Two women, including the former owner-operator, have pleaded guilty to charges ranging from mistreatment of a patient to Medicaid fraud at an Eatonville nursing facility.
Pleas were entered last week in Pierce County Superior Court for Jodi DeShawn Becker and Joann Hardtke. According to court records, Becker, who owned and ran Eatonville Manor, which was shut down in 2011, confessed to charges of criminal mistreatment, first-degree theft and filing false Medicaid information with the state. She was sentenced to 75 days in jail, six months of community supervision and a year of parole, and was ordered to pay $146,078 in restitution.
Hardtke, a nurse practitioner who worked at Eatonville Manor, pleaded guilty to criminal mistreatment, must pay a $3,700 fine, and is barred for five years from caring for vulnerable patients in government-funded, long-term care.
Charges were initially filed more than a year ago in the case prosecuted by the state attorney general’s office. Most of the allegations focused on Becker. Authorities accused her of causing bodily harm to a state Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) client that led to his death, and of filing a false Medicaid statement.
Hardtke was identified by DSHS the medical provider of its client..
The Medicaid fraud unit from the attorney general’s staff launched an investigation after receiving a referral from DSHS respresentatives of the agency’s Aging and Adult Services, Resident Care Services and the Complaint Resolution Unit. The probe resulted in charges being filed in December 2011 in Pierce County Superior Court.
Investigators said that from December 2008 to April 2009, Becker and Hardtke failed to prevent a patient from developing pressure sores, and that the patient eventually died following treatment for the condition.
Charges against Becker of theft and being involved with a Medicaid false statement stemmed from her refusing to have properly trained staff at and lying about their training status from May 2008 to March 2010, authorities claimed. Those actions allowed her to receive Medicaid and personal funds from residents, according to authorities who have accused Becker of stealing $265,603 from the state and patients.
Eatonville Manor’s license, which was held by Becker, was revoked in March 2011 after DSHS reported issues with the care of residents. After an appeal process, the agency ordered all residents to be removed. The last one was moved out Dec. 23, 2011, according to DSHS officials.