Family of elder abuse defendant Silvia Cata alleges misconduct, strong-arm tactics during raid by Calif. Dept. of Justice agents
The daughter of a Sacramento elder caregiver charged this year with felony elder abuse and manslaughter has revealed in an exclusive statement to Elder Abuse Exposed.com disturbing allegations of police misconduct and strong-arm tactics during a raid of the defendant’s elder care home by agents from Attorney General Kamala Harris’ California Department of Justice.
Sacramento resident Ionela Lup, who is the daughter of defendant Silvia Cata, details the November 15, 2012 search of Cata’s residential care facility for the elderly, Super Care Home, and the February 12, 2013 arrest of Cata by Special Agent Tina Khang and agents from DOJ’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse in Sacramento. Ionela Lup also alleges mistreatment by some licensing program analysts (LPAs) from the California Department of Social Services’ (DSS) Community Care Licensing Division (CCLD) in Sacramento.
Calif. Dept. of Justice special agent says Silvia Cata arrest justified
In support of the arrest warrant for Cata, Special Agent Khang alleged in her February 11, 2013 31-page declaration that an 88-year-old resident, Georgia Holzmeister, who had lived at Cata’s elder care home since 2007, suffered great bodily injury and died on June 23, 2012, from severely infected, neglected bed sores on the victim’s buttocks. DOJ also alleged that Holzmeister, who suffered from dementia, died only as a result of her Cata’s “deliberate and complete reckless disregard for performing the essential duties.”
AG Kamala Harris and chief elder abuse prosecutor, Mark Zahner, selectively enforce against vulnerable small fry, not wealthy nursing homes
But Elder Abuse Exposed.com has said that Attorney General Kamala Harris and her BMFEA’s chief of prosecutions in Sacramento, Mark Zahner, have appalling records as prosecutors of nursing home elder abuse. Elder Abuse Exposed.com has also said that Harris and Zahner have a history of rarely filing criminal elder abuse charges. When they do file, they typically file against lower-level employees, but not against wealthy, politically connected nursing home operators who create the neglectful conditions that make institutional elder abuse inevitable. These rare prosecutions often follow closely on the heels of embarrassing media coverage exposing the attorney general’s failure to prosecute. Elder Abuse Exposed.com has referred to Kamala Harris’ and Mark Zahner’s biased, selective enforcement of elder abuse laws as prosecuting vulnerable small-fries, such as Silvia Cata, and sparing corporate-owned nursing homes.
You can read more about AG Kamala Harris’ bogus elder abuse “crackdown” and biased enforcement against “low-hanging fruit,” like Silvia Cata
For more on Kamala Harris’ sham elder abuse “crackdown” on non-wealthy, vulnerable small-fries, including Silvia Cata, see:
- November 19, 2012 “Bogus ‘Crackdown’ on Elder Abuse by California Attorney General Kamala Harris,” by Elder Abuse Exposed.com.
- February 22, 2013 “CA AG Elder Abuse ‘Crackdown’ Hits Small Fry, Not Nursing Home Owners,” by Elder Abuse Exposed.com.
- March 21, 2013 “AG Kamala Harris Abuses State Power to Extort Plea Deal in Elder Abuse Case,” by Elder Abuse Exposed.com.
Summary of Cata family’s disturbing allegations of misconduct, strong-arm tactics during Calif. Dept. of Justice raid and arrest
In Ionela Lup’s exclusive personal account of the November 15, 2012 raid of Silvia Cata’s elder care home, at 341 Bowman Avenue in Sacramento, California, and the February 12, 2013 arrest of Cata by agents from DOJ’s BMFEA, Ms. Lup made the following allegations (all quoted allegations are Ionela Lup’s):
- Some LPAs [licensing program analysts] from the DSS’ Community Care Licensing Division in Sacramento “look down on” and “downgrade people who are bilingual and do not have the sufficient English skills that the state would prefer.”
- Some CCLD LPAs “downgrade others and abuse their jobs and titles they ha[ve] so that they c[an] treat people like garbage.”
- “[Ionela Lup has] seen firsthand how RCFE administrators or licensees get mistreated by state officials because of the power, names, and positions they have.”
- During the early stage of the “strong-arm” raid by Attorney General Kamala Harris’ DOJ, some of the DOJ agents acted “rudely” and said, for example, “Sit down and don’t move!”
- During the raid, a DOJ agent detained the elderly residents and Ionela Lup “on the couch for four hours without moving from the area” and “continued to watch us so that we did not move.”
- “[Ionela Lup] watched for four hours as the DOJ agents turned the house upside down while [she] was sitting on the couch and being treated like a criminal!”
- “[Ionela Lup] did not understand why, while [she] did not have rights, the residents did not have rights either.”
- When “[Ionela Lup] got so upset that [she] told the agent that it was not right what the DOJ agents were doing to [them] and that it was against [their] civil rights to be treated like that,” the DOJ agent said, “You need to be quiet.”
- Special Agent Tina Khang did not allow Ionela Lup to accompany her mother, Silvia Cata, during Ms. Khang’s long interrogation of Ms. Cata.
- Special Agent Tina Khang “took [Ionela Lup’s] mom in the backroom and interrogated her for three hours.”
- When [Ionela Lup] asked the DOJ agent if [her] mom could make the residents breakfast, he said, “No, no one move.”
- “One of the residents who was sitting at the table looked so confused and scared and kept asking [Ionela Lup’s] mom, ‘What happened? What happened? Why did we have to sit down for so long? Why did they treat us like this?’”
- “[Ionela Lup’s] dad was so angry that the DOJ agents had taken his pocket knife and completely broken down one of the doors upstairs that was locked so that they could enter and search.”
- “When [Ionela Lup’s] dad asked the DOJ agents why they had just broken down the door when there was a key next to the door, they responded, ‘Make a complaint!’”
- Ionela Lup’s dad said that the DOJ agents “looked through all the bushes” and “the entire house, including every room, closet, dresser, and even the attic.”
- “[Ionela Lup’s] dad said that the DOJ agents even made him take the cover off the pool.”
- Ionela Lup’s dad said that “after going inside the house, the agents asked . . . why he had video cameras up and told him to wait outside while they looked through the entire house.”
- “[Ionela Lup] learned that the DOJ agents had deleted the video recordings from the video cameras that were inside and outside of the house.”
- Ionela Lup wondered if “the DOJ agents delete[d] the video recordings so that [Ionela Lup’s] mom and dad would not have video evidence of the DOJ agents’ strong-arm tactics and misconduct during their search of the property.”
- “Ionela Lup also wondered how the DOJ agents’ conduct in [Silvia Cata’s] home could happen in America and what right a person has in his own home.”
- After the DOJ raid, “[Ionela Lup’s] dad looked so humiliated and horrified” and “began to cry.”
- When DOJ agents arrested Silvia Cata and put her in the back of a police car on February 12, 2013, “[Ionela Lup] could not understand how agents from the California DOJ’s Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud and Elder Abuse could leave three elderly residents and two small children alone without supervision and without meeting their needs.”
- “DOJ Special Agent Tina Khang had been dishonest” during a telephone call with Silvia Cata on February 11, 2013, and “the only reason she called [Ionela Lup’s] mother [about a supposed meeting with a CCLD LPA scheduled for the following day] was to make sure [Ionela Lup’s] mom was home so that Ms. Khang could arrest her.”
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