(WNY News Now) – Attorney General Michelle Henry has announced charges against a 48-year-old administrator at ARC of Lawrence County, for neglecting to provide a resident’s medication, resulting in a fatal seizure in 2021.
HARRISBURG – The Attorney General, Michelle Henry, declared on Tuesday that Kelly Gonzales, the former administrator of ARC of Lawrence County, is facing charges for her alleged role in the death of a resident due to medication negligence.
Gonzales, 48, is accused of failing to renew a prescription for a resident’s anti-seizure medication, leading to a seizure and subsequent death in December 2021. It is asserted that Gonzales went further to falsify medical records, falsely indicating that a healthcare provider had discontinued the medication.
Charges against Gonzales include felony counts of neglect of a care-dependent person and tampering with records, along with a misdemeanor charge of involuntary manslaughter. Surrendering herself on Tuesday, Gonzales was arraigned and released on her own recognizance.
Attorney General Henry expressed concern over the breach of trust, stating, “The resident relied on this defendant’s care and professionalism — his life depended on it — and the defendant neglected that duty leading to tragic consequences. My office has no tolerance for providers who violate their duty of care and put our most vulnerable residents at risk.”
In her role as the administrator of the personal care home, Gonzales held responsibilities for the overall administration and management of the facility, including the health, safety, and well-being of residents. This encompassed ensuring complete paperwork, attendance at medical appointments, and the timely administration of prescribed medications.
According to the complaint, the resident had a diagnosed seizure disorder and was prescribed anti-seizure medication to manage the condition. His demise on December 2, 2021, was attributed to not receiving the medication for over 10 days. Post-mortem findings revealed that the seizure disorder caused his death, with anti-seizure medication levels in his system significantly below therapeutic levels.
Senior Deputy Attorney General Christopher R. Sherwood will prosecute the case. It is essential to note that all charges are accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.