Monday, June 21, 2010

"A Racketeering Scheme Against Elderly and Resulting Crimes Against Humanity by the State of Maryland

"An Open Letter to Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley"

June 2010

From Barbara Morris, daughter of victims William and Ada Morris of Ellicott City, MD

Governor O’Malley,

I have written to you, repeatedly, since January 2009, regarding the neglect and abuse of my, elderly, parents by the very system that should be protecting them. The failure of your office, to end this nightmare, amounts to complicity. The Maryland Department of Human Resources, specifically, Secretary Brenda Donald, on your behalf, referred me back to the perpetrators of the crime, the Howard County Circuit Court Judges and the Howard County Office on Aging, for resolution. That is the equivalent of telling the fox he should not have harmed the hens, since they are the “fox” guarding the “hen house”.

In August 2006, I returned to Maryland, as the needs of my elderly parents had reached a point of crisis, due to neglect and abuse by a sibling. As the oldest sibling and the only daughter, I felt it was my responsibility to come to their rescue. One month later, at a “guardianship” hearing at the Howard County Circuit Court, Judge Louis A. Becker, “conveniently”, gave “temporary emergency guardianship” of my mother, to the Howard County Office on Aging. Although, two siblings had traveled a, considerable, distance, the full hearing was postponed and my mother’s fate put into the hands of total strangers. Had these strangers, actually, had my mother’s best interest, at heart, I would have had, no, issue. However, as events, unfolded, it, quickly, became apparent there was another agenda that had nothing to do with the best interest of, either, of my parents. Indeed, it quickly evidenced abuse of power and a monetary agenda.

Another “player” in these actions, is “court appointed” attorney, Ria Rochvarg. She was supposed to look out for the best interest of my mother. Ria was “appointed”, over two months, prior to the September (2006) hearing, yet, apparently, Ria had, neither, met with or seen my mother. I attempted to reach Ria, yet, she, repeatedly, failed to respond to my calls or my efforts to provide, relevant information, on my mother. My mother had been placed, temporarily, in an assisted living facility, pending remedies to my parents’ home. My mother was traumatized by separation from her home, her husband, and her family. However, Ria Rochvarg appeared at the hearing, and stated that my mother was “stable” in assisted living. Nothing could have been further, from the truth. Apparently, Ria’s “information” came from Bryant Woods Inn Assisted Living owner, Carmen Collandrea, who stood to gain, considerably, if my mother’s stay became permanent, and with her eyes set on my father, as well. Had Ria Rochvarg acted with integrity, she would have known of my mother’s trauma and acted on my mother’s behalf. However, it is important to note that, although Ria Rochvarg has a contract with the state, to provide legal services for guardianship proceedings, she obtains her fees by billing the estate of the intended ward and, consequent, ward. Thus, it was in Ria Rocharg’s, own best interest to facilitate keeping my mother in the state system, while Ria continues to bill my parents’ estate, for her, so-called, “services”. This is a conflict of interest!!! Details of Ria Rochvarg’s billing, also, provide evidence of collusion with the Office on Aging; that her efforts were, only, with the Office on Aging, and excluded family members.

In my first conversation with Ofelia Ross, the caseworker, from the Office on Aging, she was, not only, rude and interrupting, but, she had no interest in any information about my mother or that there were others who could supply, objective, and truthful, information. Although, my mother was traumatized, Ofelia Ross insisted that my mother was “staying right where she is”. Soon, thereafter, she validated her knowledge that my mother was traumatized, as she revised her statement, “She is staying right where she is, until she is stable.” Since my mother has Alzheimer’s, that was not possible, which came to be evident. Ofelia Ross proceeded to take complete control of my mother and, later, my father, through, flagrant violations of the Maryland Statutes, for guardianship. Along with Bryant Woods Inn Assisted Living owner, Carmen Collandrea, Ofelia perpetrated a hostile agenda against the family, especially, for my, primary, role as advocate for my parents. Through attorney, Beverly Heydon, of the Howard County Solicitor’s Office, Ofelia Ross and the Howard County Office on Aging have, also, perpetrated false allegations. All of their actions evidenced, tremendous, abuse of power and an intention to take, complete, control of my parents. Instead of protecting my parents, their actions have, repeatedly, put my parents in harm’s way, as well as subjecting them to, severe, abuse. The greatest of these abuses has been the isolation of my parents from their family, with restricted visitation. Ofelia’s actions were, also, responsible for my parents being separated, for an entire year, while both of them were traumatized. My father’s health declined, rapidly, as a result of the stress.

Ofelia Ross, and the Office on Aging, had an agenda, and my parents’ well being, be damned! Much of the neglect and abuse, of my parents, can be seen at these websites:

However, none of these abuses could have been committed without rubber-stamping by the Howard County Circuit Court judges, first Judge Louis A. Becker (now recused), then, Judge Dennis M. Sweeney (now retired) and, now, Judge Timothy J. McCrone. A, flagrant, denial, of due process was obvious. The Rules of Evidence were violated, as well as, multiple, other laws of procedure. The Rules of Judicial Conduct were, also, violated, including Judge Becker’s, obvious, bullying of family members and Judge McCrone’s hostile communications, not just, to family members, but to an elderly friend of my parents, while she was on the witness stand. Judge Becker’s actions, including an order that the siblings could not take our father out of the state of Maryland, evidenced collusion, as the Office on Aging had not, yet, filed a petition for “guardianship” of my father. There was no reason for this mandate, except for his knowledge of their intent. Judge Becker, also, annulled my father’s Power of Attorney, to family, even with a certificate from my father’s primary care physician, which deemed my father competent, to have done so. A full explanation, of all the violations of due process, is too long for this letter, but would shock the senses of most American citizens, to say the least, of Maryland residents. In summary, the defamation, false allegations, perjury, manipulation of “evidence”, case fixing and more, illegal, actions, point to a racketeering scheme. Why else would my parents be subjected to, such, great harm by the system, itself?

Ria Rochvarg, also, flagrantly, violated the Maryland Statutes on “guardianship”, as well as, the Maryland Lawyers’ Rules of Professional Conduct. At no point did Ria Rochvarg attempt to work with family members, towards our parents’ best interests or needs. Instead, she bullied and threatened family members. (This is part of her M.O., as has been verified by family victims, in other cases. Lih Young is just one of those family victims. Lih Young calls the “players” a “government gang”, on her internet posting: Another, Montgomery County, victim contacted me in 2007. His father had been taken into guardianship, forced out of his home and into a nursing home. Ria Rochvarg was the “court appointed” attorney, for his father, as well. He said he had been threatened and that he was afraid to visit his father. He has a wife and children and did not feel that he could risk, more, false accusations or actions, against him. I, recently, spoke to him and learned that his father passed away, about a year and a half, ago. He had not seen his father, from 2007, until his father passed away, only, because of the threats, against him. What kind of government intimidates or threatens family members while isolating the elderly from the very thing they need most, family companionship? In another Howard County case, Jerry Dier, an attorney by profession, battled the system to protect his mother. The docket can be seen online at the Maryland Judicial Case Search site. His request to have Ria Rochvarg removed as the “court appointed” attorney is, just, one of many motions, which evidenced his, diligent, efforts to free his mother from the same players as, took control of my parents (and which constitute the “government gang” in Howard County). In November 2007, he filed a repeated request: “…on behalf of his mother Dorothy Dier that State of Maryland Howard County Circuit Court Administrative Judge Diane Leasure remove any and all cases regarding guardianship of Dorothy Dier from Howard County Circuit Court and assign any and all case involving Dorothy Dier to a county as remote as possible from Howard County in the State of Maryland”. The Howard County Office on Aging had petitioned the court to: “Withhold and Withdraw Treatment”. Needless to say, this August 2007, request, was a, tremendous, motivator for Jerry’s motions. The Office on Aging was, eventually, granted permission to “withhold and withdraw treatment” and, shortly, thereafter, Dorothy Dier passed away. The Office on Aging, not only, plays “God”, but pre-empts, any and all, family rights and wishes. This case, alone, should alarm, otherwise, uninformed citizens of the dirty deeds of the Howard County Office on Aging and all those, with whom they collude, including Ria P. Rochvarg.

A few more personnel, from the Howard County Office on Aging and Howard County Social Services, need inclusion. They have, all, been active participants in the agenda: Janis DiSibio, Shareese Kess-Lewis, Debbie Beares, Peggy Rightnour, Phyllis Madachy, Susan Rosenbaum, Sue Vaeth and Charlene Gallion.

My parents have begged, for years, to “go home”, but that is, no longer, possible. The court authorized another “court appointed” attorney, Anthony Doyle, to sell my parents’ home. My parents need regular access to family, but we have a 3-hour afternoon window of restricted visitation at the assisted living facility. Ofelia Ross and other staff, from the Office on Aging, including Peggy Rightnour, have played many games, including, again, false allegations, to prevent me from communicating with their office, or to make arrangements for “outings” with my parents. Such outings would facilitate normal family time, but this is part of their retaliatory efforts. Judge Sweeney ordered that Ofelia Ross communicate with each and every family member. On this one point, Judge Sweeney realized Ofelia’s allegations of harassment and threats were not substantiated. However, Ofelia Ross refuses, to do so and, as if, she knows she will not be held accountable. My parents are, now, at Pfefferkorn Assisted Living facility, with owners who, as of the last known inspection, have not met the requirements, of the Office of Health Care Quality, for proper training, including CPR, for themselves or staff. This is, but, one of many, huge, issues, as can be seen in my, above, referenced, document (posted online) on the neglect and abuse of my parents, William and Ada Morris. Another, important note: The Office on Aging moved my parents out of Bryant Woods Inn Assisted Living, after I exposed that Bryant Woods Inn Assisted Living owner, Carmen Collandrea had, blatantly, violated license and zoning regulations, including having a convicted felon, Sandra Farrow, as a (primary) care giver for my parents. Sandra had, also, been active in the, ongoing, bullying and hostile agenda, against me, when I visited my parents.

The neglect and abuse of my parents, along with, multiple, efforts to isolate my parents, from their family, has constituted intentional infliction of emotional distress. That her intentions are, to say the least, not “family friendly” is, clearly, obvious, in multiple events, including Ofelia Ross’ failure to notify any family member that our mother fell and went to the hospital, this past January. Perhaps she was, also, attempting to cover up, even, more liable events. My mother was in the hospital for FOUR (out of six) DAYS before we learned of it. Had one of my brothers, not called Pfefferkorn Assisted Living, we may, never have known. My mother had the right to have a family member, by her side, during those six days, just as during two, prior, extended hospital stays, when I had been by her bedside, around the clock.

I have documented diaries and emails, for four years. If any readers, of this letter, have experienced wrongdoing by, or have been a victim of, any, of these “players”, please, contact me at It is important to note, I am, fully, aware that many of these “players” may wish to pursue charges of “defamation” or “libel” against me, for posting this information. However, I would not, do so, without knowing that I am telling the truth that there are others who know, and have witnessed, these truths.

Governor O’Malley, it is time to take a stand, against this wrongdoing. It is, long, overdue, time for your office to initiate an investigation of the Howard County Office on Aging, Howard County Social Services, “court appointed” attorney, Ria P. Rochvarg, county attorney, Beverly Heydon, "court appointed" attorney, Anthony Doyle, and the Howard County Circuit Court judges, i.e. Louis A. Dennis M. Sweeney and Timothy J. McCrone. Administrative Judge Diane Leasure should, also, be investigated, as to her complicity or acquiescence. Even the American Bar Association, in a study on guardianship, calls the “social services model” a “grave conflict of interest”. You may reach me by email at: I would like to, finally, receive an, appropriate, response.


Barbara Morris


Advocate4 said...

Please do the decent thing and return the parents and their well being to the Morris family. Guardianship should not be a business.
K Seidel

Caprice2000 said...

Please exercise the authority given to you by the voters of MD to correct the wrongs being committed on Barbara Morris and her family. The guardianship program was intended to protect our elders and vulnerable citizens, not to inflict further harm on them. A guardianship,in most of our fifty states, is a greed driven industry. It uses the vulnerability of its clients to rob them of all assets. To make the theft easier, the industry uses a compliant court to prevent the family from seeing first hand the misery of its loved one. This is elder abuse, it is a predatory attack on those without defense, and it is a perversion of what the program is intended to be as well as a terrible misuse of the power of the judiciary to apply the "rule of law." Please look into this case and stop immediately the crimes being committed against these citizens. There is a growing awareness of the atrocities being inflicted on Americans in the name of "guarding" them. Exposure of the players is on the horizon.

MaeEliz said...

There is NO ONE with independent, uninterested oversight over the FOX (the guardian, her attorney and the judge) who is in charge of the HEN house (the elderly ward). The courts and guardian can pad one another's pockets, which they do all the time, while spending the ward's money.
This is NOT RIGHT!

Anonymous said...

Ofelia Ross is rude and obnoxious. She has no business dealing with the elderly