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Seventy-two nurses working in state-licensed facilities have been banned from working with patients after the state learned the nurses had criminal records.
The findings come after the Star Tribune presented records to the Department of Human Services last year that 294 actively licensed nurses had criminal convictions ranging from fraud, assault and criminal sexual conduct that by law requires the agency to ban them from working directly with patients.
DHS didn't previously know about the backgrounds of 107 of those nurses, and worked to see if they were working in facilities licensed by the agency, such as group homes, nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
DHS Spokeswoman Karen Smigielski said that 35 of the 107 nurses were not in positions that would require a background study and disqualification. All of the 107 nurses who were disqualified will be able to appeal that decision and show how they do not pose a risk to patients, Smigielski said.
A reader contacted me to talk about her experience trying to buy a foreclosed house from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
HUD homes are sold in an “as-is” condition, but HUD is supposed to tell the buyer what required repairs need to be made before they can buy the home. The inspections are made by HUD contractors. Potential buyers can also take their own inspectors into the home to do their due diligence.
Our reader said her inspector found a defective boiler and other problems with a HUD home in the Twin Cities.
Have you ever purchased a HUD-owned home? Since purchasing it have you had to make repairs that you didn’t anticipate? Send me an email at email@example.com or call me at 612 673-4028.
JE Dunn, the contractor tasked with restoring the Minnesota State Capitol, is no longer failing the State’s minority and female workforce goals, the Minnesota Department of Human Rights announced Tuesday.
The human rights department gave the contractor a “1” rating, the highest possible designation, after the company made changes to its diversity work plan, such as hiring a new diversity manager and training subcontractors to recruit minorities and women.
Last April, JE Dunn was the only contractor to receiving a failing rating because the department said it was not making good faith efforts to recruit minorities.
At the time, JE Dunn’s project manager Jason McMillen blamed the low diversity rates on the low number of minority and female workers who could do the specialized work required in restoring the 108-year-old landmark.
Seniors who continue to receive scam calls about medical alert systems and other dubious offers can report them to a new anti-fraud hotline, launched by the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging last last year.
Although seniors can still report the calls to the Federal Trade Commission, the Senate’s hotline was established to make it easier for seniors to report fraud, especially for those who many not know which federal or state agency to contact.
Last week, the FTC announced it obtained a temporary restraining order against a Florida company that made mass robocalls claiming to offer free medical alerts. Whistleblower readers report that the calls continue.
The hotline will be staffed by a team of committee investigators, weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST.
“The investigators, who have experience with investment scams, identity theft, bogus sweepstakes and lottery schemes, Medicare and Social Security fraud, and a variety of other senior exploitation issues, will directly examine complaints and, if appropriate, refer them to the proper authorities,” the aging committee said in November.
The hotline number is 1-855-303-9470.
A company and its owners that pitched “free” medical alert devices for seniors have been stopped from making those calls after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Florida attorney general sued them this week.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said the Credit Voice received more than $13 million in commissions since March 2012 after robocalling senior citizens and falsely stating that they were eligible for a free medical alert system. Many seniors were told the system was already paid for, but in reality they were charged for the bogus services, according to the FTC.
After obtaining a temporary restraining order from a federal judge, the FTC and Bondi are seeking to permanently forbid the 13 defendants from engaging in robocalls and to provide restitution to victims.
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