CEO of Florida facility where caregiver is accused if impregnating a resident is SUSPENDED

Mail Online | 2/17/2019 | Marlene Lenthang;Lauren Fruen For
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The CEO of a Florida facility for people with disabilities has been suspended after a former employee was accused of impregnating a female resident.

Willie Shorter, 58, was arrested for impregnating 43-year-old Dawn Blanchard, a woman with severe developmental disabilities.

Birth - Son - Robert - III

She gave birth to her three-year-old son Robert III in 2015.

Shorter, who was employed at the Bridges Foundation in Rockledge, was arrested on February 6.

Bridges - Foundation - Suspension - President - CEO

The Bridges Foundation announced the immediate suspension of its president and CEO David Cooke on Thursday following the news.

The board of directors at the Bridges Foundation voted unanimously to suspend Cooke, who had led the organization for more than 10 years, according to a news release.

'We - Something - Residents - Concerns - Lapses

'We were shocked to learn that something so terrible could occur involving one of our residents – and we have grave concerns about lapses in leadership that significantly contributed to this regrettable tragedy,' chairwoman Susan Stokes Elmore said in a statement.

'The Board is especially disheartened that critical information was intentionally withheld from us until only recently, even though it was determined four years ago that the resident had become pregnant.

Decision - Organization - Leader - Employee - Staff

'Similarly, the decision by our organization’s top leader to keep the employee on staff despite his possible role in the pregnancy, and the administration’s subsequent failure to keep board members fully informed – almost until the employee’s arrest – is entirely unacceptable,' she added in the statement.

Elmore says a panel of outside experts will review the facility's policies and develop safeguards to prevent future assaults on Bridges residents. They're also cooperating with law enforcement in their own investigation.

Vice - President - Lynn - Hudson - Director

Vice President Lynn Hudson will serve as interim director and day to day operations at the facility will not be affected, according to ClickOrlando.

Willie Shorter was...
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