Nursing director awaiting
prosecution resigns from health care center
wbir.com-The director of nursing at a Loudon County health care center has left her job just days after turning herself in to face accusations that she tampered with records.
Freda Jo Morton, 52, resigned in a letter dated March 17, according to C. Kenny Cooper, president-treasurer of Tennessee Baptist Adult Homes, which runs the center. She had been on paid administrative leave.
Morton and former center administrator Anita "Cindy" Wilmoth, 55, are accused by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation of tampering with records as the TBI investigated a complaint last year at Baptist Health Care Center.
They are free on their own recognizance on the charge.
According to the TBI, agents with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit in April 2014 investigated a report of abuse at the health care center, 700 Williams Ferry Road just north of 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 TBI said in a release HERE.
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, in March 2014, 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 HERE athttp://medicare.gov/.
The resident was "severely cognitively impaired" and needed extensive assistance for daily activities, the report said.
Investigators found the center had not reported the alleged occurrence to the resident's family or to the state, nor had it completed interviews of all potential witnesses to the incident.
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.
Wilmoth retired from the facility in September, according to a newsletter.
"We have cooperated with authorities throughout their investigation," Cooper said last week. "The safety of our residents has always been and remains a paramount priority to all of us. Our facility enjoys an outstanding reputation for patient care and we believe it will continue to do so."