State's hidden cameras investigate neglect

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New York authorities have used hidden video cameras to uncover neglect of nursing home residents, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer said Thursday. Nineteen facility employees have been arrested in connection with investigations, which are ongoing. They also led to a consumer report that was released Thursday. Additional investigations are also ongoing, Spitzer said.

Cameras were placed at Jennifer Matthew Nursing Home in Rochester and the Northwoods Nursing Home in Cortland with consent from residents' relatives, authorities said. They allegedly uncovered employees not repositioning residents with skin breakdowns and allowing others to lie in their own excrement and urine.

Spitzer accused the employees of shirking duties in order to socialize, sleep or leave the facility. He is pursuing repayment of government reimbursement, claiming fraud was committed because services were paid for but not performed.

A spokesman for the Rochester facility had not seen court filings and declined comment, according to the Associated Press. Eight of the facility's workers have pleaded guilty to neglect or falsifying records. The administrator at the Cortland nursing home, where five employees were accused of falsifying records and endangerment, defended her nursing staff. She said a comprehensive program for retraining the staff had recently been put in place.