Letters to the Editor

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DEATH: Prosecutor’s office should seek answers

Letter by Shneur Heber, Tacoma on Oct. 29, 2010 at 3:35 pm with 3 Comments »
October 30, 2010 6:58 am

I read the article “Justice for Brother David” (TNT, 10-24) with great interest. I am thankful to the Tacoma News Tribune for bringing this unfortunate story to the public’s attention. Death is always something difficult and painful to accept, but how much more so a death that seems to have been completely avoidable.

It seems clear that negligence was the probable cause of David’s premature death. David was a vulnerable adult who completely relied on his caregivers to care for all of his basic needs, and he was not given the complete care that he deserved.

Many basic questions still remain unanswered. And as such, it only seems logical and fair for the prosecutor’s office to properly finalize and determine the answers to these questions.

Responsibility needs to be taken for the fact that “Laboratory tests found unusually high levels of paroxetine – more than 16 times normal levels – in Vernon’s blood at the time of his death”, and that David was allowed to be in a such a hot room when hyperthermia was a clearly stated in his plan of care, which contained the known risk and adverse side effects for persons on the medication that David was taking at that time.

I fully support a complete investigation into this matter, so that the vulnerable members of our society receive proper care and equal justice, and most importantly, to prevent an incident as unfortunate as this one from happening again in the future.

Leave a comment Comments → 3
  1. elderjustice2010 says:

    Schneur we totally agree with your words below:

    I fully support a complete investigation into this matter, so that the vulnerable members of our society receive proper care and equal justice, and most importantly, to prevent an incident as unfortunate as this one from happening again in the future.

    Because we believe so firmly in protecting and prosecuting the most vulnerable among us, we are endorsing Bertha Fitzer for Pierce County Prosecutor.

    Why? County officials including APS, DSHS, TPD, Pierce County Sheriff, Graham Fire Department and the Prosecutor’s office have turned a blind eye when it comes to enforcing laws against vulnerable adults.

    Need an example? What would you say if an elder parent had over $300,000 stolen, bank accounts changed, savings bonds cashed, annuities cashed, monies stolen from their personal safe all the while the power of attorney and siblings who supported him mentally abused and stole from the vulnerable adult?

    You’d say they need to be prosecuted right? Wrong. Not in Pierce County. Even after evidence was submitted in a Guardianship case.

    And get this the person who has a vulnerable adult protection order on him still works for DSHS. DSHS can’t even properly investigate their own employees who work at Western State Hospital. Corrupt, or incompetent?

    And what would you say if those same individuals included a former elected official in Tacoma and only could say at trial “I don’t recall, I don’t recall,” involving why he and his sister changed beneficiaries and took monies.”

    Nice people right? Wrong. We are seeking justice and with that comes FULL accountability for those among us.

    Whether you are a former Democrat politician in the City of Tacoma, a non-profit executive, real estate broker, attorney, contractor or teacher, those that abuse the elderly should be prosecuted.

    We are voting for Bertha Fitzer for the most vulnerable among us.

  2. Cheryl770 says:

    I fully agree with these two articles. David’s death seems avoidable and he no doubt would be alive today if a caring individual had taken him down to a cool room and kept him hydrated. Some handicaped individuals must be treated as if they are little children because they lack the mental capacity to think for themselves. David was such a person.
    Hopefully a full investigation into his unfrortunate death will be forthcoming and justice will be met out accordingly.
    May this never happen to another handicapped person.

  3. elderjustice2010 says:

    The recently released Government Accountability Office GAO reports that the courts are not supervising guardians noting over $640,000 stolen from a vulnerable adult aged 87 years old. Just one of many cases the GAO found in a study by Congress.

    The GAO examined 20 specific cases in which guardians swiped a total of $5.4 million from 158 mostly-senior victims (vulnerable adults some in Washington State). They were overseen by courts in 15 states, as well as in the District of Columbia, but the oversight often fell short of detecting problems with the alleged abusers.

    Our Pierce County case has been read by the GAO office hopefully the local prosecutor’s office and judges will poney up and stick these abusers in jail.

    Abuse against the elderly is a crime.


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