Reader says Woodburn Independent article on alleged elder neglect didn't look at both sides of the story

I was shocked and appalled by the article, "Woodburn woman admits to stealing from mother" on June 14.

When your options are continuing to fight and possibly lose, or choose to take a plea bargain when you are innocent, it can be a very difficult choice. That is what Diane Horton had to do. If you take a plea bargain, you must plead guilty to the charges presented and accept the assigned terms: community service, probation, restitution, etc.

In the 17 years since their father's death, Vern didn't regularly visit Pauline, even when she would ask him to come for a weekend. That was until shortly before he decided to gain conservatorship over his mother. In the six years before her death, she was retested and passed when he tried to get her driver's license revoked. He misrepresented power of attorney paperwork which she signed then revoked immediately. Next he reported Diane four times for elder abuse which was always dismissed after official state investigations.

During this time, I visited Pauline and she said if Vern didn't quit making these accusations the stress was going to kill her. Interrogation by elder care personnel was very upsetting. They reworded questions trying to get her to say that Diane was taking advantage of her and taking money to spend on herself. Pauline feared she would have a heart attack from the stress.

Diane took excellent care of her parents until her father passed and then took the same great care with her mother, especially since Vern never could make the time for her. Anyone who knows Diane knows that she is a God-fearing Christian who would have done anything for her mother. She was always there for her. Her faith is what has gotten her through all of this and she will prevail. Diane is not a liar, a cheat or a thief, and that was especially true with her mother.

I feel the reporter made no effort to verify the accuracy of the information given to her or consider the effect it could have on Diane Horton. Many people believe anything they read, but that shouldn't give the paper the right to print things that they don't verify. I will question the accuracy of what is printed in the future in the Woodburn Independent. This article seems personal rather than an objective report since it's more an attack than facts.

Barbara Bannister


Contract Publishing

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