The Des Moines Register and KRCG reported an obscene travesty of justice. Prosecutors have dropped felony dependent adult abuse-exploitation charges against nursing home owner and operator Marc Johnson whose company runs the Danville Care Center. In December 2016, Iowa’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit charged Johnson with two felonies: Fraudulent practices and dependent-adult abuse in the form of financial exploitation. Evidence shows that Johnson stole about $1,700 from a resident to buy a television and other items.
The bizarre decision not to prosecute means Johnson, the president of Cardinal Care Co., will not be tried for an alleged offense that would legally disqualify him from employment as one of his company’s nurse aides, housekeepers or janitors.
“For the county attorney to close her eyes to this and leave this man in a position of authority so the business can remain open just seems absurd to me,” said Dean Lerner, an advocate for seniors who once ran the Iowa agency that inspects nursing homes.
“This doesn’t pass the smell test,” said John Hale, a consultant and advocate for Iowa’s elderly. “A person isn’t prosecuted because of the impact it might have on their business? I was taught that justice is blind. It certainly doesn’t appear so in this case.”
Last fall, a representative of the development company that owns the home contacted prosecutors and warned that if Johnson was convicted, his company would have to sever ties with Cardinal Care, and the home would have to close. However, the president of the development company, Matthew Hauptman, said this week that while he feels it was unlikely the home would have closed, his company had to guard against that possibility.
The federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services rates the quality of care at the Danville Care Center as “below average.”