PHOENIX, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- The chief executive office of Hacienda Healthcare has resigned just days after Arizona's Family broke the news that a vegetative patient had given birth.
Bill Timmons announced his resignation Monday. His resignation was unanimously accepted.
Hacienda Healthcare, a skilled nursing facility in Phoenix, has been under intense scrutiny after a female patient, who had been in a vegetative state for 14 years, gave birth.
ORIGINAL EXCLUSIVE STORY: Woman in vegetative state gives birth at Hacienda Healthcare in Phoenix]
On Monday, we received this statement from Hacienda Healthcare spokesman David Leibowitz:
Bill Timmons, longtime Chief Executive Officer of Hacienda HealthCare, has terminated his employment from the company effective immediately. Timmons’ resignation was accepted unanimously by the Hacienda Board of Directors.
Hacienda HealthCare was honored by the Arizona House of Representatives for its service to the long-term care industry. Under his leadership, Hacienda added over three dozen programs to provide medical and therapeutic services for medically fragile infants, children and young adults as well as individuals who have developmental and intellectual disabilities.
Gary Orman, Executive Vice President of the Hacienda Board and a Board Member since 1992, vowed that Hacienda “will accept nothing less than a full accounting of this absolutely horrifying situation, an unprecedented case that has devastated everyone involved, from the victim and her family to Hacienda staff at every level of our organization.”
“I want to assure our patients, their loved ones, our community partners, the agencies we do business with, Governor Ducey and the residents of Arizona, we will continue to cooperate with Phoenix Police and the investigating agencies at all levels in every way possible,” said Orman. “And we will do everything in our power to ensure the safety of every single one of our patients and our employees.”
After Arizona's Family released the exclusive story last week, family members of patients began coming forward, saying they had concerns about the facility's ability to keep their children safe.
"Trust has been broken," Karina Cesena said. "Trust has definitely been broken."
Cesena's 22-year-old daughter has lived at the Hacienda Skilled Nursing Facility for several years. She had a traumatic brain injury and now has hundreds of seizures a day.
Cesena was horrified to learn that a woman in a 14-year vegetative state was impregnated at the facility her daughter is living in. She is now staying in her daughter's room 24/7 until the rapist is found.
“I do not [know if my daughter was victimized], but I do ask her, and she can answer yes or no," Cesena said. "She is not able to walk or talk yet, but she does understand.”
Meantime, one state lawmaker is considering new legislation to protect patients living at long term healthcare facilities from abuse.
Arizona's Family reporter Dennis Welch spoke with Rep. Jeff Weninger on Monday.
Weninger says that one idea would be to allow families to install cameras in the rooms of their loved ones so they can be monitored remotely.
Louisiana passed a bill last year that healthcare facilities cannot turn down a request for a camera.
"You can hook these up through an Internet signal in nursing homes," Weninger said.
Weninger says he still on the early stages looking at the issue.