Long Island nursing home workers arrested

Long Island nursing home workers arrested

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Several workers from the Medford Multicare Center for Living on Long Island were arrested and brought to Central Islip District Court to be arraigned. A number of them made bond.

The allegations against them are disturbing and they may have had a connection to the death of a patient last year.

Nine nurses, aides, and administrators handed in their scrubs for cuffs as they were escorted out of state police barracks in Riverhead. After a year-long investigation by the state Attorney General's Office, they've been charged with neglecting their Medicaid patients at the nursing home.

One of those patients was 72-year-old Aurelia Rios. Michelle Giamarino put her mother in the Medford facility in the fall of 2012. The grandmother of 10 came down with pneumonia, needed to be on a ventilator, and was supposed to have an aide by her side at all times. But on October 26, 2012, Aurelia went to bed and never woke up. The family attorney says nurses didn't put the ventilator on properly and ignored alarms.

"The alarm went off, they did nothing about it for two hours," said Christopher Mauro, the family's lawyer. "They did nothing about it, she was suffering until she ultimately died. It's reprehensible from day one the family knew something was amiss."

Giamarino was told her mom died of a heart attack.

According to the Attorney General's Office, the cause of Rios' death was never reported to the Health Department.

Court documents state that since the 320-bed facility opened in 2003, 17 nurses and aides have pled guilty to falsifying records. The state Department of health cited Medford with 130 violations, averaging 15 a year.

Medford's owners are accused of lining their own pockets with millions of dollars meant for Medicaid patients.

Andrew Moesel, a spokesperson for the facility, said this about the allegations: "We have an excellent track record of safety and protocols going above and beyond what the state requires."

Rios' daughter says that isn't true and wants the facility closed for good.

"I think it should be shut down they shouldn't be allowed for them to take care of patients," she says.

One of the seven workers accused of Rios' death is facing a criminally negligent homicide charge.

Two other workers have been charged with neglecting other patients.

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