Archive for Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Training at issue in CLO abuse trial

Ex-employee says he didn’t know how to use crucial equipment

June 20, 2006

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A former group-home worker charged with abusing a mentally disabled client testified Monday he was never trained to use a piece of equipment he's now on trial for failing to use.

On the first day of his trial in Douglas County District Court, former Community Living Opportunities employee Dustin D. Taylor, 21, testified he was never trained to use a "gait belt" to help lift and guide a 57-year-old man at Ponderosa House, a home for developmentally disabled adults in the 1200 block of East 26th Street.

Taylor is charged with physically mistreating the man on two occasions in June 2005 - once when he allegedly failed to use the gait belt to lift the man from the ground, and another time when he allegedly lifted the man out of a chair by his armpits and squeezed his cheeks together. He is scheduled to resume testifying this morning.

Taylor and another Ponderosa House employee, 34-year-old Eric S. Wyatt, were charged last fall with abusing the same man, one of the house's eight residents. Since then, further problems at the home have surfaced.

Earlier this month, the state levied a $10,000 fine against CLO after an investigation found that a supervisor at Ponderosa House had manhandled, taunted and verbally abused residents. The investigation also found the supervisor had made a blind resident stand outside alone in urine-soaked clothing for hours after she wet herself.

Ten employees at the home were terminated in May for witnessing, but not reporting, the abuse, but two told the Journal-World they had, in fact, tried to report problems.

Taylor testified that Ponderosa House was short-staffed when he began working there in May 2005. He said the 12-hour shifts at the home sometimes went smoothly but that residents "had their good days and bad days."

Former employees said the alleged victim in the case was one of the more challenging residents to work with.

Alicia Kaufman, then a co-worker of Taylor's, testified that she saw Taylor grab the man's cheeks when the man said he couldn't get up after eating dinner. She likened it to a mother grabbing a misbehaving child's cheeks.

"I believe it was more frustration, but I do believe it was harsh," she said.

Korby Harshaw, an investigator with Atty. Gen. Phill Kline's Medicaid Fraud and Abuse division, testified that Taylor admitted that incident in an interview after his arrest in October. He said Taylor told him he was tired and frustrated because the man was his only obstacle to finishing his work for the evening.

Comments

rococo 8 years, 10 months ago

is this guy really on trial for a motherly grab of someone's cheeks? what the...? why are you losers even wasting my time with this..I don't know why I even bother reading your so-called news anymore. p.s. Read Maddox (the best page in the universe)..now that's news that know how to rock!

barak 8 years, 10 months ago

wait a second! If I remember correctly, that guy has done much more than grab someone's cheeks. this is a classic lawyer BS! shift the attention from the client to the organization he worked for and hope that someone will bite... this is pretty sad and quite manipulative. I agree though that if he really wasn't trained to use that belt he shouldn't have been charged on this. How could this charge even happen with all the investigations and police work that are supposed to precede a former charge? May be the attorney general's office just decided to charge the man on that count as part of an elaborate conspiracy to undermine his potential bid for US presidency in the year 2030...Also, is CLO actually on trial here or are the two guys? If not I don't get the title and the tone of this story at all.

superduper 8 years, 10 months ago

It was Wait that was charged with abuse, which was whitnessed many times. Dustin just happened to be working at the same period of time and was arrested by Kline at the same time. His story and charges were totally lumped in with the other guys.

emtid4u 8 years, 10 months ago

I beleive this is what the witnesses stated not the Attorney and they are witnesses for the Prosecution. That is how I read the story.

Ther has to be problems with CLO otherwise, why would there be so many problems there?

The law is clear in this respect, the Attorney General has no choice! He now has to bring charges against the 11 recently fired and the administration who allowed it to go on so long. Should he fail, which I am sure Paul Morrison hopes he will, Kline himself could fall to the hands of a Federal Prosecution it has now become a constitutional issue and one defining fair and equal prosecution. I'll bet anything the FBI has a focus here. That is unless they are really Lawrence Police Officers and ABC agents and not FBI and IRS agents. The plot thickens.

This is a case of wrongful prosecution! You may be thinking he did more than this because of the Attorney General's intentional alignment of Taylor with Wyatt.

Wyatt admitted to physically injuring the victim with a shoe, and placing his fingers in the victims mouth. Both are incidents Taylor had no part of. Someone intentionally aligned them together in the Attorney General's Press Release for the sake of profit. Easy prosecution is a numbers game works well at time of re-election.

cutny 8 years, 10 months ago

Gee, look what $7.50 an hour gets you in health care

areyoukidding 8 years, 10 months ago

you don't get trained to use a gait belt. it's a belt that you hold on to when you assist people in walking...if you need training for that you probably shouldn't be in health care

Justanopinion 8 years, 10 months ago

THE PROBLEM WITH "NOT NEEDING TRAINING FOR THE GAIT BELT" IF YOU ARE IN HEALTH CARE IS A MUTE POINT. THIS IS NOT HEALTH CARE IT IS DIRECT CARE. NONE OF THE PEOPLE WHO WORK FOR CLO IN THE RESIDENTIAL DEPARTMENT OR ANY OTHER OF THE ORGANIZATIONS LIKE IT FOR THAT MATTER ARE NURSES OR EVEN HAVE PARTIAL NURSING TRAINING. MOST ARE STUDENTS LOOKING FOR A PART TIME JOB. WHAT ELSE DO YOU EXPECT FOR THE 5.75 AN HOUR I GOT PAID THERE 3 YEAR AGO?

Justanopinion 8 years, 10 months ago

SORRY MIS TYPE...THAT WAS 4 YEARS AGO NOT 3

triumf 8 years, 10 months ago

I am sorry that this has happened at CLO. I worked there several years ago and we had very good training. It is sad that the employees are not getting the training that I received. I worked at the Ponderosa house. The residents of the house are great people.

Steve Jacob 8 years, 10 months ago

If problems persist, the state WILL close CLO down and the clients will be in worse places. They do get most of the money from the government, you know.

emtid4u 8 years, 10 months ago

Good News!!!!! Not Guilty! Not Guilty! Not Guilty!
The truth prevailed. The good guys won!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ForThePeople 8 years, 10 months ago

emtid4u.....Are you saying that Dustin Taylor's trial is over and he was found not guilty?

emtid4u 8 years, 10 months ago

Yes, yes I am, Dustin Dean Taylor was aquitted!!!!! Not Guilty!!!

cms 8 years, 10 months ago

Bottom line. If employees knew abuse was taking place and did not report, then they should have been fired. I believe that standards for group care might be greater than expected in a personal home setting which might be asking more than should be. However, concerned care and personal attention is what is important. Burn out might be high but this population MUST be taken care of with respect and love.

ForThePeople 8 years, 10 months ago

This is the bottom line:

" this population MUST be taken care of with respect and love."

.....as if they were a member of your own family! Because you just never know, it could by you! We are all one tragic car accident away, from being in their shoes!

emtid4u 8 years, 10 months ago

It is time for everyone to contact their State Reps and demand change.

  1. Increase training to minimum of a CMA/MRT befor you can work at CLO or other care facility. Require CLO or other care facility to pay the bill for that training for those currently employed.

  2. Require video monitoring.

  3. Increase the investigative responsibility of Law Enforcement Officers hold them responsible for wrongful prosecution.

  4. Require immediate equal prosecution for same acts committed by others.

  5. Require immediate restitution of legal fees, loss of work, loss of time to be paid by prosecuters and Law Enforcement Officers who incite wrongful prosecution and the same public reporting of such.

Don't waist time the next person wrongfully prosecuted could be you.

Finally, vote out Phil Kline, and ask Douglas County to prosecute Mike Strouse

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