Final thoughts for 2019
As another year draws to a close, it’s appropriate to reflect on the events of the year.
Most impact in my opinion is the fact that the number of advocates across the country has grown substantially. Regardless of what their inspiration was initially or whom they identified with or what group they chose to affiliate with, thought leaders in states like Michigan, Ohio, Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, California, New York, Florida and others have made the effort to create groups dedicated to dealing with the tsunami of guardianship abuse across America. My hat is off to them and I wish them the greatest success in 2020.
AAAPG held two major very well attended events this year in Florida, one in February in Tampa and another in Orlando in November that highlighted the abuses across the country and put a spotlight on abuses occurring in the Central Florida area. Both events featured the screening of the movie “The Guardians” which surely had a significant impact on the viewing audience.
This year our colleague Terri Kennedy produced a 30 minute video called “the deception of protection” that called attention to the plight of her great aunt who has been cruelly isolated for years in a fraudulent guardianship and laid out a easily understandable explanation of how this racket actually works and what danger it is to everyone.
I was gratified to see that sales of my book “Guardianships and the Elderly the Perfect Crime” continue to increase and reach an ever-expanding group of previously naïve individuals who might have become victims but for the knowledge imparted to them by the book and our other efforts including our website www.aaapg.net, our twitter page, and our newsletters.
We were able to launch the NIAGRA project this past year and hope to use this tool of citizen oversight more frequently in the coming year.
2019 was also significant for a number of other reasons. The shocking revelations about the criminal conduct of professional guardians like Tracy Hudson Samuel and Rebecca Fierle in Florida were long-overdue. Currently we are the midst of a process that may take as much as two or three years to sort through their long litany of crimes and bring them to justice. Two Federal Congressmen who have here their own history of abusing wards have come forth with bills that are supposedly intended to reduce exploitation. State legislators are making some feeble attempts to nibble around the edges of the exploitation issue and the illegitimate DNR issue. None of these efforts are really meaningful or likely to make much of a difference but they still represent progress in the press associated with them has generated sustained interest in the Fraudianship crisis. Extensive coverage by the Orlando Sentinel, multiple television stations and other media drew attention to the criminality that has been taking place across Florida for decades. Unfortunately, we learned that the administrative office intended to discipline Florida guardians, OPPG, was a failure and was unable to remove a single guardian after three years of operation and hundreds of legitimate complaints ignored. Currently OPPG is in shambles and has been taken over by a full-time politician whose primary goal seems to be getting more funding for his inept operations rather than doing his jobs of investigating legitimate complaints about guardianship abuse.
The horrific situation in the state of Michigan continues unabated. Despite lots of media coverage, despite heroic effort by Gretchen Rachel Hammond to expose the judges and guardians and public administrators and their reign of terror, nothing seems to be able to hold anyone accountable for decades of horrific abuse, exploitation and even murder. Despite promises from the state’s attorney, Supreme Court justices, the Michigan bar and others the corrupt Michigan probate courts remain untouched despite their scandalous performance. The culture of corruption in these courts is stunning and their staying power is equally impressive.
Across the country advocates are trying every conceivable strategy to engage and influence creation of meaningful legislation at every level including federal. In each instance, their earnest efforts are being met with indifference, incompetence, and a palpable reluctance to step up and hold court insiders responsible for their corrupt criminal actions. Kudos to all the advocates who are working for change particularly at the federal level who are calling out federal officials and the Department of Justice who steadfastly refuse to admit the burning need for their intervention with serious investigations and indictments.
Looking forward to next year we are hoping to roll out an AAAPG podcast called “The Fraudianship Chronicles” to extend our reach into naïve communities more efficiently.
It can be overwhelming to realize how much more work needs to be done, but together, inch by inch, generation to generation we will continue to speak out, organize, advocate, educate and legislate as long as we can.
My personal wishes for a rewarding and fulfilling holiday season and a successful new year.