Letter to the NYS Judicial Commission_May 17, 2011
To: New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct May 17, 2011
New York, NY 10006
Re: Judicial Complaint Joel K. Asarch
Nassau County Supreme Court
100 Supreme Court Drive
Mineola, New York 11501
Case: DOROTHY WILSON, Guardianship
Index No.: 29230-1-2008
I hereby lodge an official complaint against Judge Joel Asarch in the matter of guardianship of Dorothy Wilson. Judge Asarch has continually shown favoritism towards my siblings and the court appointed guardian, Mary Giordano, and Anne Recht, the court appointed geriatric care manager. The bias against my elderly mother and me has been prevalent for more than two years. There has been serious financial mismanagement of my mother’s funds which have only benefited the coffers of Mary Giordano and Anne Recht, while leaving my 87-year old mother without the necessary funds to continue living in her home for the rest of her life.
Judge Asarch has allowed an atmosphere of hate to perpetuate for over two years during the hearings and conferences of the guardianship case for Dorothy Wilson. Harassment and discrimination against myself, Diane Wilson, has been allowed to continue unabated on the part of Mary Giordano and Anne Recht, despite continued requests to the court to end this practice. Defamation of my character and slander by all parties has been allowed to continue. Despite my continued requests to end the viciousness and discrimination, it continues to be ongoing.
Ex-parte communication has been frequently going on in this case. One example was the initial attempt to place Dorothy Wilson in assisted living. Everyone involved in this case was fully apprised of her pending stay at the Bristal facility in September 2010 with the exception of me. While Dorothy Wilson said she was willing to give it a try for a few days, Mary Giordano lied and told the court that my mother said she was willing to give it a try for six weeks, despite the fact that my mother and her attorney stated that was not true. When I told Mary Giordano by telephone that I had no problem with my mother going to the Bristal, if in fact that was what she wanted to do, Mary Giordano told me that the reason she did NOT tell me was that I would try to talk my mother out of going. I told her that was unequivocally NOT true, that I only wanted what my mother wanted.
When my mother complained, in October 2010, about the fact that she was forced to disrobe in front of Anne Recht during doctor’s appointments, a smear campaign was started by Anne Recht and Mary Giordano to keep me away from my mother. Judge Asarch allowed this to go on. I represented myself and had documentation of the lies that were told about me. I brought witnesses to court who were not allowed to speak. During this time period, I was forbidden to visit or see my mother under any circumstances. At the end of this series of hearings, which dragged on for weeks during the holiday season, Judge Asarch delivered a scathing opinion of me in November, 2010, that had absolutely no basis in fact. Judge Asarch’s language was inflammatory; his tone of voice was nasty and he looked at me with disdain the entire time he was delivering his “opinion.” The hearing was unnecessarily dragged on while lies were told about me by everyone, including my mother’s aide at the time, Ann Maxwell. Ann claimed that I told my mother that she, the aide, was a spy. While Ann admitted that she never heard me say that, she said she just “assumed” I did, and the court agreed. For her testimony, Mary Giordano paid the aide $150 of my mother’s funds and said it was a “Christmas bonus.” Judge Asarch signed the request from Mary Giordano allowing this.
Dorothy Wilson is currently in White Oaks Nursing home in Woodbury, NY, recuperating from major abdominal surgery. She was brought there on May 5, 2011 at the direction of Mary Giordano, despite the fact that my mother did not want to go. I am willing and able to care for her in my home, with the assistance of a visiting nurse, a daily visit from a physical therapist, and a part time aide. Not only would this save thousands of dollars in Medicare funds, but my mother would be with her family and her physical and mental health would improve at a rapid rate.
My mother is very depressed and begs me daily to take her home. As of Monday, May 16, she has developed a very bad cold and cough and is unusually tired. The nursing home is filled with many elderly and ill people. She does not need to stay there when I can care for her in my home. Every night when I arrive I find her sitting in her wheelchair, lined up along the wall with all of the other residents in front of the nurses’ station, under bright lights. She wants to be in her room but is forced to sit there.
Mary Giordano stated in an e-mail that my mother was in full agreement to go to rehab:
I saw your mother yesterday and discussed rehab with her. She was in complete agreement.
Judge Asarch declared my mother incapacitated and unable to make any decisions on her own, including spending additional days visiting her family and grandchildren instead of being with an aide. Mary Giordano denies any and all requests and demands made by my mother. Yet if it is something that Mary Giordano wants my mother to do she states that my mother was in agreement, despite the truth to the contrary.
On March 29, 2011 a court hearing took place to discuss future living arrangements for Dorothy Wilson. Mary Giordano stated that most of my mother’s money, the reverse mortgage funds of $275,000 taken out on my mother’s home approximately 1 ½ years ago, was gone. A complete accounting of this spending has not been made available. When the decision was made by Judge Asarch to take the reverse mortgage out, he stated that this money was going to allow my mother to live in her own home with an aide for five years.
Last year, Mary Giordano hired an aide from an agency at a cost of $4500.00 per month, stating that my mother had additional medical needs. The previous cost of an aide from a different agency was $3800.00. While her health was in fact deteriorating, she did not require any more care than she was already receiving. My mother was ambulatory and took care of her own hygiene. Other than handing my mother her pills in the morning, no additional services have ever been performed by her aides. Her lawyer at the time, Josephine Loizzo, questioned the necessity of this but no answer was ever provided.
Mary Giordano has arranged court conferences and hearings on a regular basis based on false allegations made about me by my siblings or by Mary Giordano or Anne Recht. Judge Asarch never did anything to stop this. The relationship between Mary Giordano, Anne Recht and Judge Asarch is such that they talk on the phone all of the time and discuss everything before we go into court. Decisions are made and prejudices are already in place.
Mary Giordano stated in court on March 29, 2011 that the 30 day imprisonment of my mother in the Bristal assisted living facility in November 2010, cost my mother $53,000.00. When Mary Giordano made that statement in court, Judge Asarch just listened and never addressed it any further. It was obvious he already knew about it. My family and friends, as well as attorneys I have spoken with are shocked at this ridiculous expense, and do not understand how or why Judge Asarch is allowing this. On April 21, 2011, I sent an e-mail to Mary requesting a copy of the bill and an itemized breakdown of these charges. To this date, I have not received a response.
Judge Asarch stated that alternative methods must be looked at to keep my mother in her own home with an aide. He asked Mary Giordano to find out how many hours Medicaid can provide. This was never done in the past even though my attorney and I requested it on a number of occasions over the past 2 ½ years. He then asked if each of the siblings could pay money each month towards my mother’s care due to the depletion of her funds, yet he never made any attempt to rein in the wasteful spending during the past two years.
My mother’s new attorney, Jamie Buchin, stated in court that it is my mother’s wish to live with me and have me as her guardian.
My mother’s jewelry, worth approximately $25,000, is still missing. I informed the geriatric care manager, Anne Recht and Mary Giordano in April, 2009 of this fact. I also sent e-mails to Mary Giordano about the missing jewelry. I have brought it up numerous times in court. My sister, Candice Bruder, told my mother that the aide from Home Companions in Port Jefferson, Debbie, stole it. My mother called Mary Giordano and told her this but Mary told my mother that she did not know where it was. No police report about the theft has ever been filed.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you require additional information or have any questions.