Sunday, November 17, 2019

Housing Authority - Part II

It started when the Section 8 tenant reported that he had found a job. The Housing Authority got ready to adjust his monthly housing assistance. Then they wanted to see his checking account statement.

One professional told me that was "problematic". I can only guess what that means. Probably that the Housing Authority had no right to examine his personal checking account statement.

The clerk at the Housing Authority noticed deposits on the statement (his only income at that time was SSA and SSI checks at the beginning of the month). He explained those as being deposits from pawn shop transactions.

What is a pawn shop transaction? It is a "short-term collateralized loan". Generally speaking, a customer takes something of value (TV, computer, cellphone) into a pawn shop, borrows money, puts his property up as collateral, and walks out with cash.

Is there anyone who has passed Third Grade who would think that cash received as loan is Income?

You don't even have to read the HUD Regulations to believe it is not income.

Keep reading here over the next few days to learn how not only did the first-level clerk at the Housing Authority conclude that the loans were "income", but so did her supervisor, a hearing officer, the Housing Authority's executive director, and the Chairman of the Housing Authority's Board of Commissioners (who happens to be a banker!).

Saturday, November 16, 2019

McHenry County Housing Authority - How is it doing?

Recently a situation involving the McHenry County Housing Authority (MCHA) was called to my attention. It involved a Section 8 tenant who had had his housing assistance reduced it. Unfairly, it seemed.

It should have been easy to resolve. After all, there are regulations that dictate how monthly assistance is calculated. I expected that the regulations had been in place for years and should be well understood by the employees who are in charge of such calculations.

Who establishes the regulations? HUD does. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, of which the Hon. Ben Carson, M.D. is the Secretary.

OK, so what was going on?

The tenant reported to MCHA that he had found employment and that his income would change. This would mean a re-calculation of his housing assistance. No problem so far.

But then the MCHA wanted to inspect his checking account statement for deposits of income. And this is where the problem began.

The tenant's statement showed deposits, which the MCHA employee questioned. When the tenant answered that he had made some pawn shop transactions and had deposited the amounts borrowed, the MCHA employee decided those deposits were "income", and she re-calculated and lowered his housing assistance because of that "income".

If you are a client of the MCHA or know someone who is, have you, or have they, had any problems with adjustments in their housing assistance?

If you (or they) challenged MCHA decisions, what was the outcome?

Come back tomorrow for the "next chapter" in this tenant's story.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Send information to State's Attorney

McHenry County Blog closed its article about Beth yesterday with this: "The results of the joint investigation conducted by the ISP Zone 7 Investigations, ISP Zone 1 Investigations and Woodstock Police Department (WPD) have been forwarded to the Jefferson County State’s Attorney’s
office for review."
If you have any information, thoughts, suspicions or ideas about how Beth Bentley died, send them to
The Honorable Sean Featherstun
Jefferson County State’s Attorney
100 S. 10th Street, Room 203

Mt. Vernon, IL 62864

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

ISP Press Release on Bentley

Earlier this afternoon the Illinois State Police issued this press release:

ISP MAKES POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION ON REMAINS OF BENEDETTA “BETH” BENTLEY
DuQuoin, IL – Illinois State Police (ISP) officials announce the positive identification of the body of Benedetta “Beth” Bentley. The human remains, located on December 4, 2017 in rural Jefferson County, have been positively identified.
On May 23, 2010, a friend reportedly dropped off Beth Bentley at an Amtrak Station in Centralia, Illinois. Bentley was reportedly taking a train back to her home located in Woodstock, Illinois. Bentley did not return home and was reported missing. Information was developed which led the ISP to a rural location in Jefferson County where suspected human remains were recovered at the location.
The results of the joint investigation conducted by the ISP Zone 7 Investigations, ISP Zone 1 Investigations and Woodstock Police Department (WPD) have been forwarded to the Jefferson County State’s Attorney’s office for review.
No further information will be available from the ISP.
All subjects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
###

The "friend" mentioned in that release is Jenn Wyatt. Was she telling the truth at the time, when she said she dropped Beth off at the Amtrak station in Centralia?

I saw the phone records for several people on a group phone bill, and the pattern of calls was definitely suspicious.

The Woodstock Police Department was the lead investigating agency, because it was where she was reported missing. However, Woodstock is more than 300 miles from Mt. Vernon and Jefferson County, and it would have been difficult and expensive for Woodstock PD to investigate thorough.

Did the Illinois State Police get a tip to check out a burn pit? Who tipped them? Did that person seek immunity for providing the tip? 

Never lose hope in DNA testing. It might take a while; might take years. But cases get solved many years later. 

Remains are of Beth Bentley

The Illinois State Police is reporting that burned remains found approximately two years in Jefferson County, Illinois, near Mt. Vernon, are those of missing Beth Bentley, then 41, of Woodstock.

Beth was reported missing in May 2010, when she did not return from a trip to Mt. Vernon, Iowa with her friend, Jenn Wyatt. There are many articles on this blog. For a couple of years I wrote weekly about her being missing.

There were plenty of suspicions floating around about what happened to her. There were too many misdirections and red herrings. Too many stories that didn't match up. Too many sketchy circumstances.

Those closest to these stories should be worried big-time now that her remains have been found. In my mind, there is no doubt that at least six people have known since May 2010 exactly what happened to her. Until now they apparently have kept their mouths shut. Now that they know the little burning trick didn't work, maybe at least one of them will be nervous enough to speak up.

Obviously, she never took a train from Centralia, as Wyatt said. How is Wyatt going to explain now about the identity of the burned remains? Wyatt claimed then that she had driven Bentley to the Amtrak station and dropped her there, so that Bentley could take the train to Chicago and on to Woodstock. Will she stick to that story now?

Thanks to the numerous people who tipped me off to the short story in the Northwest Herald. The Illinois State Police will remain quiet; it's an open case.

The next court date on the probate of Beth's Will is scheduled for February 18, 2020. Will Judge Chmiel find good reason to hold the probate open? Can anyone explain the Motion to Impound that was filed on December 21, 2017? Is this similar to sealing court records? Why would that have been requested?

Monday, December 17, 2018

WARNING: Learn now about Guardianships

Do you know an elderly person who is trying to live on his/her own? Do you know a family in which children of that person are battling over control of a parent's healthcare and/or assets? Are you a person who might find yourself needing a guardianship in the future? Or unwillingly ruled a Ward by some court?

Recently I learned of Americans Against Abusive Probate Guardianships, whose website is www.aaapg.net 

Now is the time to become familiar with some of the horror stories regarding guardianships and to begin steps to avoid them from affecting you in the future.

Too often I have told people that they might need a lawyer to protect them from their lawyer. I myself have been adversely affected by poor (even criminal) legal advice, but not so far as any guardianship. But I have a friend of 25 years whose life was turned upside-down by guardianship actions, brought on by her own sister, that affected their elderly mother and may have directly resulted in the mother's death. She is now suing the State of Wisconsin, a nursing home and a major national charity. And she is having to do it pro se.

Another friend, this one in a Chicago suburb, has watched her brothers and a friend of one of the brothers take control of their 95-year-old father. She became subject to an Emergency Order of Protection that forbids her to contact her father in any way. I encouraged her to get legal representation without delay and to discuss an immediate Motion to gain at least email communication with her dad. A judge granted that Motion, and then one brother had her charged with violating the Order. This resulted in her arrest and jailing! (And a second fee for legal services.)

She wasn't going to watch BROKEN but did, after I told her that her father is one court date away from a guardianship.

Watch this powerful video, titled BROKEN, about the abuse that occurs when people and authorities collude to take over an elderly person's life and assets: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jUzjkc8Y0QM&feature=youtu.be

Two videos will open your eyes. One is this trailer: www.vimeo.com/imagin8r/theguardians

Consider pre-ordering the documentary titled "The Guardians" at $12.99 in the next ten days through https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/the-guardians/id1442753626   Could be the best $12.99 you'll spend in 2018.

The producer/director writes that the film won eight major awards, played at 21 festivals worldwide, and is being aired in nine countries. But NOT in the United States. No network in the USA was willing to show it. Why not? My guess is the legal industry is too powerful.

How often have I told people, "You need a lawyer to protect you from your lawyer"? That was certainly true in McHenry County. Watch this videos and the documentary.

And take a hard look at donating to and supporting the AAAPG.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Is your CWP info confidential?

You probably think your application and file information for your concealed carry permit are private. Right? But how would you know if it is being released to nosy people? You wouldn't.

According to this blog in Wisconsin, http://racinecountycorruption.blogspot.com/, the sheriff of Racine County may be disclosing protected information. And doing so in violation of DOJ guidelines.

I can't explain why the author of that article mentions Appleton and Ashland, which are well outside Racine County, which is south of Milwaukee. But perhaps the good Sheriff of Racine County believes he can release any State of Wisconsin concealed-carry records, not just Racine County residents.

If you wonder whether your own records can be released, file a FOIA Request with your own sheriff's department. Have someone else request your records. A sheriff's department will be in a Catch-22 situation. If they are releasing the records but lie and say they aren't, that will bite them where it hurts, when the truth comes out. If they are releasing them and tell the truth, then it's time for law-abiding registrants to haul them into court.