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Two top employes removed from positions at County nursing home

Two H.J. McFarland Memorial Home top employees have been removed from their positions at the County-run nursing home.
“Effective immediately, the administrator and director of resident care at the H.J. McFarland Memorial Home are no longer employees of the The County of Prince Edward,” said Merlin Dewing, Chief Administrative Officer.
The changes “are a result of allegations that were recently raised respecting the general administrative oversight” of the home,” Dewing said, adding that no further comment would be made by the County.

“Due diligence was exercised to ensure that these issues were addressed promptly and in the best interest of residents. Issues identified by allegations and through the resulting investigation did not negatively impact the quality of care.”

Dewing said the investigation was initiated internally and remains confidential. It was not at the directory of the Ministry of Long Term Care, nor was it related to mandated responsibilities under the Long Term Care Homes Act.

An interim director of care has been on site during the investigation.

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. concerned says:

    Exactly Gary.

    There are people that see how the home is now, and how they are handling things.

  2. Gary says:

    Some would say that the comments are quite deserving and are based soundly upon past practice of ruining careers and witch hunts.

  3. Snowman says:

    Lots of speculation and imagination displayed on this topic.
    Short on facts and long on guessing what really happened.
    Interesting that “two people” let go have gained a lot of
    sympathy, while first the CAO was a target and now The Commissioner is in every one’s sights.
    With their salaries being at the high end, the two folks removed would have plenty of reason to go to litigation toprove wrongful dismissal.
    I think that the Commissioner and her Deputy are extremely competent. They are not the kind of people to “witch hunt” anyone.They would have worked very closely with the two employees involved on a day to day basis.
    They are undeserving of some of the comments being directed toward them.

  4. concerned says:

    Agree. I think this Commissioner of Finance should be investigated.
    She is trying to run this Home now.

    This home I think is being mismanaged currently under her watch. and causing issues.
    Evey week is a new Temporary employee(director of care and administrative help)
    from out of town. VERY EXPENSIVE to have that.

    Here they are doing a financial audit of PREVIOUS, and meanwhile they are spending thousands more now.

    Residents or Families can not get help. when there is no experience.
    Commmissioner is not qualified enough to help residents issues.
    Rotating temp employees, is not helpful to any issues either

    The girls, psws, nurses, kitchen are continuing to do a great job. and the care is good for residents.
    overworked too.

    they should spend money on hiring more helpers rather then temp agenicies and hotels and dinners.

    THis home Was better managed previously. I don’t know why they are let go. BUt its not because of residents and their care.

    Maybe a council meeting on the 18th.

  5. Susan says:

    The Commissioner should be under investigation. She has failed this Home under her watch. Concerns need to be forwarded to Long Term Care. If it was just another coup to remove good staff that Admin felt were too progressive for their liking it needs attention and needs to be stopped. This Commissioner cannot continue to malign good people in our community.

  6. Marion says:

    I suspect that the reason that families, residents and the public were not made aware of the true nature of the allegations was because a) They were false allegations that quite possibly were provided by a small group of spiteful,self serving employees at a most opportune time b) These allegations were never proven and were kept secret from Council c)There was a hidden agenda d) How could they share the details with others when they didnt even tell the two employees what the allegations were and then terminated both with no further explanation?

  7. Susan says:

    One can only assume that since police were not called in that it is not a care or abuse issue or an act of fraud. Both of those would require police notification.

  8. Gary says:

    Marnie; I agree, I don’t see the CAO critisism as being necessarily fair. The Commisioner leading the issue under her watch is more in line for questions. I don’t think people have excused wrong doing if that is the proven case but have real concerns on how the matter has been dealt with to date. Names being publically released at the onset (with the rider of no harm implied) is most unusual in personnel issues. The fact that residents were not informed of what was taking place in their home is just plain wrong.

  9. Nellie says:

    My thoughts exactly!!

  10. Marnie says:

    Just out of curiosity how is it that the CAO becomes the villain in the piece and the two employees who were dismissed are painted as victims?

  11. Argyle says:

    And now you know why the mayor and some councillors decided not to stand for re-election knowing the mess they created.The new council will have its work cutout trying to change the culture at Shire Hall and deal with the supreme commander,our CAO.

  12. Emily says:

    Residents and there families should have been informed from the get go! They should have been the primary focus in this. They weren’t thru negligence or ignorance. Either one is not good management.

  13. concerned says:


    Family phone calls have not been returned by CAO and other management at shire hall. Ignored
    Family finds out about dismissal thru the news paper.

    they only tell the familys “Don’t worry they have superior care”

    Commissioner of Finance has been trying to run a nursing home
    a loved ones medical care is addressed to a Finance person?
    (no DOC for over a week)

    today,(arrived yesterday) there is a few TEMPORARY employees trying to help. with a Temporary Director of Care
    Most , employees are OUt of town
    (guess shire hall pays for hotels)
    Hopefully they will help the residents.

    Residents Pay a lot of money to stay there. so they do deserve to be treated with respect.
    and with THEIR best interests in mind.

    its the way its been handled. and its caused a MESS.and makes other employees feel upset too. .Hopefully they will pick up the pieces soon.

    another little rant over 🙂

  14. Wolf Braun says:

    CAO, Merlin Dewing… for P.E.C. Salary $173,998.26 Taxable Benefit $8,143.40.

    That’s almost identical to what the new Mayor of Toronto is paid. In that context is he underpaid ? 🙂

  15. Paul says:

    I understand and agree with the two Employee’s being placed on leave initially during the investigation however the decision to dismiss should have been held off until the new Council was put in place. It just seems a little fishy the timing of the whole ordeal.

  16. Emily says:

    I suspect a jam packed first Council session wanting answers why residents of McFarland Home have been kept in the dark.

  17. Gary says:

    This CAO is performing above the previous CAO who arranged a sweetheart deal to work 4 days a week at full salary and benefits all approved by the Council of the day. Imagine being able to golf every Friday at full pay on the taxpayers dime! It’s not the current CAO at issue here it is the Commisioner! She shouldn’t be investigating, she should be under investigation and I suspect Municipal Affairs will have to.

  18. Karen says:

    No one will ever know whats going on at Shire Hall. WHY, you ask? The CAO has been given all the power and apparently he DOSN”T answer to anyone!!! These are his words. One could only hope that this new council will take back this power (Should never of been given away in the first place) Unless the new mayor/council is willing to do this then THEY have no say either. Pretty scary as a taxpayer for sure. We all will be watching very closely.

  19. Gary says:

    Better question and more to the issue is who hired the Commisioner of Corporate Services? This debacle is under her watch.

  20. Wolf Braun says:

    The current CAO was hired by out-going Mayor Mertens. 🙁

  21. R.Richman says:

    As I read comments who in hell hired this CAO for $250000.00 and when are we going to get rid of him before he screws up something else. It seems all he does as walks the streets of Picton instead of working. Maybe this is a good thing, then he at least can not get into trouble if hes not doing any work.

  22. concerned says:

    This bothers me a lot………

    IF the CAO and other shire hall have the best interests of the residents in mind (like he says in news article)
    Then WHY did they upset the families and residents by ESCORTING them out the door that day….(in front of them )

    They have handled this so unprofessionally and without concern for residents I don’t think.

    families have not been notified, They found out in the news.

    There is NO administrator or NO director of CAre now (they had a temp DOC, bue she left a week ago)

    Unsolved DOC issues, not being solved
    poor residents

    Not enough psw there either.

    Commissioner of finance from shire hall. can not be a DOC sheez.

    maybe these 2 did something….BUT its the way the shire hall has handled this
    they scared the residents etc.(up and down halls carrying suitcases etc).

    I think its a mess now. and actually MUCH better when the two were there.
    time to get the Ministry of Long term care involved.

    rant over

  23. PEC taxpayer says:

    All I have to say is shame on the county. I feel sorry for the two individuals affected by this. There names should have never been released. I feel sorry for them both even if they done wrong. Not only did they loose there job but they are being publicly humiliated. Shame on the county for letting this happen.

  24. Susan says:

    If a County Commisioner has not the knowledge that the residents and families should be the first informed of a senior staff removal and possible indiscretions it raises the question how they could be relied on to carry out a legitimate investigation. It appears the staff of the home were informed but no primary courtesy was provided to the individuals living there and paying for services! Absurd. Heads should roll.

  25. Emily says:

    With a loved one residing in this home I have concerns. Staff were advised of the administrative leaves but families of our loved ones have received no information. What are we to believe or tell our loved ones? Why are the the most important people in this residence being left in the dark? The residents should have been the first advised. They are paying for the services. Why would they be forgotten?

  26. Gary says:

    I think the County is boxed in on this. They are operating a public long term care facility and are responsible to the residents, families and public that operations are appropriate. Something happened that took down the 2 top Manager’s. Residents in the home have a right to know what transpired so that they can determine if they were adversely affected as opposed to the County simply stating they were not!

  27. Susan says:

    The CAO reports to the CEO who is the mayor. During lame duck council different rules may apply.

  28. Snowman says:

    The CAO makes Human Resources decisions, not Council.If he/she didn’t, it would be a very strange place to work. A Lame Duck Council would have no bearing on dismissing an employee with cause.

  29. Gary says:

    The costs will be significant. The fact the County released the employees names upon the initial administrative leave pending investigation is unusual. Seeking future employment in this region will be difficult.

  30. R.Richman says:

    Let me explain, I do not want to know the dirty details of why these persons were let go, just a broad statement and what the cost is and how long it had been going on.

  31. Argyle says:

    To bad Mertins didn’t take Merlin with him when he left Shire Hall.Neither would of been missed.

  32. Susan says:

    I thought that there were strict regulations on what a lame duck council could do in relation to dismissals and spending during the period of time from being declared lame and the swearing in of the new Council. The present Council has not met in 2 months and the new one doesn’t swear in till next week. Perhaps the knives came out during the void. Council cannot approve spending above 50k when lame but perhaps administration can carry on.

  33. Gary says:

    Or did you mean “unemployment” file? This administration and the one under the past CAO have executed some very nasty and unethical releases of employment. It’s a culture of many years past in regards to employee relations.

  34. Wolf Braun says:

    Yup ! Transparency is very much needed in this case. Not the details of dismissal concern me as much as the costs to taxpayers. Give up it Mr. CAO.

  35. Snowman says:

    Not sure The County would ever hire another employee if every one on the street was privy to their employment file.

  36. JDVC says:

    I want to know what kind of “buy out package” they got. They are paid by the County, therefore by us! What was going on and being covered up? Are the residents of McFarlands in danger or were they when these two were still there? Having past experience with McFarland Home, the entire place needs to be overhauled. So very sad that once again, the elderly are subjected to some kind of abuse.

  37. R.Richman says:

    Let me get this straight, the quarter million dollar man will not tell us how or why our employees are being canned and how much it is going to cost to get rid of them. I think we have the right to know. I want to know the details, I want to know how much these people will be paid for being canned. Lets face it public sector employees always get a big pay out when their canned. Come on Merlin the wonderful tell us. Council and new mayor what are you hiding?

  38. Argyle says:

    Maybe the new council will require our CAO to have more transparency and accountability for the decisions being made at Shire Hall. We can only hope.

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