November 29, 2005

Former KY Institution Employee Indicted on Abuse Charges

By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express (subscribe)

SOMERSET, KY--A grand jury has charged a former employee of Kentucky's largest state-run institution with seven counts of abuse.

Dee Anna Sumpter, 36, was indicted by a Pulaski County grand jury last week, accused of abusing four residents at the Communities of Oakwood, which houses about 300 adults with intellectual disabilities. Grand juries decide whether a person should be indicted, or charged, with a crime, but do not decide whether a person is guilty of that crime.

The indictment states that Sumpter allegedly slapped, kicked and punched clients, according to the Associated Press.

The charges came as the state attorney general's office began presenting evidence on a number of allegations of abuse and neglect at the facility, including the deaths of two residents.

The Herald-Leader reported that state inspectors have issued their most serious "Type A" citations at least eight times this year to Oakwood. One of those citations was issued after a male resident, who may have been sexually abused at his job site, was sent back to the same site to work with his alleged abuser -- after facility administrators and staff failed to report the abuse allegations. The facility was also cited after a resident drowned when workers left him alone in a bathtub.

In September, the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services announced that it would cut federal funding for Oakwood. The federal agency provides about one half of the $54 million the institution needs to operate each year.

The state is appealing that order.

The attorney general plans to return to the grand jury with more evidence on December 20.

"Oakwood probe going to grand jury" (Lexington Herald-Leader)

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Posted on November 29, 2005