New Mexico receives $20,000 American Bar Association WINGS grant

New Mexico’s Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) has received $20,000 from the American Bar Association (ABA) for use as part of the ABA’s WINGS (Working Interdisciplinary Networks of Guardianship Stakeholders) state grants for 2017-2018.

From the ABA’s website, the public is told New Mexico’s effort, lead by AOC employee/attorney in charge of Guardianship cases, Patricia Galindo, who is also the Vice Chairman of the state’s Supreme Court’s Adult Guardianship Study Commission.

New Mexico
Building on an existing Adult Protective Proceedings Task Force, the New Mexico Supreme Court will convene and coordinate stakeholders to consider priorities such as issues facing rural courts, standardizing court processes and less restrictive options.  Contact Patricia Galindo.

WillPowerNM obtained a copy of the grant proposal Ms Galindo wrote on behalf of the state of New Mexico to receive $20,000 so that the Supreme Court could set up a competing and overlapping group of ‘stakeholders’ that will consist of the private, non-public, “existing Adult Protective Proceedings Task Force” to make recommendations (to…?) improve guardianship in the State of New Mexico.

At WillPowerNM we find it extraordinary that a competing, private group containing no members of the public, operating at the same time as the Adult Guardianship Study Commission, would receive money from the union for lawyers – the ABA – to conduct essentially the same work as the Commission.  That both the Commission and the WINGS grant recipient group are reporting to the same Supreme Court, and that both are conducted under the aegis of the AOC, is a curious duplication of effort. The WINGS grant recipient group has received little-to-no publicity outside of the court insiders who dominate both groups.

The only difference we can distinguish between the Commission and the WINGS grant recipient group is that the Commission has 1 member of the public out of 16 members, while the WINGS grant recipient group has 0 members of the public.  In fact, it is not entirely clear who comprises the WINGS grant recipient group, other than the helpful statement from the ABA which says the WINGS grant recipient group will build, “on an existing Adult Protective Proceedings Task Force.”

We remind readers that the 1st and foremost important recommendation to come from the Adult Protective Proceedings Task Force was to grant “Absolute quasi-judicial immunity” to all Guardian Ad Litems, Court Visitors, and Qualified Health Care Professionals in their work in guardianship, making these “professionals” completely above the law and unable to be held accountable for their actions in guardianships and conservatorships.  WillPowerNM covered this issue of granting the court insiders who dominate and run the guardianship industry in New Mexico in a previous post.

Application to receive $20,000, written by AOC attorney and Vice Chair of the Adult Guardianship Study Commission Patricia Galindo, with supporting letters written by:

  • (then) Chief Justice Charles Daniels (who one month after writing this letter, created his own, duplicate(?), non-grant-receiving Adult Guardianship Study Commission) (see pages 2-3)
  • Myles Copeland, Cabinet Secretary, Aging and Long-Term Services Dept (see page 4)
  • John Block, III, Executive Director, Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (see pages 5-6)
  • Tim Gardner, Legal Director, Disability Rights New Mexico — and also current Commissioner of Adult Guardianship Study Commission (see page 7)
  • Margaret Graham, President, New Mexico Guardianship Association (see page 42)
  • Ellen Leitzer, Executive Director, Senior Citizens Law Office – Ellen Leitzer is also a known member of the existing Adult Protective Proceedings Task Force who will be the recipient of at least some of the $20,000 funded through this WINGS grant (see page 43)
  • Stormy Ralstin, Director of Legal Services, State Bar of New Mexico (see page 44)
  • Gary L J Giron, Executive Director, New Mexico Chapter, Alzheimer’s Association (see page 45)
  • Sara Traub, Chair, Real Property, Trust & Estate Section of the NM Bar – Sara Traub is also a known member of the existing Adult Protective Proceedings Task Force who will be the recipient of at least some of the $20,000 funded through this WINGS grant (see page 46)
  • Merritt Ayan, PhD, Mental Health Manager, Santa Fe County Corrections, (see page 47)

 

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