Nessel brings charges against adult caregiver

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced Diane Kay Lott, 58, of Owosso, was charged Wednesday morning with 10 counts of fourth degree Vulnerable Adult Abuse for her role in creating unreasonable health and safety risks to her residents.

Fourth degree Vulnerable Adult Abuse is a misdemeanor punishable by one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.

Wednesday's charges are the second to come from the Attorney General's Office after Nessel announced her new Elder Abuse Task Force in late March. The charges follow an investigation into Lott the owner and licensee of an Owosso-based adult foster care home after the Attorney General's Office was provided with a complaint from the Michigan Office of Long Term Care Ombudsman Program. The complaint alleged Lott had 10 adult residents in her care at two facilities but failed to properly care for them.

During an unannounced visit as part of the investigation, Nessel's investigators discovered three employees worked part time at the facility and not a single employee was CPR or first aid certified. The facility's medication provider certificate was also expired.

The Attorney General's Office immediately notified the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Adult Protective Services and the Owosso Police. Within hours, the three agencies responded to the facility to relocate residents to be properly cared for.

"I'm proud of how these agencies worked together to intervene, putting the safety of these residents first," Nessel said. "Vulnerable adult abuse will not be tolerated by this office and we will continue to protect the health, safety and well-being of our most vulnerable citizens."

"Unfortunately, elder abuse crimes continue to be a serious problem in Michigan, affecting thousands of older adults in communities across the state," said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon. "I want to personally thank our Adult Protective Services staff and our local partners who responded quickly and effectively to the ombudsman's elder abuse complaint in Owosso. It will take a continued effort from all of us to address this growing problem."

Lott was arraigned before Judge Terrance P. Dignan of the 66th District Court and released on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond. She is due back in court for a pre-trial conference 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, May 21.

Published: Fri, May 17, 2019

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