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Departure of elder care ombudsman gives governor new opening to reveal allegiances

When Harold J. “Jim” Crochet, Florida’s top watchdog for residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities, quietly submitted his retirement papers last week, it marked the end of a tumultuous administration that prompted widespread criticism Crochet had turned the Long-term Care Ombudsman Program into a rubber stamp for the powerful industry.

Because he had been placed on “indefinite” leave as the Department of Elder Affairs, which houses the Ombudsman Program, conducts an internal investigation into undisclosed allegations of wrongdoing, Crochet likely will never return to the agency he headed for more than two years.

Nevertheless, the inspector general’s investigation will continue, said Ashley Marshall, a Department of Elder Affairs spokeswoman.

Crochet, whose home number appears to be disconnected, could not be reached by the Miami Herald. More from Carol Marbin Miller here. 

 

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