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Politics

Gwen Graham Forks Over $1,200 to Rick Scott for Hollywood Nursing Home Records

January 8, 2018 - 2:15pm

Former U.S. Rep. and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham says it’s high time Gov. Rick Scott coughs up public records related to the untimely deaths of 14 seniors in a Hollywood Hills nursing home last September.

On Monday, Graham wrote a personal check for $1,200 for a public records request looking into the deaths which resulted from a power loss after Hurricane Irma struck the state last fall. 

Graham said she believed the state had taken long enough to produce the records, which could provide much-needed insight on exactly how and why the seniors fell victim to sweltering conditions at the nursing home, which ultimately resulted in their deaths. 

Graham’s public records request is looking for answers as to how the governor’s office was involved in the tragedy, since officials working at the nursing home said they attempted to contact the governor several times when they were without power. 

"It is troubling and totally unacceptable that Governor Rick Scott has refused to voluntarily release all the records surrounding Hollywood Hills and his office's role in the tragedy,” Graham said. 

Over a dozen senior citizens died in the sweltering heat at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills in September when the nursing home’s air conditioning went out following Hurricane Irma.

The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills also said it followed the appropriate emergency preparedness plans when the air conditioning went out.
 
The facility has pointed the blame at the governor, saying it tried to contact Scott multiple times on a special line given out to healthcare executives before Hurricane Irma. 
 
While Gov. Scott’s office doesn’t deny being contacted by the nursing home, it has said staffers at the Rehabilitation did not indicate any patients were in danger at the time of the calls. 
 
The governor’s office said the facility apparently was in no rush to call 911 to tell someone, anyone that patients were in danger. 
 
“No amount of finger pointing by the Hollywood Hills Rehabilitation Facility … will hide the fact that this healthcare facility failed to do their basic duty to protect life,” Scott said in a prepared statement in September. “This facility is failing to take responsibility for the fact that they delayed calling 911 and made the decision to not evacuate their patients to one of the largest hospitals in Florida, which is directly across the street.

The one-time Congresswoman called the delay in the records release “disappointing, but not surprising.” 

Scott’s office is known to be slow in responding to public records requests, with some taking months to fulfill. 

"This isn't about me or Rick Scott. This is about the 14 seniors who died and the public's right to know the truth,” Graham said. “We need to know exactly what went wrong so we can prevent an incident like this from ever happening again...this is a small price to pay for the people of Florida to know the full truth.”

Scott’s office said Monday it was “finalizing” Graham’s request and would have it complete “very soon,” though it did not give a release date.

 

Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at allison@sunshinestatenews.com or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.


READ MORE FROM SUNSHINE STATE NEWS

Assisted Living Facilities Face $280 Million Tab for Generators

U.S. Senate Committee Launches Investigation into Nursing Home Deaths

 

Comments

Sun-Sentinel has a story September 15, 2017 about the laws in Florida. It seems that many NH are incorporated as LLC's. So if someone wants to sue an LLC, they have to contact the atty/registered agent and negotiate how to even find the true owner of the LLC. Protip: don't end up in a nursing home if you have no one to defend you. Congress tried to pass HR1215 in 2017, the Senate never took up the vote. HR1215 was a very bad set of rules designed to protect Nursing Home owners.

Oh, "Put a cork in it Gwen !" SEND your pontificating "charity" pittance to "Shriners Hospital" where it will actually do some good; and stop postulating that you truly care enough to "dip into" your donated "Campaign Funds" for self-serving recognition on a "media issue". You already know you're going to lose; and WE knew that "from the start", because WE already knew that you are an ill prepared, small-minded, nepotistic loser desperately reaching for a "government mammary" to cling too (Shoulda stayed in the Panhandle longer "Gwennie", so as to learn more about the "mammary" that you seek to remain on... Saying "family pressures" required your retreat from the Panhandle was a "JOKE" that we ALL got... What you never understood was that WE Floridians have a "collective memory")----(That's something NO DEMOCRATS seem to understand...) signed// "A recovering Democrat"

Rick Scott had to deal with Irma the most devastating Hurricane since Andrew, and by all counts managed it better than any Governor did in the past. This whole "Gwen, Demanding Answers" is just partisan political gamesmanship. She doesn't give a rat's ass about the loss of lives due to the loss of power. She probably can't name one victim in that case.

gov scott is notorious for his support of nursing home owners. If there is a buck to be made, he will find two before he cooperates.

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