« Terri Schiavo-- Enduring Questions | Main | The Culture of Dying in America »


March 30, 2006

Cast of Characters in the Schiavo Case

Topics: Background

The following is a compilation of the cast of characters related compiled by Myopic Zeal

Disclaimer: This compilation is not intended to imply anything. It is an effort to compile a cast of characters as might be related to the Terri Schiavo case and their relationships as well as events possibly related to the cast. While deemed to be reliable to the best of our knowledge, as with any legal proceeding all information below should be double checked and verified.

  • Michael Schiavo , husband of Terri Schiavo and a Florida registered
    respiratory therapist and registered nurse (RN license RN9164785) He was issued his nursing license January 18th, 2000 and its expiration is April 30, 2005 (link via Daily Inklings ).
    • Living with another woman (Jodi Centonze) who is not his wife and
      has two children by this woman.
    • Hired by Sheriff Everett Rice to work in the Inmates Medical Care
      Division of the Pinellas County Jail around October 11th, 2004
    • Listed as a director, Jerger & Centonze Insurance Agency, Inc., 2002; an inactive corp.
    • Admitted under oath on two occasions that Terri Schiavo did not have bulimia according to Attorney Patricia Anderson.
  • Jodi Centonze , girlfriend (sometimes called fiancee) of Michael Schiavo and mother of his two children.
    • Owns the address which is registered as the address of Jerger & Centonze Insurance Agency, Inc.
    • Mother is Eleanor Centonze.
  • Eleanor Centonze , mother of Michael Schiavo's girlfriend.
    • Employed under Rice in the civil division of the Pinellas County Sheriff's
      Dept. from 1979 until 1999.
    • Died in 2004
  • John Centonze , brother of Michael Schiavo's girlfriend.
  • Trudy Capone , former girlfriend of Michael Schiavo although claims they were not romantically involved.
    • Indicates Michael had no idea what Terri wanted regarding a situation of incapacity.
    • Her affidavit is found here and is very compelling.
  • Cindy Shook Brashers , former girlfriend of Michael Schiavo.
  • George J. Felos , lawyer, hired by Michael Schiavo to be his attorney in mid-1997.
    • Felos & Felos, 595 Main St., Dunedin, FL 34698. Fax (727) 736-1402
    • Felos is a euthanasia advocate and prominent right-to-die attorney.
    • Past Chairman of Board of Directors for The Hospice of the Florida
      Suncoast.
    • Held board position from at least Feb. 13, 1997 to roughtly April 26, 2001 .
    • Founding member of the National Legal Advisors Committee on Choice
      in Dying.
    • Graduated from BU School of Law
    • Author, " Litigation as Spiritual Practice " (Blue Dolphin
      Publishing, 2002) and creator of the Continuing Education Course (and article by the same name) called Meditation for Lawyers .
    • Admitted on Fox television's Fox & Friends, April 1, 2005, that he has addressed the Hemlock Society, renamed the Choice in Dying Society, a pro-euthanasia group.
  • Jon R. Thogmartin, M.D. District Chief Medical Examiner, Pinellas County, FL
    • According to the Medical Examiner's Office, "The mission of the Medical Examiner's office is to fulfill the needs outlined in F.S. 406, to be of service to families of the deceased, and local government agencies. In short, our mission is to determine the cause and manner of death under certain circumstances. This mission requires the utmost objectivity irrespective of personal beliefs or emotional attachment to the circumstances of any particular case."
    • Started the job in 2000.
    • "His major fields of interest are wound ballistics, firearms, infant deaths, child abuse, asphyxia, and forensic toxicology. "
    • "Thogmartin has also done his share of teaching. In Texas, beginning in 1984, he was a teaching assistant at Southern Methodist in the Department of Chemistry, and at the University of Health Science Center at San Antonio in the Departments of Cellular and Structural Biology and Pathology. More recently, in Miami, at the Dade County Medical Examiner Office and IACP Seminar, he taught a course on Strangulation and Other Compressions. "
    • Support Staff:
      Noel Palma, M.D., Deputy Chief Medical Examiner
      Susan Ignacio, M.D., Associate Medical Examiner
      Chris Wilson, M.D., Associate Medical Examiner
      Daniel Schultz, M.D., Associate Medical Examiner
      William A. Pellan, Director of Investigations
      Reta Newman, M.A., Director of PCFL
  • Dr. Sanjay Gupta , CNN senior medical correspondent.
    • Interviewed on March 29 and March 30, 2005 on Aaron Brown and Larry King. Was asked to comment on the brain scans of Terri Schiavo which they showed next to a scan of a normal brain. Inspite of leading questions, Gupta reiterated several times and made a point of emphasizing that no definitive state can be determined from an autopsy of the brain. Gupta stated several times that he had seen cases where the brain scan looked similar to Terri's and the person was very functional. He had seen other scans that looked almost normal and the patient was without any function.
  • The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast , Inc , 300 E. Bay Drive, Largo, FL 33770.
    • Assets approximately $25.5 million, revenues approx. $8 million, expenses approx. $6 million.
    • Files as a 501(c)(03) tax exempt organization.
    • Website: www.thehospice.org (based on the treatment Terri Schiavo has received under the care of this hospice organization, caution and reasonable skepticism are advised when reading this site.)
    • Operates Woodside Hospice where Terri Schiavo was moved by Michael Schiavo and George Felos without authorization nor proper certification as to terminal illness.
    • According to the Hospice:
      "Woodside, a community-supported hospice house, provides around-the-clock care in a home-like setting for patients who are unable to remain in other living arrangements. Hospice Villas Woodside permit patients and families independent living with professional help close at hand."
    • Re: nursing homes
      "The Hospice works in partnership with local nursing homes to meet the needs of residents nearing the end of life."
    • Subject of two lawsuits regarding breach of confidentiality with medical records by its for-profit subsidiary, Suncoast Solutions in 2002-03.
  • Mary Labyak , Executive Director and President , The Hospice of the
    Florida Suncoast which oversees Woodside Hospice.
    • Current board member of the Hospice of the Florida Suncoast.
    • Board member of Partnership for Caring (a direct offspring of the
      Euthanasia Society of America).
    • Board member of National Hospice Foundation
    • National Director and Treasurer of National Hospice and Palliative
      Care Organization ( NHPCO )
  • Dr. Ronald Cranford, M.D. is the neurologist hired by Michael Schiavo.
    • Cranford is a renowned euthanasia advocate referring to
      himself as "Dr. Humane Death."
    • Authored a section in "Intended Death: The Ethics of Assisted
      Suicide and Euthanasia". His section addresses the issue of "the
      physician's role in killing and the intentional withdrawal of
      treatment." (WND article)
    • Cranford examined Terri Schiavo one time for 45 minutes. It was his testimony and medical opinion on which Judge Greer based his entire "finding of fact".
    • Admitted on CNN, March 30, 2005 that he had misdiagnosed at least one case of "permanent vegetative state" (PVS) in the case of Sergeant Mack in 1979 or 1980. He was never asked if there were others.
    • Cranford has been involved in numerous PVS cases as an advocate for death. Some of these are very suspect (In the case of Nancy Cruzan for example, she did not even require a feeding tube but Cranford said she should be starved insisting that food and water were considered medical treatment.) Cranford is hardly an objective medical consultant and is used frequently as a pro-death advocate. You can find it all here along with some doctors who have called the medical behavior in this case "criminal".
  • Dr. Peter D. Bambakidis , M.D., Neurosurgeon, Cleveland, Ohio
    • Hired by Michael Schiavo team to evaluate Terri Schiavo and her records.
    • Admitted under oath before Judge Greer that Terri Schiavo did not have a heart attack. That testimony is found here .
  • Gus Michael Bilirakis , Florida State Representative , 1998-2000 and
    2001-2003.
    • Board member of The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast.
    • Co-sponsor of Florida Bill HB 2131 with addition to Section
      765.101 ( beginning on line 28 of page 14 of the linked pdf file)
    • Note: Section 765.101 of this bill added the following language, "(10) 'Life-prolonging procedure' means any medical procedure, treatment, or intervention, including artificially provided sustenance and hydration, ( meaning food and water...ed .) which sustains, restores, or supplants a spontaneous vital function." (12) "Persistent vegetative state" means a permanent and irreversible condition of unconsciousness in which there is:
      (a) The absence of voluntary action or cognitive behavior of any kind.
      (b) An inability to communicate or interact purposefully with the environment.
    • Member of Elder Care and Long Term Care committee in House, the
      committee that introduced HB 2131.
    • Was a campaign contributor to Judge George Greer.
  • Barbara Sheen Todd , Pinellas County commissioner during time Judge
    George Greer was a commissioner in Pinellas County.
  • Judge John C. Lenderman , Florida Circuit Court Judge. Pinellas
    County Judicial Bldg., St. Petersburg, Fl
    33701
    • Brother of Martha Lenderman
    • Appointed judge by Governor in 1992, reelected unopposed to
      present.
    • Hospice of the Florida Suncoast Advisory Board member, 2000
    • One of four family certified judges in Florida.
    • Outstanding Service Award in Educating the Public and Restoring Public Trust and Confidence in the legal System, Florida Bar, 2002.
    • Jurist of the Year, 1997, awarded by the American Academy of MatrimonialFlorida Chapter
  • Martha Lenderman , Board member of the Hospice of the Florida
    Suncoast since 1996.
    • Past chairman of the board of the Hospice.
    • Board of directors of the U. of South Florida Collaborative for
      Children, Families, and Communities.
    • Principal, Lenderman & Associates.
    • Lost in a bid for State Representative (Dem.) in 1998.
    • Former state child welfare administrator.
    • Board member, 2005, Area Agency on Aging, Pasco & Pinellas
      counties, Pres. 2003.
    • Consultant to the Dept. of Children and Family Services (DCFS) at
      least during 2001.
    • Dept. of Health & Rehabilitative Services (HRS) program
      supervisor, at least during 1989.
    • Was called to testify as a health and human services consultant by
      the attorney general's office in 2005 in Holli Bodner hearing on
      suspension of Bodner's psychiatrist license. Lenderman testified on
      behalf of Bodner.
    • Lenderman & Associates provided services to Pinellas County
      commissioners regarding Mental Health and Substance Abuse funding in
      1999 and 2000
    • Email address: lendmar@gte.net
  • Jennifer Lima-Smith, attorney for the Department of Children and Families.
    • Requested in March, 2005 that Judge Greer order all Department of Children and Families (DCF) files and records sealed relating to more than 80 charges of abuse to Terri Schiavo. Lima-Smith commented in her request, "That it was time to put an end to this case." (Since DCF never investigated any of these more than 80 complaints it's hard to see how you put an end to something that was never started.)
    • Judge Greer ordered the files and records sealed March 31, except that Michael Schiavo would be allowed to see them.
    • Does sealing mean these records will be destroyed as was done by the Department of Health with the records pertaining to the malpractice lawsuit from which Michael Schiavo received nearly $2 million, the majority of which was supposed to be for the care of Terri Schiavo, although Medicare paid for her care? Or will Michael be able to alter the records like Sandy Berger?
  • Jonathan Alpert , federal attorney
  • Carla Sauer Iyer, R.N. employed at Palm Gardens of Largo
    Convalescent Center from April of 1995 to July 1996 while Terri
    Schiavo was a patient there.
  • Carolyn Adams , known as "Andy" Adams, LPN at Palm Garden Convalescent Center.
    • Had disproportionate number of patients die on her shift according
      to affidavit of Carla Iyer.
    • Was very friendly with Michael Schiavo when working at Palm
      Garden.
  • Heidi Law , Certified Nurse Assitant
    • Worked at Palm Garden of Largo Convalescent Center from March, 1997 to mid-summer 1997.
    • Took care of Terri Schiavo.
    • Testified orders for rehabilitation were given for Terri Schiavo but that Michael stopped them.
    • Her affidavit is here .
  • C. Johnson , LPN at Sabal Gardens nursing home, Largo, FL.
    • Took care of Terri Schiavo.
    • Affidavit indicates Michael Schiavo went against doctor's orders and refused to allow any rehabilitation for Terri.
    • Affidavit is found here .
  • Palm Garden of Largo Convalescent Center , 10500 Starkey Rd., Largo, Florida 33777. (727) 397-8166
    • Terri Schiavo was a resident there until March 2000.
    • Part of a chain owned by Florida Convalescent Centers, Inc., 2033 Main St., Suite 300, Sarasota, FL 34237
  • Everett Rice , former Pinellas County Sheriff, 1988-2004
    • Became Florida State Representative, District 54 in Nov. 2004
    • Endorsed Judge George Greer for reelection in campaign ads.
    • Former board member The Hospice of the Florida Suncoast
    • Hired Michael Schiavo while Schiavo's guardianship proceedings were in the courtroom of his long time friend Judge George Greer.
  • Judge George W. Greer , Sixth Circuit Court Judge for Pinellas
    County, elected unopposed in 1992.
    • Circuit Court, Pinellas County, Probate Division, 315 Court St., Room 484, Clearwater, FL 33756 Fax (727) 464-5471
    • Legally blind.
    • Friend of Everett Rice, former sheriff of Pinellas County, FL
    • Former Commissioner of Pinellas County, 1984-1992
    • Became Terri Schiavo's caretaker and fact finder under Florida law
      (meaning advocate and judge). This would appear to be a conflict.
    • Judge Greer's bio is curiously missing from those listed on the sixth circuit website, www.jud6.org.
    • Repeatedly refused to consider documented evidence of physical abuse.
    • Ordered the Department of Children and Families to disobey state law. Info found here .
  • Patricia Anderson , attorney for the Schindlers.
    • Filed affidavit saying that [Everett] Rice had told her that he and [Judge George] Greer had discussed the Schiavo case at a ball game the night previous .
    • Filed motion requesting Greer recuse himself.
    • When bone scans of Terri Schiavo appeared in 2002 (having been suppressed since 1991 when they were taken) Judge Greer prevented Anderson from investigating the implications of the scan, saying they were irrelevant. The bone scans indicated severe trauma that occured no more than 18 months prior to the date of the scans. (See Dr. William Walker.)
    • Said on Sean Hannity interview, March 31, 2005 that EMT report on night of Terri Schiavo incident listed it as suspicious and on that basis the sheriff's department was called to the scene by the EMT. No investigation ever occured. The person who wrote the report has left the area. Another EMT refuses to talk according to Anderson.
    • In same interview, Anderson said that the bone scans were requested after Terri continually expressed pain during attempts to give her physical therapy. Among the injuries discovered were a broken back near the neck, broken leg bones, broken ribs, and fractures.
  • Pamela Campbell , attorney.
    • Represented the Schindlers pro bono (free) in 2000.
    • Was allegedly requested to take the Schindler's case by the attorney who represented Michael Schiavo in the malpractice lawsuit (Woodworth) in 1998.
    • Has serious conflicts of interest, potential ethics violations, and her apparent incompetence in the case is highly suspect. Her "mistake" might well have sealed the fate of Terri Schiavo. Find it all here .
  • Jackie Rhodes , close friend of Terri Schiavo.
    • Testified at trial on January 6, 2000
    • A portion of that testimony is found here .
  • Dr. Victor Gambone, MD, CMD , Terri Schiavo's attending physician
    from 1998-2003.
    • His name appeared on a paper stating Terri was PVS (permanent
      vegetative state) but it was never signed by him. This was apparently
      a fraudulent document.
    • During a 2002 medical evidentiary hearing, Dr. Victor Gambone
      testified that he certified Terri as terminally ill so that she could
      be placed in Woodside Hospice. When questioned under oath why, he said
      it was because Michael told him to do so.
    • journals.aol.com/justice1949/JUSTICEFORTERRISCHIAVO/entries/333
    • However, it states on the certificate that it is a verbal
      certification, no signature. This would explain comment above. Must
      be signed to be valid.
    • Testified before Judge Greer that Terri Schiavo was not PVS and
      was aware of her surroundings.
    • Greer had asked Gambone to do an evaluation, but rejected his
      findings.
    • Gambone reportedly worked for George Felos at Woodside Hospice.
    • Current president, Florida Medical Directors Association.
  • Bernie McCabe , elected State Attorney for the Sixth Judicial
    District in 1992. Office in Clearwater, FL. Covers Pinellas County.
    • This is the same district as Judge Greer.
    • Responsibilities include investigating abuse charges.
    • Refused to investigate various potential felony charges against
      Michael Schiavo in 2003 under statute 825.103.
    • Has repeatedly refused to intervene in the allegations of the abuse of Terri Schiavo.
    • McCabe has allegedly been involved in numerous 'refuse to investigate' cases. See Mel Sembler.
  • Dr. Michael Baden, New York forensic pathologist.
    • Former chief medical examiner for the City of New York
    • Co-director of the Medicolegal Investigation Unit of the New York
      State Police
    • Reversed his view of Terri Schiavo's condition after examining her
      bone scans. Those injuries could have happened, Baden continued, from
      "some kind of trauma. The trauma could be from an auto accident, the
      trauma could be from a fall, or the trauma could be from some kind of
      beating that she obtained from somebody somewhere. It's something that
      should have been investigated in 1991 . . . and maybe [it was] by
      police at that time." (Emphasis added). Source, The Village Voice,
      Nov. 14, 2003
      http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0347,hentoff,48738,6.html
  • Dr. William Campbell Walker , Doctor who did the original bone scan
    and the evaluation completed on Mar.5, 1991.
    • Walker wrote, "This patient has a history of trauma. The presumption is that the other areas of trauma also relate to previous trauma."
    • Walker's deposition is here...http://www.hospicepatients.org/dr-walker-t-schiavo-bone-scan-deposition.txt
    • Walker indicates in his deposition that trauma injuries had occurred.
  • Dr. Joel S. Prawer , the doctor Michael Schiavo sued.
    • The doctor was exonerated of wrongdoing but settled at the insistence of his insurance company.
    • Dr. Prawer turned over all his records relating the case to the Department of Health. They reviewed his case and found him innocent of wrongdoing and malpractice. Subsequent to this finding all records relating to this case were destroyed by the Dept. of Health (DOH).
  • Mitchell Turner , a Florida Dept. of Children and Families investigator.
    • Reported alleged felony abuse, neglect, and exploitation of Terri Schiavo. This report was the conclusion of a 60 Day investigation in Nov. and Dec. 2001.
    • The report was suppressed by the Department's legal division.
  • Dr. Stanton Tripodis , enlisted by Michael Schiavo to provide services for Terri.
    • Has five previous malpractice suits against him.
      Case no. 97007946C1 filed 11-25-97
      Case no. 94003739C1 filed 6-27-94
      Case no. 95000873C1 filed 2-14-95
      Case no. 96001434C1 filed 3-6-96
      Case no. 98002289C1 filed 4-7-98
  • Jerger & Centonze Insurance Agency, Inc., 2807 Marrie Ct.,
    Clearwater, FL
    • Agency possibly purchased as part of The Jerger Co., Inc., Pinellas Park,
      FL by Philadelphia Consolidated Holding Corp. for $40 million, 1999.
    • Michael R. Schiavo listed as a director in 2002, with same address as above.
    • Corp. listed as inactive.
    • This address is listed as owned by Jodi A. Centonze in Pinellas County appraisers records.
    • Note: Richard M. Jerger, Jr., stockholder in Philadelphia Consolidated Holding Corp, sold 2902 shares of stock in July,2001 for $102,933... put this in the 'for what it's worth' department.
  • Senator Jim King , originally upheld the passage of "Terri's Law." (S 12 E)
    • Board member of Woodside Hospice
    • Received campaign contributions from Richard M. Jerger, Jr., of Jerger & Centonze Insurance. (Mr. Jerger lived in a different district).
    • Called his support of Terri's Law "The Terri Schiavo vote that I made was probably one of the worst votes that I've ever done"
  • Bishop Robert N. Lynch , Terri's Catholic bishop.

Posted by tim at March 30, 2006 3:52 AM


Articles Related to Background: