Nursing home worker pleads guilty to felony charge

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by Lucy Bustamante, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on September 11, 2013 at 6:42 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 11 at 7:00 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH -- Margaret Chapman did not go to her job at the Autumn Care Nursing Home Wednesday in Chesapeake. Instead, she was at Virginia Beach District Court pleading guilty to a felony charge.
 
Chapman, who is a registered nurse, is charged with petit larceny third or subsequent offense and admits she stole from Walmart on Phoenix Avenue on Dec. 12.

George Yates is Chapman's attorney and says she is a good lady who made mistakes but he does not believe that any patients are in danger.

Autumn Care's Vice President of Marketing Kevin Cox tells 13News Now that Chapman was suspended from her position after they learned she pleaded guilty.

Virginia criminal code allows for felons to work in nursing homes as long as the crimes committed were not related to abuse or neglect.

Medical Malpractice Expert Attorney Kevin Duffan tells 13News Now that he believes larceny should be added to the list of crimes that are not allowed under the Virginia code.

"This type of crime shows you a person's character and what's to say that a person who steals from Walmart will not steal from a patient," said Duffan. 

Duffan recommends that before you put a loved one in a nursing home you should request criminal background check results for the employees that will surround your family member.

However, this will not happen If you choose Autumn Care. Cox says it is their corporate policy to not release their employees' information.

Sources tell 13News Now that the Board of Nursing is investigating the rest of the nurses who are employed at Autumn Care to insure that none has a criminal record.

Although felons are allowed to work in nursing homes, the Board of Nursing does not allow for a nurse to have a felony record.
 

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