This is a story that is so typical that it now qualifies and “dog bites man.” You take a liberal Democrat, put them in a position of power, and when they are given the choice between doing their sworn duty or enriching themselves, their family, and their friends they go for the graft and corruption every time.
Out in Nevada, Harry Reid protege Catherine Cortez Masto is locked in a very tight — and very winnable — race with Republican Joe Heck. Winning Harry Reid’s seat would be the sweetest possible victory in 2016. It would be a rejection of Reid’s career of lies, corruption, arrogance, and stupidity.
When Cortez Masto as Nevada attorney general it was revealed that the trust accounts of elderly placed under the guardianship of Cortez Masto family friend, Jared Shafer, were not being merely pilfered. He was carrying out the equivalent of Tartar slave raids against their assets.
Family members of senior citizens at the center of a controversy surrounding the Nevada guardianship system say their pleas for help to then-attorney general Catherine Cortez Masto, now a U.S. Senate candidate, were ignored for political reasons.
The family members accuse Jared Shafer, a former Clark County, Nev., official who runs a private guardianship firm, of bilking family members’ estates of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Shafer brushed off threats of legal action by invoking his connections to Masto, the Democratic candidate for Senate hoping to replace Harry Reid.
“Jared Shafer knew that Masto would never take a report” due to her family’s ties to Shafer, said Charles Pascal, whose mother-in-law died under Shafer’s care, in a Tuesday interview. “Why can these guardians do these things? They can do these things because they believe that no action will be taken.”
Nevada’s guardianship program has sparked controversy over allegations by the families of state wards that court-appointed guardians, who assume control over the estates of the elderly and indigent, extract excessive fees without providing basic levels of care.
If you think it sounds bad in a macro sense, the details will horrify you:
Rebecca Schultz, Olvera’s daughter says that Shafer billed her father’s estate for thousands of dollars in excessive and unsupported expenses. Those included payments to a case manager since imprisoned on felony charges of abusing the elderly after she was found to have stolen from state wards in her care and pawned their belongings.
A California judge terminated Shafer’s guardianship of Olvera in 2013, but not before Shafer billed the estate for another $240,000 in legal fees.
No one has yet alleged that Cortez Masto was getting a cut from what was embezzled from wards of the state but it is very clear that the abuse was reported to her and she did nothing. That the prime mover in the scam was a family friend may or may not have influenced her decision but it is equally clear that the mess was imminently fixable and Cortez Masto’s replacement, Republican Adam Laxalt, has done just that.
Sending Cortez Masto to the Senate simply validates Harry Reid’s career of graft, corruption, and duplicity.