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3 charged in drug thefts at Liberty care home

Cindy Shegan Keeley | Daily News
Liberty police officer Ray Johnson examines a prescription pill bottle that dates back to 2000.

About Stacy Lee
Stacy Lee 412-664-9161
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By Stacy Lee

Published: Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 3:21 a.m.

Three people were charged on Tuesday in connection with taking prescription drugs from former patients of Liberty Manor Personal Care Home.

The Liberty care home's administrator William Garvin, 67, of Elizabeth Township faces charges of drug possession, possession with intent to deliver, theft, receiving stolen property and criminal conspiracy.

Liberty Manor's former supervisor Lori Jarusinsky, 37, of McKeesport and another employee Mary Cherny, 26, of Liberty are charged with drug possession, theft, criminal conspiracy and receiving stolen property.

The police investigation began on March 1 when Cherny reported to police that Jarusinsky stole clonazepam from a patient who had just moved out of the care home on Feb. 25, according to Liberty police Officer Ray Johnson. Cherny alleged her supervisor took 96 pills and gave her 102 pills on Feb. 26.

Johnson said Cherny is being charged because she waited four days to report the incident to police. Cherny surrendered 21 tablets believed to be acetaminophen and hydrocodone bitartrate, and 10 pills believed to be Trazondone to Johnson, according to the criminal complaint. She claimed those pills were given to her by Jarusinsky a few months prior.

Liberty police executed search warrants on March 3 at Liberty Manor Personal Care Home and Jarusinky's McKeesport residence. Johnson said 96 clonazepam pills, 98 acetaminophen pills and 10 Vicodin pills were confiscated from Jarusinky's home and vehicle. He said Jarusinky claimed Garvin gave her an ex-patient's acetaminophen pills, which had to be prescribed because of the high 650 milligram dosage, a few months before the search.

Officers found 100 acetaminophen pills, various other prescription pills scattered about and 24 coffee cans of old needles during a March 3 search of the care home at 2910 Liberty Way. After another search the following day, the total of medication pills of former patients added up to more than 2,000 located in Garvin's office and a back room. Approximately 200 more cans of old syringes were discovered, as well.

The state Department of Public Welfare shut down Liberty Manor Personal Care Home on March 4 and relocated 29 residents to surrounding facilities or to relatives.

“The home's license was subsequently revoked on March 8,” state Department of Public Welfare spokeswoman Carey Miller said. “The provider appealed the decision on March 15. There's a pre-hearing conference on April 30.”

Any Liberty Manor Care Home former residents or their relatives with questions can call the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare at 877-401-8835.

Garvin, who owns the personal care home, didn't return phone calls for comment.

Stacy Lee is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1970, or slee@tribweb.com.

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