Archive for Friday, October 21, 2005

Care home workers charged with abuse

Two men accused of mistreating mentally challenged resident

October 21, 2005


Two Lawrence men have been charged with abusing a mentally challenged resident of a local care facility.

Dustin D. Taylor, 20, was charged in Douglas County District Court with two counts of mistreatment of a dependent adult. Eric S. Wyatt, 34, was charged with three counts of mistreatment of a dependent adult and two counts of mistreatment of a confined person.

Both men are accused of mistreating a 57-year-old man at Ponderosa House, a licensed intermediate care home for mentally challenged adults. Taylor and Wyatt were employed at the home, which is in 1200 block of East 26th Street and operated by Community Living Opportunities.

In a written statement, Wyatt confessed to having grabbed the victim "in an aggressive manner and pinched his cheeks shut."

Wyatt also wrote that he would hit the victim with the heel of his shoe.

"I have no excuse for my actions other than poor judgment while being impaired by emotion and extreme frustration," Wyatt wrote in a statement included in court documents.

Charges were filed against Taylor and Wyatt by Kansas Atty. Gen. Phill Kline. His office began investigating after a routine review of records at the Kansas Department on Aging.

"We noticed some things that didn't seem right," said Whitney Watson, a spokesman for Kline's office.

CLO chief executive officer Mike Strouse said his staff filed the information with the state after an internal investigation, which led to the termination of Taylor and Wyatt in July.

1200 block of East 26th Street

"We were really happy the investigation by the attorney general's office occurred," Strouse said. "When someone privately does something to a person who can't or doesn't speak, then it's good these investigations happened and that charges are filed. It shows there are ramifications against such actions."

Strouse said the organization does background checks on all employees before hiring them. Wyatt had been employed with CLO since January 2002, and Taylor worked for CLO since June 2003.

The name of the victim has been withheld. But Strouse said the man has been with CLO "for a few decades and part of Ponderosa House for many years."

As of Thursday afternoon, Wyatt was no longer being held at the Douglas County Jail. A $10,000 bond was posted for his release, said Lt. Kari Wempe, spokeswoman for the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. Jail records indicate Taylor was released at 8 p.m. Thursday. His bond was $5,000.


GrammarHooker 12 years, 5 months ago

Wow wendt, way to go completely off topic, and in such a hostile manner, too. Thanks for making all of us nurses look so professional. We couldn't have done it without you.

Christine Anderson 12 years, 5 months ago

Alright, I've had it!! I used to live behind those two homes being used for the Ponderosa House. I spent many years caring for ill or frail elderly persons PROPERLY, as an R.N. When I think back, it seems thete were a few things which were sort of odd. For example, sometimes I would see one car there part of the day/evening, and other days, the car was not there at all. ( Caregiver(s) vehicle?? ) I would often take walks around that block, and see the car in the driveway, with a stethoscope hanging from the rear-view mirror! Now, if the driver of that car was ON DUTY, then the scope belonged inside the house, on his person, to be used on a patient. I wonder, if the caregiver diidn't have his equipment inside the house with him/her, did he perhaps falsify b/p or apical pulse readings? In addition to being negligent to the patient, that's called fraudulent documentation. It's great if these two scums are in jail. Still, I think the nurse-inspectors for the State of Ks should appear for a surprise visit!

superduper 12 years, 5 months ago

One confessed and one didn't. You also have to remember that in some of these situations it is easy to blame someone for abuse when they are really helping. I have a mentally ill family member that occasionally looks beat to S*$& and they just fell down a flight of stairs. I've also had to pratically body slam her to the ground to keep her from running into traffic. There was also some strange stuff with mgmt. or the owners of the organization if I remember. I know the other guy and don't believe he would hurt anyone. thanks.

caxap 12 years, 5 months ago

I used to work for the organization and I know one of the guys. First of all, they were not nurses, they were teachers, hired to teach life skills to the individuals. It is not CLO's fault that this happened. It is just a case of some immmature guys not taking their job seriously, being poorly supervised and not recognizing the legal ramifications of their actions. It probably could have been prevented, but CLO has a very good structure in place for reporting cases of abuse and neglect, and that is how the A.G. was informed of the incident. Please don't demonize the people involved or the CLO.

Confrontation 12 years, 5 months ago

I used to work for CLO, and it was the absolute worst job ever! Those in charge like to take the clients off as many meds as possible, which leaves the few staff members completely vulnerable to extreme and dangerous behavior. I remember working with another staff member who was a teenaged girl. We were put in charge of four very uncontrolable adult men. We had to chase one around a parking lot and he would punch and kick. Honestly, 90% of their clients will make NO contribution to society, and they should honestly be in a state facility somewhere. I never felt this way until I experienced this dangerous and stressful job. Some of their clients are able to contribute through WalMart's recycling center and other things like that.

Confrontation 12 years, 5 months ago

I'm not saying that these clients should be abused. It just takes a very patient and crazy employee to stay there for very long.

Jamesaust 12 years, 5 months ago

I am uncertain what explanation would suffice for hitting someone with a shoe but impairment "by emotion and extreme frustration" is an inadequate excuse.

StirrrThePot 12 years, 5 months ago

I used the work at CLO as well. It was a mixture of good feelings and bad. I definitely agree with caxap, but I also think that being a teacher there can be very high stress, and depending on who the consultant of the group home is, can be an outright nightmare. It DOES take a special, patient individual to be a care provider there.

The problem with what Confrontation says about some of these folks needing to be put in a state institution is, most likely, they already HAVE been institutionalized. Many of these folks pick up bad habits and experiences because of what they went through in the state system.

I believe that for the most part, CLO does an excellent job providing care for people with disabilities. It is so difficult matching people up with others they can live with, and matching daily activities as well. Some combinations do not work. Some teachers do not work either.

I do not know the answer, but I do know that no one should ever be abused in his own home, for any reason whatsoever. I also know that no one should ever be put in a position that causes him or her to become abusive. You can do background checks, but people need to pay attention to personality types and how people solve problems when they hire teachers. Maybe then they start to get the right combinations of clients and caregivers.

junebug 12 years, 5 months ago

I worked at Ponderosa house with one of these men. There were quite a few times when staff members notified the supervisors of the home that the abuse was happening. When he was fired, it was not the first time that CLO had heard things about him. He had actually been suspended before due to an abuse claim. He was able to return to the same home after that and the people who turned him in were removed from the home and sent to another home. The reason he finally was fired is because a staff member of the house informed the team leaders of the home that unless something was done, SRS would be contacted. It was a staff member, not CLO that contacted SRS and that is when something was finally done about the abuse.

Ponderosa house has, and still does employ some very caring and hard working teachers and staff members. The men and women are being very well taken care of now, and because of some loyal staff members, the abuse was put to a stop.

whosaid 12 years, 5 months ago

First of all, these homes are not medical facilities. They are homes. The people caring for them are not nurses. They are caregivers/teachers. The people living in these homes are not patients. They are consumers.

misplacedcheesehead: I am sorry, but you do not understand how a state group home works at all. If you saw a car that had a stethoscope hanging from the rear view mirror, it probably was a nurses car. In an ICF facility, a nurse is required to pass the consumer's medication. They come during med times and pass meds. The nurses that work at CLO are very wonderful people and hardworking. They shouldn't be criticized by someone who knows nothing of the subject.

Also being someone that has worked for CLO for quite sometime, I know that there are plenty of caring people that put everything into their job. Unfortunately, that does not make headlines. It is a few out of control people that give the company a bad name.

Working in this field is extremely difficult. The problem is, people working in this field need unimaginable support from all ends or they can reach burn out just like any other job. When I take some consumers out in public, never have I felt like such an outcast from community. People stare, they won't return conversation when a consumer says "Hi!" or asks how they are doing, and they simply act like the individual shouldn't even exist. Once, I had a consumer at Target, and a lady was standing in the middle of the aisle and the consumer said "excuse me" and the lady looked at him as if he were trash. In the end, the lady refused to let us by. So, before anyone is quick to make generalized judgements of the workers in this field, ask yourself what actions have you done to make their job any easier. Are you one of the people in the community that add even more stress?

whosaid 12 years, 5 months ago

Asking for people to be courteous is not asking for help. The way people look at this population is wrong. Just because they need medication, just because there needs are medicaid funded, and just because they need assistance with daily living skills does not make them a patient every second of their life. These are people, these are their homes in the only life they know, and these are members of your community. The reason I am so adament is not because of burn out, it is because these are people that I care about. If someone treated one of my children the way this population is treated, I would be just as angered.

Maybe wendt, you have never heard of the golden rule. If this were you or a family member, would you not want the community to be supportive of this population and the hardworking people it takes to teach and care for them? Maybe not, maybe you prefer you and your family to be treated like outcasts.

stophammertime 12 years, 5 months ago

I am overwhelmed with excitement over the news that my ex-coworker, Eric, is finally getting what he deserves. If the state and local governments need to make an example out of anyone - they need to use Eric Wyatt. I blame a large portion of what happened on CLO, but Eric Wyatt is an adult and a very smart guy and he knew exactly what he was doing. Eric bragged about how many times he had been written up, talked about past crimes he committed and jubilated in the fact that he could make anybody's life a living hell with just a few rumors. To excuse his actions under the pretense of being emotionally frustrated is absurd.

I reported Eric several times and was made to feel like what I was doing was the wrong thing. This should NEVER be the case. There was no confidentiality for me; I was essentially outed in front of all of my coworkers for reporting him. Eric not only used his intimidation tactics on the clients - he also used them on each and every one of the teachers that worked right along side him. Soon after reporting him I left Ponderosa House. You might say I was impaired by emotion and extreme frustration over the fact that CLO would not allow me to protect the man that Eric abused and bullied.

Being a teacher for CLO is very challenging. You MUST have patience, generosity and a loving heart. Eric Wyatt did not posses any one of these qualities.

Eric deserves more than a slap on the wrist. An example needs to be made out of him to scare away others that are thinking of getting into the business of abusing mentally challenged adults.

whosaid 12 years, 5 months ago

By the way wendt, it is not renaming. It is simply the correct and respectful terminology. If you don't understand what it means to have respective terminology, then I would hate to see what you say when referring to African Americans, Latinos, and other minorities.

fightforfairness 12 years, 5 months ago

First of all, I worked at CLO for a long while with one of the persons in question. He should have been fired long before he was allowed to do this. But CLO is notorious for keeping around the abusive and chasing off anyone who gives a damn about a client. People who give a damn fight for better treatment of the clients and this causes a serious rift in CLO's way of life. They want to keep costs down and administration wages up and the best way to do this is to keep people who do not care in these positions. Good people quit because they get tired of watching people like Eric Wyatt get away with being SUSPENDED for sexually abusing a client. Administration gets paid 6 figures for what??? The people who work directly with the clients make 8 dollars an hour. If there was ever a chance of making a decent living working for this company I would have stayed but come on lets get real. Not many people can raise a family on 8 an hour. But if you have worked at CLO for 15 odd years and you teach the new teaching counselors in their completely idiotic certification process... you can tell me that 10 years ago that when you worked with this client this is what works. Well let me tell you something. These people change and they need to be with a company who cares about their changes and has the means and the ability to take care of them to the fullest extent. This company is a shoddy way for a few people to make an extreme profit at the expense of an individual who is unable to argue or say what happens to them. As for the state they need to make some changes too. As a person who worked at CLO twice during "state time" it is a grand event to watch them hustle and bustle to make sure that everything is up to snuff when the state officials bang on the door but for the other 11 months of the year the people are left to live in filth and unsafe conditions. The only pure joy anyone can ever get from working in this company is the men and women. Who are ALL special in their own way and if anyone ever takes the time to give a damn about them then they would find themselves in a relationship that is of the upmost purity. To actually care about someone and understand that they care back and appreciate all that you do for them. Unfortunately the CLO environment does not allow for this much and I rue for the men and women of CLO. They got the crap end of the stick. I only hope that those who continue to work for this company understand how precious these lives are and do whatever they can to make these individuals lives as enjoyable as possible.

-always fightingforfairness.... and hating CLO

whosaid 12 years, 5 months ago

fightforfairness-I hear ya' about the people who care and wanting to do their job right basically getting crapped on. It is true.

junebug 12 years, 5 months ago

CLO advocate- I can't believe that you can defend the actions of a company that continually ignored an abuse problem until a teacher had to report it to SRS. I agree with you that there are some great people working at CLO, but it seems unfair to me that the issue of CLO not taking action soon enough is not being addressed. If Eric Wyatt would have been fired after the first (or third or fourth) time that he was written up, it may not have escalated into what it did!

pittstu_24 12 years, 5 months ago

To those out there referring to the men and women at CLO as "these people, clients, consumers, and patients." Please, stop objectifying them they are my friends. I am a former employee of CLO, and there is nothing, and I mean nothing I wouldn't do for them. Yes, the company has problems. Yes, management is under qualified; and yes, the teachers there are consistently placed in stressful situations. Do I believe this is grounds for abuse? No, but before we start condemning the accused individuals let's all consider the facts. One person confessed and the other didn't. I worked with both of these men at several different locations, and at no point in time did I ever feel that they were a threat to any of the men and women they served. One of them was actually quite caring and would accompany some individuals to events in the community that he knew they would enjoy, on his day off. The teachers at CLO are some of the greatest people I have ever had the privilege of working with. They are companionate, empathetic, patient, under paid, overworked, and unappreciated.

emtid4u 12 years, 4 months ago

Take it from someone who read and knows the complaint. First off all people are innocent until proven guilty. The complaint reads over a period of several months. All administration of CLO including Strouse should be and will be charged. They knowingly allowed the action to continue without interveining. Thus making them an accomplace. They as do all medical person, Law Enforcement Officers, Social Workers, Teachers, and Child care workers have a legal,lawful, and moral obligation to report any abuse when observed. If they failed to do this they broke the law. CLO, including Strouse, infact failed to take immeadiate action.
The investigating officer with the AG's office failed to do his work and leavs the question, is he possibly being motivated to abandon this action and attact the smallest fish for personal or financial gain? Wyatt confessed, Taylor did not. Taylor's complaint describes no abuse, simply a physical action that could occure action when picking a medium sided adult off the ground without help. I question the investigators competency and his moral obligation to excecise an imaprtial investigation. He fears not being able to convict the larger fish, Strouse, because of his ability to hire better or stronger defence attorneys. I beleive this case deserves a more qualified investigator and possibly reviewed by the U.S Department of Justice for wrong doing by the Kansas Attorney Generals Office. When you find several people in the wrong, you treat everyone the same from the top to the bottom. The complaints are specific and involeves the entire organization. They allowed it to continue and didn't stop it when the first incident happend. No one is above the law, Mr. Cline that includes you. Now that it appears you could have committed a crime who is going to arrest you!!!!!!!! Have you post bond and sweat it out until your court date.

talkingdirty 12 years, 4 months ago

A a former CLO employee, I worked in Ponderosa house, alongside the man charged with abuse for several months before moving from the city. Lawrence is one of my most beloved cities and I really hope the people who live there will step up and do something to assist the residents with developmental disabilities.

One of the things CLO could have done differently other than listening to the devout employees who voiced their concerns about abuse, would have been to stop trying to cover things up. The entire time I worked at CLO the company seemed mostly concerned with how to receive funding. As teaching counselors, we have "choices" crammed down our throats. We are always supposed to offer choices to the residents, no matter what, but when it comes to their precious funding no one seems to have a choice. In order for CLO to receive funding we were forced to take each resident to the Center for Learning and Development for so many hours per week. Sure, this would be a great idea, except the classes were a joke. We were supposed to be providing the residents with a normalizing environment, but I don't know any thirty-year-olds who want to sit around and paste pipe cleaners to paper, however I suppose the man accused of abuse will have a lot more time for that now. When we weren't doing that we were expected to sit around with them and listen to camp-fire songs. How can the University place it's name on such an organization? I would be embarrassed. As far as the nurses, they all did their best to provide love and care for the residents, but they are not there all day, and can't be there all day. The certification process is a joke. I became a certified teaching counselor and was told it would help me acquire future jobs. It has helped me in no way whatsoever, the only achievements I have that have helped me acquire new jobs are ones I've earned on my own. And, look where being certified got the man who is now charged with abuse, yes, he was certified.
During my two years at CLO I underwent four evaluations, two from the state, and two from within the company. Very little knowledge of the group homes can be learned during these evaluations because CLO has the opportunity to schedule their "best" employees. If the administration spent more than a day or two per year with the residents they would know more about them and better understand when something is not quite right. I only saw the psychologists and other members of administration twice per year, during these evaluations. They spent the rest of the time locked away in offices, and when we walked past with clients they always had foolish grins and acted like they were happy to see the men and women of CLO. I think they were probably more happy about their paychecks. They should be the first to step up, before something more devastating happens.

stophammertime 12 years, 4 months ago

It's awesome to see so many people coming forward to tell the truth about CLO and all of the smoke and mirrors. A lot of teachers would have conversations about how the men and women would be better served in nursing homes. I'm just curious, if contacted, how many of you would step forward to testify against the persons accused and/or the organization?

I would. I hope I'm called to testify against Eric and CLO.

emtid4u 12 years, 4 months ago

I have had the opportunity to speak with a number of other investigators and attorneys with reguard to the complaint against Taylor. The question of Wyatts guilt is implied if he did infact confess and was not coerced into making a statement. However in Taylor's complaint the charge is built out of context without substance or evidence to substantiate. If you are playing around with someone and say you are going to get them. If that person is a child and they are frightened. You could be charged with Criminal Threats. The court would decide if the threat you made was done with the intent to evoke terror in the victim. If a Law Enforcement Officer places handcuffs on a suspect and the crime was one that angerd the officer and in the process of cuffing suspect he was heavy handed, causing a bruise on the suspects wrist, the Officer has committed a crime of abuse of a confined person. Will he be charged and convicted? Additionally, the officer abused his office and oath and is subject to the same criminal action as Wyatt and Taylor, plus additional actions. The elements are implied as well as the officer's intent to subdue and incarcerate a noncombative individual. It's a high price to pay for a small indiscretion.
Lookout fellow LEOs, and COs, the AG and his croonies are gunning for you to so think about the next time the scumbag perp makes you angry. Oh darn, I just broke the law, by refering to criminals as scum bags. I committed Disorderly Conduct. Come get me Mr. Cline. and the others who used the same slang in the other comments under this article. Then post monitoring devices in every Law Enforcement Facility including your own in the country so you can enforce the same statute on everyone.

stophammertime 12 years, 4 months ago

This is not a question of semantics on the meaning of the word abuse.

I saw Eric:

slap kick pinch stomp on toes glare at wave his fist at pick up and carry in an aggressive way stick his finger in this man's mouth and yank on his bottom teeth call names swear at yell at ABUSE!

There is no over exaggeration on Eric Wyatt's part. He has done much more than he admits to. He ABUSED the man in question. All of this I told MANY of my bosses and managers back in November of 2004. It's almost one year later!

fightforfairness 12 years, 4 months ago

stophammertime: You know I will be there right along side of you to testify againtst Eric and CLO. I too SAW abuse with my own TWO eyes, reported it, and watched as it was ignored. I was also PUNISHED and placed on probationary status, because I did not report the abuse immediately. As if it was my fault that the abuse happened in the first place. I was the new concern and the person who abused a client, was ignored. Well maybe Mr. ex abuse and neglect guy, had you done something besides cover stuff up. People would have been more than happy to fill you in on all kinds of stuff. But because you business is pushing stuff under the rug and making those people who report out to be the enemy, it was not a situation for people to fill comfortable in.

Most everyone who has posted a comment has actually stated that they worked for CLO in the past. The fact of the matter is that this is the perfect opportunity for ex-CLO employees to band together against the horrible administration of this company. I know that personally when I quit, I felt helpless. It is CLO's policy to turn their head, and for anyone who currently works there to state that they are unaware of all the shoddy BS that goes on, would be a complete LIE or extreme denial. I understand that people are worried about their jobs, but how selfish are you? You want a paycheck so you will continue to turn your head to all the underhanded crap that goes on with in this company? Well to those people I say, you'll go down with the best of them. As for all ex-employees, you had better believe that I have put the word on the street. I think for many of us this is the closure many of us have been waiting patiently for. Hopefully for the sake of the men and women of CLO, there will be a restructuring of the administration of CLO. Those people have been there since CLO started and believe me they know exactly what they are doing. Put someone in charge who cares about the men and women and sees them as more than dollar signs. Get rid of the administration and make the CLO environment a great place to work, so the men and women are not subjected to just anyone who walks in off the street and asks for an application.

CLOHATER 12 years, 4 months ago

The bigest mistake CLO made was eliminating an abuse, neglect and exploitation officer. Telling your supervisor is a joke. You think that going streight to the top with a problem and contacting Mike Strause the ex director that your voice would have to be heard. Your kidding yourself if you think you'll so much as get a letter. I suffered like all the wonderful workers that have voiced their frustration. The truch is that standing up and saying that something is not right makes you at higher risk then the actual person that is harmful. You better not pose a "rocking the boat" effect on the company or you will pay. My mistake, your clients will pay. Imagine what it would be like to lose the only staff member in your corner? What are the management thinking!!?? If a complaint is filed then how is it possible for something to reoccur? Why was he not removed?? You've been warned by the staff that know the men and women and the only people there to notice. The not so funny thing about Eric is that he was in a position before working for Ponderosa that required he be one on one with a client. This client cant verbalize his feelings or fear, and we will never know if he was also a victim of Eric's abuse. The thing about hiring a staff is that there isn't a cookie cutter right person for the job. You take chances with everyone. Take Eric as a college graduate as an example. It all boils down to adequate training and supervision, and with CLO's lack there of this we see why this is happening. CLO does do background checks, but what it says to me is that they will hire anyone regardless of their criminal history. I can think of two men hired on as FTM careworkers that had both lost their children do to abuse and neglect and were forbidden by the state to have any interaction with them. How is this missed on a background check? If the company would stop restructuring and redefining all their positions annually then maybe the team leader would actually get to know the clients and the teachers and have their own opinions to go on. How can they make accurate judgements when they themselves are like strangers to the men and women. CLO is the problem. I am not saying that these guys shouldnt be held accountable! The access granted by CLO after suspicion already existed is what is disgusiting. By the way Eric should hear everyones feelings first hand. Check him out at the Quik Shop on bob billings and kasold.

notoriousmag 12 years, 4 months ago

I am an ex-employee of CLO. I have worked in this field for about six years. With every job I've ever had in this field, an extremely big deal was made about reporting abuse to the state authorities. This was emphasized during initial trainings, and the number was obviously posted in any offices or break areas. It was always encouraged to report abuse immediately to the correct state authorities.

Not CLO. Their policy was to contact a supervisor on call first. I don't know if they taught a second step of calling authorities. I believe my manager explained it to me as "weeding out the excessive complaints and letting CLO investigate the need to report".

CLO has it's bad points, to be sure. It's one thing when those bad points affect employees (vacation freezes, less than adequate staffing coverage to support a case load, very little consistant employee support, pitiful wages), but when the men and women who are served are suffering - that's criminal.

kspiess 12 years, 4 months ago

Ok, so I am not a resident of the state of Kansas anymore. My ex-girlfriend informed me of the situation at her current place of employment, the Ponderosa House. She states that she loves working there and has no problems with any of the residents.

Some people are gifted with working with these types of people and some just can't deal with it. These people require extreme patientence and committment. Just ask her how difficult I was to deal with. Why and why should I go off here and talk about my life and what I went through? Because I can relate and I can prove that these people do have a hope. That there is a cure if only they will seek it. That in these individuals' current state of mind and condition that it is true that they may never successfully contirbute to the world around them, but it does not have to stay that way.

kspiess 12 years, 4 months ago

I am such an example. I was so sick that I should have been locked up in a mental facility. I couldn't hep myself and I couldn't stay out of trouble. I often tried various methods to kill myself and tried various ways to self-medicate myself to escape form the torment I often found in my life.

I grew up the oldest of three brothers and was the constant focus of childhood abuse. I being the oldest had to set the example for my brothers. Whenever any of us misbehaved I would be punished for it. My dad often used physical, mental, verbal, and emotional abuse when he was around (generally only 3 nights a week) to punish me. My mother can be considered the sole individual who was responsible for my upbringing and even she used mental, verbal, and emotional abuse to punish me daily.

To escape from these visions, these injustices, the pressures and thoughts of what was around the corner I didn't want to be at home or turned on music that would allow me a form of escape. I started with listening to heavy metal and psychadellic music to create images of grandeur, failure, desperation, depression, hate, anger, frustration, and other things that are not spiritually beneficial.

I over-excelled at school, and while in high school I often worked 50 hours a week while maintaining high grades. Soon none of this was enough and I started experimenting with drugs and later alcohol. All this helped me to escape but brought me into a state of mental illness. Soon I was no longer able to hold a job, do well in school, or function as a normal human being. I was mentally ill to such an extent that I was incompentent and found myself homeless and hitchhiking around the country or in some kind of correctional facility.

kspiess 12 years, 4 months ago

I could often be seen talking to myself, my imaginary friends, or even the walls of buildings. I was really out there. If you could have seen me then you would admit that I deserved to be locked up in a mental institution and have the key thrown away never to be let out. I was on seven different medications for my illness and I don't know how I continued on from one day to the next.

I have since settled down in Milwaukee, WI. I have recovered from my mental illness that plagued me most of my life and I am no longer taking any kind of medication. I am not seeing a doctor and can function in daily life. In fact, I am even back in school working towards a degree in business Administration. I am also volunteering in a program of social assistance to others.

My life has changed from being an end-of-the-road, good-for-nothing, hopeless hippie that is only looking for his next high wondering what trouble will come next that may or may not drive me off the cliff of life into the realm of the non-existant. I now am looking forward to succeeding in life, making something of myself, and trying to help others who have found them into hopeless situations where they are considered to be mentally ill and a burden to society.

I am sharing this story in the hopes that you will stop judging those that are mentally ill. It's not like they have chosen to be that way. It may or may not be their fault that they are the way they are. But also know that, with your help they can make something of their lives. They can be cured, and they do have a glimmer of hope.

I found my solution and it is available to all individuals in this world. Jesus Christ has the power to heal these individuals and to restore their lives back to them. If He can do it for me I have faith that He will do it for them too. But the solution starts with you. Instead of judging them and treating them any different than "normal" people you should be praying for them, trying to minister to their needs, and start educating other individuals that you witness mistreating them. Jesus Christ is the answer. For what is not possible with man is possbile through Jesus Christ. For he is the way and the truth. To Him belong all the glory, all the power, all the praise, and all the glory Forever and Ever. Amen.

fightforfairness 12 years, 4 months ago

Kspiess: Um okay thanks for sharing, but unless you are trying to argue with "confrontation" all the way up top, this is not about demeaning the men and women of CLO. Most of us have had relationships with the men and women and still care a great deal about them. This arguement is against Eric Wyatt and the administration of CLO which allowed him to continuously abuse and neglect the men and women of CLO. I would certainly hope that you are not playing yourself off as Mr. Wyatt himself, as I am sure most of us are aware that Mr. Wyatt claims to be bi-polar and is trying to use his mental illness as an excuse as to why he would mistreat another human being. For those of us who knew and worked with Mr. Wyatt, he was sick and vulgar individual. He, by choice, quit taking his supposed medications because he didn't like them or the way they made him feel. If he really is mental then he needs to be placed in a facility where he can be properly cared for not working with individuals who are unable to protect themselves from his maniacal schemes. A mental institution or jail. I don't care which... just get him off the street.

As for your ex-girlfriend, I hope she has some sense. If she has worked there for an extended period of time then chances are she has seen or heard something she knew was not right. If she hasn't, it will only be a matter of time before she does. I hope she will too rise up against the injustice that is CLO and do what she can to improve the lives of the men and women of CLO.

stophammertime 12 years, 4 months ago


However, if you were trying to give an example of what it might be like to be Eric Wyatt...I have this to say...

Those who know me best know that I am a Christian. They also know that I do not press my belief system onto others. I do not try to reel in more Christians because I am not the best Christian that I can be. It's improper for Chrisitians that are not 100% devout and pure in every way to go around telling everyone to become a Christian and save their life. I realize being a Christian is an endless uphill battle.

Eric Wyatt has cried in my pressence before. I was emotionally attached him on many different levels you could say. Working 12 hour shifts with someone you get to see all the good and the bad. We all knew of his mental and physical ailments, we all felt sorry for Eric and we all were friends with him in some way, shape or form.

The thing about Eric is that he is a likeable guy. Yes, I said it. It's sad but true. He gains your trust by telling you all about how troubled he is inside and then would take his anger out on the men and women that lived at CLO right in front of you. He was always testing people. I truly believe Eric wanted to lose his job. He wanted to get caught.

I can think of two specific times where I told Eric that I would keep him in my prayers. Eric's father was a minister and Eric cared very little about the church and Christians. He was a non-believer. Yet he was comforted when I told him I was going to pray for him. Perhaps he was just being nice.

I've been praying for Eric up until Thursday. Praying that God's will would be done. Praying that Eric realizes his wrong doing and commits his life to correcting his mistakes. Above praying for Eric I STILL pray for every one of the men and women that I have ever had the chance to work with at CLO (teachers, consultants and team leaders included). I want good things for CLO, I want good things for CLO's teacher and the men and women served. If that means that CLO's structure has to crumble to make sure that everyone is protected - than so be it.

It's hard not to have a heart filled with vengence after being one of the many that reported abuse and was made to feel like it was a bad thing to do.

Through it all - just to stay sane - I had to tell myself that these are the trials and tribulations that Gad has set up for me and I need to do what is right.

kspiess, this is our hour to celebrate a victory for the men and women that live at Ponderosa House.

Please, leave your Christian rants at the door. We all know that the lord is standing on the other side of the door knocking. We'll answer when we are ready.

stophammertime 12 years, 4 months ago


I just love to make up stories. Especially stories that could potentially ruin people's lives. Some people like gardening...I like to lie....apparently.

dukebasketballchika89 - you should reorganize your priorities and take a closer look at the company you keep.

junebug 12 years, 4 months ago

The truth to all of this is that while both men are likeable and even good people at times, their actions were unacceptable and they are now going to be punished. I know for a fact that stophammertime is NOT lying. I was there too and saw it. I don't think people can really say what happened unless they were there. The unfortunate thing is that CLO will probably not be help liable for any of this.

pittstu_24 12 years, 4 months ago

Calling all Advocates, The time has come to stop standing by and allowing these incidences to occur. As I have said before I am a former employee of CLO. These are not the first and only cases of ANE to exist there. Many times I was shot down in my attempts to report a person I worked with (neither of them are the accuse stated in the article), and I was shot down every time. She was one of my supervisor's favorites, and I tried countless times to talk to the supervisor about the employee's actions. I was consistently told to back down when I tried to intervene because it created tension in the house. I finally, had to confront the abusive employee myself, and inform her of the fact that I was going to watch her every move. Some may say that I didn't like her, they were wrong it wasn't personal. I am a true advocate for men and women I serve. I have worked for numerous organizations throughout the state and CLO is by far the worst. I left the house I was working in because I couldn't take it anymore, the abusive employee had won that battle and her aggression continued for several months until she was finally fired for getting out of hand in front of someone important. It sickens me to think that this was allowed to go on until someone else saw it. My question is why is she not being charged for her torment? Why was she allowed to slip though the cracks for so long? The answer is because the person she was abusing wasn't well liked. The person I am refereeing to wasn't a favorite of the employees at CLO. Therefore, no one cared.

My point is it doesn't matter weather you like the person you are caring for or not, abuse is abuse. Just because someone may be difficult to work with, or because your personalities don't mesh doesn't mean that they deserve to be degraded, embarrassed, or assaulted. If you report it and noting is done to stop it, then stand up. Let the abuser know that your watching them, be a true advocate, and don't back down. Be aggressive, but passive, and always conduct yourself in a professional manor. I didn't win my battle, but if enough of us start doing this we will soon weed out the bad apples, and improved the lives of the individuals we serve.

just_do_what_is_right 12 years, 4 months ago


By law, the bosses you reported the abuse to must report it to State. So, your bosses, all of them, broke the law when they said nothing about the abuse you told them about. Your bosses should be arrested and charged, right along with Eric and Dustin.

As I see it, your bosses are more guilty than Eric or Dustin. Had they done their job, all abuse would have stopped. Instead, today, we are talking about years of abuse!

Shame on your spineless bosses. Shame on our judicial system if we don't hold your bosses accountable to the abuses that occurred during their tenure at CLO.

I like hearing of brave people like you, who speak on behalf of their clients, even when bosses won't follow through and even when bosses punish you for making such reports.

I like hearing of brave people like you, who speak on behalf of your clients, even knowing bosses won't be held accountable by the courts. Your actions will help others to be brave too.

Those clients of yours were dependent and had no voice. Someone had to speak up for them! You did right.

Unfortunately, neglect and abuse of dependent adults is not uncommon in our country. Eric takes us one step closer to cleaning up a nasty problem. The more we can talk about it, the easier it becomes to see, and the easier it becomes to fix.

emtid4u 12 years, 4 months ago

We all know what Eric did and what his issues were, but we truly don't know why they implicated Taylor. His action were harmless.

The Fact is is you don't use a gate belt when moving a client you will be charged. If you touch their faces to clean them you will be charged. If you speak loud to the client you will be charged.

The point is, one of these persons confessed, the other denies guilt and maintains his innocence. IF YOU ARE NOT A WITNESS YOU CANNOT COMMENT. IF YOU ARE A WITNESS TO ANY TYPE OF ABUSE OR NEGLECT COMMITTED BY ANYONE YOU HAVE THE MORAL AND LEGAL OBLIGATION TO REPORT THE CRIME. Which of you are witnesses?

Those of you who comment as if you were there and were not, sicken me, you are hatefull rumor mongers and are subject to civil action and possibly criminal action.

Those of you who where there and have witnessed abuse and negelct now is the time to contact the Lawrence Police and tell the truth.

There is a political agenda being excercised by Kline and his henchmen. What he seeks is not justice but political clout. Just enough to make him popular even if he has to lie about it or paste it to suit him.

There are ways to manipulate the statutes to serve those who wish to exploit them. There are those who do not respect the true color of the law. There are victims who fall pray to them all of the time. Taylor is one of those victims.

What we need is the truth and the whole truth, not an exaggeration.

The complaints against Taylor are exaggerated to the fullexst extent of the law. Trust me don't slap your kids hand. Don't talk loudly to any person with bad hearing. God forbid you take a staw or napkin from kwikshop without having purchased a drink. If you get to much change back and keep it you best give it back or you could go to jail and be procsecuted. If the prosecuter so wishes to use any of the statutes to his benefit, he can it falls on home rule. It depends on if he wants to ruin someones life today as he sipped his orange juice. Only those Prosecuters who stay true to their oath will see justice done right. They aren't all bad.


junebug 12 years, 4 months ago

Quite a few of us commenting were there! While Taylor's charges are not as severe as Eric's, there are witnesses who saw him do innappropriate things with the men and women. And guess who trained Taylor! None other than Eric Wyatt! While Taylor's crimes may not be as severe, he still is guilty of abuse and should be punished. Emtid4u, obviously you weren't there, so who are you to say who has a right to comment?

kiwi30 12 years, 4 months ago

Please do not condemn the entire CLO community. Most of us who work here care deeply about the individuals we serve. We are here to provide them with the best quality of life possible. We are trained in First aid, CPR, Mandt, Med administration and in several other areas. We are far more than just direct care providers. We are teachers and friends. We care for, comfort, and encourage them every step of the way.

just_do_what_is_right 12 years, 4 months ago

Gatorman, sounds like you have an important story to tell.

I encourage you to contact Attorney General Kline and be a voice for those dependent clients that were under your care. They had no voice then and have no voice now. Speak for them now.

fightforfairness 12 years, 4 months ago

I don't believe that in anyone of these posts has anyone condemned any CLO teacher besides the one's in question and the administration. I completely agree with stophammertime. I too wore rose-tinted glasses and there are many people who work at CLO for the right reasons. I witnessed AND reported an instance of abuse and neglect in my first two weeks of being employed. Most of the people that have commented on this particular subject, WITNESSED and REPORTED neglect or abuse to no avail. CLO needs help. CLO needs new administration. This is not a personal attack on the teachers of CLO. IT IS an attack on CLO ADMINISTRATION!! The same administration that allowed Eric Wyatt to repeatedly abuse and neglect the men and women of CLO. I have no doubt in my mind that Mr. Wyatt will get what is coming to him. I am a believer in Karma, but I want to see the administration who turned it's head on it's own men and women feel the burn. I want them to know what it is like to be in that man's shoes and understand the continued mistrust and agony these men and women feel because they continuously allow abusive and neglectful persons to remain employed. I understand that CLO has a high turnover rate. But let me tell you something CLO administrators. YOU ARE THE PROBLEM. Many of the people who have commented on this site, I know and worked closely with. We were good teachers and we left BECAUSE of YOU! Because we cared about those men and women and because you gave us the s**t end of the stick, and made us to feel that these men and women do not deserve the love and respect that we gave them. You turned your backs on us AND those men and women. Did you think that you could silence us forever? That will be your fatal mistake. You have enraged so many people and we will no longer be silenced. You can plan all the emergency mandatory meetings you want, but you are scared. As well you should be. Because the time has come for the men and women of CLO to have a combined voice.

fightforfairness 12 years, 4 months ago

Despite all the political concerns, the men and women of CLO need a voice. You can be there voice for them. Here is some contact information for those who would like to contact the AG: Office of Attorney General Phill Kline 120 SW 10th Ave., 2nd Floor Topeka, KS 66612-1597 (785) 296-2215 Telephone (785) 296-6296 Fax

Consumer Protection & Antitrust Division: (785) 296-3751 Telephone (785) 291-3699 Fax 24/7 Line: (785) 296-2424 (800) 432-2310 Consumer Hotline No Call List Registration: (888) 382-1222

emtid4u 12 years, 4 months ago

Junebug if you are a witness testify. If not, shut up. No one is quilty unless proven guilty. It's people like you who hang innocent people. You have no right to judge and convict. If you did witness and failed to intervien you are a criminal also. Yes you committed a crime, you can and will be charged.

So, tell us exactly what you saw. The fact Wyatt trained Taylor does not make Taylor guilty. Did any of you see Taylor abuse anyone and if so what did they see? Speak up criminals you had the obligation to report the felony as it happend. Or are you guilty of the same actions as Taylor and fear you will be arrested too?

Sure are alot of worms in that can huh?

fightforfairness 12 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Emtid4u, You seem a little bit worked up by the whole Taylor case. SORRY! you'll have to wait until court to hear the evidence against you. Nice try though.

stophammertime 12 years, 4 months ago

emtid4u, Nice try with your scare tactics, but those who reported (and they all did in some way) will not be held accountable. It was CLO's job to stop the abuse. Not the teachers. Teachers are only expected to bring to someon's attention the possibility of abuse - it's not their job to report it to state or any other offical office. Learn a few things about the law, champ! Quit trying to scare witnesses off. By the way, I'll be setting up a meeting this evening to meet with the investigators.

cloclientadvocate 12 years, 4 months ago

I am reading all of these comments and looking at how absolutely redundent some of you people are sounding. Who cares if there was a stethoscope hanging from the car mirror or how exspensive yours is? What relevence does that have???? Some of the board posts are completely redundent. If you want to slam each other, there is yahoo, personal email, telephone etc. The only relevent comments made on here is that the abuse on this individual has come out, it has stopped and the people responsible will be punished! I have worked for CLO for quite some time now! In general the teachers show a great deal of love and compassion for our men and women. Every once in awhile we have some who it is safe to say, this line of work is not for them. They normally figure this out within a week or so of working and end up quitting. It is very unfortunate for this consumer that the person or persons who committed these acts wouldn't just walk away. There will be justice for this man. The person or persons that committed these acts against him will have consequences! Not only legal consequences, their judgement day will come as well. Everyone should focus on the fact that this consumer no longer has to suffer the abuse he was suffering at the hands of Eric Wyatt and or Dustin Taylor(if convicted)in any way shape or form. God speed his heart heals and he realizes he does have teachers and caregivers that love him deeply! Many laughs and good times to him ahead!

emtid4u 12 years, 4 months ago

Well stophammertime, you're wrong. When you and others reported the abuse and seen your administration fail to follow thru and abuse continued you should have gone to the Police. That is why we have the whistle blowers act.

Furthurmore you can quit draw unemployment, and sue them for their actions. Lots of Attorneys would take a suit that meant sure victory. I suggest you talk to an Attorney sound like you and others will need one.

I am well acquainted with the law. I am not trying to scare any witnesses. I do however feel that if one is a witness to good or bad the should come forward in this case or anyother crime.

I know thats a pipe dream to have everyone ethical but there will always be those cowards who won't do anything but hide in their own guilt.

I suggest you look at K.S.A. 39-1401 and K.S.A. 39-1431 and get to know them well.

emtid4u 12 years, 4 months ago

Hey, fightforfairness, you obviously assume to much, and you know what that does. Got news for you, I ain't him.

All of this information is public record and in a city full of law students. All of which are looking to earn extra credit. Nice try genius. This was one multiple choice you missed.

cloadvocate 12 years, 5 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

stophammertime 12 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

CLOHATER 12 years, 4 months ago

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Gatorman 12 years, 4 months ago

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stophammertime 12 years, 4 months ago

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dukebasketballchicka89 12 years, 4 months ago

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stophammertime 12 years, 4 months ago

We were all being told that our complaints were being dealt with. It's not our job to look over our bosses shoulders and make sure they are doing their job. We can't hold the pen for them and force them to fill out a report. WE were not the ones that were mandated reporters! They were!

emitd4u, you ARE trying to scare witnesses and you need to stop. I am more than 100% sure you have never been in this situation and you have no idea how intimidating it is to have been one of the many that saw abuse and reported it. Or perhaps you have been in this situation and the accusations were about you!

Enough with you and K.S.A. 39-1401 and K.S.A. 39-1431!! Please, stop trying to intimidate those whose word was lost and now they have to come forward again in a much more public platform. It was hard enough the first we came forward.

CLOHATER 12 years, 4 months ago

emitd4u, you are a complete idiot. Maybe you're Heather? Afterall, you all were so smart when you came to CLO, and look what happened. Everyone now knows the truth behind you kiss asses. I am not interested in your legal bullsh*t. If you want to bring a war, I guarantee you'll have an army to contend with. You see the funny thing is that you have only heard a select number of individuals voice their frustration here in this forum. Countless employees of CLO are fearful of their jobs and can not coment because they are afraid of suffering retaliation, which they should be. Donna, Jennifer, Tasha as your bosses...and you think they wont pull some sort of scandalous remedy for your employment? Wait and see how many ex CLO employees come forward.

Gatorman 12 years, 4 months ago

I notice many comments have been removed... Is someone worried about the truth getting out?

fightforfairness 12 years, 4 months ago

emitd4u- I'm super glad that you feel intelligent. We are all aware that this is public information, but if you don't have any personal connection to this story then why are you commenting? I mean if you are getting your jocks off on upsetting a bunch of people who are obviously already infuriated, then I suggest that we ignore all comments made by this person. We are all so glad that we have become your extra credit charity case, but I think we have it covered. All you have contributed is a view of innocense regarding Taylor in this case (who is not really the concern) and an earful of legal jargon. You aren't the only law student posting in this comment section. But I have news for you. YOU AREN'T THE JUDGE. Most of us have had legal contact and are well aware of what our rights are. Clohater, junebug, stophammertime, gatorman, pitts_24, grammarhooker, talkingdirty, and myself have all worked for CLO. As most well trained employees, we followed the guidelines set in place by the company. We were made to feel as if we had no voice. We have now joined together to have just that. And we will be heard.

fightforfairness 12 years, 4 months ago

Posted by stophammertime (anonymous) on October 25, 2005 at 5:03 p.m.

(Suggest removal) Apparently!!

Who has said anything about Dustin Taylor? I haven't. I worked with

him once upon a time - but I never saw anything questionable about his

interactions with the man he worked one on one with (before working at


Eric on the other hand I did see (see: To perceive with the eye. To

apprehend as if with the eye. To detect by means analogous to use of

the eye) with my own two eyes. Eric was unaware that I saw him - but I


I don't doubt that Kline is using these abuse charges as some kind of

media fun slide for himself, but I'm not going to argue with the man

that has pressed charges and finally uncovered (with the help of many

others) the abuse and possibly the cover-up at hand. That's politics -

that's how it works.

As far as my story goes, It's not just posted on this handy dandy

website. I have contacted the people that need to be contacted and if

they need me or my statements they know where to find me.

Condemning CLO...gosh, really? I don't know. When I first started

working there I wore the same rose-tinted glasses that everyone else

wears at first. You see things as special and pure and fun. You like

yourself more because of your contributions and you feel really great

about the organization. Then the next thing you know your fellow co-

worker starts to abuse one of the folks. You try to do what is right

but are prevented. There is this dark gloomy cloud hanging over CLO

called the "administration".

Don't get me wrong - CLO has some AWESOME people working for them as

consultants, team leaders, nurses and teachers (they are great NOT

from CLO's teachings but, because they are kind and true people with

the natural ability to help those in need). It's the people that they

let climb up the ladder (like Donna) and slip under the radar that

sabotage the integrity of the organization and their mission.

fightforfairness 12 years, 4 months ago

Posted by Gatorman (anonymous) on October 24, 2005 at 8:50 p.m.

(Suggest removal)

I Worked in a position of authority @ Ponderosa House for almost a

year, including the later months this abuse took place. I can tell

everyone reading this that everything Junebug, Stophammertime &

CLOHATER is posting is 110% true! I was fooled for many months after

accepting the job, that Ponderosa was just a "drama house" and not to

believe alligations of abuse unless I saw them myself. I was told the

alligations have been going on for years and they were due to nothing

more than "sexuall tentions" between staff. I can remember

Stophamertime expressing her fear of Eric last November. When I

reported it to Donna Kane-Swan she rolled her eyes and said "She has

been tying to get Eric fired for a long time. Don't believe that." The truth is Ponderosa can be a drama house. That can be expected when

a few employees work togather for 12 hours a day. This however can not

be used as an excuse not to take EVERY alligation of neglect or Abuse

seriously. I wish I knew in November of last year what I know now. I

can remember the #1 thing CLO teaches in training, C.Y.A. (cover your

a$$). CLO lives by this policy by covering up abuse, distroying

documented abuse reports, and telling managers not to document abuse

that is reported by "unfavorable" employees". How can incident reports be ivestigated correctly when they are "Lost"

before they get reported to SRS? The only reason something was done

this time is because an investigater was called in from Overland Park,

and Donna Kane-Swan could not control the investigation. CLO employees should be encoraged to report abuse and neglect to SRS

but instead it says in the Employee resource guide that we were giving

in our first week of training, "It is C.L.O.'s preference that the

advocacy and protection specialist be responsible for immediately

contacting the appropriate state-reporting agency". In other words

follow the chain of command. How can you follow the chain of command

when there are so many weak links at the top??

stophammertime 12 years, 4 months ago

I am meeting with an investigator for the AG tomorrow. Anyone that would like me to pass along their contact information please send it my way.

This is our chance, collectively, to continue to advocate for the men and women of CLO.

We all have stories to tell and we need to make sure that they are heard. I am going to suggest to this investigator that certain people be reinterviewed regarding the abuse charges againt Eric Wyatt.

Please, do what is right. It is possible that if I drop your name tomorrow and you decide to hold your story within you could get into trouble legally. If we all tell the truth about what happened only those that covered up the abuse will be the ones that pay the price.

Just click on my name above or send an e-mail directly to: tellmeyourstory_clo_complaints@hotmai...

emtid4u 12 years, 4 months ago

You truly have no clue to my interest, but the key factor is you got going and are going to do the right thing. I applaud all of you for comming forward and telling the truth.

Yes I have been one who was wrongfully accused and because of the rummor factor I could not get a fair defence. No one wanted to hear the truth. However I stood strong in the face of my accusers. I wasn't going to go down with out a fight. I didn't loose faith, and won. No I have never worked for CLO.

I once condemed an entire school board and it's staff when a young girl with CP, wanted to be a Cheerleader. They laughed and said you're joking right how can she be a Cheerleader. She can't jump, she can't dance, she can't even shake the pompoms. I was amazed none of those so called community leaders knew the meaning of spirit. This young girl had more spirit than gerations of that schools alumni and she proved it by having the courage to try, and not quit.

Even as they refused to vote her in, others came forward in support of her. She stood at every game and cheered louder not by dancing or tossing pompoms, just by her presence. She proved she didn't need a uniform to be a stongest Cheerleader. Everyone loved her for who she was, the smile she always wore, and the fighter she'll always be. The underdog doesn't always have to loose when effort was their victory and pride was their prize.

Taylor is an underdog in this case. People are stating they new him and don't believe he did anything wrong, just caught in Wyatts wake and an easy target.

The CEO of CLO has lots of money I hope he doesn't make others easy targets too. The real bad guys here, are the administration of CLO, from the CEO to the ones in charge who failed to report the truth. And the ignorant investigator who obviosly failed to properly question them and arrest them. Especially after so many have come (must be from the same blind eye cop bread as Topeka's Chief of Police) forward.

Lets not forget Attorny General Phil Kline, for not going after every one involved especially those who cover up the crimes. Sucks to be you Strouse

Kline, you truly have no balls... Resign or face charges of Official Misconduct(Partiality is implied or did you take a bribe?) it's my opinion. You all can get you're own. P.S. Stay out of Julies cases, she's ten thousand times the Prosecuter you dream of being. BTK was her show not yours.

As said in the court room, Your Honor, I have no further comment the defence rests.

momtomany 12 years, 4 months ago

I have read a few of the posts. Many of which I can relate to. I worked for CLO for a few years. I really enjoyed working with the comsumers. It does take a special type of individual to work in this inviroment. And I have seen it from both directions. I did not work in the homes. Ok so now lets address the issues at hand. Those of us who have worked at CLO know what we are talking about. You can say about 98% of what is said by past and current empoyees is true. Unless you have experienced working for CLO first hand you don't have a clue. They are big on reporting abuse in your orientation, they even give the chain of comand to follow. But we find out quickly that it is just words on paper. I could write everything I have seen and everything I know in a post, but it wont change, never has. They (the admin) are allowed to get away with it all. You as an employee have an obligation to keep the consumers safe and report all abuse neglect and so on. Now what they do with your report after the fact, guess it depends on the severity of the abuse. Since there are so many different aspects to that word. Some the minor ones you know the ones that wont knock off any brownie points so to speak, they get reported, or maybe the Admin staff take matters into their own hands. Many of us have felt the rath of CLO Admin. They think your a threat, they get rid of you in a hurry. Oh and the stories they can come up with. Isnt that why they get the big bucks? Abuse if the state would just take a good hard look at what is going on, maybe Jim and Jan should read the posts, how about the board members, have any of them read what has been written? Most of the members have family members at CLO. And I dont think any of them really understand what is going on. I cant speak for the overland park site. But as far as Lawrence goes, the state needs to clean house where the admin is concered. They are more worried about lining there own pockets and not about the individuals that live there. They pay the wage, but have you ever seen how some of them live? The good family teachers are all but gone, a few are still around and they care about each one on an individual level. And you can tell which ones they are by looking at each consumer and the way they look when they are out in the public. They are cared for. But not all are taken care of in that way. Mostly the HSBC, more of a family life style. The icf/mr there are to many individuals to care for, and not enough staff. Not to mention the staff is not compensated for what they do. Mr Strouse, you are the one who needs looked into, along with your followers and you know who I am talking about. What a waist of money to have an assistant you needs an assistant. Just more ways for you to use up money that could be put to better use.

fightforfairness 12 years, 4 months ago

These are some really tragic cases that could not be pushed under a rug. Thank you so much for posting them. Imagine the number of stories the ljworld would have if CLO actually reported abuse and neglect cases to SRS as they should. Why is it that CLO advocates for the abusive staff? Why are there people with abuse and neglect in their history serving on administration? What are they hiding? Who are they protecting? There are a lot of people out here with a lot of different information. CLO has always opted to "rid" of the people with the information and keep them from collaborating. This forum and this collaboration is exactly what they DO NOT want. They are scrambling and they are covering their own a$$es so to speak, right now. There is nothing more satisfying than to watch their panic, because they are afraid, and they know they have wronged the men and women of CLO. As I said before, they can not silence us all (unless ofcourse they have added a hitman to their list of overpaid administration and illegal activities).

Gatorman 12 years, 4 months ago

This is Gatorman's wife. Gatorman is ill today so I'm filling in for him. None of us have commented since fightforfairness yesterday morning. C.L.O. has had a whole day to breathe a sigh of releif. Fightforfairness, Junebug, Stophammertime, CLOhater, its pretty obvious that we have all actually had the power to scare the crap out of the administration this week. As long as we keep this going, the more truth that comes out on here, the more that we have the opportunity to stand up and have our voices heared and expose the C.L.O. administration for what it really is. What it is, is nothing but a sorry, poor, pitiful excuse of a company that that feeds on profit in their pockets and broken promises and lies to their employees. Not to mention the Wonderful people in which we took care of everyday because we actually care. The administration doesn't care about the men and women. They try to stay as far away from the day center as possible. They freak out when you bring them up to the office. Yet, their supposed to be in this company with their hearts. I guess money can be stronger than love. It's really pathetic when it's an administration that is in charge and are supposed to care more than anyone. Money holds the love in C.L.O. administration. They keep getting rid of the people that love the men and women in order to keep their pockets full. I hope one day they all get up and look at theirselves in the mirror and become sick with the way they chose their lives. But, then again, I don't think we could ever have that satisfaction. Those of you who are left in C.L.O. that really do care about these men and women, please enjoy the time that you have with them because the rest of us don't have that chance anymore. I know it hurts me just to wonder how the folks at Ponderosa are doing. I know that the teachers that are their now, really do care about them. that gives me some peace. It's not fair to the rest of us to have been screwed. C.L.O. has covered it's a$$ for the last time. Its time for them to be scared. It's time for them to get hit by real authority! It's time for the administration to take a hit! I hope State comes in there and completely cleans house with the administration. Give these men and women a company who will stand behind them, actually come and visit with the men and women, Go out of their way to give them everything they can, and stick to their policies and background checks for who is going to be taking care of the men and women. Is this too much to ask? It's only what they were supposed to be doing all along. But, still. It's just too much to ask. Take that C.L.O.

theretrobutioncontinues 12 years, 4 months ago

In CLO's mission statement it is clear that the men and women are to be respected. When you work there it is your job, no matter what job description or title held, to advocate, protect and to serve the men and women of CLO. Most everyone who works for CLO does so due to the extreme committment and relationships they have with the men and women. There are so many CLO employees who have shown their continuous committment to these men and women even when the administration turns their cold cheeck to the employees. This only means that the administration is more consumed with how the facitily is ran as a buisness (or how it looks on paper) than how the homes are actually managed. I worked for CLO for many years. It was claer even then that CLO gives much lip service to the men and women but actually do little to assure that checks and balences occur. The only checks are made after the balences occur, meaning once situations are slipped under the rug, administrators can feel that they have completed their job or resolved that situation. The employees reporting the incidents view the "situation" in terms of the effects that the men and women encounter.
Years ago a simular situation occured at that same house. An employee was reported numerous times for fuduciary misuse, neglectful interactions with the men and women and staff alike, and verbal and in some small instances physical abuse of the men and women of Ponderosa. The exact same steps were followed: they employees who advocated for the men and women were asked to leave or experienced retribution of some type, the person involved in the actual situation was not repremanded, the men and women were never compensated for their loss of money or relationships. This pattern continues as I see the same administrative names mention. The staff member was simply encouraged to leave. Hence the situation was resolved, and the administration could move on with other matters at hand.
With all of this said, my heart is still with the men and women at CLO and the employees as well. CLO is a magical place. Relationships encountered are very intrensically rewarding. I respect many of the employees who remain at CLO for numerous years, it's due to that consistancey that the men and women will continue to have a quality of life they deserve. Still I have a question to pose to all of you; When you go to work each day is your intention to fullfill a quality of life for the individuals you serve or is your focus on increaseing your professional development in the eyes of your supervisor? Maybe the mission statement should be boldly posted w/in offices. While every buisness must have a practacle side, who determines that an ICF/MR is a buisness. It is a place of residence. Please remember that all actions or lack of actions have consequences.
I hope that the men and women of Ponderosa soon experience the respect they deserve.

pittstu_24 12 years, 4 months ago

Gotorman's wife

Thanks for the encouragement, but if they didn't listen to us then do you think they are listening to us now. I find it unrealistic to think that the Admin is actually reading this stuff. If you ask me we need to take a more aggressive approach to our communication. Posts won't do it for them, and we all know there is power in numbers.
So now I'm calling out to all former and current employees of CLO to talk. We need to actively peruse this organization's Admin. Actions speak louder than words. If we all band together and take action then we will really have them shaking, and maybe there won't be anymore emergency meetings, maybe there will be change. Plan of Action: Write a letter to the A.G.'s office, it can be anonymous or you can state who you are and your contact information. The reason I say this can be anonymous is because as long they receive enough complaints to warrant an investigation then they can't ignore us.

Write to the Attorney General's Office at: Office of Attorney General Phill Kline 120 S.W. 10th Ave. 2nd floor Topeka, KS 66612-1597

Change starts here:

emtid4u 12 years, 4 months ago

Mr. Kline, many have spoken and yet you fail to take appropriate action against the Aministration of CLO. WHY?????

I t appears evident you are either in thier pocket or have no real interest in the attacting the true crimes committed.

I think you are only interested in hurting the little people. Did you enjoy injuring small animals when you were growing up? It may be a good time to build a criminal profile on you. Just in case it's needed, you understand don't you?

It is pitiful, someone with such a great amount of elected responsibility, ignors it. Maybe the voters need to come together and force a recall??

I will and the rest should also talk with the Johnson County and Douglas County Prosecutors, they can take action without the AG's athority.

It is a good way to play it. They can ensue their own investigations. We should encourage them to get involved. Kline wants politics give it to him. Toss an a couple of anchors to Klines sinking ship.

The other Prosecutors agree you need to be gone. As do several in the State of Kansas. Lets make it an all out war for truth and justice done the right way.

momtomany 12 years, 4 months ago

pittstu_24, I know for a fact that the Admin staff are aware of the posts. So it is working they are reading and they are as we say FREAKEN out. Why do you think so of them have been removed? So keep it up I agree the more that comes out is for the best. A turn over is needed. We need upper admin that actually care about the welfare of the men and women of CLO and get rid of the ones that see only $$$ signs. Keep it up and hopefull the one person that need to know what is really going on will read this. Later all

CLO_IS_IN_TROUBLE 12 years, 4 months ago

Don't let posts about Kline's politics scare you all from contacting his office. emitd4u, you should be ashamed of yourself! All you have done since you have been posting on here is use scare tactics against us brave teachers at CLO who have come forward in this platform to share our stories. I agree with you on one front - we all need to take our stories and share them with the authorities. In this case, the authorities working on the case work under Mr. Kline. HE himself is not the one questioning people, and he will not be the one standing in court. If you contact his office you will not reach him personally, you WILL reach a cop - an officer of the law - an investigator. That investigator is there to hear our stories. emitdu4, we understand that you are a liberal, that's fine. So am I. Don't let our chance for righteousness fly out the window over some partisan war you've waged against the republicans.

cutie6729 12 years, 4 months ago

I used to work for CLO awhile back and I understand what's going on. I have seen it all. I have seen the good people get fired, my old boss, seeing people get tired and walk out, but please everyone that still works there, please keep up the hard work. Help the men and women that are living there get though this mess. Everyone who lives at CLO and all the teachers I give you respect for putting up with a company like CLO. Thanks.

cat7421 12 years, 4 months ago

Wow! I have read most of all of your comments regarding this horriable an ex-employee of CLO I understand that the majority of what was stated is the truth...I myself saw many fishy things going on there and reported much abuse that was swept under the rug until they couldn't do it anymore because it was reported to the state...I myself was questioned by the state on what I saw occur and was asked what I did about it....I, of course was stupid and followed guidlines as stated in the employee handbook and to the best of my knowledge the person accused was suspended and they(Clo) were looking into the incident so I assumed they didn't have enough justification for them to fire the individual(because they returned), although I knew that's what needed to be done I felt like i would be retributed against for saying anymore.....not long after I told the state everything I knew about the accused individual and how I thought CLO did in resolving the issue I was immediately transfered with little notice and the only thing that I was told was that they were cleaning house and thought I had done nothing wrong......I think they were afraid that if I stuck around that more truths would come out and they would be in more trouble....and to the person that transfered me to cover up things all I can say is Karma....what goes around comes around...and you should be punished as well as the individuals accused in this case....because what seems to happen is that they(CLO) runs off the good employees and keeps the bad ones....not to say that there isn't good ones there because there are employees there that put up with the BS for the sake of the individuals served because they care about them not the company

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