Law Office Report 29, May 10, 1978

[Editor’s notes: This report was transcribed by Heather Shannon. The editors are grateful for her invaluable assistance.

[This document retains its original spellings throughout, with corrections made only when the meaning may otherwise be unclear. In addition, where known, we have added first or last names in brackets to those identified by a single name. It should be noted that a number of names have not been annotated. The name is either unknown, there may be more than one person with that name or – most often the case – the name is in code.]

B-4 b (160)

Law Office Report #29
May 10, 1978
page 1
from June [Crym]

[Handwriting: “To Terry Buford”; “given via radio 5/19”; ‘X’ through numeral 1 in first item]

1. Washington Saunders – The arrangement we had received clearance on was to send Washington back to visit his nephew in Los Angeles, the one who’s been so hostile and who originally started the conservatorship on Washington until we stepped in and had Garrison appointed conservator, The nephew came up here last month, visited with Andy and Washington, and Andy introduced the idea that maybe Washington might be more comfortable with the nephew since Garrison is not able to see him that often, being tied up with his business, and suggested Washington stay with him for awhile. He also told him a little about Guyana and that Washington wanted to go there. Washington went down to LA last week and stayed with his nephew. Talked about Guyana and how much he wanted to go. Now, latest development is that the nephew called Andy last night saying that Washington will be coming back to SF Thursday, May 11, noon. The nephew will be returning to SF to see Washington May 24-25. The nephew told Andy Washington can go to Guyana as that is his uncle’s deepist wish. (This was not in the plans; we had expected that the nephew would not let him go. ) The nephew told Andy he doesn’t want his relatives thinking that Washington is not being properly cared for, being blind, and that Washington had insisted that his eyesight would clear up in Guyana. The nephew cant understand how that cant happen here in the states. The nephew doesnt want the rest of the family relatives thinking that he sent Washington to South America to get rid of the responsibility of taking care of him. The nephew told Andy he will be talking with the lawyer who handled the conservatorship, a Mr. Gross in S.F. (Ed is familiar with him) regarding appointment of another conservator (this idea had also been broached to him by Andy back when he came up here last month). The nephew wanted to know what lawyer we would be using now that [Eugene] Chaikin is not here and Andy said he didnt know. The nephew asked if Andy would be going to Guyana in June, as if Washington were to go with him and probably is thinking that Andy would be the new conservator. (This was never part of the plan.) The nephew also would want to be present at the airport if and when Washington went over. The nephew asked which bank Washington’s account is in. [Handwritten marginal note: “Don’t need a change in conservatorship, just court consent to send him. Ed.”]

Well, the plan has backfired on us and the nephew is offering to send Washington over; however, who is to say how long it will take for him to change his mind? We could appoint another conservator, and use the original attorney as working for the nephew, which iswhat we did at the beginning. What are your suggestions on this thing now? Andy still is active in procurement and p.r. so I dont know if you want to make him Washington’s conservator—we will definitely need feedback on this BEFORE May [strikeout] 24-25 when the nephew shows up.

We have made the necessary deductions for room and board from the account as directed.

[Handwriting on duplicate B-4 b (182): “Given via Radio 5/19 (The Mona Case remains unresolved”]

B-4 b (161)

Law Office Report #29
May 10, 1978
page 2
from June

2. Irma Lee Gill – This case started out early in 1977 when Irma wanted to get retirement from her husband’s pension on the railroad. I will take this mess as my mistake because I was the one who suggested to Ed that we file a legal separation in order to get a court order awarding her alimoney, which would have been taken into the [text xx’d out] railroad retirement people and they would have had to give her her share of the pension. But I procrastinated too long before filing the legal separation for her – and that is my fault, not Ed’s as I was way too slow in following through on the divorces cases. Eventually, we filed the case in June 1977 but never served the husband. Sent her to a local attorney when Ed went overseas, who did some simple searching and discovered that Irma’s husband had already filed his own divorce in March 1977 and got a court order which did not require him to pay her any alimony. This got him out from under the railroad retirement requirement because he has no court ordered responsibility to pay her support. She went to the railroad retirement after the message came over the radio for her to go in herself and get 2 checks; they told her the same thing they tole me when I called the next week: they do not pay the divorced spouse. Looking in the file, the railroad retirement contact representative as early as 2/14/77 had written out a note saying that “Mrs. Gill needs a court order stating that Mr. Gill must provide for her support. Without this order, the Railorad Retirement Board cannot pay her a spouse benefit.” Mr. Gill has evaded that by getting the Arkansas court to give him a divorce without requiring him to pay her support. We have a copy of the divorce papers he got and there is nothing in there about her support, othr than it says there are no propeerty rights to be determined.

Atthis point I do not know what to do further; I did apolobize to her and explained that it was my fault because she had [text xx’d out] talked alot about how it was meant to be that she get the pension, that Father had said it would be…I tried to put it in the light that even though he knows what can happen, sometimes we mess it up by not acting on it soon enough. She wants [text xx’d out] assurance from overseas because she feels guilty in not bringing in the extra money that the pension would have assured her. Also she took her file to Leona [Collier] and asked for help, after I had already apologized to her, so she is taking this situation hard, I think. I would like to see the woman go over; it’s a shame she’s had to wait this long because of my mistake… Had we known this back in March 1977 she could have gone then.

[Handwriting: “I agree. Arkansas action ia probably not signed, but fighting”]

B-4 b (162)


4. [Handwriting: number x’d out] Frank Garcia – Cleveland and Avis’s brother, in jail in Whittier, has been there a lont time, Avis knows about the case and so does Ed. He wrote a letter, saying that his time is set to 9/78; he wants us to write and offer a place for him so he can be granted probation in SF and stay with us. Richard Clark is his stepfather and could write the letter; thought I understand Richard Clark is slated to go over soon. [text x’d out] Hue [Fortson] is familiar with this case also, he did a lot of visits with him before he came up here. I think maybe we should just have Richard Clark and offer a place, then when he gets out, have the guy stay with Richard–if Frank is anything like his brother, Cleveland, who does nothing around here and who has to be tracked down to work for Archie [Ijames] on the crating crew and never does work consistently, I don’t know that we should be so anxious to get involved. [Handwriting: “I agree. Wait on it awhile.”] [Handwriting on duplicate B-4 b (184): “I think they are here”]

5. [Handwriting: number 5 circled “Discuss”] [Marshall] Bentzman’s letter to IRS re protest of audit – attached is copy of it. You already have copies of the attachments so I am just sending the letter. His reaction to the conversation he had with Marshal Schwartz was defensive, of course; he resented this guy calling him and did not know how much to tell him – he said he didnt convey this to Schwartz but he told Jean and me and Tim that Swchwardz [Schwartz] didnt know any more than we did or than he himself. We chuckled at that, when we got home since everything that Schwartz has told us has been more than Bentzman seems to know. It did get him to produce the letter faster than it might have been done had he thought he was not under critical pressure. He is willing to protest the audit. [Handwriting marginal note: “I still think we should hire Schwartz and forget Bentzman. E.”]

6. When we went in to talk to Eric this weekend, [text x’d out] write-up of which I assume Jean [Brown] is sending you, one of the things he mentioned was that the Attorney General appealed the Los Angeles case. He had not told us this before; the only reason he told us was that we asked, and that wasonly because you asked for us to ask. I tried to find the papers on the appeal tonight but couldnt find anything his office. He said the judge who found the judgemtn [judgment] for our side based his decision on [Charles] Garry’s brief, and Eric of course [text x’d out] just laughed off the fact that the AG had appealed th is decision, for our benefit, of course. The AG has to file an opening brief, and then Eric will have to file a reply brief. He may have just been hesitant to go into particulars because we brought so many people with us when we saw him this time (Leona [Collier], Tim [likely Clancey], [Jim] McElvane, me, Jean). He did mention once during the conversation,not on this subject, that he didnt know how much he should say conskdering all that were there, and McElvane had to reassure him that we could be trusted.

B-4 b (163)

Law office report #29
page 4
from June

7. Air compressor at the office complex: Irvin [Perkins] has been handling this, along with Tim Clancy [Clancey] and I talking with Marshall Bentzman. The situation in detail is that when the office complex in RWV [Redwood Valley] was sold, we rented the garage for 6 months. In that garage, in a small building attached to the garage, we had installed a compressor which we bought new some years ago. It still works good and we use it. It was not listed on the sale inventory of items to remain in the garage when we sold the place. However, the guy that bought the office complex from us and fromwhom we now rent the garage insistes that we leave the compressor there when we finally leave. Marshall Bentzman read the lease, and the sale papers, and noticed that on the real estate purchase contract there was mention of a list of property which was attached to the original realty listing report, which was to remain on the property. We are checking with the realty office to see if the compressor was on that report. If it was not, Bentzman says we should keep the compressor, that we are legally within our rights to keep it; it is not fixed to the wall in such a way as to cause an obvious mark if it were removed, such as a hole; and we should not concede to the guy who insists that we leave it. [Handwriting: “Get it from them.” “Right. E”]

8. Garage in office complex – we exceeded our 6 month lease, with repair work still to be done on 3 buse[s] which have cracked blocks. If we sell them that way we’ll lose thousands; if Irvin repairs them we dont have to register that they every had cracked blocks when we go to sell them. He’s not sure that he can repair it, but he’s going to try with one bus and if that works, he’ll do the other 2. For that, he needs the pit and the garage, or so he says. To rent a garage down here with a pit costs a lot more; so now we are paying $1500 a month to rent the garage in RWV. The guy we sold the office complex to and from whom we rent the garage is very hostile about the whole thing, insists on immediate payment, and we have now gone into the 2nd month past the 6 month lease, and paied $3000. Once the buses are repaired they go on their way to Florida where they’re on consignment for sale, and there are people there waiting to buy. In the long run it’s probably a good idea to keep the garage but we better be watchful of our time or we’ll lose any profit in paying the rent.

9. [9 is x’d out] John Harris’s companion – she wants to leave her children here in the states with her mom, Mrs. Sanchez. Mrs. Sanchez filed a court suit against her last time she left them with her, alleging abandonment or something like th at and made a lot of trouble. The children are teenagers, used to come to service but never really liked it and stayed pretty much aloof from the rest of our teenagers. We figure this is something you will have to discuss over there; the situation has not changed, according to Vee [Hollins] and Florida [Johnson] and McElvane. She came up to SF this last weekend for services and I asked her about the children; she said she talked to Leona about it and would not go into it with me. I asked Leona, whosaid she had sent her to me to talk about the legal problems with the children. Well, this lady deals in games, so I get the most info from LA counsel who can talk to her down there, and the consensus is that if she goes and leaves her kids, Mrs. Sanchez will pull her act one more time. It would be a p. r. problem more than anything, since she would be out of the states and
[Handwriting: She told children this week unresolved. She must bring children if grandma returns them”] [Handwriting on duplicate B-4 b (185): “Unresolved as to whether she is bringing her children or not”]

B-4 b (164)

Law office report #29
page 5
from June

not able to be served personally with any court papers Mrs. Sanchez might get together. She also wants to draw out her retirement in advance of her termination of employment with the school department; I told her to talk to her employer about that to see if any special arrangements might be made. If there are any other legal problems you will have to tell me because she doesnt talk alot about herself, to me at least. [Handwritten marginal note: “Agreed.”] [Handwriting on duplicate B-4 b (186): “answered”]

10. Attached is mail I got today re Clara Johnson’s relative; I had also sent over previous stuff, in which her attorney had dropped out of the case because he could not contact her or Clara over a long period of time. I dont know what you want to do with this—the defendant she’s suing has filed an answer to her complaint, so the next move would most likely be up to her. Check with Ed and Sarah and Clara on ths one

[Handwriting: “Do not proceed right now.”]

[Handwritten notes on duplicate B-4 b (186): “answered” and “Do Nothing”]

B-4 b (165-67): Letter to IRS from Marshall R. Bentzman

B-4 b (168-70): Answer to complaint by Charlie Turner to lawsuit by Syola Williams

B-4 b (171-92): Duplicates of B-4 b (161-170)