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Alleged group home operator disputes ‘deplorable conditions’ claims

The woman who allegedly operated an unlicensed group home for months in the east valley told the Review-Journal on Saturday that she was unaware of “deplorable conditions” outlined in a police report and that the house was an “independent living” home.

Reached by phone Saturday, Mary Glenn confirmed that she rented out rooms at 3105 Parkdale Ave., where Metropolitan Police Department officers conducted a search Sept. 12 and arrested 51-year-old Bruce Wycoff on suspicion of elder abuse. Wycoff allegedly worked as a “house manager.”

Wycoff and other unidentified suspects allegedly “assumed positions of caregiving” with the residents, occasionally “insisting disabled people sleep on dirty mattresses on the floor” and failing to change residents’ diapers, the report states.

At the time of the search, police had identified six residents who were “victims of abuse and neglect,” the report states.

Conditions described during the search include a restroom without a working toilet, no air conditioning on the first floor, overcrowded rooms and what looked like urine spilled next to a bed where someone “seemed to have urinated in a plastic bottle,” the report states.

Some residents used wheelchairs, but no wheelchair ramps were found in the home, the report states. Eleven adults and two children under the age of 10 were living there Sept. 12, but residents who spoke to police during the investigation said that up to 20 people at a time have lived in the home.

Glenn, 56, disputed the extent of the conditions outlined in the report.

“When I had the home, I did the best I could to make sure it was clean,” she said.

During an interview with police at the home on May 23, Glenn described herself as a “landlord and more,” the report states.

“Everyone was healthy. No one complained of being hurt. No one complained of being neglected in any way,” Glenn said Saturday about the May 23 visit by police.

‘This is inhumane’

But during that visit, police found a man living at the home who was recently discharged from a hospital with the recommendation to go to a “skilled nursing facility,” the report states.

The man, whose illnesses include kidney failure, sepsis, bedsores and a brain disease that “alters brain function,” had been hospitalized May 11 after living at the home, the report said. Elder Protective Services reported the home after the man’s hospital visit, saying he “could not care for himself” and was “living in filthy conditions.”

On Saturday, home resident Shay Sloan said that since she moved in about two months ago, she’s been taking care of another resident who uses a wheelchair.

Sloan, 50, said that when she moved in, the resident was “sitting in his own feces.” She said she notified Glenn about the home’s condition when she moved in.

“The day after we got here, I said, ‘This is inhumane,’ ” she said. “Everything smells like (urine). It was god-awful.”

Sloan said she and the remaining residents, four of whom were seen at the home Saturday, have been cleaning up the house since Sept. 12. Mattresses leaned against the outside walls, and a large blue dumpster sat in the driveway.

John Crowe, who said he had been living at the home for three days when the raid happened, described the conditions outlined in the arrest report during an interview Friday and said he was concerned about bacteria in the house. Crowe said he’d had a recent bout with colon cancer and was afraid of getting sick.

Both Crowe and Sloan said they have been trying unsuccessfully to get a refund on rent from Glenn.

“I’m in the hole right now,” Crowe said. “I’m sort of between a rock and a hard place.”

Another resident, 51-year-old Darrell Short, described the house Saturday as “independent home living” and said, “Mary has nothing to do with this house anymore.”

Short said the man who owns the home gave them the dumpster to clean up.

Allegations denied

In a short phone conversation Saturday, Michael Oghigian confirmed that he owns the home through his company, 4M Properties.

“There’s an investigation into the people I rent the property to right now,” Oghigian said.

A man identified in the arrest report only as “Calvin” allegedly acted as Glenn and her husband’s “associate” who recruited people to live at the home, the report said.

When reached by phone Saturday, Calvin Leslie said he has recommended people to numerous homes throughout the valley, including the Parkdale address.

“Everybody that I deal with, they all got to be independent, and they all got to be able to feed themselves, clothe themselves, and all the places got to be clean,” he said.

Leslie said he’s been to the Parkdale property once, and afterward he told Glenn it was “filthy and nasty.”

He said he continued to refer people to the home after he saw it because “Mary said the house is all cleaned up and everything is fine.”

“All the time that I’ve been knowing this woman, since 2015, I have never, ever known her to have a filthy place,” he said.

During the police investigation, residents told detectives that rent costs $400 to $600 a month in cash and that they were promised individual rooms, food, assistance and supervision, the report states. Residents also said Glenn takes debit cards and food stamp cards from “the more incapable residents” to withdraw cash “under the guise of collecting rent.”

On Saturday, Glenn denied the allegations in the police report and said tenants were lying to detectives.

“A lot of these clients are trying to take advantage of this situation,” she said. “We’re just disappointed that this happened, and we’ve tried our best to do a lot for our tenants.”

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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