PEORIA POLICE OFFICERS GIVEN SUB-PAR OR
NON-EXISTENT MEDICAL CARE.
NEWS CONFERENCE, 10 A.M. THURSDAY, AUGUST 7TH 2014, NAPIER LAW
(2525 E. ARIZONA BILTMORE CIRCLE #135, PHOENIX 85016)
PHOENIX -- We are all aware by now of the egregious treatment our
Veterans have been receiving from the Veterans Administration and
its hospitals. In a year, three Valley Officers, all Veterans, have
received equally sub-standard care thanks to bureaucrats who run the
City Insurance programs in Chandler and Peoria. Last year, Chandler
Law Enforcement Officer Todd Lysfjord and another officer received a
domestic violence call at an apartment complex. Both men slipped on
black ice on the sidewalk. Lysfjord, a former Army Ranger, who
successfully completed six combat deployments in defense of his
community, knew that something was wrong. He went to the medical
care provider the City referred him to and then the nightmare began.
On February 1st Todd went into a coma and was in ICU for three days.
The deterioration of this American hero took nine days. The City
denied treatment for his head injury because they insisted on
receiving his VA medical records in 48 hours. Because of his
security clearance while in the military, his records had to be
redacted. The HR Department refused to wait; cancelling his medical
coverage. It was only when Officer Lysfjord held a news conference
to draw attention to the injustice that the City of Chandler helped
this officer get the treatment that he deserved. In the meantime, he
waited more than two months to get appropriate medical care. A
similar situation has occurred in Peoria with two different Officers
denied adequate medical treatment. When will we stop abusing those
who keep us safe? In spite of medical evidence to the contrary,
Peoria Police Officers Adam Miller and Tomoki Scheideman are being
pushed to return to full duty against medical advice.
Peoria’s insurer, Pinnacle Risk Management, is calling an
American hero, Adam Miller, a malingerer. Officer Miller served our
country for six years in the U.S. Air Force. He is a combat Veteran
of both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom.
November 22, 2013 Officer Miller was on duty in his squad car when
another driver failed to yield the right of way while driving on a
suspended license. Due to injuries he sustained, he was transported
from the scene by ambulance and treated at a local emergency room.
Officer Miller suffered burns to his forearms and documented spinal
injury. His mistreatment by Pinnacle is exacerbated by the fact that
Peoria Police Chief Roy W. Minter denied Officer Miller the ability
to continue on light duty (against his doctor's recommendations).
The Chief's actions have caused Officer Miller to exhaust his
personal and sick leave time, leaving him without the means to
financially support his wife and three small children. Officer
Miller has devoted more than eight years in service to the people of
Peoria as a Peoria Police Department Officer.
Meanwhile, Peoria Police Officer Tomoki Scheideman has a
nightmare of his own due to Pinnacle Risk Management. On April 28,
2014 at about 2145 hours, he was on duty in his squad car when he
felt ill and drove to Peoria Fire Station 191, 8064 W. Peoria
Avenue, Peoria, AZ to use the bathroom. He was diagnosed with celiac
disease five years ago and felt he might be having a celiac episode
so he went to the Fire Station, a secured facility. He was working
Swing shift, 1400 hours to 0000 hours. Officer Scheideman remembers
walking into the Fire Station and the next thing he knew he woke up
in a hospital with Sergeant J. Raith and two of his squad mates by
his bedside. He was advised by Dr. Byron Willis that he had
fractured his C7 vertebrae and had a concussion.
Below are statements from each of the Officers detailing what
they have been through since November and April, respectively.
Peoria Police Officer, Adam Miller:
On November 22, 2013, I was involved in an on duty car accident. The
accident was the result of the other driver failing to yield the
right of way while driving on a suspended license. Due to injuries I
sustained during the accident, I was transported from the scene by
ambulance and treated at a local emergency room. I suffered burns to
my forearms and documented spinal injury.
I was later denied any further representation on behalf of Workman’s
Comp after I sought a second opinion and received an MRI outside of
the bounds of Pinnacle Risk Management. I was sent to Dr John L
Beghin, a contracted Independent Medical Examiner, who stated his
personal opinion was that my injuries were embellished. Workman’s
Comp then referred me for a psychological evaluation from another
Independent Medical Examiner. The psychological evaluation revealed
that I was not exaggerating my injuries but I would be more inclined
to downplay my injuries out of fear of judgment on behalf of my
I have documented information from Third Party medical professionals
clearly stating I would be a liability and that I am not yet fit for
full duty. The Peoria Police Department Command Staff has
consistently pressed me to return to full duty despite these
documented injuries and doctor’s written notes of recommendation
that I remain on light duty while treatment persists. I was allowed
light duty on a temporary basis. The light duty (even though
beneficial to departmental operations) was terminated by the Chief
of Police, Roy W. Minter. The Chief's actions have caused me to
exhaust my personal time and sick leave, leaving me without a means
to financially support my family.
I have a wife and three small children. Served our country for six
years in the U.S. Air Force. A combat Veteran of both Operation
Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. I have devoted over
eight years of service to the Peoria Police Department with stellar
Peoria Police Officer Tomoki Scheideman:
On April 28, 2014 at about 2145 hours, I felt ill and drove to
Peoria Fire Station 191, 8064 W. Peoria Avenue in Peoria, AZ to use
the bathroom. I felt I might be having a celiac episode so I went to
the Fire Station since it is a secured facility. At the time of the
incident I was working as a Police Officer on Swing shift for the
Peoria Police Department. My hours 1400 hours to 0000 hours. April
28, 2014, was a Monday which is my work Friday; the end of my work
I was wearing an authorized Peoria Police uniform with visible
shoulder patches and cloth badge. I was also driving a fully marked
Peoria Police vehicle.
I remember walking into the Fire Station. The next thing I remember
is waking up in a hospital bed with Sergeant J. Raith and two of my
squad mates, Officers M. Hebard and D. Ayres, by my bedside. I was
advised by Dr. Byron Willis and another doctor that I had fractured
my C7 vertebrae and had a concussion.
My brother, Officer K. Scheideman, spoke to some of the Fire
Department personnel at Fire Station 191. They related that they
found me in the hallway of the Fire Station with the right side of
my head pressed against the wall vertically and my body horizontal
on the floor. I was treated by the Fire Department and transported
to Banner Thunderbird Hospital located at 5555 W. Thunderbird Road
in Glendale, AZ.
My parents drove from Laughlin, NV to see me and stay with me for a
week to assist me with getting around and taking care of my
Once released from the Hospital, I was placed on no duty status,
restricted from driving and not able to lift more than 25 pounds. I
was in a neck brace. I was placed on industrial at work as my
status. This means there were no taxes taken out of my pay. At about
six weeks into my recovery, I was advised by Pinnacle (the City’s
self-insurance) that they were denying my claim due to a
pre-existing condition. Due to Pinnacle denying my claim, the City
of Peoria now has to take the taxes out from the 6 weeks I was on
industrial. Because of this, I am now only receiving two-thirds of
my normal take home pay. This has also forced me to use all of my
vacation time, sick time, personal hours, holiday hours and comp
time. This still has not covered my time on no duty status. My
co-workers, colleagues, friends and family have had to donate time
from their own hours to help me through this rough time.
Due to the restrictions, I have had to ask for help picking up my
daughter from daycare, going to the grocery store, getting to
doctor’s appointments, etc. I am currently divorced and take care of
my daughter three days a week. My daughter is four years old. She is
still at an age where she wants to be hugged, picked up, played
with, etc. Due to my fractured neck I have to tell my daughter, “I
can’t ……” I am unable to drive my daughter to the park, take her to
play with friends, go to “pump it up” etc.
At this time, I contacted my union representative, Officer M.
Newman, and Union President, Michael Faith. I was informed to
contact the union’s workman’s comp attorney.
I have been a Peoria Police Officer for nine years. I was an EMT –
Basic for about seven years. I was a Fire Fighter for four years in
the United States Army. I served my country from November of 1999 to
November of 2003. I was very fortunate and was stationed state side
during my four years in the United States Army.
I was diagnosed with Celiac Sprue Disease in March, 2009. In July,
2013 I was taken off my gluten free diet because I was asymptomatic.
Since that time I have been eating a regular diet with no issues. I
have never had a syncopal episode. My research shows that there is
nothing that states Celiac Sprue Disease causes passing out,
fainting, blacking out, syncope, etc.
I have been in a neck brace for about three (3) months with all the
same restrictions. I will be seeing my neurosurgeon soon and
hopefully be released to limited duty status with my driving
MEDIA CONTACT DAY OF EVENT: Carole V. Bartholomeaux, 602.628.2666 or
New APA Director takes the Helm
On August 3, 2012 The Arizona Police Association is announcing the
hiring of Dr. Levi Bolton Jr as its new Executive Director.
Levi was hired following an extensive search conducted by the
association selection committee. Levi, clearly not a stranger to the
law enforcement community, is retired Phoenix Police Officer having
service the citizens of Phoenix for over 32 years. Following his
retirement in 2008, he became the Legislative Liaison and Lobbyist
for PLEA. Levi has been the law enforcement Liaison the County
Attorney’s Office and will continue that relationship. Levi’s last
law enforcement active duty assignment was with the Phoenix Police
legal Unit where he assisted department employees in crafting and
submitting Brady v Maryland rebuttals, a duty he continues
throughout his transition as the new Executive Director.
Levi shall be responsible for a wide range of responsibilities for
the association including, but are not limited to, representing the
association's interest before all federal and state government
entities, acting as spokesperson for the association, and overseeing
the day to day operations of the Arizona Police Association.