Like Child Protective Services, Adult Protective Services is a system of county-wide agencies entrusted with preventing abuse to elders and dependent adults. They enlist the aid of nurses, doctors, law enforcement, social services and other agencies and officials, to act as mandated reporters or sentinels of suspected abuse. By “mandated” this means that anyone in such a position is required by law to report any signs of abuse they see under the penal codes. They operate 24 hour telephone hotlines that take reports from anonymous callers reporting suspected or real abuse or neglect. The callers’ anonymity is protected by law, and callers with malicious or unfounded reports have absolute immunity under the laws for any harms they might cause and may not be held accountable. Records of APS are unavailable and are treated with the greatest confidentiality under the privacy laws, supposedly to protect reporters from retaliation. This was the intent of Congress in order to facilitate the greatest degree of reporting possible. When a call comes in it is referred to a social worker for investigation. The investigator contacts the suspected abuser by phone but is not permitted to tell who made the report or what the report is about. If necessary the investigator comes out to the home either alone or accompanied by police.
Because of the way the system is set up to gather such a vast amount of unqualified information, investigators find a very large percentage, often around 80-90% of these reports are “unfounded” or “unsubstantiated” and may be closed without further inquiry. There are so many reports to screen, critics say, that they do not have the time or investigative training to investigate the truly compelling cases of abuse that do occur, becoming so enmeshed with the screening process. Experts say actual instances of abuse often go unattended while frivolous or mischievous reports can blow up into witch hunts.
APS, especially in Santa Clara County, is geared up to prevent financial abuse and exploitation of elderly people by private individuals. If a predatory nephew or step son tries to swindle an incapacitated elder, for example, the County if notified will swoop in and freeze the elders’ bank account, to protect her. This is the “FAST” program that APS touts.
Although it was intended for beneficent purposes and has been well-sold for this purpose, all this immunity, concentration of power and lack of accountability has actually created an informant-society with its own out-of-control Gestapo-like police agency backed by media hype and blitz.
The interesting thing is that, after the elder being protected is put in a state care home, APS is no longer interested in them. They are supposed to, but the system works differently than it is supposed to. Adult Protective Services is a State agency and the state officials are government bureaucrats that want to keep their jobs and enhance their power. People generally think it is safe to assume that if someone is abused in state care that it can be reported to the state. While this is the way the law is intended to operate, APS will absolutely never “rat” on its own people. It is a loyalty system akin to the code of silence of police officers of prison guards. If the person being abused is a state conservatee or a conservatee of a public guardian, APS will for all practical purposes assist in the abuse. If a court-appointed conservator crosses the line and loots the bank accounts of a ward of the state, do you think that the FAST program will step in and seize the bank accounts being threatened by a conservator or public guardian with state sanctions? No way! Judges do not like to discover that they made a mistake appointing the conservator or guardian in the first place, and if the guardian is the public guardian or the state conservator, forget it. And then what happens when granny’s estate is in the county coffers and her house is under the “protection” of the public guardian? APS is not against elder abuse, only the privatization of elder abuse. As one judge in Nancy’s case once said when his orders were defied for four months, “I’m surprised to find that nobody seems to be in control of these people”
As long as the state is swindling the victim or slowly killing them by neglect in a nursing home, everything is okay with APS. After all, if someone is supposed to be protected by APS, it would be unthinkable that they could be harmed or injured when in state protective custody, right? WRONG. APS ignored complaint after complaint about Nancy in state care and actively worked to prevent any reports from surfacing. The thinking seems to be that it would be too embarrassing for someone injured, hurt, abused or neglected in APS custody, therefore such things do not exist. The very agency that supposedly epitomizes the rights of the elderly and helpless to safety, itself abusing someone under its protection? Unthinkable!
Enter the cover-up. APS will do whatever is necessary to protect state officials from reports of abuse. Reporting to State Licensing? Ombudsman’s’ office? That would be whistleblowing, and state officials that blow whistles are soon gone and forgotten. An independent statewide watchdog reports that these organizations never do anything when she reports abuse. No matter how bad the abuse might be, if they are in state care, abuse is conceptually unthinkable. They are surrounded by mandated reporters, so how could there be any abuse? Once that person is “rescued” and put in state care, APS couldn’t care less.
What APS seems to mainly be in the business of doing is recruiting conservatees and victims from the public for the state system to help bureaucrats and well-connected private conservators line their pockets. After that anything goes.
CPS/APS gives us a perfect example of the encroachments upon the 4th Amendment that Justice Brandeis warned of in his famous dissent in Olmstead v. US 277 U.S. 438 (1928):
“Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
[One must question how well-meaning these protective service greed-heads actually are, but they cannily represent themselves as well-meaning and zealous which is the dispositive condition here].
The shocking thing we discovered when the DA got discovery was that the records of APS are piles of trash telephone records, reflecting wild rumors and mischievous complaints from just anyone with a chip on their shoulder, that never reflect that the reports were unfounded and unsubstantiated, they just contain the original report without any findings from the investigator. Where are our simple explanations given to the investigator about these garbage reports? Where is the investigator’s conclusion? We couldn’t find a word of our explanation. After years of malicious reports, a record is built up apparently out of thin air that is impossible to review or correct. Imagine you have a credit report that you can never review or correct because of privacy laws, but instead of denying you credit, it winds up denying you the right to associate with your friends or family.
Of course if we had realized at the time the way APS reports worked we never would have returned to Stanford Hospital where many of these ridiculous situations had occurred, but we were unsuspecting until it was too late. We never had a single problem with Alta Bates in Berkeley, but that was 50 miles further than Stanford in Palo Alto.
EXAMPLES OF FALSE APS REPORTS
1992: APS Called when responsible parents rush Nancy out AMA for medical treatment
Nancy got sick with flu and vomited up her seizure medication, on a weekend. This represents a problem in epileptic Nancy’s case. The amount of anti-seizure medication that reached her bloodstream therefore becomes an unknown. This happened before, so we knew what we were supposed to do. Standard instructions from her regular clinical neurologist: take her to an emergency room immediately to have her blood levels tested so the next dose could be adjusted for the missed medication. Or, so that a shot could be administered right away to prevent her from having seizures. We rushed Nancy to Stanford Hospital ER (a teaching hospital), where she continued to throw up. Stanford being a teaching hospital is an eclectic mix of world renowned experts and rank amateur students. It’s the luck of the draw what you get on any given day.
In the past, Stanford ER doctors were excellent. However, this time instead of the ER doctors treating Nancy for vomiting, they sent in their social workers and psychologists! No doctors! They had to give the social workers something to do. Nancy kept on vomiting painful dry heaves while we held the pan up to her mouth, without treatment. An immature intern had taken charge of Nancy, who happened to have just had a seminar on “childhood depression” the week before, and we were her first guinea pigs. Nancy wasn’t heaving because she was sick with the flu…no no… according to this fledgling intern she was heaving due to childhood depression!! Nancy cannot participate in a psychological examination to demonstrate or rule out such a theory. Nancy was not depressed, she was sick. It quickly turned into a witch hunt. Before a doctor could be sent in, the social workers had to “look at the whole family”, the key phrase of the instructor of the seminar. The ER doctors appeared cowed by her zeal.
As parents having to watch our daughter suffer without treatment in the ER bay, we tried being patient for about a day but eventually became a bit distraught having our heads shrunk by cranks instead of getting medical care. We were already upset about our daughter’s condition when we had come in. They started taking notes on our excited behavior as we pleaded for a doctor. We tried asking for another doctor, to get rid of the tiny charismatic intern. Not possible. More notes about our uncooperative behavior. The social workers, including Scott Skiles, took umbrage at our displaying what he took as disrespect for his esteemed profession. He asked if Nancy could ever speak, and we told him that she had a few words up to the age of 18 months, the typical autism pattern. He wasn’t listening very well and wrote down 18 years, and more social workers and nurses came in telling us, they understood she lost her speech recently. How did she lose her speech? (Curiously, it was a Stanford doctor in the same hospital that had diagnosed Nancy with severe autism at age two in the first place!) It just kept getting wilder. We were trapped.
Finally after 36 grueling hours staying in the ER night and day, we gave up and just took Nancy out against medical advice (AMA) and signed the papers, so we could get away from the zoo and get her to real medical care. Nancy was still vomiting. We wasted no time getting her to Sequoia Hospital in neighboring Redwood City where normal doctors stabilized her without delay, and Nancy got better. We thought that the matter had ended.
Unbeknownst to us, the social workers had called Adult Protective Services reporting that we had taken Nancy out of Stanford against medical advice and they “felt a concern”. We were resting from our exhausting day and night experiences tending Nancy at the hospital when we got a phone call. APS. We explained to them what the circumstances actually were. To make sure there was no problem, we took Nancy down to the local police station where an embarrassed officer saw a grinning and happy Nancy and reported that she looked fine. Again, that was the end of it, right? Not at all. Nearly ten years later, after Nancy was snatched by police, we were shown the APS telephone logs. Took Nancy out of Stanford against medical advice, parents are not caring for her properly, that’s the way it was left in the records. Who was the social worker that participated in Nancy’s intake at Stanford with all the BS and lies perpetrated in the record? Scott Skiles.
Thus began what SARC describes as our “long history of abuse and neglect”!!
1999: SARC’s Liske responds to whistleblowing by investigating conservatorship.
On 7/20/99, records reflect SARC social worker Illumin called Mrs. Golin to introduce herself as Nancy’s new service coordinator. Mrs. Golin told her to get lost that we didn’t need SARC services anymore because they had done nothing but harm for Nancy, and that if she had been claiming Nancy as a client all these intervening years without providing any services that they were committing fraud collecting money for this and she was going to report this to the DA. Instantly, manager Liske picked up the phone and called the probate court investigator to see if Nancy was conserved. She was not, so he began right then to investigate how he could take conservatorship of her despite her being cared for by her parents.
2000: Nancy returned with us from Chicago from a long train trip with pneumonia.
We had not been exposed to subfreezing temperatures for almost 30 years. We checked her right into Stanford. An intern made the wrong call claiming that the anti-seizure medication Phenobarbital was too high, despite the fact that it was the required prescription by her board certified neurologist. She took matters into her own hands without consulting a neurologist and slashed her dosage, throwing Nancy into seizures at the hospital. This was the incident reported by Harry V. Martin in the Napa Sentinel (part I, part II). A neurology consult was brought in, just as in her eventual removal operation 18 months later, and he restored these doses to the correct dosage and she was discharged with the original prescription. Meanwhile the intern was bent out of shape and reported this to APS. APS investigated and closed the file. Once more we took Nancy to the police station to show them that she was okay. We found, once again when discovery was found in 2002 in the APS telephone records and reports, that the conclusion of the investigator’s report that this was unsubstantiated and unfounded was not found in the file with the telephone report from the intern, only the original malicious report.
4/13/01: Tucker Liske sets the trap for Nancy.
Seven months before she is removed, APS reports show SARC/ Liske begins the conspiracy, making contacts and looking into ways of conserving Nancy in spite of parental preferences by calling APS for support, and learns that this has to reach criminal proportions if he wants to succeed, so begins the strategizing to criminalize the parents. Initially the DA isn’t interested.
Santa Clara County APS Chief Jamie Buckmaster, who would have to be considered probably the most classically sociopathic character in the stellar gathering of sociopaths involved in this tragedy merely from the standpoint of pathological lying alone, phones in her own malicious report to get the parents arrested after they went complaining to the newspapers. Report states: “Jamie called in to inform SW that she spoke w/ Mary Dorn – charge nurse who has worked @ Stanford over 25 years. She has known client [Nancy] for many years She recalls 8-9 years ago when client was able to carry on a conversation and it was difficult to tell whether client was D.D.” “Mr. & Mrs. Golin were arrested as of Thursday, Nov,. 29th. The bail is set for $50,000 for each person. L. Suk, H653”
The fact is that there is not and never has been any such person as “Mary Dorn” a nurse at Stanford, or anywhere else in the State of California licensed under that or any similar name as licensing and Stanford personnel records show!!! Furthermore it would have been impossible for Nancy to have ever carried on a normal conversation or any conversation with anyone at any time!!! It would be incredibly cruel to the parents to have suggested otherwise. Jamie Buckmaster, APS head, fabricated this fictional witness Dorn and planted this malicious story in her own files to justify getting the parents arrested by the DA on $50,000 felony warrants by implying the deplorable myth that Nancy was not autistic and retarded essentially from birth as all the records showed but had been normal recently and had become retarded supposedly as a result of parental abuse, hoping that the parents could not bail out so that parents could be shut up and stop talking to the reporters at the Daily. (This was typical of the sort of pathological lying by Buckmaster seen over and over by the parents.) This is shown by the next entry:
12/04/01: Detective Kratzer (Palo Alto Police Department) to APS head Buckmaster: “The Golins were bailed out of jail. Probably on foot loose on Palo Alto streets somewhere [she had assumed that their van was towed as planned]. Some how they had the money or property to put up baild (sic) bond to get out of jail. He wanted to inform you (Jamie) that they might go back to the reporter at the daily and start screaming and yelling. Just wanted to give you (Jamie) a heads up.”
It is shocking to find out how easily state officials such as Jamie Buckmaster, Tucker Liske, and Malorie Street can glibly invent the most outrageous and creative lies with such impunity to cover up their misdeeds, and get away with it, without ever having to prove anything or provide supporting evidence. Each time a lie is refuted, they merely replace it with a bigger and bigger lie. This is one of the primary characteristics of sociopathic disorder. See also “Myths and Facts”. Like cult leaders, once it leaves their mouths it becomes the spoken gospel and no amount of repudiation can ever make them retract it. Apparently, some sociopaths can even pass lie detector tests. It was inconceivable to the parents that anyone would ever believe such whoppers, but what you discover is that these people are unaccountable to anyone and can say and write anything they like without their noses growing a foot long or more. When confronted with their lies under oath at trial, Ms. Buckmaster refused to appear, to avoid having to reiterate them or support them and Det. Kratzer refused to repeat any of them when questioned, but then turned around and kept them going sub rosa afterwards. In this manner, they keep potential friends and supporters from helping Nancy’s parents to expose their cover-ups even though these officials have committed the most appalling and outrageous crimes imaginable against Nancy and her family.
Jamie Buckmaster, Tucker Liske and Det. Lorie Kratzer are among 14 defendants being sued by Nancy and her parents for slander and intentional infliction of emotional distress in Federal Court in a civil rights lawsuit for all of their lies, and the case is pending. They have never once formally retracted, or defended, their falsifications, or ever once bothered to present a single shred of evidence to support their lies or refute the facts in any of their briefs. Their defenses consist of purely legal arguments.