Jeff Vanderbeck

Jeff Vanderbeck, Publisher

Disgraced former lawyer Eric Conn screwed many people over the course of the years. Many of his former clients had their benefits taken away because the court decided their claims may have been obtained illegally since Conn was, well, a conman. Two former clients killed themselves over the ordeal. 

Conman was awaiting trial and sentencing but was allowed to be free with a monitoring device. The courts may have figured that since this guy knew the law and knew the ramifications of escaping, surely he wasn’t a flight risk. But think again, courts. This guy cut his monitoring device and threw it onto the interstate and into the face of everyone while some of his thugs set him up with a vehicle, spending money and a pathway to South America. 

Not to get too political, but if there were a giant wall where he escaped, he would have never made it. I can see border guards or the cartel on the other side wondering why a stark white, blonde man — or in the case of the cartel, a “gringo” — was climbing out of the U.S. Surely they may have figured out that he was a crook and possibly one side could have “handled” it, alleviating the bill owed by the taxpayers for upkeep, trial and new housing. In any event, the criminal was caught in Honduras while he was trying to eat pizza. 

The court revoked the benefits that more than 1,500 of Conn’s clients were awarded causing strife and turmoil. The decision was swift and immediate after they determined the fraud and corruption between Conn, the judge and the doctors. I guess they decided that since the lawyer, judge and doctors were crooks, frauds and cheaters, the clients were as well, so they pulled the benefits. 

The court’s decision was not received very well, which caused many people to wonder how they would eat the next day. Prestonsburg attorney Ned Pillersdorf and AppalReD teamed up and pleaded with the courts to reinstate the benefits of those who were receiving them. The battle has been going on for several years. We learned that a good portion of those will get their benefits reinstated through the efforts of these volunteer attorneys. 

What should have happened is every person should have been able to keep their benefits until every one of them was re-evaluated by legitimate doctors in front of judges who were not on the take from a corrupt lawyer. Then, if the clients were deemed legitimately eligible, they could keep their benefits. The ones who were not eligible should be forced to repay what they stole with the help of the corrupt lawyer, judge and doctors.

Pillersdorf and his team took this challenge upon themselves because they understand the plight of the people who were receiving the benefits. I’m sure that he will be compensated in some way, but I would bet he won’t be flashing a Rolls-Royce or Rolex in the face of the taxpayers. 

The recipients who had their benefits reinstated should be grateful to Pillersdorf and AppalReD for their services. In some cases it was life-saving.

Thanks for reading the Floyd Chronicle and Times.

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