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Police: Assisted living facility director called residents 'crybabies' after building lost power

Posted at 8:20 PM, Oct 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-20 06:47:47-04

Wet carpets, unbearable temperatures and mildew.

They are just a few of the new details surfacing after the Savannah Court Assisted Living Facility in West Palm Beach came under heavy criticism in the days following Hurricane Irma.

Back on Sept. 12, West Palm Beach Fire Rescue responded to Savannah Court after an anonymous tipster reported the conditions inside the home.

Law enforcement came back the next day to check the facility, only to find residents hadn’t been moved from the scorching second floor to the cooler first floor.

When asked why, the director of the center Michael DeSalvo said the elevators were broken.

He added “You don’t know these people. They are all a bunch of whiny crybabies and have been before the storm.”

Police say he took water and ice, but refused generators from the city. 

Making their way inside, a police sergeant reported wet carpets, high temperatures and mildew.

Police also observed sandwiches on a counter unattended and unrefrigerated. 

They say the people living at the facility were wearing paper clothing, fanning themselves with objects. 

Some of them asked police to do something about the hot temps.

Investigators say staff did not feel management was providing for the basic needs of residents and staff in a timely manner.

That day, Emergency Operations director Brent Bloomfiled talked about the sweltering conditions

“They might as well be sitting outside, because that’s how hot it is in the building,” he said. 

A sergeant says DeSalvo “wasn’t the least bit interested with our concerns for the elderly residents.”

Our cameras showed up shortly after that walkthrough, where DeSalvo pushed one of our photojournalists.

DeSalvo later told me off camera that he refused to take generators because some were already on the way, and that he didn’t want to take from those who really needed them.

A few hours later those generators did arrive. 

Fire rescue checked the facility again…and found that things were back up to speed. 

NewsChannel 5 spoke with Desalvo Thursday, but he refused to comment.

The police department has closed it’s investigation.

WPTV has reached out to the Agency for Health Care Administration, which regulates these facilities, but we’re still waiting to hear back from them.

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