Feb 082013

California DOJ Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse (BMFEA) chief of prosecutions, Mark Zahner, files no criminal charges after Dr. Kathryn Locatell protects nursing home

The California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Licensing and Certification Program—hardly an aggressive watchdog of wealthy, politically connected nursing homes—issued a class “B” citation and monetary fine in October 2011 to a nursing home that negligently failed to administer oxygen to a fainting patient at a flow rate required by physician orders and the patient’s care plan. At that time, the unfortunate, 88-year-old victim suffered rapidly declining oxygen saturation levels, respiratory arrest, and unexpected death. In its citation, CDPH said, “The above violation had a direct relationship to the health, safety and security of Patient 1.” Despite CDPH’s findings, tantamount to obvious elder neglect, the California Department of Justice’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse (BMFEA) chief of prosecutions, Mark Zahner, based his decision to file no criminal charges in the case, not on the assigned BMFEA special agent’s expert opinion, but instead on the different opinion of BMFEA medical consultant Kathryn L. Locatell, M.D. Dr. Locatell shockingly said, “There were no breaches of any applicable standards of care in the events leading to Mr. [patient’s name deleted] death. I see no indication of neglect whatsoever. . . . [W]hether or not oxygen was administered, or administered timely . . . was immaterial.”

Calif. Dept. of Justice’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse failed to prosecute Sun Healthcare nursing home deaths, says victim’s daughter

Newport Beach, California, resident Deborah S. Calvert has sent Elder Abuse Exposed.com her personal story and primary source documents detailing the elder abuse and death reports she filed on behalf of her mother, Evelyn Calvert, and other neglected nursing home residents with prosecutors in the California attorney general’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse (BMFEA).

In 2003, Deborah Calvert sent elder abuse reports to and spoke on the telephone with Claude W. Vanderwold, who was a deputy attorney general in the BMFEA’s office in Sacramento, California. But it is important to note that Mark Zahner has been BMFEA’s chief of prosecutions in Sacramento from at least sometime in 2003 to the present, 2013.

So this means that 10 years after Deborah Calvert first contacted Mark Zahner’s BMFEA office in Sacramento, critics are still saying that Attorney General Kamala Harris’ BMFEA and Mark Zahner are failing to file criminal elder abuse charges against the principal malefactors. These are the profit-obsessed nursing home owners who are directly responsible for understaffing and the widespread practice of patient records falsification, which predictably lead to systemic and chronic nursing home abuse.

In Deborah Calvert’s elder abuse victim story and reports, which she filed with Jacqueline Lincer, a district manager at the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) Licensing and Certification Program in Orange County, California, Ms. Calvert made the following allegations (all quoted allegations are Deborah Calvert’s):

  • Deborah Calvert and many other family members of elderly residents in Sunbridge Care and Rehabilitation—a Newport Beach, California, nursing home operated by Sun Healthcare—complained to BMFEA in Sacramento that “Sun had violated its 2001 California state injunction with both understaffing and broken equipment that was killing patients.”
  • “Five patients died 2002–2003 from the neglect and direct fault of Sun Healthcare Group, Inc., at Sunbridge Newport located at 1555 Superior Avenue in Newport Beach, CA 92662.”
  • “Rick Matros, Sun’s CEO, had ‘killed my mother’ in retaliation.”
  • When Deborah Calvert picked up a June 26, 2006, medical review and declaration regarding Evelyn Calvert’s death prepared by the former medical director of Sunbridge Care and Rehabilitation, Scott Stoney, M.D., Dr. Stoney told Deborah Calvert, “Those bastards killed your mother.”
  • Prosecutors in BMFEA’s Sacramento office “refuse[d] to consider Sun’s violation of its injunction that killed my mother when settling with Sun Healthcare in September 2005” because of “corruption.”
  • Sun was under an injunction dated 2001 not to understaff or have known broken equipment after killing patients in Burlingame, Calif. in 2000. Yet the Dept. of Justice refused to prosecute Sun for this 2003 injustice. Why? Corruption.”
  • “The [California] Department of Health issued a citation for the death of the man in October in room 2-B from equipment failure, yet the BMFEA ignored this in their settlement. The Department of Health also issued a citation for Richard Laga’s death from gangrene.”

Deborah Calvert’s full elder abuse victim story and selected primary source documents are available on Elder Abuse Exposed.com’s “Victims of Law Enforcement” webpage, which is dedicated to victims of California law enforcement agencies and prosecutors.

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  2 Responses to “Calif. AG’s Elder Abuse Prosecutors Condoned Sun Healthcare Nursing Home Deaths, Says Victim’s Daughter”


    I submitted to Napa Police Officer Ronald Appel medical and psychiatric documents involving my mother that I obtained from Kaiser Permanente. Officer Appel instructed me not to bring any of those documents to the police interview. My hard-fought-for evidence was suppressed.

    See photo captures of the suppressed evidence via the [Stephen Bass] link above.

    This complaint also involves Irene Winnie, social services director at Napa Nursing Center, Napa, California.

    Irene Winnie provided false and misleading information to Napa Police Department investigator Ronald Appel regarding my complaint of elder abuse real estate fraud & embezzlement. Irene Winnie’s police statement appears on the police report, page seven, item 33, a photo capture in the photo gallery accompanying this report.

    Irene Winnie stated to Police Officer Ronald Appel that “Olga Bass (a then resident at Concordia Manor, Napa, California where Winnie worked) was mentally very sharp until the last few months of her life.” You the reader can see the actual Kaiser Permanente Med reports I obtained from Kaiser Permanente that contradict Irene Winnie’s police statement.

    I posted in the Yelp photo gallery related to this page, astonishingly incontrovertible evidence by Kaiser Permanente Med that Irene Winnie completely misrepresented the truth. Why she lied to the police about my mother’s mental condition I do not know.

    I have considered who could have involved in coaching Irene Winnie to falsify the truth. There could have been one or more of the individuals noted below who coached Irene Winnie.

    They are:

    1. Attorney Malcolm McKenzie (home health aid Mary Hamler’s defense attorney for aka Marelle Services, Napa, California.) Attorney Malcolm McKenzie is an attorney with Coombs & Dunlap, Napa, California.

    2. Attorney Scott Henry Carter, Mary Hamler’s attorney for transferring financial powers of attorney out of family member’s control into Hamler’s.

    3. Napa Police Officer Ronald Appel, who saw no evidence of wrongdoing and who investigated my complaint of elder abuse real estate fraud and embezzlement. It is of note that Officer Ronald Appel coached me, “Mr. Bass, do not bring any of your documents to the police interview.” Officer Appel’s statement was recorded on my telephone answering machine.

    It is incredible that neither Napa Police Officer Ronald Appel, who was assigned to investigate my complaint, nor the attorney general’s elder abuse unit or any of the other local, state, and federal agencies I filed complaints with saw absolutely no breach of law, no incidence of wrongdoing, no sustainable evidence when, conversely, attorney Michael Stewart, after having reviewed my thick files of evidence said, “These people make my blood boil!!!”

    Michael Stewart, Woodland, California, noted the following legal avenues of pursuit against the accused:

    1. Real estate fraud,

    2. Financial fraud,

    3. Undue influence,

    4. Negligence,

    5. Breach of contract,

    6. Unfair business practice,

    7. Legal malpractice,

    8. Fraud,

    9. Constructive fraud,

    10. Churning,

    11. Breach of fiduciary duty, and

    12. Collusion and conspiracy.

    What in God’s name is wrong with our legal system when local, state, and federal agencies cannot see, cannot hear, are blind to such overwhelming breaches of law that they cannot even recognize a single avenue of legal pursuit?


    This shouldn’t be surprising. It’s about a surprising number of either willfully ignorant or just plain stupid government agency officials covering their own butt…..because most know that many California home health agencies providing care to elderly people in their homes are sending out certified nurse assistants (CNAs) without the proper HHA (home health aide) certification, in direct VIOLATION OF CA health and safety laws regulating CNAs working private duty inside homes. This is a problem of epidemic doing and must be promptly addressed to protect the health and safety of such a vulnerable adult population.

    Home health agencies are not supposed to send CNAs into private duty work unless they also have the home health aide certification, as per California law. This practice has been going on for a long time, and California has still not investigated the home health agencies doing this and put a stop to it, because it’s about money. People need CNAs, so the state is turning a blind eye to this violation of law, so that home health agencies can continue to send out CNAs under the radar and make money, all at the expense of elderly people receiving home care.

    An investigation of this must begin like TODAY.

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