89-year-old Clara Fambro Claims Abuse
Is Her Guardian, Ann Yela, Complicit?
By Ron Lee
Beaverton, OR – Clara Fambro is a magnificent American woman who comes from a strong and proud family; two of her brothers, Richard Davis and Moses Davis, were members of the original Tuskegee Airmen. Clara herself is strong and witty, kind yet frail, but ever so dignified – even though that is not how she presented when I first met her. At 89 years-old, her life has reportedly been turned upside down by the very person who is duty-bound to protect her – guardian Ann Yela of Yela Fiduciary Services.
In December of 2021, I visited Clara multiple times at Roselane Adult Foster Home in Beaverton, Oregon. I was there to investigate claims of abuse both financial and physical.
Before meeting with Clara, I first met her daughter, Dollie Fambro.
Dollie is dedicated, expressive and a very hardworking woman who feels as if she failed her mother. She feels that way because according to her, Dollie’s attorney Julie Rowett convinced her to give up guardianship of her mother and give it over to Rowett’s friend, Ann Yela. “Julie told me the State of Oregon was going to prevent me from ever seeing my mother again if I didn’t give up the guardianship and give it to Ann Yela,” Dollie recounted. “And it turned out that was the biggest mistake I have ever made.”
According to Dollie, within a matter of a few short weeks, Dollie was being told by both Rowett and Yela that if she made waves, she would never be allowed to see her mother again. Dollie further reports, Yela even told her she’d never see a penny from her mother’s estate. On top of that, her mother was moved from one facility to another, farther away from her.
Even still, Dollie made every effort to see her mother practically daily, almost always taking a witness with her. Ann Yela filed papers in court stating, “the protected person’s daughter (Dollie) visits 2-3x’s per month.” According to Dollie’s records and her many witnesses, that was and is simply not true. When Dollie asked Julie Rowett to help her fight the obvious misstatement to the court, Rowett told her that if she complained Yela would merely ban her from seeing her mother, and that she “better get used to certain abuses.” Dollie also maintains that Julie stated she would be deferring to Yela’s decisions from then on, and that Yela and the facility workers were in control.
As much as possible, friends came with Dollie to visit her mother. You see, Dollie also worried about the state in which she’d find her mother and needed someone else to bear witness to it in case they’d ever be needed to testify.
Soon thereafter Dollie started noticing a change in her mother’s behavior, and bruises on her body. She maintains the facility withheld medication and threatened to blind Clara if Dollie kept coming to visit so much. When asked about daily grooming she was told they do not brush teeth. Dollie witnessed as a female worker in the house would repeatedly and on purpose, kick her mother across the shins. Dollie believes this is what ultimately caused her mother to develop an open wound that turned into a nasty staph infection in her leg that lasted for more than a year. Dollie documented that year of infection with over 75 pictures of her mother’s leg. Clara ended up being hospitalized and the infection surgically removed, which was also documented in pictures by her daughter.
Yela prepared, then filed a Guardians Annual Report on 10/18/2021 in which she stated, “This past year, the protected person (Clara) has experienced a decrease in circulation to her lower extremities resulting in hematomas and the development of wounds.” Yela then used her own determination to re-admit Clara into hospice care, reiterating, “Due to the protected person’s declining health and the development of wounds due to poor circulation, I re-admitted the protected person to hospice.”
That means Ann Yela concluded that Clara was in the final stages of life. Yela is not a doctor. Yela never states she is making this decision under the advisement of a medical doctor. Yela is simply an attorney. Furthermore, Dollie reports that she is not aware of any doctor’s diagnosis of an end-stage life threatening disease to precipitate her mother’s admission into hospice to begin with.
ABUSE AT THE HANDS OF GUARDIANS AND CONSERVATORS
Can guardians make assertions in their filings that aren’t true? Absolutely. Especially if they are bilking their clients’ estates for every penny.
According to a U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, the “GAO identified hundreds of allegations of physical abuse, neglect and financial exploitation by guardians in 45 states and the District of Columbia between 1990 and 2010. In 20 selected closed cases, GAO found that guardians stole or otherwise improperly obtained $5.4 million in assets from 158 incapacitated victims, many of whom were seniors. In some instances, guardians also physically neglected and abused their victims. The guardians in these cases came from diverse professional backgrounds and were overseen by local courts in 15 states and the District of Columbia. GAO found several common themes. … In 12 of 20 cases, the courts failed to oversee guardians once they were appointed, allowing the abuse of vulnerable seniors and their assets to continue. Lastly, in 11 of 20 cases, courts and federal agencies did not communicate effectively or at all with each other about abusive guardians, allowing the guardian to continue the abuse of the victim and/or others.”
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE ESTATE
When Clara was younger, she raised two sons, one was a Long Shoreman and one served in the Air National Guard for 36 years and did two tours of duty in the Middle East, and of course, she raised Dollie, too. Clara’s deceased husband was a veteran of the Korean war. Even with the expense of the children and life in general, Clara always managed to save a bit. Over time that small amount blossomed into a sizeable estate reportedly valued at over $1.6 million dollars. That amount should have easily cared for Clara for the rest of her days. However, in the short time since September of 2019, it has been reported that her entire estate has been drained.
“I never cared about the money,” Dollie remarked. “I just want my mom taken care of.”
MY TIME WITH CLARA
The first time I met Clara she was catatonic and appeared to be in a drug-induced state. Her eyes couldn’t focus. It was as if she were asleep with her eyes open. She had been sitting for an unknown length of time in a lounge chair in the middle of a living room at the Roselane Adult Foster Home. She had been there long enough that she had urinated on herself and had been left there to sit in it. That is until her daughter and I arrived.
Dollie sprang into action. She pulled her expressionless mother to her feet and set her in a wheelchair. Clara showed no real recognition that Dollie was there or that anything was happening.
Over the next hour and a half, a miraculous transformation took place.
After Dollie had taken her mother to the room and cleaned her without any assistance or care from the staff, Clara started reacting to her daughter’s presence. She started looking around her room and she began to talk. It was a mumble at first. But as time went on it was as if a veil was lifted, and she became clear and purposeful. She wondered aloud about me.
At one point Dollie left the room. I was seated near Clara. She smiled and looked over at me. “My, aren’t you a looker,” she exclaimed with a grin. We laughed together. She’s a nice lady.
I watched as Dollie exercised her mother and how Clara strived to keep going. She showed me her strength and determination.
The staff were very leery of me. On more than one occasion I caught their gaze to find them quickly look away. But I will say that while I was there, they became involved with their patients. I watched as they fed them all lunch, making sure to smile while I was watching, and not when they thought I wasn’t.
Dollie took me aside and whispered, “they usually don’t treat them this well.” I could tell they didn’t.
ABUSE OF THE ELDERLY
Later, when we were back in Clara’s room, I was witness to an unprompted conversation between mother and daughter that I captured on film which broke my heart, and for me, verified the claims of abuse:
Clara: “One of them hit me…”
Dollie: “Was it one of the ladies that hit you or one of the guys?”
Clara: “One of the ladies…”
Dollie: “I’m sorry they’re hitting you.”
Clara: “That’s alright. Don’t keep talking about it or they gonna get mad.”
Later Dollie enquired about one of Clara’s teeth that had been “knocked out” in a previous incident at the facility.
Dollie: “Do you know who knocked out your tooth?”
Dollie: “Was it one of the guys?”
Dollie: “Was it one of the women?”
Clara: “Mm-hmm. She didn’t knock out my teeth, she broke it.”
Off and on Clara would say that she is scared to be left there; that they hurt her. Clara remembered my name throughout our meetings. While she has been diagnosed as being legally blind, I found that she reacted to my smiles from across the room. From time to time, Clara would mentally wander to past times in her life and talk as if they were happening in the present, but she would quickly recover. I found that she clearly expressed her desire to no longer live in the facility and told us that they often “take it out” on her if Dollie makes a fuss about anything.
Dollie reports that she has asked repeatedly for her mother to be moved to a different facility, and that she has cited the reasons why, but no one is listening – especially Ann Yela, who reportedly refuses to engage in conversation with Dollie.
When it comes to the facility, Dollie and Clara aren’t the only ones saying abuse happens there. Several past employees have made statements claiming that staffers abuse the patients and that one male employee beats other employees, some of whom it has been reported are in country on visas.
ALL ABOUT ANN YELA
What has since emerged from my time visiting Clara is that Ann Yela either doesn’t believe that things are happening to Clara Fambro, or she does not care.
Ann Yela is no stranger to the US~Observer. It has been reported that Yela plays financial games with her wards’ estates. In fact, you can read the article, “US~Observer Clients Free – Jack Dunn and Rose Henley Case Dismissed”. It details the outcome of another case where she supported criminal charges against two helpful neighbors next door to one of her wards, Wayne Faulk, an elderly gentleman whose estate has been allegedly pilfered and whose home has been sold.
In March, US~Observer Editor-in-Chief, Edward Snook, sent a letter to Ann Yela detailing everything we had uncovered. His letter concluded with; “Let Clara receive the care she deserves, in a facility that is safe, with unfettered access to her daughter. It is the correct thing to do.”
You’d think Yela would be wary of the US~Observer, knowing that we succeed in getting the truth to the court of public opinion and affect change in the system. Perhaps she feels she’s above the law and untouchable. Regardless, she never responded to the letter, and she did not change Clara’s living arrangement.
A STORM ON THE HORIZON FOR ANN YELA
Since the letter was sent, Dollie Fambro found a new attorney, fired Julie Rowett, and has filed to regain guardianship of her mother. After all, the court had determined she was fit to care for her mother in that capacity before.
Dollie’s new attorney, Robert Parker, vehemently decries any person who victimizes others, especially the most vulnerable, our seniors. Parker asserted, “As someone who has been a victim of a broken system and has fought hard to get to where he is, I can tell you I will not let this lie. They will not get away with this.”
It has been reported that Ann Yela is facing a potential IRS investigation, that there has been a report filed against her with the Oregon Attorney General, as well as a complaint filed with the Center for Guardianship Certification of a violation of the National Guardianship Association Ethical Principles and Standards of Practice.
But one must wonder if it will all happen soon enough.
According to Dollie she recently asked workers if Clara had eaten or had water. Dollie reported that the workers told her that she had not been allowed to have food or water for 24 hours. Dollie then called the organization that provides Clara’s hospice and was reportedly told that it was Ann Yela’s decision that they withhold food and water until she died, as Clara could not eat or drink without the possibility of aspirating. Dollie maintains they just try to feed her when she is lying down, and her mother can’t be fed that way. Dollie went there with a friend, and they refused to leave until her mother was sitting up and drinking water and eating. Clara tolerated the food and water just fine.
But what happens next time?
One thing is sure, Clara deserves better. She deserves to be cared for by a guardian that has respect for her person, not just her pocketbook.
Editor’s Note: Your prayers for Clara and Dollie will be passed on to them if you submit them to email@example.com. Please donate to help Dollie continue to fight to bring her mom home to care for her. Donations can be made by going to Dollie’s GoFundMe campaign.
Dollie Fambro wants to invite anyone willing to be more proactive to call the Oregon Attorney General’s office at 503-378-4400. Dollie states, “you can also make signs and protest in front of the Roselane Adult Care facility at 8670 SW Turquoise Loop Beaverton, OR, the Multnomah Courthouse or Ann Yela’s office located at 12746 SE Stark St, Portland, OR.”