Harold Scull (L) and Clay Greene, long ago.
Press Democrat

Harold Scull, 88, of Sonoma County, California, was murdered Aug 13 2008 when he died from the accumulated actions of the criminals who kidnapped him and his 25-year spouse Clay Greene, 78.

The Press Democrat in Sonoma finally mentioned the senior gay couple when the lawsuit hit the fan this week.

For the full story of those charged and the charges, you can download a .pdf file of Greene v. Sonoma County from this Tue Apr 20 2010 Joe.By.God. blog article.

The NCLR has taken up their case.

Notice how the Press Democrat's headline shows no hint of the atrocities committed against this couple.

During the commission of the crimes, an innocent 88-year-old man died. The couple was kidnapped from their leased home, separated, held hostage, and robbed of everything they had; said to be some $500,000 worth of possessions.

There are at least 20 serious charges listed in the complaint.

What has ignited the firestorm though, is a "lawsuit"?

Clay Greene, surviving spouse
Clay Greene, surviving spouse, today
Press Democrat

Clay M. Greene, Jannette Biggerstaff, Executor of the Estate of Harold Scull, Deceased,
Plaintiffs

V

The County of Sonoma; Jo Weber; Sally Liedholm; Karen Stagg-Hourigan; Michael Brewster; North Bay Auctions, LLC;, a California Limited Liability Company; Agua Caliente Villa, an unknown business entity; Kim Dillingham; and Does 1 through 50, inclusive; Defendants

Complaint For:
  1. Elder Financial Abuse
  2. Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  3. Fraud
  4. Constructive Fraud
  5. Constructive Trust
  6. Violation of 42 USCA 1983
  7. Violation of California Due Process Clause
  8. Violation of Federal Due Process Clause
  9. Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress
  10. Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress
  11. Unruh Civil Rights Act
  12. Violation of Patients' Bill of Rights
  13. Declaratory Relief
  14. Accounting
  15. Conversion
  16. Conspiracy
  17. False Imprisonment
  18. Negligence
  19. Failure to Discharge Mandatory Duty
  20. Elder Abuse

There's no dead gay guy or torn apart 25-years-together old couple in the Press Democrat headline, “Lawsuit ignites firestorm in gay community.”

Nothing of the grieving 78-year-old man left behind wondering what his 88-year-old lover was going through each day for the months they were kept apart until he died, still alone, maybe wondering why his other half had abandoned him, even on his death bed.

The survivor gets to remember nothing he shared with his partner during those last few months. He'll have his own shock to remember instead -- from daily coping with how he too was being maltreated, isolated, kidnapped and held, while they were both being robbed -- from what was the duration of his lover's last few months alive.

The headline hints at no tears, no death at all.

It appears to be just another lawsuit against or from those gay pests.

The gay community is fired up about this lawsuit, apparently all by itself.

Lawsuit ignites firestorm in gay community

Sometimes a headline is just a headline, but more often you can learn a lot about a publication from its headline choices.

PressDemocrat.com

According to the suit, filed last summer, Scull, 88, was admitted to Kaiser Hospital in Santa Rosa in April 2008 after being hurt at the couple’s Barnett Valley Road home.

A temporary conservator was appointed for Scull because he showed signs of dementia and reduced mental capacity and he was placed in a nursing home, the lawsuit says.

That May, the county took possession of Scull’s personal property, including keepsakes from his time as a Hollywood studio artist in the 1950s and 1960s, furniture, Oriental rugs, art and items of monetary and sentimental value.

According to the lawsuit, county employees and agents made comments regarding the desirability of the property, saying “this would look nice in my living room” and “my wife will love this.” In July, the items were sold without the couple’s consent by North Bay Auctions, the lawsuit alleges.

About the same time, the county determined Greene also was unable to care for himself and placed him in a separate nursing home, Agua Caliente Villa in Sonoma, the lawsuit said.

In the weeks leading up to Scull’s death from congestive heart failure on Aug. 13, 2008, Greene was “falsely imprisoned” and prevented from visiting Scull before he died, the lawsuit said.

The suit accuses Deputy Public Guardian Michael Brewster of publicly demeaning Greene about his sexual orientation. It also names as defendants Jo Weber, director of the county Human Services Department and two other county conservators/public guardians: Sally Liedholm and Karin Stagg-Hourigan.

The nursing home and the auction company are co-defendants.

Weber declined to comment Monday, referring calls to the county’s attorney. Valerie Brown, chairwoman of the county Board of Supervisors, did not return a call Tuesday.

The case is pending before Sonoma County Superior Court Judge Robert Boyd. A trial date of July 16 has been set.

Dennis said she would seek attorney fees and other damages that could reach millions of dollars. She said her client lost a lifetime of possessions, his cats Sassy and Tiger and suffers post-traumatic stress disorder from the experience.

“All he got was a lamp, a hutch and eight photo albums,” Dennis said. “The cats are dead.”

The lawsuit has swept Internet sites over the past week after it was posted online by the National Center for Lesbian Rights.

Outrage spilled onto a Facebook page advocating justice for the couple. Organizers urged people to write legislators, TV stations and newspapers. Other vented about the handling by Sonoma County officials or called for a boycott of all local businesses.