DA: Smithtown nurses abandoned kids on respirators

Suffolk County prosecutors went ahead with child endangerment charges against 10 nurses Thursday, even though a state agency cleared them of wrongdoing. Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Leonard Lato

News 12 Staff

Mar 23, 2007, 6:18 PM

Updated 6,327 days ago

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Suffolk County prosecutors went ahead with child endangerment charges against 10 nurses Thursday, even though a state agency cleared them of wrongdoing.
Suffolk Assistant District Attorney Leonard Lato says the nurses, who worked at Avalon Gardens nursing home in Smithtown, abandoned five sick children. Lato says the kids were between the ages of 2 and 7, and some were on respirators. According to Lato, the nurses, natives of the Philippines, quit their jobs without notice because of a dispute over money.
"These children had nothing to do with it," Lato said. "You cannot walk out on disabled children who have no one to call for."
A state agency that oversees nurses investigated the matter and cleared the nurses of wrongdoing.
"There's no crime here," defense attorney James Drucker said. "They didn't abandon kids. They gave notice."
The nurses are charged with child endangerment.


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