Nurse Admits To Withholding Patient's Medicine At Queens Nursing Home

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that Aviolle Pierre, a licensed practical nurse arrested last month for unlawfully withholding medication from nearly a dozen elderly patients at a Flushing nursing home, has entered a guilty plea in satisfaction of the 46 counts pending against her.

Appearing yesterday in Queens Criminal Court before Judge Stephen Knopf, Pierre pleaded guilty to Wilful Violation of Health Laws. She was immediately sentenced to three years' probation.

As a per-diem nurse, Pierre accepted an assignment to work the evening shift (4:00 p.m. to midnight) at the Meadow Park Nursing Home on November 8, 1999. Among her duties was to administer prescribed medications to various patients. An investigation was begun the following day when a patient complained that she had not been given her eye medication the previous evening. It was determined that Pierre had neglected 11 patients by failing to dispense 23 prescribed medications, including Haldol (a tranquilizer), Coumadin (an anticoagulant), Sinemet (for the treatment of Parkinson's disease), and Isordil (for angina). To conceal her crime, Pierre falsely stated in the patients' charts that the drugs had actually been given.

Spitzer said, "The defendant was entrusted with the care of our most vulnerable citizens, and she showed little concern for their well-being. It is obvious, based on her actions, that she should never again work with patients in a health care setting."

The Attorney General noted that his office has referred the case to the State Education Department's Office of the Professions for a review of Pierre's nursing license.

Pierre, 44, who recently became a registered nurse, lives at 457 Second Street in Elmont, New York. She worked just one shift at the Meadow Park Nursing Home, located at 78-10 164th Street in Flushing, Queens.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Robert J. Goldstein, of the New York City Regional Office of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jos? Maldonado.

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