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No prior serious violations in elder abuse case

14 felony cases in group home AC failure
Posted at 6:06 PM, Jul 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-27 21:07:03-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - A woman facing fourteen charges of elderly abuse or endangerment had no serious violations before an air conditioning failure at her elderly group home forced an evacuation and left her under arrest.

Nine people between 64 and 86 years old were sweltering in this house during some of the hottest days of our hot desert weather.
When a nurse reported the air conditioner had failed Tucson Fire took five people to be checked at a hospital and moved four others to other care homes.

Tucson Police charged the operator of the home with abuse and endangerment charges.  71-year-old Cynthia Hermann faces a possible 14 felonies.
State nursing board records show she has been a registered nurse for 34 years. Her license is current with no violations listed.

This afternoon, two people seemed to be checking on the house.   They would not comment.

Four agencies came to the house to investigate.  TPD's Special Victims Section, the Arizona Health Department, Adult Protective Services and City of Tucson Code Enforcement. Some of their documents give us some insight into this house and its history."

A code inspector's report says the home had fans and a water-based cooler running but temps were still between 100 and 103 in spots. 

Earlier code documents say the house has held permits to operate as an elder care facility since 2005.
County records show the house is 55 years old.

We found no records to indicate when the air conditioning was serviced or replaced.
The Arizona Health Department licenses and inspects adult care facilities like this house.

Three inspections over the last three years found deficiencies in issues like smoke detectors and prescription drug records but did not note anything that warned of the air conditioning failure that led to patients evacuated and the home operator facing a long list of felonies.