The New York Attorney General just settled a compensation lawsuit with a Brooklyn nursing home director over financial abuse.
AG Eric Schneiderman announced the settlement, valued at $871,000, with the former director of two Brooklyn nursing homes over her allegedly receiving “excessive and unauthorized compensation,” said Legal Newsline. Ruby Weston was the long-time administrator at the Marcus Garvey Nursing Home and the Ruby Weston Manor. According to allegations, Weston breached her fiduciary duties to both facilities.
The settlement mandates Weston to pay $821,000 to Marcus Garvey, sever her remaining connections to both institutions, be banned from serving as an officer or director at any New York not-for-profit corporation, and pay $50,000 to the NY AG’s office for costs taxpayers were subjected to during the five-year litigation, said Legal Newsline.
“It is inexcusable for someone to profit at the expense of elderly, frail, and vulnerable New Yorkers in nursing homes,” Schneiderman said in statement. “My office will continue to hold accountable those who abuse the system and place their own greed ahead of the interests of the people they serve,” the AG added, wrote Legal Newsline.
According to the allegations against her, Weston skirted nursing home board oversight to increase her and her family’s wealth; self-approved her pay and benefits, which ultimately $500,000 annually; and brought computer consulting business to her son without pursuing competitive bids, said Legal Newsline. Weston also allegedly appointed a close personal friend to serve as the board chair for both nursing homes so that she could evade scrutiny.
Marcus Garvey, another defendant in the litigation, must also put a number of reforms in place to respond to operational deficiencies identified by the state’s Department of Health. Due to ongoing and significant quality of care issues, the facility has been designated a Special Focus Facility by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, noted Legal Newsline.
Marcus Garvey must also hire a Department of Health-approved consultant to develop the steps needed improve resident health and quality of life. The facility must also put in place governance reforms and other steps to improve board oversight and nursing home operation; ensure more stringent financial controls; and ensure senior officers, the nursing director, and high-ranking nursing supervisors receive specific, critical training, said Legal Newsline.
A Department of Health-approved receiver is handling the third defendant, Ruby Weston Manor, said Legal Newsline, which said the facility will likely be sold to another nursing home operator. That operator will be subject to court and Department of Health approval.
We previously wrote about another Brooklyn nursing home scandal that involved a staggering amount of citations issued to one nursing home that was still allowed to keep its license. A New York Times analysis revealed that the Federation of Multicultural Programs of Brooklyn, an organization that cares for developmentally disabled people, received more citations for significant lapses of care—27—than any NY State-licensed organization that runs group homes for this demographic. The Federation is licensed to run a group home that cares for those with autism, Down syndrome, and cerebral palsy.