Adams Funeral Homes Shut Down 2 Months

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Two funeral homes owned by a former Compton city councilman have been shut down for 60 days following complaints that the family-run business allowed an unlicensed embalmer to work on bodies.

Charges of misrepresentation were dismissed against former City Councilman Robert Adams Sr. after he told an administrative law judge that he was absent from the business when the violations took place, said James B. Allen, executive director of the state Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers.

"Apparently, Robert Adams Sr. was with the City Council full time and wasn't involved in the day-to-day business," Allen said. Adams served on the council from 1977 to 1989, when he lost his bid for reelection.

The state board did find fault with Adams' son, however, and placed him and the funeral homes on probation. As a condition of probation, the elder Adams was ordered to return to managing the business.

Robert Adams Jr. settled his case in March by admitting to aiding and abetting in unlicensed embalming, misrepresentation, fraud and unprofessional behavior. His embalmer's license was suspended for 60 days, and he agreed to enter a drug rehabilitation program.

The Adams Funeral Homes in Pomona and Compton were closed for 60 days, beginning May 16, and Robert Adams Sr. has agreed to be present at the business for a reasonable number of hours each week during three years of probation.

The violations were brought to light after a family complained about the appearance of a body to the state funeral board, Allen said.

The family first complained to Robert Adams Jr., saying the body did not resemble their loved one, Allen said.

"So, in full view of the family--in the funeral home's viewing room --Adams Jr. went over and did corrective work on the body," Allen said. "He admitted to having a drug problem at the time that interfered with his judgment."

An investigation revealed that the body had been prepared by an unlicensed employee who had been hired by Robert Adams Jr. The younger Adams has since left the family business, Allen said.

During the three-year probation, the Adams Funeral Homes must submit a report every three months, detailing every body embalmed and stating which licensed embalmer did the work, Allen said.

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