Watertown, NY – NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs Special Prosecutor Patricia E. Gunning has announced the guilty plea of a former Jefferson Rehabilitation Center (JRC) aide on charges she caused an injury to a person with disabilities, failed to seek medical attention, and then covered up the incident.

Carmela Crandall (DOB: 04/03/80) of Watertown pled guilty to the following charges:

  • One count of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the Second Degree, a class “A” misdemeanor; and
  • One count of Falsifying Business Records in the Second Degree, a class “A” misdemeanor.

Crandall entered her plea in Jefferson County Court before the Honorable Judge Kim Martusewicz. Sentencing is scheduled for June 28 at 10:00 am.

The charges stemmed from a July 2016 incident in which Crandall failed to properly transfer an individual with a disability, causing the individual to fall and suffer bruises and a bloody nose. Crandall then failed to seek medical attention or to inform an RN or supervisor of the incident, falsified documents on the incident, and attempted to cover it up by cleaning and hiding bloody items.

“This worker disregarded her training and in so doing caused significant injury to a vulnerable person in her care.  Instead of getting proper medical attention for the victim’s injuries, the defendant, in an effort to protect herself, misrepresented what happened and falsified the record,” said Special Prosecutor Gunning. “Workers like this defendant who put their own interests ahead of the individuals in their care must be held accountable. This plea should send a message to anyone similarly inclined to ignore their responsibilities to vulnerable New Yorkers that they should not cover up their own misconduct.”

Justice Center Supervising Assistant Special Prosecutor Linda Gafford is prosecuting the case.

JRC is certified by the NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities.

About the Justice Center

The Justice Center operates a toll-free hotline for people to report allegations of abuse, neglect, and significant incidents 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Anyone who witnesses or suspects an act of abuse or neglect has been committed can make a report. Because the Justice Center is not a first responder, callers are directed to call 9-1-1 if there is an emergency that requires an immediate medical or police response.

The Justice Center has authority to investigate all reports of abuse and neglect in covered facilities and programs, pursue administrative sanctions against staff found responsible for misconduct, and its Special Prosecutor/Inspector General shares jurisdiction with local District Attorneys to prosecute criminal offenses involving allegations of abuse or neglect. The Justice Center notifies local district attorneys of all cases of abuse and neglect that occur in their jurisdiction.

Justice Center Individual and Family Support advocates provide guidance and information to victims, their families, personal representatives, and guardians about the reporting and investigation process, offer support during criminal court proceedings, and are available to accompany victims during interviews and court appearances.

Editor’s note: In compliance with Rule 3.6(b)(6) of the Rules of Professional Conduct, you are advised that a charge is an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 10, 2017 Contact: Bill Reynolds (518) 549-0200