August 9, 2011

Steve Papadimos Discusses Common Elder Abusers

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , at 1:58 am by Steve Papadimos

Contrary to what many individuals would guess, relatives prove to be the most common elder abusers. The type of abuse varies widely according to the relationship between the elder individual and the perpetrator. Children of the victim tend to seek monetary gain, often justifying their actions as simply obtaining an early inheritance. Spouses may continue former patterns of abuse or take advantage of a situation due to unexpressed anger or resentment. Often, spouses unintentionally harm each other by refusing help assistance as they attempt to take care of each other. Relatives with a history of substance abuse or those dealing with especially difficult situations show a greater likelihood of exploiting the elderly.

Virtually anyone can become an elder abuser, from neighbors or volunteer workers to practitioners. While some predators seek out individuals in vulnerable positions to deprive them of their resources, many elder abusers feel justified in their actions or do not understand the harm that they cause. Abusers generally assume a position of trust or authority, whether through a familial tie or a friendship. Those elderly who live alone and have no relatives living in the immediate vicinity prove especially vulnerable to abuse at the hands of supposed friends and neighbors.

Abuse may also happen in paid care environments, especially if employees do not receive adequate training, lack support from other staff members, have insufficient supplies, or lie about their previous experience. Some institutions do not have the infrastructure and organization required for adequate care, making in imperative that individuals thoroughly research different homes before settling on one for an elderly family member. Some perpetrators actually have a history of elder abuse, making it important that individuals elders’ caregivers inquire about employee screenings and any systems that have put in place to ensure adequate care and proper treatment.

Elder abuse remains a growing problem, especially as the baby boomers begin to retire and the older population increases, making it important that individuals become aware of the signs of elder abuse and take measures to prevent it.

About the Author

Both Lucas County and the Ohio Prosecuting Attorney’s Association have honored Steve Papadimos for his contributions as Chief of Civil Division at the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office. In this position, he oversees all phases of public sector law, including the county’s senior protection unit. Steve Papadimos holds a Juris Doctor from the University of Toledo School of Law.

May 19, 2011

Steve Papadimos: The First Amendment – Part One

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , at 11:02 pm by Steve Papadimos

Steve Papadimos serves as the Chief of the Civil Division at the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office in Toledo, Ohio. Mr. Papadimos earned his law degree at the University of Toledo College of Law and has served at the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office for more than three decades.

Along with serving the best interests of the public, Mr. Papadimos also shares his insights into the law via speaking and writing. One of Steve Papadimos’ lectures is about the First Amendment to the United States Constitution. The First Amendment establishes important freedoms that have played a significant role throughout the history. Each clause of the text outlines freedoms that Americans value today. The text is quoted, with discussion after each clause.

1. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion:”

This clause, also known as the “establishment clause” was originally intended to apply to the federal government; however, a 1947 ruling Everson v. the Board of Education also translated it to the states. Argument exists regarding whether this clause separates church and state or merely prevents the government from establishing an “official” church.

2. “or prohibiting the free exercise thereof:”

This clause expounds upon the establishment clause, protecting the free exercise of religion and prohibiting persecution. Supreme Court rulings have determined that the federal government must have a compelling interest to refuse religious accommodation, while states must not target a particular religion’s practices. In part two of this series, Steve Papadimos shares insights into the remaining three clauses of the First Amendment, including freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the right to assembly and petition.

April 25, 2011

Asian Carp and the Great Lakes Basin

Posted in Uncategorized tagged , , , at 12:47 am by Steve Papadimos

By:  Steve Papadimos

As an avid fisherman in the Toledo, Ohio, area, I enjoy angling opportunities on the Maumee River and on Lake Erie. One of the most critical issues facing the Great Lakes region involves the migration of aquatic invasive species (AIS) such as the silver carp and bighead carp species, sometimes collectively referred to as the Asian carp. The common carp, a Eurasian species, was introduced into the U.S. in the early 19th century and was widely distributed by the U.S. government for use as a foodfish. These carp are thought to have a destructive impact on native species as they muddy the water and take out aquatic vegetation when rooting around in riverside mud banks. The Asian carp, with a similar destructive impact, have been spreading much more aggressively than the common carp in recent years.

Over the past several decades, silver, bighead, and grass carp have become well established in widening areas of the Mississippi River basin, which includes the Mississippi River and all of its tributaries. Silver and bighead carp are thought to have escaped aquaculture ponds along the Mississippi River during major flooding in the 1990s. Grass carp, on the other hand, have been well established in the Mississippi River since the 1970s.

Today, Bighead and silver carp are found in abundance throughout Mississippi River watersheds ranging from Louisiana to Ohio, while grass carp appear to be established primarily in the Texas watershed. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency researchers are extremely concerned about Asian carp reaching the Great Lakes Basin. To date, a limited number of bighead carp have been captured from Lake Erie, although no evidence shows them to have reproduced. Similarly, a limited number of grass carp and bighead carp have been caught in the Canadian portion of the Great Lakes, with no populations thought to be established there. In combating the threat posed by Asian carp on native fish throughout the Great Lakes Basin, the Army Corps of Engineers is developing a network of enhanced barriers and monitoring systems.

In addition, fish toxicants and increased commercial fishing and harvesting practices are being encouraged to reduce Asian carp populations. Unfortunately, researchers believe that Asian carp have recently breached an electric fish barrier on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. In June 2010, a 19-pound carp was discovered only a few miles downstream from Lake Michigan. To mitigate the threat posed by the Asian carp’s spread, the Obama Administration last December released a revised Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework for 2011, introducing 13 new initiatives as part of a comprehensive plan. While it is good to see bolstered efforts on this front, I question whether it will be enough, given the dramatic increase in Asian carp population and range these past few years.

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