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Sudden closure of assisted-living homes sends residents packing

Thirteen residents of two Sahuarita assisted-living homes found themselves abruptly moved to new facilities Thursday and Friday, but exactly why remains unclear.

Several residents and their families said they were told they had to move because their caregivers had walked off the job after going unpaid for weeks.

Jerone Davis, owner of Rancho Verde Duval and Rancho Verde Canalito homes, denied that he was behind on paying employees, but said his seven homes between Sahuarita and Tucson had 17 visits from several agencies over the past two months after complaints were filed.

The total number of residents affected is unknown. Davis declined to comment about the status of the other homes he has operated in Tucson.

The scene at one of the homes in the Valle Verde del Norte neighborhood was near chaos Thursday as flustered relatives rushed to pack up belongings. Some were in tears as they wheeled their loved ones out of the home. A couple said they were angry and confused about the situation and too upset to speak with a reporter.

In an interview at Rancho Verde Duval on Friday, Davis said that for unknown reasons his operations manager called all of his certified caregivers Wednesday night and told them not to report to work.

The state Department of Health Services confirmed they were overseeing the moves but said they were not the result of "action taken by DHS," said Holly Ward, communications director.

Sahuarita Police Lt. Matt McGlone said late Friday that they are investigating "a complaint of possible fraud against the owner and management of that care home and we are aware of a current investigation by the AG's Office outside the Town of Sahuarita."

Read more details on this story at GVNews.com: Two Sahuarita care homes abruptly close, displacing 13 residents

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May 23, 2017, 3:53 pm
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This story really saddens me.  My father and stepmother were at Hacienda and we really liked Jerone.  After a few months, I noticed the quality of care was lacking.  There was not enough certified caregivers for the amount of people residing at the home.  My stepmother started in February and my father went over in late March after 2 months at the VA Hospital for cancer treatments.  He was very under weight from the chemo and radiation and per his doctor’s request, he had to be on a high protein diet.  I was assured by Jerone that he would be fed very well.  After a few weeks, my dad was getting weaker and had to take an ambulance to the hospital for dehydration and he was severely malnourished.  I began checking the refrigerator every day when I visited and it was always empty.  I brought food on numerous occasions to feed the entire house.  Easter I made enough food for 10 people for 2 days. Each weekend thereafter, I brought food for the entire house to eat on Saturday or Sunday.  I tried to reach Jerone numerous times to find out what was going on.  For the amount of money my father was paying, this was totally unacceptable.  In April, Jerone asked that I write the monthly check out to him personally which I did and regretted immediately upon leaving.  He then called and asked me to go to the bank and get cash and he would pick it up and give the check back.  That was definitely a red flag and I told him I had a fiduciary responsibility as their POA to write the check out to Rancho Verde Community Care. After a week, I was able to get the check back and present him with one made out to Rancho Verde. The whole month of April was a nightmare and I removed them both at the end of the month and put them in another facility.  I really miss the residents that were there and I have been so worried about them and their care.  When it comes to children and the elderly, this type of care is totally unacceptable and I hope Jerone is no longer able to run any type of assisted living homes.  I pray every one of the residents are okay and have been placed in a home with better care and lots of food to eat.

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Kim Smith/Green Valley News

Sahuarita Police Officer Wesley Genzer, center, speaks with Rancho Verde Care Communities owner Jerone Davis, left, after Arizona Adult Protective Services removed 13 residents from his assisted living homes. Seated in the kitchen of Rancho Verde Duval on South Placita Octubre are family and friends of the last person to be removed.