Nursing Home Officials Plead Guilty to Abuse & NeglectJan 11, 2016
U.S. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that the owners and officials at a Mohawk Valley Health Care Center pleaded guilty to nursing home abuse and neglect allegations. They admitted guilt for a variety of actions, including tampering with evidence and covering up reports of patient abuse and neglect, cnycentral.com reports.
"The plea announced today resolves an investigation into troubling acts of abuse and neglect and a cover-up by those who should have been putting patients first," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "Nursing facilities are entrusted with an important responsibility to treat patients with the dignity and respect they deserve. My office will continue to hold individuals and nursing facilities accountable when they betray the trust of patients and the families who place loved ones in their care." Schneiderman stated, according to cnycentral.com.
The AG office began probing the facility after learning that officials tried to cover up a serious medication error that went unnoticed for several days. Schneiderman also mentioned an incident where two residents, one of whom with dementia, engaged in "unlawful sexual conduct" in an unsupervised dining room. "The neglect shown by senior leadership at this facility is shocking," he said.
Former Director of Nursing Nicolle Wagner-Stinson pleaded guilty to covering up sexual abuse and neglect in August 2015. She also fessed up to hiding medical records indicating neglect, along with a medication administration record showing the nursing home did not comply with a doctor's orders for medication. Gerald Wood III pleaded guilty in November 2015, admitting that he tried to eavesdrop on an employee being interviewed by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Co-owner Justin Wood pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the fifth degree. He admitted to conspiring to tamper with evidence. In December, former Administrator John Prendergast pleaded guilty to attempting to tamper with evidence. Specifically, he tried to hide a witness' statement from the NYS Department of Health.