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Director issues statement regarding charges against former contract employee

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Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency Director James Robert Redford issued the following statement regarding the announcement that Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker has filed fourth-degree Vulnerable Adult Abuse charges against Laurie Botbyl, a former contract employee, following an incident at the Grand Rapids Home for Veterans on March 27, 2016.

“The Michigan Veteran Health System/Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency has zero tolerance for careless and deliberate actions that endanger the veterans we are trusted to care for in our state homes. We support the actions of the Kent County prosecutors to thoroughly investigate the incident on March 27, 2016 and the decision to issue charges. The safety of our Members is our top priority and while incidents of this nature are rare, there is no place in our workforce for anyone who does not value or respect the veterans we have the privilege to serve.”

Background

An incident occurred between a caregiver and a member at the GRHV at 11:16 p.m. on March 27, 2016. The incident, which occurred in a secure unit dedicated to those suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia, was witnessed by several staff and recorded by a security camera. The contract employee was notified that she was not to return to the GRHV and MVHS management filed a police report regarding the incident, sent an incident report to the federal VA and reported the former employee to the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.