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Wisconsin Closes Assisted Living Center Amidst Reports of Abuse

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According to a recent report in the Green Bay Press Gazette, the state of Wisconsin has ordered the Longview Terrace assisted living center to close. The administrator, Jason Tegge, has been accused of abusing residents. His mother, Debra Tegge—who is also the owner of the facility—has appealed the order.

Reports Indicate Several Violations of State Regulations

Longview Terrace consists of two separate facilities—Terrace 1 and Terrace II. A review of several state Department of Health Services inspection reports shows both were plagued by problems. It started in May 2013, when Terrace II received a notice of violation and an order to address the “management and documentation of resident funds,” and to establish an “accurate accounting system” to “ensure the protection of resident funds.”

In a notice dated September 6, 2013, the state revoked the operating license for Terrace I, noting that someone under the supervision of the license had put residents in danger. They ordered the facility not to admit any new residents, and to keep the “administrator” (Jason Tegge) away from the residents.

In a later notice and order dated December 30, 2013, the state says it completed a “complaint investigation” between September 25 and October 17 of Longview Terrace I, and as a result, issued a “notice of license revocation.” They state that a “licensee or a person under the supervision of the license” had “created a condition” that directly threatened the health, safety, or welfare of a resident in the facility.

The state ordered the facility not to admit any new or additional residents, to develop a written policy to address caregiver misconduct, and to provide “staff in sufficient numbers on a 24-hour basis to meet the needs of the residents at the level and frequency needed.” Allegedly, to care for 13 residents, the facility had only two employees working during the daytime hours, and only one on the overnight evening shift.

Residents Asked Neighbors to Call the Police

The Green Bay Press Gazette notes that Jason Tegge was convicted of second-degree sexual assault of a child in 2004, while he was working for Country Healthcare—parent company to Longview Terrace. A proper background check, which is required by state law, would have revealed this conviction.

Residents told inspectors they feared for their safety while Tegge was running the place. Some asked neighbors to call the police. According to the state inspection reports, caregivers left violent residents unsupervised, and forcibly restrained residents. Inspectors noted an incident in 2012 in which Tegge dragged a resident over the ground by the foot, continuing to pull even after the resident grabbed a handrail. It came off the wall.

Tegge is no longer working at the facility, and the Office of Caregiver Quality has received a referral to look more closely into his actions.

Connected Facilities Paying Fines

Meanwhile, reports also indicate similar problems at the other Longview Terrace facility, as well as another Country Healthcare operation in Oconto. In 2013, Debra Tegge agreed to a settlement with the Department of Health Services, paying fines totaling $6,750 for taking in abusive residents without providing proper resources or trained staff to care for them.

Lawsuits have not yet been filed in this case. Tegge’s mother has been allowed to keep the Longview Terrace facility open while her appeal is pending.