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Community Digest

South Gate

April 04, 1985

State Convalescent Hospital has been placed on two years' probation after its owner pleaded no contest to 16 misdemeanor counts of patient abuse and neglect in Municipal Court.

Municipal Judge Frank Gafkowski, who imposed the probation Monday, also directed the nursing home's owner, Terry J. Brown, to pay $8,500 in criminal fines and $5,000 in civil penalties. Gafkowski dismissed an additional 28 misdemeanor counts in exchange for the plea.

The charges included failure to keep accurate charts on patients, lack of a registered nurse on duty, neglecting to prevent and cure ulcers and bedsores, failing to provide health examinations for employees and maintaining generally rundown facilities.

Charges were brought in November after an inspection in September, 1984, and other inspections in 1983 and 1984, said Deputy Dist. Atty. Lee Harris.

Although there is no difference between a plea of no contest and guilty in criminal prosecutions, in any civil suit against the nursing home that might follow, Brown's plea cannot be used as an admission of guilt.

Harris said the district attorney's office allowed Brown to enter a no contest plea because nursing home officials were "willing to show good faith" in efforts to improve conditions that led to the charges. Under the terms of the probation, the hospital will be supervised by the county Department of Health Services while it makes the improvements.

City officials say they were not consulted in Los Angeles County's decision to close Fire Station 52 on State Street because of the 47-year-old station's deteriorating condition.

"It was a deployment choice they made without really consulting us," said City Atty. Bruce Boogaard, who added that "deployment of resources is their (the county's) decision."

Bruce Spragg, the city's chief administrative officer, said he did not know if the closing of the station on Monday had anything to do with the county's request last year for $300,000 from the city, but said he plans to discuss the matter with county officials in a closed-door meeting scheduled for April 12.

County officials last year asked the city for $300,000 for the Fire Protection District to replace property tax money that had been diverted to the city redevelopment district.

The city has been a member of the county fire district since 1974.

Inspector Pat Bradshaw of East Los Angeles Fire Department headquarters said that eight firefighters and three firetrucks from Station 52 have been reassigned to other stations in South Gate, Watts and Huntington Park.

He added that the closing of Station 52 will not make "any noticeable change of service" to South Gate residents.

Bradshaw said the station was in "very poor shape" and had holes in the ceiling and plaster falling off the walls.

City police are looking for the owner of a wedding dress that was found in a box in the middle of Firestone Boulevard.

The gown and train, packed in a keepsake box, were found Saturday by Ragene and Marjorie Farris of Escondido, who wrote a letter to Police Chief Norman Phillips, asking for help in finding the unknown bride.

Phillips said the box in which the dress was packed fell off a pickup truck traveling west on Firestone Boulevard at approximately 9:40 a.m. Saturday.

Information about the dress may be obtained by calling the police department at 563-9500 or the Farrises at (619) 741-3403.

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