Whitesburg KY

Rest home shut down

A court-appointed receiver and state officials decided to shut down a Jenkins personal care home after a lease agreement couldn’t be worked out with a potential owner.

Deputy Attorney General Patrick Hughes said Linda Bell, who was appointed receiver of Letcher County Golden Years Rest Home in June, made the decision Sept. 29 to close the facility in consultation with Letcher Circuit Judge Sam Wright, the Office of the Attorney General and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.

Wright said during an August 12 hearing in Letcher Circuit Court that he would review proposals from three firms interested in leasing Golden Years Rest Home after Bell and the attorney general’s offi ce asked Wright to authorize the receiver to execute a temporary operating lease. Hughes said an agreement could not be reached with a new owner.

Assistant Attorney General David Spenard said during the August 12 hearing that the amount of expenses it takes to house the residents and keep them in a reasonably safe environment is in excess of the amount of revenue the facility was generating.

Bell testified on August 12 that Golden Years owes about $88,000 in bank loans and $45,000 in smaller bills, including $20,000 to Gordon Food Service and $8,000 to Kentucky Power Company. Several years of state and federal taxes also have not been paid, she said.

Bell told Wright that it would probably take in excess of $850,000 to renovate the building and get it up to code.

The Attorney General’s Office said in a statement Friday that it has worked tirelessly to restore stability to Golden Years and to ensure the safety and care of its residents.

“We have exhausted every possible avenue to keep Golden Years open,” said the Attorney General’s Office’s statement. “The facility was in such dire financial condition at the time the receiver took possession; we are unable to preserve it.”

All 27 residents have been moved to other homes in eastern Kentucky, Bell said. Thirteen have been placed at Golden Years Rest Home in Lackey. Five are in group homes in Jenkins through Kentucky River Community Care. Two residents were placed at Alternative Outlook in Hindman. Two are residents at Mending Hearts in Jeff. Three residents went to Venture Homes in Paintsville. One resident was moved to Signature Healthcare in Pikeville and one went to Parkview Nursing Home in Pikeville.

In April 2010, James F. “Chum” Tackett, former administrator of Golden Years Rest Home, was charged in a 74-count indictment with stealing nearly $ 500,000 in federal and state funds intended for use by the rest home.

Tackett’s daughter, Kimberly Price, 42, of Booneville, Ky., was also indicted on one count of complicity to theft by failure to make required disposition of property over $ 10,000, three counts of complicity to theft by failure to make required disposition over $500 and two counts of complicity to knowing exploitation of an adult over $300. Price served as chairperson of the board of directors at Golden Years.

The indictments and arrests of Tackett and Price were the result of a sevenmonth investigation by the Attorney General’s Department of Criminal Investigations. The case is now being prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office.

The trial for Tackett was set for Oct. 3 in Letcher Circuit Court and Special Judge Ron Johnson heard motions. The attorneys are to meet at 1 p.m. on Oct. 10 for a motion hearing. Jurors are to report back in circuit court at 1 p.m. on Oct. 11.

In May, a federal grand jury in Pikeville returned an 11-page indictment charging Tackett with 19 counts of stealing more than $92,000 out of nearly 400 federal checks issued to Golden Years Rest Home residents from several federal programs.

In July, the Letcher County Grand Jury returned an indictment against James Tackett’s 25-year-old grandson, Jonah Tackett, on two counts of bribing a witness, two counts of tampering with a witness and three counts of theft by failure to make required disposition of property, all Class D felonies.

The theft charges against Jonah Tackett relate to his former role as administrator of the Golden Years Rest Home. The charges carry penalties of between one and five years in prison each, as well as an additional penalty upon conviction of a fine up to $10,000.

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