A prominent Twin Cities guardian and conservator has given up his caseload after an investigation was launched into his handling of a veteran’s finances.
Stephen Grisham, founder of Alternate Decision Makers Inc. in Minneapolis, stepped down as president of the company after the allegations arose about a month ago, said Jacob Kamenir, who took over as president after Grisham’s departure. Kamenir said the Department of Veterans Affairs is investigating Grisham.
“ADMI is fully cooperating with all parties that are investigating and all assets are fully secured,” Kamenir said. “ADMI is being transparent to all parties that are looking into this matter. Our primary focus right now is making sure that our clients are taken care of.”
Kamenir said all clients were immediately notified and “all client assets are secured.” He declined to comment further on the allegations, saying he would provide more information once the investigation is complete.
Grisham founded ADMI in 2000. Court records show the company has been involved in at least 293 cases. Mark Thompson, Hennepin County court administrator, said the investigation is limited to one file in Hennepin County.
“It’s substantial and we take it seriously, but it does not seem like a widespread problem here,” Thompson said. “I am not terribly concerned that things won’t be handled and investigated properly.”
Guardians and conservators are appointed by judges to make life and financial decisions for people suffering from dementia or other incapacitating conditions. In recent years, revelations of theft and neglect by some court-appointed caretakers have prompted new laws to increase oversight of what has been a lightly regulated profession.
In 2010, an Apple Valley woman who was an appointed fiduciary for some veterans was sentenced to federal prison for stealing their money. After the woman’s sentencing, Grisham told KARE-11 “When you’re appointed as a fiduciary for someone, there is a lot of trust and a great responsibility that needs to be taken seriously and unfortunately in that case she broke that trust.”
In 2012, Grisham told the Star Tribune that he opposed a state bill that would have limited the voting rights of those under guardianship. He could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Data editor Glenn Howatt contributed to this report.
Alejandra Matos • 612-673-4028