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Mar 28, 2013

The lack of consideration for my son's sense of safety

Isaac in August 2011
His 25th birthday was yesterday...

This post is an update of the issues discussed in Worthy of Consideration, it offers some background of the last couple of years dealing with the state, and an update on where the current situation with the mental health and social service system that I am currently dealing with stands. 

When I started blogging, I knew that holding a mirror up to the way the publicly funded mental health and social service system operates in real world practice, and the devastating impact on the people the system theoretically serves, would make me a target.  I must admit that I did not consider the possibility that I am now confronted with. Although I am confident I have the evidence required to prevail, that is, I can effectively demonstrate that the state has essentially been dishonest about the events that led to the termination of my contract, and demonstrate that the state did not have grounds to terminate my contract, effectively immediately as it did. Additionally, the state has offered little if any, evidence that would cause a reasonable person to conclude that I am a danger to anyone. 

The adversarial conditions created by the department have once again, unnecessarily placed my son at risk for several months from the adverse effects of financial instability.  I was horrified to learn yesterday afternoon, that it can get worse. The department's actions are being orchestrated by Jackie Klingele, the Fair Hearing Coordinator, representing the Health Care Authority of the State of Washington; the same person that informed me it was acceptable for the department to continue to violate Medicaid Law and to be in contempt of a Washington State Supreme Court Order. The department's current misguided efforts that are theoretically on my son, Isaac's behalf, have put him at further risk, have caused financial instability unnecessarily; and have had a direct adverse effect on Isaac's day to day life in that he has not been able to participate in the social activities he benefits from since there has been no way to pay for them.    

I began writing this blog in the fall of 2010 when I realized that the felony crimes that had been perpetrated in Yakima County Superior Court involuntary commitment proceedings commenced when Nancy Sherman, Designated Mental Health Professional, (DMHP)  employed by Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health, (CWCMH) used perjury and a fraudulent Court Affidavit as "evidence," to (illegally) detain my son. The woman who did this, attested in her petition, that she notified me verbally, then gave the wrong phone number on her attestation. Why she would not have notified me in person is not explained; I had accompanied my son, Isaac, and so had his elder brother, Nathan. Indeed, Nancy Sherman offered a fraudulent Affidavit in support of her petition, which was purportedly my Affidavit in support of her fraudulent petition for the court order Nancy Sherman illegally obtained to detain my son. Nancy Sherman perpetrated multiple felony crimes Under Color of Law acting as an agent for the State of Washington; she acted with impunity due to the department's utter failure to investigate the crimes that were reported subsequent to these events.  

I had no idea my son had been court ordered to involuntary treatment until the day after the second hearing had taken place. I did not find out that a fraudulent document had been used to support Nancy Sherman's petition until after the third hearing had taken place immediately prior to my son's precipitous release was ordered by Jeffrey Jennings the psychiatrist from CWCMH. This so-called doctor actually entered into Isaac's medical record that his medical decision, i.e. releasing a patient from inpatient hospital care; was due to being pressured by me to release my son as an inpatient. This is a flat out lie. How I had applied pressure to Jennings he doesn't say.  The fact of the matter is, I was never able to discuss Isaac's care with Jeffrey Jennings; he would not return the multiple messages I left for him at the hospital or his CWCMH office. 

Worse, Jenning's care of my son can best be described with a single word, unethical. This "doctor" spoke to no one who knew Isaac. He had Isaac's current mental health providers contact information and not once in the eight days he was Isaac's attending physician, did he contact them. Jennings then released my son with absolutely no discharge planning whatsoever. I received a call waking me up on August 6th, 2010 stating Isaac had been released and wanted to know how soon I could pick him up. When I arrived at the hospital, it was obvious immediately that I had been misinformed.  When I entered the hospital at the psych unit entrance, I heard a woman telling a couple of people, "he wanted to go to the hospital and they committed him anyway." I discovered the woman was my son's attorney, she was sharing this private information about her client, my son, Isaac,  with strangers; even though she had refused to talk to me and Isaac's brother, Nathan.

All of the supposed safe guards which Washington State has in place to theoretically protect the Civil Rights of people who are mentally ill and therefore subject to involuntary commitment proceedings, failed utterly and completely to preserve or defend my son's Civil Rights. When I filed complaints on his behalf, every authority that is theoretically to act on civil rights complaints, denied having any duty or authority to do so. This includes HHS Office of Civil Rights, Disability Rights Washington, and the Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) Division of Behavioral Health and Recovery (DBHR).  According to Washington State Law, the department has a legal duty to investigate; however, when I contacted the DBHR, I was informed there was nothing that DBHR could do, and in fact I was informed that DBHR had no duty and no authority, whatsoever by Ronald Moorehead, complaint manager, for DBHR. 

My first blog post titled, "It took one minute..." was posted on September 4th 2010, it was the text of an email I had sent to DBHR, and to my State legislative district's (14) State legislators, as well as every member of the Judiciary committee in the Washington State Legislature. It was updated for clarity and re-posted for the 2 year anniversary of this blog, and recently, it was updated again and resent to the original recipients on March 18, 2013. 

Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health shredded the original Court Record in violation of the Washington State's Superior Court Rules governing the retention of court records. The CEO, of CWCMH, Rick Weaver, told me there was nothing wrong with CWCMH shredding the Superior Court Record by stating; "We do it all the time. " He has since been elected to serve on the board of directors, for NAMI Washington.

Here is the section of Washington State's Involuntary Treatment Law that clearly states what the department's duty is:

RCW 71.05.520

Protection of rights — Staff.

The department of social and health services shall have the responsibility to determine whether all rights of individuals recognized and guaranteed by the provisions of this chapter and the Constitutions of the state of Washington and the United States are in fact protected and effectively secured. To this end, the department shall assign appropriate staff who shall from time to time as may be necessary have authority to examine records, inspect facilities, attend proceedings, and do whatever is necessary to monitor, evaluate, and assure adherence to such rights. Such persons shall also recommend such additional safeguards or procedures as may be appropriate to secure individual rights set forth in this chapter and as guaranteed by the state and federal Constitutions.

[1973 1st ex.s. c 142 § 57.] 

Since I started this blog, I have written about a variety of obvious ethical and legal failures of the department specific to the mistreatment of my son; but I have also written about the broader issues of  mental health diagnosis and treatment and public policy, and how intentionally or not, Washington State policy continues to put children at risk of harm. 

To say that I am disgusted by the manner the department has handled the complaints I have filed on my son's behalf, would be the understatement of the century. Sadly however, I must admit I am not surprised at the department's intentional deceit, abdication of responsibility and abuse of power and authority, in a word, lawlessness. I am disappointed.  I find it more than a little ironic that my behavior/demeanor is reportedly perceived by some of these public servants as lacking the respect I should have for the people who work in the various divisions of DSHS and in the mental health public service system, who are now, and historically have, in every instance, consistently failed to protect or defend my son's rights, protect my son from harm, and to act on my son's behalf when they know my son has been negligently and criminally harmed. It is no coincidence, that these failures consistently coincide with instances of a state employee or contracted service provider being negligent and that negligence has been the direct and/or proximate cause of my boy being further harmed.  What is impossible for me to understand, is how people whose duty is to protect people who are served by the social service system operated by the department's authority, who are willing to become criminally complicit, by covering up crimes that victimize the children and vulnerable adults that others commit; when in  doing so, they commit further crimes. 

The contract that was terminated, is administered by ALTC. When I asked what the basis for the termination was, i.e. what information had been used to determine that my "character, competence and suitability" was such that it required my immediate termination; and effectively reduce my income to $0;  I was told I had no right to be told that information. I was told this by ALTC staff, Emily Watts, the supervisor for Joe Howell, Isaac's ALTC case manager. I was ultimately enlightened as to what the department's evidence against me was on March 15, 2013, when I received a copy of the state's evidence from Jackie Klingele, to be used at the Administrative hearing held on March 19, 2013. 

The question that needs to be answered is where is the evidence that would support the department's position (the dramatic surprise Jackie Klingele saved for the end of the Administrative hearing) which she elicited from Joe Howell by asking, "What do you think should happen for Isaac?" 

So it is at the hearing I am suddenly confronted with the fact that I am defending Isaac's fair hearing rights; defending my slandered name; and in fact, defending my home and my family against the department's arbitrary and consistently unethical manner of "providing services" to people like Isaac, whom we entrust the department to serve as our agents. I can't help but wonder how is it even possible to assert that I should never be allowed to be left unattended with any child or vulnerable adult without offering any evidence that I have ever abused or neglected anyone, ever. The real world effects of the state's actions I am now confronted with are alarming, to say the least. 

Due to the manner in which the department has exploited a couple of pieces of Isaac's mental health medical record it has used as "evidence," has created confusion with Isaac's mental health care providers. In effect, his treatment providers have been instructed to refer us to the facility's Risk Management department, to not communicate with us directly for any reason. This is where Isaac currently receives his mental health care. In reality, in real life, in a blatant abuse of authority, the department has placed my son at further risk. AGAIN. 

That the department has created this situation placing my son unnecessarily at risk in a misguided attempt orchestrated by Jackie Klingele, to assert that I pose a risk to Isaac, and further implying that I am so dangerous that Isaac should live in a group home, is--- I don't think there is a word for the mess that Jackie Klingele's unethical behavior has brought to bear. Jackie Klingele's unethical conduct appears to be punitive, is criminally negligent; and it has created a situation that in reality, placed my son at further risk, unnecessarily. 

I reported how the department had continued to violate Federal Medicaid Law in October of 2011, and that it had been in contempt of a Washington State Supreme Court Order for the entire time I have been my son's care provider through SE Washington ALTC.  The fact is, the department remained in contempt of that Washington State Supreme Court Order until August 29, 2013; when the apparent the solution ALTC seized upon was to make sure that the number of hours assessed as necessary for Isaac's care were lowered to match the number of hours the state has been authorizing for payment. 

The department had, before the current assessment dated August 29, 2012, illegally deducted between 9 and 20 hours of pay from my check every month from December 2008 until August 2012, even though the department was well aware that doing so is illegal; and the state had been ordered to stop depriving care providers of pay, prior to the state ever  depriving me of pay illegally, and had been further ordered to pay care provider's the pay  owed to them with interest by Washington State's Supreme Court.  I reported how in response to my query, "What authority enables ALTC to continue violating Federal Medicaid Law and continue denying part of my pay in contempt of a Washington State Supreme Court Order every month?" I received a letter from ALTC staff, Jackie Klingele, whose written response avoided answering the question I had asked, entirely.

At this point in time, the cumulative wages the state has deprived me of, and the pay I have been deprived of as the result of the department's wrongful termination of my contract, is roughly $10,000.  

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