Accused of Stealing


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?

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No so sure you should get so 'close' to your patients. There should be a healthy professional relationship maintained at all times. It troubles me that he put you as a beneficiary. That really opens it up to issues.

Then it's time to be an entrepreneur, perhaps in a new field. Lots of energy needed, but if you can find somewhere you are making a positive difference in people's lives as you did before, you know you will find the energy! Do what you love and the money will follow. Put the negatives behind you and go your own way. So many possibilities, there is no point in being dragged down!

As far as care giving is concerned I am Burnt Out. I cannot put myself in that position again. I have seen too much pain/suffering. If I were to be in a similar situation as I was with Mr. Less I would do the same thing. That said the the best thing for myself is to stay away from that possibility.

Let me see if I have this straight. Mark was first quoted somewhat anonymously in the paper saying that narc agents looked the other way because he was on a mission of mercy. He was later arrested, and the article above came out in support. I expect there was a felony conviction which would show up in a background check for normal employers, which would explain 1300 applications with no results.

Private care giving would be pretty much the only solution as corporate won't allow felons to work for them. Is that pretty accurate?

I see two things for your future: more entrepreneurship or more private care giving. With the lack of reference, I think you can attach the two news articles proactively to your resume so that the felony is explained up front. I think you confine your marketing to places where your preferred clientele eat, shop, and read. And you can always say that your previous employer's family fired you because they were biased against you. Totally true.

You have a niche to fill, and once you figure out how to market to that niche, I feel you will do well.

demonizing care workers in order to replace them with cheaper labor is so prevalent in the usa today that such a botched up accusation wont for one moment affect your prospects for future employment in the elder care field. hospice fired one of the aids who visited our home and i put her to work the next day helping me in masonry. the hospiss nurse told me to tell heather that a NH in brown county would guarantee her a job if shed apply. they knew they let her go to hire someone with better credentials and the client pill theft accusation was just a farce. its comical to this day, they fired her at the same time i needed a helper and i paid her better. lol. we had a fun summer and i gained a friend for life. shes now back in medicine and working for a hell of a better company.

It is 2014 and I have over 1300 job apps filed. And NOTHING.

home care is a growing industry. i dont think a former employers absurd allegations would matter much to a future employer. i cant stand ignorant, conclusion jumping people. im exposed to a bunch of those type with our hospice provider right now. they blurt out something ignorant then you can almost hear their ears slam shut before you reply. i blame university education . the years the people spent in college jerking off they should have been on the job learning real skills.

GWM, come to Palm Springs, honey! There is PLENTY of caregiver jobs for all types of male clients. After all, it's Palm Springs!

File a lawsuit against the agency that trashed your good reputation!

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.

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