In yet another legal maneuver to shut down dissent, the attorney disciplinary board in the State of Illinois has suspended Chicago-based activist attorney Kenneth Ditkowsky’s license to practice law for four years, following a hearing where Ditkowsky’s right to speak out against corruption in the courts featured center-stage.
Ditkowsky, who has been practicing law since the early 1960’s, came to public attention after he became outspoken against what he calls “elder cleansing,” which is taking place in guardianship programs in courts throughout the United States. Ditkowsky has been sending emails to public officials, including Attorney General Eric Holder and US Senator Matt Kirk on a regular basis, asking for an “honest and complete investigation” of reported abuses going on under the mantle of adult guardianships.
Ditkowsky has defined “elder cleansing” as a three step process: First, a court must assert its dominion over an elder person’s life and assets by appointing a guardian. Ditkowsky has detailed instances, such as in the Mary Sykes guardianship, where legal process was not adhered to. Second, the elder is systematically isolated from concerned family and friends and his assets pilfered by the very guardian who is in place to conserve the estate. The final stage of elder cleansing, according to Ditkowsky, occurs when the elder, now isolated and placed into a facility, is drugged to death.
Ditkowsky was placed under disciplinary proceedings by the IARDC (Illinois Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission), after his repeated allegations of attorney and judicial misconduct in the guardianship of Mary G. Sykes, Alice Gore and others began to apparently become an irritant. At one point, Ditkowsky was asked by IARDC attorney Leah Black if he were not “sorry” for his emails asking for an investigation into these cases.
Mary G. Sykes has been isolated from family and friends for several years. A number of valuable assets, including old gold and silver coins, have reportedly disappeared during the tenure of the guardianship. In another guardianship matter, Alice Gore had her teeth mined for gold fillings, which were removed on order of the guardian.
Ditkowsky has pledged to continue on the fight against elder cleansing. In another one of his widely disseminated emails following his receipt of notice of suspension from the practice of law, Ditkowsky stated the following….
“henceforth my full time efforts will be directed toward the fight to prevent ‘elder cleansing’ and the WAR AGAINST THE ELDERLY AND THE DISABLED that our miscreant abusive guardians and those who work in concert with them – i.e. the political royals, Jerome Larkin and the IARDC, etc. The Supreme Court of Illinois affirmed the IARDC and ruled that the First Amendment to the Illinois Constitution has been abrogated.”
The State of Illinois appears to have adopted a “take no prisoners” policy against dissident attorneys. However, the very IARDC attorneys who prosecuted Ditkowsky’s license have failed to file their mandated financial disclosure forms. These forms are to be filed to ensure that those in government are not receiving bribes and payoffs in return for their official duties. In other words, the law of the State of Illinois apparently does not apply to those working for government.
In concert with another Illinois attorney, JoAnne Denison, Ken Ditkowsky has filed a civil rights lawsuit in federal court, alleging that his First Amendment rights have been breached. JoAnne Denison is also on trial for her bar license for the act of running a blog—marygsykes.com– which is critical of judges and other legal professionals as relates to the practice of elder law and guardianship.
Ken Ditkowsky’s writings have been regularly featured on Denison’s blog. Denison has also filed a copyright infringement suit, based on what she alleges to be improper dominion by the IARDC over the blog.
At stake here is more than the individual careers of a couple of attorneys. When individuals are censured for what is considered to be Constitutionally protected speech, the public at large suffers, as well. Writes JoAnne Denison,
“As you are aware, the greatest weapons in this country counter to a dictatorship and tyranny are undoubtedly the right to petition freely and openly our government for redress, and when that fails, our right to take unresolved grievances to be aired in the media.
In one fell swoop, the IARDC takes away these rights.
As attorneys, we cannot call a spade a spade, a pig with lipstick becomes a lady, and words such as “corrupt”, “tortfeasor”, civil and human rights violations, theft, conversion, embezzlement, false imprisonment are swiftly taken away from our blogs, then the public is not warned.”
At the time of going to press, blogger Roger Shuler has been sitting in jail for five months in Alabama, due to a “prior restraint” issue. Moveon.org is being sued by the Governor of Louisianna, Bobby Jindal, for a billboard which states that Jindal’s acts as Governor resulted in the denial of Medicaid coverage for 242,000 people. Yet another arrest warrant has been issued for an outspoken probate court victim, this time out in Logan County, Ohio. The arrest warrant for Rosanna Miller is for failure to pay a couple of grand in court costs. However, the law prohibits jailing someone for a debt in Ohio.
A large reaper appears to be at play, cutting down and silencing activists, attorneys and non- attorneys alike. Anyone who speaks out appears to be at risk. The use of the legal system as an instrument of (domestic) war has resulted in the coining of a new word, “lawfare,” which aptly describes the sorts of assaults on rights and freedoms such as noted herein.
As summed up by Ken Ditkowsky, “According to our brethren who regulate Attorney conduct noticing the ‘elder cleansing’ is unethical, and if you speak concerning it you are a danger to the profession and you will be suspended or disbarred.”
And in an impassioned moment, JoAnne Denison writes comparing the guardianship programs with the T-4 program in Hitler’s Germany:
“It was not until late in the T4 program and by then the concentration camp program that a German Cardinal finally read aloud a letter protesting forced euthanasia and reaffirming the sanctity of life that protests began among German catholics and the letter was read aloud in all the German churches eventually and protests in German started to take off. But by then it was simply too late. A deeply entrenched machine had already flourished for years. Jews and other undesireables were already being sent to their deaths by the bus loads.
Only the end of the war would stop this machine.
So I stand here today and I will trash my law license so that this T4 program with grandma and grandpa will go no further. Many have gone to the ARDC, the federal and state authorities with credible cases and plenty of evidence and were completely ignored. T4 was implemented, condoned and covered up by attorneys in the Drabik and Gore cases. Remember, T4 started with infants. Our seniors are just as vulnerable.
Just say NO to T4 in the US. Say NO to involuntary euthanasia for elders. Say NO to elder cleansing and elder trafficking. Whatever you call it, it’s just plain wrong and people, and especially attorneys must blog and must protest.
Neither Jim Grogan, the press spokesman for the IARDC, nor Jim Tyrbor, press contact for the Illinois Supreme Court, responded to queries from this reporter as to why the ARDC attorneys had not filed their financial disclosure forms.
Janet C. Phelan, investigative journalist and human rights defender that has traveled pretty extensively over the Asian region, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.