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Oberlin man accuses relatives of theft in lawsuit

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ELYRIA — An Oberlin man has sued several family members for allegedly mistreating him and stealing his money to pay for their own expenses, including the purchase of a Brighton Township home.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday on behalf of David Smith in Lorain County Common Pleas Court, largely mirrors a series of criminal indictments handed down in May that accused several of Smith’s family members, including two who worked in law enforcement, of theft.

Former Lorain County Drug Task Force agent Roy Warner, his wife, Vesta Warner, their daughter, Robyn Kubisen, and her ex-husband, Bart Kubisen, who was working as a Lorain County Jail guard at the time, all have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

Lawyers for Roy and Vesta Warner have insisted that there was no wrongdoing on the part of their clients, who they said had cared for the elderly Smith.

Smith’s lawyer, Jonathan Rosenbaum, wrote that in addition to controlling his finances, the family also stole a $123,120 settlement Smith received for injuries sustained in a 2010 car accident when he was trying to return to Tennessee because of the mistreatment he received at the hands of Robyn Kubisen.

In addition to helping purchase the house, Smith’s money was allegedly used to repay money embezzled by Robyn Kubisen from a parent-teacher association, to cover rent, to pay for a car and in the form of checks that were written to various family members, according to the lawsuit.

Rosenbaum wrote that Smith and his late wife, Irene Smith, had been living in Tennessee until Irene Smith developed dementia and David Smith became too ill to care for her.

At that point Vesta Warner, who was Irene Smith’s daughter, brought her to Ohio, the lawsuit said. They also allegedly took all of David Smith’s possessions with them, leaving him only a single bed and his clothes.

Once the Warners got back to Ohio, they allegedly either sold Smith’s property or divided it among themselves and their children, Robyn Kubisen, Roger Warner and Rhonda Szakal, who also are named as defendants in the lawsuit.

The lawsuit also names Tim Halsted, who lives with Robyn Kubisen, and Kubisen’s son, Ryan Marquis, as defendants.

Once his wife was moved to Ohio, David Smith followed her and moved in with Robyn Kubisen, who Rosenbaum contends “took control of David Smith’s life and finances.”

In addition to taking his checkbook and bank cards, the Warners, Robyn Kubisen and Bart Kubisen controlled his comings and goings, when he could eat, how much medication he received, who he could talk to and how his money was spent, the lawsuit said.

He also was bitten by dogs owned by the family and “lived in fear,” according to the lawsuit.

They also allegedly threatened to move him into a nursing home if he disobeyed them, forced him to wash dishes and do other chores and belittled his religious beliefs, Rosenbaum wrote.

Smith was allegedly told that no one would believe him if he reported his family members because “they were the police,” the lawsuit said.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @BradDickenCT.



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