AAG Thomas Perez
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20530
USDOJ Civil Rights Division
Investigates Oregon State Hospital ET All
At this end of this link are reports of serious human
rights violations as cited here in Oregon, North Carolina, and California where the disabled and
elderly are targetd and victimized to seize their financial assets. The Thomas S Clients were held
incommunicado in a state institution for over 100 years without any hearings; amid killings; torture;
and incredible abuse before the US District Court removed them to state run foster homes about 1993.
This extensive report seems to support poplar
articles on deaths, abuse, and civil rights violations occuring at Oregon State Hospital. One grisly
rumor concerned human remains in small barrels found buried in walls of the old state hospital.
The new leader of the much-criticized Oregon State Hospital told a legislative committee on Wednesday
that he's confident about fixing flaws at the 127-year-old mental institution in Salem.
"I can assure all of you, all of the problems that exist at Oregon State Hospital are resolvable," Greg Roberts
told the House Interim Committee on Human Services. His upbeat message prompted one legislator to express
frustration about broken past promises to turn around the troubled hospital.
Rep. Ron Maurer, R-Grants Pass, said Oregonians are fed up with the hospital's woes, which have been
documented by a series of critical reports and investigations. "It is, quite frankly, a disaster," he said.
Drawing a comparison between Oregon's main mental hospital and the infamous insurance company AIG, Maurer
said OSH "is not too big to fail."
At some point, he said, "If it doesn't work, we just close it down and do something new."
After the committee meeting, Maurer told the Statesman Journal that he thinks legislative discussions about closing the hospital should occur if serious problems persist.
"At some point, someone has to bring that up," he said. "Has anybody ever suggested it? We don't have to have an Oregon State Hospital."
Asked whether closure talks are warranted now, Maurer said: "No, I'm going to give Mr. Roberts the chance to make the changes."
Roberts, 59, took the reins of the embattled hospital Monday. "Today is my third day. Everybody seems happy I came back yesterday
and today," Roberts told the legislative committee, drawing laughs.
Roberts formerly was the director of the Office of State Hospital Management in New Jersey. Before taking the state
hospital job here, he spent his entire 37-year professional career in New Jersey, including stints as chief executive
officer at five state psychiatric hospitals. In his Wednesday remarks to the legislative panel, Roberts said he
successfully dealt with many of the problems now plaguing OSH during his tenure in New Jersey. He said his initial
efforts to turn around the crowded, underperforming hospital in Salem will focus on prioritizing problems that need
fixing. He also wants to make sure the hospital sticks with its primary mission ï¿½ providing treatment that helps
mentally ill patients recover and return to Oregon communities as soon as possible.
New Landmark Laws Overhaul California's
Troubled Conservatorship System
By Assemblymember Dave Jones
California's conservatorship system for elderly and dependent adults -- originally designed to protect
vulnerable adults from fraud and abuse -- is broken. But help is on the way. On Wednesday, the Governor
signed the Omnibus Conservatorship and Guardianship Reform Act of 2006, a landmark package of bills to
overhaul California's troubled conservatorship system. The legislative package, comprised of bills I
authored, along with those of Senator Debra Bowen (D-Redondo Beach), Senator Liz Figueroa (D-Sunol),
and Senator Jack Scott (D-Pasadena), is designed to remedy alarming deficiencies in California's
conservatorship system that have led to shocking abuses of California's elderly and most vulnerable.
The system today allows private conservators to get themselves appointed in an inappropriate manner.
Some steal or mismanage the money that their conservatees spent a lifetime earning. Most public guardians
and probate courts do not have the resources to help. Worst of all, the system provides no place to turn
for help. Consider the case of Emmeline Frey. Her private, for-profit conservator hired the conservator's
own son, a car salesman, as Ms. Frey's financial advisor. The car salesman squandered $100,000 of Ms.
Frey's estate, but still collected his commissions. The court overseeing the conservator did nothing to prevent it.
By significantly enhancing court oversight and requiring licensure of professional conservators, the Omnibus
Conservatorship and Guardianship Reform Act of 2006 will protect vulnerable adults like Ms. Frey. AB 1363 (Jones)
requires much stronger and more frequent court review and oversight of conservators, along with uniform standards
of conduct that conservators must follow, brand new and aggressive training rules for all professionals involved
in the system, and a new requirement that Public Guardians take the cases of all those at imminent risk of harm.
SB 1550 (Figueroa) creates the Professional Fiduciaries Bureau within the Department of Consumer Affairs to license
and regulate professional fiduciaries, including conservators, guardians and trustees.
In addition, SB 1116 (Scott) will remedy some of the problems with the sale of a conservatee's home, and
SB 1716 (Bowen) will allow the court to take action when it receives informal reports of abuse and neglect
from concerned friends or family members. Not all conservators are abusing the system -- many are doing a
good job. But the current system has left elderly and dependent adults at the mercy of those who abuse their
position. The Omnibus Conservatorship and Guardianship Reform Act will help ensure that our frail loved ones
are protected both from those who seek to abuse them and from a system indifferent to their plight.
Assemblymember Dave Jones (D-Sacramento) is the Chair of the Assembly Judiciary Committee. He formerly served
on the Sacramento City Council. He can be reached at www.assembly.ca.gov/jones.
Posted on September 29, 2006