Reported violations at La Crescenta day care extend from 2008

State inspectors logged years of violations for incomplete children's records and unkempt conditions, including a nagging odor of urine, at a La Crescenta day-care facility where 2-year-old girl tested positive for marijuana this week.

Roubena Hartounian, director of Bina's Family Child Care, was repeatedly cited for failing to eliminate the strong odor of urine inside the facility in the 3200 block of Orange Avenue and maintaining improper equipment, according to records from the California Department of Social Services, which licenses day-care facilities.

PHOTOS: Daycare center closed after child tests positive for marijuana

Over the course of half a dozen unannounced visits since 2008, inspectors found feces on a restroom toilet, no working smoke detectors, and flies, spider webs and dead spiders on the ceiling of the children's room in the facility.

TIMELINE: History of violations at Bina's Family Child Care

Hartounian was also issued $1,500 in civil penalties for repeatedly failing to get proper background clearance for her parents, who were frequently seen inside the facility.

Calls made to Hartounian have not been returned.

Hartounian was arrested on Wednesday on suspicion of child neglect and endangerment when detectives went to her day-care facility to investigate why a 2-year-old Montrose girl under her supervision tested positive for marijuana, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

The girl's parents picked her up from the day care on Tuesday and noticed she was lethargic. When the girl's condition didn't improve, her parents took her to the hospital and doctors discovered THC, an active ingredient of marijuana, in her blood.

The incident sparked an investigation into the day-care facility, where detectives discovered rat droppings on children's toys, faulty toilets and a filthy kitchen strewn with knives. Detectives also found drug paraphernalia, including a bong.

The discovery prompted city officials to shut down the facility that same day. Officials have also determined the facility had been without power since late July.

In April, state inspectors visited the facility on a complaint about Hartounian yelling at infants and children and parents not being allowed access to the children's area.

However, they determined the complaint was inconclusive. Inspectors found there were insufficient corroborating statements and physical evidence, according to records.

During the same visit, they reportedly found Hartounian sleeping on a couch on the second floor of the facility while a child was alone downstairs.

Most recently, inspectors visited the facility on May 21 and observed Hartounian instructing two children to run and hide behind a rear garage.

While interviewing the children, one of them told inspectors Hartounian allegedly pushed another child in the kitchen for not asking for permission to go to the restroom.

Hartounian, who obtained her license in April 2005, was required to submit a written explanation for her behavior.

Violations are handled on a case-by-case basis, according to the department's spokesman Michael Weston.

Neil Zanville, a spokesman for Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services, said the last time one of the agency's clients used the day-care facility was in January 2012.

He added that the department only provides clients with a toll-free number to call for services and does not refer them to specific facilities.

"The fact is, we just haven't been using this facility," Zanville said.

Hartounian posted $100,000 bail on Wednesday and is scheduled to appear Sept. 26 in a Los Angeles County Superior courtroom.


Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.


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