Police anticipate more arrests in heat-related deaths at Hollywood nursing home
Administrator, 3 nurses at Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills arrested
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – The Hollywood Police Department is expected to make more arrests in connection with the heat-related deaths of 12 patients at a nursing home after its air conditioning stopped working in the days after Hurricane Irma in 2017.
Jorge Carballo, a former administrator of the now-shuttered Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, was arrested Monday, along with supervising nurse Sergo Colin and nurses Althia Meggie and Tamika Miller.
Carballo was released from jail Tuesday and hurried to an awaiting vehicle. He did not speak with reporters.
The arrests mark the first criminal charges involving the September 2017 incident at the nursing home.
"Additional arrests are anticipated," Hollywood Police Chief Chris O'Brien said Tuesday during a news conference.
Carballo, Colin, Meggie and Miller each face first-degree felony charges of aggravated manslaughter. Meggie and Miller also face third-degree felony charges of tampering with evidence in connection with patient medical records.
"The actions and inactions of the four individuals -- the two nurses responsible for the hands-on care of patients, the nursing supervisor and the facility administrator -- led to the deaths of these patients," Maj. Steven Bolger said.
Residents were removed from the facility Sept. 13, 2017, after their body temperatures topped 100 degrees at the nursing home, which was across from Memorial Regional Hospital. Eight people died that day from the sweltering heat, while four others died in the days that followed.
Administrators at the nursing home, owned by Larkin Community Hospital, blamed Florida Power & Light for not restoring electricity to the facility in a timely manner after the storm.
Some families of the victims filed wrongful-death lawsuits against the facility.
David Frankel, an attorney who represents one of the former employees, said his client tried to get help.
"I can tell you they didn't do enough," O'Brien said. "They are trained professionals (who) should have been aware of the environmental hazards that are taking place in that facility and they chose to ignore them."
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