Archive for the ‘police investigation’ Category

Police Investigate Probate Lawyer Over Disabled Man’s Missing Funds

August 26, 2013


Police are investigating a probate court-appointed lawyer who allegedly tried to cover up his improper handling of a disabled man’s finances by filing false accounting statements — as the man’s assets dwindled by tens of thousands of dollars over the years.

The Newington Police Department’s investigation of Michael Schless, a retired Newington attorney now living in Florida, began after the Aug. 4 publication of a Government Watch column about Schless’s longtime role as probate conservator for John Fritz, 64, of Wethersfield, who suffers from cerebral palsy.

Fritz once had assets worth more than $100,000, but now his money market and stock accounts have shrunk to about $20,000 — even though his family says they should have remained stable because his living expenses are covered by Social Security payments and part-time employment.

Newington Probate Judge Robert A. Randich also wrote in a ruling last spring that Schless attempted to “hide his transgressions by filing knowingly false accountings.”

Despite that ruling, however, Randich had declined to exercise his option to request a criminal probe, and Fritz’s family had been unable to persuade law enforcement authorities to investigate.

That soon changed.

Days after the column appeared, a Newington police detective was assigned to the case. A member of state’s attorney’s office in New Britain “took notice of [the] newspaper column … and independently requested that the matter be investigated,” according to an Aug. 8 letter to a state prosecutor from David A. Ruth of Bolton, a lawyer representing Fritz’s family.

A state prosecutor independently confirmed Ruth’s assertion that the police investigation is underway.

Full Article and Source:
Police Investigate Probate Lawyer Over Disabled Man’s Missing Funds

See Also:
Deceit, Improprieties By Probate ‘Conservator’ Deprive Disabled Man Of Inheritance, Court Finds

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Newport Twp. police investigating elder abuse claim

July 12, 2013

Newport Township police are investigating a report of abuse against a resident at a local nursing home.

Police were recently notified about the allegations and have been interviewing employees at Guardian Eldercare Center, 147 Old Newport St., to determine what happened, Newport Township police Chief Jeremy Blank said today. One instance of abuse has been reported, he said.

Blank declined to specify what the alleged abuse entailed, citing an ongoing investigation, but said the allegations were not sexual in nature.

The Guardian Eldercare Center released a statement saying administrators learned about an alleged incident of abuse on Wednesday and contacted police, as required by law.

“The facility is working in conjunction with local law enforcement and all other appropriate regulatory agencies to ensure ongoing resident safety,” the statement said. “Guardian Eldercare Center takes allegations of resident abuse very seriously and has a zero tolerance policy for any violation of resident rights.”

The statement did not address the nature of the alleged abuse, nor whether any staff members had been disciplined.

The center has had some troubles in the past, according to records from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

An inspection Jan. 31 resulted in the agency recommending the center develop and implement policies for screening and training employees as well as for identifying, investigating and reporting abuse and neglect, according to an HHS report.

The inspection revealed a bed-ridden resident who requires the assistance of two people to be transferred from bed and one person for using the bathroom had fallen out of bed in August, prompting his responsible party to ask, “Did he get pushed out of bed?” according to the report.
The man, who was unable to describe what happened, had a 3 centimeter tear on his right elbow, the report says.

Despite a roommate who was able to talk being present and the resident’s responsible party questioning the fall, administrators failed to ask the roommate what happened, the report concludes.

The report also faults the center for failing to provide a resident a suitable meal, failing to report a resident’s high blood sugar to a medical doctor, failing to respond timely to call bells — causing some residents to have accidents — and running out of prescription medications.

Full Article and Source:
Newport Twp. police investigating elder abuse claim