statements such as “you have no status.” The guardians collectively knew that the 9 million dollars net, net were marital funds and that Dean Sallas had equal rights in those funds and the fact that a guardian was appointed by this Court did not obviate Dean Sallas’ Fifth and Fourteen Amendment Rights. No right to impoverish Dean Sallas or render him homeless was granted by any Statute. The rights granted to a guardian are limited by 755 ILCS 5/11a – 3b.
27. That guardianship is not an exception to the 13th Amendment – it is consistent with it and is limited. 755 ILCS 5/11a – 3b states:
Guardianship shall be utilized only as is necessary to promote the well-being of the person with a disability, to protect him from neglect, exploitation, or abuse, and to encourage development of his maximum self-reliance and independence. Guardianship shall be ordered only to the extent necessitated by the individual's actual mental, physical, and adaptive limitations.
(Source: P.A. 99-143, eff. 7-27-15.)
It is respectfully suggested that herein Abuse has been the goal of this guardianship and no compensation for such abuse of law is available under the law of fiduciaries – who are held to the highest standard of conduct – not the nadir.
Wherefore because of the obvious ultra vires actions of all three guardians the pro se petitioner prays for the following relief, to wit:
1) That this Court refer this matter and in particular this matter to LAW ENFORCEMENT for a complete INVESTIGATION of the actions of all three guardians appointed herein, their accumulation of $90,000 referred to in their petition for fees and other issues. The Americans with Disabilities Act states the position of America as to disabled persons – NOT THE ACTIONS of the guardians herein disclosed.
2) That this Court refer this matter, because of the questionable financial situation herein disclosed by the Guardians in their position for fees (i.e. the accumulation of $92,000 of marital funds and the promulgation of a mortgage foreclosure of the marital home, that this matter be referred to the CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU for investigation as to any financial irregularities.
3) That this Court order the Bonds filed by the guardians to be forfeited and paid into the Estate of Amelia Sallas
4) That this Court require the guardians to honestly account for all monies derived directly or indirectly by them or by any nominee for them directly or indirect from this Estate.
5) That this put an end to the abuse herein disclosed promulgated by the guardians.
6) That this Court award such other and different relief as may be appropriate.
Under penalties as provide d by law pursuant to Section 1-19 of the Code of Civil Procedure the undersigned certifies that the fact statements made herein are true and correct, except as to matters and statements stated to be pursuant to information and belief.
 Amelia suffered a stroke shortly before the filing of the incompetency petition, but she shortly recovered most, if not substantially all her functions. Any disability that she suffered was relatively minor. It certainly did not meet the criterion of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 3.
 Dean and Amelia objected to the invasion of their rights, however, as in most of the guardianship cases reported in the Blogs AAAPG, Probate Sharks, NASGA, and MaryGSykes the objections were met with a deaf ear. The usual retort to a beleaguered family member attempting to protect the Estate is “you do not have standing!” The net is the property is lost to the alleged disabled person. It has been averred in articles in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, New Yorker magazine, Huffington Post and in a recent Netflix series referred to as “dirty money” documentary on guardianship that the guardian profits from such arrangements. An investigation is necessary to ascertain if such has occurred herein – why else would the outrageous interference with the pecuniary affairs of Sallas occurred? However, at this time no allegation is made.
 Mitzen’s current report to the Court is significant. The report, while vague and a bit deceptive suggests that there was something wrong with the sleeping arrangements etc. However, such were the arrangements for about a decade and the guardian found nothing amiss. Suddenly – he intervened after more than nine years. The right of privacy of the parties and their right to be non-conventional is protected by the Illinois and Federal Constitution and the words and phrases of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 3b. No guardian is appointed ‘lord and master’ of a disabled person! Each individual is entitled to be non-conformist if he or she so desires without the approval of Mr. Mitzen et al.
 Dean Sallas attempted to obtain competent legal counsel – but most counsel were intimidated by the reputation of guardianship in Cook County, Illinois. Dean did obtain counsel, but, during the pendency of a hearing as to the removal of the guardians based upon Amelia’s not meeting the criteria, without notice and without warning (but admitting the Dean was not at fault) Dean’s then attorney was given leave of Court to withdraw. Dean was left without counsel. Dean did attempt to obtain new counsel, but the prior attorney refused new prospective counsel access to Dean’s file. Dean is still attempting to obtain counsel but is unsuccessful. The action of the guardians herein further contributes to the impossibility of Dean obtaining competent representation in this matter.
 This Court has effectively granted to Amelia and Dean Sallas a defacto divorce complete with a hostile settlement arrangement effectively designed to impoverish Sallas and render him homeless.
 It is no wonder, having secreted by their own admission over $90,000 of marital funds, the guardians were so reluctant to provide the Petitioner with copies of the current account of the guardians and their petition for fees. Indeed, it is respectfully suggested that the Guardian ad litem’s assertion that petitioner has no standing to address the financial affairs of this estate in light of the secret cache of marital funds is disingenuous and ethically challenged. It also suggests a callous disregard for the 5th and 14th Amendments. Dean and Amelia Sallas are still legally married – outside this Courtroom – and the funds of Dean and the funds of Amelia are still MARITAL FUNDS. The public guardian et al might be especially important people, but their authority does not obviate the limitations of the Illinois and Federal Constitutions.
 As a lay person, I apologize to the Court if I get some of the lawyer phrases wrong.
 For instance, secreting $92,000.00 of marital funds is not a benefit to the Ward. Creating an ex-parte de facto dissolution of marriage and separating a couple who have dedicated their lives to each other is not a benefit to the Estate. Spending large sums of money each month for a nursing home residency so that husband and wife can be forcibly separated rather than allow the couple to continue to live at home is wrongful and not a benefit to the Estate.
 The service of rendering the spouse of the ward insolvent and homeless is respectfully suggested as warranting a surcharge to be charged to the Guardian = not a charge against the secret $92,000 cache to pay unnecessary and overblown fees. It is strongly suggested by Dean Sallas that during these proceedings the focus appears to be on intimidating and denigrating him, rather that providing NECESSARY services to his wife. The constant harangue of the GAL claiming that Dean Sallas (the petitioner) herein has NO STANDING to protect his own property is more than obnoxious – it is rank abuse and intimidation. Such activity cannot be condoned unless this Court refuses to recognize petitioner’s right to EQUALITY UNDER THE LAW and the right to protect his property.
 Dean’s funds are severely limited for reasons that he herein complains. The lack of funds severely hampers his ability to protect his and his wife’s CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS that have herein been infringed. Dean respectfully requests that an accommodation be made for him and that this Court protect his interests and in particular his right to protest the wrongful actions that he has attempted to enumerate and bring to this Court’s attention. In particular he requests that this Court appoint an independent attorney to represent he and his wife of 50 years from the ravages of this guardianship, the wrongful de facto dissolution of marriage and the dissipation of the marital estate – and to seek appropriate relief.
 Attached to the complaint following exhibit H is an unlabeled document not signed by Dean Sallas but signed by a Charles Golbert acting Cook County Public Guardian. Nothing in this document indicates that it relates to any other document attached to the complaint. The document is also undated but there is a place for Dean Sallas to sign but no such signature appears. There also is no exculpation for Amelia Sallas This document is interesting as it can be interpreted as having no relevance; however, it was attached for some reason. Was the reason to be candid with the Court and point out that 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 was violated and the lender and the guardian were aware of the violation of a criminal statute? It should be noted that my reading of the exhibits, the aforesaid exhibits connote NO exculpation for Mrs. Sallas but the exhibits/documents acknowledge that Mrs. Sallas read and understood the agreement to engage in a debit/credit situation. In a prior but extraneous document signed by Mr. Golbert the same legend appears recognizing that Mrs. Sallas is a joint and several debtor. Thus it must be assumed , Golbert understood by his signature that he was a party to the violation of 755 ILCS 5/11a -22. It is suggested that this act by Mr. Golbert is subject being a co-conspirator with the Byline Bank and subject to a substantial surcharge for the breach of his fiduciary responsibility. Section 22 is a remedial statute and thus subject to liberal construction. The Byline Bank as the author of the loan documents is presumed to not only know the law, but to intend the words and phrases that they used. Ergo, from my half century in the Real Estate business it would seem to me that the documents are to be strictly construed against the Byline Bank and its coconspirators. Because of the threat to leave me (Dean Sallas) homeless and penniless I have been in contact with several Federal agencies, i.e FDIC, CFPB, and FBI. I disclose the same as pursuant to the First Amendment, whether I have standing or not to defend my marital assets, I still have First Amendment Rights.
 It is believed that the Illinois law provides that the release of one debtor (or the release as in this case of one guardian) releases all debtors privy to the transaction. Thus, neither Dean nor Amelia by Statute is indebted to the Byline Bank. However, the actions of the Public guardian need clarification and explanation as this Court cannot be a party to any questionable conduct. Case 2019 CH 13960 clearly presents a serious question ethical and legal question.
 The continued statement of the Guardian ad Litem that the petition Dean SAllas has no standing in these proceedings (and any Court attornment) is in derogation of the express protections of the Fifth and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution. The Guardian ad Litem (and this Court) are well aware that for half a century the ‘partnership’ ‘Marriage’ of Amelia and Dean Sallas accumulated substantial funds and savings. As such the Courts of the United States of America recognized that such funds are MARITAL FUNDS (including the now disclosed $92,000 secreted by the guardians) and both Dean and Amelia have vested rights in those funds. To deny Dean Sallas ‘status’ and the right to protest is a blatant and wrongful denial of his citizenship and his EQUAL PROTECTION OF THE LAW. As seasoned lawyers the Judge, and each of the Guardians are well aware of such fact. THUS, THE STATEMENT that Dean has no standing – and any attornment thereto – is wrongful and cannot be tolerated directly or indirectly. It is also per se ELDER ABUSE.
 The guardians in this case were essentially ‘on their own’ to abuse and terrorize Dean and Amelia Sallas. Dean is unaware of any attornment by this Court to the mortgage under foreclosure or the secret accumulation of $92,000 in marital funds by the guardian.
good discussion on how there is no limitations period for fraud on the court
by Laurie Azgard
Is the U.S. district court in Greensboro and Winston-Salem in North Carolina acting outside of it’s original authority delegated by the Constitution of the United States of America?
Is the federal court system throughout the “Middle District of North Carolina” even acting as a legitimate judicial tribunal authority or has it over-exceeded that legal authority?
It all goes back to the principal of Magna Carta Libertatum, and as of why Courts in the first place have the authority to interpret the Constitution and the laws passed by Congress as well as executive orders passed by Presidents. We have three branches of government. One of the branches is the executive branch also known as the President of the United States. Second branch is the legislative branch which is that of Congress. The third branch of government is the judicial branch which is what of the courts. Originally the…
View original post 1,252 more words
Its absolutely amazing how the wealthy and powerful get right in the middle of bribes and schemes that hurt consumers to the tune of millions per year, but the Illinois ARDC does nothing against the lawyer, as if lawyers were given a license to make underhanded and illegal deals that hurt consumers and taxpayers.
Read on about the FBI investigation of Michael Madigan, speaker of the house. Pritzker has already said that if the allegations are true MM must resign as speaker (and I hope representative too)
Just when things could not get worse–Wells Fargo is not crediting mortgage payments and is not responding and some have found they lied on their credit reports!
story at 21:14
I also have credible reports that Comcast promised ccustomers who lost jobs or could not pay they would transition them to $15 per month indigent programs, like AT&T provides to those on govt aide.
Instead, Comcrap has continued to bill these customers up to $100 per month and refuses to correct the bills.
This is nothing by corporate virus fraud and profiteering. Report this theft to the authorities (states attorney, DOJ and FBI)
The human trafficking in the ELDERLY (Elder Cleansing) meets the definition that most States and the United States have for CRIMINAL ELDER ABUSE. Why then is there no Criminal Prosecutions?
Elder Abuse generally falls in 7 categories, to wit:
· Physical abuse is defined as any act of violence that causes pain, injury, impairment, or disease, including striking, pushing, force-feeding, and improper use of physical restraints or medication.
· Psychological or emotional abuse is conduct that causes mental anguish. Examples include threats, verbal or nonverbal insults, isolation, and humiliation. Some legal definitions require identification of at least 10 episodes of this type of behavior within a single year to constitute abuse.
· Financial abuse is misuse of an elderly person’s money or assets for personal gain. Acts such as stealing (e.g., money, social security checks, possessions) or coercion (e.g., changing a will, assuming power of attorney) constitute financial abuse.
· Neglect is the failure of a caretaker to provide for the patient’s basic needs. As in the previous examples of abuse, neglect can be physical, emotional, or financial. Physical neglect is failure to provide eyeglasses or dentures, preventive health care, safety precautions, or hygiene. Emotional neglect includes failure to provide social stimulation (e.g., leaving an older person alone for extended periods). Financial neglect involves failure to use the resources available to restore or maintain the well-being of the aging adult.
· Sexual abuse is defined as nonconsensual intimate contact or exposure or any similar activity when the patient is incapable of giving consent. Family members, friends, institutional employees, and fellow patients can commit sexual abuse.
· Self-neglect is behavior in which seniors compromise their own health and safety, as when an aging adult refuses needed help with various daily activities. When the patient is deemed competent, many ethical questions arise regarding the patient’s right of autonomy and the physician’s oath of beneficence.
· The miscellaneous category includes all other types of abuse, including violation of personal rights (e.g., failing to respect the aging person’s dignity and autonomy), medical abuse, and abandonment.
One or more of the categories of Elder Abuse is present in just about every guardianship case that has been mentioned in the blogs AAAPG, NASGA, MARYGSYKES, Probate Sharks *****. As the cases referred to in the blogs are guardianship cases, we have a pandemic of ELDER ABUSE that is being openly and notoriously ignored. Like the Americans with Disabilities Act we all talk about the Older Americans Act and it is a big mystery to us. From Find Law I dug out the following:
created by FindLaw’s team of legal writers and editors | Last updated June 20, 2016
The Older Americans Act (OAA) is a federal law that promotes the well-being of Americans 60 years old and above through services and programs designed to meet the specific needs of older citizens. Services provided under the Older Americans Act include:
· Home-delivered and communal meals
· Family caregiver support
· Health services home assistance for the elderly
· Job training and volunteer opportunities
· Protections from elder abuse
About 11 million people received services such as meals, home care, and transportation through OAA programs in 2010.
Objectives of the Older Americans Act
Congressional concern about the lack of community-based support services for older people helped spur the passage of the Older Americans Act. Like Medicare and Medicaid, the Older Americans Act was passed in 1965 as part of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society reforms. The Act seeks to ensure retirement income, physical and mental health, suitable housing, employment, protection from age-based discrimination and efficient community services for older individuals. The OAA works to accomplish these goals through direct funding to states and state services and the creation of federal agencies designed to implement the Act.
The Administration on Aging
The Older Americans Act created the Administration on Aging, the main federal agency tasked with carrying out the objectives of the Act. The Administration on Aging provides services and programs designed to help aging individuals live independent lives in their homes and communities. Perhaps the most well-known of these programs is the communal and home delivered meals program, sometimes referred to as “Meals on Wheels.” In addition to meals, this program focuses on health and nutrition education.
The Administration’s Office of Elder Rights Protection focuses on protecting older individuals from elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation through strategic planning and research. The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program provides full-time ombudsmen, or public advocates, to help represent the interests of people in long-term care environments, such as assisted living facilities. Finally, the OAA funds employment and training programs for low-income, unemployed people 55 years old and above, which has helped more than 1 million participants enter or re-enter the workforce.
State and Area Agencies on Aging
The Older Americans Act funds many programs for the elderly through direct grants to states. Each state receives OAA funds based on the percentage of people 60 or above in the state. OAA funding, while small compared to programs such as Medicaid, provides an important safety-net for older individuals who might be at risk of hunger, food insecurity or loss of independent living.
As part of the Older Americans Act, each state must create a State Agency on Aging. State Agencies in turn manage Area Agencies on Aging, which plan, develop, and coordinate community services for older people. There are over 620 Area Agencies. These agencies connect older individuals to the important services provided through the Older Americans Act. You can check online to find the area agency nearest to you.
Who Is Eligible for Services Under the Older Americans Act?
Each state establishes its own eligibility criteria for receiving services under OAA programs. Generally, no one age 60 or above can be denied services from Older American Act programs unless the state establishes. States are prohibited from denying anyone services because of their income. That means that someone who might earn too much to qualify for services directed at low income individuals would still be able to receive services provided under OAA state programs. Contacting a State Agency on Aging will help you determine which services are available to you.
If you’re wondering about your rights as you age or if you’re caring for an aging parent or family member, consider contacting a qualified elder law attorney to discuss the unique issues you may face.
Many aggrieved elderly and their children have examined the laws protecting their parents and found the laws to be amazing protective, but the enforcement impotent and/or non-existent. It is absolutely amazing to look into some of the Probate guardianship cases and see that no only are the most basic laws openly violated by Guardians but a sitting CIRCUIT COURT JUDGE stands ready willing and able to aid and protect the interests of a COURT APPOINTED GUARDIAN from compliance with the law.
· A pending case in COOK COUNTY, ILLINOIS is the Amelia Sallas case 07 P 5360. The facts are straight forward. Mrs. Sallas had a ‘stroke’ that apparently did not disable her as she continued to perform her chores in her home, drive a car, engage landscapers to address the exterior of her home as well as cook and clean. Mr. and Mrs. Sallas were married for 50 plus years. Sallas became vulnerable and reputed to have a net worth of 9 plus million dollars and an estranged family. Thus, it was not long before Amelia was provided with a guardian of the person and a plenary guardian. A Guardian ad Litem was appointed to provide ‘cover’ for the Court in obviating the objections that Mr. Sallas was certain to have when his wife was sequestered and placed under artificial control of the Court appointed guardians. What followed was obscene. The miscreants determined it was in their best interests (not the Sallas’) that husband and wife be separated from each other. The presiding judge at the direction of the Guardian ad Litem used her authority to facilitate what amounts to a de facto involuntary dissolution of marriage coupled with a predatory property settlement. As Dean Sallas (the husband objected) the Court facilitated his being deprived of an attorney.
· The Helen Stone case out of Dade County, Florida is a classic breach of Trust by the supervising Judge complete with the placement of an un=necessary feeding tube and overt harassment and intimidation of Mrs. Stone’s Lawyer daughter who objected to the official violation of State and Federal Law.
· The Alice Gore case and Mary Sykes cases out of Cook County, Illinois are examples of Court attornment to outright theft of a senior’s assets. Mary’s husbands million-dollar gold coin collection just disappeared along with another 2 million dollars in assets (see Gloria Sykes affidavit). Alice Gore not only had 1.5 million dollars disappear, but the ultimate insult was the GAL allegedly directed 29 of her teeth be removed so that the gold fillings could be retrieved.
· The New Yorker Magazine guardian report of October 2018 reveals a serial guardian
· The Orland Sentinel newspaper directs us to a Florida serial guardian, to wit:
TALLAHASSEE – Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Thursday a series of reforms to the state’s guardianship program, spurred by the case of Rebecca Fierle, who authorities said approved a “do not resuscitate” order against a client’s wishes and double-billed hospitals while overseeing hundreds of wards.
The bill requires guardians of elderly patients unable to look after themselves to get approval from a judge to sign DNR orders and places greater restrictions on how guardians are appointed to prevent conflicts of interest.
Prospective guardians will not be able to petition for their own appointment to a ward unless they are related to the patient.
The law takes effect July 1.
Lawmakers reacted after the revelations in the Fierle case, which came to light in May 2019 after her ward, Steven Stryker died in a Tampa hospital. Medical staffers said they could not intervene to save him because of the “do not resuscitate” order signed by Fierle on his behalf but over the objections of his daughter.
Fierle’s attorneys have argued that as a court-appointed guardian, the law did not require her to seek permission before signing a DNR order.
An investigation by Orange County Comptroller Phil Diamond’s officer later found Fierle had double-billed AdventHealth for services for 682 patients worth nearly $4 million over the course of a decade. She was removed from the guardianship program in September by an Orange County judge, who cited the comptroller’s report.
“This law will go a long way in protecting Florida’s seniors and most vulnerable citizens from fraudsters and predators,” Diamond said in a released statement. “Thank you to the Florida Legislature for its good work in helping to protect Florida’s seniors and most vulnerable from those who would harm them.”
Fierle was arrested in February on charges of abuse and neglect of an elderly patient.
A series of Orlando Sentinel special reports last fall found that lax enforcement of guidelines for appointing guardians allowed them to petition for their own appointments, as well as cases of potential conflict of interest on panels judging whether a person needs a guardian.
The new law is designed to address those loopholes.
SB 994 was one of 21 bills with a Thursday deadline awaiting action by DeSantis. He still has 117 more pending before his desk, including one requiring business use E-Verify or a similar system to check the immigration status of potential hires and the $93.2 billion budget. He must act on them by July 1.
Another 26 bills have not been formally sent to him by the Legislature.
The Fierle case exposes another serial guardian who the Court not only allowed to run roughshod over ELDERLY people and their families but participated in the criminal activity. So common is this scenario that Netflix had a documentary on guardianship in its series on DIRTY MONEY and the Government Accounting Office has sent 4 plus reports to Congress so that they could ignore them.
The arrogance and the Fascist tendencies of these Court ordered criminal ventures is highlighted in the Fierle fiasco. Fierle determined which of the guardianship victims should live or die . The GAL in the Gore case had the attornment of a sitting judge of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois to ravage the mouth of an elderly woman so that a few grains of gold could be obtained. In Nuremberg, the World War 2 War Crimes Court convicted doctors who did similar atrocities! In Cook County, Illinois, and the United States of America we sit on our hands and pass more legislation rather than punish the pernicious fiduciaries who abuse their wards. We even pay them hundreds of dollars an hour for their infamy.
I apologize for not alerting you to the Older American’s Act sooner. This Act may be a vehicle that can get the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA to join in our fight against City Hall and bring the corrupt Judicial and Political miscreants to Justice. Hopefully in the process we can protect some of the elderly targeted for the FELONIES OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE ELDERLY.
Laws that are un-enforced are as good as no laws whatsoever! Public officials such as Judges who do NOT understand that a public position is a public trust have no business on the bench or in the practice of law. The Covid 19 pandemic has killed of tens of thousands of people who should have been protected by the Act! Why were they not? Why did States like Illinois and New York allow this travesty to exist? Unfortunately, we know why? A five-letter word explains the situation, to wit: M O N E Y. But for Covid 19 each of the miscreants would have gotten away with ELDER ABUSE on a grand and very profitable scale!
 Mr. Sallas is testing whether or not Federal Laws are going to be enforced or are merely words on paper to appease the elderly and people who care for them. Tomorrow Mr. Sallas will have in the mail a complaint to several Federal agencies charged specifically with addressing the laws that were violated.
 The organized intimidation of the legal profession directing it to attorn to the criminal enterprise promulgated and being conducted in the Probate Division of so many of our Courts has been extremely effective and continues to be so. Unfortunately, bureaucrats are ingrained from day one in the universal military principle – DO NOT VOLUNTEER! Indeed, they have been true to their code regardless how heinous the crime committed on an elderly person or his/her family. Lawyers who followed the dictates of ABA Rule 8.3 were prosecuted for violating Rule 8.4. How dare you accuse a judge who has his hand in the till with having his hand in the till! The administrator of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission pointed out that Attorney JoAnne Denison in exposing judicial corruption was disrupting the workings of the Illinois Court system and characterized her action as akin to “yelling fire in a crowded theater!” The Illinois Supreme Court agreed, and Attorney Denison received a suspension of her law license. They also insisted on an “interrim suspension” prior to when the Illinois Supreme Court would rule based upon the fact her blog was a danger or threat to the public. Truth is the ultimate threat to the Illinois ARDC
published with permission
Senior Lives Matter
The endgame of professional guardianship exploitation in America is financial gain. That should be obvious. But what may not be so obvious is the stealthy strategy utilized by the probate court insiders to maximize their gains and leverage them in what can rightfully be called a formalized process of wealth transfer from wards to the court insiders.
The obvious and direct fashion by which lawyers, guardians and others expropriate the savings and earnings of a lifetime from award are through legal and guardian fees. These fees which are almost always excessive and redundant are routinely approved at nearly 100% of the ask by the complicit and compliant probate administrative judge.
But what goes on behind-the-scenes in order for the big cash out may be of interest to you because it reveals the sophisticated nature of the financial transactions necessary to fully leverage a guardianship for the benefit of the court insiders.
To illustrate this process let’s create a representative scenario using pseudonyms. The players are:
The Guardian: Ms. Screwem
Guardians’ lawyer: Mr. Cheatham
The judge: Judge Howe
The ward: Mrs. Whitehair
The charity: Archbishop O’Greedy
The Appraiser: Mr. Foneybooks
The location: Greased Palm Beach. Florida
So Screwem Cheatham and Howe conspire to take Whitehair’s home which has an actual real market value of $1,000,000. Here’s how they do it.
After initiating guardianship by whatever means necessary, guardian Screwem musters all the assets of Whitehair by court order from Howe, including her fully paid for residence, any vehicles, the contents of her safe deposit box, any items of value in her home and all her documents relating to financial instruments including investment accounts, retirement accounts, annuities, life insurance policies, prepaid burial arrangements. Screwem immediately proceeds to dispose of them in order to make them into readily available cash deposited in accounts that only Screwem controls. Some valuable items like expensive jewelry or collectibles suddenly “cannot be located “ or later mysteriously disappear from the mandatory accounting required by judge Howe who simply accepts this explanation. By sheer unbelievable coincidence some valuable items that look exactly like the ward’s property that had disappeared –never to be seen again by the family—seem magically to be re-appear on the wrists, fingers and lapels of some of the court insiders and their cronies — just a coincidence to be sure. Items that cannot be sold or are not worth the effort of selling particularly those of only sentimental value are either
- intentionally destroyed
- auctioned off to desperate family members who must bid against each other for them
- donated to either a charity in return for personal tax deduction for Screwem or
- given to privately owned antique stores for resale, some of those stores belonging to the spouse of Screwem
Motor vehicles, leisure craft, boats, motorcycles and even bicycles wind up at sellers of used vehicles frequented by the court insiders for tiny fractions of their actual value (kindly certified by the use car vehicles own internal appraiser). Ostensibly this takes place because of the urgent need to raise cash to “care for the ward” and avoid having to deal with family members who might argue that the property had been sold at ridiculously low valuations.
During all this time, assets are “conserved” by not paying Whitehair’s
- property insurance
- property taxes
- maintenance or maintenance fees
- income taxes
- utility bills
- health insurance premiums
But at the same time, Cheatham and Screwem’s burgeoning hourly fees are accumulating. Amazingly their court request for payment of these fees will only be submitted to the court when the total of those fees is roughly equal to the value of an appraisal of the only remaining asset of Whitehair’s, her home, performed by Mr. Foneybooks who is the appraiser of choice for Cheatham. That appraisal for $200,000 takes into account the “dilapidated condition of the house, the need for repairs, the taxes that need to be paid” and all sorts of other assorted reasons why the house has been legitimately appraised at so far below market value. This appraisal is blindly accepted by judge Howe at $200,000.
Cheatham approaches Judge Howe in an emergency hearing telling a story that the guardianship is running out of funds “to pay for the care of the ward” and that the only option is to sell her home. Howe agrees and orders that the house be sold at the best possible price based on the lowball appraisal from Foneybooks.
Once the sale is authorized, rather than listing the house on the typical real estate listing services, the sale is not advertised to anyone except Cheatham. No offers are made on the house until Cheatham or one of his associates makes an offer of $100,000 cash. That offer is presented to the judge as the only available option to raise money for the “care of the ward”. Judge Howe approves the sale and Cheatham writes a check to the guardians account for the ward in exchange for ownership of the house.
Immediately, Cheatham arranges with Foneybooks to have a new appraisal performed this time appraising the house at its full real market value of $1 million. During the prior week’s he has already lined up an actual retail buyer, Joe Public, who is willing to pay $900,000 which is a below-market bargain. Public buys the house for cash.
By this time Cheatham and Screwem submit their bills to the court for services that are up-to-the-minute and they just happen to equal the total amount of the proceeds from the sale to Cheatham.
The court approves the fees and thereby wipes out the estate of the ward. Totally and legally. Now the ward has become totally dependent on taxpayer-funded services for every aspect of their life from residence to medications to health insurance and food and drink. Taxpayers are now footing the bill for Whitehair who before the guardianship had more than enough money to take care of herself for at least two lifetimes.
In the meantime Cheatham laid out $100,000 and wound up with a net profit of $800,000 for his trouble. Whether those profits are ever reported as income is not clear. It is also not clear whether Cheatham “compensates” Foneybooks for his generous appraisals– one lowball and the other highball.
All the past due taxes and fees are paid by the new owner who takes out title insurance and has still managed to get a million-dollar home for far below market value.
There is an alternative to this scenario however which is even more impressive.
Once Cheatham, a devout Catholic, acquires the property, he informs Archbishop O Greedy that out of the generosity of his heart he would like to donate the residence of the ward to the church. He proceeds to complete a quitclaim deed naming the church as the new owner of the property for $100. The church then does whatever repairs are necessary and sells it at full or nearly full market value– as appraised by Mr. Foneybooks again- through its extensive network of realtors and representatives. In return for his incredible largess, Archbishop O Greedy presents attorney Cheatham with a donation letter indicating that he can deduct nearly all of the full appraised value of the property he so graciously donated to the church from his income taxes over the next several years. This arrangement works so beautifully that Cheatham arranges the donation of over 100 such homes to the Archbishop’s church over just a few years in Greased Palm Beach County Florida, for example.
With all the cash money that is sloshing around from these transactions, all of them hidden from taxation, there is plenty to go around to grease the wheels for the next transaction.
The church also has other options since it pays no taxes, it can do minimal repairs on the property– often donated– and rent the property in perpetuity while at the same time taking out a mortgage on the property once or twice to dramatically increase cash flow. This might explain why certain church based organizations in Greased Palm Beach Florida have real estate divisions.
The impact on the ward is quite obvious– financial death. The impact on the federal and state government is also obvious no taxes paid on the property transfer, property tax or sales profit.
The records of all these transactions can be conveniently concealed since guardianship records are routinely sequestered by the court.
Another interesting business tactic is that guardianship firms like Screwem’s are established as nonprofits doing public good and thus not having to pay taxes. Despite raking in multimillion-dollar revenues every year, huge operating expenses and salaries which count against revenues amazingly wipe out any potential profit that might result in a tax liability. Of course official revenues for tax records don’t normally include or identify kickbacks to and from downstream vendors, bribes to law enforcement and politicians.
This culture of creative exploitation might also include judge Howe. How?
- lawyers practicing in front of the judge procuring donations to the judge’s reelection committee
- insider deals for real estate development
- private placements for investment opportunity
- blackmailing among and between members of the court insider cabal
- mortgage and real estate fraud
The scheme and playbool under discussion is complex and opaque and beautifully hidden from the public and litigants. It is almost foolproof because evidence of these tactics is nearly impossible to acquire. It is the perfect crime.
When an innocent individual loses their rights, especially to an unneeded, illegitimate guardianship populated by uncontrolled unmonitored and unsupervised greed based court insiders human traffickers, the outcome is almost always the same– financial ruin, exceeding cruel isolation and miserable death by guardianship.
Is it time for us to start chanting and demonstrating “Senior Lives Matter”?
written by Dr. Sam Sugar, Director of aaapg.net
abusive guardianships in Detroit continue.
$376k for the guardianship.
Caring Hearts charges $46k for being guardian for 6 months. Owned by Katherine Kirk–Kirk writes thousands of dollars in checks, uses her husband as a lawyer, Robert Kirk.
Put up fence to block relative/children from seeing step mom and dad and charged estate $13,000 for a simple fence.
Probate lawyer charges $67k in legal fees
Judge Katherine George did this.
Attorney General intervened, noted the self dealing, but how did this happen in the first place? Where was the AG when Caring Heart took guardianship
Called the home a “house of horrors”. Guardian was harsh, made the elderly couple take cold showers alleged by family.
Barbara suffered a stroke and passed away.
Reporter admits many families fighting abusive gships in Michigan.
You know, I bet over and over Gov. C of NY has been told that nursing homes are horrible dangerous places that just kill people by neglect and often abuse. Why do we have them? I have no idea other than to allow the wealthy to soak up govt medicare/medicaid and state health care funds.
Notice how this NY Post article is careful to avoid even a mere whiff of mentioning the dangerous abusive care in most nursing homes.
Cuomo’s nursing home reversal is too little, too late for those now dead: Goodwin
Gov. Cuomo will never be confused with Fiorello La Guardia. “When I make a mistake, it’s a beaut,” the legendary mayor of New York once confessed.
Unfortunately, Cuomo’s pride and political calculations don’t allow him to admit error even as he finally reverses one of the mostly deadly policy mistakes in New York history.
Nursing homes and rehabilitation centers have tallied more than 5,000 coronavirus deaths, yet the governor accepts zero responsibility despite his March 25th order forcing them to take infected patients from hospitals.
Now he says they no longer have to do that, announcing Sunday that “a hospital cannot discharge a person who is COVID positive to a nursing home.”
Indeed, the initial order denied nursing homes the right even to ask if patients being sent by hospitals had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Now hospitals must do discharge tests and only those who are negative can be referred to nursing homes.
Said one nursing home executive, “It feels at least a month too late.”
The move comes amid growing calls for an independent investigation of the nursing home catastrophe, where the death count dwarfs the total deaths in every other state except New Jersey.
Still, Cuomo claims the reversal is not a reversal, nor is it a recognition of the fatal impact of the initial order.
“Whatever we’re doing has worked, on the facts,” he insisted.
He should try selling that view to Maria Porteus. She lost her father, Carlos Gallegos, to the coronavirus in a Long Island nursing home last month soon after the state forced it to accept infected patients. She watched the governor Sunday and was left steaming.
“I’m still angry and I’m still hurt,” she said. “It’s a slap in the face for him because he’s not taking responsibility for what happened to my father and so many others.”
Porteus said she’s part of a Facebook group that has nearly 250 members who lost loved ones in nursing homes, adding: “The stories are all almost the same. And Cuomo’s still acting like he’s not the one who did this order, like it’s somebody else or it’s the nursing homes’ fault.”
Arlene Mullin, who lost her father under similar circumstances, also was unhappy with Cuomo Sunday. She said in an e-mail:
“In light of how many mothers lost their lives, it was distasteful to use his press conference as a tribute to his mother. He could have called her privately to wish her well on Mother’s Day. It was insensitive to those people whose mothers died in nursing homes due to his cruel policy.”
Cuomo insists the nursing homes “could have resisted” taking COVID-positive patients if they had no ability to care for them. The order, he seemed to be saying, was only meant to ensure that such patients were not discriminated against.
That point, he conceded, “was never really communicated,” as if the March 25 order was not meant to be taken verbatim.
So the only failure is a failure to communicate, though he didn’t specify whose failure that was. Certainly not his.
There are two gaping holes in that argument. First, nursing homes never believed they had any right to deny infected patients, saying the order from the state Department of Health would have included that option if that were the intent. The order’s language did not offer any hint of flexibility.
“No resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the NH solely based on a confirmed or suspected diagnosis of COVID-19,” it reads. “NHs are prohibited from requiring a hospitalized resident who is determined medically stable to be tested for COVID-19 prior to admission or readmission.”
Worse, the order came without warning, took effect immediately and gave the homes no time to set up segregated beds and staff.
All nursing homes, good and bad, large and small, were treated as if they were fit for an influx of coronavirus patients.
The second problem with Cuomo’s claim is the case of the Cobble Hill Health Center, which lost at least 55 patients to the virus. The CEO, Donny Tuchman, showed reporters April emails where he asked state health officials for assistance, and was turned down. He also asked them if COVID-19 patients he had could be sent instead to the Javits Center or the Navy ship Comfort, both of which were far below capacity. He was rejected again.
It’s true there was one way Albany officials did help beleaguered nursing homes. The packages of equipment they sent included body bags.
CLIFTON, Ill. (WCIA) — An Iroquois County nursing center confirmed Friday over two dozen residents and several staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
Molly Gaus, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications for Ascension Living — which owns the Merkle-Knipprath nursing center in Clifton — said in an emailed statement Friday they proactively conducted testing for the virus out of an abundance of caution, to ensure the safety of their staff and residents.
According to the Merkle-Knipprath representative, 28 nursing center residents and five staff members have tested positive for COVID-19.
“The health and safety of our residents and associates continues to be our first priority,” Gaus said. “Every action and measure we put in place reflects our commitment to protecting people who are at higher risk for adverse health complications.”
Thanks to the tests, she added, they identified asymptomatic individuals who had the virus. Gaus said it allowed their team to quickly implement additional precautions.
“We compassionately care for 24 residents who are recovering in our community and are thankful for the care and support we are providing to keep them comfortable and safe,” Gaus.
At a Thursday press conference, the Iroquois County Public Health Department (ICPHD) Administrator said six residents of their county who have tested positive for the virus were hospitalized.
Our team is doing a heroic job in providing care and adapting to these unprecedented times as we provide care to all who have underlying medical conditions that have brought them to our community. In the midst of all of these clinical precautions, our focus remains on ensuring our residents and families feel safe and connected during this time. Our team is working as one to provide joy and support during this most unbelievable time. We are thankful for the support of the local community, government officials and our co-workers who continue to help us to provide care and support to those we are privileged to serve.”
MOLLY GAUS, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF MARKETING AND COMMUNICATIONS FOR ASCENSION LIVING
Gaus also said they have restricted visitations to protect their residents, associates and families, instituted comprehensive screening of all visitors, adopted universal face masking of all associates, and clinical partners, and conducted stringent deep cleaning.
She also said they were maintaining open communications with family members.
“We will continue to implement ways to keep our residents and associates safe while continuing to be the skilled nursing partner our residents and healthcare system need in this most challenging time, including additional testing as it becomes available,” Gaus said.
The ICPHD reported six new cases of the virus Thursday. Out of their 84 reported COVID-19 cases, 22 have recovered and been released from isolation, and 55 remain isolation at home.
On Sunday, the ICPHD reported a woman in her 60s died. She earlier had tested positive for COVID-19.
Who is going to help these people? Where is the outcry?
I haven’t tried this, but on the Cook County Law Library website it is showing:
If your service has been interrupted for non payment, if you still don’t pay your bill by 5/3/19, you will be transferred to their “Assistance Program” and you will be allowed to pay only $14.95 per month until “further announcement”. Speeds will be minimal at 25/3 Mbps, but for many this will be a life saver.
Once the program is ended, you will be responsible for all past due balances.
They promise reconnection in about an hour, and I assume that’s once you fork over the min. $14.95 for the month.
I don’t know why they aren’t offering payment plans, but what ever. I hope this really helps many people out there.
And for all those small businesses out there that got their stimulus loans bounced for big business, I hope they return all those millions so the true mom and pop businesses out there can get some relief. I did apply but have heard nothing back. I’m just so glad that the huge restaurant chains got $5 to $10 million forgiveable loans, Harvard (with an endowment of $40 billion) got $10 million and the rest of the peon and kulak businesses got zip.
Business as usual under the current administration. No one ever lied to us about how horrible this would get. We all knew it all along and we have no one to blame but ourselves when this country turns into a oligarchy and kleptocracy. What a mess to clean up. If you can, make a donation to my charity, Justice 4 Every1, NFP via paypal, google pay or credit card. you can email me for an invoice firstname.lastname@example.org.
But I am hard at work making face masks to survive. They are $15 and washable and resuable and will not interfere with the supply of commercial masks our medical professionals need. Please turn in your commercial masks today to your local hospital, clinic, nursing home, fire or police and purchase a handcrafted mask. The ladies will thank you and so will hospitals, clinics, fire and police.
Mommasks.square.site is an online store or text me with your order 773.255.7608. thanks
If you live near a Comast wifi node or location, Comacast has announced you can access its wifi for free. This offer is for the public as well as existing customers.
But don’t forget to use an encryption app or program to receive and transmit this signal. Otherwise it can be intercepted by others who can gain access to information transmitted as well as your computer. Comcast does have an app for phones you can use to access the signal, as well as a PC app for your laptop or desktop computer. Be sure to log in using the app or program so your data is protected.
They also announced a basic reduced price program for the indigent. However, you must be a new customer or a customer without internet access for at least 90 days prior to application. The procedure for signing up is automated. I don’t know what they consider to be a reduced price at this time. They normally run at about $90 per month including tax for high speed internet and basic tv/movies online at this time. You do not need a set top box or other equipment to access the tv/movie feature. It is done through your computer so you must have a newer tv which will work with a wifi link into comcast.
They also appear to have no phone customer service at this time. I tried repeatedly to get through to an agent without success.
from Next Door:
ComEd Taking Steps to Support Our Customers During COVID-19 Pandemic
Now that so many of us are staying home and using more energy, you may be thinking about future bills. The last thing we want you to worry about is whether your home will have power or what to do if you are without power. To help ease your concern, we have extended our suspension of disconnections and new late charges through at least June 1st. If you were disconnected prior to our suspension of disconnections, please call our Customer Care team at 800-334-7661 to have your service safely restored. Through our ComEd CARE program and flexible payment options, we will find a financial assistance solution that works for you to ensure your service remains on after this pandemic. Information about these options is available at ComEd.com/CARE.
I think we all knew this was coming. Nursing homes are ghettos for the elderly and death traps.
The scandal of the ‘sheltered care’ nursing homes is finally getting some media attention. The problem in Illinois (and in many other states) is the marriage between the political establishment and the leaders of the industry. It is suggested that the regulation of the NURSING HOMES is not only lax, but corrupt. The Philip Esformes case, while having a situs in Florida, gave an intimate view of the industry, including the massive payoffs to public officials that fueled the operation of facilities. The lack of media attention is also extremely interesting – including the benign manner that the 23 deaths are reported. It is an open secret that paramedics have complained of nursing home deaths too often yield corpses that are in RIGOR when they arrive – and the deaths are attributed to various common natural causes. Indeed, please read the Chicago Tribune Article, to wit:
23 coronavirus-related deaths reported at Symphony of Joliet nursing home, spokeswoman says
Chicago Tribune |
Apr 16, 2020 | 7:00 AM
A man takes a smoke break on April 15, 2020 outside Symphony of Joliet nursing home, where 23 coronavirus-related deaths have been reported.(Abel Uribe / Chicago Tribune)
Twenty-two residents and one staff member at Symphony of Joliet nursing home have died of COVID-19, a spokeswoman for the facility said Wednesday.
The number of deaths at Symphony has risen sharply since early last week, when it reported a total of three deaths, including the staff member.
Nursing homes nationwide have become epicenters and “accelerators” of the spread of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Symphony of Joliet spokeswoman Lauryn Allison said workers at the home are following all government guidelines for minimizing the spread of the disease, and have adequate staffing and protective equipment, despite claims by some nurses that many nursing homes have shortages of staff and equipment.
“It’s a global pandemic, there’s nothing they could’ve done to prevent it,” Allison said. “They’re working so diligently to protect their patients and guests. … We’d like to send the message that we are with our providers right now, they are such heroes, and our hearts go out to them.”
Earlier this month, Symphony began moving healthy residents from the Joliet home to other locations in its network, Allison said last week.
A brother and sister of a woman who was among 23 people to die at Symphony say they were disappointed by care at the facility.
Diane Brooks was 65 when she died earlier this month and had lived about two years at Symphony of Joliet, her sister, Dorisell Brooks, said. She needed around-the-clock care and couldn’t walk after suffering an aneurysm and stroke.
Brooks, a former Cook County Clerk employee, complained that her feet hurt, but she often didn’t get her medication on time, Dorisell Brooks said. Dorisell and her brother, Michael Brooks, said they also found their sister in bed with bed sores and a soiled diaper.
“She was complaining that she was constantly in pain,” Michael Brooks said. “Sometimes she would defecate herself We’d come visit her, and who knows how long she was like that?” without them changing her.
The brother and sister said someone from the nursing home called over a week ago to tell them Diane Brooks had been taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital and was put on oxygen, but never mentioned the coronavirus. It was a hospital representative who told them their sister had COVID-19, and she died soon thereafter.
“I’m disappointed with the way the nursing home handled the whole thing,” Michael Brooks said. “We’re still grieving. Nobody’s gotten over this.”
Latasha Allen said she worked as a certified nursing assistant at Symphony through an agency last year, and again for two days last month, but she stopped working because of the lack of proper care and equipment.
The media has known of this situation from before day one and ‘covered it up!’ In spite of the fact that PHILIP ESFORMES was alleged (and convicted) of stealing a billion dollars (nine zeros) from Medicare the trial of the century and the conviction got almost no press. The SETH GILLMAN prosecution and plea of guilty similarly got almost no press – indeed, there was no press when suddenly the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission actively commenced proceedings against Gillman’s law license when it became public that he was co-operating with the FBI. Indeed, the marriage between the human traffickers in the elderly and the political establishment is an open secret. Now it is costing lives.
The guardianship scandal reported on the blogs AAAPG, Probate Sharks, NASGA, MaryGSykes ****, in articles posted in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New Yorker magazine (Oct 2017), Huffington Post, *****, 4 unread Government Accounting Office reports to Congress, Netflix program DIRTY MONEY documentary on Guardianship, and in layman’s fashion in Dr. Sugar’s book on GUARDIANSHIP the perfect crime – is a major factor in the Corvid – 19 virus scandal. Indeed, as we sit confined in our homes the IN RE Estate of Amelia Sallas 07 P 5360 (Cook County, Illinois Circuit Court) slimes it way along. Many more victims of the human trafficking (gulag) are serious potential victims of the political neglect by the States (especially Illinois) of its senior citizens. Placing these citizens in easily contaminated premises with patently inadequate supervision would be murder if LAW ENFORCEMENT had the guts to do its job!
With the attornment of corruption at the highest levels of State government, the media and impotency by Law Enforcement the C19 virus will continue to liquidate America’s most vulnerable citizens. BUT REST ASSURRED – come the election in Cook County, Illinois it is expected that every one of the dead and infirm will file their absentee ballots in favor of the dominant political party and 100% of the residents of the ‘killing fields’ will similarly case their vote for the candidates of the dominant political party!
 Nursing homes are intended to be sanctuaries not death houses. Regulations however are routinely ignored, and it is not uncommon to be greeted by smell of urine (or something designed to hide the smell) as you enter the facilities. Sanitation is spotty and many of the resident’s reek of neglect. Residents appear to litter the hallways looking abandoned either in their wheelchairs or locked in front of the television. Many appear Zombie like. It is not uncommon for the residents who are being ‘elder cleansed’ to be doped and fitted with a feeding tube. (There are exceptions – the exceptional facilities usually cater to the wealthy and the citizens who are patrons or contributors to the industry. The ordinary individual – such as you or me – can expect at the best poor relative treatment. More often than not the persons working at the facility are “loaned” employees – i.e. contract workers from an agency. In fact, most services are furnished by an agency so that management of the large chains has minimum actual exposure – but has the lion share of the profits.
 It is not uncommon for the ‘chain nursing homes’ to have a ‘show section’ in which patients are displayed in sanitary conditions, sans the hallway full of wheelchairs populated by ‘zombies’ and the smell of urine. Sometimes the facility will have several floors that actually look hospital like, but *****.
 Deaths will occur from natural causes and for the virus – but when 22 died there is a strong implication (at least) that something is not right. If the patient was properly monitored the first symptom would have caused a serious alert and a 911 call! Even the ineptest media outlet has been screaming since at least day 5 that the virus was serious and elderly people were outrageous risks! How then could a single patient’s symptoms go unnoticed so that hospital treatment was delayed an hour – much less for days.
 The Sallas case is a threat to America’s core values as it separates a couple who have lived in marital bliss for more than 50 years – until it became inconvenient for the appointed guardian. As there was little tangible money for the guardian to feast upon, the interment, isolation, and segregation of the wife from the husband became a necessity. The guardian however noted that the couple owned a home in Skokie, Illinois, and some other real estate. The family home was easy pickings. Most attractive was the $7k plus pension of Amelia who could fund the lifestyles of numerous probate lawyers and nursing homes
The guardian orchestrated the “refinancing” of the home and in direct violation of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 together with the lending bank arranged for Mrs. Sallas (his ward) to personally sign the refinance agreement. The husband (Dean) was induced to sign upon the material representation that the then current payment arrangements would remain in full force and effect. As making the payments as agreed would not gain the guardian a dime, he stopped payments after a few months and induced a default. The Bank in direct violation of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 filed a foreclosure. Dean discovered reality!
In Illinois in guardianship cases the RULE OF LAW is a bunch of words placed on paper – but mean nothing. The Judge is disinterested and is little more than a rubber stamp, and attorneys who value their law licenses mouth the party line in word and deed. Mentioning 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 is the functional equivalent of ‘yelling fire in a crowded theater!’ No “ethical” law would oppose a duly appointed guardian’s quest for cash!
Thus, allegedly in open court, the guardian blatantly purposed a settlement. He could obtain a REVERSE MORTGAGE on the family home. This would yield $20,000 for the couple and Dean could continue to live in the home.
Unfortunately, for the guardian Dean can count and determined that the Sallas’ were being shortchanged by several hundred thousand dollars and objected. He tried unsuccessfully to obtain an attorney – no attorney would touch the guardianship case; however, he did obtain an attorney for the foreclosure case. The attorney’s strategy is not invoke the protection of 755 ILCS 5/11a – 22 as it might offend. As Sallas is now allowed by the Court to talk to his wife or communicate with her = and she has been placed in a “nursing home” ******
DECATUR, Ill. (WCIA) — If you saw a food service worker return to work without washing their hands after using the bathroom, you would probably think twice about returning to that restaurant.
At a nursing home, you might feel the same way if you noticed healthcare workers not washing their hands or using proper protective equipment before providing care.
According to state inspection reports submitted in 2019 to the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), maintaining proper hand hygiene practices and use of protective personnel equipment (PPE) was reported as an issue for multiple nursing homes in Central Illinois.
Karen Liu reported Thursday for CU-Citizen Access that over half of the nursing homes in the State of Illinois that are Medicare or Medicaid certified were cited in 2019 for deficiencies in their infection prevention and control programs. Her investigation found 396 of 720 active nursing homes had been cited for such deficiencies.
In an inspection report dated Jan. 9 of this year, Prairie Creek Village in Decatur was cited for failing to follow ‘contact precautions.’ The report stated two certified nurse assistants (CNA) failed to wear gowns while caring for a resident who was experiencing urine incontinence. They also did not wash their hands after removing their gloves when they finished providing incontinence care.
The CNA told inspectors that “we don’t wear gowns when we do incontinence care, that’s only when the nurses do wound care.” The report added two CNAs at Prarie Creek Village were unable to “verbalize the reason for not utilizing barrier precautions.”
In another case, PPE simply wasn’t accessible to healthcare workers. An inspection report dated May 17, 2019 cited Gardenview Manor in Danville for failure to follow “Transmission Based Protocols” for two of their residents. One of those residents was on contact isolation due to wound infection, and a CNA reportedly failed to wear a gown when caring for them.
The report stated two of their CNAs “acknowledged they were suppose to have gowns on, but the rack on the door for PPE was empty of gowns.”
As for the other protocol violation, a registered nurse (RN) admitted they were supposed to have worn a mask before entering the room of a resident on ‘Airborne Precaution.’
WCIA examined these inspection reports, which are available for public access on the Medicare.gov webpage for comparing nursing homes, and reached out to many of the violating facilities for comment on how they responded to their citations.
In an August 5, 2019 inspection report, Lewis Memorial Christian Village in Springfield was cited after one of their CNAs failed to wash their hands in between changing gloves during wound and incontinence care.
Ray Dickison, Chief Operating Officer for Christian Horizons, which manages that facility, provided the following statement Wednesday.
On August 5, 2019, our community received a minor deficiency related to infection control involving a sample of 5 residents that resulted in no harm to any of the residents. In response to the citation, our community developed and implemented a plan of correction which was submitted, reviewed and approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH). IDPH subsequently confirmed correction and our compliance on September 24, 2019. Our community remains in compliance to infection control regulations and also implemented an infection preventionist role on the clinical team.
Ray Dickison, Chief Operating Officer for Christian Horizons.
He added their organization took the following steps in preparation for the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Conducted additional staff training on COVID-19, hand hygiene, isolation precautions, and infection control policy and procedures.
- Implemented measures from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), CMS and state guidance for enhanced infection prevention. These measures included training, revised cleaning guidelines, daily screenings of associates and residents and visitation restrictions.
- Purchased additional PPE and implemented optimization measures for supply and equipment management.
- Completed an enhanced infection control assessment and follow-up action plan that continues to be monitored.
Champaign Urbana Nursing and Rehab Center was cited in a report dated Oct. 18, 2019, for failure to utilize proper handwashing practices or PPE in two separate instances.
Kansas Swain, Director of Publications for Premier Healthcare Management, said in an emailed statement Wednesday Champaign Urbana Nursing and Rehab was in compliance with all regulatory requirements, “including infection control requirements.”
“Resident safety is our top priority,” Swain added. “We are doing everything we can to ensure we prevent any cases of COVID-19 within our facility, including following all local, state, and federal health department guidelines to ensure we are taking all appropriate actions.”
Springfield’s Aperion Care Capitol was cited Aug. 30, 2019 after state inspectors found their facility was not following proper isolation precautions, and a CNA failed to wash their hands after providing incontinence care.
Heather Levine provided the following statement on behalf of Aperion Care, Inc.
Aperion Care is taking a proactive approach in protecting our residents by following the recommendations of the CDC & CMS on prevention methods, including following strict handwashing procedures, and in many circumstances, wearing gowns and gloves when interacting with residents who are sick. We also are staying up to date with the CDC recommendations as they are revised. In addition, our facilities are in close contact with the local and state health departments and are following their guidance. We have a certified infection preventionist through the Association for Professionals in Infection Control to assist with implementing the CDC recommendations. We are also a Joint Commission accredited facility that completes monthly handwashing competencies with our staff. We use these competencies as an opportunity for improvement and education while reviewing trends. We have eliminated all visitors coming into our nursing facilities until further notice. We are also screening each staff member as they report to work each shift.
“Nursing home facility staff should always follow the infection control guidance from the CDC, IDPH, and their local health department, especially during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kelly D. Richards, Illinois State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. “If individuals are aware of facilities not following infection control guidance, they can file a complaint with the Illinois Department of Public Health at email@example.com or by calling 1-800-252-4343.”
WCIA reported Wednesday that two additional residents died at the Fair Havens Senior Living nursing home in Decatur. A total of five of their residents have passed after contracting COVID-19.
Fair Havens was not cited for any infection control and prevention deficiencies in 2019, according to the most recent inspection reports hosted on Medicare.gov.
A full summary of all inspection reports completed since 2019 containing violations for infection control and prevention that were examined by WCIA for this story can be found below:
- Champaign Rehab Center
- Failed to obtain orders for isolation.
- Failed to post signage to indicate isolation.
- Champaign Urbana Nursing and Rehab
- Failed to prevent cross-contamination from resident’s infection by not wearing required PPE.
- County Health Care and Rehab
- Failed to perform hand washing.
- Failed to follow contact precautions.
- Failed to decontaminate an insulin pen prior to use and storage.
- Illini Heritage and Rehab Center
- Failed to implement contact isolation precautions due to improper use of PPE.
- University Rehab Center of CU
- Failed to ensure staff use PPE when delivering direct care to a resident on Contact Isolation Precautions and preventing cross-contamination.
- Charleston Rehab and Healthcare
- Failed to thoroughly wash hands during wound treatment for a resident needings dressing changes
- Mattoon Rehab and Healthcare Center
- Failed to implement and follow ‘Transmission Based Precautions’ for a resident with a known infection, resulting in cross-contamination during incontinence care.
- Odd Fellow-Rebekah Home
- Failed to ensure that staff and visitors use appropriate PPE for a resident on transmission-based precautions. In this case, a CNA told a visitor wearing PPE was ‘optional.’
- Palm Terrace of Mattoon
- Failed to use PPE while providing toileting care and a wound dressing change for a resident on contact isolation precautions
- Arcola Healthcare Center
- Failed to perform handwashing and properly disinfect a glucometer after use for six residents.
- Failed to implement and monitor the facility’s water management program to address the potential waterborne pathogens for contamination of the facility’s residential water distribution system.
- Tuscola Healthcare Center
- Failed to develop a water management plan that included a risk assessment and testing protocols.
- Paris Health Care Center
- Failed to develop a water management plan that included a risk assessment and testing protocols.
- Failed to disinfect the top of an insulin vial before drawing up the insulin.
- Pleasant Meadows Senior Living
- Failed to ensure fingernails and bed sheets were clean and failed to keep a catheter bag off of the floor to prevent cross-contamination.
- Failed to post signage to indicate isolation.
- Failed to appropriately sanitize scissors.
- Twin Lakes Rehab and Healthcare Center
- Failed to prevent cross-contamination by not performing handwashing during intramuscular (IM) medication administration.
- Sheldon Healthcare Center
- Failed to wash hands and use PPE when caring for multiple residents. In this case, a CNA provided bathing assistance for a resident wehile wearing gloves that were contaminated from providing incontinence care. An RN also did not wash their hands before or after administrating medication.
- Failed to have completed their Water Management Plan and testing protocol.
- Watseka Rehab and Healthcare Center
- Failed to have an Infection Prevention and Control Program that tracks and analyzes resident and employee infection data to identify trends or patterns.
- Failed to disinfect a glucometer after use and prior to placing on top of a medication cart
- Failed to use PPE.
- Failed to perform handwashing during incontinence care and wound care.
- Imboden Creek Living Center
- Failed to protect resident flooring from cross-contamination during isolation room cleaning. In this case, soiled clothes were dropped on the floor instead of being placed in a plastic bag.
- Prairie Creek Village
- Failed to review or update their infection control policy at least annually.
- Failed to address or identify infection trends.
- Failed to follow contact precautions.
- Failed to handle soiled linens in a sanitary manner and maintain laundry equipment in a sanitary condition so as to prevent the spread of pathogens.
- Villa Clara Post Acute
- Failed to change a water filter per manufacturer’s directions to prevent bacteria accumulation in an ice machine.
- Failed to follow their emergency interdisciplinary plan to monitor for signs, and symptoms of infection related to Legionella contaminated water.
- Bement Healthcare Center
- Failed to have an Infection Control Program that tracks and analyzes resident and staff infection data to identify trends and patterns.
- Piatt County Nursing Home
- Failed to develop and implement a water management program to address the potential for waterborne pathogens in the facility’s residential water distribution system.
- Aperion Care Capitol
- Failed to wash hands before leaving a resident’s room after performing care.
- Failed to identify a potential eye infection.
- Failed to maintain isolation precautions for residents with known infectious diseases.
- Auburn Rehan & Healthcare Center
- Failed to complete an ongoing infection control program.
- Failed to maintain infection control practices. In this case, two CNAs did not wash their hands before handling a resident’s personal items.
- Concordia Village Care Center
- Failed to properly disinfect multi-use glucose monitors to prevent the spread of infection.
- Failed to wash hands before or after caring for residents. In this case, an RN administered medications without washing their hands first. The RN previously helped a resident blow their nose.
- Heritage Health-Springfield
- Failed to wash hands and change gloves during incontinence care.
- Lewis Memorial Christian Village
- Failed to wash hands to prevent the spread of infection during incontinent care and wound care.
- Regency Care
- Failed to wash hands in between glove changes or after touching residents’ personal items.
- Villa Health Care East
- Failed to properly disinfect blood glucose meters.
- Failed to wash hands before and after resident care.
- Gardenview Manor
- Failed to make PPE accessible to staff.
- Failed to develop a water management plan that included a risk assessment and testing protocols.
- Hawthorne Inn of Danville
- Failed to develop a water management plan including a risk assessment and testing protocols.
- Failed to follow infection control practices by failing to remove contaminated gloves and wash hands after caring for residents
- Failed to disinfect a blood glucose monitor after use.
- Heritage Health-Hoopeston
- Failed to wear PPE when providing direct care for residents in isolation.
- Failed to have PPE accessible to staff.
- Failed to wash hands after touching an electronic device.
- North Logan Healthcare Center
- Failed to develop and implement a water management program to address the potential for waterborne pathogens in the facility’s residential water distribution system.
- Failed to perform infection surveillance and data analysis of facility infections.
- Failed to prevent potential cross-contamination by placing soiled linens and a soiled incontinence brief on the floor.
- Failed to change gloves during incontinence care.
COVID-19 Testing Available
The State of Illinois is proud to announce another Community Based Testing Site (CBTS) is open to help screen Illinoisans for COVID-19. These Community Based Testing Sites will be open seven days a week to test individuals with COVID-19 symptoms. Here’s some important information that you need to know about these facilities. Who can be tested: -Healthcare workers *with* symptoms -Seniors (65+) *with* symptoms -Patients with underlying conditions *and* experiencing symptoms -First Responders *with* symptoms -All other individuals *with* symptoms Where are the Community Based Testing Sites: Harwood Heights Opens: 7:00am Address: 6959 W. Forest Preserve Road, Chicago IL
People are also advised to wear a mask so you don’t sneeze or cough on others. The mask should be handcrafted and if you have any commercially made masks those should be donated to hospitals, clinics, police, fire. If used,a commercial mask can be autoclaved (sterilized).
If you need a custom mask, go to my online store and get one for $15. mommasks.square.site. Shipping is only $3 and this is a fundraiser for Justice 4 Every1. If you would like to volunteer to make and sew masks, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I want to thank all the docs and nurses and EMTS and other ladies who are sewing masks right now. My sewing machine repair guy is very busy keeping the machines going and he says a lot of you ladies out there are working hard day and night to make handcrafted masks.
If anyone knows of anyone in need of a free mask who cannot afford one, plmk.
One of my clients told me his mail is being stolen, but he isn’t worried because he signed up for “Informed delivery” from the US Postal Service.
You can sign up at http://www.usps.com and it explains:
Informed Delivery® by USPS®
Digitally preview your mail and manage your packages scheduled to arrive soon! Informed Delivery allows you to view greyscale images of the exterior, address side of letter-sized mailpieces and track packages in one convenient location.*
* Images are only provided for letter-sized mailpieces that are processed through USPS’ automated equipment
go to http://www.usps.com and on the menu at the top you will find “Informed Delivery”. Click on this and you will know what mail you were supposed to receive every day.
Thanks to GG for this info.
Masks are $15 each and all proceeds go to charity: Justice 4 Every1.com to pay for rent so I can help the indigent and poor and those in need in an office.
Here is the link to my current selection of masks. Something for everyone, all colors, including premium glitter fabrics.
Thanks for your support
Please text me or facebook message me if you need a mask.
It is likely the US govt will require this soon.
Here are some samples.
You can pay by credit card, paypal or stop by and pay with cash.
Masks are made from premium quilting fabrics and are a fundraiser for my charity, Justice 4 Every1.com
I can make your mask in any color: WHITE, BLACK, PINK, TEAL, RED, BLUE, PURPLE, ORANGE, GREEN or YELLOW.
Check out my Facebook page at
where I will post daily updates.
Friend me on Facebook at Joanne Marie Denison Chicago
Stay Safe, stay healthy.
you can purchase face masks online now at facemasks.mom or mommasks.square.site.
all proceeds go to Justice 4 Every 1, NFP
The WH is considering an Executive Order that everyone must wear handcrafted face masks. Commercial face masks should be donated to your local hospital or clinic in need.
I am making handcrafted face masks for $15 on Etsy as a fundraiser. HOWEVER if you are poor or cannot afford one, contact me anyway and I’ll make yours for free and ship it to you.
Here is the link:
In addition, the Present Administration is considering now limiting any US govt benefits to those who have filed tax returns, even if you had no income. Let me know if you have questions about this. This is to affect social security payments, social security disability, food stamps and medicare/medicaid. So be sure to file your tax return even if you have zero income.
It appears the $1200 payments will be distributed in order of 1) those who filed tax returns in 2018 or 2019 and listed their bank account number and routing number; and 2) the lowest earning taxpayers first. So if you have not filed your taxes for 2018 or 2019, now is the time to do it.
In today’s Chicago Tribune appears one of those “kissing your sister” articles on nursing homes and C19 Virus. The article ostensibly details the fact that in most nursing homes (care facilities) violations of Federal Public Health guidelines is the rule rather than the exception. The article focuses on the fact that many of the extended care facilities have 2 or more violations.
Left out of the equation are the facts that we learned in the Philip Esformes Federal Criminal Trial. (Mr. Esformes was convicted – he allegedly stole 1.2 BILLION dollars from the Medicare program). To reiterate what we learned was that STATE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS charged with protecting the public and in particular the elderly were either bought off or were disinterested in doing adequate inspections thereby facilitating the abuses.
As the mainstream media treats the health care frauds with benign neglect it is not surprising that even though the Tribune gave front page space to the current immediate health problem it trivialized the problem. For instance, as reported on the blog MARYGSYKES many nursing homes actually advertise openly and notoriously that they provide ‘kickbacks’ for patient referrals. I’ve actually seen one of the solicitation sheets. Of course with the meager media coverage of the ESFORMES trial and the outrageous situation that operates openly and notoriously the public is unaware of the enemy within. NB. Remember the Hollywood Hills nursing home fiasco wherein 12 seniors died because the operator of the home would not transfer them roughly across the street to a hospital with open beds and working AC. Some patients were literally cooked in the nursing homes and had temperatures over 120 deg. Farenheit. I wonder how many of these patients were in a gship and had (a grossly incompetent) guardian.
Unfortunately I have had the opportunity to see what really goes on in many nursing homes. Most are unsanitary, and poorly staffed havens for overuse of drugs (in many cases opioids) and abuse. It is not unusual to observe drugged zombies sitting in wheel chairs outside their rooms – this is call physical therapy. I recall the Jaycox case. Robert Jaycox was a businessman who had a serious business reversal. His doctor prescribed a drug to help him through the crisis, however, Jaycox had a drug side-effect. Unfortunately, the hospital, the physicians and medical staff were unable to diagnose the problem.
Jaycox having the pecuniary reverse was also unable to pay the nursing home bill. Without hesitation the facility (nursing home) contacted a psychiatrist who wrote a report that Jaycox was disabled and unable to care for himself or take care of his financial affairs. This report and a verified petition were filed in the Circuit Court of Cook County.
Jaycox’s punishment for not attorning and for hiring an attorney was swift. The protective bar on his bed was left in the down position and Jaycox fell out of bed breaking his hip. I demanded a hearing for Mr. Jaycox on the issue of guardianship. The hearing was fortuitously scheduled in the hospital on the day of the surgery. The psychiatrist testified under oath as to Mr. Jaycox’s disability under questioning by the presiding judge. On cross examination the nursing home and the shrink were surprised when I asked the question: “who signed the consent for the surgery?” (Of course Mr. Jaycox had signed all the hospital forms indicating the staff believed he was competent at the time admission and treatment).
As Jaycox had signed the consent the case terminated abruptly and another date was scheduled. A few days later Jaycox had aspirated pneumonia and was dying. Of course he died quickly and was even more quickly cremated.
No all reluctant occupants of nursing homes are put to death. Some are left to linger, doped to the hilt, and others ****. Of course come election day every resident casts his/her vote. It is respectfully suggested that the vote corresponds to the whim of the nursing home operator who often sells the votes to local pols. This is well documented but never investigated, even when reported to the autorities, the FBI, in particular. It should be noted that the State of Illinois’ regulatory agency was totally disinterested in what I would classify as the murder of Robert Jaycox.
Illinois authorities (along with regulators across the USA) could care less about the patients in the nursing homes. It is an open secret that in many of the nursing homes it is an axiom – if you go in – rest assured you are not coming out! (except in cases where convalescence is the reason you are in – and your own personal physician and family are monitoring.
In Dr. Sugar’s book GUARDIANSHIP he points out that in the human trafficking (elder cleansing) cases a FEEDING TUBE is one of the first therapeutic devices you are fitted with. A pair of handcuffs, or a chain attached to your neck would be too noticeable. Even the blind, deaf State inspector would notice such appliances and might include them in his report. Of course with sanitation a NO PRIORITY item the C19 virus might hasten the termination of stay of the elderly victim. (Thus, if you are seeking positives in relation to the C19 virus – here is one).
Proper supervision of the nursing home industry by the State (State of Illinois, Florida, New York, California et al) would eliminate many of the obvious problems that enhance the effect of the C19 virus, to wit:
1) proper staffing – in many nursing home, the staffing is farmed out to companies that provide nurses, technicians et al. The facility then prepares a record showing that they paid to the staffing company for the correct number of RNs etc. If the inspector finds that on inspection there is a deficiency = it is the staffing company’s fault. The nursing home operators in various assumed names own all the stock in the furnishing company. This company while owned by the same people who operate the facility it is run by a ‘young hotshot’ who will tell you want a genius he is and how he is the Good Lord’s gift to medical care.
2) pharmaceuticals, linen supply etc. ditto operation. prices adjustable to meet guidelines and orders on record to comply with guidelines. If the linens are dirty or there are no linens, the linen company is to blame, but no where to be found.
3) the building is owned by a land trust with a corporate or trust beneficiary – in reality the operators also own the building.
4) Management if required to be done by an individual – he is a nominee – paid by a corporation owned by the operators.
The Enron style operation is done openly and notoriously. Payoff to public officials are routine! Physician supervision is similarly a joke. It was described to me in the following manner, to wit: “Dr. X slows his care down to 30 miles per hour as he passes the nursing home. He then bills for a 5 minute visit to every patient in the nursing home. NB. Obviously such is an exaggeration – the doctor slows his care to 5 MPH!
The criminal mismanagement and violation of Federal and State Standards does not exist in every nursing home. It does exist in enough of them to cause great concern. As indicated by other reports the number of violations would be through the roof BUT FOR two factors. Many of the regulators are on the nursing home payroll, and a large number have no idea what regulations, if any, they are sent out to enforce. Some are on a revolving door payroll between nursing home operator and state nursing home inspector.
THE FOREGOING is the article that the CHICAGO TRIBUNE ought to have written. However, I am grateful to the TRIBUNE – at least they wrote an article. Apparently it is not POLITICALLY CORRECT to mention that the nursing home industry is a vital factor in the HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN THE ELDERLY. In an article that has appeared on the blog PROBATE SHARKS in which a noted nursing home operative brags that the elderly are just a commodity to him.
Health care in the United States comes with a massive fraud surcharge. This surcharge is reported to be 700%. The criminal conspiracy that protects the HUMAN TRAFFICKING in the elderly (elder cleansing)is protected by REGULATORS who are bought and paid for. The C19 virus if left unchecked will delete the human traffickers inventory! Maybe that is the reason that the Tribune wrote its page 1 article – the criminals preying on the elderly will lose a great deal of money! Maybe the media desires Congress to protect the profits of the HUMAN TRAFFICKERS in the elderly!
I was down at court on Thursday, March 19, 2020, and a sign was posted that the court was closed for 30 days (civil cases only) and the clerk told me that they would be sending out “postcards” to all litigant pro se and attorneys to reset the court dates.
She suggested I refile my motion to get a new court day at the end of the 30 day period, presumably to get the next available date.
The clerks are coming out to meet people in the hall who have questions for many of the divisions and then they send out one brave clerk.
I believe the Appellate Court division is not delayed or closed down, there are no announcements there.
Please email me if you are able to get further information. email@example.com