Hidden Cameras Lead To Arrests of 19 Nursing Home Employees
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 11, 2006
ALBANY, NEW YORK--Nineteen employees from two New York nursing homes have been arrested and charged with neglect and with falsifying records following an investigation involving hidden video cameras.
The state's Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, announced the arrests and charges on January 6.
Eight of the 14 nurses and nursing assistants from Jennifer Matthew Nursing Home, in Rochester, which have been charged with crimes, have pleaded guilty. Additionally, five employees from Northwoods Nursing Home, in Cortland, have been arrested.
The arrests came after investigators viewed videos recorded from cameras that had been hidden -- with permission from family members -- in the rooms of some residents. Those videos provided what Spitzer called "clear evidence" that residents at both facilities were neglected, and that staff repeatedly documented treatment that was not provided and medications that were not given as prescribed.
The criminal complaint outlined how some residents were not turned regularly to keep them from getting pressure sores and "were often left for hours to lie in their own urine and feces".
Court papers described how staff moved call bells buttons away from residents and how they stopped performing their rounds to socialize, watch movies, sleep, or leave the facilities altogether.
Spitzer's office has also filed civil charges against Jennifer Mathew's owner and operator, Anthony Salerno.
At the same time that Spitzer announced the arrests, he launched the online publication of a report listing staffing levels of nursing homes across the state "to assist New Yorkers in choosing nursing homes for themselves and their family members".
"Spitzer uses hidden cameras to uncover nursing home neglect" (Associated Press via Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin)
Press release: "Hidden Cameras Reveal Neglect At Nursing Homes" (Department of Law, State of New York)
Criminal complaint (Supreme Court of the State of New York)
Report: "Staffing Levels in New York Nursing Homes: Important Information for Making Choices" (Office of the Attorney General, State of New York)