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Gun stockpile in hospital closet leads to $63K in fines from NJ health dept.

A health care worker exits the emergency room at Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus, New Jersey, on December 11, 2020.
Enlarge / A well being care employee exits the emergency room at Hudson Regional Hospital in Secaucus, New Jersey, on December 11, 2020.

The New Jersey well being division has fined a state hospital $63,000 after police found a stockpile of 39 firearms—together with an unlawful assault rifle with a high-capacity journal—stashed in an unlocked hospital closet.

The firearm stockpile was discovered on the afternoon of July 18, when Secaucus police have been referred to as to the Hudson Regional Hospital over a bomb menace. The bomb menace was later decided to be a hoax, however whereas police carried out a security sweep of the ability, bomb-sniffing canines led officers to the weapons.

The stash included 11 handguns of assorted calibers, 27 rifles/shotguns, and a Kriss Vector .45 caliber semi-automatic rifle with a high-capacity journal, which police decided to be an unlawful assault rifle. Moreover, they discovered a 14-round high-capacity handgun journal. (Pictures of the stockpile have been caught on released body cam footage.)

Police decided that the small armory belonged to Reuven Alonalayoff, 46, of Elmwood Park, who was employed because the hospital’s advertising director on the time. Alonalayoff stored the weapons in an unlocked closet inside his workplace.

On August 7, Secaucus police arrested Alonalayoff on state expenses of 1 rely of unlawful possession of an assault firearm and two counts of unlawful possession of a high-capacity journal.

On the time, police declined to supply additional particulars on why Alonalayoff introduced the weapons to the hospital or what he might need deliberate to do with them. The police division famous that Alonalayoff was arrested at Newark Liberty Worldwide Airport with help from america Division of Homeland Safety Investigations.

“The unsecured storage of a giant cache of weaponry, particularly on this location, definitely creates a danger to public security,” Secaucus Police Chief Dennis Miller mentioned on the time. “I commend the efforts and professionalism of all of the police personnel concerned on this investigation and am grateful this case was resolved with out anybody being harmed.”

Hospital failures

However the state of affairs is not over for Hudson Regional Hospital. In a letter dated November 30, the New Jersey well being division issued $63,000 in fines to the hospital for failing to instantly notify the division of the bomb menace, the invention of the firearms, and for failing to implement insurance policies and procedures to take care of a protected hospital atmosphere.

In its investigation, the well being division discovered that Alonalayoff had carried the firearms into the hospital “months prior” to their discovery. He managed to take action by carrying them in circumstances wrapped in plastic. Safety employees failed to examine or query Alonalayoff on the contents of the circumstances as he carried them in “due to familiarity” with him, the division discovered. Moreover, the division realized that an administrative assistant had in some unspecified time in the future entered Alonalayoff’s workplace whereas he was away and noticed the weapons within the closet as a result of the closet door was left barely ajar. Nonetheless, she didn’t report the firearms to anybody, telling investigators that it was none of her enterprise.

Although the well being division states in its letter that Alonalayoff and the executive assistant have been the one ones conscious of the weapons, a police report obtained by Politico notes that the executive assistant alleged that Hudson Regional Hospital owner and chair Yan Moshe was also aware of the guns.

Finally, the well being division fined the hospital $1,000 per day for failing to implement security measures, stretching from July 11—the final day Alonalayoff was within the workplace—to September 9, when the hospital lastly “educated safety employees on insurance policies and procedures to take care of a protected hospital atmosphere.” That totaled $61,000. The steadiness of the high-quality was for 2 $1,000 expenses from failing to inform the division of each the bomb menace and the firearm discovery.

In a statement to NJBIZ, hospital spokesperson Ron Simoncini mentioned, “Hudson Regional Hospital designed a corrective motion plan in response to a discover from the Division of Well being regarding an incident the place firearms have been found within the hospital. The DOH accepted our plan, which was applied and is in pressure, stopping any such incidents from occurring sooner or later. The DOH observed us of its penalties for the infraction, which we’re remitting sooner or later.”

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