Troubled assisted living center in Wake Forest gets reprieve

ablythe@newsobserver.comJanuary 6, 2012 

— An assisted living center in Wake Forest won a temporary reprieve from a judge today that allows the 80-bed center to postpone a shutdown and move of all residents.

The 11-day reprieve came the day after the state Department of Health and Human Services took the unusual step of ordering an emergency shutdown of the Wake Forest Care Center.

Richard Cresenzo, the center's owner, immediately sought relief, first from Wake County Superior Court, then from the Administrative Office of Hearings, which has jurisdiction over the matter.

As part of his temporary restraining order, Judge Fred Morrison ordered the center to have mental health workers on site around the clock, no later than Monday.

Another hearing on the matter is set for Jan. 17.

The center at 306 S. Allen St. has drawn the ire of state regulators before, particularly after the deaths of two residents who wandered off unattended, one in 2006 and another just last month.

Regulators have levied more than $40,000 in fines since 2006.

The emergency shut-down order had given the center until Monday, or whenever the last resident could be placed safely into another facility, to close its doors.

Blythe: 919-836-4948

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