LIVONIA, Mich. (WJBK) - Earlier this week, dozens of seniors in were forced out of their nursing home with only a few hours' notice to be out by 6 p.m. The state shut it down and removed the owner's license.
Disgusted with the way more than 70 senior citizens and patients were treated and kicked out of Ashley Court in Livonia, the city's mayor, fire chief and other city officials held a news conference Friday to say this kind of chaos can never happen again.
"The owner and management should be ashamed of this facility," said Dennis Wright, the mayor of Livonia.
"It was difficult for everybody there. The panic, you know, we had so much stuff there over the years," said attorney Jim McCann, whose mother was forced out. "So, we were scrambling to get vans and trucks and everything else we could to get it out, and find a place to put my mother."
Police, fire officials and the mayor said they only learned about what was happening from watching the news.
"The level of egregiousness and level of immediacy, we did not understand," Livonia fire chief Chadd Whitehead said.
According to the state order, Ashley Court, which was previously known as Berkley Court, had been shut down once in 2013. But changing the name, the owner reopened - and the same violations began. Violations of alleged neglect, abuse, improper maintenance and staffing problems were exposed during the latest investigation over the last two months.
"They needed to revoke the license and get the patients out and moved to a safer situation," said state representative Laura Cox at the news conference. She reiterated that the removal was necessary but that the process was faulty. She's hoping now to prevent this dangerous mass confusion.
As we move forward - what about the owner in all of this? FOX 2 tried to reach him Wednesday and Thursday and once again on Friday, when he was nowhere to be found.
"He had a little sports car; he took off as soon as the stuff started getting bad and his son was there, too, and they both just left," McCann says.
Families are furious with the way the state handled this shut down and even more furious with the owner, who many say knew the seriousness of the investigation for months. Families are still working to find permanent placement for their loved ones as city and state officials contact the Attorney General's office.
"I hope the state is going to look into him and see if there's any criminal charges," McCann says.
This is a developing story. Stay with FOX 2 for updates.