Attorney General Bill McCollum News Release
May 19, 2010
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
St. Lucie County Woman Arrested for Operating Unlicensed Assisted Living Facility
TALLAHASSEE, FL - Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that a St. Lucie County woman is in custody for operating an assisted living facility without a license. Novlette Whyte-Miller, 53, was arrested today by law enforcement officers with the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit with assistance from the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office.
The arrest resulted from an investigation by the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit's Patient Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation (PANE) team, acting on information received from the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA). Investigators determined that Whyte-Miller owned and operated an assisted living facility located in Fort Pierce, but Whyte-Miller admitted she did not possess any of the required licenses required by AHCA. In order to legally and properly operate an assisted living facility, there are various administrative and operational requirements which must be met including: licensing procedures, staffing requirements, compliance with county health and local fire authority regulations and the safe management of medication by trained staff personnel.
Whyte-Miller is being held at the St. Lucie County Jail and will be charged with one count of operating and/or maintaining an assisted living facility without a license, a third-degree felony. If convicted, she faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The case will be prosecuted by the Office of the State Attorney for the 19th Judicial Circuit.
The PANE Project plays a key role in detecting abuse and neglect of elderly and disabled patients, helping to ensure that efficient and effective health care is being provided.