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For Immediate Release
June 17, 2003
Contact: Sean Caine, 410-576-6357
scaine@oag.state.md.us

FORMER CAREGIVER PLEADS GUILTY TO NEGLECT CHARGES

Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr. announced today that Michael Delroy Council, 44, of the 5100 block of Nelson Avenue in Baltimore City pleaded guilty to neglect of a vulnerable adult for leaving a developmentally disabled man who was in his care alone and unsupervised while he went to buy drugs.

At the time of the offense, Council was a caregiver employed by Chimes, Inc. in the vocational services program. Council was being paid to care for a developmentally disabled adult named Richard S., who is 60-years-old, mentally retarded, and completely deaf in one ear. Richard S. cannot read, cannot write, does not know his own address or telephone number and is incapable of understanding if he were in danger. Richard S. was participating in Chimes’ vocational services program, which aims to teach work skills to people with developmental disabilities under close supervision of a competent caregiver.

On April 17, 2002, Council, with Richard S., was supposed to deliver food to group homes in the Baltimore area. At approximately 4:00 p.m. a uniformed patrol officer saw several unidentified males standing in an alley near Greenmount Avenue and 21st Street in East Baltimore. As the men began to flee when they saw the police officer, one of the police officers chased an individual who was later identified as Council. The police officer saw Council discard a clear capsule containing a white powder, confirmed that it was heroin, and arrested Council. While Council was being arrested, he told the police officer that he had left a vulnerable adult in a truck that was parked around the corner and up the street on Greenmount Avenue.

The police officer responded to the truck and found vulnerable adult victim Richard S. sitting in the passenger seat with the windows down, doors unlocked and the keys in the ignition. The victim was not injured but repeatedly expressed concern and confusion about where his caregiver had gone.

Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Shirley Watts sentenced Council to two years incarceration, with all but 15 days suspended, to be served on the weekends. She also sentenced Council to three years supervised probation and ordered that he stay out of the direct care field providing hands on care to vulnerable adults. Council received probation before judgement in the District Court of Maryland for Baltimore City in May 2002 for the drug charge.

This case was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which has authority to prosecute abuse or neglect in Medicaid-funded facilities.

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