My response to the State’s Claims
Narrative of events leading up to the termination of my contract:
The department is being dishonest about the circumstances leading up the termination of my contract as an individual care provider. I was verbally informed on October 30, 2012 by Dirk Bush at the HCS office. I was at the office because I had received a call from a woman that I had applied to be an individual in home care provider for, she told me that Dirk Bush, from the Home and Community Services Office, had informed her she could not use me as a care provider. Bush told her that I was disqualified due to a felony conviction for abandoning a client, and that my license was revoked. I knew that my license had never been revoked, and I do not I have a felony record.
I am not surprised by these events; I am traumatized by them. It has been my experience that this sort of abuse of power and authority is typical of the Department. I turned in a background authorization form to the ALTC office on the 24th of October, it is the first time the department had requested the authorization since I have been Isaac’s individual care provider in December of 2008. I submitted an identical BCCU authorization to the HCS office on the same day in order to complete the process of becoming a provider for the aforementioned client. The BCCCU report was downloaded by ALTC the following day, the 25th; it has a handwritten notation on it that says, "11/17/2006 Wapato HCS" next to the highlighted sentence that reports I answered "yes" to question 13 which is also highlighted. The BCCU report returned to HCS is dated October 26, 2012. Significantly, the BCCU reports, both the one containing an error and the amended BCCU report have no felony arrests or convictions or negative findings/actions from any source listed.
After talking receiving the phone call from the client, I called Dirk Bush’s office but could not reach him. I then called the BCCU unit and spoke to Carrie, I told her that I had been denied a job based on the inaccurate report that had been issued. She told me to fax the information she required to issue an amended background report which she promised to generate immediately upon receipt of the requested information.
I then went to the HCS office to speak to Dirk Bush. When I arrived, I was told he was out of the office, so I said I would need to speak to his supervisor, and that I would wait. I waited a short time and a man came out accompanied by two women who stayed behind the counter and behind the partial walls separating the reception area from the office area; only the man came through the door to speak to me. I didn’t know who he was, as I had never met Dirk Bush before and the man didn’t introduce himself, I assumed he was a Dirk Bush’s supervisor. The man was obviously not happy that I was there questioning the behavior of a department employee. He was barely civil, and proceeded to give me three different excuses for why I had been denied the contract for Margaret’s care.
When I refuted the first excuse he offered, he immediately came up with a second excuse; as soon as he spoke, I knew for sure he was lying. I informed him that I knew the second excuse he offered was also not a justification for denying a contract. Immediately after stating this, I had the impression that Dirk Bush seemed very angry. As a care provider, I am supposed to know what is and is not allowed; so naturally, I know what actually does prevent a person from working with vulnerable people. Bush was angry that I had the temerity to question his “authority” and refute his implausible excuses to defend myself. He seemed to be exerting a great deal of effort to remain calm.
I was not. I was angry, for good damned reason. Bush had not introduced himself, so I pointedly asked him, “who are you? and why didn’t you introduce yourself to me?” As I explained earlier, I had been told Bush was out of the office, so I didn’t know if the man in front of me was Bush, or his supervisor. When I asked why he hadn’t introduced himself to me, it appeared to make him angrier. He was rude and condescending, it was obvious to me that he had no respect for me whatsoever; and it was plain he felt no need to hide his contempt.
Bush seemed to become be even more upset when I pointed out that before he had followed the procedures outlined in the WACs; he had misinformed a client that I have a criminal record that I in fact do not have; and he had denied me a job for the same reason. I pointed out that what he had done is unethical, and maybe even illegal. I asked if he believed there was anything wrong with how he had failed to inform me of a problem, or give me a copy of the BCCU report as required by law, before he had proceeded to misinform a client; and that because of his failure to follow procedures, he had slandered me. He had a copy of my background report so he knew I have no felony arrests or convictions; and he knew there was never a finding that I had ever abandoned anyone. He responded by claiming he had done nothing wrong.
I find it more than a little strange that in the 4 and 5 days between the time that HCS and ALTC respectively had each printed BCCU reports requested and Dirk Bush falsely informing a client that I had been disqualified as a care provider; neither ALTC or HCS made any effort to inform me that the department had decided I was legally no longer qualified to be a state paid care provider, for any reason. They in fact have a duty to inform care providers of such determinations. Dirk Bush, is employed by the State of Washington as a Social Worker 3 for the Department of Social and Health Services, Home and Community Services office in Yakima; in his official capacity as an agent of the State of Washington Dirk Bush slandered me, denied me a 29 hour a month contract based on falsehoods. When I defended myself, he ultimately declared, “I just decided you’re not qualified based on character, competence and suitability, and I don’t need a reason.”
The next day that I received the formal notification from the HCS office in the mail and Joel Howell, the case manager at ALTC, called to inform me over the phone that my contract was terminated effective immediately. Later that afternoon, I went to the ALTC office to pick up the paperwork. Both notices were dated 10-31- and listed the reason for my termination as the inaccuracies listed on the BCCU report. Two days later, on November 2nd, I received two more notices that my contract had been terminated, one from ALTC and the other from HCS. I thought it was more than strange, how could a contract that had already been terminated be terminated a second time for a different reason? More importantly, why did the second termination not have a state employee listed? The stated reason for the second termination was the one that Dirk Bush had used, “character competence, and suitability”; but the bases was not given in the space provided, and there was no department employee listed for who to contact with any questions.
I drove to the HCS office and I asked Joel Howell’s supervisor the basis of this second notice terminating my contract when it was already terminated. I was told by the supervisor, that she didn’t know what information had been used stating, “I wasn’t at the meeting.” I can only assume she is referring to a meeting that must have taken place after the amended BCCU report was accessed by ALTC on November 1st at 7:12 pm and the termination notice dated November 2nd was mailed in time to be delivered by mail on November 2nd...
It is apparent from the time frame in which these events in fact occurred, that the second termination was issued before any formal determination about my character, competence and suitability was performed. This type of determination has a written protocol, and I can only assume it was not followed since it was not submitted as evidence that my "character, competence and suitability" demands immediate termination of my contract to be my son's care provider. I suspect the second termination was issued in a misguided attempt to cover up Dirk Bush’s unethical conduct since the department is liable for both civil and punitive damages resulting from Dirk Bush’s unethical actions . Dirk Bush exceeded his authority when he verbally terminated my contract on the October 30th; it was a punitive act of retaliation for defending myself when he slandered me.
None of this explains why Dirk Bush did what he did. There is nothing on the flawed BCCU report that would have disqualified me as a care provider---Dirk Bush knew this since he had a copy of the BCCU report. I believe the fact that I told him that what he had said about me was unethical, and probably illegal, and I suggested that denying a client their choice of a provider without cause is also highly unethical which enraged him.
At this point, Dirk Bush’s actions and department’s failure to hold him accountable and mitigate the risks of further harm being caused by his unethical conduct, have placed Isaac and I at risk of having utilities shut off or being evicted. I have been deprived of my only income, March will be the fourth month for which I will not be paid, due to Dirk Bush’s actions.
Once again, State employees have made decisions which have had an adverse effect on my son and myself. It is not surprising to me that Dirk Bush and ALTC took actions that are not in compliance with the RCWs and WACs; in my experience with the department, it is not unusual for DSHS employees to violate the Law, violate individual rights and refuse to give any reasonable explanations to justify their actions.
I was told by Joe Howell’s supervisor that only Jackie Klingele could release the information that had been used to determine my “character, competence and suitability” were grounds to immediately terminate my contract, and that only Isaac could sign the release for this information to be given to me.
via DSHS Manual Chapter 7A page 10:
a. Send a Provider Notification (16-198)letter to the provider when you are informing them of a denial and reason. You must terminate the provider with a ten-day notice, unless you believe the client is in imminent jeopardy, in which case termination is immediate, or the IP has a conviction for a disqualifying crime or negative action.
Chapter 7A page 15:
Advance Notice Termination:
a. Send the client a 10-day notice when taking action to terminate the IP contract. You must provide a 10-day notice unless you:
· Have been notified by BCCU that the IP has been convicted of a disqualifying crime;
· Have been notified by BCCU that the IP has a negative action/is on a registry; and/or
· Believe the client is in imminent jeopardy.
In each of these situations, taking action to terminate must be immediate.
Immediate Termination/Summary Suspension:
a. Provide a notice to the IP that the effective date is immediate when you have:
o Been notified by BCCU that the IP has been convicted of a disqualifying crime;
o Been notified by BCCU that the IP has a negative action/is on a registry;
o Reasonable cause to believe that the client’s health, safety, and well being are in imminent jeopardy.
NONE of the above situations that require as immediate termination are applicable.
It is my only income, it is how I pay the bills and take care of my son... The supervisor at ALTC claimed that only my son, who is the client had a right to the information and that he must request it in writing himself. ALTC staff and the department are aware (or should be since they have been informed more than once) that I have both general and medical Powers of Attorney for my son. I can only conclude the supervisor was either mistaken, or purposely deceptive---neither of which is acceptable.
The department has a legal duty to inform individuals when a determination has been made that they are not qualified to work with children or vulnerable adults due to a finding of abuse neglect, or exploitation of a child or vulnerable adult. The notification is to be delivered along with a notice of the individual’s Due Process Rights, including the Right to a Fair Hearing. The supervisor was correct that I had no Fair Hearing Rights for even the wrongful termination of my contract; however, her assertion that I had no right to be informed of the information used in making the determination, is not accurate. The department had a legal duty to inform me of both the determination and the bases of such a stigmatizing determination. It is ludicrous to claim my son’s written permission is required! Even if it had required Isaac’s permission, the department is aware that I have Isaac's legal and medical Powers of Attorney, when I pointed this fact out, she then claimed only Jackie Klingele could inform me of the information used against me.
I did not find out the bases for the termination until Friday, March 15, 2013 when I received that information from Jackie Klingele by certified mail. When I read the packet of information, I realized that it appeared that the second termination was issued without any evidence that supports or substantiates the department’s actions. Not one allegation that I have ever abused, neglected or abandoned anyone, ever; which is no surprise to me.
The state's evidence consists of two pages of medical records one is the first page of a two page case note from an appointment on January 18, 2012 that has been in the possession of ALTC since June 5, 2012 and the other is the first page of a four page discharge summary written 2 days after Isaac was discharged, dated June 3, of 2011 that the ALTC has had since August 23, 2011 The other “evidence” submitted that is supposedly grounds for my immediate termination the fact that I have failed to show the ALTC staff any time sheets. this is true, it is also true that both case managers have led me to believe that they are not required.
I have been perceived as hostile, and perceived to not be respectful enough of department employees and mental health providers; which is understandable, although an unfair characterization, all things considered. The transcript of the phone call on January 12, 2012 is not accurate. I was not asking for ALTC staff to make an appointment, I was questioning why I had never received any response to my repeated requests for assistance with transportation to take my son to his mental health provider in Richland. My car was no longer capable of going on the highway; and because I was deprived of pay every month I could not afford to repair it. The department and ALTC case manager, Joe Howell and the previous case manager, Peggy Latham, both know exactly why Isaac does not go to CWCMH. The state is implies that my comment, "I would not take a dog to CWCMH" is inappropriate for me since I am the care taker for a person with a psychiatric diagnosis. The fact is, the department is well aware that felony crimes committed by that mental health clinic's employees in Superior Court would perhaps explain WHY I would not take a dog there. The fact that my son gets mental health services in the nest County blamed on me, as if I made the decision that Isaac will no longer go to CWCMH, is absurd---In truth, if it had been up to me, Isaac would have not gone to CWCMH after the first appointment he had there with psychiatrist, Philip Rodenberger, the Medical Director of Central Washington Comprehensive Mental Health; but it was not my decision to make.
I have a long history with the department, more often than not, the RCWs and the WACs are barely even paid lip-service; my Civil Rights and my son Isaac’s Civil Rights have been violated on a regular basis with impunity for over eighteen years. It is impossible to quantify the harm done to my son Isaac, and to my family by the illegal conduct of employees of the department. These crimes violate State, Federal and International Laws. Not once has any crime including physical assault, that I have reported to appropriate authorities in the department EVER been investigated by Law Enforcement.
It is true that I have cursed when upset. It is also true that I point out when a person who is a public servant, i.e. works for my son, Isaac; is in my opinion, incompetent. A person who does not perform their job with ethical integrity; invariably, in my experience, will also lie to me, and will cover up harm done to my son---that is why such individuals have earned my contempt; particularly those who fail to file reports with Law Enforcement they are mandated by law to file--it is a job requirement. This failure is a Gross Misdemeanor Crime, and it is the reason there has never been a criminal investigation of crimes I have reported that were committed by state agents or designees who harmed my son. Not one of the people who have carelessly, or recklessly physically harmed my son, and worse, individuals who have violently assaulted or otherwise neglected and traumatized my precious son have ever been held accountable. It is no coincidence that every single instance when my son has been traumatized, assaulted, medically neglected and tortured, the crimes were perpetrated by employees of the department or it’s contracted providers. I have not found a way to pretend that I have any respect for public employees and mental health professionals who are now complaining I don't show them enough respect. these people have never shown my son the respect, or the compassion he needs so very badly. The refusal to acknowledge the harm their ethical failures have caused, continues to exacerbate the harm already caused and validates my family's mistrust of the department.
Once again, the department has purposely allowed the unethical conduct of an employee to put my son at further risk---I can only assume it is because I challenged what is clearly unethical behavior, including slander. It is insulting, it is horrifying, it is traumatizing. I am now be confronted with the need to not only defend my name, and fight being labeled as a person who is dangerous to children and vulnerable adults without any evidence I have ever abused or neglected anyone being offered to support this assertion. I am fighting to protect my son from further harm; my son has been harmed every single time the department has had a duty and the responsibility to care for and protect my son; indeed it is the department's consistent negligence in fulfilling it's duty to my son that is the direct cause of my son's iatrogenic injuries that have disabled him. The same negligent department that has NEVER protected my son from any harm, but has repeatedly and carelessly put my precious son in harm’s way.
Arbitrary and capricious decisions that are made “in my son’s best interests” by idiots who actually seem to believe such a thing is even possible without ever speaking to my son, or consulting those who know him. People who love Isaac and care enough about him to know it is impossible to act in his “best interests” without involving him in REAL LIFE---I am disgusted by the hubris and lack of insight into the harm that has been done to my son by the repeated instances of the department’s employees presuming that such a thing is even possible; it is a truly stunning that "professionals" can even believe making decisions about what is in Isaac's "best interests" without involving Isaac, is ethical or advisable. The damage done to my precious son by those who have for the past twenty years done that very thing is incalculable. Jackie Klingele, a woman who has never met my son, has made decisions that will if carried out, have a profound and devastating impact on my son; I am more than outraged she has done this WITHOUT even asking Isaac for his input. In all likelihood, Jackie Klingele does not even realize how disrespectful it is for her to have proceeded in the manner she has. Her plan is basically to tell Isaac where he should live, to in effect, invalidate Isaac as a human being who is WORTHY OF CONSIDERATION.
It is not possible to act in another person’s "best interests" without even considering the person’s history, day to day life, spiritual values and beliefs---Without asking the person what their interests are, any discussion and any decisions made, are not done out of consideration of a person’s “best interest;” it is done out of a desire to control the person, while ignoring the person's "interests" altogether.
I am a MadMother, who has a son that in agony has asked me questions that are impossible for me to answer. Having to bear witness to some of the experiences that have caused my son so much agony is a heartache that is indescribable. It is an honor to know he trusts me enough to express his pain. I have a visceral need to protect my son from ever having to experience the type of disrespect and invalidation that continue to cause him so much pain and fear. The question: “How could they take so much from me mom? The people that were supposed to be helping me had no compassion for me.”
I now fiercely protect my son from t
he profoundly harmful effects of individuals who act with callous disregard, and lack compassion.