NOTE: Across the nation is a web of predatory professional guardians who operate under the protection of corrupt probate court judges. This system of predatory human trafficking involves kidnapping elderly victims who made the mistake of aging with assets. The attached letter of testimony is to be presented to yet another Senate Committee, this time the Judiciary Committee, in the hopes that someone in D.C. will move to bring this corruption and court sanctioned abuse to a halt. Marti Oakley
From: Linda Kincaid, MPH
20255 Glasgow Drive Saratoga, CA 95070
(408) 998-4642 email@example.com
September 28, 2011
Office of Senator Amy Klobuchar
For submission to the Senate Judiciary Committee
Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts
Hearing: “Protecting Seniors and Persons with Disabilities – An Examination of Court – Appointed Guardians”
Testimony on Elder Abuse of Carol Hahn in San Bernardino County, CA
My mother, Carol Hahn, is a victim of elder abuse. That abuse was initiated by Mindy Martin, who lied to investigating deputies and perjured herself in court documents to become my mother’s temporary conservator. More than a year later, Mindy Martin is still temporary conservator, and the abuse continues. My mother’s court appointed attorney, Mark Flory, has actively facilitated the abuse. Neither individual has been held accountable.
The existing “system” has utterly and completely failed to protect my mother or come to her aid. Rather, law enforcement concealed evidence and threatened family members. Adult Protective Services and the Long-Term Care Ombudsman will not return our phone calls. Programs and agencies are useless when there is no accountability. Laws are useless when they are not enforced. Additional laws and agencies will be equally useless unless a system of accountability is established.
My mother had memory loss and early stage dementia in 2009. By early 2010, she did not know her phone number, her street address, or her city of residence. Although she had over $1M in accounts, she constantly worried that she did not have any money.
My mother was being cared for by her companion, Martin Gludd, in their Bloomington, CA home. Martin Gludd and Mom adored each other. Mom often referred to him as “a gem” and “my dearest friend in the world.” Martin Gludd was doing his best to meet her needs; however, we both recognized that Mom would need more care than he could provide. In February 2010, I retained a San Jose attorney near my home to petition for a conservatorship.
In February 2010, I also contacted Mindy Martin in Costa Mesa, CA, several hours closer to Bloomington than my home in the San Jose area. Mindy Martin is not a blood relative, but the granddaughter of my mother’s late husband, Walter Hahn (deceased 2003). Although Mindy had not seen my mother since Walter’s funeral, she readily agreed when I asked her to visit my mother and take her shopping for new clothes.
In the months to come, Mindy Martin repeatedly asked me not to pursue a conservatorship or to call my mother because “it would upset her.” Later, I learned that Mindy never once visited my mother at her home in Bloomington. Rather, Mindy almost immediately embarked on a campaign of phone calls and letters to alienate my mother from me and to exert undue influence for Mindy’s own financial benefit.
Abduction by Susan Balkom & Audrey Nesvold
On June 5, 2010, Susan Balkom and Audrey Nesvold, two financial advisors who had known my mother for decades, arrived at her home with three large men. They broke the front door inward, splintering the wood surrounding the locked deadbolt. Deputies responding to the report of forced entry determined the damage to be accidental. They allowed the intruders to remove my mother from her home, leaving no information with Martin Gludd as to where she was being taken.
Susan Balkom and Audrey Nesvold placed my mother in an apartment at Mission Commons in Redlands, CA, a senior housing complex. Susan and Audrey did not contact me, even though they had my full contact information as the beneficiary on my mom’s accounts. Susan and Audrey did, however, tell Mission Commons staff that my mother had no family.
Fraud & Undue Influence by Mindy Martin
On June 7, 2010, Mindy Martin saw my mother for the first time since 2003. Then on June 9, 2010, Mindy took my mother to the various banks where Mom’s accounts were located. Under Mindy’s influence, my mother transferred her entire estate of over $1M into a joint account with Mindy. Prior to Mindy’s involvement, each of my mother’s accounts listed my name as co-owner or beneficiary. My mother also had a will from 1991 naming me as her sole heir (I am her only child).
On June 10, 2010, Audrey Nesvold and Susan Balkom took my mother to Riverside attorney Jaxon Miller. My mother signed a trust giving 7/8 of her estate to Mindy Martin and her family. Mom also signed a will, an Advanced Health Care Directive, and a power of attorney to Mindy Martin. Jaxon Miller notarized those documents. That June 10, 2010 trust was signed after Mom no longer remembered the names of family members, no longer understood the nature of her estate, and was under complete control of persons who removed her from her home. On June 11, 2010 (the day after signing estate planning documents) my mother’s doctor diagnosed memory loss, depression, and cognitive disorder. That June 11 evaluation stated that my mother was unable to manage her own cash, unable to store her own medications, and unable to administer her own medications.
It should be noted that my mother’s first diagnosis of depression occurred on June 11, six days after she was abducted. Every subsequent medical evaluation noted depression or increased depression. A June 22, 2010 Nurse’s Evaluation mentioned “episodes of crying”.
On June 19, 2010, Mindy Martin moved my mother at Wildwood Canyon Villa in Yucaipa, CA. Mindy wove a tale of abuse and neglect, claiming that I was estranged from my mother and that Martin Gludd had abused her. Mindy falsely stated that both Martin Gludd and I were stealing from my mother. Mindy instructed Wildwood to restrict my mother from having visitors or phone calls. Wildwood complied with Mindy’s instructions and isolated my mother for 16 months.
Isolation by Mindy Martin and Wildwood Canyon Villa
On July 2, 2010, my mother called me on her cell phone, telling me that she “had moved”. She did not know where she was or how she got there. She said she did not have any money, and she asked for my help. When I called Mindy Martin later that day, Mindy stated that she “rescued” my mother from an abusive situation on June 5, 2010 and moved Mom to a shelter for battered women. Mindy said that she transferred my mother’s assets into a joint account and that she had power of attorney over my mother. Mindy refused to show me any documents or to share any information on my mother’s circumstances. Mindy asked me not to visit my mother at Wildwood Canyon Villa, and she instructed Wildwood to keep me off the premises.
On July 3, 2010, I spoke with Lynette Alvarado, Executive Director of Wildwood Canyon Villa. Lynette told me that I would not be allowed to see my mother without a letter from an attorney, and I would not be allowed unsupervised visitation under any circumstances. On July 3, I also called the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department and asked for guidance. I was instructed to attempt to visit my mother, but to call for a deputy to stand by during the visit.
On July 4, I pulled an attorney away from his family to write a letter to Wildwood, explaining that the June 10 documents were likely invalid and that my mother has the right to have visitors. I spent the rest of the day in San Jose shopping for new clothes for my mother.
When I arrived at Wildwood Canyon Villa on July 5, 2010, I called for an officer to stand by, as the dispatcher had instructed. Wildwood staff was openly hostile toward me when I entered the building. They refused to accept the letter from my attorney that their Executive Director had demanded I bring. However, with the deputy present, Wildwood eventually allowed me to see my mother. After about 20 minutes with my mother, Mom stated that Mindy should not have taken her money and that what Mindy had done was wrong. Wildwood staff immediately asked me to leave. I left as requested. The deputy was present throughout my visit, and his incident report does not indicate that my behavior was inappropriate in any way. Wildwood’s Tenant Services Notes do not even indicate that I was present on July 5.
On July 6, I returned to Wildwood Canyon Villa to visit my mother again. Staff said I was not allowed to see her at all. I went outside and called my mother using my cell phone. Mom said she wanted to see me and would meet me in the lobby. A few minutes later, Mom walked up the hallway toward me. Assistant Director Lori Valdepena and LVN Candi Hull flanked Mom, ordering loudly, “Go back to you room. Go back to your room. Go back to your room.” Mom moved between them to come to me. I was about to call the police when I heard Wildwood reporting “an unwanted person”, so I put my cell phone away.
I presented Mom with documents to revoke the trust and the power of attorney that Mindy Martin had her sign on June 10. I explained that the June 10 documents gave Mindy control over Mom and her estate. I explained that signing the revocations would take that power away from Mindy. Lori Valdepena and Candi Hull stood over my mother ordering loudly, “Don’t sign that. Don’t sign that. Don’t sign that.” The deputy asked mom if she understood what she was signing. Mom said, “I don’t want it, and I’ll throw it in the trash.” I believe that Mom was referring to the June 10 documents that gave Mindy control over her. Mom signed the revocations and handed them to me. Lori Valdepena and Candi Hull immediately ushered my mother back to her room. A deputy’s incident report does not indicate that I was disruptive. Wildwood’s Tenant Services Notes do not even indicate that I was present on July 6.
False Information from Wildwood & Perjury by Mindy Martin
Executive Director Lynette Alvarado told investigating Deputy Grant Ward and court appointed attorney Mark Flory that I was disruptive on July 5 and 6, and that Wildwood called the police to have me removed on both occasions. Deputy Ward’s August 5 report included the following statements:
Alvarado’s instructions from corporate attorneys was to not allow anyone visit that was not specifically authorized by the person holding power of attorney. Alvarado was instructed under the pretense that Hahn’s doctor advised Kincaid not be allowed to visit in light of the trauma she caused in her prior and only visits.
Mindy Martin told investigating Deputy Grant Ward and stated in her Aug 6, 2010 court documents (signed under penalty of perjury) that I was at Wild wood on July 4, 5, and 6, that I was disruptive, and that Wildwood called for law enforcement to have me removed on all three occasions. Mindy also stated (under penalty of perjury) that I had my mother sign a power of attorney to me. Those statements are false, and I have provided evidence that they are false.
Another Invalid Document
On July 7, 2010, the day after my mother revoked the June 10, 2010 trust and power of attorney, attorney Jaxon Miller (who prepared and notarized the June 10 trust) visited Wildwood and prepared a revised trust for my mother. Under the terms of the July 7 trust, my mother’s estate is to be split 50:50 between Mindy Martin and myself. On July 15, 2010 (just 8 days later), my mother’s primary care physician diagnosed “dementia”.
Police Misconduct & Continued Isolation
On July 8, 2010 my mother called me on her cell phone, extremely frightened and saying that someone had broken into her room. She begged me to help her move closer to me. That day, she said she found copies of the June 10 trust and power of attorney in her room. She said she had never seen those documents before, and she did not agree with them. While I was on the phone with my mother, my partner Richard Calhoun called the non-emergency number for the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department, asking them to respond to our residence and take a statement from my mother over the phone. The Santa Clara County Deputies responded to our residence, but they refused to speak to my mother. San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy Grant Ward, responded to Wildwood and took my mother’s cell phone from her. Deputy Ward proceeded to have a tantrum at me for at least twenty minutes. He ordered me to stop calling my mother. He said I would be arrested for trespassing if I attempted to see my mother. He said the documents in her room were valid, and that I was trying to get something that didn’t belong to me. Deputy Ward threatened to charge me with a crime if I reported him. Then Deputy Ward confiscated my mother’s cell phone so that she could not call for help again. When I tried to call my mother through the main line at Wildwood Canyon Villa, they told me, “Carol Hahn is not allowed phone calls or visitors.” We had very little contact with my mother for over a year.
Further Police Misconduct
My partner, Richard Calhoun, repeatedly contacted the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department concerning my mother’s not being allowed visitors or phone calls. On July 19, 2010, Richard Calhoun received an email from Sergeant Paul Morrison that contained the following statements:
The Wildwood Canyon Villa has instructed their staff to call the police and report any further actions by Linda Kincaid and her associates as criminal acts. Linda Kincaid and her associates are considered trespassing if they are located anywhere on the property of the facility. Any further telephone calls may be considered as annoying and threatening.
On July 22, 2010 (my birthday), I received a call from a San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Deputy who refused to identify himself. He said that my mother was upset because she though I had run away from home. He instructed me to tell her that I was OK. He allowed my mother to speak with me for a few minutes, continually giving her orders as to what to say to me. My mother ignored him told me to, “Get yourself over here so I can see you.” When Deputy Ward took back the phone and finally identified himself, I asked if I could comply with my mother’s wish to see me. I was in Riverside, CA at the time and just 30 minutes away from Wildwood. Deputy Ward refused to let me see my mother, and he reiterated his July 8 threat to charge me with a crime if I reported him.
Flawed Investigation, Concealed Evidence, & Incorrect Conclusion
On August 5, 2010, Deputy Grant Ward issued his report on his investigation of my mother’s case. Deputy Ward’s Synopsis states, “Hahn and Kincaid did not get along and rarely spoke over the past 22 years”, a statement which is untrue. Ward’s report did not mention the letters I submitted showing that my mother kept me informed of details of her accounts. Ward’s report did not mention the bank statements I submitted showing that I was beneficiary or co-owner of my mother’s accounts prior to Mindy Martin’s involvement. Ward’s report included extensive incorrect information, and it incorrectly placed many of Mindy Martin’s statements into Ward’s narrative of his interview with me. Ward failed to mention that Community Care Licensing was investigating Wildwood and eventually cited Wildwood for restricting visitation.
Deputy Ward’s report correctly stated that Wildwood is isolating my mother. Isolation of an elder constitutes elder abuse and is a crime in California, but Ward did not consider isolation to be inappropriate. Ward’s report accurately stated that Mindy Martin transferred my mother’s entire $1M estate into a joint account. Undue influence constitutes elder abuse and is a crime in California. However, Ward did not consider Mindy Martin’s taking of my mother’s estate to be inappropriate. Ward’s Synopsis states, “The allegations have been investigated and proved unfounded.”
Cover Up by Internal Affairs & the District Attorney
Richard Calhoun filed a complaint with San Bernardino County Sherriff’s office Internal Affairs, detailing Deputy Grant Ward’s bungled investigation, flawed report, and highly objectionable conduct. Internal Affairs determined that Ward’s conduct and investigation were appropriate.
Richard Calhoun and my mother’s sister and nieces repeatedly reported the situation to Tristan Svare of the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office. Svare repeatedly told family, “Stop calling about Carol Hahn” and “There is nothing out of the ordinary.” Our discussions with other families having similar experiences seem to indicate that my mother’s situation is indeed “nothing out of the ordinary” in San Bernardino County.
More Perjury by Mindy Martin
Mindy Martin stated in her Aug 6, 2010 court documents (signed under penalty of perjury) that I was overheard on July 8 telling my mother that Wildwood was trying to poison her. I did not tell my mother that anyone was trying to poison her. I did tell my mother that I was concerned she might be over-medicated. My mother was alone in her room during our conversation on July 8. She was speaking to me on her cell phone, so there is no way anyone could have overheard anything that I said to her.
Mindy Martin stated in her Aug 18, 2010 court documents (signed under penalty of perjury) that my mother’s primary decline in mental function occurred after my July visit and as a result of that visit. Mindy failed to disclose that my mother did not know her address, her phone number, or the extent of her estate in February 2010. Mindy failed to disclose that my mother did not remember the names of close relatives or her deceased husband in June 2010.
Based on false statements in Mindy Martin’s court documents, false statements made in court by her attorney (Terrence Moynihan), and a seriously flawed report by the court appointed attorney (Mark Flory), Mindy Martin was appointed my mother’s temporary conservator on September 19, 2010. A year later, Mindy still controls my mother and routinely flaunts both probate law and the court’s authority.
Adult Protective Services
Adult Protective Services would not provide us with any information concerning their investigation, if they indeed did conduct an investigation. We do know that APS did not interview any of my mother’s family members, neighbors, friends, or witnesses to the abduction. They did not contact me for information on my mother’s previous will or bank accounts.
Long-Term Care Ombudsman
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman will not return our calls. I have twice written to Roberta Wertenberg at the Ombudsman’s office, requesting the services listed on their website. Ms. Wertenberg does not respond to my requests for assistance. The San Bernardino County Ombudsman does not provide the services mandated by the federal government.
Community Care Licensing
Community Care Licensing acted slowly; taking three months to confirm with Sacramento that isolation is indeed a violation of an elder’s rights. However, Community Care Licensing was the only agency to take any action to protect my mother, and Licensing did eventually cite Wildwood for the violation. Unfortunately, their citation did not include a monetary fine, and Wildwood continued to violate my mother’s right to visitation.
On September, 27, 2010, Community Care Licensing finally cited Wildwood for restricting visitation.
Wildwood’s Tenant Services Notes for September 28, 2010 (the following day) state, “The Executive Director stated that MC-18’s family Clara-Beckie-and Teresa are not allowed in the building until further notice.”
Wildwood’s Tenant Services Notes for October 18, 2010 state, “Resident is
NOT to have any visitors other than Mindy per Lynette.”
Investigator Kathleen Wiggins-Parker was adamant that my mother’s mattress directly on the carpet was a violation. However, a year later, my mother still sleeps on a mattress on the carpet.
Forged Court Order from Mindy Martin
On October 19, 2010, Richard Calhoun, Martin Gludd, and I approached Community Care Licensing concerning visitation with my mother. Kathleen Wiggins-Parker assured us repeatedly, “They know what they have to do.” We drove to Wildwood to visit my mother that afternoon. Executive Director Lynette Alvarado met us in the lobby with a document, faxed to her by Mindy Martin, that she claimed was a court order restricting visitation with my mother. The court had not issued an order restricting visitation. Alvarado would not allow us to examine the forged order.
Alvarado faxed the forged court order to Community Care Licensing, and Licensing accepted that document as valid for some time. Licensing ultimately determined that the document was invalid; however, they did not take any action to require Wildwood to allow my mother her right to have visitors.
Department of Justice
In July 2010, Richard Calhoun reported my mother’s situation to the Department of Justice in person in Sacramento. In February 2011, Elena WooMendez called Richard and requested additional information. The documents we sent were lost repeatedly. Richard ultimately sent documents to WooMendeza total of four times.
The Department of Justice never interviewed any family members, my mother’s friends, neighbors, or witnesses to her abduction. They never obtained any information on her prior will or the status of her estate before Mindy Martin’s involvement. They called my attorney in May 2011, stating the investigation was closed. We had no opportunity to respond or to provide additional information we obtained through subpoenas in spring of 2011.
We received letter from Yolanda Mills, dated August 26, 2011, stating:
We concluded our investigation in May 2011 after speaking to numerous witnesses and reviewing bank and court documents. Upon our conclusion, we contacted your retained counsel, Charles Althouse, to discuss our findings but never received a return telephone call.
I have attempted to contact Yolanda Mills and Kamala Harris repeatedly. They refuse to talk to me or to any family members.
Medicare Fraud by Mindy Martin & VITAS
On October 8, 2010, at Mindy Martin’s request, my mother was placed in hospice with Dr. Victoria Rains of VITAS. Dr. Rains’ October, 11, 2010 Admission History and Physical listed the “Chief Complaint” as “Anorexia and a 22-pound weight loss.’ That document also stated, “she has had significant anorexia and weight loss of 18.33% of her body weight” and “Based on her weight loss she was felt to be appropriate for hospice and was referred for that support.” My mother’s monthly vitals show that her weight was stable at around 100 pounds from June through December 2010. She had pneumonia in September 2010, but she had recovered and was improving by October 2010. Wildwood’s Tenant Services Notes in October 2010 indicate that her appetite was excellent. In September 2011, my mother remains in hospice, although her health has improved and she has
It should be noted that Medicare pays assisted living costs for individuals on hospice. My mother’s monthly rent at Wildwood Canyon Villa is paid by Medicare, although my mother clearly should not qualify for hospice. It should also be noted that Dr. Rains’ billings for services seem inappropriately high, exceeding $3,200 (three thousand two hundred dollars) per hour for an RN or CSW.
Time with family is considered an integral part of hospice care; however, Dr. Rains will not speak to my mother’s family members or my mother’s companion, Martin Gludd. Dr. Rains conducts “family team meetings” that do not include any family members. Dr. Rains’ written reports recommend restricting my mother from visitation with family and Martin Gludd.
Denial of Medical Care by Mindy Martin & Kaiser Permanente
Medicare regulations clearly divide services provided under hospice (palliative care only) from all other medical services. Kaiser is my mother’s medical provider of record, and Kaiser receives Medicare payments for her care. However, my mother’s primary care physician (Dr. Duncan Leung) at Kaiser resigned from her case in early October 2010, stating that he did not wish to follow my mother when she on hospice.
In 2010, I had reported my mother’s condition and elder abuse situation numerous times to Dr. Leung. All California physicians are mandated reporters of elder abuse. Rather than report to Adult Protective Services as mandated by law, Dr. Leung removed himself from my mother’s case.
Mindy Martin did not request a replacement primary care physician, and Kaiser did not assign a replacement. For nearly a year, my mother has not had a primary care physician. I called Kaiser requesting that my mother receive medical care, and I requested referrals to specialists. Dr. Leung refused to speak to me. Dr. Leung’s Assistant, Doris, told me that Dr. Leung will not act on my
requests. Medicare Supervisor Greg Bailey instructed me to file a grievance with Kaiser concerning denial of care. However, Kaiser will not accept the grievance without the signature of Mindy Martin, the abusive conservator.
My mother had pneumonia in September 2010; but her records do not indicate any follow up on her recovery. My mother’s chronic conditions include: rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroid, Nocardia lung infection, Mycobacteria lung infection, depression (since her abduction), cognitive disorder, and dementia. My mother is no longer able to walk due muscle atrophy that occurred at Wildwood. We do not know what mental and emotional damage has been caused by over a year of isolation.
On September 29, 2010, Probate Judge Michael Welch approved our request for a neurologic evaluation of my mother by Dr. Dean Sherzai, Head of Memory Care at Loma Linda Medical Center. I made the appointment for October 19, 2010. Mindy Martin had the appointment canceled on October 18, 2010. On September 1, 2011, Judge Welch signed an order for my mother to be examined by Dr. Sherzai on September 20, 2011. Mindy Martin failed to produce my mother for that appointment. To date, my mother has not been examined by a neurologist to identify the cause of her dementia or to prescribe optimal treatment going forward.
Of even more immediate concern is a yellow spot on my mother’s neck. In 2009, my mother had a Merkel cell carcinoma removed. Merkel cell is a very aggressive form of skin cancer. The new yellow spot looks identical to the original tumor and is in the same location. My mother’s physician should be monitoring her closely for a recurrence. However, Dr. Leung refuses to examine my mother without instructions from Mindy Martin.
Inadequate Investigation, Flawed Report, & Misconduct by Court Appointed Attorney
Mark Flory is the court appointed attorney, representing my mother. Flory did not interview any family, friends, neighbors, or witnesses to my mother’s abduction. Flory was aware that my mother was mentally impaired and subject to undue influence on June 10, 2010, when she signed the invalid trust, will, Advance Health Care Directive, and power of attorney. Flory was aware that my mother was diagnosed with dementia just days after she signed the July 7, 2010 Amended Trust. However, Flory took no action to investigate the validity of those documents.
In 2010, Judge Welch instructed Mark Flory to obtain all estate planning documents relevant to my mother’s case. Flory never contacted family to obtain my mother’s original will or to learn the status of her estate prior to involvement by Mindy Martin. To our knowledge, Flory has not obtained copies of the documents signed on June 10, 2010.
Since Mindy Martin became my mother’s temporary conservator in September 2010, she has drained about $150K of my mother’s assets plus $2100/month in social security benefits, totally nearly $200K for the year. My mother has been in hospice since October 8, 2010, with Medicare paying her living expenses at Wildwood. My mother has no medical costs that are not covered by Medicare. In fact, she has received very little medical care at all. There has been no accounting of these expenditures, and Mark Flory seems unconcerned about the unexplained bleeding of the estate.
California probate law requires that a conservatee’s funds be kept in FDIC insured accounts. A year after Mindy Martin was appointed temporary conservator; she still has the entirety of my mother’s estate in stock accounts that are not FDIC insured. On November 8, 2010, Judge Welch instructed those funds to be moved into FDIC insured accounts. Mark Flory has not followed up on the status of the accounts. Those accounts have likely lost value as a result of declines in the stock market.
Mark Flory’s August 16, 2010 report to the court included false statements made by Wildwood Executive Director Lynette Alvarado, claiming that I created a disturbance at Wildwood on July 5 and 6, 2010. It should be noted that Lynette Alvarado was not present at Wildwood on July 5 or 6. Any statements made by Alvarado concerning those dates would be hearsay. Police reports show that Alvarado’s statements were false. Wildwood’s Tenant Services Notes indicate that Alvarado’s statements were false. However, Flory did not check the validity of Alvarado’s statements, and he presented those false statements as truth in court hearings and in his written reports.
Mark Flory correctly stated that Wildwood restricted visitation, and he correctly reported that Wildwood was cited by Community Care Licensing. However, Flory stated that he did not understand the citation, because Wildwood was restricting visitation based on instructions from Mindy Martin.
In November 2010, Mark Flory drafted a stipulation to allow my mother supervised visitation with me or my mother’s companion, Martin Gludd. That stipulation allowed a maximum visit of 15 minutes, although I live seven hours away from Wildwood. We would be charged $90/hr for those visits, including travel time for the person supervising. Martin Gludd and I had done nothing to warrant any restrictions on visitation, and my mother had repeatedly asked to see us.
Mark Flory’s stipulation specified that Alan Garcia of Parent Care Management Services (under contract to Mindy Martin) would supervise our visits. I had one visit with my mother under the stipulation. Martin Gludd had two visits. Then Mindy Martin instructed Alan Garcia not to arrange any further visits. I did not see my mother from November 8, 2010 until July 6, 2011, when my attorney specifically asked the judge if I could visit my mother. Martin Gludd did not see my mother again until August 29, 2011, when my attorney specifically asked the judge if Martin Gludd could visit.
As recently as September 2011, Mark Flory is still recommended restricting my mother from having visitors. His rational is that visitors to Wildwood might file complaints about inadequate care, and those complaints would cause inconvenience for the management.
My mother has no bed. She sleeps on a mattress placed directly on the carpet. For several months my mother slept in her street clothes because she had no pajamas at Wildwood. When I learned that my mother had no pajamas, I purchased several pair for her. Those pajamas were delivered to my mother by her sister (Clara Gibbs), because I was not allowed on the premises. As of September 29, 2010, my mother’s sister was also not allowed on the premises. Mom’s sister hid a camera in her bra to obtain a photograph of the mattress on the floor, because Wildwood would not allow her to carry any personal items into the facility. Mark Flory does not find these conditions to be inappropriate.
My mother has not had a primary care physician from since October 2010. Mark Flory is unaware or unconcerned that my mother was not being followed by a physician.
In December 2010, we served subpoenas on a number of entities to obtain documents related to my mother’s case. Mark Flory moved to quash those subpoenas on the grounds that they violated my mother’s privacy. Flory finally agreed to a narrower scope, and we re-issued subpoenas in April, 2011. We began receiving subpoenaed documents in May 2011; nearly a year after my mother was abducted.
My mother’s case demonstrates that the “system” is very seriously broken. Mindy Martin abused my mother, lied to law enforcement, and committed perjury. As a reward for those actions, she was appointed temporary conservator; giving her even more opportunity to abuse my mother. Mark Flory, my mother’s court appointed attorney, presented false information in court hearings and in his reports. His recommendations encourage continued abuse.
The “system” has failed my mother at every level, and she remains a prisoner after 16 months. We have been to court 14 times and spent over $60K in legal fees to date. In exchange for our efforts, we have been allowed two afternoons visiting my mother. We have not yet accomplished any long-term changes in her situation, and we haven’t even begun attempts to recover her estate.
California has very progressive laws concerning elder abuse. However, the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department does not necessarily enforce those laws. The San Bernardino District Attorney does not necessarily prosecute cases of elder abuse.
California provides conservators with education on their responsibilities. However, Mindy Martin has flagrantly violated probate law and instructions from the court. There seems to be no accountability for her actions.
California probate courts appoint attorneys to represent the interests of conservatees. However, Mark Flory utterly failed to represent my mother’s interests, and he has actually facilitated the abuse.
California encourages citizens to report elder abuse to Adult Protective Services (APS). Physicians and financial institutions are mandated reporters of abuse. However, Dr. Duncan Leung at Kaiser Permanente did not report to APS. The financial institutions that witnessed Mindy Martin’s actions did not report to APS. Reports from my mother’s family were not adequately investigated. There is no accountability requiring APS to conduct thorough investigations. At best, APS can only give recommendations to law enforcement. Even a thorough investigation and appropriate recommendations from APS are useless when law enforcement chooses to ignore abuse.
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman has a mandate from the federal government to provide services to residents of assisted living facilities and their families. However, the Long-Term Care.
Ombudsman for San Bernardino County has refused to even talk to family, let alone provide mandated services.
Community Care Licensing for San Bernardino County was the only agency to provide services for my mother. We appreciate their conducting an investigation and issuing a citation. Unfortunately, their response was slow, and their authority is limited.
The California Department of Justice demonstrated that they are utterly incompetent and completely uninterested in justice.
This situation is shameful in a country that proclaims “liberty and justice for all”. My mother does not enjoy liberty. She most definitely has not received justice. In fact, my mother receives fewer privileges than convicted murderers on death row. Those convicts are allowed visits with loved ones. Those convicts are allowed telephone calls. Those convicts are given medical care, and they have beds to sleep on. My mother has none of those privileges. Is this how our most vulnerable citizens should be treated?
Linda Kincaid, MPH