• by: Myra Tanksley
  • recipient: U.S. Department of Justice; President Barack Obama

Marquis (who screams "HE HITTT ME" on the audiotape) has been repeatedly assaulted, neglected, abused & restrained. 


                               REPEATEDLY ASSAULTED!

                               REPEATEDLY RESTRAIN AND TIE TO A BED!

                               PLACE IN AN DANGEROUS PRONE RESTRAINT

                               PLACE IN A BASKET HOLD RESTRAINT

                               CLOTHES LOST, STOLEN, CUT & RIPPED BY STAFF

                               NO PHONES CALL TO AND FROM HIS MOTHER!

                               WEEKLY VISITS FOR 60 MINS WITH MOM!

                               HAS TO VISIT WITH MOM IN ADMIN BUILDING 

                               ELOPED AND STAFF DIDNT KNOW IT AT THE TIME!

                               OVERMEDICATED 2 DAYS IN A ROW

                               MEDICAL AND PHYSICAL NEGLECT


                               LOSS OF ADEQUATE COMPANIONSHIP  

                               LOSS OF FAMILY MEMBER AS GUARDIAN    

      I WITNESSED & AUDIOTAPED my son being punched in the chest, grabbed by his t-shirt & jerked to his feet by an employee & practically thrown in a van. Minutes earlier i WITNESSED & AUDIOTAPED 2 DIFFERENT employees placing him in a dangerous prone restraint.  On another seperate occasion, my son and another resident told me that Marquis was thrown to the floor and punched in the head by yet another employee.  Marquis is in an dangerous and abusive facility that is an mentally retardation facility and not adequate for someone with Marquis' needs.  He was committed there for 2 years by probate court, even though he is not moderately retarded as required by Ohio law and the psychologist at the facility said he didnt know if he was moderately retarded or not because he hasnt tested him yet.  This same psychologist also wrote in December, 2012 during his evaluation that Marquis is mildly retarded. 
The staff are unfit, untrained in autism and abusive.  Marquis has been able to eloped without staff knowing about it.  Staff has lost, stolen and cut up 98% of the brand new clothes his mother has brought to the facility for him.  Marquis is constantly triggered by the staff and environment and tells his mother he wants to leave.  He has reported to his mom the living area is too cold, too noisy, he has been hit by staff, a resident was bothering him, etc.  For Marquis safety and well-being he should leave CDC immediately!

Release Marquis Tanksley who is autistic for his safety and well-being! He is in an dangerous icf/mr facility that is abusing him and he is being forced to live around very corrupt, incompetent and abusive people. PLEASE GET HIM OUT OF THERE AND ALLOW ME TO SHOW YOU ALL THE EVIDENCE I HAVE AGAINST CDC!!! He has been assaulted, restrained dangerously (including prone restraints, basket hold restraints) and sometimes is tied to the bed in his room. He constantly is triggered by the staff and environment and continually suffers abuse and neglect. Due to no supervision and an fire alarm that triggered him, he eloped and ran across the street and knocked out windows in an house and staff did not know he had done it until he told them about it. The staff is unfit, untrained and abusive and WILL NOT REPORT ABUSE OF RESIDENTS by their co-workers (see two news updates on the petition site) while the administrators and department turned their head and try to cover up the abuses and neglect that is going on thruout their centers in Ohio (eg. residents tasered at Gallipolis Developmental Center, autistic resident neglected and abused at another developmental Center Andrea Miller used to work at, Marquis being neglected and abused at Columbus Developmental Center and god knows how many others that have been covered up). The Superintendent at CDC wrote in an MUI letter that Marquis tries to get his staff in trouble!!!!!!!! Autistic people do not try to get people in trouble! Marquis has been probated against his will for another 2 years in an facility that is not adequate for him and treats him inhumanely and doesnt know how to manage his behaviors. He is treated like an inmate instead of an resident and cant receive or make any phone calls from and to his mother and has to leave his living area and visit her in an another building for only 30 - 60 mins, weekly. Marquis expresses to his mother the suffering he is going thru during their visits and becomes very fearful and sad when she leaves. Staff has lost, stolen and cut up 98% of his clothes that i brought over to the facility for him and Marquis has not been allow to wear all the brand new clothes his mother brought to the center for him and which CDC signed for. He has had the same sweatpants and shirts on during many of their visits. When Marquis' mother asked staff about it and why wasnt Marquis wearing ALL THE BRAND NEW CLOTHES she brought to the center for him, a staff member said that Marquis ripped his clothes up. When I asked to see them (because Marquis does not tear or ripped up his clothes), I was given some cut up sweats pants and some t-shirts that probably was ripped when THEY were restraining and grabbing him. The other clothes i have not seen on Marquis or have not been given to me but i brought them there so he can wear them. I believe staff has stolen or lost them as well and I have pages of clothes that I had CDC sign for when i brought them up to him besides alot of other items. Marquis has asked me where is the CDC player that i brought to the center for him and since they wont allow me into his room, only God knows what else is probably missing that i brought up to him. The program director says CDC will purchase clothes for him and i asked him "why", there is no need to because i bought up alot of clothes for him, clothes that he likes and is use to wearing. He said we are responsible for his clothes and i said then you should have maintain and took care of the clothes that i bought up to him, so he is able to wear them. On April 3, 2013, Marquis had on some pants and a shirt that didnt belong to him. He told me these pants have a hole in them which i was able to see.The first time Marquis was admitted to CDC, he got to wear all of his clothes that i brought up to the center for him. But back then, i was able to go to his room and i washed his clothes and kept an eye on his clothes and other personal belongings and was able to see what was going on. Marquis is not moderately retarded and the psychologist at CDC wrote in an December, 2012 evaluation that Marquis is mildly retarded but change his tune during the last probate hearing on March 13, 2013, stating he didnt know if he was mildly or moderately retarded and while they are trying to decide, Marquis is being treated inhumanely in an facililty that does not value his humanity, feelings or disability. For example, Marquis' mother WITNESSED AND AUDIOTAPED Marquis being dangerously restrained by 2 employees and minutes later, Marquis mother also WITNESSED AND AUDIOTAPED Marquis being punched forcefully in the chest, grabbed by his shirt and jerked to his feet and practically thrown into an van by another employee. There were three co-workers, in addition to his mother, who witnessed Marquis being punched in the chest, grabbed by his shirt and jerked to his feet but the program director said they denied seeing any abuse. These co-workers did not report abuse of an resident! This is an WIDESPREAD PROBLEM and needs to be seriously and thoroughly investigated by an reputable body outside of Ohio. Many governmental bodies in Ohio (Ohio Attorney General, Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities, DODD/CDC, Probate Court of Franklin County, Ohio, Disability Rights Ohio, Columbus Police Dept. who said it wasnt their jurisdiction and the Ohio State Highway Patrol who refused to take a report from Marquis' mother after being "advised" by CDC) were contacted by Myra Tanksley and did nothing about the abuse and assault of her son. Marquis told me during a recent visit that he was taken to an doctor by CDC recently. I was not notify about the appt. & it didnt allow me to be at the appt. with my son. I told CDC's DON that i want to be at all his medical appts. so i can advocate for him and to notify me of such. She told me she didnt know about it or who scheduled it! Then, she told me surgery was scheduled for Marquis by the doctor they took him to (THE WRONG DOCTOR)! I called the court-appointed guardian (who is an attorney) for all placement & medical decisions and she told me she didnt know anything about it either! HUH? SO WHO GAVE CDC PERMISSION TO SCHEDULE AND TAKE MY SON TO THIS APPT?? (there was another doctor that HAD ALREADY BEEN REFERRED & CONTACTED BY ME and CDC had actually transported Marquis to this doc's office in Nov/2012 after i told them he had an appt. with him). You can be sure the so-called guardian is going send over some back dated consent(s) really fast to cover their butts! I have added an commentary/response to this petition by Andrea Miller, an former employee of one of these developmental centers in Ohio. Ms. Miller describes the abuse of another young man with autism in the developmental center she worked in, again another developmental center in Ohio. Please take note that what i have reported that is continually happening to Marquis has and is continually happening to others like him. This is not just an governmental issue, it is an HUMANITY issue and IT IS CERTAINLY NOT AN INDIVIDUAL ISSUE! They are being treated like animals without any feelings and God forbid if they have any aggressive behaviors! There needs to be an federal investigation because this is not just an individual issue, there is abuse going on thruout these developmental centers in Ohio. Marquis needs to be release so he can have the life that he is entitled to!!! He has a right to community living and the state of Ohio is in violation of the Olmstead Act! Here is Ms. Miller commentary:

Andrea Miller Cambridge, Ohio

WI am a family-member advocate for those with intellectual/developmental disabilities I/DD. I have a 7 year old son with an I/DD, so I understand this Mother's pain and helplessness ....and anger toward CDC and DODD.

I am all too familiar with the lack of training and abuse and neglect in Developmental Centers in Ohio. I am a former Director of Nursing that was fired the day after I reported concerns to the Deputy Director of the DCs. I recently won a six-figure out of court settlement....a moral victory for me but I promised to continue to advocate for the individuals.

One of my complaints to the Deputy Director was my concern that the newer Superintendent had allowed the mistreatment of a young male adult with Autism. He had this individual hidden in an activity room during a State Medicaid survey by ODH. He admitted "hiding" this individual because he didn't want to take a chance of the young man having a "behavior" and the direct-care or TPWs looking bad in front of the surveyors. So, in other words, the TPWs weren't properly trainined to handle individuals with autism and the surveyors would know it if this individual "acted-out".

Actually, the young man was new and had only been at the center for a week prior to the Surveyors arriving. As many people know, routine is very important to those with autism. So, I felt it was very abusive to remove this client from his living area and disrupt his new "routine" (which included watching his Fraggle Rock DVDs in his room) to serve the needs to the staff members. I was aware of the incident because as the DON I had been called upon by a nurse inquiring as to why the individual wasn't allowed to return to his living area to have lunch and have his blood pressure checked. When I went to the activity room to assess this client, he was clearly distraught, did not understand why he was being held in a room with two staff members and kept getting up to get his coat and was being told to sit back down. He was made to stay in this activity room from the time the surveyors arrived until the time the last one left each evening. They did this for the whole week the surveyors were there and even did it an additional two days to make it look like it wasn't related to the surveyors--- although everyone knew better.

I felt this was emotionally and mentally abusive to this individual to keep him in a room all day and prevent him access to his living area---a clear violation of his rights. What is SO sad is that his parents had to make the difficult decision to have him placed at the center because he had become aggressive toward his Mother at home. They felt he was in the good hands of "professionals" and had no clue what they were doing to this young man. It was also hearsay that the Superintendent had told the workers that kept him in the room to do whatever it took to control his behavior.

After he was returned to his living area after the surveyors left, he began having aggression toward the staff members. He began head-butting them. So, a treatment meeting was held to see what could be done. I attended the meeting and I regret to this day ever signing the treatment sheet stating I agreed with the "plan". First, I will say at no time did any "professional", including the so-called PhD psychologist ever consider his behaviors may have been related to "grieving"-- this was a young man of about 23 years old that had spent his entire life at home with loving parents and was suddenly admitted to this center...and a week after he was there he was held against his will in an activity center for a week to be "hidden" from state surveyors.. and now he was in this treatment team wanting to place a helmet on his head to "protect" the workers when he head-butted them??? Crazy or what?? The Superintendent, Program Director, psychologist and Medical physican were all present in this meeting that signed to have a helmet placed on his head. Again-- at no time did they attempt to "understand" his behaviors and how he might be grieving his family and his home--- it was all about the staff again--- how to protect them....and the brilliant assistant Superintendent (now Superintendent) suggested gluing sherpa lining on the helmet to provide extra padding to lessen the blow to the staff member when head-butted him. I just remember thinking "I would be head-butting these idiots, too". So, are you getting the picture about the total lack of trained professionals?

This poor young man was initially given a helmet that was way too small for his head...and old helmet they had for a former seizure client--so tight his eyes looked Chinese. And then they ordered a wrestling padded helmet for him to wear.

He would often have unexplained injuries-- one had to wonder about abuse.

One time this individual was found missing-- they reported for app. 40 minutes. The QMRP (or Qualified Mental Retardation Professional) suggested they go and look for him at the Kentucky Fried Chicken since it was his favorite. However, what is crazy the KFC was at least 4 miles away-- how could this client have walked that far in 40 minutes? The manager knew that he was more than likely not supervised and that is how he could be that far. By the way, a Major Unusual Incident (MUI) should have been filed but the Superintendent instructed them not to do so. He was later found on the cottage, luckily....he was close to a major interstate-- he could have been hit by a car....and close to a creek where another client had once drowned.

I feel for the parents of this young man. I am sure they have no clue what is really happening to their son. And I am sure they would be devastated if they placed a hidden camera in his room or on his self. Shocked by what they would see!

Ms. Tanksley, I hope you have video of what is happening to your son. These places need exposed!

Also, I might add when I reported the young man being hidden during a survey, she said centers sometimes fear a "condition out" on a Survey. I asked her if we were serving the client or the staff??? It's obvious more training is needed. These direct-care workers make $14 dollars an hour plus--- our tax dollars are supporting these places and we should demand better care for our vulnerable citizens.

I will share later Union arbitrations that show staff abuse and lack of training in working with individuals with complex needs.

When Director Martin of DODD has been contacted about the problems with the leadership of the centers, he has stated he has confidence in his leadership. He ignores the problem. Maybe that is why he had had to increase his settlement funds by 600% for the next fiscal year--- pay people off to keep quiet or just go away! The public needs to be aware of what happens in these places.

God bless you and your son and may you have justice!!hy is this important to you? (Optional)

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