Minnesota Attorney General Mike Hatch today filed a lawsuit against Concordia Care Center, a Minneapolis nursing home, alleging that it jeopardized the health and safety of its vulnerable adult patients by accepting multiple convicted sex offenders to its nursing home and by condoning the presence of other deplorable conditions.

The lawsuit alleges that Concordia, a 94-bed nursing home, accepted referrals of convicted sex offenders from Minnesota prisons in 2002, 2003 and 2004, jeopardizing the health and safety of its vulnerable adult patients. For example, the lawsuit alleges that Concordia accepted referrals of the following convicted sex offenders:

Sex Offender W.K. W.K. is a 44-year old male sex offender who was admitted to Concordia from the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Oak Park Heights on or about February 12, 2004. W.K., a Level 2 sex offender, was on supervised release under the jurisdiction of the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

In 1997, W.K. was charged with first and second degree criminal sexual conduct against a vulnerable adult. Within days of arriving at Concordia, W.K. developed a friendship with a female resident at Concordia. After the patient learned of W.K.'s criminal sexual history, she attempted to end the friendship. W.K. began to follow the female patient and one night was found in her room, hovering over her bed. He was discharged back to the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Lino Lakes in March, 2004 due to his behavior toward the female resident.

Sex Offender J.A. Concordia admitted J.A., a 26-year old male sex offender, to the facility on July 30, 2003. J.A. was allowed to keep his Husky dog at Concordia.

The dog was allowed to wander without a leash into the dining room and put its mouth on the food of other residents. J.A., a Level 2 sex offender under the jurisdiction of the Department of Corrections, has a history of pedophilia. In the fall of 2003, N.M., a 43-year old female with diagnoses including mental retardation, borderline intelligence and schizophrenia, was admitted to Concordia.

N.M. has been observed talking in a child-like voice, crying, and carrying a doll. Less than ten days after N.M.'s admission to Concordia, J.A. was found in N.M.'s room, fondling her private parts. A few days later, N.M. was taken to the emergency room for abdominal bleeding. J.A. admitted penetrating N.M.'s vagina. Witnesses observed J.A. grabbing N.M.'s buttocks. A picture of N.M. naked from the waist down, lying on her back with her legs spread apart, was found in J.A.'s wallet. Concordia instructed an employee of the facility to destroy this evidence, but he refused to do so. Concordia management thought the relationship between J.A. and N.M. was cute and talked about buying a ring for J.A. to present to N.M.

Sex Offender A.S. A.S. is a 54-year old male admitted to Concordia from the Minnesota Correctional Facility at Faribault. A.S. is a convicted sex offender with a history of oral sex involving a minor. At Concordia, A.S. fondled the breasts of a female resident, D.N. Although D.N.'s psychologist stated that D.N. was unable to make informed sexual decisions, Concordia's files indicate that it treated this incident as consensual sex.

The lawsuit alleges that Concordia failed to inform its staff, residents, their families, and others that convicted sex offenders were residing at Concordia along with vulnerable adult patients. The lawsuit alleges that Concordia misrepresents to prospective residents, family members and others, that the facility is secure, safe and provides a high standard and quality of care, while omitting the material fact that accepts replacement convicted sex offenders.

The lawsuit alleges that Concordia management condoned the presence of other unsafe and deplorable conditions, including the presence of rats, which Concordia instructed its staff to tell residents (many of whom had dementia and other similar conditions) were bunnies. The lawsuit also alleges that Concordia falsely claimed that its staff made regular, periodic compliance rounds; that Concordia acquiesces in sexual relationships between the convicted sex offenders and vulnerable adults pursuant to a permissive sexual contact policy; that Concordia staff members were observed sleeping on the job; and that Concordia failed to adequately train and oversee its staff.

Concordia Care Center, which is located at 1620 Oak Park Avenue North in Minneapolis, is owned and operated by Benchmark Health Care of Minneapolis, Inc.

The lawsuit was filed in Hennepin County District Court. It alleges violations of consumer protection laws preventing deceptive trade practices, false advertising and consumer fraud; Medicaid fraud; violation of the patients' bill of rights; and deceptive acts perpetrated against senior citizens and handicapped persons. The lawsuit seeks an injunction, civil penalties and other appropriate relief.