Follow-up: Clay Greene, Harold Scull

Clay Greene and Harold Scull were an elderly gay couple that was separated by the state under false pretenses. They had all the possible paperwork they could in order to be sure they had all the rights they deserved. But that was unimportant to Sonoma County in California. The two were forced to live out Harold’s last days in separate nursing homes; Clay shouldn’t have even been placed in a home. Their property was stolen and sold by the county, gone forever except in Clay’s memories. It’s a tragedy that ought to move everybody.

Clay soon brought a lawsuit against the county. I’m reporting this late, I know, but a settlement was reached back in July.

A case of reported domestic violence involving two elderly Sonoma County gay men that led to a lawsuit claiming discrimination by the Public Guardian’s office which assisted them was settled today when the County agreed to pay $300,000 for property that belonged to the men which was sold for less than its full alleged value at auction.

What’s unfortunate is that the only source I can find is the one I’ve given here, and that’s a press release from the county. Everyone knows a settlement usually means the defendant knows a loss was guaranteed. But that doesn’t stop the lying.

“This is a case about the County doing the right thing and stepping in to assist an individual, Harold Scull, who made claims of domestic abuse against Clay Greene,” said attorney Greg Spaulding, representing the County in the settlement. “It is everyone’s right—no matter what their sexual orientation—to have a relationship that is not abusive.”

Except charges were never filed. No steps were taken to prove beyond any doubt, much less a reasonable one, that Clay had ever abused Harold. All that happened was the county stole property from two men, placed one in what was effectively a prison, and then lied. Now that it’s obvious to everyone that they were lying, they’re doubling down on the lies. Take a look at the first quote I put up. It sounds like the county only paid for undervalued property. In fact, it was stolen property, but putting that aside, here’s what they really paid.

This settlement, in which the County agreed to pay $300,000 for attorney fees, $275,000 to Clay Greene and $25,000 to the estate of Harold Scull for allegedly undervalued sold property, allows the County to avoid costs associated with a lengthy trial.

The real cost is $600,000, not $300,000. And does anyone believe that the county is merely paying the difference in the stolen undervalued property? They’re giving a massive chunk to Clay while only a small portion to Harold’s estate. How plausible is it that the two men had such unequal shares of property after living together for 20 years? Clearly the county is paying $25,000 to Harold’s estate for the sake of undervalued property, but it’s paying Clay so much because they know they would face a humiliating and just loss at trial that would result in a far bigger payment. It’s that inevitable loss they mean when they talk about “costs associated with a lengthy trial”.

It’s good that Clay has effectively won his case, but none of this changes the fact that he was forced to miss the majority of the last few months of Harold’s life.

Jack Hudson is a moron, part 1

In all likelihood, Jack Hudson still reads this blog. As regular readers will know, he left in a huff when I exposed the ‘anonymous’ phone calls he or one of his friends had been making to a family member of mine. Of course, I went out of my way to point out that the best evidence was track phone numbers which originated from his home state, but he’s likely one of the most deluded, arrogant individuals I’ve encountered so that fell on deaf ears since he didn’t want to hear it. My relative then berated him for the sake of causing anger, pulling out a number of insults which any rational person would have seen as zingers that should have little consequence beyond a small blog in the corner of the Internet. Then after all that, Jack blamed me for what someone else said (sharing 1/4 of my genes with someone makes me guilty, I guess?), defriended me on Facebook a la John Lott style, and stormed off the set.

But he still probably reads this blog.

He has this post about a case of bigotry in Sonoma County in California, likely having taken the news from FTSOS; the main ways of finding the story were via a short post from PZ or by being someone who specifically searches gay and lesbian sites for news. And since most of Jack’s posts relating to PZ only pop up after I post about them, it’s hard to believe he doesn’t still peruse FTSOS. And that’s fine. I glance at some of his posts. I’ve even tried leaving a couple comments, but alas, he has already gone out of his way to block my IP. Some people just can’t take it. (Even those who can beat people up real bad!)

But enough qualification, let’s get to the post in question (which is about two elderly gay men who were forcefully separated by Sonoma County).

So the story came out, was gobbled up (though not digested) – and of course no follow-up will happen, because these folks aren’t interested in facts which might muddle up their epistemic closure on all things homosexual.

Of course there will be follow-up. If the result is in favor of the elderly gay man who is still living (despite having all his property stolen), then that’s good news for gay rights. If the result is against the elderly gay man, it’s an unfortunate blow which serves roughly the same political purpose as the initial story.

At the outset its important to note the events themselves take place in Sonoma County, California. This is important because we aren’t talking about some back-woods, redneck, right-wing enclave that systematically oppresses anyone who isn’t a white heterosexual – this is perhaps one of the most gay-friendly places on earth. It is also one of the most ‘progressive’ parts of the country; so there is little indication that politics ordered the set of events detailed in this story.

Here Jack wants a strawman. No one said there was some deep political current. Those in charge separated the two because the couple could not get married. Nothing beyond that matters.

It also went without note the reasoning the county gave for acting as it did with the two men…In this case of course, the left-wingers weren’t interested in the whole story, because another set of facts might threaten the usefulness of the story they had concocted

(The ellipsis is for some meaningless, irrelevant excerpt from the Bible.)

One of the first sites to break the story actually linked to the .pdf of the lawsuit which included that claim.

No one is saying supposed accounts of abuse are unimportant, but the county did not charge anyone. No convictions were made. The county had no right to dissolve all the legal arrangements the two had set up. They did it with no authority, and in fact, they repeatedly claimed both men were suffering from dementia. Isn’t it just convenient that both men were suffering from severe mental impairment, yet the county was still able to selectively believe certain claims? And how can anyone believe these people? The man who is still living, Clay, is not actually suffering from anything (other than the torment of having not seen the final days of his partner’s life). He is actually free from the abuse he actually suffered at his prison nursing home.

And what is even more ironic is what is really bothersome in this case is the wanton disregard the county showed for property rights. The fact that they felt they could imprison an individual and then confiscate his property to pay for his incarceration, even if they felt it was for his own health, is outrageous – but it is outrageous for conservative reasons, not progressive reasons. In this situation the bureaucrats were acting exactly as progressives want the state to act; to be indifferent to our property, to act in what they deem is our best interest, and to intrude into what should be personal and individual financial issues.

Going off the looney deep-end with a non-sequitur much? If the couple was married, the county would not have been able to steal property. End of story.