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Woman Cleared in Senior-Care Probe

November 18, 1998|ANDREW STEVEN HARRIS

Ventura County sheriff's deputies have cleared a former senior care home operator of serious wrongdoing in connection with the deaths of two elderly residents, but authorities are still pursuing an investigation into lesser charges against her.

After a five-month probe, Ventura-based homicide detectives have decided not to bring serious charges against Grazyna "Grace" Baran, who was under investigation on suspicion of murder and manslaughter.

The case, however, has been referred to the Sheriff Department's office in Thousand Oaks, which will continue to investigate whether Baran violated any laws during her supervision of the two residents at her elder-care facility on Doone Street.

Baran was unavailable for comment.

Baran had operated four elder-care homes in the city until June 3, when the state Department of Social Services revoked her license and relocated her residents after learning of the two deaths.

According to state officials, Baran failed to notify them, as required by law, of the death of Jack Malven, 88, of Westlake Village, and then failed to properly supervise his wife, Dorothy Malven, 86, leading to her hospitalization with a urinary tract infection, bedsores, bruising and a massive ulcer. She later died.

Both incidents occurred at one of Baran's care facilities on Doone Street, but officials also shut down the other Doone Street home as well as locations on Kirk Avenue and Tennyson Street under her control.

Baran agreed to a settlement in which she did not acknowledge specific liability but admitted that the state had both grounds and cause to revoke her license. She also agreed to not reapply for a license for at least four years and not to work for, enter or have any contact with the residents of an elder-care facility during the time of her suspension.

Baran's mother, Halina, continues to operate care facilities in the city.

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