Special Reports

Letcher judge allows outside supervision of rest home to continue

A Letcher County judge on Friday issued a temporary injunction that will allow a court-appointed supervisor to continue to take over a personal-care home that has been the subject of state citations.

Another hearing in the case of the Golden Years Rest Home, which now houses 34 residents, is set in Letcher Circuit Court for Aug. 12.

On June 10, Letcher Circuit Judge Samuel Wright issued a temporary restraining order and appointed the supervisor, known as a receiver, at the request of Attorney General Jack Conway's office.

In the June 10 order, Wright said a receiver was necessary because Golden Years Rest Home was unsafe for residents, and officials were unable to account for a significant amount of personal funds of its residents, either because that money was misappropriated or because there were no records detailing what happened to some residents' money.

Former administrator James "Chum" Tackett has pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court to charges that involve taking federal money from residents at Golden Years. A trial is set for July 25 in U.S. District Court in Pikeville.

The personal-care home also has been cited for unsanitary conditions and unsafe practices regarding residents.

Meanwhile, the receiver, Linda Bell, has been able to address several problems she found at the home, including problems with hot water, air conditioning and the sprinkler system, Shelley Johnson, a spokeswoman for the Attorney General's office, said Friday.

"Our top priority is the safety of the residents in that facility," Johnson said. "The goal is to keep the facility running."