Marion elder home closes after claims that residents locked in - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Marion elder home closes after claims that residents locked in

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MARION (KWWL) -

It looks like a relaxing environment for the elderly. But the owners of Park Setting Elder Group Home, Dr. Donald and Peggy Berns, face serious accusations.

The Iowa Department of Inspections and Appeals suspended the Marion home's certificate after claims four people were being locked inside their rooms.

According to state documents, even after fire investigators said they couldn't do that, the owners tried to use a board to hold a resident's door shut.

Plus, there were claims the owners weren't reporting falls, weren't storing medicine properly, and weren't trained to handle the residents' needs.

The owners tell KWWL they have no comment. Residents' family members also declined to talk to KWWL.

Several neighbors tell us they really don't know the Berns' all that well and really only knew they ran the Elder Group Home because of this sign right here by the street.

Dr. Berns is a licensed chiropractor in Iowa, and an online search shows he's received disciplinary action. Documents say he failed to respond to a state board's request for information in 1989 and faced the possibility of losing his chiropractor license, though he currently has one and it does not expire until 2016.

As for the Elder Group Home, the state has set a hearing for Sept. 9.

The Berns' can appeal the state's action, though would not tell us if they plan to do so.

Iowa courts records also show Don Berns faced charges for animal abuse and using a firearm in Marion city limits in 2002, though the animal abuse charges were later amended to reckless use of a firearm.

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