Lenoir City health center officials charged with records tampering

wbir.com-The administrator and director of nursing at a Lenoir City health care facility have been charged with tampering with records.

Anita Wilmoth, 55, who has since left the administrator's job at Baptist Health Care Center, and Freda Jo Morton, 52, turned themselves in on the charges Tuesday, according to the TBI.

They were released from jail on their own recognizance.

According to the TBI, agents with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in April 2014 investigated a report of abuse at Baptist Health Care Center, 700 Williams Ferry Road in Lenoir City. The state Department of Human Services' Adult Protective Services unit had asked the TBI to step in.

"During the course of the investigation, agents developed information that on March 11, 2014, (Wilmoth) and (Morton) instructed the staff at the facility to mislead the state investigators looking into the allegations of abuse."

The formal charges against them are tampering with government records and failure to make a report.

The investigation stemmed from a complaint that a certified nursing assistant had "inserted the fingers of a partially inflated latex glove into the mouth of the resident while making sexually suggestive comments about the resident in the presence of four other staff members," according to records posted at http://medicare.gov/.

The resident was "severely cognitively impaired" and needed extensive assistance for daily activities.

Investigators found the center had not reported the alleged occurrence to the resident's family or to the state.

According to records, the administrator in an interview April 21, 2014, indicated they thought the incident was "horseplay" and so did not report it to the state.