Friends say 73-year-old Platte Co. man is competent, should not be ward of county

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PLATTE COUNTY, Mo. -- A 73-year-old man continues to fight for the freedom to return to his Platte County home, even though the state declared him incompetent and disabled, and the county was awarded custody of him.

Due to privacy concerns, Platte County administrator Tori Clemens said she could not discuss with FOX 4 the case of John Flentie.  Flentie says Clemens began the process of becoming his guardian and administrator after he fells three times in his home in 2012.

According to his current attorney, Jonathan Sternberg, Flentie's court-appointed attorney spent two hours on Flentie's case and did not follow due process.

So, Flentie remains in an assisted care facility, unable to return to his home. He says the state and county are using money from his estate to pay for the cost of his care.

Flentie has no close family in the area. It was his friends from high school who began to wonder about the process.

"I think the law is wrong. I don't know that Tori Clemens is doing anything improper, I wouldn't ever accuse her of anything but John doesn't need to be where he is and she is the key to the lock," said long-time friend from high school, Lou Bresette.

They've known each other for 59 years. Bresette was so concerned, he and other friends of John's went to see Tori Clemens to talk to her about John.

"She had documentation that he had fallen and needed assistance; he was a hoarder, he was a mess. He needed help at the time," Bresette said. "We were told in very stark, unforgiving terms that he would never get out of that situation, that he was in it permanently."

The Missouri Supreme Court has refused to hear his case and an appeal has been denied.

"What I hope comes of it is that I get the hell out of this situation and go back home and resume a normal life again," said John Fletie.

Bresette said Clemens offered Bresette and several friends the opportunity to take over guardianship of Fletie.

"The only way that I would consider being his conservator or guardian is to know that I could turn it around and give him his freedom," said Bresette. "A lot of people can see that he doesn't need to be where he's at. I would hope that would influence her if not to grant him complete freedom, but to grant him at least a lot more freedom than he has now."





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