Charges against several Veterans' Home employees dismissed

Charges were dropped against several nurse assistants at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans.

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Several charges against former caregivers at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans have been dismissed. In July, Attorney General Bill Schuette charged 11 former veterans' home employees with falsifying medical records.

On Thursday, Judge Christina Elmore dismissed eight of those cases in Kent County District Court.

"I think she did a phenomenal job and correctly interpreted the law,” said Defense attorney Frank Stanley. Along with 7 other attorneys, he argued that the former employees were not health care providers. “They are Certified Nurse’s Assistants. They completed a one week course. They're paid $10 an hour."

The AG's office says the employees were supposed to be conducting hourly checks on members at the home. However, in many instances, evidence showed that staff did not perform the checks, and falsely charted the ones that they did.

In court, the defense argued that the charts in question were employee records. "And this form has nothing to do with medical records. There was no place on that form where medical care treatment was done."

The AG's office also said that despite the charts showing that the residents were checked on, surveillance video showed they were not.

Stanley says he never got to see any of it and was told the video had not been saved. "To charge these people with felonies under these circumstances is almost egregious. They should have never been charged at all."

WZZM 13 reached out to the Attorney General's office. Spokesperson Andrea Bitely said, "We are aware of the Judge's decision and reviewing our options for the next steps."

As for the remaining three cases, they were bound over to circuit court.

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