A Florida state’s attorney announced last week the arrests of four individuals for their part in operating assisted living facilities without the proper licensing.
Hazards including unsafe electrical work, missing smoke detectors, termites and unsanitary conditions were found by inspectors at the facility. The property was later condemned by the City of Jacksonville Code Enforcement and its residents were relocated.
“This facility is the prime example of why inspections are routinely done. Unlicensed assisted living facilities are a growing problem in the Jacksonville area. That is why we routinely work with the Attorney General’s Office in making sure our senior citizens are properly cared for in these homes,” said Assistant State Attorney Mike Weinstein.
Three of the defendants, Joseph Bell, Vanita McCray and Timothy Dawson, have been charged with one count each of operating an unlicensed assisted living facility, a charge which could result in a maximum penalty of up to five years in prison and $5,000 in fines. The fourth defendant, Barry Smith, is charged with two counts of operating an unlicensed assisted living facility and could face up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines, if convicted.
Bell, McCray and Smith were taken into custody and booked in Duval County, Florida while Dawson was booked in Bay County.
Investigators with the State Attorney’s Office for the Fourth Judicial Circuit, and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office assisted in the arrests.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker