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Rudd woman allegedly abandons residents at assisted living facility

MASON CITY – A Rudd woman allegedly abandoned people that depended on her care at an assisted living complex in Mason City this weekend and has been charged with six felonies, among other charges.

According to the Cerro Gordo County Sheriff’s Office, Debra Jean Ihrig, age 54, of Rudd, Iowa, was arrested by deputies on April 6, 2014 after she allegedly abandoned the residents that she was hired to supervise at Country Meadow Place Assisted Living, located at 17396 Kingbird Avenue in Mason City.

The incident took place on April 5, 2014 between the hours of 1:15 am and 6:10am and she was the only staff on duty during the night. Ihrig has been charged with six (6) counts of Neglect or Abandonment of a Dependant Person (Class C Felony) and nine (9) counts of Wanton Neglect of a Dependant Adult (Serious Misd).

The case remains under investigation and more charges are possible, the sheriff’s office said.

Ihrig, Debra Jean

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If one of those people had die(your mother/father/grandparents because of her walking off the job she would have been charged with murder and rightfully so. When you accept a job as a caregiver you accept responsibility for their wellbeing when you are on duty. She deserves everything she gets and then some. She took money to do a job and cheated the people she took it from as well as the people who depended on her to be there.

I would think this would default to the organization being held liable, versus the person being charged with felonies. She was working in an official capacity for the organization and these people were not her personal dependents. Would these same charges apply against prison or jail officials if they left prisoners unattended? Or would they merely be reprimanded? Yes, she should be fired, but I’m thinking this is a bit over the top in the level of charges being filed. Felonies?

And why this strikes me as overkill is due to the outrageous loss of rights that occurs once a person is deemed a “felon.” If this person is convicted she wouldn’t be able to vote any more, defend herself from attack using a firearm (2nd Amendment right is revoked),face employment discrimination, and many other consequences. I don’t know the circumstances, but it’s highly possible she just stepped out somewhere and the residents were all sleeping. Would you qualify that as a FELONY?

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