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Get rid of the dog

a00_jd_00nov_guardian_dog_rippya00_jd_00nov_guardian_gas_rippyALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Members of Blair Darnell’s family also reported conflicts with attorney Darryl Millet. Not long after being appointed as Blair Darnell’s conservator, Millet was told that she wanted a dog door for her beloved pet terrier. He hired a firm to install it, but the dog door was placed in an inconvenient section of the house that usually was sealed off during the winter.

When Mary asked if they could add a $100 thermostat in that room so the door could remain open, Millet emailed, “The furnace to that area must remain off. If you cannot get the dog outside to relieve herself, she must go.”

When informed by Mary that a 30-year-old gas line into Blair’s home needed replacement, Millet initially balked, saying she couldn’t afford it. After ultimately scheduling the work, he wrote, “Mary is not to talk to the workers or to the inspector about the work being done at all. If I find out that Mary … has in any way interfered with the plumbers or said anything that causes additional expense, I will take swift action to make certain it never happens again.”

After the work was done, Mary noticed the new gas line lacked the required inspection tag. Millet was informed that a visiting uncle reported he had smelled a strong odor of gas in Blair’s house. When informed, via email in early February 2011, Millet wrote, “We have now had a county inspection, in addition to the two contractor pressure checks done previously, and as I have repeatedly stated, THERE IS NO LEAK in the gas system.”

Mary smelled gas, too, so out of an abundance of caution she took her mother and Jack, the dog, to her home that night. In the morning, the dog was dead.

“If there was an antagonist route to take,” brother Cliff Darnell said, “That’s the route Millet took.”

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