An allotment from public donations for resident activities supports outings for a favored elite, significantly members of a particular race. Council House allegedly violates HUD rules by charging for in-house services also van trips for shopping. No record of that income and other moneys derived from sale of deceased residents’ possessions apparently exists. [Agency Accountability]
Moreover, the van driver, Felippe Jacques. allegedly received payment (in money and in kind) for driving passengers without a for-hire permit. In a court declaration (17 Jun 02) he claimed that he resides at Council House. He declared under penalty of perjury:
Afflicted with a deteriorating heart condition, . . . I fear that, due to the stress of the situation, I could at any moment have another heart attack with serious consequences.
He claimed to have had a serious heart condition since his first stroke (1991) and has filed details of his medication and physical condition as all Council House residents must do. Those documents disqualify him from driving an executive van. Yet management, knowing of his long-term heart condition and medication allows him to transport up to fifteen senior citizens on a regular basis.
Washington Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) expressly warns against employing drivers with deteriorating heart conditions or other functional impairment that could affect their driving skills. The agency particularly warns against drivers who use painkilling drugs or sleeping pills and have limb impairment.
To allow this mentally unstable individual to drive the equivalent of a small bus ranks as not only preposterous but negligent and dangerous. It also appears that Council House has not complied with licensing requirements for executive vans. Two recent incidents illustrate the point.
Santa Monica, California. Police reported that ten people died when Russell Weller (86) drove his car through a three-block, pedestrians-only farmers’ market crowded with shoppers. He injured more than 50 other people and will probably face manslaughter charges. He told police he could not stop his 1992 Buick LeSabre as it barreled through the crowd. Santa Monica Police Chief James Butts Jr. called the scene "the single most horrific, devastating scene of tragedy I've ever witnessed in 30 years of law enforcement. I think at the end of the day we're going to find a driver that had diminished capacity . . . " 
Flagler Beach, Florida. Louis Nirenstein (79), a polio victim who uses a wheelchair when not driving, left another farmers’ market then rammed three vehicles and several food stands injuring six people in the process. Nirenstein said in a telephone interview that his car's accelerator got stuck: "It wasn't my fault. I'm sorry about all those people being injured." 
Despite warnings published (17 Feb 03) and a medical opinion (30 Apr 03±), Jacques continued to drive the van with Council House approval. He told several residents that his doctor had said that he needed open-heart surgery but that he would not have the operation. Betty Byrum (83), a resident, wrote (01 May 03±) to Sharon LeMire, Assistant Administrator. She remarked that Council House would get sued if Jacques had a heart attack and injured passengers while driving the van. Neither management nor the directors heeded any of the warnings.
Jacques continued to drive the van until rushed to hospital after another heart complication. When he returned from hospital he had become too sick to even attempt to drive the van. Audrey F. Dunbar , then took of over the driving.
Dunbar has a history of bad driving to the extent that several residents have said that they will not ride with her. Union Gospel Mission previously loaned their van to Council House but withdrew the privilege because Dunbar had several accidents with it. Later, City of Seattle donated another van which Jacques drove.
Mid-October 2003, Dunbar went to hospital with a very serious condition. A blood clot in her leg had traveled to her lungs. Within seven days of her return from hospital she drove the van with about fifteen residents to Leavenworth - 135 miles each way through the Cascade mountains, fortunately without incident.
The following week (28 Oct 03), Dunbar drove one mile with fifteen passengers to a Seattle supermarket then collapsed inside the store. Store personnel called for an ambulance to take her to hospital and other Council House staff went to the store to pick up the van and its passengers. If Dunbar had passed out a few minutes later she would have been driving the van on crowded Capitol Hill and could have killed or injured fifteen passengers and pedestrians.
Stephen (aka Stefan) A. Mitchell, who has now assumed the title of executive director, continues to put residents at risk of death or injury despite repeated warnings. The directors continue to adopt an indifferent attitude.
The elderly have rewards in living a long life but some have diminished physical capabilities and, often, diminished mental facilities. Jacques falls into that category. Drivers need to protect senior citizens and those around them, however, Council House management ignores the dangers in order to make money.
The carnage and injuries in Santa Monica and Flagler Beach have become part of a recent pattern. How many more times does it have to happen before the public wakes up and employers like Council House accept their responsibility? One doubts whether anyone cares about Felippe Jacques or Audrey Dunbar killing themselves given his violent disposition and her neo-fascist leanings. However, the directors should care about the welfare of their residents before the state indicts them for criminal negligence or criminal homicide. [Noblesse Oblige]
If either Jacques or Dunbar dies at the wheel then they will probably take several residents with them. The directors, knowing of their medical condition, will probably become liable for vehicular homicide if they kill pedestrians in the process. One would think that they would not want to add to their existing body count which allegedly includes homicide by abuse. [Homicide by Abuse]
The directors have yet another potential disaster in the making. Instead of employing a qualified and licensed driver they create a potential hazard by employing impaired amateurs. This repeats a previous practice when they used Robert Cowdin (another physically and psychologically impaired person) to transport residents. HUD has done nothing to forbid the practice under their regulations that prohibit income-producing ventures in financially-assisted buildings without prior permission. [Agency Accountability]
A plethora of violence has erupted and property damage has occurred, apparently in retaliation for tyranny. An ironic vandal showed “love and affection” for Dunbar and Cowdin by variously slashing 19 tires on three vehicles owned by them. He (or she) used an ice-pick type instrument on four different occasions: Dunbar’s car three times and two vehicles owned by Cowdin during one incident. Retribution? Score: Dunbar twelve and Cowdin seven tires replaced at an estimated cost of $2,000.00. Rainwater leaked into surveillance cameras at two different locations, simultaneously: force majeure!
While the author cannot countenance destruction of property, the incidents certainly demonstrate the exasperation that tenants feel after repeated abuse by Dunbar and Cowdin. A single tire-slashing indicates random frustration: slashing tires then slashing the replacements probably symbolizes retaliation for repeated malicious and violent acts by administrators and their thugs.
That Dunbar did not report the tire-slashing incidents to the police, and deceived her husband about them, indicates a degree of personal guilt and culpability. Her cover up demonstrates a pattern of behavior that matches her conduct and that of her mother on the death of her aunt, Jackie Nations.
Mitchell probably had a different motive to expose the vandalism and to draw attention away from himself. He offered a $2,000.00 reward, payable upon conviction of the tire-slasher. Reportedly, Pola Doenyas, a long-suffering Council House tenant with a wry sense of humor, claimed the reward then named Mitchell as the culprit. Irony apart, and considering Mitchell’s mental state, she may have a valid point. [Another Jim Jones?]
Before Mitchell blames and kills the messenger for the tire-slashing - as he has done with almost every other adverse occurrence at Council House - the author denies any involvement in the incident and had neither the means nor the opportunity to commit the act - he just reports the facts and permits himself an occasional smile.
Subsequent to publication of the preceding comment in a previous edition of this article, Mitchell and Dunbar concocted another fantasy by implying in a police report that the author slashed the tires on Dunbar’s automobile three times.
Probably by autosuggestion - a process by which a person induces self-acceptance of an opinion, belief, or plan of action - Dunbar filed a police report in which she stated: “In the past [Dunbar] has had the tires slashed on her vehicle three times and feels that Trummel may have been responsible.” If convicted, then the author would certainly have gone to jail.
Any of a string of victims of vicious elder and racial abuse by Dunbar could have committed the tire slashing. They could have morally (if not legally) justified their action as retribution for the cruel treatment that she consistently meted to them.
Despite several hundred possible suspects, SPD Officer K. Dines (#4987) recorded Dunbar’s statement in his incident report. He neither questioned the accused nor did Dunbar have a shred of evidence to support her contentions. In fact, “the suspect” learned about the slashing from a Council House source when Mitchell published a reward to try to catch the perpetrator.
With a substantial reward at stake, Council House tenants maintained a wall of silence which points to the disgust that many of them have for Mitchell and Dunbar.
Officer Dines would have learned if he had inquired that his suspect worked thousands of miles away on assignment on the dates of the slashing. Apparently, like his brethren he would rather file a false report than go against the political hierarchy.
Directors have maintained indifference to elder abuse and condoned multiple assaults upon tenants by their administrators and thugs. They have effectively deprived tenants of their civil, human, and constitutional rights and repeatedly committed crimes. The tire-slasher might eventually rank as a freedom fighter who called attention to abject misery and tyranny and not as a criminal. Stranger things have happened.
Judge James A. Doerty, Superior Court, State of Washington, issued two anti-harassment orders and contempt citations to censor this forum by prior restraint at the behest of Council House directors and their administrator. Mary Kay Becker, Washington Court of Appeals affirmed them. Washington Supreme Court reversed most of those decisions (30 Mar 06).
[Washington Supreme Court - Decision] [Background Information]
Using their financial power, the directors obtained SLAPP (strategic lawsuit against public participation) court orders and contempt citations using perjured testimony against the author of valid exposé. They then had him jailed in solitary confinement.
In this case, SLAPP consists of frivolous charges designed to bankrupt an opponent and create a prior restraint. The landlords have used this tactic on several occasions to try to cover up issues that affect all their tenants.
Doerty thwarted an appeal of his findings for more than five years by withholding court documents and other manipulation. The author/publisher claims judicial bias and arbitrary censorship that deny him his rights under the First Amendment to the US Constitution and Washington State Constitution. Doerty has challenged a principle journalism ethic - seek truth and report it - by denying a reporter’s First Amendment rights. Doerty then wrote biased decisions all without due process of law.
His findings enabled Council House directors to cover up crimes that they and their administrators allegedly committed. A Washington Supreme Court review has allowed the public to know the names of people involved in elder abuse. It will also give an ethical prosecutor an opportunity to consider felony charges of homicide by abuse against Council House directors and their staff. [Homicide by Abuse]
Homicide ranks as a class A felony punishable by a maximum sentence of life imprisonment in a state correctional institution or by a fine of fifty thousand dollars or both. Both the victim’s family and a Council House administrator benefitted financially by allegedly defrauding federal and state agencies prior to death of a resident. [Who Killed Jackie Nations?]
Doerty’s order precluded naming the people involved which forced redaction of copy pending review. Washington Supreme Court reversed the trial court decision which relieves restrictions on publishing details regarding resident deaths and other abuse.
Washington Supreme Court
Council House, Seattle - Summary
Supreme Court Decision #1
Supreme Court Decision #2
Respondents [Mitchell and Council House Inc.]
Appellant Reply [Trummel]
Respondents [Mitchell and Council House Inc.]
Appellant Reply [Trummel]
American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA)
International Federation of Journalists (IFJ)
National Union of Journalists/London Freelance Branch (NUJ)