By: Richard Black – Guardianship Columnist
With all the rhetoric by public officials about not tolerating elder abuse and financial exploitation in Clark County, Nevada, we continue to see the guilty parties ply their trade with impunity. Those of us who have been embroiled in the abuse sponsored by Clark County Family Court know the process well.
The predatory attorneys, “professional” guardians, and guardian ad litems troll for opportunities to conscript unsuspecting wealthy vulnerable individuals into guardianship. If estate documents exist and specific family members have been designated, they consistently seek a conflict by embracing the guilty party if one exists, or solicit conflict between family members if one doesn’t.
Conflict, real or concocted, is the spark that initiates financial exploitation. Time and again family members I have interviewed have relayed stories about being solicited to fight the estate designate.
“Let me help you get what you deserve…I can help you control the estate…I am here to help you help your loved one.” In each case where the guilty party took the bait, they indeed made money but the attorneys and third parties who defended them made so much more.
Sadly, the vulnerable person who earned the money received no better care and lost all their rights. The profile is so obvious and yet so overlooked by the court.
Last week our advocacy shown a spotlight on the Rosalina King case. After 14 days in isolation she was finally allowed to visit with close friends.
Unfortunately, just as we thought corrective actions were in place, the conflict and finger pointing began by the Public Guardian’s (PG) office. They have yet to explain why they held Rosalina King in isolation or why Rosalina King’s attorney, Lee Drizin abandoned Rosalina and helped the PG.
Mr. Drizin has not responded to repeated requests for comment on the matter. Public Guardian’s officials claimed in court petitions the move was necessitated to give her skilled nursing care, as they claimed, for an unaddressed infection Mrs. King got at Aegis while lying in her own feces.
The Public Guardian had a police escort to pick up Mrs. King at Aegis and immediately moved her to a HIRC home. They did not discuss Mrs. King’s care or treatment with her primary care physician or Aegis personnel, took no pictures of the supposed feces or her wound before transfer, and took her to a lower care facility in a HIRC home.
Why didn’t they take her immediately to a hospital if her wound was so bad? They claim HIPAA rules and the need for confidentiality preclude them from providing any explanation for their actions.
Most disappointing is what has happened since Rosalina was moved. The PG’s office has been officially silent on the matter.
Last Wednesday (7/22) Aegis was raided by members of Las Vegas Metropolitan Police, CIS, and the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, State Health Division, Health Care Quality and Compliance. Unnamed sources indicate they recorded their discussions and removed all records pertaining to Rosalina King.
Aegis personnel and multiple friends of Mrs. King were interrogated by Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department throughout last week. Suspect claims and defamatory comments were made by Metro without any evidence.
I was struck by how fast the authorities worked in concert to defend the PG’s office and Lee Drizin. I don’t know a single case of abuse, neglect or financial exploitation reported by family members that got this much attention this fast in the last 15 years in Clark County and I have reviewed over 100 cases.
Aegis is considered one of the best memory care assisted living facilities on the west coast. They have an impeccable reputation and have received an “A” rating for years by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services for their facilities, personnel, procedures and care.
The Vegas Voice will continue to watch the King case and others closely. Public leadership has demanded reforms to stop the personal and financial exploitation sponsored by the powers bestowed on guardians by the court.
However, the continued abuse of the vulnerable, now by public employees, appears to demonstrate a very different reality. The exploitation continues and suspicions of cover-up and finger-pointing prevail.
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