Rochester Hospital Worker Sentenced To Jail For Abusing 2 Patients

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that a nurse's aide has been sentenced to 30 days in jail for having punched two patients at Monroe Community Hospital.

Appearing this morning in Rochester City Court before Judge Thomas R. Morse, Annie Mills, 38, of 129 West Square Manor in Rochester, was also sentenced to three years' probation. Mills had pleaded guilty to two counts of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent Person in March.

Mills punched one patient suffering from head trauma and another who is mentally retarded and has cerebral palsy.

"We have a special responsibility to protect our defenseless and infirm citizens from abuse and exploitation," Spitzer said. "Today's action sends a clear message to those who would abuse our most vulnerable that prosecution will be swift and encompass the full measure of the law."

Spitzer noted that a second Monroe Community Hospital nurse's aide, Carla Briggs, 31, of 121 Liberty Pole Way in Rochester, was sentenced last month to probation for one year and to perform 80 hours of community service. Arrested along with Mills in October 1999, Briggs was charged with failing to report one of the incidents she witnessed while working with Mills. Briggs was also charged with falsifying hospital records for lying to hospital staff by claiming that the abuse did not occur. She pleaded guilty in March to Attempted Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree.

New York State Law mandates that an employee of a health care facility who witnesses patient abuse report it to the State Department of Health.

The Attorney General thanked Monroe Community Hospital for its cooperation in the investigation.

The prosecutions were handled by Special Assistant Attorney General Timothy McFarland, of the Rochester Regional Office of Attorney General Spitzer's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jos? Maldonado.

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