As deeply offended as I am by the crass theft of the guardians and attorney, I am even more profoundly disturbed that this commissioner thinks I will accept his farce over justice. It's like spending a fortune on a diamond ring only to discover that it's glass - and cheap glass at that. We've paid our taxes with deep gratitude for what we believed they were buying for ourselves and for all citizens. That joke playing in his courtroom is not what we bought. It is not what any citizen would buy. His "rulings" need to be examined to see if he gifts all guardians with unearned client money. If this is his routine procedure then judicial watchdog groups need to target him to get the word out so he doesn't continue to soil commonly held notions of "justice."
All commissioners and judges in the guardianship area need to have their records examined. Judge Eadie, the presiding judge over the Superior Court, which includes the morass of the guardianship area, needs to be held accountable for the corruption within its ranks. Given the fact that he was the president of the Guardianship Board during the time it was applying its standards to only a handful of carefully selected guardians, he should be removed.
The pretence can't be made that this is a "judicial decision" with which I disagree. That is simply not the case. The commissioner's behavior cannot be elevated to that level. The notion of decision making carries with it a sense of weighing and balancing, of logic, of reason, or of the application of the law to the facts. There is nothing of the sort here. The commissioner simply approved the theft of the vulnerable woman they were all charged with protecting. He knew exactly what he was doing. He declared that my pleadings would be sealed (my pleadings showed thirty or more pages of bogus billing), but his findings would remain open. According to him, that was because "if the media came around, they might think there is something there." This is on tape. It's pathetic. It would be so much more honest (and show greater integrity) to have a sign at his courtroom door that states something to the effect - "DO NOT QUESTION ANY OF THE GUARDIAN'S AND ATTORNEY'S. CHARGES NO MATTER HOW LUDICROUS OR BOGUS. THIS COURT APPROVED THEM AS "REASONABLE" AND "JUST" LONG BEFORE THEY WERE INCURRED. That way, if you had a shred of belief left in the "judicial system" you wouldn't waste your time as I did, outlining the exploitation of a vulnerable loved one.
Since his inexplicable generosity with money my mother earned dollar by dollar makes no sense at all, I am left to wonder if she was paying his debts for him or if she just got the short end of the stick in the sick game he has made of justice.
It was pointed out to me that the commissioner has a high rating. If I had read about his behavior, I would never have believed that he practiced in an American court - Iraq under Suddam, perhaps but not America. His behavior had nothing to do with the ideals we learn and cherish regarding our judicial system. He mocked every tenet we attribute to that system. I went to those at the KCBA who conduct the judicial ratings. I learned that the bar goes to the court files and sends a rating sheet to every attorney who has been before a judge or commissioner in the past four years. The questionnaire asks them to determine whether they know enough about the judge or commissioner to rate them. If they believe they do, then they rate them.
That sounds fine until you recall that guardianships and their attorneys are routinely before the same judges and commissioners. Clients are often unrepresented. If they are represented, they are likely to be represented by a family attorney or an attorney not familiar with guardianship business. I had an attorney who was familiar with guardianship affairs, and prior to the final billing, (the theft) the guardianship asked that he recuse himself. This was part of the scam. They wanted to do everything they could to make sure that I wasn't with someone who would know immediately what they were doing.and how they were doing it. He obligingingly did as they asked. In retrospect, I realize that he was wrong to do that. The conflict was waived in the beginning. The waiver should have lasted for the duration.
The guardianship's attorney created work for himself then inflated it by at least three times, pretended to spend hours writing the guardians' short, sloppy reports with them, and held meetings, conferences, and phone calls with only himself in attendance. I have no doubt that he rated the commissioner highly, after all, without him, he might have to work for a living. Those in charge of the ratings agreed that in cases like this they tended to get skewered ratings. It has been a longstanding problem for which they continue to search for a solution.
It seems obvious that part of the problem of rubberstamping theft is funding. I suspect there are other problems as well, but that the courts are inadequately funded can't be denied. It takes time to carefully analyze a bill - though, like everything else, if you put; in the hard work initially, the word would go out that the rubberstamp is gone and subsequent bills would require a lesser level of scrutiny. Before finding or asking for additional funds, I would expect that the courts would get rid of those who used the rubberstamp and made farce of the judicial process. I would also expect that those who assisted in theft would be sanctioned. No lack of funding can excuse a lack of integrity. The best solution, I think would be to get the monitoring out of judicial hands. But if it is decided to request additional funds and keep monitoring in judicial hands, then I would expect a housecleaning first.
I still can't get over my experience with the rubberstamp. Even a $100 dollar bill with a plumber would merit an explanation of any charge not understood, but an $18,000 bill expected to be paid for from the funds of a helpless person, doesn't merit a single answer. I repeatedly asked a number of questions - easy questions. I asked about the @$200-$300 charge for running off 1500 copies. Since, at that time, there were not even a hundred pages to my case, and since they had taken and were holding my mother's records, it seemed a reasonable question.The records are another story, suffice it to say that there is life to the cliche: "One rotten apple spoils the barrel." Of course it is possible that there was a great deal of spoilage in the barrel to begin with. More on that later.
I asked about the guardianship attorney's "legal assistant": who was paid seventy dollars an hour for minimum wage type work. She was referred to by others as a "secretary." I suspect she was on salary, and the label "legal assistant" was just a way to add a few more bucks to their theft. My mother paid her seventy dollars an hour with savings she worked for and earned dollar by dollar. But then, she paid the attorney $175 an hour for non legal work and for pretend work. Some justice! Never once did the court require an answer. Never once did the guardians offer one. I shouldn't have been surprised then when they were asked not a single question about the 100 or so bogus charges on their bill.
January, 2006: This month I have been repeatedly asking the Attorney General's Office to investigate the Guardianship Program, in particular the level of monitoring being done by the judiciary. I have corresponded with Assistant AG, Catherine Hoover. I would like this department to identify the parameters of the scam. I suggested they start with my mother's guardianship since her bogus bill was submitted about ten years after the Seattle Times reported on what that guardianship was doing with Violet Sullivan's life and money. Five years ago, Seattle Times reporter, Marsha King, was working on an article about this guardianship and its attorney. The victims, however, decided they didn't want the publicity, and the article was scrapped. This guardianship and its attorney have had at least fifteen years to plunder the helpless citizens they are charged with protecting.
I also wrote to the new King County Presiding Judge Trickey. I have requested that he look into the guardianship program and how it is being handled in his courthouse. I suggested that a clean-up was long overdue.
I would like to get the information on the program because I know it would be helpful when I speak to the legislative committees - also, of course, if the AG's Department sees the extent of the corruption, they might be inclined to do something. I would also like to know the names of any judges or commissioners who have rubber stamped the theft of the guardians. I think that the commissioner and any judge who rubberstamps are unfit - utterly unfit - for the judiciary. I would have no problem sharing information with the groups that evaluate them when they run for office. I am assuming that the commissioners plan eventually to run for office - when Carlos Velategui runs, I'll be there with that bogus bill, and his judgement. Citizens deserve much better than what he has to offer.
February, 2006: A number of people whose families have been devastated by predatory guardianships have contacted me through my website. A common theme is the role of the judiciary in the corruption. I remember that years ago I used to hear about some court in another state or maybe in this one, that had a backlog of months to years. The newspapers would bemoan this "delayed justice" That used to mean court inefficiency to me. I now see it as something else entirely. Any court that is backed up for years probably has a commissioner or judge in it that respects the judicial system, respects the law, respects the people before the court enough to reject the use of the rubber stamp to achieve a clean desk or a clear docket. Letting the cases back up lets the public see that the court is inadequately funded. It's the legislators job to do something about it.
There could be many reasons for Commissioner Velategui's clear desire to rubber stamp the guardian's theft and to punish anyone who finds his response reprehensible. He could be as corrupt as they are. His thinking could be animated by perverse and inexplicable needs. Or he could be foolishly proud of the fact that he resolves 100 cases a day and and so has no backlog. If that is so, and I don't pretend to know his thinking, then he is willing to sacrifice the judicial system, justice, the law, impartiality, and the rights of those before him - all for the right to crow about a clean desk.
What I do know is that he does not read anything ahead of time - as an ex-educator I have no doubt when someone hasn't done his homework. This lack of professionalism means that he skims pleadings during court time and relies on those he knows - ie the guardians and their attorney. The facts don't matter to him. The law doesn't matter except for how he might skew it to achieve his goals. Justice and impartiality are foreign concepts to him. The only thing that seemed to matter to him was that the guardians were unchallenged. If they didn't offer an excuse for their faults, he offered one for them no matter how ludicrous. He couldn't deny that the evidence showed their brazen theft, so he instead told me that "You should have shown it to me earlier." (On tape) That is as foolish a response as I could ever imagine. It's not my job to show it to him at all. The law gives him the responsibility for monitoring the program. There was nothing to stop him at that time from holding the guardians and their free-loading attorney accountable for the theft of the elderly, incapacitated person who had been placed in their care - nothing that is except his obvious desire to make sure that they get away with their crude exploitation of my mother.
The guardians had an attorney and the guardian's attorney had an attorney. The attorney for the guardian's attorney pulled the ruse that she couldn't itemize due to "attorney-client privilege." The other one itemized. I will regret until the day I die that I paid the one who itemized. You don't write thank you notes to rapists, you don't pay thieves for whatever troubles their thieving brought them, and you don't pay the debts of the judicial joke sitting on the bench. The sleazeball who itemized learned his lesson. Once he realized it was a judicial giveaway, for the second round, he used the"privilege" ruse and doubled or tripled his theft. It is easy to see why attorneys are held in such enormous contempt.Between them, these bottom dwellers don't have a shred, not a shred, of dignity or class. I will camp in front of the courthouse and in front of their places of business, etc before I submit to this sickening perversion of justice. Velategui needs to pay his own debts. He needs to do the justice system a favor and get out of it. Our tax dollars were never intended for his sick, sick little games.
This is a man who needs to be barred from a courtroom unless it is as a defendant. I have very good reason to know that he is still satisfying his sick needs from the bench my and my mother's tax dollars support. Many who have written to me have made it their job to follow the judge in their own case. When their judge ran for a new position or for reelection, they were there with fliers, with public statements, etc. to do what they could to make sure the commissioners and judges are no longer free to infect our justice system. I have begun a watch on who is running for election also. I am tracking the members of the guardianship board in Olympia who are comfortable running a farce, as well as Commissioner Velategui and others at the Superior Court. I have communicated with the reporters who reported on the improperly sealed files and Velategui's inordinately high number of them. I am wondering if the completely sealed files and the partially sealed files cover-up additional guardianship fraud. Commissioner Velategui wanted to seal my thirty or so pages of guardianship fraud because "if the media comes nosing around they might think there is something there." That was a clear acknowledgement that he knew there "was something there." This man is unfit for duty.
This is a picture of the infamous Carlos Velategui. It was taken from the Seattle Times, in March of 2006.
I CHALLENGE EVERY READER, THE COMMISSION ON JUDICIAL CONDUCT, THE WSBA, ANY LEGAL BEAGLE TO READ THE TRANSCRIPTS OF CARLOS VELATEGUI'S APPROVAL OF CARE PLANNING ASSOCIATES' AND HENRY JUDSON'S THEFT OF DORIS DENNEY AND FIND ANYTHING BUT UNDISGUISED BIAS, IGNORANCE OF THE FACTS, FAILURE TO READ THE PLEADINGS, FAILURE TO FOLLOW THE LAW AS IT PERTAINS TO HIS OWN RESPONSIBILITIES, FAILURE TO FOLLOW CRIMINAL LAW, A PROFOUND FAILURE TO RESPECT THE TRUTH, FAILURE TO EVEN LOOK FOR THE TRUTH, SELECTIVE APPLICATION OF THE LAW, DISTORTION OF THE LAW TO SERVE HIS OWN SICK PURPOSES, AND THE UNREPENTENT AND KNOWING APPROVAL OF THE THEFT OF A VULNERABLE, ELDERLY WOMAN. THIS MAN'S CONDUCT ON THE BENCH IS AN EMBARRASSMENT TO ANY WHO MIGHT STILL BELIEVE IN THE AMERICAN JUSTICE SYSTEM, A PERVERSION OF ALL ATTRIBUTES ENCOMPASSED IN THE NOTION OF JUSTICE, AND A WASTE OF TAX DOLLARS EARNED AND GIVEN FREELY BY AMERICANS WHO VALUE WHAT OUR CITIZENS WERE PROMISED OVER TWO HUNDRED YEARS AGO - RULE BY LAW NOT BY JUDICIAL WHIM, NOT BY JUDICIAL FAVORITISM, NOT BY JUDICIAL PREFERENCE, AND CERTAINLY NOT BY JUDICIAL PERVERSION.
This picture accompanied an article noting the number of improperly sealed records in King County Superior Court. Commissioner Velategui was noted as having the second greatest number of improperly sealed records in the entire Superior Court. His courtroom was referred to as a "cattle call." As I mentioned in a letter to the Times, a cattle call has considerably more integrity and honesty than this commissioner's courtroom. Update: The Seattle Times has been running the "Your Courts, Their Secrets" for months now. Velategui has a starring role. Inevitably, the cases used to demonstrate the wrongdoing in our Superior Court feature this judicial joke and the files he has improperly sealed. 10/28/06
Typically, the commissioner has read nothing ahead of time. I have been contacted by many of his more recent victims. He is still a non-reader. CPA is still doing the last minute "conflict of interest claim" - the one that obligates the victims to get rid of their attorney, hire a new one, and pay for the time it takes that attorney to get up to speed. Velategui never seems to wonder about this. He skims the pleadings (or does paperwork, or plays video games) while the parties speak. The law matters not one whit to him unless it suits a private, perverse need or pleasure. Just as he chose to ignore the law and seal records for his own private reasons, he selects among the many laws available to choose the one that suits his peeve of the day. He routinely rubberstamps the guardians' requests which are too often thefts of their vulnerable clients. There is no weighing and balancing, no reasoning, no application of the law to the facts, no indication that he has read anything, nothing that remotely resembles justice - just the rubber stamp, approving the guardians' neglect, mismanagement, sloth, and theft of the defenseless person in their care. He makes sure the bloated, and bogus "fees" of the guardians' attorney are rubberstamped as well. There is no concern that they have used a court appointment to exploit the vulnerable and steal their assets. There is no recognition that the attorney has leached on to the gravy train and charged for hours and hours of non-legal work that he didn't do anyway.
Similarly, their violation of his court orders matters not at all to him. Those orders were merely penmanship practice or they were written to make him look as though he is really doing the job. I had the surreal experience of listening to the guardianship's parasitical attorney deliberately MISexplain to Commissioner Velategui the meaning of Velategui's own court order. For the first time, I saw Velategui leaning forward in the listening position and nodding his head in agreement with the attorney's self-serving, brazen MISreading. There is no - absolutely no - logical way the court order can be read as the attorney proposed (and as I'm sure he knew), but it gave that judicial farce the excuse (not that he ever seemed to need one) to ignore and to not hold the guardians accountable for their clear violation of the order. More junk justice!
The guardians and their parasitical attorney have this fool's number. They ignored his court order and violated the law by submitting their theft five weeks late. They totally ignored another court order. They failed to match their bogus charges. A ten year old could have submitted a more professional bill. They gave ludicrous explanations (for things that couldn't be explained) knowing that the fool on the bench doesn't care anyway, or will only skim their nonsense and accept it as explanation. If they didn't have an explanation, the commissioner, withour embarrassment, offered one for them! Their pleadings are demonstrably filled with lies and perjury. Woe to the one who thinks the commissioner should do as the law requires him to do - monitor the fees and activities of these predators, value the truth, and apply the law impartially. He uses the bully pulpit to punish the petitioner who expects justice and not farce. In my case It was $11,000 - I was charged this amount to pay the cost to the thieves of defending their theft, which, given the commissioner's trust in and bias toward his "posse," given his preference for a clean desk over justice, or given his private perversions, wasn't necessary - nor, given the patently bogus bill, was it even possible.
This commissioner has taken a room in the "temple" of justice and made it his own private toilet. Justice can't dwell there - only bias, illogic, capriciousness, whim and perversion. There has to be an effort to make sure such people are identified and removed from American courts. Our tax dollars should never support Velategui's perversions. We deserve much, much better.
The Guardianship Board used the ludicrous metaphor "You don't get two bites of the apple,"when I tried to get them to do as the law and the Supreme Court have mandated - apply the standards (which are not the law and therefore not the abovementioned "bite.") To say all that is wrong with the apple metaphor would truly take a book. But since they applied it, I feel comfortable in referring to Velategui as the "one bad apple that spoils the barrel." Not only did he dirty his own barrel, but once the word was out on the judicial giveaway, maggots came from afar to partake. More on that later.
Recently we have been treated to the specter of Judge Eadie, scurrying about and unsealing court orders that he had sealed in violation of the law. Needless to say, he is not doing this because it is the right thing to do, but rather, because the newspapers outed the practice in the court over which he reigned as presiding judge.
In April of 2006, the Seattle Times reported on "justice" in a fairly remote area of Washington State. Apparently in that county, those charged with DUI's and other crimes can have the level of the crime reduced by making a donation to a charity. Some charities didn't receive their "donation." The reporter referred to the court as a "cattle call" just as the reporter above referred to Velategui's court as a "cattle call." This most recent reporter noted that "contemplative justice" in such a court was not possible. I was struck by the notion that "contemplative justice" wasn't even a remote possibility in Velategui's court. Contemplation is so far removed from his courtroom that it never even occurred to me to miss it. I would settle for "informed" justice - not even well-informed - just someone who has read all of the pleadings. The most Velategui could offer was a quick glance at the self-serving lies and perjury submitted by the guardians.
It was really kind of funny. I repeatedly complained in my pleadings regarding the guardians negligent handling of my mother' medications. Every time they responded, their pleadings made no sense to me. It seemed clear to me that they didn't understand. Since they had used my complaint to steal additional hundreds of dollars from my mother by pretending to "confer" with each other and having long phone conversations with her doctors, the lack of understanding in their pleadings made no sense at all. This happened with another complaint of mine. I finally figured it out. They had Velategui's number. They knew exactly what they were doing. They knew he would only glance at the papers, in court, while the parties were talking. That didn't give him time to think about what he was reading. It didn't need to make sense to him. He would just assume it made sense and accept that nonsense as an adequate explanation for the guardian's behavior. They knew his bias and his sloppy work habits and played him like a fool. It seems a luxury to wish for "contemplative justice." I would have been happy with "informed" justice or justice of any kind.
That may be naive on my part. Information doesn't matter a whit, if the commissioner doesn't use it to achieve justice. Velategui gave absolutely no indication that "justice" was a part of his value system or that it should be present in his courtroom.
These are the member of the judiciary who, when they come up for reelection, need to be given close scrutiny:
From King County Superior Court:
Carlos Velategui - See above
Nicole MacInnes - A friend of the guardians, but no friend of justice
Richard Eadie - as presiding judge and as board member could have done something, but did nothing
The next list includes justices who have or are serving on the Guardianship Board in Olympia and pretending that the standards are being applied, as they should be, to the guardians. The board has determined that the judge must refer the guardians to the board for violating the standards, but these board members know that isn't happening. For the 2005 year, they investigated zero complaints! They are pretending that the standards are being applied to the guardians, while they know the vulnerable are being abused. They are in the crime business, not the justice business.
Judge Paula Casey
Judge Marywave Van Deren
Commissioner Fred Aronow
Commissioner Stephen Gaddis
Commissioner Scott Collier
Judge Richard Eadie
Judge Karlynn Haberly
Judge Vicki Hogan
Commissioner Kim Prochnau
Judge Heather Van Nuys
Judge Chris Wickham
Carlos Velategui - UNFIT FOR SERVICE
My mother's guardian and its freeloading attorney ignored the law, ignored two court orders, lied to the court repeatedly, and couldn't even be bothered to align their bogus charges. Their ease and self-assurance stemmed from their knowledge that the commissioner, Carlos Velategui, was going to rubberstamp whatever they submitted. They were absolutely right. They were not asked about nor held accountable for the bogus charges, the violated court orders and law, nor any of my many objections. The law, according to another judge, was "just a guideline to keep things moving." The court orders must have been penmanship practice or perhaps just a way for the commissioner to pretend he was taking the job seriously.
Fifty years ago, minimum wage was $1.00 per hour. My mother cleaned houses for those dollars. And she was happy for the "opportunity" to clean floors and windows to supplement the family's income. How dare that commissioner force her to pay an attorney she didn't hire $175 an hour for work he didn't do?