Two former employees of Baker Victory Services have pleaded guilty to charges of forgery and falsification of records related to investigations of abuse and neglect of people with special needs.
Former Director of Quality Improvement Kristin Hauser, 55, of Williamsville pled guilty in Erie County State Supreme Court to three counts of forgery in the second degree, a class D felony. She is scheduled to be sentenced July 5.
The New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs found that Hauser forged numerous witness statements and included those forgeries in investigative reports of allegations of abuse and neglect. Employees and people receiving services were not aware that their names had been signed and had not consented to having them signed. Hauser then filed the documents with the state and in Baker Victory’s own business records.
Earlier this month, Lori Thomas, 44, of Angola pleaded guilty in Lackawanna City Court to falsifying business records in the second degree, a class A misdemeanor. She also fabricated accounts of witnesses and included them in an investigative report submitted to Baker Victory. Thomas was sentenced to a conditional discharge for one year, with 200 hours of community service.
“Vulnerable persons, their family members and provider staff need to be confident that when reports of abuse and neglect are investigated, the outcomes are based on the facts those investigations uncover,” said Special Prosecutor Patricia Gunning. “This conduct was an affront to all those who investigate abuse and neglect allegations.”
The Justice Center has undertaken a comprehensive review of investigations conducted by Baker Victory staff in order to ensure that the integrity of the investigations was not compromised, and that the rights of both subjects and victims to a fair investigation are protected.
Baker Victory is licensed by the state Office of Mental Health and Office for People With Developmental Disabilities, which brought the matter to the Justice Center's attention.