Fire Inspector Allegedly Took Bribes to "Clear" Nursing Homes From Safety Requirements

In a shocking case, a 25-year veteran of one of the largest fire departments in the country was charged with soliciting and accepting bribes from owners of nursing home facilities.

Prosecutors allege that the fire inspector accepted or solicited bribes ranging from $500 to $2,000 from operators of nursing care facilities run out of private homes.

"This is absolutely shocking. I think it's terrible, and it exposes the weaknesses in this system," said a state advocate for nursing care reform.

"We have almost 8,000 licensed residential care facilities in California. The state keeps licensing more every year. There is almost no oversight of these places. They are not inspected on an annual basis, or even every three years, but maybe once every five years.

"You are just kind of playing poker whenever you select one of these places and then you have something like this happen."

The inspector's duties were to ensure that the nursing homes met Fire Department standards for sprinklers, fire doors and fire exits - requirements designed to ensure the safety of bed-ridden patients. For more, read the story.

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Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia. 

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