Archive for June, 2013

Tonight on T.S. Radio: Elder Abuse and Exploitation and Murder

June 30, 2013

Rosanne Miller: I am dealing with the cover up of the death of my Mother. The court system left my Dad with Dementia and mentally impaired, incompetent and in abuse: literally living like a pig for 6 yrs while I tried to get guardianship which the court refused me.

Now the corporate agents have stolen $250,000 from their estate. My Dad is now in a nursing home trying to kill himself so the agents loaded him up on drugs to subdue him which is abuse by chemical restraint. The agents have gutted their home throwing away any final evidence to link the suspect of Mom’s death while it is still an “ongoing” investigation. The Corporate Agents have done everything they can to support the suspect and abuser cause they knew that is where they would make their money. The suspect walks free to this day.

This is nothing short of conspiracy and racketeering.

Great country we live in.

5:00 pm PST … 6:00 pm MST … 7:00 pm EST … 8:00 pm EST

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Ex-Sidley lawyer accused of stealing almost $120,000 from firm

June 30, 2013

A former Sidley Austin LLP partner and global coordinator of its real estate practice was accused of stealing nearly $120,000 from the Chicago-based law firm by the Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission.

The complaint against Lee Smolen, 53, who left Sidley last fall and joined DLA Piper US LLP’s Chicago office in February, requests that the matter be assigned to a panel for further investigation and possible discipline, according to Am Law Daily.

Sidley and a lawyer for Mr. Smolen declined to comment, the report said. Mr. Smolen was accused of submitting for reimbursement more than 800 false receipts totaling $69,000 for taxi rides he had not taken, plus thousands more in entertainment expenses “that had not been incurred for legitimate firm purposes.”

Full Article and Source:
Ex-Sidley lawyer accused of stealing almost $120,000 from firm

Recommended Website: Victims of Guardians

June 30, 2013


Many lawyers write articles suggesting advance directives, including a Durable Power of Attorney (“durable,” meaning it remains in effect after a person becomes incompetent). 

Question: But what if you wind up in front of a corrupt judge who ignores the grantor’s wishes?
Answer: He can override any legal document executed by the AIP (“alleged incompetent person.”) (Note: The person is only “alleged” to be incompetent until they are legally adjudged to be incapacitated; then they are described as the “ward.” They are actually wards of the State.)

Question: Aren’t there any safeguards against that?
Answer: That’s up to your state legislators and prosecutors. An honest judge will hold a full evidentiary hearing to determine the validity of the prior Durable Power of Attorney – the issue being whether the AIP was incompetent at the time of execution. A corrupt judge will not hold any hearing; he/she will just ignore the Power, and sometimes invalidate (with a stroke of the pen) even a Last Will and Testament, putting all sorts of liberties in the hands of the fiduciaries.

Question: Why would a judge do that?
Answer: By unlawfully overriding the powers granted, he can then put his academic or political buddies into the guardianship, to make-work and feast on fees.

Question: What is the quid pro quo; i.e., what’s in it for him/her?
Answer: That we will not know until the prosecutors start prosecuting judicial corruption in a meaningful way.


Attorney discipline: 14 attorneys in South Florida spanked

June 29, 2013

One attorney tried to give a judge a bottle of wine. Another is accused of stealing money from client trust funds. A third attorney lost her driver’s license and was suspended after a felony DUI.

Overall, 14 lawyers in South Florida faced discipline by the Florida Supreme Court in recent court orders from April and May.

Bankruptcy attorney Kevin Gleason already apologized publicly for criticizing U.S. Bankruptcy Judge John Olson and for trying to smooth it over by sending a bottle of wine to Olson’s office. Now he will be publicly reprimanded following a May 15 order from the Florida Supreme Court.

West Palm Beach attorney James Herbert Rainey was suspended on an emergency petition accusing him of raiding client trust funds. Rainey’s attoney, Kevin Tynan, said his client denies the allegation and is defending himself.

What happened to the clients’ funds? Tynan said he wasn’t prepared answer that question from a newspaper reporter, but he would be filing motions soon outlining Rainey’s defense.

Two South Florida attorneys were permanently disbarred. Another two faced normal disbarment, which means they can reapply for a law license under certain conditions in five years.

Statewide, the court disciplined 23 attorneys, disbarring six, suspending 12 and publicly reprimanding five.

A news release from the Florida Bar provided the following summaries of additional South Florida discipline cases:

John Patrick Clement, North Palm Beach, permanently disbarred on a May 3 order. Clement was found in contempt for non-compliance with the terms of a December 2011 disbarment order. Clement failed to respond to correspondence from the Bar and failed to appear at final hearings on Jan. 12, 2012 and Feb. 10, 2012. (Case No. SC11-1458)

Rene Navarro, Miami, permanently disbarred on a May 15 order. Navarro was found in contempt for violating the terms of his January 2008 disbarment order. Navarro engaged in the practice of law, despite being disbarred. (SC12-1561)

Robert W. Frazier Jr., Fort Lauderdale, disbarred retroactive to April 1, 2011, following a May 2 order. Frazier intentionally and actively assisted a client in cashing a check that did not belong to either of them. He then turned the proceeds over to the client. (Case No. SC11-819)

Mark David Tucker, Miami, disbarred effective 30 days from an April 30 order. Tucker was found in contempt for failing to comply with the terms of a November 2010 suspension order that also placed him on probation for three years. Tucker failed to pay $72,950 to a former client within the three-year probationary period as required. (Case No. SC12-952)

Rita Rosato Pitassi, Delray Beach, suspended for three years on a May 15 order. Pitassi was adjudicated guilty in court of one count of felony driving under the influence, for the third time in 10 years. Pitassi was sentenced to 150 days incarceration and five years probation. She was also released to a drug and alcohol treatment facility for 120 days of inpatient treatment and random drug testing during probation; her driver’s license was permanently revoked. (SC12-1892)

Ronald George Baker, Coral Gables, suspended for 91 days, effective July 14, on a May 15 order. Baker had a long-time business relationship with a client. A restatement of a trust provided that Baker, who prepared documents at the instruction of the client, would receive $250,000 as a beneficiary. Upon the death of the client, Baker disbursed the funds to himself and also collected $110,000 for serving as trustee, personal representative and attorney. Baker violated Bar rules involving conflict of interest. His acceptance of a substantial gift from a client was inappropriate and also violated Bar rules. (Case No. SC12-2725)

Libio Calejo, Doral, suspended for one year, effective 30 days from a May 15 order. Calejo represented approximately 20 debtors in federal bankruptcy court. Many of the petitions and schedules he filed contained inaccuracies, leading to amendments that also contained inaccuracies and resulted in unreasonable delays. Calejo’s failure to appear at a number of scheduled creditors’ meetings resulted in the dismissal of most of the bankruptcy cases. Calejo also failed to adequately communicate with clients, often leaving that responsibility to his non-lawyer personnel. (Case No. SC12-2729)

Kathleen M. P. Davis, Greenacres, suspended, effective 30 days from a May 30 order, until she fully responds in writing to Bar inquiries and until further order. Davis was found in contempt for failing to respond to multiple official Bar inquiries. (Case No. SC12-802)

Eric Richard Hospedales, Miramar, suspended for 90 days, effective 30 days from a May 15 order. During an investigation into a Bar complaint, Hospedales provided misleading and incomplete information to the Bar and its agents. In statements to a grievance committee member, Hospedales contradicted an earlier written statement. He also failed to reveal pertinent information. (Case No. SC12-912)

Jeffrey Allen McCann, Palm Beach Gardens, suspended for one year, effective immediately on a May 15 order. McCann was found in contempt for violating the terms of his April 2012 suspension order. Specifically, McCann was required to submit to The Florida Bar, a sworn affidavit listing the persons/entities to which he gave notice of his suspension and provided a copy of his suspension order. (Case No. SC12-1279)

Julio R. Ferrer Roo, Miami, suspended for one year, effective immediately, following a May 15 order. Roo was found in contempt for violating the terms of his April 2012 suspension order. Specifically, Roo was required to submit to The Florida Bar a sworn affidavit listing the persons/entities to which he gave notice of his suspension and provided a copy of his suspension order. (Case No. SC12-2137)

Laurie Schrier, Boynton Beach, suspended until further order, effective 30 days from an April 12 order. Schrier failed to respond to multiple Bar inquiries regarding a complaint. (Case No. SC12-2164)

Elsewhere in Florida:

Jessica Ann Bennett, Riverview, permanently disbarred on a May 15 order. (Case No. SC12-1305)

Jennifer Aycock Bonifield, Brandon, disbarred on a May 15 order.

Chris Eugene Cadenhead, Crestview, suspended until further order, effective 30 days from a May 7 order. (Case No. SC13-753)

Gayle Patricia Ellsworth, Warwick, R.I., suspended until further order, effective 30 days from a May 23 order. (Case No. SC13-900)

Stewart Lawrence Jacobson, Clermont, to be publicly reprimanded following a May 15 order. (Case No. SC12-1941)

Stephen Gilman Kolody, Fort Myers, suspended for 91 days, effective 30 days from a May 15 order. (Case Nos. SC11-721 & SC12-1420)

Miquell Mack, Ocala, to be publicly reprimanded, following a May 15 order. (Case No. SC12-2726)

Eduardo Julio Mejias, Altamonte Springs, to be publicly reprimanded and placed on probation for six months, on a May 15 order. (Case No. SC12-882)

Charles Edward Pellicer, Saint Augustine, to be publicly reprimanded and placed on probation for two years, following a May 15 order. (Case No. SC12-1190)

Discipline orders are not final until time expires to file a rehearing motion and, if filed, determined. The filing of such a motion does not alter the effective date of the discipline. Disbarred lawyers may not re-apply for admission for five years. They are required to go through an extensive process that rejects many who apply. It includes a rigorous background check and retaking the bar exam. Historically, less than 5 percent of disbarred lawyers seek readmission.

Full Article and Source:
Attorney discipline: 14 attorneys in South Florida spanked

State declines to investigate vast majority of hospital complaints

June 28, 2013

Illinois officials didn’t look into 85 percent of the 560 hospital complaints received last year, even when the reports alleged violations such as patient abuse

A patient at Harrisburg Medical Center complained to the state that a bacterial infection spreading through the hospital had already killed one person and that nurses and doctors did not wear protective gowns and gloves.

How did Illinois officials respond? They declined to investigate.

Jeanine Thomas

At Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, a patient was pricked by dirty needles, prompting preventive treatment for HIV.

State regulators chose not to pursue that case, too.

They also took a pass on allegations that a staffer at Streamwood Behavioral Health Center assaulted a patient, causing a possible spinal injury, and that a nurse misused an IV machine at Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital, leading to a near fatal overdose, a Tribune investigation found.

The Illinois Department of Public Health declined to investigate 85 percent of the 560 hospital complaints it received last year, even when the reports alleged violations such as patient abuse and inadequate infection control, records show. Some allegations of serious harm or death were not pursued even though federal law requires that such claims be investigated within 48 hours.

“These are serious complaints,” said Lisa McGiffert, director of the national Consumers Union Safe Patient Project. “If the regulatory system is collecting these complaints and not responding, that is a massive failure of oversight.”

Complaints can reveal crucial systemic problems, experts say. And when it finds violations, the state can order hospitals to make corrections.

But Illinois regulators say they don’t have the funding to investigate. And the hospital industry has fought proposals to pay for the investigations with fees that amount to pennies a day per hospital bed.

Complaints about the same hospital can pile up without any investigations, according to thousands of records reviewed by the Tribune.

Full Article and Source:
State declines to investigate vast majority of hospital complaints

Sullivan Town Court Judge Resigns Over Tirade at Teenager

June 28, 2013

On several occasions during the summer of 2011, someone stole money from a farm stand that James P. Roman operated on his property in Madison County, N.Y. Convinced he had found the culprit that August, Mr. Roman, a justice of the nearby Sullivan Town Court, decided to take action, according to a complaint filed last year by the New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct.

What followed was an obscenity-ridden confrontation during which, according to the complaint, Mr. Roman pushed a 15-year-old boy to the ground, took his bike, threw it in the boy’s yard and threatened him with a baseball bat.

On Tuesday, the commission, the state agency that disciplines judges, announced that Mr. Roman had agreed to resign from his post. He also agreed never to seek or accept judicial office again.
Neither Mr. Roman nor his lawyer, Alan J. Pope, returned calls for comment on Tuesday.
Mr. Roman filed a response to the complaint in October 2012 in which he admitted using “harsh words and expletives,” damaging the boy’s bicycle and telling him to stay off his property. But he denied that he had pushed the boy off the bicycle or used a baseball bat “in a menacing manner.”
Robert H. Tembeckjian, administrator and counsel for the commission, said in a phone interview on Tuesday: “It is clearly improper for a judge who is obliged to uphold the law to act outside the courtroom in a manner that disrespects the law and takes disputes to such an extreme level. Mr. Roman recognized that in deciding to leave the bench.”

Full Article and Source:
Sullivan Town Court Judge Resigns Over Tirade at Teenager

One in Ten Elders is Abused or Neglected

June 28, 2013


Phoenix woman sentenced to 30 days in jail for bilking elderly man

June 27, 2013

Phoenix resident Gail Louise Olson will spend 30 days in jail and pay restitution for taking financial advantage of an elderly man she befriended for four years, a Jackson County judge decided Thursday.

Judge Lorenzo Mejia also prohibited Olson from serving as a caregiver for anyone outside her immediate family.
The verdict followed three days of often emotional testimony in court.
Olson was silent, often stoic, during the trial, but denied the charges brought against her after her sentencing.
“I loved John a lot. He was my best friend. I only did things to help him because he asked me to. He loved me like a daughter,” Olson said, visibly distressed and wringing her hands behind her back.
“I don’t know what to say. I didn’t do anything wrong, I’m sorry. I can’t admit to something I didn’t do.”
Becker’s children John B. Becker and Sandy Becker both spoke to the courtroom through tears after the verdict was read. They said Olson’s actions caused a rift in the family when members became suspicious of Olson, but their father refused to believe their concerns.
Sandy Becker said she found some comfort that her father seemed to understand what had happened in his final days.
“Things were so stressful and he was so angry for the last six to eight months, but the day he died, he had been asking for me,” she said, wiping her eyes.

Full Article and Source:
Phoenix woman sentenced to 30 days in jail for bilking elderly man

Guardianship abuse has serious implications: Study

June 27, 2013

RIYADH — Men who exercise absolute control over the rights of women are considered one of the detrimental problems facing Saudi society, according to a new study.

This tendency represents the harshest form of injustice against women with psychological repercussions.

Despite the advice of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) to Muslims to be kind to their women, some male guardians hold an uncompromising attitude toward women under their care, be they their daughters, sisters or wives, without any justifiable reasons. Such intransigence demoralizes women and results in the loss of their financial rights, the study points out.

Some women continue to suffer from the abuse of their fathers or brothers who refuse them permission to marry, to work, or even to continue their education.

Some of these guardians may agree to some matters that concern women, but often in return for something. Women are sometimes forced to forfeit their salaries to achieve what they desire.

It should be stressed that in Islam a guardian should not exceed his rights and inflict harm upon a woman.

The judicial system states that if a guardian is abusive, the judge has the right to relieve him of his guardianship.

Fatimah Saleh, an elementary school teacher, said her father was very intransigent and rejected her suitors, claiming all those who had proposed to her were unsuitable. She is now 45 years old, and no one is proposing to her anymore.

After her father died, her brother followed in his steps for the sake of her salary, as she has become an ATM cash dispenser for him.

Full Article and Source:
Guardianship abuse has serious implications: Study

Flint man arraigned on charges of first degree elder abuse of partially blind mother diagnosed with dementia

June 27, 2013

FLINT, MI – A 47-year-old Flint man has been arraigned on charges of first-degree vulnerable adult abuse of his 67-year-old mother after authorities dispatched to a Flint home said they observed “deplorable” conditions inside the home, said Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell.

Acting on a 911 medical call, sheriff’s paramedics responded to 524 Clinton St. Thursday, June 20.
After discovering a bathtub littered with used razors and old, tattered toilet paper rolls, floors covered with dog feces and garbage piled as high as five feet in bedrooms, authorities contacted the sheriff’s Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation Prevention team, Pickell said in a press conference Tuesday, June 25

Amid the investigation, authorities identified George Gilbert Harper, 47, and his mother, Sharon Harper, 67,  living at the home.

A detective arrested George Harper on an outstanding warrant of soliciting a prostitute out of Flint after he had attempted to flee the scene, Pickell said. Harper was arraigned on the soliciting charge on June 21. George Harper had moved in the home two months ago and had been his mother’s part-time caregiver, the sheriff said.

George Harper was arraigned on charges of first-degree vulnerable adult abuse — a 15-year felony — and resisting and obstructing police, a two-year felony. Harper was  held on a $10,000 bond.

An attorney for George Harper was not listed in court records.
“I wonder, how many more women, men, elderly people, vulnerable adults are living in these kind of conditions?” Pickell said.

Full Article and Source:
Flint man arraigned on charges of first degree elder abuse of partially blind mother diagnosed with dementia