Employees Of Troubled Local Nursing Home Will Be Paid

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MART (September 9, 2014) Employees of a troubled Mart nursing home whose license was suspended on Friday were told they could finally pick up their paychecks Tuesday.

Employees were able to pick up back paychecks Tuesday. (Photo by Carlos Garcia)

The employees have gone unpaid for nearly a month, but on Tuesday the payroll finally cleared and checks were being issued for the last two weeks of August, Mart Mayor Pro Tem Henry Witt III said.

The employees are still owed about a week's pay, however, Witt said.

Employees said they hadn’t been paid since Aug. 15.

The nursing home’s bookkeeper, Michelle Dale, told employees who arrived Monday morning that the payroll still hadn’t been met.

“They came in this morning upset and crying that they are going to be evicted,” she said.

“There are employees who have young children, babies in diapers and they don't have money for diapers,” she said.

Witt said Monday he talked with the facility’s owner and was told employees may still get paid and that checks could be issued as early as Tuesday.

The last residents have moved out of the troubled nursing home, whose owners are seeking bankruptcy protection.

The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services issued an emergency suspension of facility’s license Friday afternoon because of “ongoing concerns about the ability of the facility to adequately provide for the health and safety of residents,” agency spokeswoman Melissa Gale said in an email.

The administrator has 15 days in which to appeal the decision.

Witt said Tuesday he's working with the office of State Rep. Kyle Kacal, R-Bryan to try to convince officials to hold off on revoking the facility's license while the city works to find a way to keep it open.

Agency staffers were at the nursing home throughout the weekend to help residents with relocation, Gale said.

A potential buyer backed out of the possible sale of the facility after the resident count dropped to less than 25, Witt said Monday.

Federal bankruptcy records with the Western District of Texas show the facility filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Aug. 25.

About 45 residents were affected.

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