Former director of Shallotte Assisted Living has long criminal history

Updated: Feb. 27, 2020 at 6:00 PM EST
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SHALLOTTE, N.C. (WECT) - Workers at a Shallotte assisted living facility want neighbors to know their family members were loved and cared for, despite the alleged actions of administrators.

The State Department of Health and Human Services revoked the facility’s operating license Wednesday. State documents cite evidence of neglect.

Charges were filed against several employees, including director Tammie Bullard.

Bullard was the director of a nursing facility in Laurinburg in 2017 when she was charged with felony drug crimes in Cabarrus County.

Somehow, she was still able to get a job directing Shallotte Assisted Living, where she was arrested last week on more felony drug charges.

WECT reached out to the Johnson Adult Care LLC. The Shelby, North Carolina company that owns Shallotte Assisted Living.

The company has not yet returned any calls.

Despite Bullard’s alleged actions, former staff member Heather McClanahan, who worked as a medical technician, wants family members to know their relatives were well cared for.

“I woke up this morning and for that brief second I was getting ready to go to work and there’s no work to go to,” McClanahan said. “We don’t care about the unemployment. We want to know our people are safe, that they’re ok.”

McClanahan said Bullard would threaten employees to keep them from reporting wrongdoing.

“She would come in and say, when they first started doing the investigation, ‘if you talk you don’t have a job. If you talk you’re fired. You’ll be sitting in unemployment and I’ll still be sitting here.’ Well we see how that worked, didn’t we? And it wasn’t the first time,” she said.

According to the Shallotte Police Department, Bullard has been a convicted felon since 1990 when she pleaded guilty to three counts of common law forgery.

More than 3,700 doses of medication were reported stolen from the facility, which sparked an investigation in January.

The state letter suspending the facility’s license cites evidence of neglect, but McClanahan says the majority of the staff treated residents like family.

“I want people to see the whole picture. It’s not just about Tammy and Earl that they’re talking about. They need to understand we had a really good crew that was there who cared about these people," McClanahan said. “I want the residents to be happy where they are and I think that’s what all of the staff there wants. For the residents to be happy and know that we miss them.”

In Aug. 19, the State Department of Health and Human Services fined the facility $9,000 for fire exit violations. Three previous violations were also reported, beginning in 2018.

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