In a press release dated March 8 of this year, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the arrest of a Certified Nurse’s Aide from the Woodhaven Center in Port Jefferson, Long Island. The Suffolk County nursing home staffer was accused of taking a picture of the resident’s genitals without the resident’s permission. Having taken picture on his cell phone, the aide, identified as David Rover, then texted the image to a nursing aide student at North Shore Career Training Institute.
The Attorney General’s office announced that it was charging Rover with two Class E felonies: unlawful surveillance in the second degree, and dissemination of an unlawful surveillance image in the first degree. Rover reportedly admitted to taking the photograph, which was later found by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit on his device.
This blog usually focuses on civil violations suffered by nursing home residents at the hands of negligent staff at nursing homes. Less frequently do the actions discussed rise to the level of potential criminal prosecution. In a statement, Attorney General Schneiderman referenced two areas at the forefront of rules and regulations governing nursing homes–respect and dignity. He added that his office “will take action whenever [they] see facility staff abusing the rights of the people left in their care.” Perhaps viewing this statement as a crackdown on nursing homes by the Attorney General is reading too much into it. At the very least, however, it is a call to arms from one of our state’s highest offices to protect some of the most vulnerable members of our society–the elderly and infirm.
The full press release from the Attorney General’s office can be found here.