Gov. Jerry Brown signs bill stemming from 2013
Castro Valley care home case
San Jose Mercury News
Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Thursday a bill that would require applicants looking to get licensed to run a residential care facility for the elderly to disclose prior ownership of any type of facility in any state.
The bill -- AB 601 -- was authored by Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, D-Stockton, and establishes specific suitability requirements for all licensing applicants, according to a news release from the California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform. The bill also requires the state Department of Social Services to cross-check applicant information with the state Department of Public Health, and allows the Department of Social Services to revoke or deny a license when someone fails to disclose required information, the release stated.
Before the bill was signed into law, there were few requirements for new licensee applicants. Background information was not cross-checked with other licensing agencies, allowing people who may have faced significant fines or violations in other states to apply for a license in California and be approved to run a facility.
In October 2013, the owner of Valley Springs Manor in Castro Valley and many of the facility's staff abandoned over a dozen residents after the state abruptly shuttered the facility for various violations. The residents were left in the care of a part-time cook and a janitor before paramedics and the Alameda County Sheriff's Office were called in and rescued the men and women.
In March, Attorney General Kamala Harris announced that Valley Springs Manor owner Herminigilda Noveda Manuel and administrator Edgar Babael had been charged with 14 felony counts of elder abuse related to abandoning the residents of their facility. Manuel and Babel face up to 17 years in prison and a fine of up to $6,000 per count.
Before Manuel applied for a license to run Valley Springs Manor, she had a slew of fines owed to federal and state licensing agencies for deficiencies and citations when she owned four California nursing homes, including one in Modesto.