Hurlbut president clashes with lawmaker over nursing home investigations

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AVON, N.Y. (WROC/WETM) — The chief executive of Hurlbut Care Communities is firing back against a New York State lawmaker who called for an investigation into his company’s Avon nursing home.

“The accusations made by this elected official are a complete baseless fabrication,” Robert Hurlbut, the company’s president and CEO, said in a statement.

Hurlbut also operates Hornell Gardens in Steuben County where at least 17 people have died from COVID-19, according to Steuben County officials.

“The Assemblywoman should stop attacking those on the front-line, working tirelessly to battle this virus and instead, focus her efforts on supporting our medical (personnel), and all the people economically suffering across her district,” Hurlbut’s statement continued.

Hurlbut argued New York State Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes (R-133) overstated the amount of cases in their home, stating in a Monday statement the home had 11 positive COVID-19 cases. As of Tuesday, Livingston County is reporting 18 positive cases in the Avon home, along with 5 deaths and 9 recoveries.

In an interview with News 8, Byrnes denied Hurlbut’s characterization, and said inquires about the home kept coming to her office. “I’m still getting a lot of phone calls, emails, contacts by social media, by people who are very concerned about their moms and their dads in that facility, they really do want answers,” said Byrnes.

Byrnes, along with State Senator Patrick Gallivan (R-59), called for an investigation into Hurlbut at the end of April.

As part of New York State’s nursing home guidance introduced Sunday, nursing homes must test their staff for the virus twice a week.

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