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Njohnson / NICHOLAS A. JOHNSON, THE WORLD 

Crabby Cake owners Marvin Terry and Lisa Peckham moved their business to a new location on Boat Basin Road in Charleston.


Local
"The facility feels like a storm is coming"
The Baycrest Memory Care investigation files

COOS BAY – “Allegation: failed to assure timely medical treatment.

Wrongdoing is found to be: Substantiated.

Allegation of abuse: Yes.”

These are findings from an investigation document run by the Department of Human Services on Baycrest Memory Care. The complaint of poor medical treatment came in October of 2017 but the investigation closed on November 21, 2017.

It is the most recent investigation file The World obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request. The names of the complainants are kept confidential in accordance with state law.

“The facility feels like a storm is coming,” stated the anonymous complainant during a transcribed interview with a DHS investigator. “Things are changing but not for the better. We took a chance after the last restriction of admissions. We were the first people in once it was lifted. We had been happy with care until now.”

The complainant is referring to when DHS found out that something wasn’t right at Baycrest during an inspection in 2015, back when the allegations started. After the department’s licensing team walked through the facility, the facility was issued “quite a few citations,” Ashley Carson Cottingham, the director of the Aging and People with Disabilities program with DHS, said in a previous interview.

It was after those citations that DHS threw down conditions on Baycrest’s license.

“It would restrict admission during that time so they can correct the problem without new residents moving in,” Cottingham said.

Those restrictions were lifted again in 2016 after the facility improved its care.

Allegations of abuse started rolling back in during April of 2017.

Open Records

Though these investigation files are technically public record, as in people can sit supervised in a DHS office reading them, no copies can be made and no photos can be taken. In order to obtain these documents to give to the public as evidence of these Baycrest Memory Care abuse allegations, The World filed a Freedom of Information Act request at the beginning of January.

DHS filled that request promptly with all investigation files on Baycrest Memory Care since 2015.

These are just the proven abuse files of 2017. There is a total of 10 between February and November.

DHS is not finished with all 2017 investigations, which The World will file another FOIA to receive.

In the case of the most recently finished 2017 investigation, it began when the complainant, who was not named in the file, noticed that one of the residents had brown urine. They passed that information onto an employee, referred to only as Witness No. 1, but nothing was done.

The resident went six days before being given antibiotics.

“The facility’s failure to provide timely and appropriate care and services is a violation of resident rights, is considered neglect of care and constitutes abuse,” the investigator wrote in the description of incident findings.

During the complainant’s interview, it was noted that several of the residents’ doctor appointments had to be rescheduled because no labs were being done at the facility. When they asked why they weren’t being done, staff replied, “I’m new, no one passed on that information.”

“(Complainant) was concerned that (resident) might be septic due to the length of time (resident) was symptomatic,” the file read.

Because of this, the Complainant called the resident’s physician to have them send the antibiotic to a local pharmacy.

It was the complainant who finally picked up the resident’s medication and administered the first dose.

“Screaming Pain”

Another investigation also ended on November 21 of 2017. The severity level listed in the file reads as, “serious harm, death, imminent danger, or chronic regulatory compliance.”

The investigation showed that one of the residents, referred to as Resident No. 3, was not given proper medication to treat constipation and went five days without a bowel movement.

This resulted in the resident being in “screaming pain” for two days.

“The facility’s failure to appropriately administer Resident No. 3’s bowel protocol caused prolonged and substantial pain and is considered neglect of care and constitutes abuse,” the investigator concluded.

Because of this, DHS imposed a civil penalty against Bay Area Properties, LLC which owns the Baycrest Village location, a fine of $400.

“This civil penalty is based on the fact that this violation resulted in serious harm,” the report read.

Sexual Abuse

In July last year, a resident diagnosed with poor memory and impulse control was seen with their hand down another resident’s pants while the second resident was sleeping. The sleeping resident wasn’t aware they were being touched.

Not only that, but facility staff had previously documented the first resident as touching staff and other residents on the buttocks in June.

“The facility’s failure to provide an environment safe from inappropriate sexual contact is a violation of resident’s rights, is considered neglect of care and constitutes abuse,” the investigator concluded.

DHS imposed a civil penalty on Bay Area Properties for $300 “based upon the fact that this resulted in moderate harm.”

However, this wasn’t the only time that Baycrest Memory Care failed to protect its residents from inappropriate sexual contact. Not only had a caregiver been investigated for allegedly sexually abusing residents in 2015, as The World reported at the time, but then in May of 2017 DHS investigated another resident who had a history of inappropriately touching fellow residents. This resident is referred to as Resident No. 2 in the investigation files.

Then, Resident No. 1, was supposed to have a care plan in place for “sexual behaviors toward other residents.”

But on May 2, 2017, residents No. 1 and No. 2 were spotted touching each other sexually.

When the DHS investigator interviewed Resident No. 1, they made the following notes:

“(Resident 1) was in his/her room and stated ‘I’ve got no memory. (Resident 1) states he/she is doing better now. (Resident 1) does not know anything about what happened last night.”

When the investigator sat down with Resident No. 2, they also didn’t seem to remember what happened.

“The facility failed to address Resident No. 2’s sexual behaviors in his/her care plan and failed to follow Resident No. 1’s care plan,” the file read. This violated their rights and constituted as neglect and abuse.

Neglect of Care

The facility also had cases where resident care plans were updated but new staff wasn’t notified. On Aug. 17, 2017, another resident referred to as Resident No. 1 fell when they tried to sit in a recliner and hit their head.

Another resident had unwitnessed falls between February and April, 2017, and found “goose eggs” on their head. On April 5, facility staff failed to properly report it to the medication technician.

From a file closed in November, another resident fell and injured their head while walking unassisted to the dining area, suffering injuries and bruising to their face.

For 2016 and part of 2017, Baycrest Memory Care still owes $44,400 in unpaid civil penalties.

Oregon state Rep. Caddy McKeown issued a press release after Baycrest Memory Care announced they would close in March of 2018 when DHS gave them an intent to revoke their license.

“Our seniors are some of our most vulnerable citizens and they deserve the best care we can possibly provide them,” she said in the release. “We must do better than this.”

This article is part of a series on the Baycrest Memory Care investigation files. More to follow.


Local
Moving Forward: local services seek homeless solution in Coos County
This is the second follow-up since the Homeless Summit last year

COOS COUNTY — After the call-to-arms Homeless Summit last April, local services met again on Thursday.

Moving Forward is what they named the second follow-up meeting since the summit, a gathering to generate more ideas to solve Coos County’s homeless problem.

“We are trying to strategically move the 10-year plan forward,” said Tara Johnson, director at the Nancy Devereux Center.

Jillian Ward / JILLIAN WARD The World 

United Way Director Marcia Hart addresses local services during the second meeting of Moving Forward, a follow up to the Homeless Summit from last April.

Johnson is referring to the county’s 10-Year Homeless Plan that was created in 2009. Though it was originally encouraged by the state with the unfulfilled promise of money, those involved with the plan's creation wanted to see it through.

“The county commissioners gave us a seal of approval on Tuesday to work on revising, updating and breathing new life into the 10-year plan, which fell apart nine years ago,” Johnson said. “Our goal is to have an active, vital and living 10-year plan, one that doesn’t just sit on the shelf.”

According to Johnson, who was a participant of Moving Forward, Thursday’s meeting announced a housing study grant and broke the audience into groups to discuss four areas that are seen as main points in the 10-year plan.

“We’re hoping to get one or two solid action items out of each group to move forward,” Johnson said.

Jillian Ward / JILLIAN WARD The World 

Local Coos County services gathered in the Pony Village Mall on Thursday as a follow-up to the Homeless Summit last April.

Since last year’s summit and first Moving Forward meeting, progress has been made. So far, services are working together on coordinated entry, meaning if someone goes to the Devereux Center or Oregon Coast Community Action there is a way to share information without compromising standards.

“If someone is already in the system, I don’t have to spend that time re-entering them but instead working on helping them,” she said. “Also, a lot of the momentum we have seen since the last meeting is the housing study because we realized that getting more housing, whether its workforce, low income or affordable housing, has to be addressed before we deal with all the other issues.” 


Lee-wire
AP
Trump pushes back on report he tried to fire Mueller

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump pushed back Friday against reports that he ordered White House lawyer Don McGahn to fire special counsel Robert Mueller last June.

"Fake news, folks. Fake news. Typical New York Times fake stories," Trump retorted dismissively when asked about it by reporters at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The reports, first by the Times and then others, said Trump backed off on his attempt to fire the man who is investigating him, his election campaign's Russian contacts and his firings of FBI Director James Comey and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn — but only after lawyer McGahn refused to relay his directive to the Justice Department and threatened to quit if Trump pressed the issue.

In Washington, Mueller's team was still on the job Friday, investigating the president and his 2016 election campaign.

After the news came out Thursday night, Democratic Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia quickly accused Trump of crossing "a red line" that should be met forcibly by lawmakers to protect the Constitution. Warner is the ranking Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee. But Republicans were quick to dismiss the report, pointing out that Mueller had not actually been fired.

Some legal experts noted that presidents, like anyone else, can say things they don't mean when angry. At the same time, others saw the alleged Trump order as part of a pattern of obstruction that could be pressed by Mueller, disrupting or even dooming Trump's presidency.

Jacob Frenkel, a defense lawyer and former prosecutor, said defense lawyers would argue that the conversation with McGahn "was an expression of frustration and irritation, not an intended personnel action."

A statement alone, without follow-up action, can be subject to different explanations and allow for reasonable doubt as to the intent, he indicated.

"It may not be the conclusion that people want to reach, but sitting back and looking at it objectively, the fact that there was no firing means there was no obstruction," Frenkel said.

Andrew Leipold, a professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, concurred.

"People say all sorts of things that they're going to do, and then they calm down and they think better of it and they get talked out of it," he said. "Some of this may just be no more than the president — as all presidents have done — racing their engines about things."

That said, this latest revelation isn't the only example of presidential action that could be seen as an attempt to interfere with an investigation of Trump and his campaign. Another is the firing Comey as FBI director last May. Mueller was appointed special counsel by Rod Rosenstein, the acting attorney general after Jeff Sessions stepped aside because of his own close involvement with the Trump campaign.

"It is easy to see where this would be an element or component to consider as part of an obstruction mosaic," Frenkel said.

It could have no bearing on the investigation at all.

Or it could be part of an obstruction case against Trump or others.

But that raises a perennial constitutional question: Can the president be charged in criminal court? Some in the legal field say yes. More say no, the only recourse is impeachment by Congress.

Meanwhile, despite the sensational nature of the Times report, there is likely little that Mueller doesn't already know about events in the White House. More than 20 White House employees have given interviews to the special counsel's investigation into possible obstruction and Trump campaign ties to Russian election interference.

John Dowd, one of Trump's attorneys, said the White House, in what he called an "unprecedented" display of cooperation with Mueller's investigation, has turned over more than 20,000 pages of records. The president's 2016 campaign has turned over more than 1.4 million pages.

The number of voluntary interviews includes eight people from the White House counsel's office.

An additional 28 people affiliated with the Trump campaign have been interviewed by either the special counsel or congressional committees probing Russian election meddling.

So, what about political fallout?

Trump's national approval numbers are low, but his conservative base has kept up its solid support through all the criticism he has come under in his first year as president. Why would this be any different?

In Congress, Democrats have been quick to exploit the report. Warner called Trump's actions "a gross abuse of power." However, Republicans noted that the purported order came long ago and before Trump surrounded himself with new lawyers. Since then, his public demeanor toward Mueller has changed.

Nonetheless, Senate Republicans were worried last summer, and GOP Sens. Lindsey Graham and Thom Tillis introduced legislation that would protect the special counsel. But that hasn't gone anywhere.

Trump has softened his public criticism of Mueller, White House officials say over and over that he has nothing to hide, and his lawyers have signaled they are cooperating, too.

Mueller's investigators hope to interview Trump soon.

This week, the president declared he was eager to do it — and under oath.

"I'm looking forward to it, actually," Trump said when asked by reporters. As for timing, he said, "I guess they're talking about two or three weeks, but I'd love to do it."

His lawyers walked that back a bit. No interview has been agreed to, all sides agreed.

The story of Trump's alleged effort to sack Mueller added just one more question.