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April 15, 2005

Posted 1:00 AM Eastern

Texas Businessman Michael Bradle filed a formal complaint with Brooke Kennedy who is the Executive Director of Florida's Judicial Qualifications Committee.

Bradle is a senior managing partner of Tejas Corporate Partners with offices in Washington, DC and Lampasas, Texas. Outraged by the starvation and dehydration of Terri Schiavo, a disabled woman who died March 31, 2005, Bradle alleges Judge Greer "...totally mishandled the Terri Schiavo case. I am also complaining of ex parte communications and his refusal to recuse himself amid obvious conflicts of interests."

Bradle believes that a grand jury should be impaneled to conduct an independent investigation in the Schiavo case. Bradle cited court depositions and police documents in the case which have been reported by The Empire Journal, aspects of the case which have been mostly ignored by the mainstream media or else reported incorrectly. According to a recent press release from The Empire Journal:

"Terri�s estranged husband and guardian, Michael Schiavo, had petitioned Greer�s probate court in 1998 for permission to remove her feeding tube although at that time, a feeding tube was not considered to be �artificial life support.� In October, 1999, after the case had been underway for over a year, led by Sen. James King, the Florida Legislature changed Florida law to include assisted feeding to be artificial life support and Greer retroactively applied the law back to 1985 when Schiavo claimed that his wife had told him that she would not want to be kept alive by artificial means.

" He claimed that she was in a persistent vegetative state with no chance for recovery albeit he had refused to allow her any therapy or rehabilitation services.

"Her parents, Mary and Robert Schindler Sr., Terri�s siblings and her close friends, say that Terri had indicated that she was not happy in her marriage and had voiced a desire for a divorce from Michael Schiavo. They say that due to her Roman Catholic upbringing she would not have made such a statement about not wanting to live and that she was in a minimally conscious state, cognizant, responsive and alert, with hope of recovery, especially with new technological advances.

"But, Greer steadfastly rebuffed the Schindler's attempt to bring new evidence into the case. Although openly demonstrating bias as well as such conflicts of interest as having taken financial contributions from Michael Schiavo�s attorneys, he refused five requests for his recusal.

"Despite evidence that he had improperly discussed the case outside the courtroom in prohibited ex parte communications with his long-time friend Pinellas County Sheriff Everett Rice at a ballgame, with John Carassas, an assistant attorney general, and Rep. Don Davis, Greer consistently maintained he had no conflicts of interest and was not biased.

"Before he left office as sheriff to become a member of the Florida House of Representatives, Rice hired Michael Schiavo as a nurse in the county jail. Eleanor Centonze, the mother of Schiavo�s fianc�e, had worked at the sheriff's department with Rice for 20 years."

Greer consistently refused to consider evidence of abuse, sealing the report of one investigation by the state's Department of Children and Families on the urging of DCF chief counsel, Frank Nagatani, another a financial contributor to Greer. Greer refused to give any consideration to a bone scan showing evidence of alleged domestic abuse, discounted testimony of witnesses, including affidavits of caregivers and former girlfriends of Michael Schiavo who said he had admitted to them that Terri never told him of any desire not to live and that he didn't know her wishes.

"Greer even refused to allow the Department of Children and Families to conduct an abuse investigation in recent months and refused to open the financial records in the case to them to determine if she was financially exploited by Schiavo after he received over $1.5 million from a medical malpractice suit. Although $750,000 had been awarded by a jury specifically earmarked for her rehabilitation, virtually as soon as he received the money, he shut off her therapy and began his quest to end her life.

"Michael Schiavo controlled who visited his wife at Woodside Hospice in Pinellas Park where she resided. He refused to allow any videos taken of her or photographs. He refused to allow her to be taken outside of the hospice and even refused to have her broken wheelchair repaired. He lived in an adulterous relationship with Jodi Centonze, prohibited under Florida law, and had two children out of wedlock with her. He failed to comply with numerous provisions of the state guardianship law such as filing annual guardianship reports and giving annual accountings. Greer also failed to perform his duties in relation to guardianship laws and refused to rule on the Schindler's� motion to remove Michael Schiavo as Terri�s guardian because of his multiple conflicts of interest.

"Although the key argument in the case was whether or not Terri would want to be kept alive by assisted feeding, when she did express her desire to live in front of witnesses including attorneys and a police officer on March 18 when the feeding tube was removed, Greer refused to consider that evidence too, saying that it wasn't credible and had been submitted too late.

"Greer also quashed federal subpoenas issued by the Congressional committee that had subpoenaed Terri and others to testify at a Congressional hearing on health care."

"Bradle�s letter to the JQC says that Dr. James Barnhill had determined that Terri had �no chance for recovery and was PVS" but, Bradle says that �Dr. Barnhill apparently had obtained no blood pressure, nor did anyone else�No other tests including urinary tract infection evaluation, blood tests, EEGs, evoked potentials or new CT/MRI exams were ordered,� Bradle charges.

"Bradle also referred to Mayo Clinic Dr. William Cheshire Jr.�s questioning of the �previous neurologic diagnosis of PVS, stating in an sworn affidavit March 23 which Greer also rebuked that �with a reasonable degree of medical certainty, there is a greater likelihood that Terri is in a minimally conscious state.� In the last two months, Greer rejected sworn affidavits by some 33 physicians, neurologists and speech therapists that Terri was not PVS and refused to allow new medical testing to reevaluate her condition based on new medical technology.

"Bradle also referred to the opinion of Dr. William Hammesfahr who had undertaken the most extensive diagnosis of Terri at the behest of the 2nd District Court of Appeals and who had noted numerous discrepancies and deficiencies in Barnhill�s prior report. For instance, in a September, 2002, report, Hammesfahr had stated the Terri was able to swallow and handle all secretions and also found that a �cervical spasm and limitation of range of motion are consistent with a neck injury.�

"Hammesfahr had written in his report that Terri was responsive to tone of voice, to touch and pain. �She continued to handle her saliva during this time, never being observed to choke on her saliva; she would gauge the degree of pressure and counteract it equally. This is not a reflexive movement; the patient is not in a coma; she is alert and responsive to her environment; she tried to please others by doing activities for which she gets verbal praise; she attempts to verbalize.� Hammesfar also said that �she can swallow� she is partially blind; she can feel pain; she can communicate. "Interestingly, I have seen this pattern of mixed brain (cerebral) and spinal cord findings in a patient once before, a patient who was asphyxiated.�

"There were allegations of domestic violence supported by a bone scan taken of Terri in March, 1991, 13 months after her collapse. The radiologist cited abnormalities on the bone scan, including a broken upper right leg, both ankles and a broken back. He said that typically in trauma, �the rule of thumb is that a traumatic fracture is not active on the bone scan after 12 to 18 months, indicating that Terri had incurred the injuries a short time before her collapse in February, 1990."

Terri Schiavo was cremated by a court order against the wishes of her family. Her ashes will be interred in Pennsylvania, also against the wishes of her parents. The Schindler's requested world renowned forensic pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, to stand in during the autopsy, but was forbidden to do so by ex-Palm Beach County's Chief Medical Examiner, Dr. Jacqueline Martin who conducted the autopsy. Dr. Martin was appointed by Governor Jeb Bush.

Terri's parents recently stated that they are still trying to deal with Terri's death and aren't ready to announce any plans they might have to pursue legal actions against either their former son-in-law or Judge Greer. Judge George Greer attended high school in Clearwater, FL. according to one bio, "Greer was cited for hunting without a license in 1959, when he was eighteen, and for underage drinking in 1962." Judge Greer is an elected judge and can be voted out of office during the next election cycle.

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Terri Schiavo was cremated by a court order against the wishes of her family. Her ashes will be interred in Pennsylvania, also against the wishes of her parents. The Schindler's requested world renown forensic pathologist, Dr. Michael Baden, to stand in during the autopsy, but was forbidden...