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Federal Investigators Target Troubled North Side Nursing Home

By Anthonia Akitunde in News on Jan 9, 2010 10:00PM

Photo by citytripod
A team of federal investigators has probed the records of a North Side nursing home, which has long drawn the ire of local and state officials, the Tribune reports.

Unusual in its scope and breadth, the team of at least seven investigators from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has spent the past week auditing and inspecting Somerset Place, 5009 N. Sheridan Road. The nursing home specializes in mentally ill adults, but is also home to 66 felons out of its 400 residents. According to the Tribune, the team started their audit after reports of problems at the facility from Alderman Mary Ann Smith, 48th, and the paper itself.

Records show that between April 2008 to July 2009, "Chicago police investigated 15 alleged assaults or batteries inside Somerset, as well as five reported cases of criminal sexual assault and another five reports of narcotics possession," the report said. Crimes also made their way out of the home and into the neighborhood. Neighborhood groups complained of residents illegal activities.

One case is that of Maratta Walker, a Somerset resident who was also a prostitute and used crack cocaine in the home. In May 2008, Walker was found dead and decomposing in a nearby hotel room after engaging in a "days-long binge of drinking, sex, crack-smoking and heroin use" with a man she met on the street, the report said.

[Chicago Tribune]