There is debate as to the feasibility of privatizing the Cumberland Manor, or keeping it as a county run institution. As a taxpayer, I want the thing that is most beneficial to the county. What we know is that private institutions throughout the state regularly getting failing grades, give inferior care to the patients, and bilk Medicare out of millions. We also know that in recent years, the Manor has run at a major deficit – due more to poor management and lack of oversight than anything. We also know that the Manor is one of the very few parts of county government that actually brings in revenue. What has happened to that revenue will be the focus of future articles. The focus of today’s story is how the manor got to be in the situation it is in.
Barbara Caselli was hired as admitting officer in march 2003. She was released from employment due to a layoff November 2010. From the information that I have been able to put together from various sources and OPRA requests, she was let go and certain things were covered up by the Lou Magazzu/Bill Whelan administration.
For instance, and this one incident is only the tip of the iceberg. Angeline Rabbai Watts, a resident of The Manor from May 2006 until she passed in July 22, 2006 owned a house at 391 N. Laurel Street, Bridgeton, NJ.
Barbara Caselli was a Realtor working with Jane Jannarone at Jannarone’s Exit Realty. Barbara, from many reports, openly operated her Real Estate business during working hours, from her office, at The Manor. This was well known throughout the county, and the Freeholders didn’t take action.
On August 31, 2006, Barbara Caselli took ownership of Watts’ property. This should raise eyebrows on so many levels.
First, it was a misuse of confidential patient information by a county employee to personally profit. Second, it was misuse of county resources to operate a business on county property and county time. Third, it is proof that The Manor was grossly mismanaged, and appears that the Freeholders covered up what I consider criminal behavior in order to protect a sitting Freeholder. Also, if this news had leaked out, it might have tarnished Lou Magazzu’s bid for election that year.
It is this sort of mismanagement and gross neglect by the Lou Magazzu/Bill Whelan regime that has brought The Manor into a position of insolvency today. Can that be changed? I think so – but only by county officials that are intent on correctly assessing the situation. Employees must be held accountable, and must clock in and actually work. It is my understanding that with the new management company, these issues are being addressed. But it is also time to hold the Freeholders that were in power during this abuse be sent a message. We can no longer tolerate this sort of conduct in any county agency, say the 911 Call Center.