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For Immediate Release
January 23, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357

FORMER GROUP HOME COUNSELOR PLEADS
GUILTY TO NEGLECT

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that a former residential counselor of a group home for developmentally disabled individuals pleaded guilty to neglect of a vulnerable adult from a July 1, 2001 incident in which she left five severely retarded adults unattended in a van in a parking garage at the City Place Mall in Silver Spring, for at least 50 minutes while she went into the mall to shop. The temperature at that time was 86 degrees.

Shandell Nikki Matthews, 31, of the 3800 block Regency Parkway in Suitland, is a former employee of the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Institute, an organization that provides care to individuals who are developmentally disabled. Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Michael D. Mason sentenced Matthews to two years incarceration, suspending the entire sentence, two years supervised probation and ordered the defendant to perform 50 hours community service and receive 100 education hours in the field of working with vulnerable adults. During the period of her probation, Matthews must refrain from providing direct care to vulnerable adults.

This case was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which has authority to investigate and prosecute abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults in facilities which receive Medicaid funds.

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