December 12, 2018
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Former Penobscot nursing home where residents were mistreated will be auctioned

Bill Trotter | BDN
Bill Trotter | BDN
The former Northern Bay Residential Living Center at 12 Northern Penobscot Road in Penobscot.

A former nursing home where inspectors found mistreated residents and substandard conditions — and once the town of Penobscot’s largest single taxpayer — will go up for auction in late November.

Electronic bidding on the former Northern Bay Residential Living Center at 12 Northern Penobscot Road will open Nov. 20 and close seven days later, according to an advertisement on tranzon.com.

The agent handling the auction, Jill R. Daviero of Tranzon Auction Properties, confirmed that the property was up for the auction via email. She did not return messages seeking comment.

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Town officials declined to comment on the auction. According to town records, the owner of the property is Sifwat Real Estate LLC, based in Brooklin, and the property is current on its taxes.

The 2016 closing of the 97-bed center, which had been an assisted living facility as well as the 54-bed Penobscot Nursing Home, ended what had been a series of problems federal and state inspectors found at the facility.

The nursing home lost its Medicaid and Medicare certifications in 2014, forcing that portion of the facility to close and its residents to find new places to live. Federal officials terminated reimbursement from both programs following a series of inspections that began the year before.

[Former nursing home aide gets 45 days for assault on patient]

Five inspection reports obtained by the Bangor Daily News cited an alleged sexual assault of a nursing home patient by an aide on March 26, 2014, and the death of another patient after a fall at the nursing home on April 29, 2014.

Sara N. Comtois, then 23 and a resident of Castine, who worked as a nursing aide at the nursing home, received a sentence of three years in prison with all but 45 days suspended for a Class C felony charge of intentionally endangering the welfare of a dependent person in March 2015.

[State confirms patients were removed from Penobscot nursing home that lost certifications]

Comtois also pleaded guilty to a charge of assault in relation to the March 26, 2014, incident and was ordered to pay $415 in fines, fees and surcharges, according to court documents. Two counts of gross sexual assault were dismissed as a result of a plea deal.

The victim in the incident was a 74-year-old man who was a resident at the home.

Inspection reports also cited substandard physical conditions at the nursing home, including stained ceiling tiles, peeling or torn wallpaper, worn furniture and residential sinks with hot water temperatures above 120 degrees.

[Owner of 7 embattled Maine nursing homes gets last chance before state takeover that could mean closures]

The reports also list substandard practices and conditions in the kitchen and laundry room, inadequate record keeping, and insufficient physician visits. Patient medications at times were inadequately safeguarded, kept beyond their expiration dates or not administered, according to the reports.

Penobscot Nursing Home and six other facilities in Maine owned by Connecticut-based Eagle Landing Residential Care Maine LLC had been in receivership since 2008.

According to town tax records, the facility’s owners paid $15,739 in property taxes on a main building there and land in 2014, an amount that dropped to $11,773 two years later.

Tranzon will hold a preview of the property on Nov. 13 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or by appointment.

BDN writer Bill Trotter contributed to this report.


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