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Former Westview operators seek to regain control

Staff writer

The former operators of Westview Manor in Peabody, now in receivership, are turning to the state court of appeals to try to regain control of the nursing home.

District judge Steven Hornbaker ruled last month that the nursing home for people with mental illness and developmental disabilities would remain in receivership as he initially placed it in December. Hornbaker said in a strongly-worded ruling March 29 that if former operators Franklin Healthcare was unaware of the facility’s “unsafe, unsanitary, and deplorable conditions,” they should be charged and tried for elder abuse.

Franklin Healthcare filed a notice Thursday in Marion County District Court that they are appealing Hornbaker’s decision to the state court of appeals.

The appeal has not yet been filed.

Hornbaker was not persuaded by the claims of Douglas Mittleider, who with his wife Julie Mittleider own Franklin Healthcare, that the company was unaware of abuses.

A state inspector sent to Westview Manor in December reported many critical issues, including improper handling of residents’ trust fund accounts, staff payroll checks returned for insufficient funds, many past due bills, missing medications, lack of decent food, and filth.

Toilets and drains in Westview were not operable and the kitchen was unsanitary, KDADS said.

The food budget was cut so the dietary manager was unable to buy fresh fruits and vegetables or sufficient amounts of essentials such as milk, KDADS said.

Staff had used their own money to buy cleaning supplies and toiletries for the residents and brought their own equipment to work or paid for necessities out of their own pockets.

KDADS also contended Westview failed to adequately supervise and protect its residents from walking away from the facility.

Westview is being operated in receivership by Mission Health.

KDADS spokeswoman Cara Sloan-Ramos said last month that the agency would work with Westview’s landlords to find a new operator for the facility.

Last modified May 1, 2019

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