Charging that developmentally disabled patients had been “sexually exploited and abused,” the state Department of Social Service on Friday ordered the closing of five of six Machado Family Homes in Los Angeles and Orange counties.
Cathleen Norris, a department spokeswoman in Sacramento, said a state investigation had revealed that administrators at the homes had failed to provide adequate care and supervision.
The agency ordered closure of a home in Los Angeles County at 13418 Rose St. in Cerritos, and four homes in Orange County.
Norris said no problems were found at the Machado home in Torrance, and it was allowed to stay open.
The order to close the homes came two months after Orange County’s Developmental Disabilities Center, which places disabled adults in homes under contract with the state, filed a lawsuit alleging that Norlan Machado Jr. abused two male patients.
Machado declined comment Friday, referring all questions to attorney Ernest J. Franceschi Jr. Franceschi said that his clients were innocent and he would file a written response on Monday.
The homes that were closed were run by Machado and his mother, Maria Machado. They provided care for 42 adult patients, six of them in the Cerritos facility. However, most of the patients had been removed by the disabilities center after the investigation was begun in May.
Center officials have charged that over a four-year period two patients were burned by hot water while showering, two women patients were found to be pregnant, and two male patients were sexually abused.
But the tearful parents of two patients expressed sadness Friday over the state’s action.
Charles and Shirley Wolff of Los Alamitos, who have been staunch supporters of the Machado family, were angry that they had to move their autistic son, Bryce, 29, who had lived at an Orange County home for seven years.
“They gave excellent care,” Shirley Wolff said. “It’s a sad day. They are swooping down like vultures.”
Carolyn Gilmore of Santa Ana also had to remove her daughter, Vicki, 27, who had lived at an Orange County home for eight years.
“We’re all heartbroken,” she said. “We think they’ll come back here some day. We’re going to work for it. I’ve never seen my child abused.”