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Post date: June 5 2003

Nurse Charged With Withholding Medications From Elderly Patients At Albany Nursing Home

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that a registered nurse at the Eden Park Health Care Center has been arrested for unlawfully withholding medication and treatment from five elderly patients, and then falsifying the patients' medical charts to cover up her crime.

Elizabeth M. Warnock, 58, of P.O.B. 947 Bush Road in Middleburgh, was arraigned June 4 in Albany County Court on a multi-count indictment, charging her with Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person, Wilful Violation of Health Laws, and Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree. If convicted, she faces up to four years in prison.

According to prosecutors, Warnock, while working at the Eden Park Health Care Center on April 21, 2003, neglected five patients, who were 60 to 91 years old and who each suffered a variety of maladies. Specifically, it is alleged that Warnock failed to provide these patients with various physician-ordered medications and treatments during her shift. Three of the patients were to receive anti-seizure, antidepressant or anticoagulant medications, and the other two were to receive G-Tube water flushes, treatments necessary to provide adequate hydration. To conceal her crimes, the indictment alleges that Warnock falsely wrote in the patients' charts that she had administered the drugs and treatments.

Spitzer thanked the state Health Department for referring the matter to his office. He also thanked the administration and staff of the nursing home for their cooperation and assistance in the investigation.

Warnock, who has been a registered nurse since 1967, worked at Eden Park Health Care Center, located at 22 Holland Avenue in Albany, from June 2000 until her termination on April 23, 2003.

Special Assistant Attorney General Michael C. Clarke, of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit's Albany Regional Office, is prosecuting the case. Assisting on the investigation was Special Investigator Antoine J. Karam.

The charges against Warnock are accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.