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Monday, July 14, 2008

Corrupt Courts' Assault Hits Home

Families struggle to aid elders at home
THE JOURNAL NEWS by Leah Rae - JULY 13, 2008

Catherine Wilson sits down to work as a bookkeeper every night at 9, after her 80-year-old mother has settled into bed. She does her grocery shopping after midnight, no longer surprised to see others in the aisles at 2 a.m.

A 50-year-old mother of two teenagers, Wilson says she can instantly spot her fellow "caregivers," as they are known in the social-service pamphlets. They are struggling to meet the needs of an elder at home - medical appointments, prescriptions, and mental confusion, in her mother's case - while raising kids and trying to hold down a job. "I've had unbelievable conversations in supermarkets," she said. "We have children, we have households, we have work responsibilities. We're still paying mortgages, and we're faced with a situation where we have to quit work."

Last week, Wilson and others felt they had spotted another struggling caregiver in the news reports about a man who wouldn't normally receive sympathy. The man, Theodore Pressman, was accused of leaving his parents in a car in Peekskill while he went to work, even though his parents suffered from dementia. His father died after three hours in the hot, enclosed space, according to police. Pressman used to set his parents up in a cafe with a newspaper and cup of tea, according to the cafe owner, while he worked his shift as a bus driver. He was charged with second-degree reckless endangerment and given an order that limits contact with his mother.

To Wilson and others, the story pointed to the strains of elder care. A home health aide costs about $20 an hour, and adult day care typically costs about $100 a day. Respite services are available for a few hours at a time, but full-time care is costly. When Wilson left to tour colleges with her son, she said, she spent $4,000 on her mother's care. A grant from the Alzheimer's Association helped defray the cost. "Unless you're rich, there are no full-time solutions," Wilson said. "You have to be either very rich or very poor. So for the majority of us in the middle, there's only partial solutions." June Molof, director of the Rockland Office for the Aging, agreed that the options are limited. "There's not a lot available, unfortunately, and what usually happens, of course, is that they wind up in nursing homes," she said.

Others believe the problem is primarily one of awareness: how to find the services and how to patch them together. Men in particular are less informed on what's available, said Diane Aparisio, deputy commissioner of the Westchester County Department of Senior Programs and Services. "Caregivers really should not feel overburdened or alone," Aparisio said. On the department's Web site are reams of information on services, support groups and long-term care insurance, which can pay for things like adult day care. The department offers one-on-one meetings to help families put a plan together.

Services range from small-scale help with housekeeping or transportation to full day programs run by organizations like the Wartburg Adult Care Community in Mount Vernon or Meals on Wheels in Rockland. My Second Home in Mount Kisco, another example, offers intergenerational activities and specialized help for dementia patients. But in a poor economy, families are holding out as long as they can, said Donna Sangi-Vallario, director of the day program at Wartburg Adult Care Community. Rates there are $75 a day for those with basic needs and $128 for those with medical needs. "It's stressful, they're losing a lot of time from work, but they can't afford to put mom and dad in a day program," Donna Sangi-Vallario said. "So there's a growing need, it's just, sometimes it's not economically feasible."

Not only that, but elder care is an exhausting foray into the health care bureaucracy. Wilson said she has seen many caregivers, in support groups, succumb to depression at even a slight setback. She has relied on her accounting, business and Internet skills to help her plow through. Wilson works part time from her Thornwood ranch house doing bookkeeping and free-lance writing when she can find the time. Her mother, Mollie Wilson, suffers from vascular dementia and needs steady supervision. Catherine Wilson's father died 12 years ago. She is divorced and has a brother who is disabled, but no extended family nearby. Wilson sums up her situation this way: "You juggle a lot of balls, and to be honest, you drop them." The other day she was fixing tea at home with her mother, an Irish-born immigrant who always celebrated her culture in song. Her mother had returned from lunch at the local senior center. "It's nice to get out. I don't like to be in the house all day," Mollie Wilson said in her lasting lilt. "I like people."

At 80, she can still tell the story of when she rescued her baby brother during a bombing in Dublin when she was 14 years old. But her narrative now mixes in images of New Year's Eve in Times Square and the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center. Real memories often mix with images from television, as when she tells of golfing with Tiger Woods and scoring a hole-in-one. Her condition requires trained supervision, people who can sort the truth from the confusion, Catherine Wilson said. Getting an adult to cooperate is different from working with a toddler, because "a child you can pick up and move them out of danger," she said. Wilson admits to relying on the television to keep her mother entertained, namely with Oprah Winfrey's show and old movies. Among her bits of real-life advice for other caregivers: Pay your bills online, so that all your records are in one place. Take advantage of the 24-hour Alzheimer's Association hotline: 800-272-3900. Befriend your local pharmacist. Don't regret the anger and stress that come up. Find ways to remember the better times.

Her mother is in the middle stages of dementia, which was brought on by a stroke. "If this runs full course, by the time she dies, she will never even know she lived at all," Catherine Wilson said. Mindful of that, she created a CD of her mother singing 11 of her favorite songs. It was given out at her 80th birthday in May, titled "Mollie Wilson: T'is Herself!" Once a social butterfly, Mollie Wilson used to perform the Irish national anthem for the Gaelic-American Club of Fairfield, Conn. Now she sings for others at the senior center, and she takes requests. "They always want 'Danny Boy,' you know," she said, smiling. But when asked to choose a song herself, she sings a hymn that prays for peace and safety and another life to come: "Bless This House."  Reach Leah Rae at or 914-694-3526.

In Your Voice

AstoriaMom wrote:
I know Catherine. She has more problems than caring for her mom. She also has to deal with her ex husband Ray a lawyer in the White Plains courthouse. The court told her she could earn $70000 a year and based her child support on that so they won't give her the full child support her children are entitled to. Catherine doesn't make that kind of money and she has no benefits. Ray makes a fortune and he has free benefits in the courts. But all he has to pay for college is 60 percent and Catherine has to pay 40. And the courts said Ray doens't have to give her a dime for all the SAT exams and application fees and Ray won't pay for his own kid's expenses for this. Ray is now fighting to take her money to use it for their son's college. They set up a college savings account when they were married so Catherine put in half of that money and now Ray won't ler her touch this to pay her share of college. He'll get away with this because his friends in the court support him. Ray still owns half of their house but he doesn't have to pay any of the bills like taxes and insurance but he gets half of the profits when it's sold. And he took a loan on the house to pay his credit card bills for his dating expenses and then got the court to make Catherine pay this loan since she's living in the house. Catherine told the court they were making her finance Ray's adultery but they didn't care. Ray took the inheritance from his mother she gave their kids and when Catherine went to court to sue to get her kids money they fined her $750 because she dared to sue one of their own. I don't know how set gets up each morning. Catherine is the most incredible person I know and a fantastic friend. Whenever anyone has a problem she's there to help. She doesn't deserve what Ray and the courts are doing to her. 7/13/2008 9:52:33 PM


Anonymous said...

I've read a lot about how this woman got screwed. The lesson is, in Westchester anyway, you're better off moving to Bolivia that going up against the out of control corruption in the 9th judicial district. The law doesn't matter, it's all about protecting themselves and their buddies. Oh, kids don't matter either.

Anonymous said...

I think this mother also had the psychiatrist of choice one Dr. Bert Pepper. Don't be fool by his age, he will lie on the spot, will make up "psychological theories," it is open and quick when deciding to place children in imminent, even if it means for sexual exploitation purposes. Will resort to racism, gender bias and criminal perjury. You name it his price is high, his testimony is mediocre, but his reports which are always made confidential are priceless. He will even testify about matters that have nothing to do with psychiatry or/and psychology. I wonder if he is in the Court's payroll or just gives Francis Nicolai a commission?

Anonymous said...

I think this mother also had the psychiatrist of choice one Dr. Bert Pepper. Don't be fool by his age, he will lie on the spot, will make up "psychological theories," it is open and quick when deciding to place children in imminent, even if it means for sexual exploitation purposes. Will resort to racism, gender bias and criminal perjury. You name it his price is high, his testimony is mediocre, but his reports which are always made confidential are priceless. He will even testify about matters that have nothing to do with psychiatry or/and psychology. I wonder if he is in the Court's payroll or just gives Francis Nicolai a commission?

Anonymous said...

The Westchester solution is simple in family matters: first, get rid of the devil (Nicolai), then boot the lap dog (Scarpino). It's very simple. Only when Jolly ole Nick is gone, will there ever be a chance to clean up the rigging of cases in Westchester courts. Those two better hope there isn't a hell !

Anonymous said...

I worked in the courts in the 8th judicial district, in Buffalo NY, for many years. I got divorced in 1996 and in 2003, I had my attorney file papers to compel my CPA husband to contribute to my child's college finances, as stated in the original divorce decree!

The judge who handled the original divorce had retired and Judge O'Donnell was assigned to the case. The case unfortunately, turned into a punishment case! As it was only being filed for hearing that day, my attorney and I waited to receive the hearing date,( the divorce decree stated that we both must contribute to the child's college education, commensurate with our incomes) but what developed was an infuriated judge who decided without testimony or additional evidence, that a CPA working for a major, hugely successful law firm, had no income to spare for his child's education, but a court clerk in the NY system did...entirely!

Judge O'Donnell looked at the papers with disgust, that day and became severely angry, while spitting out a nasty diatribe with my atty and within minutes he made a determination of no new hearing without additional testimony or evidence!

Two months later O'Donnell made an illegal determination from the original decree of NO support for college!

The hard part of dealing with this financial devastation, was the fact that O'Donnell worked in Family Court with a judge That was removed because of my sexual harassment allegations.
I did attempt to have Administrative Judge Townsend address this judge's mistakes...informally, but she took the decision and pretended to discuss it with O'Donnell, but the action she took, was to just let it collect dust.

Townsend also worked with the removed judge and was very close to a POTENT political person, who recently became my supervisor and was also the removed judge's friend! This person's father was Townsend's power in getting elected to her new administrative job!

With these circumstances and the fact that I filed discrimination charges with the OIG AGAINST THIS SUPERVISOR, the papers were sent back ,and Townsend refused to address them, stating specifically it was because I filed those charges!

So...everyone dealing in Family or Supreme Court in NY regarding matrimonial issues, must realize that court employees are also abused and slammed illegally by the system that we work in, but the big difference is we have the entire background of those in power!

Anonymous said...

THE FIX IS IN - that's the way the Courts/Judges work

Anonymous said...

The fix is more than in Orange County, Goshen. Child custody and divorce cases been rig for the purpose of pedophilia, child porn and prostitution. The DA, the police and CPS covering up to save the Judge and the attorneys.

Anonymous said...

know of a situation where some people have some money and the lawyers moved in with the help of a nurse (for the husband) and are getting guardians for them. They have family and the wife is ok, but they are having guardians because a Judge says so. He is appointing all his political friends to get on the gravy train and get as much money as possible. Understand that this goes on quite a bit. What country do we live in? Spoke to my attorney and told him story about these people, he said that if the Judge was doing this it must be ok! I'm look for a new attorney and this jerk will be the last person to know!

Anonymous said...

In Orange County Goshen detective Nick Stagliano for the second time is been sued first by his own family and now by another family of what appears to be his second elderly victim (already decease) to take their money. Stagliano works for The Orange COunty District Attorney's Office and the DA's Office upon information and belief still has him as an active investigators. It is despicable the fixing of cases taken place in Orange County which the DA's Office has refused to investigate.

Kate said...

Dear Buffalo:

Yes, someone working in the courts can get just as screwed by the good-old-boys if you're on the wrong side of the political fence or dare to stand up to them. I've heard the judges talk of their connections at dinner parties and their fundraisers. (And don't even ask me how they pay to get on the ballot and manipulate how their votes are counted to get elected - think: Florida 2000).

As for your ex claiming that as a CPA for a major firm he can't afford to pay for college - yeah, right. He's making a sizeable salary a year plus expenses and benefits. And I've never met an accountant who hadn't saved for college as soon as their kid hit the womb!

Problem is, since he works for a law firm, you're screwed. There's no way his law firm will allow a subpoena to get his earnings records - they'll know how to fight it. For free. So go around them. I would recommend you get a subpoena for the IRS instead to get his tax returns and W2's from them (the W2's are key since they show non-taxable deductions). Plus get another subpoena for Experian to get his credit report (which will show you where he's parked his money and then you can subpoena whatever bank or investment house the money is in). Go around his buddies - the IRS won't give a crap about some Buffalo judge or law firm! They'll hand over everything you need. Then get a cheap Quicken program and plug in his income and bank and credit card and investment info for the past few years to see if it makes sense - if there are huge gaps, that's what you need to have explained by your ex in court. (EG if his car lease isn't being paid out of his bank account or by credit card, then his firm is paying for it so that's additional income for him to be factored into his ability to pay). Just don't expect either your lawyer or the courts to understand a word of this - I've never met a lawyer who can do even basic math never mind understand finances. They're completely clueless.

Then I'd subpoena the law firm, but only after you get the IRS returns. If the law firm data doesn't match (and it probably won't on nothing other than stupidity since I've never encountered a law firm who's books weren't an absolute mess), you can notify the IRS of the law firm's errors (and collect 10% of whatever the IRS collects from them in the audit!) and file a contempt charge against them in the courts on providing incorrect evidence. If his bosses get pissed off at him for causing them to be audited and charged with contempt, then you have some leverage since he'll want to negotiate with you to keep his job and to get the lawyers off of his back (anyone would negotiate under those circumstances! Imagine an entire firm of angry lawyers breathing down your back?).

And no, to protect myself here since a lawyer might claim I am giving legal advice, I am not. I'm an ex-auditor. I'm providing auditing advice - this is exactly how an auditor would go about getting financial information from a recalcitrant source!

The boys-in-the-black-bathrobes routinely give out kickback appointments to their supporters and if you weren't on this list to begin with, your name is mud. (As a court clerk, you wouldn't even make the cut-off for this list - only deep pockets need apply). I know exactly who Ray and his judge's supporters are since Ray kept their kickback list on our home computer! (And no, OCA did squat about this when I gave them this evidence - even though it was a good-old white boy list. Apparently they don't care if their judges discriminate in their appointments. So much for our Constitution).

Dr. Pepper, who yes, was indeed the "psychiatrist" in my case, said that I had a "personality problem" because I got upset with lawyers and the courts. I told him that most people would not consider that to be a problem but rather a sign of integrity given the level of corruption I encountered! The judge on my case, Sherwood (since bumped from the bench, thank God), gave Ray a two-month head's up before he actually appointed Pepper so Ray had time to remove forensic reports from the courthouse that belonged to Judge Tolbert to review before he met with Pepper so he could manipulate his analysis (the idiot, Ray that is, actually faxed one of the removed reports to me from his home computer! Makes you wonder who he was trying to send this HIPPA-governed confidential psychiatrist report to). The name of the shrink on the faxed report? Popper (close enough, especially since Ray doesn't work on these types of cases at all so he had no right to have it unless he was looking for something for himself. And why did Tolbert give this report to him when Ray had nothing to do with this case?).

I could go on and on about the abuses in the system. It's so sad to hear of other cases.

Just remember, they'll all get their's from the ultimate judge. As my Irish grandmother would say, "hell ain't full yet. There's plenty of room for them!".

Anonymous said...

I guess Dr. Bert Pepper won't be able to escape from his criminal activities. I hope he is indicted for crimes against children and possible child exploitation. The feds should be looking at his computer since he helped sexual predators get child custody. Please do it before he died since that could happen at any moment with the olf fart.

Anonymous said...

Dear Catherine,
I wish I had known you in 2004...what incredible advice!
Unfortunately, my ex quit that law firm (the head of which was his best friend in high school and our best man at our wedding)two months after that decision..and I do not know why. My child is out of college for 2 yrs and my ex has just quit the law firm he was working for, since! He is unemployed with another wife and 2 children! How he lives unemployed is amazing to me. He informs my child..he will collect unemployment! But I will save your information for my good to know!
I also have a problem, because Administrative Judge Townsend is being sued in federal court, by myself...and that means I am untouchable by almost every atty. in town. The state court is where they do business for income! This legal isolation was definitely Townsend's plan to destroy me personally and financially...but she intended it to be for the federal court action!
I couldn't appear in any court in WNY for anything at this juncture...and see due process!
I bet O'Donnell and Townsend are consulting with everyone legal and superior in whitewashing( which means OCA;S legal dept, also) to twist what they have done to me for 19 yrs,especially for any media looking into these cases.
It could be noted that they OCA has watched and listened to me for a period in the past, and recently commented on a TOPIX blog using my personal name and calling me out with their typical lies and statements!
OCA KNOWS, I am telling the truth and can prove what they have they are in my air everywhere..looking to do damage control from the jump...right Sullivan?
Again, thank you Catherine and I hope for the best for you..OCA is trying to make you look crazy...that is what they always do...and I have proof!

Anonymous said...

When you expose one of these criminals from the Court they bring a "forensic expert" like Dr. Bert Pepper to diagnose you with a mental illness and then the Judge to cover his butt and Pepper's makes his report conifdential and you are not allowed to see it to defend yourself against this criminal making up false medical mental diagnosis. Dr. Bert Pepper is the Executive At-Large
of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. Clearly the FEDS should be looking at this oragnization too since Dr. Bert Pepper is involved in the rigging child custody cases and making up mental diagnosis for $$$$$$ and is the Executive At Large. I wonder if or how much dirty money it is been funnel throught this organization.

Anonymous said...

When I first brought the case against the judge for sexual harassment in 1989, I filed a worker's comp case for stress. This type of case was new to comp back then , but it was accepted within a year.
I went along their state rules, and had no problem for two years. Then the atty for the accused judge, realized his client was going to be removed!

This atty, who is related to all of the people that I stated above, asked a supreme court judge to deem me psychotic and the judge said NO. Then the atty about temporarily psychotic? The judge again said NO!
I know this, because the comm on judicial conduct was present and told me.

So this atty was a good friend of the atty from the state insurance fund, who they had dealing with my case at the comp hearings..which is rare for them to have an atty do this. So this atty from the state insurance fund ,ordered me to visit a forensic psychiatrist, paid for by the state, twice!
This doctor found on my behalf both times...and he shocked the state ins. fund and OCA , beyond their worst fear! The doctor claimed to me, that OCA was messing with me big time, and he hoped I would receive a hefty settlement! lol.

So,when Townsend wanted to fire me in retaliation for this case, years later..she could not trust my ethics and honesty to proceed with a state paid doctor, so she was compelled to proceed with many other elements, including documents she made up!
So does OCA attempt to pay off forensic doctors to show the public and other people, that you are crazy..yes they do and the bribe is a crime for them both!

I would tape any state doctor , I was sent to by a state agency, and ask questions that you know will show they are corrupt! Don't let OCA ruin your life...they are the criminals and wackos..not you!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Bert Pepper is one sick individual and in need of investigation by the authorities.

Kate said...

Dear Buffalo:

No attorney will touch my case either. The husband of the head of the local bar association told me that my case was "political suicide". And yes, if you go up against one of these good old boys, you pay for it. The judge in my case (Sherwood) appointed a Law Guardian for our kids - Kim Rayner, a kickback appointment since she worked on his campaign. (Anyone appointed by the courts should be investigated, not just Pepper. They all have the ability to damage families).

Sherwood never set her fees or a maximum so she set her own rates and charged me almost three times the going hourly rate - for a total of nearly $30,000! Plus, she listed me in her bills as "opposing counsel". Since she was representing the children, neither Ray nor I would be "opposing counsel" - we were not her adversaries. Unless, of course, you factored in the favors Ray could do for her on her other cases in his court. Since I've never worked for the courts, I couldn't do her any such favors, hence why she constantly referred to me as the opposition.

When I confronted her about her bills and her attitude she charged me with child abuse! As if. I've never abused anyone but if I was ever tempted, why would I abuse my kids when there's so many lawyers out there to choose from? :)

I remember this quote from Clarence Darrow whenever a lawyer bugs me:

"I've never killed a man, but I've read a great many obituaries with glee!"

I want to live long enough to read the obituaries of every one of the s.o.b.'s on my case!


Anonymous said...

It sounds just like Bernadette Lupinetti one of the law guardian from Orange County. Protected by judges in the county despite her unethical, criminal and abusive behavior. I guess when you are married to Patrick Lupinetti ADA for AG Office Cuomo assigned to Medicaid Fraud. All bets are off and complaints are redirected. But Bernadette Lupinetti + Dr. Bert Pepper = you finish the math since these two work together in rigging cases.

Anonymous said...

Nothing about OCA surprises or amazes me, since I worked there for 30 yrs, and have seen and heard well as have had lots of sources give me behind the scenes information, about their methods of illegal operation!
Anyone who fires a 30 yr employee, and one who has worked many years less, than the one they fired just insane, as well as completely incompetent, especially if they are lawyers and judges!

Any memeber of the judiciary, who hears cases daily...knows that someone with knowledge and activity in any always super well informed, and the truth is always somewhere in their talk!

OCA brought the truth to the surface, with an action that was meant to punish. Now many, many people have this information and are aware of their criminal tendencies and actions..they cannot run away now, no matter how much they proceed to terrorizing acts!

Anonymous said...

Dr. Bert Pepper is working together with the courts to abuse children and engaging in extortion and fraud. The authorities need to look at this parasite in need of shock treatment. His testimony is mediocre just like him.

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