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For the first time since he was fired as executive director of the Monroe Community Hospital, Todd Spring spoke out about the incident that led to his removal.
"I'm satisfied coming here this evening to set the record straight," said Spring.
The former head of the Monroe Community Hospital told the Monroe County Legislature he never abused or mistreated anyone under his care.
"Fire in a multi-story nursing home full of frail people many who can not exit the building can never be taken lightly."
A 45-page State Department of Health report, made public in April, raised concerns about Spring's leadership. The report cited an incident in which Spring yelled at a patient before revoking his smoking privileges, taking away his wheelchair, and then confining him to his bed for three days.
Spring acknowledged the patient's smoking privileges were denied, but for good reason.
"In addition to smoking practices contrary to MCH safety policy, the individual involved was concurrently abusing alcohol to the point of extreme intoxication. Taken alone either of these two variables presents significant risk. When combined, the hazard was obvious and extreme."
Spring says an investigation by the Attorney General's office cleared him of any civil or criminal wrongdoing.
"There were no plea deal or side deals - the investigation was simply closed after a thorough review."
Spring called it a hollow victory because the incident cost him his job and ruined his reputation.
"One would have hoped that 13 years of stellar service to the residents and the community would have resulted in a bit more credibility and confidence from this body and others but sadly, that was not the case."
After the survey was made public, County Democrats called on County Executive Maggie Brooks to fire Spring. She did so in May, saying he "fell short of the standard of excellence of care at the hospital."
"I am not here to blame anyone... although several of you should be ashamed of yourselves for playing politics with my otherwise unblemished career and profession," Spring said.