Durham Owner Meets With Government Agencies About Rest Homes
Posted August 23, 2002 5:43 a.m. EDT
DURHAM, N.C. — The owner of three Durham rest homes under investigation is now defending the facilities.
Faiger Blackwell went through a 3 1/2-hour meeting with state and Durham County investigators after officials had serious concerns about two of Blackwell's rest homes in Durham County.
"He came prepared to explain some of the issues that have been raised by our agency and the Division of Facility Services and indicated very clearly that he felt that significant progress had been made at both of the facilities that were discussed today," said Dan Hudgins, director of Durham County Social Services.
The Hanson Hills rest home could have its license revoked and Durham Village may end up operating under very tight restrictions. Blackwell said he is trying to comply with state regulations.
"We're working hard with the county and with the state. That's what the meeting was about today, to make sure the operations are straightened out," he said.
Officials shut down Blackwell's Durham Manor after he surprised state and county officials by moving the five residents to Caswell County.
"It wasn't under suspicious circumstances. It was for protection of residents. That's why we did it," he said.
"We were notified after the residents had left the facility. Now, if anyone else was notified prior, I don't know anything about that," Hudgins said.
After hearing from Blackwell, state officials said they are reviewing their next step.
"We want to make a decision based on our attorney's recommendation whether we should just go ahead and revoke the license at Hanson Hills and issue a provisional license at Durham Village," said Jim Upchurch, NC Division Of Facility services
A decision on the case is expected next week. Officials from government agencies said four of the five residents transferred this week to Caswell County say they want to move back to the Durham area.