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Lansdowne assisted living home operators plead guilty to neglect

The owner and an employee of an adult assisted-living facility in Lansdowne each pleaded guilty to four counts of neglect of a vulnerable adult in early March, after investigators found 16 people living in a home licensed to care for four.

Dione Griffin, 45, owner of Griffin’s Loving Care, and her daughter and former employee Dijon Lee, 26, are each facing up to five years in prison for each of the four counts.

Other charges against both women, including reckless endangerment and possession of opioid painkillers with intent to distribute, were dropped in the plea deals, which were filed on March 6 and 7.

Griffin and Lee were indicted by a Baltimore County grand jury in June of last year after state health investigators and Baltimore County police received a tip about the home, which housed elderly and frail adults.

The facility was licensed to care for four residents, but in March last year state investigators found 15. Another resident was also living there, bringing the total to 16.

Investigators visited the home after a relative of a resident told the state Office of Health Care Quality that she had found her relative tied to a chair with moldy dentures on a nearby sink, Baltimore County police spokeswoman Officer Jennifer Peach told the Arbutus Times last year.

A state health department report from that March investigation said authorities found residents locked in the home with no staff present.

Two wheelchair-bound residents were locked in a room with no bathroom, food or water, the report said. The investigators said they also found locks on the refrigerator doors on the second floor, and saw a resident drinking water from the bathroom sink.

The home’s assisted living program license was suspended in April 2017 and it was shut down.

An attorney for Griffin did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Marshall Henslee, the attorney representing Lee, declined to comment.

Prosecutor John Magee with the State’s Attorney’s office declined to comment on the case until after the sentencing hearing, which is scheduled for May.

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