ST. PAUL - The Duluth company that operates four group homes for mentally-ill adults is under close scrutiny by state licensing officials following accusations of emotional abuse and neglect.
Minnesota Public Radio News says the Minnesota Department of Human Services has placed Heartland Homes on conditional licenses, which could lead to revocation or suspension if additional violations occur.
A state investigation dates back to March 2011, when two clients at a four-bed facility died within two days of each other.
The investigation of those deaths was followed three months later by allegations that an employee verbally abused three residents and threw a pizza box and soda at them.
Company co-owner Jennifer Klaas says she will appeal the agency's decision to place the facilities on conditional licenses.