Part 2:  Severely mentally disabled child served as a vessel to facilitate alleged abuse and corruption in the Cook county Probate court System:  Kimi Cooper, age seven to when she testified against her mother, Beverly Cooper, in front of Judge Lynn Kawamoto, which started the chain reaction that ended with the death of Beverly Cooper’s mother, Alice Gore, as a pauper in February of this year.

From age seven to age 17 Kimi was sent from one foster home or group home to another — 54 in all — stemming from innumerable written reports detailing Kimi’s erratic behavior.  Once Kimi attempted to microwave a dog.  Another time Kim suggested to her foster mother that there was a medicine that smelled like almonds that could be put in her foster father’s coffee to get rid of him.  After jewelery and silverware were discovered missing, one foster family hired a private investigator to search their Northbrook home to locate the cleverly hidden hiding places Kimi had found to stash her loot. 

While a resident at the Price Group Home in Chicago in 1984, it was reported that Kimi kept banging her head with a phone, cut off her circulation with a rubber band, threatened to kill herself, slit her wrists, and tried to set the Price Home on fire.

Every month the Coopers were ordered to show up in the Lake County Court for a Juvenile Court hearing.  Whenever Kimi was moved to another foster home or group facility because of unacceptable behavior the Coopers would be informed, but were never told of her new location.

The Assistant State Attorney who handled Kimi’s Juvenal Court hearings from age seven to age ten was Gail Tular Friedman.  In her position as Assistant State’s attorney, Gail Tular Friedman was the recipient of a letter from the Cooper’s pediatrician, Dr. Arnold Goldstein, describing Kimi as being severely mentally ill and the Coopers as good parents.   *Gail Friedman, however, withheld this vital physician document from Kimi’s court records.  Instead, Friedman wrote on the front of Kimi’s court records outside jacket:  “Parents are all fucked up and mental.  Child normal.” 
*Not only did Assistant States Attorney, Gail Tular Friedman, keep an important document out of Kimi’s court record, but the letter containing the diagnosis of consulting psychiatrist, Sydney B. Eisen of September 2, 1981, was likewise kept under wraps.  The twenty or so judges the Coopers faced when present at Kimi’s many Juvenile Court hearings in Lake County had knowledge of Kimi’s severe mental disability as related by psychiatrist Sydney B. Eisen.

Just why were these important medical documents kept out of Kimi’s official court records?  After all, not only was Kimi removed from her family at a young age never to return again, but Ken and Bev Cooper went though untold stress which resulted in a heart attack for Ken Cooper. 

For Assistant States Attorney, Gail Tular Freidman, it was a political decision. She had aspirations for a judgeship.  In regard to the many judges the Coopers encountered in the Lake County Juvenile Court System, there were financial expectations to be realized from soaking Social Services in the State of Illinois with the continued expense of repeatedly moving Kimi from one foster or group home to another.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Part 1: Severely mentally disabled child served as a vessel to facilitate alleged abuse and corruption in Cook County Probate Court System: Kimi Cooper, from birth to age seven

In my previous at TribLocal, I recounted a scenario in which Beverly Cooper of Highland Park was removed from her duly appointed, court-appointed guardianship; a Guardian ad Litem was appointed through deceptive measures by Probate Judge Lynne Kawamoto to replace Cooper; after which Beverly Cooper described how her court-appointed guardian, working in collaboration with her attorney, Karen Bowes, and Bowes’ associate attorney, Bruce Lange, Judge Lynne Kawamoto, and the nursing home in which her mother was placed — owned by Morris Esformes, cousin of attorney and on-call Guardian ad Litem Miriam Solo — proceeded to drain the life savings from her mother’s account.

By the time Alice Gore died in February of this year, an estate worth over a million dollars had been depleted. Annuity checks went missing and still are missing, and an inventory and accounting of how and for what checks were written for the care of Alice Gore has yet to be addressed by the Cook County Probate Court, despite repeated requests made by Beverly Cooper. Alice Gore died a pauper. She lay six days in a morgue before her body could be claimed. To add insult upon insult, the Coopers had to pay for the burial of Bev Cooper’s mother, Alice Gore.

Recently I sat down for another interview with Beverly and Ken Cooper. Both are responsible, community-minded and long-time citizens of Highland Park, IL.

Beverly Cooper is a past member of the Highland Park Rotary Club. Additionally, Beverly Cooper is the host and producer of “North Shore Live ‘Coopers’ Corner” Comcast weekly Wednesday program out of Highland Park, IL, which is then videotaped and shown to surrounding collar counties on community public TV stations following its live Wednesday night production and may be seen at this link: http://northshorelive.blogspot.com/

So far Beverly has featured ten individuals on her weekly TV program all having similar stories to tell of alleged fraud and abuse experienced in their dealings with the Cook County Probate Court System. There are more scheduled for future weeks. DVD’s can be obtained by contacting Beverly Cooper.

Ken Cooper is a member of the Medinah Shrine and Decalogue Masonic Lodge.

Ken also serves as the “schoolmaster” for ProbateSharks.com, and can reached through this email web address to report alleged abuse and corruption. ProbateSharks .com assists, educates and enlightens families of the dead, the dying, the disabled and the aged to better understand their rights in order to protect themselves from the excesses of the Cook County Probate Court.

This question was posed to the Cooper’s: There are laws preventing a court-documented mentally disabled individual from being appointed guardian. How could your daughter, Kim Cooper, have been appointed as guardian of her grandmother, Alice Gore, who at the time was 95 and bed ridden, by Probate Judge Lynne Kawamoto to supercede her mother’s role.

Noteworthy background information about Kimi: At age eight during a Lake County Juvenile Court hearing, Kimi was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation. In a letter dated September 2, 198l, sent by consulting psychiatrist Sydney B. Eisen, M.D with an office located on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, Kimi was diagnosed with border-line personality disorder, psychotic behavior, suicidal ideations, and adjudicated as a threat to herself and others.

Sydney B. Eisen, M.D. 664 N. Michigan Ave. Chicago, IL 606
September 2, 1981
With Respect to: Kim Cooper

Diagnostic Impressions
A.P.A. – D. S. M. – III 0 301.83 – Borderline Personality Disorder Early loss in object relatics, the impulsivity, the episodes of sudden shifts in behavior (as reported at school), the guardedness, the report of self-damaging acts, all come together to describe a youngster suffering from a Borderline Personality Disorder.

Recomendations
It is my recommendation that this youngster be maintained in Residential Treatment for an extended period of time. I feel that she is in a “honeymoon” phase at the moment and will, very soon, begin to show the symptoms of manipulative, quick changes in moods, possibility suicidal behavior, hostility, impulsiveness, etc., that she has shown before. It is my recommendation that she be placed in a classroom for emotionally disturbed children where there is as high teacher-to-pupil ratio, and that she be maintained in individual psychotherapy. I also recommend that any contacts she has with her family be monitored so that any manipulative behavior can be picked up early and the family be helped to deal with it.

Respectfully submitted
Sydney B. Eisen, M.D.
Consulting Psychiatrist
SBE:pc
9-15-81

This is typed verbatim from Dr. Sydney B. Eisen’s diagnosis letter September 2, 1981.

The narrative revealed to me by the Coopers is one that involves unbelievable alleged collusion and fraud in the Probate Court Systems of both Lake and Cook Counties that can best be understood if Kimi Cooper’s life is examined from her time of birth in May of 1973 until she testified falsely against her mother in front of Probate Judge Lynn Kawamoto on April 24, 2006.

Kimi Cooper was the fourth of seven children born to Ken and Beverly Cooper. As a high risk pregnancy, Beverly was confined to bed to during the final six months leading up to Kimi’s birth.

Strange abnormal behavior was noticed by the Coopers immediately after Kimi’s birth. Instead of enjoying being cuddled like normal infants, Kimi would push herself away. She was finicky over everything. She slept little, perhaps one hour in twenty four, crying during the day and night. Kimi would also pull her diapers off for no apparent reason.

Unlike most small children, Kimi never sought out her mother for comfort. She was conniving and manipulative in setting her brothers up to take the blame for whatever disruption and destruction occurred in the Cooper house.

As far as treatment for Kimi’s abnormal behavior, there was no specialized medical treatment from age one to three other than the advise the Coopers received from Kimi’s primary pediatrician.

Kimi’s behavior went drastically down hill when she reached the age of three. On one occasion Kimi purposely bumped into her grandfather while he was shaving with a straight edged razor causing him to cut himself. Kimi’s reaction to her grandfather’s injury; she laughed. On another occasion Kimi unlocked a door allowing the family’s German Shepherd to attack a rabbit nest. An expression of glee followed the mutilation of the baby rabbit by the family dog.

Kimi was also a danger to herself and others. At age five Kimi ran into a pond on Halloween night in an apparent attempt to drown herself. An older brother, although unable to swim, saved Kimi.

It was while Kimi was five years of age that she was taken by her parents to a specialist, Dr. Robert Zirpoli, a child/adolescent psychiatrist from St. Francis Hospital in Evanston. Dr. Zirpoli diagnosed Kimi with childhood schizophrenia.

To be noted: From the onset doctors blamed the Coopers for Kimi’s behavior. Bev and Ken were accused of being bad parents although they already had three boys. Three more children were to follow Kimi’s birth.

To further complicate matters, Kimi Cooper was beautiful, a Shirley Temple-like child in her outward appearance, with blond hair, blue eyes and dimples. She looked like the perfect child.
When it came time for kindergarten, the Illinois Highland Park School system had no place for Kimi’s mental disabilities. The principal at the time, John Mason, requested that the school psychologist, *Janet Freund, subject Kimi to a battery of tests. The Coopers were never allowed to see the results of these tests, but were only told that all were normal (Unknown to the Coopers at the time is that Janel Freund was on the board of directors of an adoption agency.).

*The Coopers later found out that Janet Freund had received her diploma certification as a physiologist through a fee paid of $1,500 to a fly-by-night outfit in Florida. The outfit was later investigated by the Feds in what was called the “Dip Diploma Scam.” Notwithstanding, the IL Highland Park School District paid Janel Freund the salary commensurate with that of a legally licensed and degree certified psychologist.

Kimi’s kindergarten attendance was far from a daily experience. When not in kindergarten Kimi was in and out of facilities for children with mental disabilities. One such facility was the Childrens’ Memorial Hospital. The Coopers later found out that Children’s Memorial Hospital was putting out feelers and photographs for Kimi’s adoption as a way to remove Kimi from her parents, despite an incident demonstrating Kimi’s manipulative behavior while living at the facility.

Kimi accused a worker, John Cooke, a psychiatric social worker at the Children’s Memorial locked psychiatric facility, of taking nude photos of her and of talking her down to the basement to molest her. These allegations were later found to he false, but John Cooke had already been fired.

When living at home with her parents and able to attend kindergarten classes, Kimi would throw her lunch away, informing her kindergarten teacher that her mother hadn’t packed her a lunch as she had for her three older brothers. Kimi also tattled to her teacher that her mother wouldn’t buy her mittens and a hat to wear on cold days.

Throughout Kimi’s time in kindergarten, no concern or interest was shown by either principal John Mason or so-called psychologist Janet Freund over Kimi’s mental disabilities. Both wanted Kimi removed from the Highland Park School System so they wouldn’t have to deal with the financial expense of residential placement for Kimi. *With this goal in mind, John Mason and Janet Freund continued to gather information on Kimi so a cause would exist to put Kimi up for adoption, which was likewise the unstated goal of the Childrens’ Memorial Hospital.

*Adoption agencies use schools to find viable children to offer up for adoption. Psychologist-in-name only, Janet Freund, in her dual role as a board member for an adoption agency, saw Kimi as the ideal adoptable child because of her race and Northshore background.

When attending the first grade, the Coopers received a call from the Highland Park Police Department on January 16, 1981, telling them that the Department of Children and Family Services had removed Kimi from school (Kimi had been relating fabricated stories of how she was being abused and neglected at home to her principal, John Mason.).

By the time the Cooper’s reached the police station Kimi had already been moved to the Baptist Childrens’ Home in Lake Villa, Illinois. The Cooper’s narrowly escaped arrest for child abuse after they denied the child abuse claim put forth by the DCFS. Furthermore, the Cooper’s attorney advised the police that the Kimi had already been placed previously in two mental institutions, a fact that the school and DCFS conveniently neglected to convey to the police.

Kimi was taken from home at age seven never to return home again.

When Kimi was eight, during a juvenile court hearing a judge ordered a psychiatric evaluation. A psychiatric evaluation followed: Kimi Cooper was diagnosed, as related earlier, with border-line personality disorder, psychotic behavior, suicidal ideations, and adjudicated as a threat to herself and others by Consulting Psychiatrist, Sydney B. Eisen, M.D.

END OF PART ONE.

Nancy J. Thorner is one of four plaintiffs in the below lawsuit writeup.  As such she wrote an account of the lawsuit filed on July 14th after the mainstream media failed to pick up the lawsuit filing.

Could it be that the filing is being kept quiet, just as Exelon Corporation never revealed why it had to shutter The Zion Nuclear Plant in 1998, even though it had many years left to function as a viable Dual Nuclear Plant?

Exelon’s CEO John Rowe  handed over to ZionSolutions the responsibility of decommissioning the Zion Dual Plant in Sept. of last year.  The Trust Funds established by ratepayers at the time the Dual Nuclear Plant was built was likewise handed over to ZionSolutions.

 

WRITEUP OF LAWSUIT FILED ON JULY 14th:

A lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on Thursday, July 14, on behalf of four plaintiffs, including myself, against Zion Solutions LLC and Bank of New York Mellon.

Between approximately 1998 and 2006, Plaintiffs and other customers of ComEd collectively were required by law to pay hundreds of millions of dollars into a trust fund relating to the future nuclear decommissioning of the Zion Nuclear Power Plant in Zion, Illinois. The balance in the Trust Fund is currently in excess of $700 million.

The $700 million Trust Fund is to be used to pay for the necessary and reasonable costs for the nuclear decommissioning of the Zion Plant over an estimated time period of ten years.

It was established that Com Ed’s customers were entitled to receive in the form of rebates or credits the balance of any unused Trust Funds monies.

As to the history of The Zion Plant, it was build by ComEd, at ratepayer’s expense. The Dual Nuclear Plant was originally licensed in 1974 and was expected to operate until at least 2012. After that time ComEd had the right to apply for extensions of the operating licenses for several decades beyond 2012.

In 1998 ComEd suspended all operations at the Zion Plant. ComEd stated at the time that operations was being suspended for “economic” and “market” reasons.

It was in 2001 that ComEd transferred ownership of the Zion Plant, together with the rest of ComEd’s large operating nuclear generation fleet, to Exelon Corporation, at which time Exelon Corporation assumed the obligation for the future nuclear decommissioning of the Zion Plant when its useful life came to an end.

From 2001 to September 1, 2010, Exelon Corporation did not attempt to resume operations of the Zion Plant, seek to apply for a license extension beyond 2012, or try to sell or seek a third party who might operate the plant or hold it for future restarting.

During this time period the price of electricity for Exelon Corporation’s other nuclear generation units increased significantly.

It was on September 1, 2010, that Exelon Corporation transferred ownership of the Zion Plant to ZionSolutions, giving ZionSolutions the responsibility for permanently dismantling and decommissioning the Zion Plant. ZionSolutions likewise assumed most of the liabilities for decommissioning the Zion Plant.

In tandem with the September 2010 ownership transfer, ZionSolutions also was to assume direct control of the Trust Funds. ZionSolution appointed Defendant BNYMellon to act as trustee of the Trust Funds and to take custody of the The Zion Station decommissioning Trust Funds.

A question exist as to whether ZionSolutions has the legal authority to appoint a trustee for the Trust Funds.

BNY Mellon is currently acting as trustee of the Trust Funds, as directed in a written agreement with ZionSolutions, and under the terms defined by ZionSolutions.

Under the terms of the agreement, BNY Mellon is required to make such payments to ZionSolutions without the authority to inquiry as to the accuracy of any assertions made by ZionSolutions as to amounts claimed to be due, or whether the Funds withdrawn are for necessary and reasonable nuclear decommissioning costs as legally required to be paid from the Trust Funds.

Since the date of transfer on September 1, 2010 of the Dual Zion Nuclear Facility to ZionSolutions by Exelon Corporation, over $10 million has been withdrawn from the Trust Funds by ZionSolutions for claimed costs and profits associated with the dismantling of The Zion Plant. ZionSolutions has further indicated that it intends to withdraw hundreds of million of dollars more from the Trust Fund, possibly withdrawing the entirety of the Trust Funds over the next several years.

Herein lies the problem. No qualified person or entity has been appointed to act as a trustee with respect to the Trust Funds to fully protect the rights of ComEd’s customers as beneficiaries of the Trust Funds as required by law, or to review the withdrawals from the Trust Funds to determine whether they meet all the requirements for payment established by Illinois law and other applicable law.

It has been determined that some of payments from the Trust Funds made or to be made to ZionSolutions do not qualify as necessary and reasonable Zion Plant decommissioning costs, nor do they comply with the law under which the Trust Funds were established.

Future disputed payments include, but are not limited to, a self-directed profit claim by ZionSolution of 15% to 20% and tens of millions of dollars in charges for deferred operating or other non-nuclear-decommissioning costs.

Even so, it has not been demonstrated that ZionSolutions has the legal right to make all of the withdrawals it has made or all it intends to make in the future from the Trust Funds.

As was already related, at the time the Dual Zion Nuclear Facility was built, ComEd customers paid hundreds of millions of dollars, as required by law, to establish decommissioning Trust Funds for such a time when decommissioning of the Zion Facility became necessary.

Without attempting to sell the Zion Plant to a third party, Exelon Corporation chose instead to shut down Zion’s Dual Nuclear Facility prematurely in 1998, only to turn the Zion Facility and its Trust Funds over to ZionSolution in Sept. of 2010 to destroy forever a still potentially viable, green and low-cost facility capable of producing 2,100 MW’s of electricity.

As such the lawsuit filed on July 14, 2011 against ZionSolutions and the Bank of New York Mellon is composed of the following four counts:

1. Action to Enjoin and Recover Payments to ZionSolutions.

2. Action to Appoint Trustee to fully protect all the interests of all beneficiaries under the trust.

3. Action to Require Payments (or Credits) From Trust Funds for ComEd’s Customers Under 220 ILCS 5/8-508.1.

4. Action for Accounting by BNY Mellon.

As one of four plaintiffs, the ZionSolutions/Bank of New York Mellon lawsuit has been filed as a Class action lawsuit on our own behalf, and pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, for the benefit of all ComEd customers who are entitled to benefit from the provisions of 220 ILCS 5/8-508.1 requiring that the balance of the Trust Funds be paid or credited to ComEd customers.

This Class consists of at least tens of thousands of individuals. As such it would be a substantial hardship for most individual members of the Class if forced to prosecute individual actions.

A trial by jury is demanded on all counts so triable.


 

In 2008, government employee wages and benefits accounted for one third of Illinois state government spending and two thirds of Illinois local government operations spending. Recently Governor Quinn made an effort to kill promised pay raises for about 30,000 state workers. After all, every dollar paid to a public employee must come from a local, state, or federal taxpayer. At the time I questioned the impossibility of the task Governor Quinn had before him.

 It has now come to pass that a rocky road indeed lies ahead for Governor Quinn and the State of Illinois. As reported by the Illinois Policy Institute on Tuesday, July 19, government unions are suing the State of Illinois for not issuing what would have been their third round of raises in just seven months.

The Illinois Policy Institute Policy Point Report, Out of Sync: Government and private employee, paints a striking picture of the discrepancy between government employee compensation packages and those employees in the private sector.

Consider the following based on the assumption that two employees are of equal skills when beginning to work either for the state or a private company.

 •The average compensation for an Illinois state government worker was $69,500 in 2008, while private sector compensation averaged just $56,500.

•In real terms, private sector compensation of wages plus benefits declined 2% over the past 15 years, while state worker compensation increased by nearly 18%.

•Government workers routinely receive superior job security, superior sick time accrual, earlier retirement, and higher retirement incomes.

 •Over a 35-year career a state government employee would receive $22,457,000, $484,000 more than the private employee.

•Over a 40-year career, the average Illinois state government worker will receive about 510 more paid vacation days than the average private sector worker.

The facts speak for themselves. At a time when workers in the private sector are being asked to make sacrifices (Many small businesses are failing.), greed seems to prevail among union officials. State government workers are not receiving unfair treatment, but instead are living high off the largess of taxpayers.

Even while on the picket lines, public workers know they have it good. This is why government workers are fighting tooth and nail to keep their plushy arrangements. Is it any wonder why turnover rates among state workers are a fourth of what they are in the private sector? Dealing with the parity issue between those who pay for government and those who are paid by government is a necessary step to solve this state’s fiscal crisis as more people and businesses flee from Illinois.

The Illinois Policy Institute recommends undertaking reforms such as moving from a defined-benefit pension to a defined-contribution retirement system. Such reforms must take into full consideration monetary and non-monetary factors. Because turnover rates may serve as the best indicator of job attractiveness, policymakers should seek to align compensation with the private sector.

This will indeed be a challenge for legislators and elected officials in a state where unions have gotten away with their “thugocracy” brand of politics for decades.

 

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Illinois ended Fiscal Year 2010 in worst financial shape than any other state in the country, with a total state debt of $120,743,392 when compiling outstanding debt, pension and OPEB UAAL’s, unemployment trust funds and the 2010 budget gap as of July 2010.

How do Illinois legislators and officials propose to change the direction of this state from its deplorable and unsustainable financial situation to one of gradual financial recovery?

The signing by Governor Pat Quinn of the FY2012 budget on June 30, 2011 only augmented Illinois’s tenuous financial condition.

The “House Budget Plan” that awaited Quinn’s signature before June 30 had a general fund budget of $33.2 billion. This same $33.2 billion figure was reported by many news outlets. In reality, as reported in a Tax & Budget Brief published by the Illinois Policy Institute on June 21, accounting gimmicks were used to hide significant spending such as deferred payments for medical assistance and nursing home programs.

Properly accounted for, the “House Budget Plan” would have cost at least $34.2 billion and would have set the stage for a cumulated deficit that could exceed $11 billion within five years and $25 billion by the end of this decade.

What Governor Quinn signed on June 30 was a slightly watered down, reduced state budget with a general fund total of $32.98 billion. This came about when Quinn vetoed $376 million in spending found in the General Assemby-approved 2012 “House Budget Plan” for Busing, Education and Medicaid and $336 million in so-called redundant appropriations.

The 2012 “House Budget Plan” already had called for a $537 million reduction from the state’s Medical Assistance program. The budget signed by Governor Quinn on June 30 cut an additional $276 million from Medicaid. This will increase the payment cycle from 110 days to 163 days. Nevertheless, Illinois will still have to pay for medical services. Less money means bills are simply paid more slowly. Unless things change, about $1.5 billion in Medicaid bills will be left unpaid at the end of the year, with a backlog of unpaid bills of $6 billion or more.

Out of transportation money Governor Quinn’s cut $11.3 million that the state provides to local schools. Eliminated from education was the $11.3 million the state provides for regional offices of education around the state.

In light of the budget Quinn signed on June 30 with cuts that reduced the original “House Budget Plan” by $713 million, will the results differ from those projected by the Illinois Policy Institute?

Has spending really decreased after the January tax hike of the state income tax from 3% to 5%? Is Illinois really on the path to sunset the income tax hike as promised?

The recently passed 2012 budget signed by Governor Quinn puts Illinois on a projectory to higher taxes and more debt unless significant spending reductions are made in the immediate future. As it is, Illinois is still on track to push about $8 billion of unpaid bills and obligations incurred this fiscal year into the next year in the wake of its newly passed state budget.

In contrast, the Illinois Policy Institute Budget Solutions 2012 offers a Road to Prosperity. It has outlined a $27.6 billion budget plan that would have been sustainable without January’s tax increase, yet it included appropriate funding for core government services and full payments to pension funds and bondholders. www.illinoispolicy.org

Those who truly desire an eventual sunset of the January tax increases, and not an increase down the road, must demand spending reductions that are free of gimmicks that hide significant spending. Borrowing more money so Peter can pay Paul is no way to deal with finances whether at the family, business or the state level.

 
The Editorial published in the “Lake Forester” (standard for all Pioneer Press publications) on Thursday, July 7, thanked the state legislature for not doing anything, thereby concluding that Illinoisans are far better off because nothing much happened in the  97th Illinois General Assembly.
 
Point two of the expressed relief by the editorial staff was over legislative inaction on concealed carry of firearms.  As stated in the editorial, “The Wisconsin Legislature voted to approve ‘concealed carry’ this week leaving Illinois as the lone state that still forbids it.”  Unclear is whether the editorial staff is for or against the concealed carry of firearms here in Illinois
 
Should Illinoisans be overjoyed by the state’s holdout to allow its qualified law-abiding citizens the right to defend themselves?  Law-abiding citizens need to be able to protect themselves from people who don’t follow the law, especially when police in rural areas are too far away. 
 
Last month, the Illinois House fell six votes short of passing HB 148 that would have allowed county sheriff’s to issue concealed carry permits. 
 
After the defeat of HB 148 in May, new legislation (HB 3794) was introduced in June by Reps. Bill Mitchell, R-Forsyth; Adam Brown, R-Decatur and Chapin Rose, R-Charleston, that allows sheriffs to issue permits, once an individual county board authorizes it, to citizens who meet age requirements, complete training courses and pass criminal background tests.  Once licensed, a person could carry a concealed handgun in any county that adopts the local option.
 
It is unfortunate that HB 3794 will likely not be considered until next spring’s legislative session.
 
Although gun crimes are not rampant in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, shouldn’t citizens have the right to carry a concealed handgun, a right granted in every other state?
 
Evidently Rep. Karen May doesn’t think citizens should have a right to protect themselves.  She voted against HB 148 this past May.  Let Rep. Karen May hear from you.   Telephone: 847-433-9100  E-mail: karen@repkarenma.org  
 
 

 Illinois has a vast bureaucracy which requires many unionized government workers. 

Every dollar paid to a public employee must come from a local, state, or federal taxpayer.  There is a large number of these unionized workers in Illinois whose livelihoods depend entirely upon the capacity of profit-earning people to pay ever increasing taxes. 

There is no question that Gov. Pat Quinn is right to try to kill promised pay raises for about 30,000 state employees, as it is state worker union leadership which is driving Illinois off the cliff.  To add to the problem, Illinois, unlike many most states, is continuing to increase its union membership.

Even Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanual is taking the common sense approach when on Friday, July 14 he announced that layoff notices would go out to as many as 625 city workers.  Following Mayor Emanual’s announcement, Jorge Ramirez, president of the Chicago Federation of Labor, said that he was “perplexed” by Emanuel’s move,

Home to the most severe state pension crisis in our nation, the Illinois state legislature voted to enact the third highest combined (state, federal, local) income tax in the industrialized world as a way to increase the revenue.  Sixty-seven percent on individuals and forty-six percent on employees.  Even with this massive tax increase, Illinois still faces a $14 billion budget shortfall next year. 

And what about the guaranteed right of public employees in Illinois to receive pension, cost-of-living increases, health care benefits, etc.  Often mentioned are the guarantees outlined in the 1970 Constitution.  These same people don’t mention that many of the increases in the benefits of union employees occurred after the Constitution was ratified in 1970. 

The following perks negotiated since 1970 would go a long way to reduce the state’s staggering unfunded liabilities.  How likely would it be that union leaders who insist that the 1970 Constitution be honored agree to accepting the 1970 commitments?

1.  Pension maximum raised for 60 to 75 percent in 1971.

2.  Annual cost-of-living increase raised 33 percent from 1.5 percent to 2 percent in 197l.

3.  85 sick days (1/2 year service ) allowed for early retirement in 197

4.  Cost-of-living increase raised 50 percent more from 2 percent to 3 percent in 1978.

5.  Sick-leave credit doubled from 85 days to 170 in 1984.6.  Retiree health care premiums 75 percent subsidy in 1991. 

Public sector union reform is desperately needed in Illinois.  Unions like the the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) say they are standing up for democracy.  In reality what they are practicing is “thugocracy” in overruling the will of the people in Illinois, thereby coercing  even more taxpayer dollars to fund their cushy benefits and pensions. 

If you wonder why your property values are going down but property taxes are going up, it is because government spending is inexorably going up.  And what is the biggest chunk of government spending?  It is for salaries, pensions and health care for current and retired workers. 

If taxpayers have to pay more, the pain needs to shared by the state’s public employees, to.   Workers in private industry have had to accept reality (common sense approaches) as companies, especially small business owners, have had to trim their expenses in order to survive. 

 

On Friday, July 9, the government released its June jobs report.  Employers added just 18,000 jobs in June, the fewest in nine months, and the unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent, far above the peak promised by the Obama Administration.  The economy needs to add between 100,000 and 125,000 jobs per month just to keep pace with population growth.

 

It was just the latest disappointing reminder that the Obama economy is not working for America, made even worse because the May figures were adjusted downwards from 54,000 to 24,000.

 

Despite this current recession’s end in June of 2009, making this the weakest recovery of the post-WWII era, 13.9 million Americans remain unemployed and millions more are underemployed.  And this doesn’t account for the 250,000 who have left the job force having given up looking for jobs.  Is it any wonder that 75% of the American people still believe that a depression still exists?

 

Twenty nine months have passed since the stimulus package was first passed, yet trillions in debt later the U.S. continues to suffer 9.2 percent unemployment, despite the administration’s claim that the stimulus created or saved 2.4 million jobs at a cost to American taxpayers of $278,000 per job.

 

Shortly after the release of the government’s monthly jobs report, President Obama delivered a statement in the Rose Garden of the White House which attributed the lack of hiring by companies over their perceived uncertainty as to the outcome of the debt limit standoff in Congress.

 

What the Obama administration fails to realize is why companies aren’t hiring even though profits are good.   Investors and businesses make decisions on a forward-looking basis.  Debt overhang, the President’s threatened tax hikes, overregulation of businesses by the EPA and NLRB, etc., and uncertainly over ObamaCare are the culprits for the lack of economic growth, investments, and job creation.

 

As history records, in the 1930’s New Deal lawmakers doubled federal spending, yet unemployment remained above 20% until WWII.

 

A lesson yet to be accepted by the Obama administration, and by those in charge of blue states like Illinois, is that government does not create jobs.  The private sector does it best by releasing the entrepreneurial spirit that has guided this nation so well in the past.


The end of life has many challenges for the elderly.  It can be a fast or a long goodbye and might involve a transition to assisted living, a nursing home, or a live-in caretaker.

There will always be opportunists who like vultures circle to claim flesh whether the person is dead or alive.  Large sums of money are not always pre-requisites to the exploitation of the most vulnerable in our society, the elderly and disabled children.   Abuse also bi-passes color, race or creed.

It is up to each one of us to expose elder abuse when it happens around us to a loved one or to a friend or acquaintance.  Because Elder Abuse has in many ways become a national industry, the following website has been set up nationally To GUARD incompetent people from harming themselves, To CONSERVE  their assets and property; and To PREVENT them from becoming a “public charge:  www.nasga.com 
An International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (INPEA) has for the 6th successive year put together information, reports and resources for those who wish to participate in promoting Awareness to eh ‘silent epidemic’ of Elder Abuse.  World Abuse Awareness Day 2011 was observed on June 15th.   Although the  presence of wealth is more likely to bring out the worst in human kind, preying on the elderly can amount to little more than gaining access to an individual’s monthly Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Pensions or Veterans Disability payments.

Often it is a trusted lawyer that encourages their elderly clients to signs over control of their personal and financial transactions, many times without realizing what they are doing. These greedy and opportunistic lawyers then proceeds to charge for every minute of time spent talking and overcharging for every bill paid, while pretending to care for their elderly clients.

What I am about to relate, however, are allegations of abuse far more reaching and which further   allege corruption in the Cook County Probate Court located on the 18th Floor of the Daley Center in Chicago, IL.

My first encounter with alleged corruption in Cook County’s Probate Court was through a weekly Highland Park, IL cable Comcast TV program,  North Shore ‘Live’ Cooper’s Corner,  hosted and produced by Beverly Cooper.   Beverly Cooper is in her 30th year as producer of the show as a respected resident of Highland Park, IL.    http://www.google.com/search?q=North+Shore+Live+Coopers+Corner&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a

On that occasion Beverly Cooper recounted her emotional and devastating encounters with the Cook County Probate Court System that took place over a period of years over the alleged abuse of her mother, Alice Gore.

According to the allegations made by Beverly Cooper, she was removed from her duly appointed, court-appointed guardianship; a Guardian ad Litem was appointed through deceptive measures by Probate Judge Lynne Kawamoto to replace Cooper; after which Beverly Cooper described how her court-appointed guardian working in collaboration with her lawyer Karen Bowes and her associate Bruce Lange, Judge Lynne Kawamoto, and the nursing home in which her mother was placed (owned by Morris Esformes and cousin to Miriam Solo), proceeded to drain the life savings from her mother’s account.

Beverly Cooper’s removal as her mother’s guardian was allegedly contrived through the manipulation of a court-documented, mentally disabled daughter (diagnosed with border-line personality disorder, psychotic behavior, suicidal ideations, and adjudicated as a threat to herself and others) by her trusted family lawyer of 27 years, Karen Bowes, in a plot where  Cooper’s daughter was briefed to say in sworn testimony in front of Judge Lynne Kawamoto of the Cook County Probate Court, that her mother had appropriated funds from her grandmother estate, Alice Gore, a false accusation.

There are laws preventing a court-documented, mentally disabled individual from being appointed guardian.   Alice Gore was 95 and bed ridden at the time her mentally disabled granddaughter was appointed guardian by Probate Judge Lynne Kawamoto to supercede her mother’s role.  http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?DocName=075500050HArt%2E+XIa&ActID=2104&ChapterID=60&SeqStart=14300000&SeqEnd=17600000

By the time Alice Gore died in February of this year, an estate worth over a million dollars had been depleted.  Annuity checks went missing, and an inventory and accounting of how and for what checks were written for the care of Alice Gore has yet to be addressed by the Cook County Probate Court, despite repeated requests made by Beverly Cooper.

Alice Gore died a pauper.  She lay six days in a morgue before her body could be claimed.  To add insult upon insult, the Coopers had to pay for the burial of Bev Cooper’s mother, Alice Gore.

In the aftermath of Beverly Cooper’s own hellish Cook County Probate Court experience with her mother, Alice Gore, she has featured ten individuals on her North Shore Live ‘Coopers’ Corner Comcast weekly TV program, all having similar stories to tell of alleged fraud and abuse experienced in their dealings with the Cook County Probate Court System.

These videotaped interviews have since been viewed all over Lake County, IL and surrounding collar counties on community public TV stations.  In my hometown of Lake Bluff, IL, Beverly Cooper’s videotaped TV program is featured on Channel 19 — the community station for Lake Forest and Lake Bluff, IL — four times a week following its live Wednesday night production in Highland Park.

So far Beverly Cooper’s TV program has featured testimonials of alleged abuse and corruption from ten individuals, with another testimonial scheduled on Wednesday, July 20.  DVD’s can be obtained by contacting Beverly Cooper at Bev.cooperscorner@yahoo.com  

Following are two of the most egregious of Bev Cooper’s videotaped testimonies alleging fraud and corruption in the Cook County Probate Court.  Both had appointed Guardian ad Litems with the subsequent depletion of their estates.

Thomas Poll, a veteran, starting with nothing, worked his butt off ding manual labor, formed a successful company — Leedester Poll — and became quite successful.   Bottom line:  His entire estate was depleted throughout guardianship proceedings in the Cook County Probate Court.  Driving home from Hines Veterans Hospital in Chicago, Thomas Pool claimed he was followed by Kevin Carter, an agent from Rehab Assist.  Carter talked his way into Pool’s home and proceed to write out a report stating that he would see Thomas Poll in court in three days.  The following week Thomas Poll was declare incompetent in front of Judge Kawamoto and a Guardian ad Litem was appointed.  Thomas Pool’s daughter stated that all $13 million of her dad’s estate was taken prior and throughout her father’s guardianship proceedings.

In the case of 93-year-old Lydia Tyler, with an estate in excess of $12 million, it was to be bequeathed in equal amounts to her 12 nephews and nieces.  One of the nephews, not satisfied with 1/12 of his aunt’s estate, manipulated his Aunt Lydia into signing her entire estate over to him.  Taking his Auntie out for a drive from her Chicago condo residence at Lake Point Towers, he drove her directly to a nursing home where a drugged Auntie may have unknowingly changed her will.  Auntie died within a week at the nursing home.  A Guardian ad Litem assigned by the Cook County Probate Court is alleged to have been used as the tactic for looting Lydia Tyler’s $12 million plus estate.  Additionally, all of Aunt Tyler’s valuable jewelry, pictures, and antique furniture disappeared from her Lake Point Towers condo.

Is it just coincidence that the Cook County Probate Court protocol, as experienced on the 18th floor of the Daley Building and which involved Beverly Cooper’s mother, Thomas Pool, Aunt Lydia, and others who volunteered testimony of alleged abuse of loved ones on Cooper’s weekly TV show, all came in contact with the same pool of judge — including Lynne Kawamoto; Guardian ad Litems Miriam Solo and David Martin; and nursing home facilities owned by Morris Esformes — which summarily appeared to act in consort through the rotation of judges and appointed court officials to remove a loved one from a caring relationship, resulting in the depletion of their estates.

Documentation exists that Mr. Morris Esformes has been under investigation by Lisa Madigan’s office in the past for allegedly placing homeless people into his public aid nursing homes.   These placements were done without proper criminal investigations prior to the placement.

Regarding Probate Judge Lynne Kawamoto, an Associate Judge in Circuit Court, she was found not qualified in 1994 by the Chicago Council of Lawyers.  www.ProbateSharks.comOther individuals allegedly involved in the “mischief” within the Cook County Probate Court System can be found on “WANTED” lists at www.ProbateSharks.com www.estateofdenial.com and www.nasga.com  

Several months ago Beverly Cooper and her husband, Ken, set up the following website on which contacts have the opportunity to tell their stories on Beverly Cooper’s North Shore ‘Live’ Comcast TV show.  www.ProbateSharks.com

Ken Cooper acts as the “school master” for ProbateSharks.com, and can reached through this web address to report alleged abuse and corruption:  verenusl@gmail.com 

ProbateSharks.com assists, educates and enlightens families of the dead, the dying, the disabled and the aged to better understand their rights in order to protect themselves from the excesses of the Cook County Probate Court.

As the site depends on networking, it invites you or someone you know to send stories that tell of probate abuse.  Names are kept confidential if there is fear of retaliation against a loved one.  The site postings reveal up-to-date incidences of alleged abuse in Cook County Probate Court.

of the estate are raised to the court.

Appropriately named “Sharks” and “Sharketttes” do the investigative work for www.ProbateSharks.com.

Through their diligence they have found that the Cook County Probate Court is proficient in the quick-sales of properties, 6 weeks on the average; placing of wards’ estates into OBRA Special Needs Pooled Trusts, resulting in public aid placement even for the rich; maintaining cases that are out of Cook County’s jurisdiction (Wards live in another county, yet funds are held hostage by the Office of Public Guardian.); spending down of disabled ward’s estates with guardian and legal fees; restricting family members from inquiring about their loved ones(s); and restricting family from visiting their lived one when concerns over the spending of the estate are raised to the court.

The level of proficiency of alleged abuse in the Cook County Probate Court System of Illinois to prey upon the most vulnerable should be of interest to the Chicago FBI.  For starters:  Just why is the First Nation Bank of Canada Manatoba Fiduciary being used for Chicago Probate Court funds?  Is it just a coincidence that the First Nation Bank of Canada was chosen, seemingly as a ploy to deceive, in so far as its initials are identical to the First National Bank of Chicago?

As has been demonstrated, court-appointed Guardian ad Litems have the authority to make judgments about medical care, property, living arrangements, lifestyle and potentially all personal and financial decisions for high-risk adults with cognitive impairments and for disturbed and mentally challenged children who become threats to themselves and others.  Absent the monitoring of court-appointed guardians, opportunities arise for abuse and malfeasance.

In interviewing Beverly Cooper for this article, I was informed that she has contacted the office of Attorney General of Illinois, Lisa Madigan, only to be told that her office does not handle Elder Abuse and that she should instead get in contact with the Department of Aging.

It is reprehensible that the inheritance due individuals might be disappearing into the pockets of those who serve as protectors of the public, especially the most vulnerable, the elderly and disabled children.

Please feel free to contact Beverly and Ken Cooper who first alerted me to the alleged Elder Care abuse and corruption in the Cook County Probate Court System.  They have given me permission to release their contact websites nationwide, so abuse of the most vulnerable is brought out in the open by those with the authority to investigate and to prosecute those involved in this egregious behavior which is occurring nationwide.   Beverly Cooper:  Bev.cooperscorner@yahoo.com   –   Ken Cooper:  verenusl@gmail.com.

Politics trumps national security

On Friday, June 24, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner defended the Obama administration’s agreement with the International Energy Agency to put 60 million barrels of oil on the market during the next 30 days — 30 million from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserves and 30 million from the other 27 OPEC nations — as a way to counter the supply reduction of oil resulting from the war in Libya.

In the past, a drawdown took place only after a significant reduction in supply of a significant scope and duration; a resultant severe increase in price of petroleum products; a price increase that would likely cause a major adverse impact on the nation’s economy.

Why does it appear that the president is using his bad poll numbers to raid what is a national security inventory of oil designed to protect this nation against a severe energy supply disruption as his solution to drive down prices at the pump?

The global market uses more than 84 million barrels of oil a day. Over a 30-day period. an additional 60 million barrels would supply only 2 million barrels a day. Libya produces roughly 1.5 million barrels a day with most of that delivered to Europe. The 30 million-barrel drawdown will leave America’s petroleum reserve at 115 days of import protection. Unknown to many is that the U.S. is obligated to have in reserve 90 days’ worth of imported crude. What was removed must be replaced expediently.

Since oil prices have already fallen from their early-May peaks of near $115 a barrel, why the SPR release now?

Stealing petroleum from Strategic Petroleum Reserves might lower the price of gasoline at the pump by fifteen or twenty cents a gallon in the short-term, but it does nothing to solve this nation’s critical, long-term energy problem which calls for a sensible energy policy to lift up the economy.