Over the past weeks, these pages reported elder abuse by the Monterey County Public Guardian. Margarita Zelada, an elderly resident of San Francisco, is unlawfully confined and isolated in Senior Paradise in Del Rey Oaks, California. Administrator Margret Camara said Deputy Public Guardian Jennifer Empasis instructed her to call the police if anyone asked to visit Margarita.
On November 1, 2013, this Examiner submitted a series of questions to Chief Deputy Public Guardian Teri Scarlett. Those questions asked Scarlett to cite legal authority supporting actions taken by Empasis against Margarita, Margarita’s daughter, and the daughter’s acquaintances. A copy of the letter to Empasis is available at:
Monterey County Counsel and Public Guardian evade questions about elder abuse
On November 8, 2013, Scarlett sent her only response.
You will be receiving a response from our attorney, Cathleen Giovannini.
On November 13, 2013, County Counsel Cathleen Giovannini emailed an eight-page letter that was entirely nonresponsive to this Examiner’s questions submitted to Scarlett. Giovannini’s letter was so riddled with misinformation as to suggest she had little familiarity with Margarita’s case.
On November 14, 2013, this Examiner sent the email below, which contained numerous corrections to misinformation in the first page of Giovannini’s eight-page letter. As of this writing, Giovannini has not responded to those corrections.
On November 20, Giovannini presented her flawed November 1, 2013 letter to the court. The flawed letter was an attachment to Giovannini’s motion to strip Margarita of her constitutional right to associate with individuals of her choice. Giovannini made no corrections to her false statements, although she received notice of her errors on November 14, 2013.
You clearly have me confused with some other individual or group of individuals.
· I never made phone calls to any employee of Monterey County.
· I did not send daily emails to any employee of Monterey County.
· I did not appear at “several” meetings of the Board of Supervisors.
· I do not have an “organization.”
· I do not have a “blog.”
· I did not request Ms. Zelada’s medical records.
· I met Ms. Zelada only briefly. She specifically asked me to visit her.
· I did not state that Public Guardians are “thieves and liars.” Ms. Zelada made that statement. The quote is properly attributed.
· Teri Scarlet never answered any of my questions about Margarita Zelada.
· Jennifer Empasis never answered any of my questions about Margarita Zelada.
· Chris Campbell never answered any of my questions about Margarita Zelada.
Please review the facts and redraft the attached letter and any documents concerning my activities. Moving forward with the attached documents would substantiate an ongoing pattern of false allegations and abuse of power by employees of Monterey County.
Your attached letter is not responsive to the questions in my letter to Teri Scarlett. Ms. Scarlett sent an email that you will respond to those questions. Will you answer my questions?
Your attached motion could prohibit Margarita Zelada having contact with advocates or any persons she has not previously met. The Santa Clara County Public Guardian employed similar management practices in the case of Gisela Riordan.
Public guardian under fire for isolating elderly
Public opinion was not favorable. The civil grand jury report was scathing. Lee Pullen, former Director of the Department of Aging, no longer works for the county.
My schedule does not allow a more complete response until the weekend. I am currently engaged with depositions of county employees who facilitated isolation of a vulnerable elder.
Linda Kincaid, MPH
National Senior Issues Examiner
Readers who wish to obtain a high resolution copy of Giovannini’s November 13, 2013 letter may contact her directly at email@example.com.
The Public Guardian and County Counsel report to the Board of Supervisors. Readers may contact the Board at the following email addresses.
Monterey County Board of Supervisors
District 1: Fernando Armenta, firstname.lastname@example.org
District 2: Louis R. Calcagno, email@example.com
District 3: Simón Salinas, firstname.lastname@example.org
District 4: Jane Parker, email@example.com
District 5: Dave Potter, firstname.lastname@example.org