QUEENS NURSE ACCUSED OF KNOCKING RESIDENT OUT OF WHEELCHAIR AND STEALING MEDICATION

NEW YORK, NY (April 22, 2010) - Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the arrest of a licensed practical nurse accused of abusing, neglecting, and mistreating a resident in her care and stealing the medication from another.

According to the complaint, Jessie Joiner, 56, of 88-20 Parsons Boulevard in Jamaica, Queens, was employed as a licensed practical nurse at the William O. Benenson Rehabilitation Pavilion when on March 20, 2010, she knocked a resident out of her wheelchair, resulting in a broken hip that required surgery to repair. Instead of properly reporting the incident and seeking medical attention for the resident, Joiner ignored the resident as she lay on the floor in the hallway, and left her there to be found by another employee. The true cause of the fractured hip was revealed after the nursing home administration reviewed the video from a hallway surveillance camera.

Additionally, during an unrelated investigation that was being conducted following the disappearance of prescription narcotics, Joiner admitted that on the same night of March 20 she stole 21 to 24 Percocet pills that were meant for another resident. Joiner stated that she took the drugs for her own personal use and destroyed the paperwork for the drugs in an effort to hide her actions.

“The callous actions of this nurse are alleged to have caused an elderly wheelchair-bound resident to endure serious injury and subsequent surgery,” said Attorney General Cuomo. “We expect nursing homes to be staffed with professionals who will provide dependable and compassionate care for our loved ones. In this case, these standards were not met, and we will take action to ensure that this individual is brought to justice.”

Joiner is charged with Endangering the Welfare of a Vulnerable Elderly Person in the First Degree (class D felony), Falsification of Business Records in the First Degree (class E felony), Criminal Possession of a Controlled Substance in the Seventh Degree (class A misdemeanor), Petit Larceny (class A misdemeanor), Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person (class A misdemeanor) and Willful Violation of the Health Laws (unclassified misdemeanor). The charges carry a maximum penalty of seven years of incarceration.

The case is being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Betty Rodriguez of the New York City Regional Office of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, under the supervision of Cassandra Bethel, Chief of the Patient Protection Section, and with the assistance of Senior Special Investigator Brian Dunne.

The charges against Jessie Joiner are mere allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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