State District Judge Donald Johnson removed Council on Aging Executive Director Tasha Clark-Amar on Thursday from overseeing the estate of Helen Plummer after attorneys on both sides requested her removal.
Amar told The Advocate Wednesday that she wanted to withdraw from being left in charge of the estate for Helen Plummer, a 95-year-old Council on Aging client whose will said Amar was to receive $500 a month over the next 20 years for overseeing her estate.
Plummer's family claims Amar unduly influenced their grandmother into including Amar in the will and say Amar took advantage of the elderly woman — claims Amar has denied.
Latest: Council on Aging head Tasha Clark-Amar removed from overseeing client's estate
Two Metro Council members have called on Amar to resign because of the case while some other lawmakers have stood by her, pointing to her work helping the elderly through the Council on Aging's programs including Meals on Wheels and more.
Johnson is now asking attorneys on both sides to submit names to him for who should become the independent administrator overseeing Plummer's estate. He asked for recommendations during a status conference in open court Thursday, but the attorneys did not initially agree on who should take over.
"We are in agreement with Amar stepping down contingent upon an independent executrix — not a family member," said attorney Joseph Prokop, who is representing Plummer's estate, and therefore was also representing Amar before she withdrew.
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Prokop replaced attorney Dorothy Jackson, who was also named in Plummer's will to be the attorney for her estate. Jackson, who sits on the Council on Aging's governing board, said in court that she had stepped off the succession case. It was Jackson who notarized Plummer's will and she previously denied any wrongdoing.
Plummer's will named another Council on Aging employee, Trudy Bihm, as the alternate for Amar to oversee her estate. Attorneys on both sides also requested Bihm's removal from the position to oversee the estate.
Prokop suggested that attorney Laurie Kadair, whose practice focuses on trusts, successions and estates, be named as the independent overseer for Plummer's estate.
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But attorney Tiffany Myles Crosby, who is representing Plummer's daughter Jacquelyn Antoine, said Antoine had some ideas for who should be in charge of the estate instead. She asked for more time to submit a list of names.
Johnson said Crosby and Prokop have until 4:30 p.m. Friday to submit names for who should take over the role, and then he will evaluate their merits and appoint someone.
Plummer's granddaughter, Tracie Davis, said after the conference that she wants someone in her family to oversee the estate. She said she was concerned an independent attorney would also charge a fee for overseeing it, affecting the amount of money available for the beneficiaries, including Davis' daughter.
She also was perturbed by Prokop's comment that it was Amar who recommended Kadair, as Davis said she does not trust Amar's recommendations.
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"Why not me?" Davis said. "I don't understand why they keep trying to appoint someone outside the family."