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As court hears case over woman's will, leaders demand action at Council on Aging

5 months 2 weeks 1 day ago Thursday, April 06 2017 Apr 6, 2017 April 06, 2017 3:13 PM April 06, 2017 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE- Two elected officials in East Baton Rouge Parish are calling for the Governor's Office of Elderly Affairs to investigate the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging.

The letter was drafted one day before the Council on Aging washed its hands of a questionable will that was written on behalf of an elderly client.

     > READ the letter here.

The letter was dated April 5, 2017, and sent to Karen Ryder at the Governor's Office of Elderly Affairs. It was signed by two members of the East Baton Rouge Parish Metro Council: Buddy Amoroso and Dwight Hudson. The men said they want the East Baton Rouge Council on Aging to be cleared or the board and executive staff members should be replaced.

Two issues were cited in the letter. One included a story the Investigative Unit broke last week dealing with the will where Executive Director Tasha Clark Amar was listed as the executrix. The will was drawn up by Council on Aging Board Member Dorothy Jackson. Clark Amar would have received $125,000 of Helen Plummer's money over 20 years if she did not remove herself.

The other issue involved the East Baton Rouge Parish Council on Aging promoting a parish-wide tax. The Investigative Unit reported last year that the Council on Aging's non profit mail code was used to send out mailers promoting a property tax that eventually was approved by voters to fund the agency. The use of such a mail code in this way was a violation of postal regulations.

The letter states, "If these very serious allegations are true and no action is taken, we feel that this will set a precedent on which other Councils across the State of Louisiana can act upon."

At a court hearing Thursday, Clark Amar, Jackson and a third agency employee were removed from their participation in the deceased woman's will. The attorney who drafted the letter didn't answer questions about why she washed her hands of the case if everything was done correctly.

Plummer's family was pleased they backed off and appreciated all of the community's support.

"I think Judge Johnson was very fair today," Tracie Davis said. "I think the removal and withdrawl of Tasha Clark Amar, Dorothy Jackson and Trudy Bihm was a step in the right direction."

About any investigation into the agency, the governor's office previously said it did not want to get involved. 

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