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EX-AIDE SPARED JAIL, ORDERED TO GIVE UP LICENSE FOR BEATING 3 ELDERLY PATIENTS IN NURSING HOME

A judge today spared a former Buffalo nursing home aide a jail term for beating three elderly senile patients last December but ordered her to undergo sensitivity training and job retraining.

City Judge David M. Manz also ordered Tiasha Flippen, 27, of Ingham Avenue, Lackawanna, a former aide at Ridgeview Manor Nursing Home on Dorrance Avenue, to surrender her state nurse's aide license and "stay out" of the health-care field.

Ms. Flippen was arrested last May. The nursing home had fired her Dec. 1, hours after she punched an 81-year-old woman and pushed her into a bed and hit an 81-year-old man and an 85-year-old man on their legs.

In a two-day, non-jury trial, Manz found her guilty Sept. 5 of endangering patients and willful violations of state health law.

Ms. Flippen, who had worked at the Dorrance Avenue facility for about four months, declined to comment. She could have received a one-year jail term.

Assistant State Attorneys General Mona Wagle and Gary Baldauf said Ms. Flippen was prosecuted on misdemeanors because of current state law.

They said their boss, Attorney General Dennis C. Vacco, will use the case in continuing his campaign to get the State Legislature to make patient-abuse crimes felonies and to give care facilities more authority to check on the backgrounds of job applicants.

Ms. Wagle and Baldauf said the attorney general, angered over legislative delays in toughening patient-abuse laws, also is campaigning for a statewide Elder Abuse Unit, run by the state Law Department or the state Health Department, to deal with these types of crimes.

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