STATE ADULT PROTECTIVE SERVICES SUMMONED…BUT BY WHOM?

by Sharon Rondeau

(Oct. 20, 2016) — On Wednesday, the power of attorney for a U.S. Army soldier being held at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC) on the order of the Army’s Warrior Transition Brigade (WTB) received a telephone call from a woman identifying herself as “Sherry Davis” of Maryland Adult Protective Services claiming to represent the soldier’s alleged desire to discontinue the power of attorney’s authority.

On September 29, the soldier was unexpectedly hospitalized in what his family believes was a follow-on to the unsuccessful “ambush” of September 1 in which the soldier was descended upon by a half-dozen members of the WTB while he was on leave who ordered him to immediately report to the Walter Reed emergency room for a psychiatric evaluation.

Once there, the psychiatrist on-duty found no reason to admit the soldier and observed that it appeared that “political” considerations had prompted his arrival at the emergency room.

The WTB was launched in 2007 with the reported purpose of “overseeing the health, welfare and morale of patients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.”

The soldier’s family and close associates believe that the Army wishes to “prove” that the soldier is “delusional” and therefore cannot serve. Although the “diagnosis” arose in 2012 after the soldier reported, and refused to participate in, alleged misconduct on the part of his command in South Korea, at least one psychologist at the PhD level formerly associated with Walter Reed disagrees with it.

From the family’s point of view, the Army has “kidnapped” the soldier and is now caught up in a conundrum of its own making: that the soldier is “delusional” and therefore unfit for duty, necessitating the discharge process but without a discharge date or completed Medical Board. The POA has pointed out that once released, the soldier will be free to speak with the press about his ordeal, which includes uninvestigated sexual assault while he was on active duty; the failure of Williamson to note the soldier’s report of sexual assault in his medical records; the intimidation and coercion that the family believes the soldier has experienced and is continuing to experience; the misconduct in his chain of command in South Korea; and serious allegations against a Walter Reed physician. Dr. David Williamson, already reported to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (MDHMH) by the POA.

The POA believes that the soldier has been prescribed a heavy medication regimen so as to support Walter Reed’s “delusion” diagnosis.  She has requested a meeting with WTB medical personnel and, at the very least, a discussion about a reduction in the soldier’s medications on a number of occasions, to no avail.

According to the POA’s account of Davis’s phone call, Walter Reed allowed Davis to meet with the soldier without legal representation, after which Davis alleged that the soldier informed her that he desires a court-appointed guardian to replace the current POA.  The POA said that while inexplicably barred from speaking with the soldier herself since October 4, phone calls he has been permitted to make to another family member have contained no mention of removing her as power of attorney.

As The Post & Email reported on Wednesday evening, when an individual enlists in the U.S. military, he or she becomes the property of the government. Heretofore, the POA’s legal documentation has been accepted in the civilian world but not by Walter Reed personnel.  However, if Davis’s report is accurate, the POA believes that someone at Walter Reed reached out to the civilian sector in an apparent attempt to discontinue the POA’s authority, thereby acknowledging that authority.

Curiously, also on Wednesday, Sgt. Anthony Hill, a member of the soldier’s transition team, contacted the POA and the family’s minister to request that the soldier’s laptop computer and cell phone be provided to Walter Reed.  The POA has requested of Army Inspector General Lashanda Cobbs that Hill not contact her again for any reason.

On October 14, Cobbs informed the POA that the family’s request for an investigation into the soldier’s hospitalization had been turned over to Walter Reed Inspector General Richard Little.  When the family attempted to contact Little, a woman named “Vera” in his office stated that he is unavailable for the week.

While Hill told the POA on September 29 that Williamson was “gone” from Walter Reed, Walter Reed Public Affairs Officer Sandy Dean told The Post & Email that it cannot confirm anyone’s employment status. A follow-up question directed to Dean went unanswered.

Likewise, The Post & Email’s questions posed to the U.S. Department of Defense Public Affairs Office resulted in no resolution.

On Wednesday, the POA contacted Cobbs, Little, the White House, and DOD Public Affairs by email, stating that Little had not responded to her emails, that a “Sara” in his office stated he was on leave for the week, and that an Army JAG was now responsible for responding.  Further, the POA wrote, “I find it very interesting that the medical, legal, and command staff will not address this federal habeas corpus, terrorist threats, or XXXXXX’s welfare yet Sgt. Hill left XXXXX and myself a voicemail on yesterday and a demanding text today stating that he is trying to locate XXXXXXX’s personal computer and personal cell phone allegedly at the request of XXXXX. When did they allow computers and cell phones on a mental ward? I have video of Walter Reed staff forcing me to lock my cell phone and purse up when I made a surprise visit on the ward. So XXXXX’s personal cell phone and computer is more important than his life?”

The POA has told Cobbs that following Hill’s phone call and text-message to her, “He is to never contact me again.”

The POA then informed the parties:

The command resorted to having an individual to call me and tell me that she was from Maryland Adult Protective Services and XXXXXX allegedly stated that he no longer wants me to be his POA and he can say that and that terminates me as his power of attorney. Here’s what’s wrong with this conversation:

1. Walter Reed has refused to acknowledge me as XXXXXX’s POA – Forget POA; what about next of kin? I have NUMEROUS documentation over a 5 year time frame and NOT ONE Federal, State, or local judge has EVER dishonored my POA; only Walter Reed. Why?

2. Per the medical records and recorded statements from Walter Reed medical staff and commands, XXXXXX is delusional. How was this representative Sherry Davis able to speak to XXXXXX w/o  XXXXXX having legal representation. He’s delusional but he can make legal decisions verbally and written w/o legal representation? But he’s too delusional to sign himself out of the mental ward?

3. When I asked this representative Sherry Davis to email me everything she just said about XXXXXX’s alleged statement and the legal paper work so [numerous relatives] can attend court hearing for guardianship, Sherry Davis begin to get loud and state that she didn’t have to give me anything because she doesn’t have anything to give me. Therefore, I  terminated our phone conversation.

Again, I want XXXXXX removed immediately from Walter Reed  for his safety. I’ve complained about this harassment and terrorist threats against my family and the XXXXXX family. Maybe you can get the court documents from Sherry Davis.

Here’s Sherry Davis’s info

Sherry Davis
Montgomery County Adult Protective Services
240-777-1286

On Wednesday, prior to receiving a copy of the POA’s email to Cobbs, The Post & Email sent its own inquiry to Cobbs as to the family’s options, given that Little is unavailable this week and they are receiving no answers from the JAG reportedly handling the matter.

At 9:03 AM EDT on Thursday, The Post & Email contacted Davis, leaving a detailed voice message with several questions as to how she came to be involved in the case as a civilian and whether or not any documentation exists to support her claim to the POA that the soldier wishes to have a state guardian appointed to act on his behalf.  We also asked if she met with the soldier alone and if so, how it was permitted when telephone calls between the soldier and his POA have been thwarted.

In an interview several weeks ago, the soldier’s POA informed us that prior to her becoming power of attorney in 2014, another relative was so designated.  However, she said that in a telephone conversation between her and Williamson at the time, Williamson requested a change in the POA because the current one was “too religious.” “Williamson asked that I become power of attorney,” the current POA said. “It was his request, not mine.”

The Post & Email will update the story if a response is received from Cobbs and/or Davis.

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