Accused of Stealing

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I have worked for an agency(s) that helps seniors. They are Seniors Services of Rock County, and their sister agency Senior Services Plus. I had worked for Senior Services for nearly 10 whole years. Senior Services Plus has only been around for about five years.

My main client--the guy that I was taking care of--we will call him Mr. Less. I met Mr. Less 5 or 6 years before I started working for Senior Services of Rock County. At the time I was introduced to him he was a vibrant person. Mr. Less was heavily involved in politics. He had some mobility issues. all of which were minor at that time. I moved into his home and helped him with housecleaning and other day to day activities. Other people that he knew on a more social level would from time to time attempt to take advantage of Mr. Less and if I were made aware of such an attempt I brought it to the attention of Mr. Less. Most of the time he was extremely grateful.

As the years went be Mr. Less needed an increasing amount of attention. This was due to several psychical manifestations of things that he had picked up during his years of travel in the train industry. (hiv, malaria.) He also has had cancer twice. (The chemo destroyed his eyesight the second time around. Not to mention what 20 plus years of anti viral drugs will do to anyone. ) Two artificial hips and other bone replacements.

I hurt my back last April helping another client and as a result of that injury I was placed on Workman's Compensation. That is a whole other story. But for practical purposes the beginning of this story.

Other workers for Senior Services and Senior Services Plus were called in to Mr. Less's home at this time. At the best the Doctors told me "Light Duty". My supervisors told me: "If you see that a client is going to fall-let them fall and call 911."

My response was simply. "NO". So after that I retreated down to my living quarters and spent the vast majority of my time there.

As Mr. Less's condition deteriorated his eyesight went from bad to worse. He was in EXTREME pain. He started losing track of his pain meds* and started hinting that someone was stealing them. Precautions were taken. Lock boxes were bought etc. I purchased several of them for him myself. He was still losing drugs and pills were being found on the floor. But there was peace in the household again for awhile.

Then as Mr. Less continued down the road of life his condition required the services of a Hospice. The 3rd day of Hospice was there a pill or some pills were "missing". Hospice then called the police. Within hours of this event my boss from Senior Services called me on my cell and said "Mark how could you do such a thing to Mr. Less?" "Those are a commodity; they sell for a lot of money!"

* I have never handled Mr. Less's medications. I did not want that responsibility under ANY circumstances. Period.

I am willing - hell I demand - will pay for if I have to. A voice polygraph test. The same exact kind that our great Homeland Security uses. The questions that would be on the voice polygraph would be:

1. Did you steal drugs from Mr. Less?

2. Did S** M******* accuse you of stealing drugs from Mr. Less?

3. Do you believe those accusations dishonor and taint your reputation?

That puts into question THE MOST Valuable thing any person has: Integrity, Honesty, and Reputation. The last 10 years of my life are now trashed. I have not and have never stolen anything from this gentleman.

My question is this:

What is the soundest way for me to regain my reputation?


gwn, wow! First off, you did the right thing with his meds. You aren't supposed to be handling them and you didn't. Second, has it ever been documented that you noticed this pill issue with his doctors and your supervisors? I mean did you ever go to them and say you were finding them on the floor etc?

I've heard that pills do go for alot on the black market, street(where ever haha). Do you live beyond your means? If you want to regain a bit of your reputation with these people, let them into your life. It's embarrassing, but if it's what you want to do... Where would the money be going if you were taking and selling them?

There's no easy fix to this. Unfortunately no matter what you do, you've got a black mark from now on. I'm sorry for this! And I wish I personally had an answer. Hopefully someone else here can shed some better light.

Stick to what you believe in! Tell them you are willing to do whatever it is you need to do to earn back the trust that you DESERVE. By not walking away meekly, it shows them that you've got nothing to hide.
I have lived in the basement (a finished basement. well half of it anyways) of this man's home. I paid him rent. I got an inheritance from my Mom when she passed away. I bought myself some things and I bought him some things. The home has about 60% my stuff in it. Lot of that from my Mom. The man told me years ago and showed me that he had a life insurance policy with me as the beneficiary so I did feel comfortable in getting him some stuff that he liked. I have just found out however that he disposed of that without telling me. So on top of all this I will soon be homeless. As I said I am more than willing to undergo a voice stress polygraph. I want my named cleared.
I think KellyBean is right on the tarnished reputation thing. Attorneys would say the same to you. For some reason, truth and integrity aren't things they are interested in investigating or protecting. So sorry to hear about your trouble. Are others being indicted, as well? Sounds like you may have been set up, and that's got to hurt like crazy. Let us know how things develop. Will be praying for you.
I don't think I was set up. All this is from ONE pill, as I understand it. And there are others also that have been given the boot. I have a car that I have worked on for over 4 years and put in way too much money. (Mom told me "Build a nice car and this time keep it.") I will sell it for any amount I can get so as I may defend myself against this slander if I have to. That will make me cry. My honor is all I have got left. If I let this go it will always be in the back of people's heads. The voice stress polygraph will cost between 400 and 1000 bucks. Truth and integrity has worth only to those who possess it.
Will they allow you a voice stress polygraph? Is there a trial? Sounds so sad. You know you're innocent, and so does God. I'd say that's worth a lot!
There is no trial. I worked for them for 10 years. That job reference is shot. The guy that I worked for 15 years before that passed away last year. So that is 25 years of my 51 years on this earth blank. There is no trial. My former employer called me and accused me without any legal basis! Even if they don't allow it, at least I would have something I could present to their Board of Directors. As much as I would like to continue doing that type of work I have to say never again. I have to varying degrees helped over 40 people over the years--most of them HIV and all the related horrors that go with that--I am just plain burnt out. All I want to do is to BE ABLE to get a job. At my age it is tough to get a job when one has good references and economic times are good. It would be a lot easier if I had any family that was still living. I am on my own here. I spent a good share of the day googling attempting to find some sort of legal counsel. With any luck I just may get a call or an encouraging email Friday. I can't get into any sort of trouble by posting all this I pray. Everything I have said here is the truth, but after all this happening to me I am starting to be just plain scared and angry.
I understand scared and angry, as I'm dealing with some pretty horrendous integrity issues as well. Hard to defend what is not observable, and I sometimes feel I'm watching my accuser fight the wind. Don't really know how to fight for myself, and don't have anyone fighting for me. It's definitely not a pleasant place to be, and few could possible understand. But, God does, and in him do I place my trust. To whom else can I go? An attorney costs $$$$$ much, and that's the way false accusers like it. They get protection, we don't, and that's just not right! So, when I say I'm praying for you, I am praying for myself as well. If God be for us, who can be against us?
What the heck, everyone here seems to be "Good People". So, on a whim I am going to tell you guys a little about my past. Please keep in mind when you read this that what I was doing back then was necessary. There were NO medications that provided HIV and AIDS people with any appetite stimulation. When the AIDS epidemic was getting started a large percentage of the victims died from what is known as "wasting syndrome". They simply did not feel like eating and starved to death. I am proud of what I did and nothing will change that. I helped many guys in many ways. This was about 1985 (As we age dates seem just to get harder and harder to pull from memory.)

Wheels of Justice Make Odd Gyrations
Written by Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat Gazette

Mark Meacham Is in trouble, and he doesn't know what to do, maybe he deserves the trouble, maybe he is nothing more than a punk drug dealer. He says he isn't, and I believe him, but you might not. And even if you do, you might not approve of what he used to do.

Until a few weeks ago, Meacham spent most of his time providing various "services" to people infected by the HIV virus. He called his one-man enterprise "AID For PWAs." People with AIDS would call Meacham and he would come over and do their shopping or change a light bulb for them. He might cut their grass, help them with their taxes or a loan application. He prepared a few wills free-of-charge.

But mostly what Meacham did was sell them cannabis-marijuana. He charged $30 to $45 for a quarter-ounce, depending on how much he had to pay for the grass. It covered his expenses. Marijuana, he says, helped the AIDS patients to sleep, stimulated their appetites and generally improved their outlook.

A lot of people think marijuana helps ease the pain associated with living with AIDS. A lot more would probably agree that it does no harm.

A few weeks ago, Meacham was making as many as 15 deliveries a day, seven days a week, even on holidays. He admits that he also sold a little bit of marijuana to friends not infected with HIV. But he says he did this to subsidize his main mission-caring for the sick.

He suspects it was one of these friends who turned him in. His AIDS-stricken clients needed him too much.

When they got Meacham, he had "14 or 15" bags of marijuana in his car and was carrying $2,100 in cash. Of course, they took all that. They took him down to the Little Rock City Jail, locked him up. Meacham's lover-who was with him at the time of the arrest-cashed his paycheck, borrowed some money and bailed him out. Meacham was out of the business.

A few weeks later, Saline County sheriff's deputies and Little Rock marcotics agents showed up at Meacham's $150-a-month apartment near Shannon Hills. They searched the place and found a small amount of grass-about an eighth of an ounce that Meacham says was for his personal use.

They also found some warning labels that Meacham had prepared-he used to affix them to the cannabis he sold the AIDS patients. The labels cautioned patients against driving or operating heavy machinery while under the influence of the drug. At the bottom of the labels were the incriminating words, "Cannabis, 7 grams."

Because Meacham had used his computer to prepare the labels, the Saline County authorities seized it. And with it, Meacham says, his only legitimate means of making a living.

"I had some typesetting jobs lined up," he says. "Legitimate things, newsletters, club announcements, things like that. I was just to the point where I really understood what was happening with the computer, where I could make it do my will."

That bust occurred on the day Meacham's boyfriend was to move in with him. But few relationships can survive the strain of two busts within six weeks. After the second bust, Meacham's boyfriend began to make fewer and fewer appearances, and each time he'd come over he'd leave with something he'd moved into the apartment. Finally, he took his VCR, claiming that he needed to have it serviced. Meacham hasn't seen him since.

"He won't even answer my letters," he sighs.

And with virtually no income, he couldn't keep up the $100-a-month note on his Ford Festiva, a vehicle he used to drive 300 miles a day. With no savings, and no way to look for a job, he's in danger of losing his apartment. Utility bills are a problem.

I know, it's a regular sob story.

But what you should understand, even if you think that marijuana has legitimate medicinal value, is that there are people who think Mark Meacham is a saint. You should know that he did not profit from his dealing-he made enough selling marijuana to cover his gas, meals, car payment, and rent. He did not live extravagantly or even very well.

And there is something else you should know. In January, this newspaper ran a story on the medicinal use of marijuana. Meacham allowed himself to be interviewed for that story, and though his full name was not used in the article, he was easy enough to identify. Probably too easy to identify.

In that interview, Meacham had nothing but praise for the Little Rock Police Department's narcotics agents. He implied that he had a special relationship with the officers, that they knew who he was and what he did, but were willing to tolerate his presence. That they knew he wasn't selling crack, that he wasn't even selling to everyone who had the cash. Meacham believed the narcs thought of him as kind of a social worker, someone to be watched, but hardly a bad actor.

In retrospect, Meacham believes that might not have been such a wise thing to imply. Someone might have disapproved of the discretion the drug squad was exercising, they might have sent word down that no one, no matter altruistic their motives, should be given a break.

"He thought he had some immunity and he didn't," Glenn Schwarz, president of Arkansas NORML-the organization that works for marijuana legalization-says. "You can't do things illegally-even with the best of intentions-without it catching up to you. All it took was some bureaucrat to say, 'I want this stopped.'

"We can't allow our people to keep getting busted like this. We've got to change the law."

NORML has set up a Medical Cannabis Legal Defense Fund to defray some of Meacham's legal expenses. Meacham says you can call him at 847-2709 for details. Maybe it's not such a wise thing to run his phone number either, but it’s what he wants.

Another thing, not quite sure how it fits in, but it seems that it does. In September, Meacham was shot four times at point blank range by a man who allegedly said that he "wanted to shoot a queer in the face" as part of a gang initiation.

A suspect in the shooting was arrested a couple of weeks ago. He was charged not with attempted murder, but with first-degree battery. If convicted, he might even receive a suspended sentence and probation.

Meacham cannot expect probation. He can expect to go to jail.
File a lawsuit against the agency that trashed your good reputation!
GWM, come to Palm Springs, honey! There is PLENTY of caregiver jobs for all types of male clients. After all, it's Palm Springs!

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