Hartford, CT - Judge Blasts Agency for Hiring Caregiver Without Checking Criminal Record
Hartford, CT - A former caregiver with a history of arrests has been sentenced to a year behind bars for stealing from an elderly couple, but not before the judge lashed out at the agency that endorsed her without conducting a criminal background check.
Enfield Superior Court Judge Howard Scheinblum sentenced the former caregiver, Elizabeth Arter, 45, of Hartford to a year behind bars for cheating the elderly Granby couple out of $800 while she provided medical care for them.
Arter was convicted of fourth-degree larceny in the case.
But what perturbed Scheinblum more than Arter's crime was that Jewish Family Services of Hartford, a referral agency with a bank of caregivers, had endorsed Arter even though she harbored a lengthy criminal history.
"Health care providers need to do a better job on background checks," Scheinblum said in Superior Court.
Arter's criminal history includes multiple charges of larceny, possession of marijuana, and breach of peace.
During the sentencing hearing, Arter's lawyer, Carmine Giuliano, told Scheinblum that Arter had a drug problem and should be commended for seeking treatment and "trying to straighten herself out." "She never had any self-esteem," he said of Arter. "She deserves another chance, despite her record."
But Scheinblum stood behind his decision.
"I give you credit for trying to turn yourself around," he told Arter in court. "But I can't ignore your offense."
Officials at Jewish Family Services said they take the matter "very seriously," and have since implemented criminal background checks for the caregivers they refer. [journalinquirer]
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