“This conflict puts the whole courthouse under a cloud because it raises so many questions and there are no answers forthcoming.”
Judge Colin, Savitt Benefit from Frail Seniors’ Money
The savings of incapacitated seniors flow into the household of Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Martin Colin.
This occurs courtesy of Colin’s wife — Elizabeth “Betsy” Savitt. She serves as a professional guardian, appointed by judges to make decisions for adults who no longer can take care of themselves.
Savitt makes her money off the nest eggs of the elderly, many suffering from dementia and put in guardianships in the same Probate & Guardianship Division where Judge Colin wields considerable influence. His fellow judges approve Savitt’s fees.
Savitt has taken money from the elderly people whose lives she controls without first getting a judge’s approval as well as double-billed their accounts, a Palm Beach Post investigation has uncovered in court records. Families of some of the seniors say the judge’s wife and her attorneys drum up unnecessary litigation that runs up fees, benefiting herself, the judge and her lawyers.
Savitt doesn’t appear before her husband, but Judge Colin does oversee other guardianship cases where he is responsible for safeguarding the finances and well-being of these “wards” of the court. Colin’s colleague, Circuit Judge David French who lunches with him regularly, has overseen almost two-thirds of Savitt’s cases. Some lawyers who have opposed Savitt in Judge French’s courtroom say he didn’t disclose that Savitt is the wife of a fellow judge or his social connections to the couple.
Read the in-depth report by the Palm Beach Post here…