Senator Joe Pennacchio and Senator Kristin Corrado today questioned Murphy’s selections of new leadership at the veterans home in Menlo Park.
Sen. Joe Pennacchio and Sen. Kristin Corrado questioned Murphy’s selections of new leadership at the veterans home in Menlo Park, where more than 100 residents died. (SenateNJ.com)
“The Governor’s bold idea for new leadership to fix our veterans homes is to bring back those who failed the first time around,” said Pennacchio (R-26). “I can’t believe that’s the best he could do.”
A report published Thursday on NorthJersey.com revealed the names of new leadership at both the Menlo Park facility and the veterans facility in Paramus. The list included Scott Mueller, who was the assistant CEO at Menlo Park until Murphy shuffled leadership before the first of the year.
“This guy was on site when the bodies were dropping,” Pennacchio. “More than 100 seniors lost their lives in the 180-resident facility while Scott Mueller stood silent. He never sounded the alarm or took action to save lives. Yet, like Groundhog’s Day, he’s coming back. It is frightening, and it defies logic.”
Mueller was facing a 5-day suspension in 2017 for failing to preserve video evidence in four alleged incidences abuse or neglect of residents, according to a Civil Service Commission decision in 2018.
“You have to wonder why Murphy would bring him back,” said Corrado (R-40). “I can’t imagine the State can’t find more qualified candidates without the baggage. These are our veterans homes, where the men and women who served our nation go to live out their final years with colleagues from all branches of the military. They deserve better, but it would seem Murphy hasn’t learned anything from the tragedy within the walls.”
Senate and Assembly Republicans will livestream an independent hearing tomorrow at 10 a.m. to review Murphy administration policies that led to nearly 8,000 deaths and substantial hardship in New Jersey’s nursing homes, veterans homes, and long-term care (LTC) facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Pennacchio and Corrado will discuss the Governor’s leadership choices for the State-run veterans homes with witnesses at the hearing.
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