State Sen. Bruce Tarr is pushing legislation to close a loophole in elder care law and create an independent ombudsman to address issues like those in the controversial case of Joseph Judd, the Gloucester great-grandfather at the core of an 18-month-old dispute between his caregivers and his family.
Tarr, the Senate minority leader, said his staff is also studying the appropriate avenue to investigate complaints against SeniorCare Inc., the Gloucester-based management company that oversees many state-funded elder services in Essex County.
He said he wants to know what specifically the state Executive Office of Elder Affairs, which gives SeniorCare about $9 million a year, did to investigate the Judd case after complaints were raised in June 2010 by Judd's grandson, Vito Loiacono.
An internal review by SeniorCare reportedly found no wrongdoing by its employees but left Judd's family dissatisfied.
SeniorCare has refused to release the specific findings of its probe to Judd's family. SeniorCare, which manages the services at McPherson, has repeatedly refused to discuss the case with Judd's family or the press, citing privacy concerns.
Gloucester Police also carried out two investigations, and released a report earlier this year indicating they did not find any evidence that would merit "criminal" charges. Police also, however, noted that SeniorCare was to address a number of "health-care" issues.
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Tarr Eyes Probe of SeniorCare Oversight