Archive for March, 2012

Senate Bill to Change Makeup of TN Judiciary Court Passes

March 31, 2012

A proposal to change the makeup of the entity that investigates complaints against Tennessee judges has passed the Senate.

Republican Sen. Mike Faulk of Kingsport is the primary sponsor of the legislation that was approved 30-0 on Thursday.

The measure would terminate the Court of the Judiciary and replace it with a 16-member board of judicial conduct, which would pretty much have the same function as the court.

Under the proposal, the board must report four times a year to the chief clerk of each legislative chamber, information that includes “complaints opened, closed or pending” and “the number of complaints for which probable cause has been found.”

The companion bill is being scheduled for a vote on the House floor.

Full Article and Source:
Senate Bill Would Change Make Up of Judiciary Court

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Houston Hospital Pulls Life-Preserving Treatment Against Family’s Wishes

March 31, 2012

A hospital is now actively killing a patient whose family called me at the 11th hour yesterday, pleading to save their father’s life.

Despite the family’s desperation to protect their father’s life, and everything Texas Right to Life did for them, the hospital’s death panel declared his life futile and moved with steps to kill him.

I could not protect him, and I want to tell you what happened.

His family calls him Willie.

A few weeks ago, he was making plans to travel with his family for a vacation in Europe, but he had chest pains and went to the hospital to check what’s wrong. To his surprise, they discovered pneumonia and, shockingly, leukemia.

His doctors suggested surgery and chemo. Willie didn’t want to die. Before sedation, his daughter told me that he looked lovingly into her eyes and said, “Fight for me, baby; I ain’t done living.”

His family — armed with a medical power of attorney — obeyed his wishes and told the doctors to continue his medical care and treatment.

But his doctors disagreed. They had other plans.

Full Article and Source:
Houston Hospital Pulls Life-Preserving Treatment Against Family’s Wishes

Note: This article was written on March 20, and the author says Willie died that same afternoon.

Daughter Allegedly Takes More Than $143,000 From Mother With Dementia

March 31, 2012

A Sandy woman has been accused of stealing more than a hundred thousand dollars from her mom, who suffers from dementia.

Dorothy Jean Henderson, 65, was charged in 3rd District Court Thursday with exploitation of a vulnerable adult, a second-degree felony.

On Dec. 29, 2010, Henderson was appointed by the courts as a guardian and conservator over her 84-year-old mother’s needs. The appointment gave Henderson the power under law to act on behalf of her mother to make medical, residential, financial, end of life and other decisions, according to court documents.

As soon as the paperwork was done, Henderson began taking out large sums of money from her mother’s bank accounts. None of the money was spent in any way to benefit the mother, court records state.

A Salt Lake City police detective reviewed the mother’s financial records and discovered that over nearly a year, Henderson had withdrawn about $143,000 from the accounts for herself or her children. Some of the accounts included money contributed by the mother’s spouse throughout the couple’s 62 years of marriage.

When police interviewed Henderson, she said she “borrowed” about $43,600 from her mother since losing her job in April 2011. Even though Henderson was told by her attorney that these funds were not for her use, but for her mother’s well-being, she didn’t see the problem, “because she always borrowed money from her mother,” according to the charges.

Full Article and Source:
Daughter Allegedly Takes More Than $143,000 From Mother With Dementia

DEMAND FOR DISCLOSURE OF THE WORDS THAT KENNETH DITKOWSKY UTTERED THAT WERE KNOWINGLY UNTRUE

March 30, 2012

One of the tactics that the Court appointed guardians has been able to get away with to discourage you and me from exercising our FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHTS is to be vague but very direct with accusations. For instance, the ARDC complaint against me charges me with lying to Dr. Patel and to Judicial Officials. If I knowingly told an untruth the accuser should be able to state specifically what words and phrases that I uttered that were untrue, and how she knows that I knew that they were untrue. For instance: Ms. L. Black accuses me of lying to Dr. Patel. OK – what words did I utter to Dr. Patel that were untrue. The letter that she refers to does not say anything that was untrue. If you look at the ARDC complaint filed against me (on the Illinois Attorney Registration and Discipline Commission website the complaint is long on accusations and conclusions but it is almost a void on specifically stating any words and phrases that were knowingly untrue. A lie is a specific statement – it is not a procrustean interpretation of some words and phrases that are randonly chosen. I submit to each person who reads this e-mail that every word that I communicated in connection with the Sykes case was accurate and is backed up by either a Court transcript, a communication from an aggrieved person, an affidavit, or something very tangible. I am very resentful at being called a liar on the website of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Discipline Commission. I urge everyone who reads this e-mail to write the ARDC and demand specifics. We all have First Amendment Rights.

As the agency that regulates attorneys should set a high standard for transparency you each as citizens have a right to know if I am a liar. In particular, as the ARDC posted the complaint for the public to observe it should in the interests of fairness disclose sufficient facts to let the public know exactly what words and phrases I used to convey a false statement to whomever I allegedly made that statement. In particular, as an example in Count 1 I am accused of lying to Dr. Patel. You as a member of the public who has been told I liedm therefore are entitled to know what words I conveyed to Dr. Patel that were untrue. If I did not specifically use any words you should know that also. It, therefore, follows that I did not use the words; someone else has been frugal with the truth. You as a member of the public who has read the posting of the ARDC have the right to know all about that event as well.

Going one step further, I am supposed to have lied to Judicial Officials. You also should know who those judicial officials were and when, where and exactly what knowingly untrue words and phrases I uttered or conveyed to those officials. I, therefore, urge each and every person who is interested in fighting the cause of Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation to inquire of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Discipline Commission and determine for yourself if I lied to anyone, and if so exactly what statements that I made that were knowingly untrue. I waive any right of privacy as to this matter as you as people who have trusted me have a right to know if I am indeed a liar!

Ken Ditkowsky
http://www.ditkowskylawoffice.com

See Also:
Mary Sykes, Illinois Victim

IN: Attorney Stacy Sheedy Pleads Guilty in $596K Fraud

March 30, 2012

An Indianapolis attorney and accountant pleaded guilty to theft as part of an agreement with prosecutors.

An investigation discovered late last year that $596,000 was missing from accounts managed for clients by attorney Stacy H. Sheedy. She was charged in January.

Sheedy admitted to two counts of theft, according to a release from Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry, and will receive a sentence of up to eight years. Sentencing is scheduled for April 26 in Marion Superior Court.

The guardianship account supported an elderly widow with Alzheimer’s disease residing in a nursing home. Grand jury investigators uncovered unauthorized withdrawals and unaccounted-for funds from the guardianship accounts totaling more than $172,000, the release stated. Sheedy made at least 32 unauthorized withdrawals over six months, investigators found.

That discovery led grand jury investigators to also examine Sheedy’s role as trustee of a family trust. A brokerage account within the trust was valued at $501,000 when Sheedy became trustee, the release stated, and was valued at $168 in January. Prosecutors alleged that Sheedy made unauthorized withdrawals from the trust account of $412,500.

Full Article and Source:
Indianapolis Attorney Stacy Sheedy Pleads Guilty in $596,000 Fraud

Former NH Police Captain Sentenced to 12 Months

March 30, 2012

Hillsborough County Superior Court Judge Gillian Abramson sentenced retired Manchester police Capt. Michael Tessier to 12 months in the Hillsborough County jail after he pleaded guilty to two theft charges Wednesday.

Abramson said earlier she would order a hearing to determine whether Tessier should pay restitution in the theft cases.

Tessier will surrender to custody Monday at 2 p.m. to begin serving his sentence.

Tessier pleaded guilty to two counts of theft from trust funds of Thaddeus Jakobiec, a blind, disabled cousin whose trust Tessier was overseeing.

“I’m not persuaded at this point I understand it well enough to say no restitution is needed,” Abramson said.

Tessier’s lawyer said his client has repaid $230,000 in restitution already.

Full Article and Source:
Tessier Pleads Guilty, Sentenced to 12 Months

TX: "Probate Judge is Shunting Aside TX Law"

March 29, 2012

Jack Hood is 88 years old, but I wouldn’t place any bets against him in an arm wrestling match.

The World War II veteran says he still submits to workouts that include 200 curls of 25-pound dumbbells.

“Don’t (mess) with me,” Hood warned Tuesday.

I can’t print the expletive he actually said. But I also can’t print an image of the grin that followed, proving the old man remains not only tough, but also funny and sharp.

It matters, though, because Hood’s stepdaughter and her attorneys are arguing in court that he is not qualified to manage the assets he shares with his wife of 35 years, Billie Ray Hood, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease.

Debra Catalani, who is Billie Ray’s daughter, is instead arguing that she should control the couple’s assets, a claim that shunts aside state law.

The law — Section 883 of the Texas Probate Code — states that when one spouse is incapacitated, the other spouse “acquires full power to manage, control, and dispose of the entire community estate as community administrator.”

Nonetheless, the same probate judge who has considered the dispute for more than two years, Judge Tom Rickhoff, signed an order channeling much of Jack and Billie Ray’s assets to Catalani.

Last month, the Fourth Court of Appeals reversed Rickhoff’s partition order and remanded it back to his court for more hearings.

“Incredibly, Section 883 was not raised in the trial court by the parties or by the trial judge,” the chief justice wrote.

It’s been a frustrating two years for Jack Hood.

I can understand why.

Full Article and Source:
Probate Judge is Shunting Aside Texas Law

Settlement Reached in Brooke Astor Estate Battle

March 29, 2012

Brooke Astor’s only son saw his inheritance slashed in half and had his control of the estate’s powerful charitable contributions stripped away as part of a settlement that ended a bitter, five-year dispute over the family’s millions.

The settlement, ratified on Wednesday in Westchester County Surrogate’s Court, also lays out how Mrs. Astor’s roughly $100 million fortune will be distributed: $30 million will go toward the creation of a Brooke Astor Fund for New York City Education, and millions more will go to Prospect Park, Central Park, city playgrounds and various cultural institutions.

The settlement, which exposed bitter splits in one of New York society’s historically glamorous families, was most noteworthy for what it took away from Mrs. Astor’s son, Anthony D. Marshall.

Mr. Marshall, 87, who was convicted three years ago of stealing from her in the later years of her life, had his inheritance cut to $14.5 million from about $31 million. In addition, he and his wife, Charlene, will not be able to choose which charities receive bequests from Mrs. Astor’s estate or how those bequests are to be used.

The settlement, negotiated by the office of Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, is binding, regardless of what happens with Mr. Marshall’s criminal appeal.

Full Article and Source:
Settlement Reached in Battle Over Brooke Astor’s Estate

Ohio Woman Sentenced in Embezzlement Case

March 29, 2012

While Christina Lynn was supposed to be helping two veterans entrusted to her, federal prosecutors said she was busy stealing more than $305,000 from them.

For that, and her guilty plea to a related charge in October, a judge sentenced her to serve 27 months in prison and repay the money.

Lynn, 41, of Williamsport, committed the crime while working as a legal assistant for the law firm of Huffer and Huffer in Circleville. While working in that capacity, she was appointed a legal guardian for the two veterans by the Veterans Administration and Social Security.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Lynn received benefit payments for medical payments and to pay bills.

However, prosecutors said between April 2004 and April 2010, Lynn took $247,000 of the benefits for her personal use and took an additional $58,000 from the trust funds of several of the firm’s clients.

She pleaded guilty in October to one count of embezzling public money and was ordered to pay $305,127 in restitution and will serve three years of supervised release after her prison term is done.

Full Article and Source:
Woman Sentenced in Embezzlement Case

Attorney Ken Ditkowsky Answers ARDC Complaint

March 28, 2012

“I just finished up an edit of the Reply. I am forwarding this response to the various blogs with the hope that they will post it. I want to demonstrate that now all attorneys shake in their boots when confronted by a wrongful disciplinary action reasonably intended to inhibit our free speech. The ARDC case that was filed against me is ‘bogus’ and intended to shut me up.

It is not going to happen as I was called a liar, even though every word I communicated was absolutely objectively true and based upon the information of people who I respect and believe to be credible.

I sent our requests to admit to the ARDC as I wanted to give them an opportunity to admit or deny the facts that I allegedly lied concerning. The choice was very simple. Admit that certain facts are true and dismiss the case, or on the hand deny that the facts were true and prove them. Instead, the ARDC admitted that they never investigated the facts and did not have sufficient information. Illinois law requires a degree of due diligence before filing a lawsuit. It appears that the attorney for the ARDC ignored that requirement in total and just filed a complaint that accused me of being a liar and posted it on the internet.

That scenario suggests something very sinister and wrong! I do not intend to allow such a scenario to remain in secret or to be covered up. I also do not intend to allow the Human and Civil Rights of either Mary or Gloria or any of the other aggreived individuals similarly situated to be just forfeited. My latest missile is:”

BEFORE THE HEARING BOARD OF THE ILLINOIS ATTORNEY REGISTRATION AND DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION

In the Matter of:

KENNETH KARL DITKOWSKY,

Commission No. 2012 PR 00014
Attorney-Respondent,
No. 642754

Reply
To Response to Motion to Dismiss Complaint

Now comes Kenneth Ditkowsky and renews his Motion to dismiss this ARDC complaint by this reply and in support of the motion states:
Prefatory Statement
Objection is made to the lack of candor that the Administrator’s response to this Motion to Dismiss. For instance in paragraph 1 the Administrator after fortuitously denigrating the Motion with editorial comment states a fact that is untrue. The Administrator claims that there are no affidavits in support of the Motion. In fact there are several. The affidavit of Gloria Sykes and the affidavit of Scott Evans are both provided in support of the motion. Had whoever drafted the Response read the Motion, that person would have noted these affidavits.

Of a more serious nature is the fact that the alleged Administrator’s Response to the Request to Admit is an admission that either no investigation was done prior to the filing of the complaint herein, or the Administrator has not been candid. If the Administrator in fact, prior to bringing his complaint, had done the investigation required by Supreme Court Rule 137 the administrator would have been able to admit or deny all the facts requested to be admitted or denied by the Request to Admit. (The Supplemental Motion to Dismiss addresses this issue.)

Reply
An Attorney and his/her clients are afforded Constitutional Rights and the protections of 735 ILCS 110/et seq. The protections of the Constitution of the United States of America and the State of Illinois are applicable to even the disciplinary proceedings of the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission. Cavalier responses to serious issues may be the current vogue in some legal circles, but the issues involved in this proceeding and its related proceedings are indeed serious. The fact is that the Administrator in his response to the First Wave Requests to Admit reveals that he “does not have sufficient knowledge to admit or deny ***” the very facts that he must allege in his complaint. Yet, the Administrator concludes that the respondent lied and then wrongfully published the defamation on the ‘web!’ Such perfidy is not only chilling, but an admission that this instant complaint is grossly improper and intentionally violative of intent and spirit of Illinois Supreme Court Rule 137[1] and 735 ILCS 110 et seq. The aforesaid Response to the First Wave Request to Admit is attached hereto and made part hereof as exhibit A as if set out in detail and incorporated by reference.

The granting of authority to the Administrator was not a grant to run rough shod over the rights of citizens, including attorneys. Even a cursory examination of the complaint raises the question of the First Amendment applicability. Count 1 misinterprets words and phrases of an inquiry letter in the most procrustean manner so as to distort the letter’s meaning and seek discipline against respondent for words and phrases that were never communicated. Such a request coupled with the pejorative averments that the non-uttered statement was a lie raises ‘red flags’ and suggests an improper motive in bringing the complaint.

The conclusions of the 2nd count are equally troubling as once again the derogatory ‘name calling’ substitutes for the pleading of facts. In particular, as the Sodini criterion according to our view of the record in In re: Sykes was never met there are no judicial officials and in particular Guardian Ad Litem Stern and Farenga, approximately two years after their appointment, have no standing in the probate proceedings. The plenary guardian and her attorney are similarly acting sans jurisdiction. As the response to the Request to Admit indicates that the Administrator does not have knowledge of such a basic fact, how does the Administrator get the authority to publish a ‘naked statement’ to the public that the respondent is a ‘liar!’

More significantly, all the statements that are alleged to have been made by the respondent are clearly protected statements under the 1st and 14th Amendments to the United States Constitution. The 2-619 Motion is thus appropriate to redress the chilling prospect of a citizen being denied Equal Protection of the Law and his right to the First Amendment protections of protest, speech, and assembly. It is significant that the Administrator chooses to ignore these basic Constitutional Rights and at the very same time respond to Requests to Admit with:
“The Administrator does not have sufficient knowledge to admit or deny***”
Supreme Court Rule 137 admonishes exactly this type of conduct on the part of the attorney for the Administrator (i.e. bringing a complaint without doing any due diligence or investigation of the facts so as to be able to certify that the facts alleged are true) and 42 USCA 1983 counsels that color of Statute ought not be employed to deny a citizen of his/her Constitutional laws.

735 ILCS 110 et seq. makes it very clear that a legal proceeding cannot be used to silence a citizen. It may be very inconvenient that Ms. Sykes, Mr. Evans and others have verified by their affidavits the very facts that the Administrator will have to prove false to prove me a ‘liar!’ The Sykes/Evans’ affidavits stand in stark contradiction to the statement of the Administrator in paragraph 1 of his response. The said affidavits also stand as strong contradiction to the conclusions pleaded by the Administrator.

It is respectfully submitted that if the attorney for the Administrator had read the Motion before it was responded to, the complaint would have been non-suited. It is further respectfully submitted had the files of the ARDC and the complaints filed by various friends, relatives, and neighbors of Mary Sykes been reviewed prior to the filing of the complaint filed herein the complaint would never have been filed. Even in 21st Century America the objective truth is not a lie, and the publication of the truth – no matter when or where – is not a prevarication. Similarly, to protect the rights of citizens and to prevent exactly what appears to have happened to Mary Sykes and Gloria Sykes in the Sykes case the legal profession has been very jealous of protecting the First Amendment Rights of the brethren. As a profession lawyers cannot tolerate the deprivation of human rights and/or civil rights of anyone – including them.

When an attorney demands the investigation of the conduct of such ‘august’ persons as a guardian ad litem and an attorney for a plenary guardian, in a case in which a senior citizen is deprived of her liberty, property, and human rights under extremely suspicious circumstances, such effort should be aided and abetted in the interest of justice – not punished. This instant reply draws attention to the Affidavits of Gloria Sykes and Scott Evans. This panel is requested to examine the Court file in the Sykes case and is respectfully requested to take judicial notice of the same. In the Court file, unless I have misread the docket and the transcripts of Mr. Schmiedel’s statements, the Jurisdictional Sodini notices and affidavits of service are missing. As they were never sent by the attorney for the plenary guardian *****. As the Appellate Court of Illinois has noted (in Sodini) these notices are jurisdictional Mr. Stern, Ms. Farenga and the plenary guardian are engaging in their alleged pernicious activities ultra vires. Right or wrong, I have not waived my First Amendment Rights and any attempt to silence me or diminish my said rights is not only wrongful, but clearly a violation of the policy of the State of Illinois as stated in 735 ILCS 110/5.

Moreover, the Response to the First Wave Request to Admit is a clear admission that Rule 137 was ignored by the attorney for the Administrator in drafting the complaint. The Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission in being charged with regulating Attorney conduct should be a ‘Cesar’s wife!’ The commission is charged with not only being an example of legal ethics and propriety, but being an example to the profession. It is respectfully suggested that the complaint, and the two responses are examples of the nadir of the profession rather than the best and, therefore, the complaint filed herein should be dismissed with prejudice.

Wherefore pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/2-619 this complaint be dismissed, and a complete and through investigation be commenced as to the Sykes case and pursuant to Supreme Court Rule 137 the motivations for bringing this instant complaint in the manner it was filed.[2]

Respectfully Submitted

Kenneth K. Ditkowsky

Attorney number 0642754
Pro se
5940 W. Touhy Ave
Niles, Illinois 60714
847 600 3421

________________________________________
[1] Had a private attorney acted with such careless disregard the attorney would be subject to sanctions and possible discipline. Rule 137 even in its most liberal interpretation requires enough due diligence on the part of the attorney drafting a complaint that the attorney (and his client) has knowledge of the basic facts upon which the complaint is founded. It is respectfully submitted that this is not true in the instant complaint against me.
[2] CALLING A PRACTICING ATTORNEY A ‘LIAR’ AND PUBISHING THE SAME ON THE INTERNET IS NOT SOMETHING THAT CAN BE TAKEN LIGHTLY OR IGNORED. As the affidavits of Sykes and Evans clearly refute any suggestion that I lied as to anything this is a serious matter and a clear violation of 735 ILCS 110/ and 42 USCA 1983. On day one the attorney for the Administrator had a duty based upon the ‘traditions of the bar’ (if not an ethical responsibility) to do a full investigate of the charges that were brought and to have a clear knowledge of the facts upon which the charges were being brought. In the instant scenario the ARDC has received numerous citizen complaints totally consistent with the statements allegedly made by me. The Court record is also consistent with the charges that have been made by Gloria Sykes et al. No one can deny that Mary Sykes was helped by Court employed people to prepare a Petition For A Protective Order. No one can deny that this Petition was duly filed and never heard. No one can deny that neither Guardian ad Litem petitioned the Court to voice any complaint as to a possible conflict of interest on the part of the plenary guardian.

No one can deny the videos posted by various citizens on the internet, and no one can deny that Mary Sykes in the early videos appears to be perfectly competent. Indeed, no one can deny that not a scintilla of medical evidence was heard by the Probate Court prior to declaring Mary Sykes incompetent. Nor can anyone deny the transcripts of August 2009 and August 2010. Similarly, no one can deny that the 14 day Sodini notices are claimed by the close relatives of Mary Sykes to have not been served and more importantly Mr. Schmiedel has not made a clear statement stating that these vital notices were indeed properly served as required by Statute. These notices are jurisdictional as they are the protection against vulnerable people being ‘railroaded’ into the loss of liberty and property by dishonest practitioners.

Similarly no one can deny that family members of Mary Sykes have disclosed that the safety deposit box contained valuables and these valuables were never inventoried. The record is clear that Mr. Stern, and Ms. Farenga failed to alert the Court to this oversight. Of course, the record indicates that Mary Sykes had many emergency room visits. The probate record does not reveal any report of these visits by the GAL. It is respectfully submitted that the record in the probate division upon which the Administrator must rely upon to aver that I am liar suggests that some very unusual events have taken place that are disingenuous and possibly criminal. THE PROBLEM THAT THE RESPONSE TO THE REQUEST TO ADMIT DISCLOSES is that the Attorney drafting the complaint apparently was ignorant of these serious factual scenarios.

See Also:
Mary Sykes, Illinois Victim