They’re like boomerangs, toss them away and they come flying back
When thousands of dollars belonging to elderly residents of a veterans home went missing, police set out to catch the thief. A video camera they hid showed nurse’s aide Linda Riccitelli creeping into a 93-year-old man’s room and sticking her hand in a dresser drawer stashed with bait money.
Investigators confirmed the cash was gone and the video showed that no one else had opened the drawer.
Prosecutors charged Riccitelli with burglary, and the Department of Veterans Affairs fired her. To most, it seemed like an open-and-shut case. But a little-known state agency that rules on employee discipline saw things differently. It ordered Riccitelli re-hired, with three years’ back pay because, they said, the evidence was “circumstantial.”
The thief not only was re-hired, but essentially got a three year paid vacation.
It doesn’t stop with DVA workers, either;
The board also ordered psychiatric technician Gregory Powell back to work at the Sonoma Developmental Center after he had been fired for hitting a profoundly disturbed patient so hard with a shoe that police found welts matching the pattern of the sole three hours later.
After the patient refused Powell’s repeated order to put his shoes on, a psychologist said she saw Powell smacking the patient with a shoe as he cowered on a couch.
Powell said the seated patient had attacked him. He denied hitting the man with the shoe. More than three years later, in October 2009, the board sided with Powell, discounting the police report and arguing the psychologist had been new at the time and wasn’t familiar with the patient’s “aggressive proclivities.”
The Department of Developmental Services filed unsuccessful appeals that kept him away from the facility until August of this year, Powell said in an interview Tuesday.
Then, in late September, another co-worker accused him of neglect for leaving a medication cart unlocked and a patient without her oxygen, Powell said. Investigators found no wrongdoing, Powell said, but he has decided to resign and take a job in the state prison system instead.
Read it all. Then thank a Democrat for voting for this kind of government.