A state-supported living center employee who complained about alleged abuses at the facility claims she was fired for speaking out.
Sylvia Burgos said she was fired after she filed a complaint with the state over conditions that she says could endanger residents of the El Paso State Supported Living Center at 6700 Delta.
"They fired me and I'm gone, but I'm worried about the residents who are still there and what might happen to them," said Burgos, a former direct-service provider who had assisted a special-needs resident who was taken to an emergency room with a perforated colon.
"I offered to take a polygraph and requested one to prove that I was telling the truth, but they terminated me instead," she said.
The center, which helps people with special needs and has 145 beds, referred questions about Burgos and her allegations about the center's employees to the Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services, or DADS, in Austin. The department oversees the El Paso center, which has 126 residents and provides 24-hour residential services, including comprehensive behavioral-treatment services and health-care services, including physician, nursing and dental services.
According to a May 22 report by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission/Office of Inspector General in El Paso, the office received a complaint on April 25 alleging that Burgos made a false report to a peace officer at the El Paso center. That finding was issued after Burgos filed her report against the state center.
Burgos' says her allegedly false statement became the focus of the investigation by Office of Inspector General Officer Efrain Sianez -- instead of her abuse allegations.
Other center staff members, who asked not to be named because they fear reprisals, said Burgos' firing will have a chilling effect on future reports of abuse by the staff.
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El Paso State Center Ex-Worker Alleges Abuse of Residents