Two former leaders of a Holyoke, Massachusetts soldiers’ home were indicted on charges of criminal neglect in connection to the deaths of at least 76 residents from COVID-19, the state’s attorney general said on Friday.
Former Superintendent Bennett Walsh, 50, and former Medical Director Dr. David Clinton, 71, were indicted Thursday by a state grand jury on charges related to their work at the facility the Soldiers’ Home.
The Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke is a state-run facility that provides healthcare, hospice care, and other assistance to veterans. It came under scrutiny in early April when the AG’s office said it learned of “serious issues with Covid-19 infection control procedures.”
“We began this investigation on behalf of the families who lost loved ones under tragic circumstances and to honor these men who bravely served our country,” Attorney General Maura Healey said on Friday at a news conference. The 174-page report blasted the senior hospital staff for reckless decisions that caused the coronavirus to run rampant in the home.
“We allege that the actions of these defendants during the COVID-19 outbreak at the facility put veterans at higher risk of infection and death and warrant criminal charges.”
“We believe this is the first criminal case in the country brought against those involved in nursing homes during the Covid-19 pandemic,” Healey added.