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Wisconsin Examiner: Assisted living home lawsuit, citations add to controversy over Hovde’s nursing home remarks

Following news that Wisconsin Senate candidate Eric Hovde’s California bank, Sunwest, was added as a co-defendant in a wrongful death lawsuit at a California nursing home and senior living facility that the bank owns, new reporting shows the facility has been cited for multiple violations and fines in the last two years. Some of these citations included allowing pills to go missing, failure to properly train staff, and taking a resident’s personal property.

These violations add to the blowback Hovde has faced as he has on multiple occasions questioned the mental capacity of seniors living in nursing homes to vote.

Read more on the California nursing home lawsuit citations against the Sunwest-owned senior facility and the comments Hovde has made on voting below.

Wisconsin Examiner: Assisted living home lawsuit, citations add to controversy over Hovde’s nursing home remarks

  • An assisted living home in California connected to the bank owned by Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Eric Hovde has been cited for a series of violations, records with the state of California show.
  • The home, Claremont Hacienda in Los Angeles County, has also been named in a wrongful death lawsuit filed by the daughter of a former resident. The lawsuit was amended in March to add SunWest Bank — which Hovde owns and which is a part-owner of the assisted living home — as a defendant in the case.
  • In addition to the California nursing home lawsuit, previously unreported state records reviewed by the Wisconsin Examiner show that the Claremont Hacienda has been cited a dozen times in the last two years by the California Department of Social Services, which licenses and monitors assisted living homes.
  • Between August 2022 and early March 2024, the California Department of Social Services conducted 14 visits to the facility, according to the department’sonline records.
  • Those visits produced citations for not complying with medication storage rules; taking a resident’s personal property (a cell phone); lacking required certificates in cardio-pulmonary resuscitation for two employees and lacking current certificates for two others; failing to display a required patients’ rights poster where it was publicly visible; lacking an up-to-date license for the home’s administrator, whose listed qualification also did not meet state minimum requirements according to the department; employing two people without any record that they had cleared criminal background checks; incomplete training records for five employees; and hot water in two rooms that was below the minimum required temperature.
  • The wrongful death California nursing home lawsuit was filed in April 2023 by the daughter of a 94-year-old woman who died in another nursing home two months after a fall at Claremont Hacienda.
  • The lawsuit blames the assisted living home where the falls occurred for failing to provide the woman proper care, setting in motion the chain of events that unfolded in the last months of her life. In March, the plaintiff’s lawyer added Hovde’s bank as a defendant in the case.
  • Wisconsin Democrats have argued that the lawsuit and Hovde’s comments about nursing home voters reflect a disregard for seniors.
  • “Well, if you’re in a nursing home, you only have five, six months life expectancy. Almost nobody in a nursing home is at a point to vote,” Hovde said. He added that there were “adult children showing up and saying, ‘Who voted for my 85- or 90-year-old father or mother?’”
  • Hovde reiterated his argument during an April 17 interview with podcaster Meg Ellefson. “They’re totally incapable,” Hovde said. “They either have dementia or at the very end stage of their life, they’re not capable of voting. So who’s voting for them? The sheriff did a whole investigation, and I was talking about that. Addressing the fact that these elderly people were being taken advantage of and you had 100% voting in nursing homes where a large percentage of those people are not in that mental capacity to do that.”
  • In a Tuesday Zoom press conference organized by the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Wikler tied the assisted living facility lawsuit to Hovde’s comments about the nursing home vote. “He thinks that seniors who may be toward the end of their lives aren’t in a place to vote,” Wikler said of Hovde. “This would deny the voting rights of seniors. And now we’re learning that he and his bank are profiting [from a home] that is allegedly mistreating the seniors in their care.”

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