An East Williston nurse is banned from working in taxpayer-funded health care programs after her conviction for filing false records at a nursing home she once led.
A Nassau County jury convicted Riadel Manzano, 44, on Jan. 25 of offering a false instrument for filing, a felony, but acquitted her of an evidence-tampering charge after a six-day trial.
Judge Meryl Berkowitz sentenced Manzano to a conditional discharge Tuesday, meaning the state Office of Professional Discipline could revoke her nursing license, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s office said.
“Nursing home managers are entrusted to provide the highest level of safety and care to residents,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “There is no excuse for lying in order to cover up the abuse and neglect of elderly and vulnerable New Yorkers.”
Manzano was indicted in March 2016 after prosecutors alleged she gave state investigators a doctored document that showing a patient was properly monitored at the Woodmere Rehabilitation and Health Care Center, where she once worked as director.
Nurses were supposed to check on the patient every 30 minutes but instead left them alone, causing him to fall and cut open his head, Schneiderman’s office said. He was hospitalized, returned to the nursing home and then hospitalized again the next day for respiratory failure, the attorney general’s office said.
During a 2012 state Department of Health investigation, Manzano proffered a document showing the patient had been monitored even though she knew it was false, prosecutors alleged.
Three other former nursing home employees who cooperated with investigators have pleaded guilty to charges related to the incident, Schneiderman’s office said.
Alex Bateman, Manzano’s Uniondale-based attorney, said Manzano plans to appeal her conviction, which he said was “a mistake in understanding of the law by the jury.”
Berkowitz noted in court that Manzano was never accused of directly hurting or neglecting a patient, Bateman said.
“We were very pleased that the jury found that there was no evidence whatsoever that Ms. Manzano and anything to do with falsification or tampering of records,” Bateman said.
Bateman said last year that Manzano no longer worked at the Woodmere nursing home.