Geriatric Authority of Holyoke facing $2.2 million in debt - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Geriatric Authority of Holyoke facing $2.2 million in debt

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A state audit of the Geriatric Authority of Holyoke reveals the municipal nursing home allegedly misused credit cards and wasted money on projects.

Now the mayor and others are demanding action.

It's all outlined in an audit revealed Wednesday by State Auditor Suzanne Bump.

  • $400,000 wasted after a failed project to expand
  • $12,600 in legal fees after allegations of board impropriety
  • nearly $4,000 in alleged misuse of credit cards for gas reimbursement

Now Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse and others want answers after learning the geriatric authority is $2.2 million in debt to the city.

"Our taxpayers' bills should not be going up to subsidize the geriatric authority," Morse said.

The audit details reported mismanagement by leaders at the geriatric authority between January 2010 and June 2012.

Morse and new board members with the geriatric authority called for the audit.

Aside from spending, the audit also revealed missed opportunities to make money like allowing their outpatient care license to expire.

"The series of deficiencies detailed in this report describe an environment ripe for waste and abuse," Bump said in a statement sent to CBS 3.

Now there are new calls to privatize the nursing home.

"I commend them for their recent efforts to try and bring in new revenue, but I think we need to come to the inevitable conclusion that we need to explore other options," Morse said.

Morse is calling on the city's treasurer to create a committee to find out what can be done before it's too late.

"The bleeding needs to stop. It's not fair to ask the taxpayers to subsidize a broken system."

CBS 3 reached out to the board of the geriatric authority for comment. They have not responded.

But in a release to CBS 3, Bump says the board has said they will put in place new cost-saving measures, review their policies and start looking at new sources of revenue.

Click here to view the complete audit.

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