Monday, June 11, 2007

A new level of hell is needed

Some people are beyond evil. Beyond what hell could punish. Beyond any concept of the world being inherently good.

My grandfather died in 2003. When he died, my father was still doing alright. He had his wits about him most of the time, but had a hard time with using his hands. The Parkinson's was young. My father, being the eldest son and the lawyer, was in charge of Granddaddy's estate. He promptly went about seeing that it was properly closed and settled in the correct manner.

In order to do this, he hired a lawyer from his old firm to be the executor. This lawyer who we will call The Ass, was mentored by my father. My father trusted him, and expected him to do a good job. I think I've already given away the fact that he did not. Do a good job.

It was brought to our attention over the last week by the new lawyer that Daddy hired to try and make The Ass finish his job and close the estate, that The Ass in fact, closed the estate over a year ago in the Mississippi courts. Over a year ago, the estate was closed, and now the question is: Where is all of the money?

Since the time The Ass took the role of executor of my Granddaddy's estate, he left the law firm (or was fired, we don't know), got a nasty and messy divorce, and began drinking heavily. When Bro would call to talk to him, Ass would dump his personal problems on him instead. When Mom would call to talk to him, he would ignore the messages and not call back.

When Daddy would call to talk to him, he would sit up and take note that Daddy was not the man he used to be. And then, we are afraid that he took advantage of that information and extorted the money from my Granddaddy's estate. And if that in fact is what happened, I cannot think of a jail cell or a punishment that I think is fair for him. To take advantage of your mentor after he has developed a debilitating disease is pure evil.

One day when I was a teenager, Daddy and I were driving down the highway in my hometown. There was a billboard for an ambulance chaser, and I asked him if he knew that lawyer. He said yes, that he did know him. I asked Daddy if he had ever had a case with that lawyer since Daddy was a defense attorney for the insurance companies. He said yes, that he had cases with the personal injury lawyer whose face graced the back of telephone books, billboards, and every television ad from 2 AM until 7 AM. Daddy said that usually those cases get settled out of court. I couldn't help but ask about the unusual ones, that went to trial. Daddy said, "I kicked his ass."

Of course he did. It was the only time he came close to bragging to me. Ever.

Sunday afternoon, my momma and I talked for a long time about the situation at hand. My momma said, "It's not about the money." I disagree. Granddaddy worked hard in his life, and it was important to him that he left his family something. And quite frankly, with my parents' health issues, they are going to need all the money they can get I'm afraid. So, yes. Part of it is about the money.

I get what she is saying though. The anger isn't over the money. The anger is over the fact that 5 years ago, The Ass wouldn't have even considered crossing my father. When my father was at that law firm, he was viewed with complete respect both in and out of the courtroom. People knew him as a man with impeccable ethics, but who would indeed "kick ass" when needed.

It is only the new version of my daddy, Daddy with Parkinson's and Alzheimer's, that The Ass dared to cross. Dared to steal from. To cheat. To hurt. That makes me not only angry, but it also breaks my heart.

There will likely be no way to recover the money. There will likely be, however, a way to put this man in jail.

I hope that we are all wrong, and this is some giant misunderstanding.

I'm afraid though, that it isn't. I'm afraid my parents have been ripped off by someone they trusted.

It's completely disgusting.