Illinois nursing home raid finds wanted felon; sweeps continue to identify potential for neglect and abuse

Another fugitive has been arrested in an Illinois nursing home as authorities continue to target facilities suspected of housing wanted felons or other dangerous residents, the Belleville News Democrat reported.

The latest Operation Guardian compliance check occurred in East St. Louis at Virgil Calvert Nursing and Rehabilitation Center and snagged a 61-year-old man wanted on Missouri drug charges. The sweep also gave authorities a chance to conduct a safety review and a review of other compliance issues within the home. It was conducted by investigators from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s Office, Illinois State Police, the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation.

Our Chicago nursing home abuse attorneys reported raids on nursing homes throughout the city led to the arrest of numerous wanted felons earlier this year. As we reported on our Illinois Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer Blog, lawmakers recently passed new legislation aimed at overhauling the state’s troubled nursing home industry.

Operation Guardian was formed after authorities targeted a Chicago home for failure to complete background checks and criminal histories on residents to identify those who may pose a threat to the safety of others in the home. That home was closed down by state investigators. Five other homes in the Chicago area currently face attempts by the state for force them to close.

So far, 12 homes have been inspected, leading to 12 arrests and the identification of 61 people wanted on warrants. No home has been check where at least one resident was not identified as having an active warrant. However some warrants had geographic limits and those jurisdictions have chosen not to arrest the individuals.

“Criminals are using nursing homes as safe houses,” Madigan said after the sweep. “Our state should not have fugitives hiding in our nursing homes.”

In this case, officials at the home said they did not realize the resident was wanted. A public health inspection in January found a number of violations. Two sex offenders were also found in the home during that inspection. The law permits sex offenders to live in Illinois nursing homes but staff must provide a plan to keep other residents safe by restricting the offender’s contact.

If you are concerned about the conditions of a Chicago nursing home or the treatment of residents, contact the nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers at Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.