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Elder abuse and deprivation of rights by Monterey County, California

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Monterey County Counsel Cathleen Giovanni demanded that Patricia Conklin, daughter of conservatee Margarita Zelada, sign away her civil rights or lose a lifetime of personal property and family treasures. Giovannini emailed the document at 4:30pm Monday, December 16. Giovannini demanded Patricia’s signature by 8:30am Tuesday, December 17.

Giovannini demonstrated her penchant for deprivation of rights in November when she obtained a court order to strip Margarita of her right to contact elder rights advocates. Giovannini’s recent email to Patricia shows the same proclivity for deprivation of rights.

Here is a proposed release---please review as soon as possible, as it is hoped that the check exchange and move can be accomplished tomorrow morning. I understand that Teri Scarlett and Jennifer Empasis are planning to meet Patricia Conklin and a representative from Tijuana Walker at the Del Rey Oaks Starbucks at 8:30 tomorrow a.m.

According to Patricia’s cousin Bonnie Lind (who provided the document to this Examiner):

[Patricia] was given two minutes to call me to ask what she should do. [Public Guardians] Scarlett and Empasis warned her to sign it or she gets nothing!

Elder rights advocate Dr. Robert Fettgather commented:

Is this the Machiavellian standard: hold out property to victims who sign away their rights?

Since March 25, 2013, Deputy Public Guardian Jennifer Empasis kept Margarita unlawfully confined and forcibly isolated at Senior Paradise in Del Rey Oaks. Empasis seized control of all finances belonging to Margarita and Patricia. Empasis also seized control of Patricia’s home in Pacific Grove and all personal property inside the home.

Senior Deputy Public Guardian Teri Scarlett allowed Margarita three one-hour visits with Patricia on October 31, November 7, and November 15. Otherwise, mother and daughter are denied all contact with one another.

Patricia was allowed thirty minutes inside her home to collect a few personal belongings. Otherwise, Patricia is denied all access to her property. Giovannini demands Patricia sign the following release to obtain further access.


This is a RELEASE of all claims against the MONTEREY COUNTY PUBLIC GUARDIAN, as CONSERVATOR OF THE ESTATE OF MARGARITA ZELADA) (hereinafter referred to as “CONSERVATOR”), involving any personal property of Patricia Conklin and/or Margarita Zelada located previously or presently at the house at 171 Laurel, in Pacific Grove, California.

This release is entered into by potential claimant, PATRICIA CONKLIN, (“Claimant”), who alleges that the MONTEREY COUNTY PUBLIC GUARDIAN, as CONSERVATOR had a duty to secure and/or remove any property remaining at 171 Laurel, Pacific Grove, California, after MARGARITA ZELADA, left the property, was hospitalized, entered a rehabilitation program, and eventually came to reside at a residential facility. The CONSERVATOR asserts it secured all property of use, or value to Margarita Zelada at or soon after Margarita Zelada left the home permanently, and that it has no duty regarding or responsibility for PATRICIA CONKLIN’s personal property which remains at the house. The CONSERVATOR asserts it has no duty to help PATRICIA CONKLIN secure or remove her property from the home, but acknowledges it has discretion to help PATRICIA CONKLIN monetarily if it can do so without depleting Conservatorship Estate funds necessary for Mrs. Zelada’s care or otherwise prejudicing the conservatorship estate.

FOR AND IN CONSIDERATION OF the following expenditures of $4,300 in storage fees to be paid to landlord Tijuana Walker for the personal property of PATRICIA CONKLIN; the costs of moving all of the personal property currently located at the residence of 171 Laurel Street, Pacific Grove, California, with a mutually agreed moving service; and $1,054 in the cost of storing the property, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged by the undersigned, Claimant, PATRICIA CONKLIN, releases and fully and forever discharges and holds harmless the CONSERVATOR, and all other Officers, Agents, and Employees thereof, from all claims, demands, and causes of action, including attorneys’ fees and costs, the CLAIMANT now or in the future may have against said such persons for personal injuries, property damage, emotional distress, wage loss, loss of earnings, loss of consortium, general and economic damages, or other claims of any kind involving the personal property at 171 Laurel, and for consequential damages of every kind and character involving the personal property at 171 Laurel, whether the said personal injuries, claims and consequential damages be now existent or become existent in the future, or whether the same be now known or unknown or whether the same be anticipated or unanticipated.

IN ADDITION, CLAIMANT further agrees that the proposed dental work on her teeth shall be put off for a period of at least six months, and may be revisited at that time.

CLAIMANT and CONSERVATOR desire to resolve all claims of each and every Claimant against CONSERVATOR and intend by this Release to settle all claims, rights, demands, liabilities, obligations and causes of action of every kind, nature and description that each party may have, or at any time ever had, against the other which relates to the personal property located previously or presently at the house at 171 Laurel Street, Pacific Grove, California.

The parties do not anticipate this agreement and release to have any impact on CLAIMANT’s current criminal case or criminal appeal.

CLAIMANT hereby releases and forever discharges CONSERVATOR, its insurance companies and representatives, and, its officers, elected officials, directors, employees, subsidiaries, agents, attorneys, representatives, successors, heirs and assigns of and from any and all claims, debt, liabilities, demands, obligations, costs, expenses, damages, actions and causes of action, of every nature, character and description, known and unknown, which the parties now own or hold, or have at anytime owned or held, or may at any time own or hold, by reason of any matter, cause or thing whatsoever incurred, done, omitted or suffered to be done prior to the date of this Release, which each may have against the other on account of, or in any way related to the personal property previously or presently located at 171 Laurel Street, Pacific Grove, California.

CLAIMANT PATRICIA CONKLIN, expressly waives and relinquish her rights created under California Civil Code § 1542, which states:

" A general release does not extend to claims which the creditor does not know or suspect to exist in his or her favor at the time of executing the release, which if known by him or her must have materially affected his or her settlement with the debtor."

This Release is a compromise and settlement of disputed claims, and nothing in this Release shall be construed at any time as an admission of liability on the part of CLAIMANT or CONSERVATOR, and the parties expressly deny any such liability.

CLAIMANT acknowledges that she has had the opportunity to be represented by independent legal counsel of her own choice, that this Release was prepared with the joint input of all parties, and shall not be construed in favor of or against any party to the Release. Claimant further acknowledges that this Release was executed freely and voluntarily and with the opportunity for Claimant to receive the advice of independent legal counsel.

ASSIGNMENT. Claimant warrants that no claims or causes of action arising out of the event or occurrences recited herein have been assigned to any other person or entity.



Monterey County Board of Supervisors

District 1: Fernando Armenta,

District 2: Louis R. Calcagno,

District 3: Simón Salinas,

District 4: Jane Parker,

District 5: Dave Potter,



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