Attorney General Bill McCollum News Release
June 30, 2010
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
Jackson County Caregiver Arrested for Abusing Disabled Adult
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced today that a Jackson County man has been arrested on charges that he abused a disabled man under his care. Howard Earl McKinnie, formerly employed by the Sunland Center in Marianna, was arrested by law enforcement officers with the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit with assistance from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.
Investigators with the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit’s Patient Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation (PANE) Team received a complaint from the Florida Department of Children and Families Adult Protective Services that McKinnie, 56, struck a disabled male resident several times. The incident was reported by a witness and McKinnie was subsequently terminated from his employment at the center.
McKinnie is charged with one count of abuse of a disabled adult, a third-degree felony. If convicted, he faces up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. The case will be prosecuted by the State Attorney’s Office for the 14th Judicial Circuit.
The Attorney General’s 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. The PANE team operates statewide under the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.