Investigative reporter Gretchen Hammond Exposes Alleged Massive Elder Abuse & Exploitation Ring In Michigan Probate Court

August 28, 2019 by Lulu

 

Investigative reporter Gretchen Hammond exposes alleged massive elder abuse & Exploitation Ring michigan probate court

Posted: Aug 26, 2019 5:03 AM MDT

massive elder abuse exposed

since march 12th 2019 Michigan attorney general knew this story was happening, Attorney general Dana Nessel announcement today of the firing of 4 public administrators has been a long time coming”

— Gretchen Rachel Hammond

LOS ANGELES , CA, USA, August 26, 2019 /EINPresswire.com/ — INVESTIGATIVE REPORTER GRETCHEN RACHEL HAMMOND EXPOSES

ALLEGED MASSIVE ELDER ABUSE AND EXPLOITATION RING IN MIGHIGAN PROBATE COURTS

The guardianship system isn’t new; in fact, it’s rooted in medieval English law. Every US state still uses some form of the system, which, at its best, is designed to protect citizens who are no longer able to protect themselves by declaring them wards of the state. We know, of course, that the system is rarely at its best, with increasing reports of abuse cropping up nationwide, prompting Congressional calls for reform.

But the level of controversy over how guardianship cases are handled in one Detroit-area probate courtroom has reached such heights, the story reads more like Orwellian fiction than it does a model of the American experience.

An unsettling number of accusations have been leveraged against the court, citing abuse, neglect, robbery, and exploitation, often in cases that arguably didn’t merit guardianship in the first place. In as little as a year, “incapacitated wards” are stripped of the entirety of their savings and possessions and rendered completely reliant upon social services and benefits such as Medicaid. Even high-profile families, including the estates of Rosa Parks and Aretha Franklin, have been drawn into the quagmire.

Award-winning investigative journalist Gretchen Rachel Hammond spent the past 13 months independently investigating a systemic problem at the Oakland County Probate Court, which has allegedly been shielded by the highest levels of Michigan government for the past 30-some years. With the help of a forensic accountant, three Wayne State University Journalism School researchers, and thousands of corroborating documents, she has published a first-of-its-kind exploration into the court system, its four judges, four guardians, and the stories behind more than 2,200 wards.

Background:

In July 2018, Hammond engaged in a freelance, self-funded investigation to determine if alleged abuses at the Oakland County Probate Court were systemic.
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Discoveries include the forced separation of families and isolation of the vulnerable; fraudulent petitions for guardianship by Adult Protective Services investigators; massive overbilling; the forced removal of individuals from their homes and the placement of them in nursing facilities or unlicensed group homes with subhuman living conditions; real estate fraud; and missing assets that number in the millions of dollars.

The investigation met with constant challenges, including threats and harassment by Oakland County Sheriff’s officers. A surreal March 12, 2019 four-hour meeting between Hammond’s team and Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s staff led to a new line of inquiry and discoveries of campaign ties between Nessel, Whitmer and Oakland County Probate Court Chief Judge Kathleen Ryan and her family.

Biography

Gretchen Rachel Hammond is an award-winning freelance investigative journalist based out of Chicago. Her work has won or been nominated for four successive Chicago Press Club awards, been recognized by the National Association of Lesbian and Gay Journalists (NLGJA), and covered topics such as criminal justice, abuse at ICE detention facilities, and alleged discrimination on the part of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services leading to the unnecessary separation of children from their parents.

GRETCHEN IS AVAIL FOR INTERVIEW AND THE FULL5 PART SERIES IS AVAIL

CONTACT: ROGER NEAL @ NEAL PR
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