Nurse Aides Allegedly Failed To Monitor Dementia Resident; Aide Falsely Recorded Required Safety Checks.
White Plains, NY - December 20, 2017 - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced the arrest today of Certified Nurse Aides (CNAs) Janet Rose, 62, of Mt. Vernon, and Verlanda Paulma, 25, of White Plains, for Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree and additional related charges. Both Rose and Paulma, who were employed as CNAs at the White Plains Center for Nursing Care (White Plains Center), allegedly failed on May 26, 2017 to perform monitoring checks of an at-risk resident with dementia who eloped and wandered from the facility.
Video surveillance recovered from White Plains Center captured the resident leaving the home through an unlocked rear door at approximately 7:54 p.m. It is alleged that after the resident left the facility, Rose and Paulma failed to perform required fifteen-minute checks that would have alerted the home that the resident was missing, and that Rose falsely recorded that the safety checks were performed.
“Nursing home residents and their families place the highest level of trust in staff to protect residents,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “These arrests serve as a reminder of the serious consequences for neglecting nursing home residents -- and even more for trying to cover it up.”
Court papers allege that between 8:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., after the resident left the facility, Rose and Paulma failed to perform “15-minute” safety checks of the resident. It is also alleged that Rose falsely recorded in White Plains Center medical records that she and Paulma performed the safety checks and that the resident was still in the home at each of the seven fifteen minute intervals between 8:00 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. After the facility learned that the resident was missing at approximately 10:00 p.m., 911 was called and, at approximately 3:00 a.m. on May 27, the White Plains Police found the resident uninjured and wandering alone almost two miles from the facility.
The complaint, filed in White Plains City Court, charges Rose and Paulma with Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree, a class E felony, and Willful Violation of Health Laws, a class A misdemeanor. Rose is also charged with Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony. Both Defendants face up to four years in state prison if convicted on the top count.
The Attorney General thanks the White Plains Police Department for its diligence and professionalism in finding the resident and for its cooperation in this investigation.
The Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) Investigator Kerie Elias conducted the investigation with assistance from Supervising Special Investigator Peter Markiewicz. Kenneth Morgan is the MFCU Deputy Chief Investigator-Downstate.
Special Assistant Attorney General William McClarnon is prosecuting this case with the assistance of Regional Director Anne Jardine. Special Assistant Attorney General Thomas O’Hanlon is the MFCU Chief of Criminal Investigations-Downstate. MFCU is led by Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul J. Mahoney. The Attorney General’s Criminal Justice Division is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Margaret Garnett.
The charges are merely accusations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.