A.G. Schneiderman Announces Guilty Plea Of Former Director Of Nursing At Health Care Center For Covering Up Sexual Abuse And Neglect

Nicolle Wagner Stinson Concealed Allegations Of Sexual Abuse And A Medication Error

HERKIMER—Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the guilty plea of Nicolle Wagner-Stinson, 40, a Registered Nurse and former Director of Nursing at Mohawk Valley Health Care Center to two felony counts of tampering with evidence. Wagner-Stinson admitted to destroying a witness statement, which described a sexual assault incident, and concealing medical records in order to cover up patient neglect.

“The neglect shown by senior leadership at this facility is shocking. Failing to properly report incidents of patient abuse and neglect puts the safety of nursing home residents in serious danger,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “We will continue to prosecute and hold accountable those who compromise the well-being of our most vulnerable citizens.”

Wagner-Stinson admitted that on May 28, 2013, she acted on behalf of defendant MVNH Associates, LLC, d/b/a Mohawk Valley Health Care Center to destroy a witness’ handwritten statement, which described a sexual abuse incident between two residents of the facility. It was believed that the statement was about to be provided to investigators.

Wagner-Stinson also admitted that in a separate incident she concealed a patient’s Medication Administration Record from the State Department of Health, which was evidence of Mohawk’s failure to provide doctor ordered medication to that patient.

The guilty pleas stem from a May 2015 indictment of Wagner-Stinson and others, including the LLC operating the nursing home and other officials of the facility. Nursing homes, managers and staff are required to report incidents of suspected abuse or neglect of residents to the New York State Department of Health. 

Wagner-Stinson lives in Fort Plain, New York.  She had served as Mohawk’s Director of Nursing for two years. 

Wagner-Stinson pleaded guilty in Herkimer County Court before the Honorable John H. Crandall. The charges are punishable by up to four years in state prison. Sentencing is scheduled for December 1st. 

Charges are pending against other defendants. Those persons are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

The case was investigated by Medicaid Fraud Control Unit Special Investigators Scott Petucci and Keith Hall, Senior Investigators Patrick M. Lynch, Thaddeus Kaczor, Michael J. Ostuni, and Supervising Special Investigator Christopher M. Burns. Associate Special Auditor/Investigator Sabrina Stagnitta, Senior Auditor/Investigator Dejan Budimir, Special Auditors/Investigators John O. Collins, Siobhan P. O’Leary and Carri Brooks, and Regional Chief Auditor Thomas J. Goodman supported the investigation. The Department of Health also participated in the investigation. 

The case is being prosecuted by Ralph D. Tortora, III, Regional Director, Syracuse Regional Office. Catherine Wagner is Chief of Criminal Investigations-Upstate. William Falk is the Deputy Chief Investigator Upstate. The Medicaid Fraud Control Unit is led by Acting MFCU Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul J. Mahoney.  The Division of Criminal Justice is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.