Daily News from New York, New York on December 6, 1994 · 498
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Daily News from New York, New York · 498

New York, New York
Issue Date:
Tuesday, December 6, 1994
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cr UJ Q D X E a u a Q CO "O L L1 VV bit ' , 41 r - , ' : Z' - ' v, J - -V v s ' v i w FIREFIGHTERS from Queens Engine Company 286 and Ladder Company 135 load City Harvest truck with $600 worth of MIKE ALBANS food donated by Alan Waters and Dubovsky & Son wholesale grocers to Daily News Readers Care food drive for City Harvest. liljf if u u nf 0DDDflftuD Wmm By MARK MOONEY Daly News Staff tVntef State mental health officials are probing the Kingsboro Psychiatric Center to determine what happened to sensitive files missing from the offices of two executives. The files, which could af fect the center's accreditation, were discovered missing last week from the offices of Patricia Lambert, the center's demoted executive director, and Betty Johnson, who was Lambert's assistant The papers are believed to detail financial transactions, as well as escapes and other security breaches, at the beleaguered mental hospital. Robert Spoor, spokesman for the state Office of Mental Health, which is conducting the probe, said the files covered much of the past two years that Lambert was in charge of Kingsboro. Lambert and Johnson were demoted and assigned to other facilities last month after a series of escapes and a murder at the Brooklyn hospital. Spoor said neither woman has been questioned about the files. The state probe is the second into the center. Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is also investigating, looking at financial and security lapses. Hynes spokesman Pat Clark declined to comment on that probe. Spoor said his department-"began an investigation last week into the missing files," he said. "We want to find out why they are missing and who might possess them." One source said officials are doing an inventory to find out exactly what is missing and whether "it was done to thwart the inquiry." Some of the missing files are believed to include quality assurance reports, highly confidential documents that detail breakdowns in hospital procedure and plans to rectify them. The reports are often essential for a hospital to retain its accreditation. Kingsboro lost its accreditation in 1985, costing it $10 million a year in federal funds. It got the accreditation back last year. ESCAPE FROM PAGE FIVE Health, said he was stunned. "Those are shocking numbers, but in a way I'm not surprised," he said. He said the patient-to-staff ratio is far below the department's own recommended levels, and the hospitals are situated on sprawling grounds with many exits. Police in the 25th Precinct on the upper East Side say patients frequently just walk across the bridge from the Manhattan Psychiatric Center on Wards Island into Manhattan. ' "People walk off constantly from the island," said a precinct lieutenant. Among those still at large from Manhattan Psychiatric is Dwayne Doxen, a hulking 6-footer who has been committed since 1992. Doxen bolted from officers taking him to court on the latest in a series of assault charges last month. His escape was reported to the NYPD; the cases of many other missing patients are handled by the state hospital's internal security. Jlileifssr a CHIHd in EGijsboro WANDER FROM P. 5 marked B07, a man in a business suit sat talking on the phone. He mentioned an "escape" and then said something about "trying to cover up." I popped my head in and said, "Is it dangerous here?" "Oh, it's not all that dan gerous, he replied. Figuring maybe it was just luck that I had gotten through security, I went back outside, where Daily News photographer Linda Cataffo was waiting. She carried a camera as both of us strolled past the uniformed guard in the gatehouse. He was busy talking on the phone and ignored us. . . We retraced my steps to Hylton's office. This time, one of the sec retaries came to the front door of the office and insisted we go down to the lobby to wait 'When Ca taffo snapped a shot of the two of us in the doorway, I heard someone in the inner office use the word security." : But nobody, not even the security guard in the gatehouse, said a word to us as we walked back through the gate. OH By SALVATORE ARENA Daily News Staff Writer The chef, the handyman and the housekeeper all say the butler did it And yesterday the three former servants of the late tobacco heiress Doris Duke went to court to try to get a piece of her $1.2 billion estate. They believe the reclusive philanthropist was fleeced on her deathbed by an ambitious butler and a cabal of greedy lawyers. When Duke died at age 80 in 1993, she left the bulk of her money to a charity. But the job of executor of the estate guaranteeing a $5 million fee and $500,000 a year for life went to her butler, Bernard Lafferty. The will is being challenged by her adopted daughter, Chandi Heffner whom she disowned and by two former Duke confidants who lost the lucrative executor ships they would have held in earlier wills. It is into that bitter Manhattan court struggle that the former domestics at Duke's Beverly Hills mansion dropped their legal bombshell. It is the first evidence that -those inside the wealthy household believed Duke was mentally incompetent during the final months of her life, say attorneys familiar with the case. The ex-domestics claim they were forced to sign papers certifying Duke was competent when she was not, that she was subjected to unnecessary medical procedures and that dates on her medical records were doctored to correspond with documents she had signed, including her will. Their charges are part of a complaint in which Duke's chef, Colin Shanley; her housekeeper, Ann Bostich; and Bostich's handyman husband, Mariano De Velasco, are seeking to collect on what they say were broken promises of lifetime employment, pensions and new homes. The court papers say the promises were made by Lafferty and by the estate's Chicago law firm, Katten Muchin & Zavis, both defendants in the suit Lee Ann Watson, a partner at Katten Muchin, said the suit had "absolutely no merit "It's totally fabricated," she said. "These are three disgruntled employes who de cided to write fiction." But Marie Lambert, an attorney for Irwin Bloom, a former financial adviser to Duke who is challenging the will, said the suit raises allegations of wrongdoing that should be investigated by prosecutors.

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