SHALLOTTE, N.C. (WECT) - An assisted living center in Shallotte must close its doors after the NC Department of Health and Human Services suspended their license to operate Tuesday. Additionally, several employees at the assisted living center face charges in connection to a state investigation into 3,700 dosage units of drugs reportedly stolen earlier in the year.
A letter from DHHS confirms Shallotte Assisted Living on Mulberry Street is no longer licensed to operate. Their license was officially suspended at 5 p.m. Wednesday, or after the last resident placement has been arranged.
The Brunswick County Department of Social Services, DHHS and Trillium Health Resources are assisting in relocating the people who live in the facility.
The license was suspended after the state found the facility presented “an imminent danger to the health, safety and welfare of the residents and that emergency action is required to protect the residents.”
“This agency has identified the facility failed to be in substantial compliance with Rules for which they are licensed. The Department has found evidence of neglect and failure to protect residents from potential harm,” the letter from DHHS says.
The investigation into Shallotte Assisted Living was launched Feb. 19, 2020. The state identified the violations that same date and verbally notified the facility.
The assisted living center has 20 days to file an appeal, DHHS says.
Wednesday night, the State Bureau of Investigation and the Shallotte Police Department announced an investigation in the facility was launched January 3, 2020 after 3,700 dosage units of controlled medications were reported stolen.
DHHS and the Department of Social Services conducted inspections concurrently to the criminal investigation, the SBI notes.
Sandy Dossie, Tabitha Burgess and Brittanie Corder, all employees of Shallotte Assisted Living were charged with obstructing justice. So far, Dossie is the only employee arrested for those charges; Burgess and Corder have not yet been arrested.
The director of the facility, Tammie Bullard and her husband, Earl Bullard, also an employee of the facility, were arrested last week on gun and drug charges, according to the release by the SBI.
Tammie Bullard was charged with felony possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, felony possession of a stolen firearm, misdemeanor possession of marijuana and misdemeanor possession of marijuana paraphernalia.
Earl Bullard was arrested for a domestic violence protective order violation, felony possession of a stolen firearm, misdemeanor possession of marijuana and misdemeanor possession of marijuana paraphernalia.
“I am aware of the allegations and my office is coordinating closely with our law enforcement partners and the regulatory agencies during the investigation," District Attorney Jon David said. "We have a responsibility to protect our most vulnerable citizens and I will be monitoring the situation very closely. Our twofold objective is to ensure the smooth transition of the patients to a new healthcare facility and to hold the wrongdoers accountable.”