Archive for the ‘Illinois’ Category

A Word About Attorney Ken Ditkowsky

October 10, 2013

Friday, October 11th at 11:00 a.m., Illinois Attorney Ken Ditkowsky will stand in front of the ARDC Review Board* in oral argument, defending himself against a four-year suspension of his law license for his involvement in the Mary G. Sykes unlawful guardianship case.

NASGA stands firmly with Attorney Ditkowsky, as we have all along. Attorney Ditkowsky is one of a dying breed of attorneys – those who chose and went in to the legal profession to help people in need instead of just to make a lot of money; a man who is outraged by injustice; and a champion and voice for the vulnerable.

We pray for justice at this hearing.

The world can’t stand to lose an attorney like Ditkowsky; in fact, we need more like him!

*One Prudential Plaza
15th Floor
Chicago, IL
11:00 a.m. 

Care giver charged with financial exploitation

September 23, 2013

HARRISBURG   — Harrisburg woman has been charged with stealing over $10,000 from an elderly person, according to a bill of information released by Saline County State’s Attorney Mike Henshaw.

Saline County Sheriff’s Deputies arrested Kimberly Jean Ital, 45, 23 E. Rose St., Harrisburg, 5 p.m. Sept. 18 on charges of financial exploitation of the elderly, theft over $10,000 and three counts of aggravated identity theft. She remains held at the Saline County Detention Center on $15,000 cash bond.

Ital was a paid care giver to Karen Phelps who is over 70 years of age. According to the bill of information the charges of financial exploitation and theft over $10,000 stemmed from Ital, being in a position of trust and confidence, obtaining through deception $25,675 from Phelps.

Full Article and Source:
Care giver charged with financial exploitation

Cook County Opens New Elder Justice Center

September 6, 2013

CHICAGO (CBS) – Senior citizens in Cook County who need help navigating the court system, or fighting fraud and abuse, now have one place to turn for information.

WBBM Newsradio Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports the Cook County Elder Justice Center is the brainchild of Chief Judge Timothy Evans, and is located on the lower level of the Daley Center.

Presiding Judge Patricia Banks said volunteers and staff at the center can answer questions about financial exploitation, scams, and the like. “We don’t give legal advice,” she said. “No legal advice, or legal representation; but we do want seniors who have issues, who have questions about the court system, who have questions about paperwork that they might have that they don’t quite understand – we welcome them to come in. To the extent that we can help them, fine. If we can’t help them, we’re going to refer them to someone who can.”

Banks said she and Evans noticed seniors have become a growing part of the court system.

“They’re living longer, and they’re in need … because of all types of legal issues: consumer issues, the scams, we have also elder abuse and neglect,” she said. “That’s a very big issue, because of elder abuse, and neglect, and financial exploitation, we’re hearing stories everyday about seniors.”

Full Article and Source:
Cook County Opens New Elder Justice Center

Open Letter to the Guardian, Guardian’s Attorney, and Both Court Appointed GAL’s

August 29, 2013

“Shame on you. Shame on ALL of you. The arrogance and cruelty you have showered upon my mother has reached a new subterranean level by even the subpar standards applied in this guardianship.

You have the gall to allow an eighty-three year old woman to believe she would be able to visit with her ninety-four year old sister today – for a meager one hour visit allowed by the guardian. Then, at the last minute, you pull the rug out from under her? If there was ANY issue regarding supervision, this should have been dealt with weeks ago.

May I remind ALL of you, Judge Connor’s reprimanded the guardian on more than one occasion to be sure that her mother was NOT being isolated or kept apart from her family. You have all had the audacity to allow Judge Stuart to believe that my Aunt is not being isolated, when in fact, you know the opposite is true.

You have been complicit in the viciousness and spitefulness with which a tyrannical daughter has separated her mother from the people whom she loves and cherishes. Your aiding and abetting of the guardian’s actions has allowed her to punish her own mother for crimes unknown, while at the same time inflicting emotional pain throughout what was once a peaceful and loving family.

In your eagerness to have my Aunt guardianized, you erred grossly and placed her with the one person whom she asked to be protected from. It is time you step up to the plate, and do the right thing
As Judge Stuart has said, you are the ‘Eyes and Ears of the Court’, but remember, Judge Stuart is the Supreme Guardian.”

~Kathie Bakken

Need a guardian? If you don’t pick one, court will for you

August 21, 2013

Having someone you trust to make decisions for you when you can’t is a good idea, if you don’t want a stranger doing it, that is.

In Illinois, if you are “not decisional” as the lawyers say, and you haven’t chosen someone to act on your behalf when you’re in that state, a judge will appoint a guardian for you.

In Champaign County, John Brown of Savoy is the county public guardian for those who have no one else to do the job. In Vermilion County, Matt Myrick of Oakwood holds that position.

“Having a decision-maker that you trust, that you have the opportunity to talk to about how you want medical decisions made before that emergency occurs is really important,” said Champaign attorney Deb Feinen, whose office specializes in petitioning for guardianships.

“Assuming that you don’t revoke your power-of-attorney, that person is able to make all the decisions and you don’t have to go to court and get a guardianship,” she said.

Champaign County Judge Holly Clemons, who handles most of the requests for guardianships, said typically the requests come from a family member who has no power to act because the affected loved one hasn’t executed a power-of-attorney.

Full Article and Source:
Need a guardian? If you don’t pick one, court will for you

Schaumburg police seek help finding missing senior

August 18, 2013

The Schaumburg Police Department is seeking the public’s help with finding a missing senior who might be in danger.

Agripina Resendiz, 76, who is under the guardianship of the Illinois Office of the State Guardian because of her medical condition, was last seen Wednesday. Resendiz is a resident of a Schaumburg health care facility by court order.
Police said Resendiz was visited Wednesday by her son, Armando Resendiz, who spent several hours with her at the facility. Facility staff later discovered Resendiz missing and believe she may be with her son, police said.

Authorities believe Armando Resendiz, 52, has been living in various hotels in the Northwest Cook County or DuPage County areas. He was seen driving a green 1995 Ford Explorer.

Full Article and Source:
Schaumburg police seek help finding missing senior

‘Bad mothering’ attorney faces state discipline

August 13, 2013

Court ruled Barrington lawyer bilked client of $500,000

An attorney who once helped his adult children sue their mother for emotional damages because of a poorly chosen birthday card and a subpar homecoming dress now faces disciplinary action for writing the same two children into an elderly client’s will and allegedly stealing nearly $500,000 from the client’s estate.

Steven Miner, a Barrington attorney who filed a “bad mothering” lawsuit against his ex-wife on behalf of his son and daughter in 2009, is accused by Illinois’ attorney disciplinary body of violating attorney rules by drafting a will for a client that benefited Miner’s own family as well as stealing money from the client.

His attorney, George Collins, said Miner denies the disciplinary charges and plans to contest them.
“He didn’t steal any money,” Collins said. “He didn’t do anything wrong.”

The disciplinary matter arose from Miner’s relationship with client Glenn Burren that dated to the 1970s. Miner dated Burren’s daughter for a time, and later Burren dated Miner’s mother, according to an appeals court ruling. Miner remained close with Burren, calling him “Pops,” the court said.

In 2004, Burren signed a typewritten will handed to him by Miner after attending a birthday party for Miner’s son, according to the ruling. Under the will, 40 percent of Burren’s estate went to Miner’s two children and the rest to Burren’s three children, the court said.

Later, Burren signed papers giving Miner power of attorney and handed over to the lawyer checks totaling nearly $500,000.

After Burren’s death in 2007, his children contested the will filed by Miner and later took the attorney to court to recover the $500,000 that had vanished from their father’s estate.

Miner told a Cook County judge that he cashed the checks at his bank and then returned the cash to Burren, but Judge Susan Coleman didn’t buy it, saying Miner had presented “no independent credible evidence” that he returned the money.

The judge ordered Miner to repay the estate nearly $500,000 plus more than $200,000 in interest. An appeals court recently upheld that ruling.

Miner was previously disciplined by the state in 1998 after forging the names of the children of a client on a property deed and instructing his wife to notarize it.

Full Article and Source:
‘Bad mothering’ attorney faces state discipline

Judge puts some Murray Center residents under court-appointed guardian

August 9, 2013

A judge in Clinton County issued an injunction Monday that puts some residents of the Warren G. Murray Development Center under the custody of a court-appointed guardian, rather than the state, which is closing the center.

Circuit Judge William Becker issued the order, which could put a wrinkle in the state’s plan to close the state-operated center in Centralia. Becker’s order covers Murray Center residents who do not have private guardians and are wards of the state. The court-appointed guardian will be Stuart Freeman, a local attorney.

The order was granted at the request of Friends of Murray Center, which is a group of employees and others who oppose the closing. Wylie Blair, an attorney for Friends of Murray Center, said the order does not prevent the center’s closure.

“It just precludes the residents of Murray Center who are wards of the state from being transferred out of Murray Center, absent consent of the guardian,” Blair said. “It’s up to him to look into their situation and find out whether their best interests are being followed.”

He added, “We’re not seeking to prevent the place from closing, we’re just seeking to make sure, whether Murray does or does not close, that the wards of the state have their best interests looked after.”

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Full Article and Source:
Judge puts some Murray Center residents under court-appointed guardian

John Kass: Was Police Killing of 95-Year-Old Necessary?

August 5, 2013

When John Wrana was a young man, fit and strong and fighting in World War II with the U.S. Army Air Corps, did he ever think he’d end this way?

Just a few weeks shy of his 96th birthday, in need of a walker to move about, cops coming through the door of his retirement home with a Taser and a shotgun.

The old man, described by a family member as “wobbly” on his feet, had refused medical attention. The paramedics were called. They brought in the Park Forest police. First they tased him, but that didn’t work. So they fired a shotgun, hitting him in the stomach with a bean-bag round. Wrana was struck with such force that he bled to death internally, according to the Cook County medical examiner.

“The Japanese military couldn’t get him at the age he was touchable, in a uniform in the war. It took 70 years later for the Park Forest police to do the job,” Wrana’s family attorney, Nicholas Grapsas, a former prosecutor, said in an interview with me Thursday.

Wrana’s family wants answers. The Illinois State Police are investigating the horrific incident but won’t comment, and neither will the Park Forest police pending the outcome of the inquiry

Full Article and Source:
Kass:  Was Police Killing of 95-Year-Old Necessary?

See Also:
Man’s Death After Confrontation With Police Ruled a Homicide<.a>

Man’s Death After Confrontation With Police Ruled a Homicide

July 31, 2013

The Victory Centre of Park Forest
Saturday’s death of a 95-year-old nursing home resident who was shocked by a Taser and struck with bean bag rounds during a confrontation with police has been ruled a homicide by officials in the Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office.

An autopsy showed John Warna died of blunt force trauma to the abdomen from being hit with the bean bags.

Officials at the Victory Centre of Park Forest, the south suburban home where Warna lived, said the man was displaying “unusually aggressive behavior” on Friday evening. When police arrived, they said Warna was threatening paramedics and staff with a cane and a metal shoehorn.

Police said they struck him with a Taser and bean bag rounds after he threatened officers with a 12-inch butcher knife.
Full Article and Source:

Man’s Death After Confrontation With Police Ruled a Homicide