Nurse's Aide Pleads Guilty In Assault Case Involving Elderly Patient At Montgomery County Nursing Home

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that a nurse's aide, who was charged with recklessly assaulting a 94-year-old female patient at an Amsterdam nursing home in January, has pleaded guilty in the case.

Brian McKenney, 30, of North Melcher Street in Johnstown, appeared last night before Amsterdam Town Court Judge Herbert Menge and pleaded guilty to Endangering the Welfare of a Physically Disabled Person in satisfaction of the charges pending against him since March.

McKenney was immediately sentenced to a conditional discharge, the condition being that he not seek employment involving patient care.

Spitzer said, "This investigation and prosecution by my Medicaid Fraud Control Unit drives home our message: We will have no tolerance for those who do not live up to their responsibilities to care for our most vulnerable citizens."

According to prosecutors, McKenney, while employed as a nurse's aide at Amsterdam Memorial Hospital's Skilled Nursing Facility on January 22, was assigned to bathe the elderly patient who suffers from, among other ailments, kidney problems, osteoporosis, chronic heart failure, and a history of strokes. Following the bath, McKenney raised the patient, who was in a motorized chair, out of the tub and stopped the chair at approximately chest height. McKenney then unbelted the patient and lowered her to waist height, where he left her without the safety belt and walked out of the room.

Hearing a loud "thud," McKenney returned to the tub room and found the patient laying on the floor, screaming and bleeding from a wound to the forehead. The patient was later diagnosed with a fractured right hip, and, due to her age and deteriorating condition, it was determined that she could not withstand surgery. The patient died on February 11.

Amsterdam Memorial Hospital's Skilled Nursing Facility is located at 4988 State Highway 30 in Amsterdam. McKenney was employed at the facility from July 18, 2000, to January 30, 2001.

Special Assistant Attorney General John M. Meekins, Director of the Albany Regional Office of Attorney General Spitzer's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, prosecuted the case. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jos? Maldonado.