The path to getting the police report ( below) filed has been a thorny one. Back in 2007, I first attempted to alert the Redlands PD to the theft from my mother's storage space, which was at that point in time in the possession of the infamous Melodie Scott. As is the wont of the Redlands PD concerning Melodie Scott complaints, that agency refused to investigate, stating that all complaints about Scott must be forwarded to the State Attorney General. Senior Assistant Attorney General Mark Geiger proceeded to bury the report, as that agency typically does in terms of Scott complaints. Both the Redlands PD and Geiger refused to even tell me if Redlands were the proper jurisdiction to file the complaint.
So when Scott was removed by an order of the Riverside Superior Court on June 1, 2009, I opined of the new trustee (Riverside County Public Guardian's office) to allow me to have my personal representative go in to photograph and document the theft. It turns out that the PG's office was every bit as reluctant as Scott to allow me in. Toni Eggebraaten, the attorney for the PG, stalled as long as she could, stating that we had to wait until an inventory was done. In fact, the PG's office accomplished the inventory in October of 2009, listing on one page the remainder of what was left after Scott gutted our belongings , but Eggebraaten stalled until December 8, when she finally released the inventory to me. Shortly thereafter, Steve Price and Tammy Hull were allowed access to photograph and videotape the sad remains.
San Bernardino County Sheriff Deputy Keri Crosby took a verbal report from me today, December 29, and I faxed in the written declaration, below. I certainly hope that the Sheriff's Department will respond appropriately concerning the allegations of theft. If they do, it will be the first time that a criminal justice agency has advanced a criminal complaint against Scott from one of her victims.
Janet C. Phelan
258 A Street 1-15
Ashland, OR 97520
December 29, 2009
POLICE REPORT OF THEFT OF ESTATE ASSETS/San Bernardino Sheriff Department
DECLARATION OF JANET PHELAN
I am reporting theft from the storage unit at Universal Self Storage in Loma Linda, at 26419 Barton Rd. which contained the belongings of my mother, Dr. Amalie Phelan. Amalie was under a conservatorship with Melodie Scott, conservator and successor Trustee to the Phelan Family Estate. Scott has been replaced by the Public Guardian’s office as Trustee. The case number in Riverside Superior Court is RIP 080974
To give a brief history, I was allowed into the storage space only once by Scott, several years ago, in order to retrieve family photographs. I was shocked at that time in terms of how much was missing—furniture, art work etc. –and requested re-entrance to document the theft. Melodie Scott refused my request. The accountings for the Trust will support my contention that I was only allowed in once, although Scott denies this.
Melodie Scott was removed as Trustee by order of Riverside Superior Court on June 1, 2009. She has been denied a fiduciary license by the State of California Department of Consumer Affairs. The PG’s office became the Trustee and on December 8, 2009 I finally received an inventory of the storage space from the PG’s office. Scott had never provided this; indeed, she had declared to the court in September of 2006 that she had forgotten to inventory my mother’s belongings. On December 10, 2009, Steve Price and Tammy Hull, of Yucaipa, California, whom I designated as my personal representatives in this matter, were allowed to photograph and video the storage, as well.
The inventory and photos/video reveal massive theft. Here is a partial list of missing assets:
An antique secretary-type desk, maple, with glass windows and shelves above and a desk below
A yellow flowered sofa
An antique wood buffet, with shelves above and a cabinet below,dark wood
Three beds, mattress and box springs (Two king size, one twin)
A pink dresser, five or six drawers, antique
Several bookcases, including tall, painted white and one short, two shelves, blonde wood
Numerous pieces of art work, including—
1)an original pen and pastel of don Quixote. A photo of my father, James R. Phelan, in front of the painting is available on the dust jacket of Dad’s second book, entitled “Scandals, Scamps and Scoundrels-A Casebook of an Investigative reporter”
2)Also a pen drawing (original) portrait-type of an old man with a hat and a big nose, profile view
3)Also an original oil of an archway and buildings—very thin and long
4)A framed photo of my father, who was an author, which appeared in Penthouse Magazine in the seventies, when he was the “Penthouse Interview of the Month.”
5)Also an antique, a lithograph, non-representational and modern, yellow, black and red with lines and circles
6)Also a framed piece of artwork of a Victorian living room with two old ladies
7)Also a framed piece of calligraphy, which bored the statement, “I have loved the stars too dearly to be fearful of the night.”
8)Also a framed dictionary definition of the word “Free.”
9)Also a poster map of the United States, featuring New York City and portraying the rest of the country as fairly unimportant. Not an original and was very popular during the eighties.
10) Also a poster photograph of kittens In socks, hung on a line
11) Also a small framed picture of an Arabic cleric
12)A green trunk , approximately 3 ½ ft by 2 ft, which contained an antique doll (Red Riding Hood).
In addition, I have repeatedly requested of Toni Eggebraaten, who is the attorney for the current Trustee, the return of my wedding ring and an article I had written, the sole copy of which was in my mother’s home prior to her death. The title of the article is “My Mother’s Mastectomy.” I am a professional writer and the article has monetary value, as does my gold wedding ring, which was in my mother’s jewelry box for safe keeping. I have been refused the return of these items. It is therefore unclear to me if these were also stolen , or if the PG’s office is in receipt of stolen property (mine) and refuses to relinquish it. I have also requested input as to whether the Public Guardian’s office is in receipt of three (3) pieces of jewelry, which belonged to my mother: 1) a gold women’s wristwatch 2) an antique amethyst ring, with an engraved flower in the stone 3) a gold starfish charm necklace, on a gold chain. The Public Guardian’s office has not responded to my queries concerning the jewelry.
As Melodie Scott, as former Successor Trustee of the Phelan Family Trust, had possession of the storage space, refused my repeated requests to re-enter the storage space to document the theft, then lied to the court—in the face of the evidence—stating she had allowed me re entry when she clearly had not, the reasonable assumption is that Melodie Z. Scott performed or facilitated the theft.