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Part Two-The Kidnapping of Richard Maass

In order to heal and move on, we need to talk about what is hurting us on the inside. Writing our story and exposing those who committed the crimes against ourselves and/or our loved ones is cathartic. Kevin Kelly is working hard on doing just that.

This is part two of his story.

By Kevin Kelly

It has been almost three years since my grandfather, Richard Maass, passed away. I still have nightmares remembering how he suffered; how his body was wracked with pain and how he cried out for help. I will never understand why Anne Recht, the geriatric care manager and Mary Giordano, the guardian with Franchina and Giordano refused to allow him hospice and palliative care. But that is what guardianship is; it gives the rights of an individual away to a total stranger who is then allowed to steal their estate and their personal items, lock them up against their will and then refuse to allow them to die without pain and without dignity. Why? Does this feed their ego? Is it the thirst for power over another human being? Are their egos that big? Are they that desperate for money? I found out the answer the hard way. The answer is yes, all of the above is what drives them to do this, all of the sick reasons for abusing some of our most vulnerable members of society.

While I know I am not to blame for his suffering, I can’t seem to get past the fact that there was something I should have been able to do. When I speak with others whose loved ones were victims of these people, they tell me they feel the same way. They too suffer, wondering what they could have done to save their loved ones from the clutches of these two women and the late Judge Joel Asarch, the person who gave his stamp of approval and signed off on their actions. However, in my case, as in so many others, there were family members who helped the judicial system in their quest to destroy the remaining years of Richard Maass’s life. His own grandchildren robbed him of his money and his assets before he died, and that is how I ended up in court.

As I explained in my first story, my cousin John Kerry Weber, known as Kerry, hired a lawyer by the name of David Ingvoldstad of Garden City, NY to create a new power of attorney. Kerry had my grandfather sign it even though he had already been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s years before; Kerry was aware of this fact. Once he had the POA, he opened a joint bank account with my grandfather and kept the debit card for himself. He used it to pay for gas for his car and his personal electric bill, along with family vacations and shopping expeditions in New Hampshire and Massachusetts; hundreds of dollars in merchandise from local stores; ATM withdrawals of $500, $800, $600, $300, etc. He and his wife, Donna gave themselves anniversary gifts and their children birthday gifts out of his account as well. It also appears that they charged Grandpa for the food they cooked one Thanksgiving when they brought him to their house for dinner. According to Kerry, Grandpa “wanted” to pay for it. I did not discover this until months later, when I found thousands of dollars missing as I was paying his household bills.

Once my grandfather was forcibly removed from his home, in September 2009, the house was left vacant. Mary Giordano had the locks changed immediately. Two weeks later I went to the house with Anne Recht to remove all of the indoor plants. At that time, all of the furnishings were still in his home. Months later I received a phone call from someone in Mary Giordano’s office asking me if there were any items in the house that I wanted. An appointment was scheduled for me to meet Anne Recht at the house to go over the list of items I wanted. When I arrived, I was shocked to discover that many of the furnishings and valuable items had already been removed; all of the artwork on the walls, grandfather clock, the entire crystal and china collection, two antique end tables, all of Grandpa’s clothing, air conditioner wall unit, a mattress, lamps, a therapeutic/massage recliner and most of the assorted knickknacks accumulated by my grandparents over six decades. None of these items were brought to the nursing home for Grandpa. Needless to say I was incredibly angry and upset that all of his possessions were missing, stolen right from under the watchful eyes of Mary Giordano. Anne Recht claimed she did not know what was in the house previously, even though she had been in the house many times during the entire guardianship situation. She also was the one who took Grandpa to the nursing home that fateful day. I told Anne what was missing and she wrote everything down. There was no sign of forced entry; supposedly the only ones who had the keys to the house were Mary and Anne.

As I was leaving, one of the neighbors came over to say hello to me and ask how my grandfather was doing. I was still very upset and told her what I had just discovered. She then told me that several weeks prior she saw, on two separate occasions, people removing all of those items I told her were missing from the house. When a man arrived at the house the first time she said he looked familiar to her but she did not remember his name. She described my cousin Kerry to a tee, along with a description of his car, a maroon colored van. At that time, she said, he was alone and removed several items from the house.

On the second occasion she saw the same van, driven by the same person, arrive with two other people. She described them both; one was a middle-aged gentleman with a ponytail and beard and the other was a younger man. This time they removed furniture along with many other items. Anne was with me during this conversation and she contacted Mary Giordano to advise her what had taken place. As I was leaving, I told my neighbor to please call me immediately if she saw anything again.

It was months before a hearing was scheduled to take place. Kerry told his lawyer that he was never in the house alone, only with Mary Giordano. He said that I was lying and it had to be one of my friends who committed the burglary. My lawyer advised me that it was going to cost me more money in legal fees than the items were worth and even though my witness was sure it was Kerry and described him and his car, she would not be able to say it was him with absolute certainty. We were scheduled to continue the next day but I opted to stop the proceeding. This was not going to help my grandfather get home and that was my goal.

Several months later, I had a doctor’s appointment in the area and stopped by to visit one of my former neighbors, an elderly woman who lived across the street from my grandfather’s house. While I was still in my car I saw my other cousin’s truck parked in the driveway of his house, Keith Weber, who lives in Vermont. He was there with Kerry and his son, Kerry III, and another man. They were carrying out the dining room table and chairs. Kerry saw me and made an obscene gesture in my direction. I then went to the neighbor’s house who had witnessed the other thefts. She was not home but I spoke to her husband. He witnessed, along with me, the actions of these four men. I then called Mary Giordano’s office and spoke with Janet Berger, Mary’s assistant, and told her what was happening. She advised me that Mary was not in the office but she would let her know as soon as possible. I then contacted my attorney. By the time he got back to me he told me that he also called Mary’s office and Mary had called Kerry’s attorney, John Newman. John Newman then called Kerry and ordered him to leave the house immediately.

I was unable to afford any more attorney fees but I was certain this was Mary Giordano’s responsibility as guardian of my grandfather’s personal needs as well as his assets. It seems, however, that she did not think so. She advised me, through her assistant, Janet, that “it was not worth her time and effort to go after Kerry for the theft of these items.”

Several months earlier, before Mary kidnapped Richard Maass, these same cousins went to the house with the pretense of visiting and took several items from the house in front of my grandfather’s weekend aide. She called Mary’s office to let her know what was going on and Mary contacted John Newman. My attorney was notified and contacted me to tell me what had happened. I called Mary’s office then and told her I wanted to press charges. However, she informed me then that it would cost more in court costs then the value of the stolen items. This is the same person who was supposed to be protecting and guarding my grandfather’s assets, yet never did anything to help him. I cannot help but wonder if there were some arrangements made between Mary and Kerry. Did she give him the key and allow this to take place? After all, she never once made any attempt to get any of this back; these furnishings and antiques and artwork were all worth well over $30,000. Why wasn’t it worth her time and effort to do the job she was being paid to do?

There is so much more to tell, so much more that my cousin did to my grandfather and my mother; so much more that Mary Giordano did and continues to do to this day.  As I gather my thoughts and reread all of the court documents and emails and letters, I am reliving this entire sordid ordeal. I have also discovered that by telling my story I am beginning to heal, both physically and emotionally. Other people do care; they are as appalled as I am by the actions of these people of the “law” and greedy family members. Many are working hard to save their loved ones and get justice. I, too will see justice one day.

First-Ever Nursing Home Report Card Links Poor Staffing to 96% of States

Staffing, whether insufficient in labor force or hours of care provided, was a common thread among 96% of states cited for poor nursing home care, according to a first-ever state-by-state analysis.

Only seven states provided more than one hour of professional nursing care per resident per day, notes Families for Better Care’s Nursing Home Report Cards.

With the goal of applauding states that provide good quality care, while motivating improvement for those that score poorly, Families for Better Care’s survey also ranked the top states for nursing home care as well as those posting “failing grades.”

Alaska (1), Rhode Island (2), New Hampshire (3), Hawaii (4) and Oregon (5) were among the top states scoring an overall “superior grade.”

On the other end of the spectrum, the South accounted for much of the survey’s lower scoring states for nursing home care, with Texas (51), Louisiana (50), Indiana (49), Oklahoma (48) and Missouri (47).

Adequacy of staffing played a key role in determining state rankings, noted Brian Lee, Families for Better Care’s executive director.

“A distinctive trend differentiated the good states from the bad states,” he said. “States whose nursing homes staffed at higher levels ranked far better than those with fewer staffing hours.”

The analysis, which scored, ranked and graded states on eight different federal quality measures—ranging from the percentage of facilities with severe deficiencies to the number of hours provided by caregivers per resident—found that states whose nursing homes employed an abundance of professional nurses and frontline caregivers translated to higher quality scores.

Ranking states according to this criteria, three states (Alaska, Hawaii and Maine) scored a “superior” grade in all staffing measures—each ranking among the nation’s best nursing home states.

Conversely, the four states receiving below average grades overall for failing staffing measures were Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas.

“The data reflect what academicians, residents, families, and ombudsmen have heralded for years; the higher the staffing levels, the better the care,” Lee said.

Widespread abuse and neglect was another area of concern recorded in Families for Better Care’s analysis, as 1 in 5 nursing homes abused, neglected, or mistreated residents in almost half of all states.

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