Eastern Montana Elder Justice Council

On October 9, 2019 executive order 18-2019 was signed by Governor Bullock and officially formed the Eastern Montana Elder Justice Council.  This is a group of individuals who were formerly a Yellowstone County FAST team which was the brainchild of Paul Greenwood former Deputy District Attorney for San Diego County in California who for over 20 years prosecuted Elder Abuse, Neglect and Financial Exploitation cases and is currently regarded as a national expert on Elder Abuse.  Paul has been seen in Montana many times in the past few years where he’s talked to Law Enforcement, Citizens groups, County Attorney Association, and tribal organizations.  He was also present at the first meeting of the EMEJC and continues to be a resource for those interested in preventing (and education people about), intervening in and prosecuting cases of Elder Abuse, Neglect and Financial Exploitation in eastern Montana.  Below is a copy of the Executive Order so you can see what it’s all about.  Hopefully if we make it work in Eastern Montana (Area I and Area II of the Area Agency on Aging in Montana) it will be expanded to other parts of the state.

 

STATE OF MONTANA
OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
EXECUTIVE ORDER No. 18-2019
EXECUTIVE ORDER CREATING THE EASTERN MONT ANA ELDER JUSTICE
COUNCIL
WHEREAS, the State of Montana has a rapidly growing population of senior citizens, defined
as “older persons” under the laws of the State of Montana,§§ 52-3-803 and 45-6-333, MCA;
WHEREAS, senior citizens play a key role in the vitality of our neighborhoods, family, and
social networks, and as they age or become disabled, they become vulnerable to abuse, neglect,
and exploitation;
WHEREAS, multidisciplinary agencies and organizations work in partnership to protect the
wellbeing, safety, quality oflife, and dignity of Montana’s senior citizens who require assistance
and support in meeting their ongoing needs, including health and mental health care providers,
financial advisors, law enforcement, the courts, and community groups;
WHEREAS, agencies that provide oversight and services to senior citizens have reported an
increasing number of elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation cases being investigated and
prosecuted in Montana;
WHEREAS, outreach and education efforts are critical to inform families, the public, and
professionals of elder abuse signs and are effective ways to increase awareness, protect
vulnerable senior citizens, and end abuse, neglect, and exploitation;
WHEREAS, interagency coordination is necessary in order to strengthen the effectiveness of
educational, prevention, and intervention efforts implemented in Montana for the protection of
Montana’s senior citizens; and
WHEREAS, centralized leadership is essential to ensure the oversight and interface of agencies’
efforts in Montana, which requires access to confidential criminal justice information from
criminal justice agencies to evaluate and guide current processes to address and reduce the
occurrence of elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, STEVE BULLOCK, Governor of the State of Montana, pursuant to
the authority vested in me under the Constitution and the laws of the State of Montana, do hereby
create the Eastern Montana Elder Justice Council (Council) and pursuant to the Montana
Criminal Justice Information Act of 1979 (Title 44, Chapter 5, MCA) do hereby designate the
Council as a Criminal Justice Agency, as that term is used in Title 44, Chapter 5, MCA, as
follows:
PURPOSE
1. The purpose of the Council is to provide coordination of agency and community eff01is
implemented in eastern Montana to address and reduce the abuse, neglect and
exploitation of senior citizens and adults with disabilities within the region.
2. The Council’s work shall serve as a regional pilot project to provide recommendations
and a framework for the State of Montana to establish effective statewide oversight in the
future .
DUTIES AND PROCESS
1. The Council shall evaluate elder abuse prevention and intervention efforts currently being
implemented within the eastern Montana region.
2. The Council shall research strategies and best practices that aim to reduce the occurrence
of elder abuse.
3. The Council shall identify and promote educational, outreach and prevention strategies to
increase awareness of elder abuse and ensure the protection of elders’ human rights.
4. The Council shall establish partnerships with governmental, private and nonprofit
organizations and other stakeholders.
5. The Council shall ensure the appropriate dissemination and coordination of infmmation
between agencies, local governments, and the public.
6. The Council may review cases of abuse, neglect, and financial exploitation, or other
crimes perpetrated against older persons, to aid in the investigation and prosecution of
alleged bad actors.
7. The Council may handle and receive confidential information in the fulfillment of its
duties, consistent with its designation under this executive order and all other applicable
laws. The Council shall follow protocol for using confidential criminal justice
information and may not use the information, records, or data for purposes other than
those designated by this executive order.
8. The Council shall prepare and deliver a report on its activities to the Governor, the
Attorney General, the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, and the Legislature by
December 31, 2020.
COMPOSITION AND ORGANIZATION
The Council will include at least IO multidisciplinary experts to serve as advisors, including
members from both the public and private sectors, that will offer expertise in a variety of areas,
including criminal and civil law, investigation and enforcement, accounting, banking, fiduciary,
guardianship, healthcare, insurance, and general senior and disability adult services.
1. The Council members shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the Governor.
2. The Governor will designate one council member as chairperson.
3. The Council membership shall include at least four Ex-Officio members to support and
inform the work of the Council, including the directors or their designees, from the
following state agencies:
a. Department of Administration
b. Department of Public Health and Human Services
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c. Depm1ment of Justice
d. Commissioner of Securities and Insurance
e. Other agencies of state government, at the discretion of the Governor
4. The Council shall include state government program specialists dealing with senior and
disabled adult abuse, exploitation, and neglect.
5. In making appointments to the Council, the Governor will consider stakeholders from
local or county governments, and/or private sector, serving the elder population in the
eastern Montana region, as well as members of the public and stakeholders in the
following disciplines:
a. Law enforcement/investigator
b. County attorney
c. Licensed private attorney
d. Medical/mental health care provider
e. Senior advocacy
f. Private financial institution
g. Licensed certified public accountant and/or licensed certified financial planner
h. Representative(s) of Montana Indian tribes
i. Community and faith leaders
6. The Council may establish sub-committees to assist in the execution of its duties. The
subcommittees shall be given specific deliverables within definite timetables.
7. The Council is administratively attached to the Montana Department of Public Health and
Human Services.
ST A TE AGENCY ROLES AND RESPONSIBLITIES
The Depm1ment of Administration, the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance, the
Department of Justice, and the Department of Public Health and Human Services shall assist the
Council in its formation and duties, making available staff who can support the Council with
technical, policy, social, scientific, and legal matters.
COMPENSATION
Council members eligible for reimbursement shall be reimbursed pursuant to § 2-15-122(5),
MCA.
DURATION
The Council shall come into existence on October 9, 2019, and expire on or before December 31,
2020, unless rescinded or renewed by subsequent executive order.
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This Order is effective immediately.
GIVEN under my hand and the GREAT SEAL of
the State of Montana this S 1’iJ. day of
Oc–‘1c,(lc;:n…– , 2019.
~ ~~ G=—
ATTEST:
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