NEWS RELEASE
Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.


March 16, 2001 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

SOCIAL WORKER CONVICTED OF STEALING FROM HER VULNERABLE ADULT CLIENTS

Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today the conviction of a Dorchester County licensed social worker for felony theft. Johanne S. Nibblett, 41, admitted stealing $4,445 from four of her vulnerable adult clients while they were in her care. Ms. Nibblett’s thefts occurred during an 18-month period, while she was employed by the Dorchester County Department of Social Services in its Adult Protective Services unit. Sentencing before the Honorable Donald F. Johnson has been set for May 7, 2001.

These charges are part of Attorney General Curran’s initiative against elder exploitation. Said Curran, "stealing from the very people who you are supposed to protect, who are too old or too sick to take care of themselves, is a reprehensible violation of trust - and constitutes criminal behavior which we will vigorously pursue." He added that he expects to be filing charges against other vulnerable adult care givers in the near future.

The matter was referred to the Attorney General by the Office of the Inspector General of the State Department of Human Resources after their audit turned up the four instances of theft.

Ms. Nibblett faces a maximum penalty of 15 years incarceration, a $1,000 fine and restitution. The felony conviction could also lead to revocation of her license to practice social work.

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