A former director of nursing services at a Woodmere rehabilitation center was sentenced Tuesday to a conditional discharge after a felony conviction for falsifying records, prosecutors said.
Riadel Manzano, 45, of East Williston also will be barred from working for any health care programs the government funds and faces losing her nursing license, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said in a statement.
Alexander Bateman, Manzano’s attorney, said she planned to appeal. The registered nurse was pleased that “the jury acquitted her on any charges or allegations concerning tampering with any documents,” he said.
Prosecutors charged that Manzano knowingly gave a Department of Health investigator a record showing the home’s nursing staff had monitored a patient as required.
However, the patient of the Woodmere Rehabilitation and Health Care Center was seriously injured after repeatedly falling when he was not being monitored, Schneiderman said.
After one fall, he had to be hospitalized and his head wound required stapling, he said.
The patient returned to Woodmere the next day only to be rehospitalized, this time with respiratory failure and pneumonia, after he was found “sitting on the floor,” prosecutors said.
“Nursing home managers are entrusted to provide the highest level of safety and care to residents,” Schneiderman said.
He added: “There is no excuse for lying in order to cover up the abuse and neglect of elderly and vulnerable New Yorkers.”
The defendant’s attorney noted that Nassau County Court Judge Meryl Berkowitz, who presided over the six-day trial that resulted in the Jan. 25 conviction, pointed out at Tuesday’s sentencing “that no conduct by Ms. Manzano had anything to do with patient neglect or injuries.”
“And I think that was reflected in the fact that [she was sentenced] to a conditional discharge,” he said.