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Off the Record (July 22, 2015)

Teo Palmieri
Teo Palmieri

A FRENZIED midnight knife attack Sunday two miles northwest of Laytonville has left a 17-year-old boy and a 52-year-old man dead. Two other persons at the Meadow Lane home of a prominent Laytonville doctor were also stabbed but are expected to survive.

(JUST IN late Monday afternoon. 17-year-old Teo Palmieri of Laytonville was stabbed to death as was his father, 52-year-old Coleman Palmieri of Laytonville.)

19-YEAR-OLD Talen Clark Barton, 145 pounds and six feet tall, has been arrested. He made no effort to flee the residence and did not attack either of two teenage girls in the home. Barton was enrolled at Humboldt State University and had attended the Willits Charter School. As a high school student, he'd threatened his Laytonville foster mother with a 15-pound weight, crashing it through the floor of her home. Barton was arrested for that episode. The murdered 17-year-old was best friend to his killer and had urged his family to take Barton in after his former foster mother, Denise Shields, expressed fear for her life.

THE TWO injured persons surviving Barton's attacks were a second 52-year-old-man and a 54-year-old woman visiting from Canada. They had apparently tried to stop the mayhem when Barton turned on them. A deputy, as yet unnamed, was able to stanch the neck wounds to the 54-year-old woman until emergency responders arrived, said Sheriff Tom Allman in a 4pm Sunday press conference at his Ukiah headquarters. All four victims were repeatedly stabbed by Barton, who was wielding what the Sheriff described as "twelve-inch kitchen knife."

BARTON, whose relatives say he exhibited signs of uncontrollable volatility as a teenager, was booked into the Mendocino County Jail early Sunday morning on two counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder.


SHERIFF TOM ALLMAN said the killer himself made the first and only 911 call at about 12:45am at the request of a teenage girl in the home. The Sheriff said that after the attack that killed two people and left two others near death, Barton changed his "blood-soaked" clothes and smoked marijuana while he waited for deputies to arrive and chatted with the 911 dispatcher who kept him on the line. Barton told arriving deputies that he is a heavy marijuana smoker.

FIRST REPORTS, unconfirmed, say that Barton, originally from the Los Angeles area, was placed in the Shields' Laytonville home by an outside foster agency. The Sheriff said that North County deputies had a previous "contact" with Barton as a juvenile in January of 2013, adding that another youth had said that Barton had recently talked about "killing someone."

LES CRANE, a well-known marijuana advocate, was murdered in a bloody home invasion robbery northeast of Laytonville in November of 2005. There have been several murders in Laytonville between the 2005 killing of Crane and Barton's homicidal rampage Sunday night, but none of them were as unsettling. Crane's murder has never been solved, Barton's maniacal killings await explanation.

JACOB AARON HOWARD, 36, of Fort Bragg, was pronounced dead at the scene Sunday afternoon after he was hit by a vehicle while riding his bicycle on Highway One just south of Fort Bragg. The CHP immediately initiated a search for the driver of the red truck they believe struck and killed Howard. The crash took place around 4:20pm about two miles south of Fort Bragg near Boice Lane. According to witnesses, the death was caused by the driver of a red pickup which struck the bicyclist as he was headed south on the southbound shoulder of Highway One. The truck then continued south. Debris at the scene suggests the truck sustained front-end damage and has a broken headlight. Anyone with information about the crash or the whereabouts of the red truck or driver is encouraged to call the Ukiah CHP at 467-4000.

A READER WRITES: "Regarding your report last week about the Mental Health Contracts: Like James Marmon, I too watched the entire Supes meeting on the mental health contracts, but a few corrections are in order. The contracts were on the regular calendar, not consent. It was the Mental Health Services Act that was on consent until McCowen pulled it. And the large volume of material that was distributed was at McCowen's request. The contracts posted online showed none of the changes or the dollar amounts from previous years. McCowen asked for the redline version to show the changes. Which proves Marmon's point that HHSA is heavily invested in keeping mental health privatization under wraps.

ONLY GJERDE AND MCCOWEN showed any real interest in getting answers. When Gjerde asked why Ortner's admin fee was several times more than Redwoods, Brown promptly adjourned for lunch. When they came back, Hamburg immediately made a motion to rubber stamp the contracts. Woodhouse quickly seconded Hamburg's rubber stamp motion. When McCowen asked for discussion, Brown refused. The motion passed with Gjerde's question still unanswered. I hope the Grand Jury is paying attention on this one."

WE ALSO HOPE the DA has someone watching these highly suspicious transactions. As for Hamburg, a presumed liberal, one would think he would have opposed privatization of mental health services as one more step towards the rightwing dream of dismantling government responsibilities altogether. But then Ortner's man in Mendo, Tom Pinizzotto, has run personal errands for Hamburg, and Hamburg has run interference for Ortner, most notably when Pinizzotto, from his present position as an administrator with Mendo's non-privatized half of mental health services, arranged for Hamburg's troubled son to jump the line at the County Jail for treatment at Ortner's $800-a-day facility in Yuba City. The Superior Court, stuffed with long time Hamburg affiliates, subsequently waived pay-back fees for Hamburg, a wealthy man. We live in hope that Supervisors Brown and Woodhouse will wake up to join McCowen and Gjerde in trying to restore honest functioning at Mental Health, not to mention effective treatment for Mendocino County's mentally ill.

IN DAYS GONE BY, local loggers were required to mark yarding corridors via which logs would be pulled out from where they'd been felled. MRC now has their salaried foresters do that work so they can save a few bucks while stiffing local guys who, by tradition, got that work. Some experienced local loggers think the yarding corridors done by MRC's foresters are not done right and have to be re-done by the local loggers, thus causing the locals more unpaid work and causing unnecessary friction between local loggers and MRC's staff guys.

GRATUITOUS COMMENT. This kind of nickel nosing by MRC's billionaire owners is unseemly, to say the least. It's reminiscent of the time the French-owned Roederer Winery of Philo, a comparably wealthy family-owned business, attempted to stiff its grape crews at harvest time by forcing them to split their hard-earned wages with the guy who drove the harvest bin tractor. That crumb bum move by Roederer caused a strike and a brief affiliation by Roederer workers with the United Farm Workers.

SUPERVISOR JOHN McCOWEN has been vilified in an ongoing court case whose defendant threatened to attack McCowen with what has been described as a "walking stick." McCowen, that rare office holder who takes real responsibility for his district (and home town) of Ukiah and its surrounding environs, spends much of his free time cleaning up after the homeless, especially those homeless camps directly draining into the battered Russian River. He's somehow become the villain in this one when, obviously, he is the victim, plain and simple. The defense is saying, essentially, that McCowen should mind his own business, that if he weren't trying to protect what's left of the Russian River this guy wouldn't have attacked him! Talk about standing reality on its head…


FRANCISCO J. ZAMORA, the would-be McCowen basher, was on trial last week for resisting arrest and for brandishing an alleged deadly weapon, a stick, at Supervisor McCowen and, later, responding Sheriff's deputies. The case predictably drew a lot of local attention.

ZAMORA WAS CONVICTED on Wednesday on a reduced charge of resisting arrest but was acquitted on the brandishing charges. Zamora, who was already on probation for brandishing a deadly weapon, a knife, was also found guilty of violating his probation on that one. Zamora has been in custody since he was arrested on June 17. He was sentenced to ninety days total for resisting and the violation of probation. With two days credit for every day served combined with his time served since the incident, he will be out in another couple of weeks.

ZAMORA'S ATTORNEY, LINDSAY PEAK, argued that the case was about a politician, John McCowen, and his ego. She also played the race card and threw in intolerance against the homeless, especially the Hispanic homeless. Mr. Zamora, probably on the advice of his attorney, chose not to testify in his own defense which prevented the jury from hearing about the previous conviction for brandishing a knife.

McCOWEN encountered Mr. Zamora and two companions under the Talmage Bridge while McCowen was again attempting to clean up the river and local creeks on his own time, which he’s been doing for a dozen years or more, and he knows most of the people in that area by name. When Zamora and the other two men refused to leave, McCowen called the Sheriff's Office dispatch and reported them for illegal camping.

A FEW MINUTES LATER, McCowen called dispatch back saying "I had to run for it, I got chased by a guy with a stick." By McCowen's account, Zamora chased him for about 150 feet until McCowen reached the safety of his truck and drove away. Zamora was still in the vicinity when the deputies responded to McCowen's second call. The deputies testified that Zamora, still holding the stick, initially squared off against them as well, but quickly dropped the stick when he realized he was in the presence of cops. He was arrested for resisting when he became verbally aggressive and refused to cooperate.

THE CASE SEEMED TO HINGE on the “stick.” Was it a deadly weapon? Was it capable of inflicting great bodily harm? Was McCowen in genuine fear? But the deputies hadn't bothered to take the stick, the one piece of physical evidence, into custody. So the jury was left to wonder how deadly the stick was. In the absence of the stick, a pointer, scarcely thicker than a pencil, was used as a stand in. It seems unlikely that Mr. Zamora was chasing McCowen through the orchard just to say hello, but in the absence of anything more threatening than the pointer, the jury was unable to conclude that Mr. Zamora was armed with a dangerous weapon.

THE FAILURE to collect the only physical evidence in Mr. Zamora's case calls to mind the botched investigation of Susan Keegan's murder. The Keegans were in the midst of a contentious divorce, but were still living in the same house. Dr. Keegan was enraged at the thought that he would have to share half of "his" money and property with his wife of thirty years. The responding deputy listened sympathetically to Dr. Keegan's account of how Mrs. Keegan had stumbled in a drunken and drug induced stupor and fell, fatally colliding with the bathroom fixtures. The deputy took Keegan’s word for it and wrote it off as a tragic accident without processing the scene for evidence. After Susan Keegan’s outraged friends and family clamored for a real investigation, there were follow-up investigations, albeit much after the fact, and the cause of death was determined to be “homicide.” The only two people in the house at the time were Dr. and Mrs. Keegan and one was dead. Mrs. Keegan was the victim of multiple blunt force trauma injuries to the head, with defensive wounds on her arms, where she tried to shield herself from the blows her attacker inflicted on her.

ALTHOUGH THE GRAVITY OF THE TWO CASES bears no resemblance, the failure to take the most rudimentary steps to preserve evidence is common to both cases. What's different is that the DA chose to pursue a brandishing charge against Mr. Zamora without having the key piece of evidence, the stick, in evidence. Because of the botched initial investigation, key evidence in the Keegan case is also missing. But all the evidence that can be recovered in the Keegan case has already been recovered. It has been analyzed from every angle. The basic fact remains that two people were alone in the house. The cause of death is homicide. One of them had an incentive to murder and the other one is dead. Susan Keegan deserves her day in court — and so does her murderer.

THE BLACK CAUCUS of the state legislature wants Fort Bragg to re-name itself. The caucus last week sent this letter to the city signed by eight of its 12 members:

“Fort Bragg is known for its strong sense of community, natural beauty and forward vision. It is also a very diverse community, with residents of many ethnicities and nationalities. But the name Bragg comes from a darker history: Braxton Bragg served as a military adviser to the president of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis, and as a general in the Confederate Army who led many bloody battles against the Union. He personally owned 105 slaves as he fought to preserve slavery. This is not the legacy that your city or any city should be associated with."

THE LEGISLATURE'S black caucus seems to have taken their lead from demagogic state senator Steven Glazer of the all-white Bay Area enclave of Orinda. Glazer has proposed legislation banning Confederate names from public buildings and places in California. The state's black caucus's attempt to re-direct state attention from real problems, singles out Fort Bragg — small, rural, weakly-represented, if represented at all at the state level of government, to make this show biz stand against racism, cynically clambering onto the national news featuring the removal of Confederate flags from the South's public buildings.

BRAXTON BRAGG had his name affixed to the remote fort on the Mendocino Coast several years prior to the outbreak of the Civil War. The fort at what became Fort Bragg was abandoned in 1864. It had functioned as a collection point for what was, essentially, a genocidal removal of Native Americans from California's Northcoast. Indians rounded up from areas as far south as Gualala and as far inland as the Anderson Valley were quartered at Fort Bragg before being herded on foot to the Round Valley reservation.

FORT BRAGG CITY COUNCILMAN Mike Cimolino described the re-name proposal as "crazy" in a statement to the Press Democrat. “It would be crazy,” he said, and, "I haven't had one person come up to me and say, 'I want you to change the name." The state legislature's black caucus, however, urges the city to change its name. “Now is the time to show leadership. Now is the time to embrace a new vision for your city and not be shackled by its shameful namesake,” the caucus’s resolution insists.

IF WE'RE GOING to rewrite American history to make it nicey-nice, we'll also have to re-brand everything with either Washington and Jefferson in its title. George and Tom were both slave owners and both spent many nights with female slaves whose many descendants are spread throughout today's United States. Here in Mendocino County, not an acre from Covelo to Gualala doesn't rest on the murder of the original peoples. Our country has a bloody history. Name a country that doesn't. This movement to rewrite our history demeans all that we've overcome to get where we are. Where exactly that is is a matter for debate, but it's a lot better than where we were, and that's the fact of it that ought to be celebrated, revered even, not the attempt by demagogues to posture on the struggles of much better men and women than they are.

REDWOOD VALLEY does not need a Dollar General when the community already has a fine little market that Dollar would seriously harm by undercutting prices on everyday items. Ukiah is just down the road and corporatized to the max, and about to be corporatized even more with a Ukiah-subsidized CostCo. Redwood Valley is still rural-residential and most people who live there, we daresay, prefer to keep it that way. The County's planning commission voted 4-2 to permit Dollar to proceed with a store in Redwood Valley because zoning permits it. Zoning permits all kinds of things inconsistent with an essentially rural area. The decision to approve another outside corporation from getting its hooks into us will, we presume, be appealed to the Supes who, we also presume, will vote it down.

WE ARE AMAZED that no one in Official Mendocino County seems upset in the least about Mental Health Director Tom Pinizzotto — a former Ortner executive — negotiating billing rates and Mental Health contracts with his old pals at Ortner Management Group.

Let's review:

We have Supervisor Dan Gjerde pointing out that Ortner is overcharging for administration.

We have Ortner’s bill showing that they’re overcharging for case management (and probably more, buried deep in their nearly unreadable bills).

We have the Grand Jury’s report from last year pointing out in chapter and verse that Mr. Pinizzotto has an obvious “appearance” of a conflict of interest, i.e., an actual conflict of interest if not a technically illegal one.

Since Pinizzotto oversees Ortner’s Mental Health activities and acts as gatekeeper for information to the Board of Supervisors and the public, and since he's a former Ortner employee who negotiated privatization of roughly half of Mendocino County's mental health services (valued at $7 to $8 million annually) with Ortner and then went to work as an administrator with the unprivatized part of Mendocino County's mental health services, how could this NOT be an illegal conflict of interest?

We have a Mental Health Advisory Board that doesn’t interest itself in finances or actual delivery of services, which causes us to wonder how that board views its function. What is its reason for being?

We still have a bloated County Mental Health department — also overseen by Pinizzotto — in spite of most of the work supposedly having been farmed out to Ortner Management Group, a private for-profit business, and Redwood Children’s Management Company, another private business.

We have A Board of Supervisors (well, four of them anyway — Hamburg is either oblivious or complicit) who seem interested in looking into some aspects of the Mental Health Department’s finances but never gets around to actually doing it.

We have a small army of free-range nuts and drug-addled Mendolanders who get no “service” and cause a lot of trouble and expense because a huge chunk of the Mental Health money is not going anywhere near them. Instead, we have the Ortner people offering alleged services like Tai Chi and Geezers Talking To Each Other (“Senior Peer Counseling”) being charged out by the minute as a “Mental Health Service.”

We have this private contractor, Ortner, in business to make a profit for its owners deciding who gets what mental health service based largely on ability to pay or insurance coverage.

And we have Ortner (via a subcontractor) about to move in to the Old Coast Hotel in downtown Fort Bragg where they will surely expand their admin services even more because Ortner has yet to bill at his full spending authority rate rubberstamped by the supervisors.

We have HHSA Director Stacey Cryer saying — admitting, really, after more than two years of privatization experience — they have a lot to learn about the process, and admitting that the County and Ortner are still performing duplicate administrative functions.

We have an ongoing multi-million dollar mental health deficit caused by state denials of mental health service reimbursement claims, which drains money away from other important county programs, including law enforcement which has become Mendocino County's de facto mental health service provider although we're paying a private provider between $7 and $8 million annually to care for this county's adult walking wounded.

And we have the Board of Supervisors throwing even more money at this badly broken and corrupt mess via two recent $500k Mental Health contract amendments and the pending $150k “Stepping Up” initiative as if any real good is being done for the bulk of the Mentally Ill with these wasted tax dollars.

How bad does this have to get before somebody at least audits this stinking pile of privatized administrative manure?

Calling DA Eyster: Is fraud still a crime? Isn’t Pinizzotto’s position illegal?


  1. John Fremont July 23, 2015

    Speaking of names, I think all sports fans will get a kick out of this letter written to the Chicago Tribune. No matter which side you are on in the controversy around renaming the Washington Redskins, this is funny. It was sent to Clarence Page of the Chicago Tribune after an article he published concerning a name change for the football team.

    Dear Mr. Page: I agree with our Native American population. I am highly insulted by the racially charged name of the Washington Redskins. One might argue that to name a professional football team after Native Americans would exalt them as fine warriors, but nay, nay. We must be careful not to offend, and in the spirit of political correctness and courtesy, we must move forward.

    Let’s ditch the Kansas City Chiefs, the Atlanta Braves and the Cleveland Indians. If your shorts are in a wad because of the reference the name Redskins makes to skin color, then we need to get rid of the Cleveland Browns.

    The Carolina Panthers obviously were named to keep the memory of militant Blacks from the 60’s alive. Well, that’s offensive to us white folk.

    The New York Yankees offend the Southern population. Do you see a team named for the Confederacy? No! There is no room for any reference to that tragic war that cost this country so many young men’s lives.

    I am also offended by the blatant references to the Catholic religion among our sports team names. Totally inappropriate to have the New Orleans Saints, the Los Angeles Angels or the San Diego Padres.

    Then there are the team names that glorify criminals who raped and pillaged: the Oakland Raiders, the Minnesota Vikings, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Pittsburgh Pirates!
    Now, let us address those teams that clearly send the wrong message to our children. The San Diego Chargers promote irresponsible spending. Wrong message to send our children.

    The New York Giants and the San Francisco Giants promote obesity, a growing childhood epidemic. Wrong message….

    The Cincinnati Reds promote downers/barbiturates. Wrong mess…

    The Milwaukee Brewers. Well that goes without saying.

    So, there you go. We need to support any legislation that comes out to rectify this travesty, because the government will likely become involved with this issue, as they should. Just the kind of thing the do-nothing Congress loves.

    As a die hard Oregon State fan, my wife and I, with all of this in mind, suggest it might also make some sense to change the name of the Oregon State women’s athletic teams to something other than “the Beavers (especially when they play Southern California . Do we really want the Trojans sticking it to the Beavers???)

    I always love your articles and I generally agree with them. As for the Redskins name I would suggest they change the name to the “Foreskins” to better represent their community, paying tribute to the dick heads in Congress.

  2. james marmon July 26, 2015

    Who’s to blame for the terrible tragedy?

    1. The District Attorney’s office should have never reduced Talen Barton’s felony assault charges down to misdemeanor vandalism.

    2. Pursuant WIC 241.1, Family and Children’s Services and the Probation office did not properly assess Talen Barton before placing him in the Norvell-Palmieri home.

    Talen’s former foster mother, Denise Shields, told newspapers that she tried to warn everyone about his violent dark side, but her concerns were dismissed. At the very least, he should have been given a psychological evaluation before the charge reduction and foster care placement.

    After he turned 18 years old, Talen was most likely made a “non minor dependent” by the courts so that he could receive extended foster care and funding, pursuant Assembly Bill 12.

    You are eligible for the AB12 program if you are doing at least one of the following:

    •Completing high school or an equivalent program.
    •Enrolling in college, community college or vocational education program.
    •Employed at least 80 hours a month.
    •Participating in a program/activity designed to remove barriers to employment.
    •Unable to do any of the above because of a medical condition.

    Talen Barton had recently been enrolled in college.

  3. BB Grace July 26, 2015

    Talen Barton is to blame for the tragedy.

    What can we learn from Talen Barton’s tragedy?

    That Mendocino County needs an administrative psychiatrist who will open a County Mental Hospital triage/screening/ observation lock down (Old Howard Hospital), establish community teams to administer services for outpatients, crises dispatch, get Mendocino HHS/BH/MH, DA, Sheriff, first responders, contractees, medical facilities and the bench on the same page for protocol and accountability.

    Psychological evaluations are interesting because they were developed for political reasons and remain best for political reasons. It wasn’t uncommon when State Hospital system developed psychological evaluation was used as the only evidense to lock unwanted spouses up. Today psychological tests are more common for employment, which I recently took such a test through the Department of Rehabilitation, which brought a psychologist up from San Francisco.

    Psychological testing does not determine what type of “medication” is needed, if any. There are no biological exams to determine what type of medication is needed, if any. There are brain scans which Amen clinics performs with success, but that’s free market, out of pocket, non insured or government sponsored.

    One thing I don’t like about merging substance abuse and mental health is while substance abuse is perhaps the best psychological evaluation (self medication is a form of proof one may need medication) the medical conditions that effect mental health, cronic pain, thyroid imbalance, parkinsons, alzheimers, developmental disabilites, greif, and the victims and survivors of tragedic events, such as Talon Batron’s survivors, who will need therapy; these problems have nothing to do with Sheriff and drug courts. For decades is was clear that people affected with mental health were victims more than perpetrators. But this is changing as headlines today inform us of one violent tragic event after the other by a mental health consumer. The wrong medication can flip a person, be the spark.

    When I volunteered myself into a mental hospital (a witness to tragedy, unfathomable, senseless ample tragedy, now they put civilians like me through post tramatic stress, which Talon Barton’s survivors will need), I was given litheum. Within two weeks litheum had me rapid cycling; literally turning red in anger, white in manical laughing and blue, sobbing. I was bouncing off walls. I was taken off litheum, as the nurses blamed the litheum, not me. If I had been an outpatient, I would have no one observe my rapid cycling, which if I had no doctor, I would have probably attempted to self medicate, which Talon Barton admitting he was smoking as much marijuana as he could, to come down.. off what?

    Why aren’t pharmaceutical corporations and the FDA held liable for the medications that trigger violent actions within those consumers seeking help?

    Talon Barton is ultimately responsible for the deaths and destruction he admitted to committing, however, his accomplis, a pharmaceutical drug he may have been taking, should also be held accountable.

    • james marmon July 26, 2015

      I believe you have a psychological evaluation mixed up with psychiatric examination. Psychologist don’t prescribe medications. Psychologists use a variety of tools to examine a person’s psychological underpinnings and personality (and how that could affect life experiences).

      “Personality tests include the questionnaires such as the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory (MMPI) and the Millon Clinical Multiaxial Inventory (MCMI), and the famed Rorschach test – where the person is shown a variety of inkblots and asked to tell the therapist what they see. These tests are meant to reveal how people see themselves and how they may behave.”

      • james marmon July 26, 2015

        The psychologist would have interviewed the previous foster mother, reviewed all criminal, school, mental health, and child welfare records before conducting the evaluation.

      • BB Grace July 26, 2015

        The Department of Rehabilitation brought in a psychologist, not a psychiartist, to administer many tests, none to prescribe medications, all to help determine what my strengths and weaknesses are for career change.

        Your top post suggested psychological evaluations, not psychiatric examinations. Perhaps you meant psychiatric examination, which I would agree, and assume Barton had such an evaluation before being prescribed whatever medication he was on, because I’m going to assume he was on a wrong medication for him and why he was smoking marijuana and telling people that he was going to kill someone.

        The county may soon find out why they need a county psychiatrist.

        I also agree with you that HHS is way over their heads.

  4. james marmon July 26, 2015

    No, I was talking about a psychological evaluation. Talen should have been given one. Its common for a social worker to request psych evals. I used them all the time when I worked at Mendo Family and Children’s Services.

    Juvenile Justice: Psychological Evaluations

    “Psychological evaluations, simply put are assessments and tests carried out to determine the psychological state and health of an individual. According to Franklin (2011), “Many juvenile offenders exhibit individual psychological problems, and others have been raised in problematic or dysfunctional families. Psychological evaluation of juvenile offenders is an essential part of the family court system, because the thrust of the juvenile justice system is to provide rehabilitation. A juvenile offender may need psychological treatment, educational assistance, or treatment for a substance abuse problem. Provision of these needed rehabilitation services will reduce the possibility of recidivism. ” Results of an evaluation are provided to court and to related agencies involved in the rehabilitation and care of these children in the pursuit of justice as well as welfare.”

  5. Eric Sunswheat July 26, 2015

    Here in below there, is some discussion in a recent front page news local murder arrest, that involves mental meds and mental health outcomes, and deficiencies in County Mental Health administration, with comments of BB Grace, and James Marmon, former County Mental Health worker, who accepted a $50,000 court severance settlement pay, with a stay away restraining order from the County.

    The Attorney for the Estate of Steve Neuroth (deceased), exposing cover up of Mendocino County jail death circumstances (meth toxicity, assault by jail staff etc.) last year, who has claimed to already filed the wrongful death lawsuit in court after giving the County legal notice of intent, might consult with James Marmon or a referral, on Steve Neuroth’s confidential mental health treatment case file, at County Mental Health and Ortner contractor(s).

    Perhaps James Marmon or his referral, could assess deceased Steve Neuroth’s monthly mental meds injections, since he preferred that after not taking the daily medication because adverse sexual dysfunction. Examined could be in relation to negligence by County/ Ortner/ ? refused care not even a bottle of water at mental health crisis center Access Center on day of arrest & jail death.

    Why Steve was discouraged previous month or two, by mental health to move to mental health group housing on S. Oak St., after being formally evicted from Gibson St. single person duplex mental health cottage apartments, because of several write ups of violations of rental agreement, in part including night time noise, as a result of seemingly non-extent sound insulation in walls between adjoining mental health sole occupancy apartments.

    And because he liked to have visitors and some companionship in his HUD rent subsidized one bedroom apartment, although some had their own personal problems or issues that they brought to his apartment, including borrowing or stealing his door key.

    Steve did therapeutic artwork through County mental health for many years, but had stopped going, and instead painted for months and years in his apartment, written up for storing flammable liquids used in his artwork paintings.

    Yet the flammables were left in the apartment after the mental health housing inspection, as a continuing violation. Steve eventually moved the flammable liquids to the trunk of his car, because of intervention by his friends, but not by mental health housing staff other than the write up of rental lease violation.

    Steve neglected to buy food and instead relied on adjoining nearby local food bank, because he was known by his case workers to be excessively generous with his girlfriend. His friends would bring over extra food from the Food Bank.

  6. james marmon July 27, 2015

    Mr. Sunswheat, I was not a mental health worker in Mendocino County, I was a master level social worker for Child Welfare Services. However, I do have some training and experience in mental health. My concentration in post graduate studies was mental health, and I also worked as a mental health specialist for two counties, Placer and Lake. I also have a degree in Alcohol and Drug Studies and have worked as a substance abuse counselor as well.

    I have no idea of what Ortner did or did not do to your friend Mr. Neuroth. Perhaps you could share more, so all of us will know.

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