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Nursing Home Corruption Investigation

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - A state nurse administrator fired in May
over misconduct allegations had previously been terminated, a
newspaper reported Tuesday.

The state fired Sharon Harris on May 21 over misconduct
allegations involving Moses Young, a former state official in
charge of nursing home inspections.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that both she and Young were
fired for living in separate homes owned by nursing home operator
Ralph L. Stacey Jr., who is president of Covington-based Stacey
Enterprises Inc.

According to documents obtained by the Lexington Herald-Leader,
Harris had been fired six years previously for questions
surrounding her relationship with Stacey. She was reinstated after
appealing her termination, the newspaper reported.

Personnel Board records show Young and Harris have appealed
their terminations and deny doing anything wrong.

Young and Harris say in their appeals that their due-process
rights were violated when they weren't allowed to have an attorney
present during interviews with the cabinet inspector general.

In addition, Harris argued that she had no conflict of interest
since she had no regulatory oversight of Stacey's facilities.

Stacey did not return a message seeking comment.

The newspaper reported that the state recommended Harris be
fired in 2002 after inspectors saw her at a Garrard Convalescent
Home that Stacey owns during an inspection. At the time, she was
working as a nurse for the Department of Medicaid services.

Young was fired after he could not document he paid rent for the
Lexington home where he's lived since August 2005, according to a
May 21 letter terminating him.

The letter also cites improper contact between Young and Stacey
before, during and after nursing home inspections - which are
supposed to be done on a surprise basis.

A spokesman for state Attorney General Jack Conway said the case
has been referred to his office, which is looking into the matter.
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Information from: Lexington Herald-Leader

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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