A Politician Dies And Has To Spend Just One Day In Hell. This Is Priceless!
The problem from this part of the world is not the views expressed, but the issue on honesty.
Let me give you an example. There is not a sane political figure who is not in favor of equal protection of the law and equality before the law. Even the most venal of political figures gives lip service to the fact that racism in any form is wrong and not allowed under American law. Jim Crow is absolutely prohibited!
Indeed a person with a dark hue to his/her skin is just as equal as a person with a light hue to his/her skin and both are entitled to full rein of the American dream – or so it is said and advertised.
Here in Illinois such is NOT TRUE! All we have to do is run over to the Prudential Building in Chicago, go to the offices of the Illinois Attorney Registration of Disciplinary Commission and grab the disciplinary file on Lanre Amu. Mr. Amu was charged with practicing law while black and for his crime received an interim suspension of his law license and a three year suspension thereafter. No Mr. Mayor – the formal charge was not “practicing Law while Black” is was much more subtle. Mr. Jerome Larkin under oath with intent to violate the Illinois Constitution of 1970 and the 13th and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution lied about Mr. Amu’s behavior even though a respected Business Publication made the exact same claims that Mr. Amu made and the subject of Mr. Amu’s complaint cannot and has not denied them.
The Supreme Court of Illinois in issuing an interim suspension found that by telling the truth Mr. Amu was so dangerous that he had to be suspended from the practice of law then and there. The absurdity and wrongness of the action by Mr. larkin (IARDC administrator) and the Supreme Court of Illinois did not raise an eyebrow. There was no hue and cry in the media and not one of the civil rights or attorney organizations raised a finger to protest – Today Mr. Amu ( a scholarly man with a dark skin = as he actually came to America from Africa) is wrongfully barred from practicing law. Such Icons of civil rights as Illinois two Senators are dead silent! Illinois Representatives in the Congress are dead silent. Indeed, law enforcement is silent and our local racist public officer administrating the IARDC is lauded for his keeping them ****** where they belong.
So absurd is this situation that Larkin even got away with denying public accommodations for an Icon of the Civil Rights movement and one of the organizers of the Selma March! Again silence.
Even that great bastion of justice, the Illinois Supreme Court is an actor in this Jim Crow incident and not one of the justices has the courage to join in the call for remediation and/or an HONEST INVESTIGATION.
Is this a symptom of the new brand of American liberalism–a liberalism that really does nothing and says nothing about injustice? Not only has there not been a squeak of protest from the liberals, but Illinois is controlled by the Democrats who have the loudest voices in protesting inequality! Those loud voices however appear to be a facade when it comes to action. Protest and words are more important than acting against racial discrimination and overt racism! Cover-up and diversion is the true meaning of American 21st Century politics!
The MacDonald case is another example of just how form and trumped substance. MacDonald was shot 16 times by a policeman. On film the killing was demonstrated to be unjustified. However, the mayoral election was days away, and the mayor – a friend and high ranking adviser to Obama – realized that the Ferguson riots would be a church tea is the African American Community learned of this outrage in Chicago, thus, the ‘family’ of MacDonald was bribed with a five million dollar settlement (paid with City of Chicago funds) to keep quiet. Not a single one of Chicago’s Alderman voted against the payment! Not a single Chicago media outlet broadcast information as to the incident and its cover -up – until the mayor was safely re=elected!
Use any fancy word you want to describe this situation, but this is rank RACISM!
Jerome Larkin had nothing to do with the MacDonald shooting, but, to deny that the political establishment in Illinois and in particular Chicago is not racist is akin to denying that the Sun rises in the East and sets in the WEST. He clearly has not disciplined the numerous city lawyers refusing to turn over crucial videos in a timely manner, as required by the Rules of Court. We do not need any new words to describe the old sickness! What we need is to bring back HONESTY AND HONOR to our government.
Many of our politicians today simply abhor HONEST GOVERNMENT. This can be demonstrated by their silence in the Amu case and their acceptance of the insults to Diane Nash, Mr. MacDonald, and YOU! If the establishment had one ounce of pride and loyalty to America, Jerome Larkin would be in jail and the members of the Illinois Supreme Court who rubber stamped his racism would be back in private practice!
If we do not learn from the past, the future is in jeopardy. I heard laments all the time from people who cannot bring themselves to recognize that Democracy has a major side effect – RESPONSIBILITY. To preserve it we have to intelligently protect it from the demigods who cannot accept the results of elections and/or use their public positions to violate the public trust.
After Operation Greylord was in the books and the Circuit Court of Cook County disgraced itself completely, the court went back to its old ways with a vengeance. Even the clerk of the Court proved herself to be a blatant criminal. The most recent revelation was found in the Court Sun-Times:
The political and judicial elites are however well prepared and the machinery of DEMONIZATION is well at work. Anyone, whether it be high ranking public servants, or low ranking Attorneys are not immune. The adage – ‘do not confuse me with the truth, I’ve made up my mind’ is well at work and anyone who is not in lockstep with the Establishment is in for the parcing of every word uttered and demonization. Indeed, if a lawyer reports corruption in the Courts, the full force of the establishment is brought to bear to silence the voice of dissent. The fact/truth be damned! The lackeys of the forces that accept democracy only when it serves their ends could care less. Such is true at every level.
Lanre Amu reported a Judge whose corruption was blatant. The well connected judge could see no conflict of interest by her being on the Board of Directors of a litigant being sued in her courtroom. Even the fact that the Judge’s brother was one of the attorneys for the litigant made no impression on the establishment. Hell in Cook County an honest judge is one who when bribed stays bribed! Why else would anyone pay $100,000 to purchase such a job? The Establishment in the guise of the Attorney Disciplinary Commission (IARDC) jumped at Amu to quash him! With a respected business newspaper CRAINS CHICAGO BUSINESS lamenting the same allegations of corruption of the Court by the same Judge that Mr. Amu was complaining, the Disciplinary commission held kangaroo hearings on perjured pleadings authored by Jerome Larkin and found made finding that were 100% inaccurate and contrary to the truth. Amu was severely punished for practicing law while Black.
On another level, a Presidential candidate was being investigated for thwarting the Government Secrets Act. The FBI supervisor assigned to supervise the investigation had a major conflict of interest. A close associate of the Presidential candidate under investigation made a very substantial campaign contribution to the wife of the FBI Supervisor. Of course a decision not to prosecute was made and the media raised no hue and cry and could care less. Even today the obvious conflict of interest and lack of moral compass remains unfazed by the establishment and those who in knee jerk fashion support the elites.
Honest disclosure, Honest investigations, Honor, Integrity et al are not part of today’s lexicon. A narrative of propaganda that protects the establishment is the norm and people who speak out in favor of Democracies values are condemned. The crimes by Jerome Larkin and the Illinois establishment against JoAnne Denison are remarkable in their venality and in good people’s total lack of interest. I’ve written about them apparently to deaf ears, to wit:
< https://marygsykes.com/2017/05/12/from-ken-ditkowsky-the-war-on-truth-by-the-ardc-continues-with-a-false-judgement >
On Mother’s day, maybe it is time for respectable citizens to rise up and demand Justice. The Demand is made not for the demander, but for his/her children who will pay the price of the corruption!
Ken Ditkowsky Law Offices
5330 W Devon #206
Chicago, IL 60647
And I want to say a special heartfelt Mother’s Day for all of you who cannot see their mothers because the probate court/ guardian is abusing them and/or isolating them from you, or your mother was murdered or suffered abuse in gship. This includes–Mary Sykes (murdered), Helen Rector (murdered), Iwanna Lahoody (abused, at risk), Helen Stone (abused, at risk), Jay Brouckmeersch (murdered), etc.
If I forgot your mother’s name, just email me and I will put it on today’s list.
Please say a prayer for these mothers and children who were abused and isolated and even murdered in the probate court system.
The problem still continues, with the latest murder of Jay Brouckmeersch in Mar. 2017 by Judge Quinn and the OSG (Office of State Guardian), so the need is still great to prevent these deaths.
Please be sure to write, fax and call both the Illinois Supreme Court, presiding judge and the ARDC Jerome Larkin and tell them that something MUST be done about the perfidy and murder in probate court.
An ARDC attorney asked Ken Ditkowsky if he was “sorry” that the Naperville Police Chief (I forget his name) received 500+ email complaints about how Mary Sykes was being isolated and abused in Naperville. Ken thought that was nuts, but it sure is evidence of a cover up at the ARDC (much like the fact the ARDC has not gone after a single attorney at the City of Chicago for refusing to turn over 27 videos of South Side blacks being gunned down by Chicago Police). In any case, incredulously, the ARDC atty asked the Naperville Police Chief what he did with the 500+ citizen complaints–he replied he just archived them! More evidence of Obstruction of Justice and a mass cover up of a string of felonies.
As Ken says, you cannot make this stuff up!
Both the ARDC and the Naperville Police Dept. were actually proud of the fact 1) they refused to investigate; and 2) they are happy to archive (cover up) any evidence of a crime!
So pray for all those mothers and children out there today.
My prayers and thoughts are with you all today.
This proves there is no end to the perfidy spewn by the ARDC (Illinois Attorney and Registration Commission)
Today I found their false and fictitious judgment against me recorded at the recorder’s offices and this is well after they had been informed the court reporter at my trial was unlicensed.
See the link: False $18,000 Judgment
Now from Ken Ditkowsky:
Please join with me in writing Larkin and informing him that his continuing crimes against the citizens of the State of Illinois are not going unnoticed and that his perfidy in filing a false judgment against Joanne Denison in an attempt to shut down her blog about ongoing criminal activities against the elderly will not be tolerated under the First Amendment.
You can fax or write Jerome Larkin at:
Mr. Jerome Larkin
130 E. Randolph St, 15th Floor
Chicago Illinois 60601
by Health Impact News/MedicalKidnap.com Staff
Retired lawyer Marvin Siegel of Boxford, Massachusetts, has lived an isolated and heavily-medicated existence, against his will and wishes, after court proceedings in August in 2011 resulted in his being placed under a court-appointed guardianship and conservatorship that his family considers to be unlawful. His meticulous estate planning has been eviscerated, and millions of dollars continue to be plundered from the 88-year-old’s estate.
He is being held prisoner in his own home, under medical providers that his daughter has termed “24/7 guards.” Meanwhile, his daughters Attorney Lisa Siegel Belanger and Devora Kaiser tirelessly advocate for him in the court system, despite those who are working vigorously to shut them out of their father’s life.
At this point, those in charge of Mr. Siegel’s estate have drained half of the retired attorney’s approximate nine-million-dollar estate deceptively and fraudulently, according to Lisa. Further, as Lisa began to research her father’s case, she uncovered a network of corruption within the family and probate court system of Essex County, where the case is, as well as in other Massachusetts counties. The daughters’ court documents allege fraud, embezzlement, and money laundering, involving 40 litigants in the Siegel case alone.
Earlier this month, Lonnie Brennan of Boston Broadside broke the story in his article, “ISOLATE, MEDICATE, LIQUIDATE: How to Fleece a Senior.” It is a “Warning to Seniors: Rich or Poor, You’re Worth a LOT to Lawyers, Courts, and Service Agencies!”
In 2011, Mr. Siegel was starting to slow down a little, and he needed help around the house. His family stepped in to help, and they also arranged for a part-time worker to check in on him and tend to any unmet needs. Mr. Siegel asked Lisa and her family to move in for nurture and care.
Medical Kidnapping: Family Power of Attorney Revoked
One day, the worker reportedly called 911, stating that Mr. Siegel was believed to be a harm to himself or others. An ambulance arrived and took him to Beverly Hospital and then to a psychiatric facility for evaluation. That is where he was placed on lock-down, without any notification of his family. As Lisa and her family arrived home from a day out, they found Mr. Siegel being placed in the ambulance.
However, court documents state that Lieutenant Riter of the Boxford Police Department, who had known Mr. Siegel for ten years at the time, “had no experience with the elder being a legitimate threat.” Lieutenant Riter went on to say that the concerns that prompted the 911 call were “more benign than indicated,” and that “there has been no legitimate reason to use a section 12.”
Lisa said that once Mr. Siegel was placed in psychiatric facility, his financial advisor Brian Nagle reportedly facilitated having Attorneys Edward Tarlow and Catherine Watson go into the psychiatric ward to revoke the Durable Power of Attorney (DPOA) that he had previously executed in February of 2003.
Further, the attorneys brought with them papers retaining Attorney Tarlow and his firm, to “do whatever they wanted to do.” She went on to say that the paperwork also named accountant William Austin, who had a long, established relationship with Nagle, the new DPOA. Lisa said that Austin later refused to be attorney-in-fact. She felt that this was because he knew that she “wouldn’t be someone to run over.”
Lisa had been assigned DPOA when Siegel was fully of sound mind, but somehow attorneys were able to go into a psych ward and obtain his signature to revoke that document. Lisa accuses Nagle of “refus[ing] to carry out his fiduciary duty and honor the Durable Power of Attorney.”
As a result, a guardianship and conservatorship were subsequently appointed over their father without their approval. The family has been embroiled in litigation over this ever since. It is nearly six years later, and the Siegel family is having to fight for the rights that Mr. Siegel appointed to them back in 2003.
Robbing Seniors – How the State Plunders the Estate of Senior Citizens
According to Lisa, in 2003 her father obtained expert lawyers to prepare a DPOA intending to safeguard him from ever having to enter probate court or be labeled incapacitated. Lisa was named the primary attorney-of-fact, and her sister Devora was the successor attorney-of-fact. Therefore, a guardian and conservator should have never been appointed to make decisions regarding Mr. Siegel and his estate.
Attorney James Feld became Mr. Siegel’s court-appointed conservator, and Attorney Brian Cuffe became his court-appointed guardian. Marsha Kazarosian is Mr. Siegel’s private attorney.
Lisa said that Kazarosian has been working against the family and has allied herself with the court-appointed conservator and guardian. Attorney Mr. Siegel tried to terminate Kazarosian in 12/14/11, before the 911 event, but she refused to withdraw her representation as legal counsel.
Lisa said that Kazarosian is supposed to be in an adversarial position against the court-appointed guardian and conservator. But, she said that Kazarosian has sold out Mr. Siegel, calling her “a turncoat.” Lisa said that her father had Kazarosian attest to his competency in writing.
Attorneys Work Together with Hospitals to Medically Kidnap Seniors and Rob Their Estate
Prior to the medical kidnapping, Lisa said that her father had never been diagnosed with any psychotic/mood disorder. Devora said that the court has never allowed them to get a second opinion. Lisa said that her father had his own medical providers that he had been seeing for years.
But the first thing that the guardian and conservator did was get rid of all of his medical providers and put in their own network. Lisa filed a complaint stating that there is a conflict of interest among the court-appointed guardians/conservators because they have their own dealings with the medical providers and hospitals. She said:
They ask for one another to be appointed in court. It’s so incestuous—it’s unfathomable.
This is all about the money. What people need to know is, this starts from your local hospitals. These attorneys who are also court-appointed guardians/conservators/GALs [Attorney Guardians ad Litem], they just happen to be attorneys who are private counsel for these very medical facilities. They have a financial interest in wanting elders to be judicially deemed wards of the state. There’s a purposeful motivation of wanting to dismantle the family unit.
Now, the family unit—nothing. Dismantle them, and they have complete control. That’s the first piece of the puzzle. It gets very complicated. They take away any control you have. They take away your rights.
Devora goes on to say:
One thing we’ve asked for over the years is for is consistency with the caregivers. They change caregivers so often, which is not good with an Alzheimer’s patient. Some of them speak very little English, understand little English. I don’t even have the right to say or to approve the people taking care of him. I can’t say anything.
We should never be where we are five years later. Lisa was appointed [attorney-of-fact].
Lisa told Health Impact News:
The big problem is that this situation should have been stopped from the get go had the court been applying the law. In five years, it has not been one iota of applying the proper, existing law. It’s been outright lawlessness. I refuse to stop fighting against it. Because, I know what the truth is. And, I know what the law is. And, unfortunately, most people can’t endure the viciousness and vile tactics that these attorneys employ.
The sisters said that they receive scathing emails on regular basis from the attorneys involved in the case. Devora said that the stress from this has been detrimental to her health. She now defers to Lisa when it comes to corresponding with them. She told us:
I couldn’t take the viciousness of their attacks. It was horrendous.
Rule of Law Thrown out the Window in the Kangaroo Court
Lisa said that probate court blatantly disregards the entire instrument, or the estate planning documentation, that Mr. Siegel had prepared in 2003, and as a result, the court dismantles the family infrastructure—preventing the truth from coming out.
Once they get you into probate court they just completely disregard that entire instrument, as if it never existed. And, the whole purpose would be because they want to be able to have the court-appointed guardian conservator to be able to get themselves into the family infrastructure and dismantle it. So, when that happened to us, especially myself being an attorney, I said to myself, this is not something I’m understanding here. I’d been an appellate attorney—at that time for at least 15 years. It didn’t matter. Rule of law was thrown out the window—it was purely a kangaroo court. And, that’s what it has been for five years, is a kangaroo court.
The sisters went on to say that if a person does not have the money to fight, it is doubtful that they will ever have justice. According to Lisa:
The way the court system exists, people are prevented from being able to have the truth be heard a lot of times because most people can’t even afford the transcripts cd or electronic recording, let alone the transcript CD. Then you have the filing fees. Basically, these people have been able to get away with it because there has been no outrage, they haven’t been made to be able to be seen in public for what they are.”
It’s horrible when somebody can’t fight something because they don’t have the funds to pay the filing fees. Where’s the justice in that? And, the court knows that. And they’re bullies. And that’s part of their game. They just keep hoping that we’ll quit fighting.
At one point, Lisa reports that she was offered $100,000 by Attorney DeNapoli, paid from the trust if she would not seek legal action to validate her father’s 2003 DPOA, which would eliminate all court-appointed attorneys and make Attorney DeNapoli a permanent fixture. Lisa viewed it as a bribe and declined the offer.
How Many More Seniors Is This Happening To?
The sisters are reaching out to the media in the hopes that they will get a force behind them that will hold the people involved accountable in the public eye. Lisa said:
The local media, they refuse to report on it. No one wants to go up against them, no one. My sister and I are just trying to somehow…it’s not just for our own personal endeavor, but this is something that will hopefully help other people.
They believe that this is happening to numerous other families around the country. Devora said:
I wonder, if we could find out how many people this has happened to, if everyone would step forward. I wonder how many thousands would. And, that’s bad. And, we’re supposed to be United States of America! Something is wrong in the court system.
According to Lisa:
They make things up. They want to say dementia or whatever–psychotic delusions. At no time have they ever put down any factual information as to what kind of psychotic delusions. They just put down a statement and that’s it. That’s the problem is that there’s no oversight. There’s no justice in the court system.
She said that people have the perception that when you go to court that the judge will hear the evidence, and then do a diligent job at reviewing what was presented. However, she said:
That is just a complete myth.
Regardless, Lisa said that she and Devora will continue to pursue justice for their father in the courts.
Until these people are forced into the public, the court system is all we have.
Not Only Rich Seniors are Targeted
The scary part of it is that this is not an isolated incident. This is business as usual. It is a pattern of isolate. Medicate. Liquidate.”
She pointed out that people that think this only happens to people who have large sums of money, but that is not the case. Of her four years of personal research, she said:
It doesn’t matter the amount of a person’s estate, even if a person has virtually nothing to their name. The fact that an elder is receiving some sort of government benefit that automatically brings you into their clutches. People don’t realize that it affects basically everyone. I also find, I’m probably kind of a lone attorney in this process, because it’s so insidious. Because, a lot people who even hire attorneys, they don’t even realize that their attorneys are playing along to get along with the opposing side. So, many people think that their attorneys are supposedly advocating on their behalf, when in reality, they’re stabbing them in the back, for lack of a better term.
Rapid Deterioration After Unnecessary Drugging
Devora said that her father has gone downhill since he was stolen from his family. His communication is to the point to where he cannot carry on a conversation. She said that when they are together, she only gets a few words from him. It is really difficult for her to witness what is happening to her father. She said:
I’m there to hold his hand. I try to talk to him. He’s aware of what I am saying to him and answers when he desires.
See other stories we have covered about medical kidnapping of senior citizens:
How You Can Help:
Representative James Lyons Jr. may be reached at 617-722-2460 or contacted here.
Poem for Her Father by Lisa
A TRIBUTE TO: MY FATHER – MARVIN H. SIEGEL
MY FATHER TAUGHT ME:
To Live in Hope
To Have Loyalty, Morals
To Have Compassion, Kindness
To be Gentle When Stroked, Fierce When Provoked
To Fight for Justice for Family, for Others
To Not be Silent When People Suffer at the Hands of Others—
To be Heard in Defending Others
To Right the Wrong and To Not Stop Until Won
And to Be Able to Look in the Mirror When the Day is Done
I Miss You–More Than Words Can Ever Say;
Yet, I will Overcome the Obstacles in Our Way—
Because of What You Taught Me
I LOVE YOU,
by Lisa Siegel Belanger for her father on Father’s Day 2012 (Source)
Medical Kidnapping: A Threat to Every Family in America T-Shirt
100% Pre-shrunk Cotton!
Medical Kidnapping is REAL!
Help spread the awareness of Medical Kidnapping by wearing the Medical Kidnapping t-shirt!
Support the cause against Medical Kidnapping by purchasing our book!
If you know people who are skeptical and cannot believe that medical kidnapping happens in the U.S. today, this is the book for them! Backed with solid references and real life examples, they will not be able to deny the plain evidence before them, and will become better educated on this topic that is destroying the American family.
1 Book – 228 pages
FREE Shipping Available!
If you thought that Ken and I and Mr. Amu were railroaded by the State of Illinois ARDC, wait until you read this book. I have and I found it to be a must read to understand corruption in the court system in the US.
So very sad.
BAD MINDS, HIGH PLACES
OF LEGAL FAILURE
by Robert Grundstein
Reviewed by Ken Ditkowsky, Esq.
I persistently call for honest investigans of defective state legal systems. The
prevailing question remains: what state actor or agency will conduct them? Mr. Grumdstein’s book provides an answer: None of them. In his experience, Ohio and Wash-
ington proved that it is possible for a region to deteriorate into a criminal enterprise
from the smallest municipal court to the local Federal District. He believes that
without a federal intervention, Cleveland, Ohio would have continued to operate
as a benign version of Albania. The “soggy white people” of Washington State, as
Counselor Grundstein refers to them, have established the courts as a private means of income distribution.
Mr. Grundstein has written an entertaing first -person account of how he believes
“he was persistently prosecuted, pursued, and jailed for exercising his First Amend-
ent rights to expose this happenstance. He was extradited from Vermont to Ohio
based on what he calls falsified charges to a Grand Jury after being exonerated by the same panel. It took an allegedly illegal representment in Cleveland for the County sheriff to get the desired results after the author published an editorial about a Cleveland suburban judge. The author has not been wrong. Yet in his account, which reads like a crime drama the FBI confirmed his claims by conducting a huge corruption investigation
using 125 agents over 10 years. Arrests are still being made. Not only was the judge
Mr. Grundstein wrote about subject to this investigation and removal, the law director and associate in that ourt were convicted of corruption and bribery. The County Sheriff was put in jail as was the docket clerk who he claims falsified the Mr. Grundstein’s court record.
The prosecutor was forced to resign and another prosecutor related to his Ohio
case was put in jail.
From Grunstein’s perspective, the state made sure he had no voice. An order was
entered ruling that he was not allowed to file in any Ohio court. The appellate courts
would not review his exclusion from their state courts; all of them. When he went to
Federal Court, the local federal court immediately imposed a permanent filing ban
His book is an important book for several reasons; first, it shows the grass root character
failure of America’s ethical consensus. Organized failures of this scale aren’t likely
to occur without the acquiescence of entire administrations and their constituents. Second, Mr. Grundstein shows how the benefits and protection of legal systems and the
police power is extended on a selective basis. There is a tiered system and those without
the status of personhood get legal behaviors as a lower-tiered member. Personhood
is often assigned on the basis of partisan affiliation, income, power and preferential
association. Third, the book shows how politicized judicial systems make le gal
failure possible. Collective failure is not necessarily conspiracy. It can start with illegal
agreements, but it is not likely to involve 20 judges, prosecutors and police sitting
in a room planning an illegal agenda.
Grundstein argues that there is a different model for how elected judiciaries and
unified bar systems fail. Collective failure can occur when parties downstream to an
event are faced with the consequences of contradicting or not cooperating with the
people who started an event. This is very common in elected judiciaries. Judges,
prosecutors and attorneys don’t like to offend powerful people by exposing improper
agendas and failures. It’s not necessarily conspiracy but rather the prudential behavior
of a failed system. Fourth, Grundstein shows the irony of how corrupt people
love ethical systems and rely on them.
Finally, it warns of a national decline and cites alleged failures similar to Cleveland’s
in Pennsylvania, Arizona and Washington.
Mr. Grunstein warns that the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution is being
used to export regional ethical failure and because of this notes that we’re in trouble.
The book is entertaining and filled with mordant humor, surreal unreality and irony.
Most people finish it in one or two sittings.
Ironically, it is fun to read even though the story of dest royed virtue and trust in
the very system paid to protect this virtue and trust is quite the opposite. However,
it needs to be told. Mr. Grundstein made sure the medicine tastes good. We should
all take it.
Ken Ditkowsky has practiced law for over 50 yes, trying cases in state and federal
courts, including trying the case of Terrazas vs. Vance before the US Supreme
Court. His office is in Chicago. http://www.ditkowskylawoffice.com.
You can order the book here on Amazon:
As far as I am aware, Mr. Grundstein was disbarred for his activism in eliminating tons of corruption and being part of a huge FBI investigation resulting in the removal of scores of public officials, including judges , attorneys and clerks of court.
I do not believe he has received back his law license yet.
Please write the Vermont State Bar and demand that he receive his law license back and an apology and award for his crucial activism.
Office of Bar Counsel
Michael Kennedy, Esq.
32 Cherry Street, Suite 213
Burlington, VT 05401
Office of Disciplinary Counsel
Sarah Katz, Esq.
32 Cherry Street, Suite 213
Burlington, VT 05401
Professional Responsibility Board
Deb Laferriere, Program Administrator
Vermont Supreme Court
Professional Responsibility Program
109 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05609
Also write to the Chief Judge, Vermont Supreme Court
Honorable Paul L. Reiber
Vermont Supreme Court
111 State St, Montpelier, VT 05602
This article is located at:
Failing care: Nursing home problems persist despite reforms
The nursing home industry is a powerful lobbyist group — both in Washington and Pennsylvania — that has spent millions to influence favorable government policy.
In 2015 alone, the American Health Care Association spent more than $3.7 million in lobbying activity.
And in the commonwealth, the Pennsylvania Health Care Association and its subsidiaries have donated more than $500,000 to state and national campaigns since 1998.
Source: FollowTheMoney.org and OpenSecrets.org
Skilled nursing care for elderly Americans has been studied for decades in an effort to improve quality and educate the public.
The Government Accountability Office, for example, has examined nursing home quality and safety issues since 1998. Numerous congressional hearings have been held. And Congress has passed sweeping reforms that created a resident bill of rights and nursing home sanctions.
The problems still persist.Nearly half the nursing homes the federal government reviewed a decade ago cycled in and out of compliance, leading the GAO to conclude efforts to strengthen enforcement has done little to deter the worst offenders.The Pennsylvania attorney general’s office also highlighted this, filing three lawsuits against some of the state’s largest nursing home operators, accusing them of pocketing millions in federal payments but failing to provide basic services.Despite the collective hand-wringing in Washington and Harrisburg, sustainable solutions have been elusive. Yet advocates and researchers contend it is not an insurmountable problem. Although no single solution will improve the quality of care, many of the fixes are generally accepted – increased nursing home staff, better enforcement and stiffer penalties.”The regulatory system inherently allows bad things to happen to a vulnerable population,” said David Hoffman, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania who brought lawsuits against nursing homes in the 1990s.Hoffman added: “It’s very difficult to turn a bad nursing home into a good one. It’s not that difficult to turn a good one into a bad one.”In the past two decades, half of the state’s nursing homes have had serious health and safety issues that resulted in a fine, ban or temporary or revoked license, a Reading Eagle investigation has found.It’s a troubling issue that is only expected to worsen as the nation ages and Pennsylvanians require more skilled care.
Staffing in U.S. nursing homes
Federal law requires facilities to provide enough staff to adequately care for residents but does not specify how many is enough. Sufficient nursing home staff is universally recognized as the key to making quality care possible. The U.S. average is four hours and nine minutes per resident daily. More than 40 percent of states, including Pennsylvania, fall below average staffing time for nurses and aides.
But the greatest challenge – as Pennsylvania’s own yo-yo enforcement shows – just might be building a coalition strong enough to implement policies that create lasting change.
“It’s a political problem,” said Charlene Harrington, a University of California at San Francisco professor emeritus of sociology and nursing, who has studied the industry for decades. “There’s a lack of political will.”
Outdated staffing standards
Sufficient nursing home staff is universally recognized as the key to making quality care possible. Although state law addresses this with staff requirements, facilities are rarely cited for failing to meet standards.
Pennsylvania established its current standard in 1999, requiring facilities to provide 2.7 hours of care to each resident every day. Patient acuity has since increased significantly, but staffing standards haven’t kept pace.”In 24 hours, all that someone is entitled to get is 2.7 hours of care,” said Matt Yarnell, president of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania. “That’s not very much care. If you increase staff, that means better care, less falls, cleaner rooms.”Federal law requires facilities to provide enough staff to adequately care for residents but does not specify how many. Research indicates a minimum staffing of 4.1 hours of direct daily care is needed for each resident. A third of the states – including Pennsylvania – fall short of that.”The big question we have to ask all of ourselves is, what kind of care do we want to give our elders?” Yarnell said.The industry would support increased staffing ratios, but not without also increasing the state’s Medicaid funding, said W. Russ McDaid, CEO of Pennsylvania Health Care Association, which represents 500 long-term care and senior service providers.”The workforce is also the most expensive piece that they have,” McDaid said.Although providing sufficient staff to meet resident needs is a condition to participate in and receive Medicare and Medicaid payments, studies show facilities are rarely cited for staffing deficiencies. Less than 1 percent of the nation’s nursing homes in 2013 received a staffing deficiency, according to a Center for Medicare Advocacy report.Failing to meet and enforce standards of care – including staffing – harms nursing home residents.One in three Medicare beneficiaries in skilled nursing care for a two-week, post-acute stay in 2011 were harmed in some way, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The majority required either a prolonged nursing home stay or hospital transfer. Six percent died.This indicates that merely raising outdated staffing requirements is not enough. Oversight agencies also need better enforcement.”Quality issues are just going to continue if there’s no enforcement or such weak enforcement,” Harrington said.
‘There’s got to be somebody to enforce it’
Staffing isn’t just a nursing home issue, though.
Fewer than 150 health department inspectors, including supervisors, have the daunting task of overseeing the care Pennsylvania’s 700 nursing homes provide 80,000 residents each day.
Pennsylvania Department of Health Secretary Karen Murphy has promised more boots on the ground but has not yet determined how many.
“One of the easiest and most impactful things the department can do is to revamp its investigative process,” said Sam Brooks, an attorney with Community Legal Services of Philadelphia.Until a spate of new hires in 2015, the number of inspectors had been dropping since 2008. With fewer hands to do the work, the number of state enforcement actions also declined.But advocates warn it’s not enough to hire more surveyors. In 2015, despite increasing staff by more than 10 percent, the state imposed 70 percent fewer sanctions than in 2003.”It’s not just the numbers,” Hoffman said. “If you don’t train and educate all your staff, it’s in effect a meaningless number.”Brooks agreed. He recommends training that follows the blueprint the federal government has already outlined.”No matter what recommendations you make, there’s got to be somebody to enforce it,” Brooks said.Additionally, Pennsylvania’s penalty structure, which has some of the lowest maximums in the nation, hasn’t been revised in nearly four decades. It’s something Auditor General Eugene DePasquale addressed in his July performance review of the health department.State statute permits a fine of up to $500 a day for each deficiency of care, every day the deficiency continues. By contrast, New York and Texas have a $10,000 a day maximum.Any discussion of nursing home reform – researchers and advocates said – should also include financial accountability.The majority of nursing home stays are paid for through Medicaid, the federal social health care program for low-income adults, their children and people with disabilities, which is jointly funded with the states.Most states have a Medicaid reimbursement threshold, but Pennsylvania is an outlier that imposes two caps limiting administrative costs. Medicare reimbursements have no such requirement.An analysis of California nursing home revenues showed facilities increasingly allocated more for administrative costs and profits while shrinking the share allotted for resident care.A possible policy option then could be for both federal programs to have a cap on administrative costs and allocate payments to specific categories rather than the current Medicare practice of an overall rate, which can be spent at the operators’ discretion.Harrington found that if California had had such requirements, the Golden State could have saved $139 million in 2010.
‘It can be done’
When Linda Rhodes took office in 1987 as the Department of Aging secretary, Pennsylvania did not have a law protecting the elderly from abuse and neglect.
So, Rhodes rolled up her sleeves and brokered a deal between the state House and Senate, which at the time had very different philosophies on the issue. The result was the Older Adults Protective Services Act.”Within eight months, we had a law,” Rhodes said. “It can be done.”
About the ombudsman program
Mandated by federal law and overseen by the local Area Agency on Aging, ombudsmen investigate nursing home complaints on behalf of consumers.
In Berks County, call the Office of Aging County Services Center at 610-478-6500.For a complete list of county agencies, go to http://www.aging.pa.gov.Source: Pennsylvania Department of Aging
A health department task force report in October made a number of suggestions that reflected the shifting landscape in the nursing home industry, specifically the need for a culture change that emphasizes quality of life care.
Murphy, the current health secretary, said she is working on new regulations to address many of these issues but declined to share specifics.”Hopefully with our new regulations, we’ll have a lasting impact on the quality of care in our nursing homes,” Murphy said.State lawmakers such as Sen. Judy Schwank, a Ruscombmanor Township Democrat, said the Eagle had highlighted an issue they would follow in the months to come for possible legislative fixes.But with a projected shortfall of at least $1.7 billion for the state’s coming fiscal year, finding money for continued funding could prove challenging.”When we get to budget season, there’s going to be significant pressure to cut government operations,” said state Sen. Art Haywood, an Abington Democrat serving parts of Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. “Getting more resources or maintaining current resources for the Department of Health is going to be severely tested in the upcoming budget.”More than increased staffing, better agency enforcement and stiffer penalties, real reform requires the public keeping a spotlight on the issue.”You have to keep the state’s feet to the fire, so to speak, and use all the penalties they have at their disposal,” said David Grabowski, a Harvard Medical School health care policy professor and task force member.After finding in a 2000 performance audit the health department was slow to investigate complaints – even life-threatening ones – and deficient in imposing sanctions, the state saw a bump in enforcement actions. In 2002 alone, state investigators issued 140 sanctions. That’s more than were issued in the past five years combined.
No one believes the data show nursing homes suddenly improved or worsened.
Last year, in the wake of the Golden LivingCenters lawsuit, Murphy called for the first performance audit since U.S. Sen. Bob Casey Jr. conducted a review as auditor general two decades ago. The health department has already doubled the number of sanctions imposed in 2014. Nursing home citations are also up significantly – a healthy sign the agency is looking for and finding areas to improve.But that can change.In the three years after Casey’s audits, the number of sanctions increased each year. But as the light of public scrutiny faded, sanctions sloughed off precipitously. By 2006, six years after Casey’s second audit, sanctions had dropped by half.Without a sustained commitment from lawmakers and the public to keep nursing home care in the forefront, advocates warn that in five or 10 years, the data could again show a bump in enforcement – this time in 2016 – that hastily dropped after the issue of nursing home care fell from the front pages.”Unless there are reforms with long-lasting effect, this will keep reoccurring,” said Brooks, the Philadelphia legal aid attorney. “It can’t get to the point every time that it’s so terrible that something has to be done.”Contact Nicole C. Brambila: 610-371-5044 or email@example.com.