Nurse's Aide Pleads Guilty In Case Of Neglect And Cover-up Involving 93-year-old Patient At Herkimer County Nursing Home

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that a certified nurse's aide, who failed to provide care to a 93-year-old female patient at an Ilion nursing home and then falsified the patient's chart to cover up her neglect, pleaded guilty in the case. The patient recently had hip surgery, and needed to be repositioned every two hours.

Charlynne Harter, 54, of 407 West Main Street in Ilion, appeared last night for arraignment before Ilion Justice Court Judge Donald Pearson and pleaded guilty to one count of Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree. Harter was immediately sentenced to a one-year conditional discharge, and was ordered to pay a fine of $250 and surrender her nurse's aide certificate.

"This kind of criminal behavior against our elderly and most vulnerable residents will not be tolerated," said Spitzer. "We are committed to vigorously prosecuting those who abuse the patients in their care."

According to prosecutors, Harter, while employed as a nurse's aide at the Mohawk Valley Nursing Home on December 27, 2000, neglected the elderly patient by failing to reposition her in the bed, provide for her hygiene needs, or apply an ointment to prevent bedsores. To conceal her crimes, Harter falsely indicated in the resident's chart that the services had been provided.

Spitzer thanked the State Health Department for referring the matter to his office. He also thanked the nursing home for its assistance and cooperation in the investigation.

Mohawk Valley Nursing Home is located at 99 Sixth Avenue in Ilion. Harter worked at the facility from April 2000 to December 28, 2000, when she was terminated as a result of the incident.

Special Assistant Attorney General Ralph D. Tortora, III, of the Syracuse 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.