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by Janet C. Phelan
Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2008 at 9:15 PM
The War on the Disabled Through Our Courts
Nancy Golin took a walk. It was a chilly November evening in 2001, and she walked all night. A lovely breeze had come up, and the moon hung low in the sky. When she returned the next morning, her life had changed.
Unbeknownst to her, these were her last hours of freedom.
Nancy Golin is autistic. Her parents, Jeff and Elsie Golin, had cared for her since her birth in 1970. Now thirty-eight years old, she was an only child and had been doted on and loved by her parents. The night she wandered off, the Golins called the police. Together, they searched for Nancy all night. When she returned on her own the next morning, the police chose to tell her parents that they were taking her to the hospital―merely for a “welfare check.” In fact, they locked her up in a Stanford psychiatric hospital, where she was severely abused and injured, and suffering medical malpractice.
The doctors, misguided by police and deprived of her medical history, slashed her anti-seizure medications, catapulting her into a severe bout of seizures. A neurology consult was called that restored her medication to the right levels, which her parents had previously been administering under the supervision of her own neurologist. At that point, she should have been allowed to return home, but the state officials decided instead to cover up their misdeeds, apparently for fear of a lawsuit and to justify their mistake. Nancy was never again allowed to return home to her family.
The website set up by her parents, freenancy.com, unequivocally states that Nancy was grabbed by the state “without any judge’s orders, or any other form of due process, merely on the strength of a police detective’s application for a W&I §5150 psychiatric hold which was then denied by psychologists as inappropriate. This was not the direct result of any Adult Protective Services complaint as one might ordinarily assume, and did not result from any allegation of abuse.”
In state care, Nancy has suffered the following physical damage.
● Collarbone Fracture left clavicle, unreported and untreated, estimated date May 2002 (Dr. Duc Nguyen).
● Dislocated shoulder, separate injury, estimated date between August 20, 2002 and November 7, 2002 (Dr. Duc Nguyen).
● Unexplained March 2, 2003 MediCal Billing for ER visit for skull fracture and fractured femur, March 2, 2003.
● Ruptured esophagus, Gastro-esophageal reflux disorder, hiatal hernia, due to convulsions caused by uncontrolled seizures, ordinarily leads to life threatening esophageal metaplasia and dysplasia (malignant replacement of tissue) (Dr. Hashem Farr, 2/20/03, 6/11/03).
● Seizures not under control due to lowered seizure thresholds due to psychiatric drugs administered by unskilled caseworkers, poor anti-seizure medications.
● Tardive Dyskinesia (tremors, tongue thrusting, lip pursing, contractures, muscle rigidity, neurological damage) due to inappropriate psychiatric drugging.
● Five years of dental neglect and inappropriate drugging resulting in extensive tooth
For over six years, the Golins have been fighting for the safe return of their daughter, who was put under conservatorship in a hearing fraught with fraud and false testimony on the part of the state. Along the way, Jeff and Elsie Golin were arrested and charged with abusing their daughter, in what appears to be an attempt to intimidate them from pursuing her return. All charges were subsequently dropped, while the state continued to pursue conservatorship. In 2003, the Golins filed a civil rights lawsuit for recovery of damages against those they allege have harmed Nancy, naming County of Santa Clara, San Andreas Regional Center, City of Palo Alto, Stanford Hospital and others.
The suit has been riddled with delays. Every single Judge in Santa Clara County recused himself from the case when Governor Schwarzenegger appointed one of the Golin's defendants to the bench there. Then, in 2007, Supreme Court Justice Ronald George appointed Judge Michael Byrne to hear the case.
Judge Byrne quickly and without any legal justification declared the Golins to be “vexatious litigants.” The Golins were represented, had filed no other suits and met none of the legal standards for this determination. They cannot now pursue their action without putting up a half million bond, which is entirely beyond their financial means.
Jeff Golin has stated that he believes that the State will continue to act illegally in this case, for to admit their wrongdoing would open up a flood of lawsuits, which must be contained.
Stories like the Golins rarely make the evening news. The degree to which the State has gone to in order to maintain its dominion and control over Nancy Golin raises some very disturbing questions.
Over dinner in Oakland earlier this year, Jeff Golin expressed the opinion that the motivation for taking his daughter (and all the other sons and daughters grabbed by the State) is economic in nature. According to Mimi Kenderlehre, with San Andreas Regional Center, it costs the county approximately 80 to 100 grand to keep Nancy in state care, in contrast to about twenty four thousand tops in state monies when she is maintained at home. These monies consist of day program costs and costs for “respite care” for the family, so they have time off from the job of caring for the disabled individual. If the autistic person is maintained in Agnews State Hospital, the costs may be bumped up to $250,000 per year.
While the state may be receiving money to care for Nancy, the fact remains that the funds for this care are also governmentally based, largely coming from the federal government.
Jeff Golin points out that the issue is not where the money is coming from, but who gets to spend it. Furthering this perception, he writes: “There would be fewer public jobs created to hide the fact that we are in a deep economic slump. Most of the new jobs created in the Bush II era are not in the private sector, they are government jobs. The taxpayer is being swindled by state officials abusing the public’s kindness and beneficence conning it to believe that they are applying their money to a noble purpose, rather than conducting a scam to cover up state abuse.”
Speaking on condition of anonymity, another individual, whose family member had died under a conservatorship fraught with fraud, pondered the true impetus behind cases such as the Golin’s. “It seems to me that the State actually stands to gain from conserving the elderly and disabled,” she reflected. “It may just be the ‘final solution’ to the baby-boomer problem. You are seeing a population that can be considered a drain on the entitlements― Medicare, Social Security, maybe a pension plan―all that money is saved if the person dies. And what about the family who wants to protect the conservatee? Just get a Restraining Order, block their lawsuits, whatever it takes, so that the State can do as they choose.”
The Golins are appealing Judge Michael Byrne’s decision.
The case of conservatee Tina Grube clearly reveals some of the intentionality behind conserving younger people. Grube had been removed from her birth mother’s care at age nine, and placed in foster care. There had been allegations of abuse against her mother, Angela Walker, which impelled that decision. Under foster care, Tina was also abused. She sued the State of California and won a large settlement.
Tina, now twenty-three years old, was in the hospital having a baby, when her previously determined unfit mother, Angela Walker, went into court, ex parte, and was granted conservatorship over Tina. On allegations made by Walker, the baby was taken from Tina.
Interestingly enough, Attorney J. David Horspool, counsel for conservator Melodie Scott (see “Probate Murders Part Two”/TAB Jan/Feb 2008), was named as her court appointed attorney. When one becomes a conservatee, one loses access to one’s own money, and cannot thus hire an attorney to defend one. Horspool was reported as sidling up to Grube, suggesting his “golden girl,” Melodie Scott (See Probate Murders Part Two) as an excellent replacement to her mother as a conservator.
Tina Grube contacted this reporter over a year ago, stating alarm at the behavior of Horspool. Grube, a petite, attractive blonde was accompanied by her boyfriend, Mark Hollis. The two were concerned at the attempts made by Angela Walker and J. David Horspool to disrupt their lives. Following a failed attempt to get a Temporary Restraining Order against Grube’s boyfriend and some media scrutiny, Horspool did resign the case.
In a meeting with Grube and Hollis in early 2007, both parties stated they wondered if it would change Grube’s legal status as a conservatee if they were to marry. This question was tendered again by Mark’s mother, Teresa, who contacted this reporter again late last year, stating increasing concern as to the actions by Angela Walker.
Tina Grube, however, has now virtually disappeared, according to the Hollises. Walker, exercising her rights as conservator, placed her daughter in a series of hospitals, psychiatric and medical, and blocked visits to her by the Hollises. This reporter attempted to contact Grube while she was in St. Bernardine’s hospital, in San Bernardino. St. Bernardine’s press officer, Kimberley Vandenbosch, repeatedly told this reporter that Grube did not wish to have visitors. However, Teresa Hollis states that Mark did, in fact, visit Tina. And this is what she states took place:
Tina Grube informed the staff, in the presence of Mark Hollis, that she did indeed want him to visit her. She was then administered some pills. According to Hollis, she became quite groggy. A social worker, whom Hollis recognized from Riverside County Regional Medical Center, then came in and asked Grube some questions. Mark Hollis states that this is the same social worker, named Richard, who was instrumental in taking away the baby.
Mark left the room during the evaluation. At the close of the interview, Richard informed him that he had determined Grube to be incompetent, and that Mark had to leave. Mark describes Richard as Filipino or Asian, and remembers him working in the Emergency Room at Riverside County Regional Medical Center at the time Tina gave birth.
Mark Hollis has not since been allowed to see Tina Grube. The case was moved recently to Alameda County Superior court, and he believes her to be in Northern California. Prior to her disappearance, Tina filed papers in Riverside Court, alleging abusive actions by her mother/conservator.
TAB has retrieved her declaration, which was signed on December 18, 2007. In this Grube alleges that her mother has coerced, threatened and pressured her, among other actions. She also states that the mother/conservator has represented to others that there is a restraining order in place against Mark Hollis, which was never granted. In a heart wrenching statement at the end of her five-page declaration, Tina states the following: “I want an apartment for myself and my child. I plan to return to school as I am interested in the nursing program that the city college has available. …I am locked down….I am in an area that is so remote I have few visitors. I am in prison. I thought the court was trying to give me some room to grow. I am like a tree with bound roots. I beg the court to hear my request to free me.”
Mark has stated that there are more recent papers, also signed by Tina, disavowing any interest in him. He believes those to be signed under duress.
This reporter was able to reach Angela Walker at her home. Walker hung up when I identified myself and stated I had been contacted by the Hollises.
Tina’s case stands in strong contradistinction to Nancy Golin’s, for the simple fact that Tina has money and Nancy does not. In addition, Tina is under a “private” conservator, while Nancy is under the dominion of the State. However, other aspects of the case are similar―both women have strong ties with friends or family, who are trying to protect the two women from encroachment by conservators. In both situations, the protective parties have been threatened with restraining orders and other legal warfare. As we saw in the case of Nancy Golin, her parents were actually jailed, on what was later determined to be false charges.
According to Teresa Hollis, the conservator and previously determined unfit birth mother, Angela Walker, has actually commented that neither Tina nor her baby would be alive for very long. Tina has been diagnosed with HIV; however, her baby has not.
All Tina’s money is now under the control of Angela Walker.
Jeff Golin’s analysis that these guardianship cases are solely money-driven is open to dispute. Some cases, as with Tina Grube, are ostensibly a money-grab, while others, such as the case of Stevie Price (The Probate Murders Part Two―TAB/January 2008) and Jeff’s own daughter, Nancy, seem to have another, darker impetus.
The fact is that the disabled are dying under court ordered conservatorships, in manners that appear contrived. PM Part Two detailed the tracheotomy forced on Stevie Price, which was deemed by Stevie’s own doctor to be medically unnecessary. More recently, another ostensibly unnecessary “emergency tracheotomy” was performed on a brain-injured conservatee, James K. Burns, also under the dominion of Redlands Court. Whether this constitutes “medical experimentation” on the vulnerable and disabled or is simply another way to leach money off the estates remains open to conjecture. What is incontrovertible is that these procedures, when unnecessary, are harmful to the recipients, and will likely shorten their time here on earth.
The lengths to which the guardians will go to secure their dominion over the assets of their charges are revealed in the Lopez case. In 1980, Nellie Lopez gave birth to her only child, Jacqueline Salazar at a hospital in New York. There were problems with the delivery, and as a result, Jacqueline Salazar was horribly injured, and sustained severe brain damage, quadriplegia and scoliosis. She was not expected to live long, but her mother took action to ensure that was not the case. She sued the hospital, won a judgment of several million dollars, and quit her job as a city clerk to devote herself to caring for Jacqueline.
New York law, however, stipulates that the courts appoint a legal guardian for an incapacitated adult such as Jacqueline when the individual reaches the age of 18. In 1998, the court saw fit to appoint a stranger as guardian for Jacqueline, even though the guardian is usually a parent or close relative. While the court evaluator, attorney Peggy Kerr, acknowledged that Lopez is “an intelligent, educated woman who has devoted her life, her heart and her soul to taking excellent care of her much beloved daughter,” she urged that the court appoint someone “free from actual or apparent conflict of interest” as the guardian of Jackie’s money. For her services, Kerr billed the estate $42,000 at $300 an hour.
A guardian was appointed, and the money-drain began. Nellie Lopez began to balk, refusing to deal with the guardians. The relationship became increasingly adversarial, and the guardian, attorney Mary V. Rosado, began threatening to remove Jackie from her mother’s care and to block her from seeing her daughter.
At that point, Nellie Lopez and Jackie disappeared. According to Lopez’ nephew, Dave Lopez, “somewhere between December 22 and 27th, Lopez and Jackie simply picked up and left.” Dave, who states he has no knowledge of their whereabouts, is now reporting that he is being stalked and harassed by “private investigators” who have come to his home and his workplace. The harassment became so serious that Dave left his Manhattan apartment and went to stay outside the city with his girlfriend for a while. He then noticed the “private investigators” tailing him from work, and he began to take convoluted routes back to his girlfriend’s home, in order to elude the dicks. He also began to photograph those following him and their vehicles.
At that point, according to Dave, they quit tailing him. He stated he believes that to be because of his acts of photographing them. However, he then received a letter from court appointed attorney Margaret Mayo requesting that he appear for a deposition. Both David Lopez and another aunt, Gladys Figueroa, have been ordered to bring their phone and bank records to that deposition, in an apparent attempt to discover if either of them have been in contact with or provided funds to the escapees. In conversation April 4, 2008, Dave Lopez explicitly denied recent contact with or financial support of the women.
Lopez had appeared for a previously scheduled deposition, only to have the court reporter fail to appear. That deposition was thus cancelled.
Dave was also contacted by a psychic, Jackie Barrett. She called him at work, stating she was interested in the case. She soon started offering him money for information on the whereabouts of Nellie and Jackie. The offers began at $5000 and soon escalated up to twenty thousand dollars. He reports that he “cursed” at her, and told her to stop calling him. Lopez believes that Barrett was hired by the guardian. Calls to Jackie Barrett by the American’s Bulletin were not returned.
The court papers concerning Nellie Lopez and Jacqueline Salazar reveal a certain frantic tone. Nellie Lopez has been deemed in contempt of court by Judge Sherry Klein Heitler, who further states that “Nellie Lopez continues to deny that the court has authority over her or her daughter’s life” and that Lopez is refusing to attend status conferences or accept funds from the guardian. Heitler then ordered that Lopez return Jackie to Mary V Rosado, court-appointed Guardian of Jackie’s person and property, who shall then transport her to the nearest hospital for a complete medical assessment.
The Judge also ordered that “Nellie Lopez and Oscar Salazar (Jackie’s father) shall not interfere in any way with the physical transfer of Jacqueline Salazar to the hospital” and that Nellie Lopez shall turn over immediately Jackie’s passport to Rosado. Essentially, it appears that the “excellent care” that the evaluator Peggy Kerr noted was given Jackie by her doting mother is just about to be terminated.
Dave Lopez and others associated with the case have stated that the actions of the guardian have escalated this situation to a police matter, which should have been entirely unnecessary. The guardian, Mary V. Rosado, did not return calls from The American’s Bulletin inquiring about this case.
The intrusion of the state in family affairs has long been bemoaned by parents whose children are taken from them. The abuses in foster care and the damage done to the young by the state have gotten quite a bit of attention of late. The fact that the state is now targeting the disabled population for removal from the home to a questionable fate may simply be a perpetuation of the above. Or it may speak to another agenda.
It is too easy to say that money is the only goal for the guardians and conservators and their attorneys. Given the situation of Tina Grube and Jackie Salazar, money is certainly a strong motive.
But is it the only motive? What about the Nancy Golins? The system is contorting itself to squash any protest by Jeff and Elsie Golin, and Judge Michael Byrne is apparently willing to risk his considerable status by breaking the rules and attempting to smash into smithereens the Golins’ suit. Could there be an even darker motive than the profit motive?
“In October 1939 Adolf Hitler wrote the following memo: "Reich Leader [Philip] Bouhler and Dr. med. [Karl] Brandt are charged with the responsibility of enlarging the authority of certain physicians, designated by name, so that patients who, on the basis of human judgment, are considered incurable, can be granted a mercy death after a discerning diagnosis."
Those words authorized a systematic Nazi program to eliminate lebensunwertes Leben ("life unworthy of life"). These "worthless" people included mentally and physically disabled Germans and Austrians, children and adults, who were regarded as a blight on the Third Reich's "racial integrity" and as an unacceptable economic burden for the state.
The euthanasia campaign, called Operation T-4, was code-named after the address of the confiscated Jewish villa at Tiergartenstrasse 4, which was the address of the program's central administrative offices. Hitler chose Bouhler, the head of his private Chancellery, and Dr. Brandt, one of his doctors, to oversee T-4… Statistics show that under the leadership of these men, 70,000 to 80,000 people--including 4000 to 5000 Jews--became victims of the euthanasia killings.
The Nazis tried to conceal what was happening, but when public protests exploded--many of them from Germany's Catholic and Lutheran leaders--Hitler officially halted Operation T-4 on August 24, 1941. Nevertheless, the killing continued in greater secrecy until the spring of 1945. From 1939 through 1945, Operation T-4 and other euthanasia actions murdered between 200,000 and 250,000 disabled people. “―the Holocaust Chronicles
As revealed in Probate Murders Parts One and Two, the cover-ups of the wholesale pillaging and plundering of the elderly go all the way up to the highest levels of power. We now see a similar modus operandi in cases involving the disabled. So-- is California Attorney General Jerry Brown also on the take? His staff is prosecuting the Golin case. His staff also refused to investigate allegations against Melodie Scott, risking their careers through their own illegal attempts to finesse reports of criminal activity by Scott and her cohorts, for the sole purpose of advancing the cover- up. Is everyone in the California Attorney General’s office on the take?
Is Judge Michael Byrne also on the take in the Golin case? How about Chief Justice Ronald George, who appointed Byrne to hear the case? Is he on the take, too? If so, where’s the money coming from? And how about the case of Stevie Price, where an “emergency tracheotomy” advanced Stevie’s progress towards the grave? Was everybody paid off in that courtroom? And Judge Welch, who sanctioned all actions of Conservator Melodie Scott, who ordered antibiotics withheld antibiotics from conservatee Elizabeth Fairbanks, who then died of pneumonia―was he paid off, too? The Fairbanks estate was virtually exhausted at that point. What impelled him to make the decisions he did?
In an essay for Harvard’s Carr Center in 2001, Charles J. Dunlap, Jr. defines “lawfare” as “the use of the law as a weapon of war.” Across our country, probate courts are attacking the elderly and disabled and those who attempt to protect them, through tactics of “legal warfare.”
Yes, money talks, but weapons talk louder. Something is going on, and lawfare and money have married. And the real victim here is human life.
"Medical personnel selected who would die based on data gathered from hospitals, nursing homes, and other public health facilities. The patients selected to die were transported to one of six euthanasia centers in Germany and Austria: Hartheim, Sonnenstein, Grafeneck, Bernburg, Hadamar, or Brandenburg. The doctors, nurses, and other specialists who worked at these centers employed different methods of murder. Starvation and lethal injection were used at first, but eventually the method of choice was gassing with carbon monoxide in chambers disguised as tiled showers. After gold teeth were harvested, the corpses were burned in crematoria. “
”―from The Holocaust Chronicles
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