Day: July 7, 2020

NJ Board of Nursing Temporarily Suspends Certification of Homemaker-Home Health Aide Charged with Criminal Sexual Contact Against 84-Year-Old Patient in Jackson Twp Assisted Living Facility

Action Comes as Division Focuses on How Professional Boards Address Allegations of Sexual Misconduct by Licensees

July 7, 2020

Filed Orders:


De Gonzalez

De Fernandez






NEWARK – Continuing its commitment to protecting the elderly from abuse at the hands of their caretakers, and addressing sexual misconduct and abuse by licensed professionals, the Division of Consumer Affairs (“the Division”) today announced the temporary suspension of a certified homemaker-home health aide (“CHHA”) charged with aggravated criminal sexual contact against an 84-year-old patient at an Ocean County long-term care facility where the CHHA worked. 

Michael A. Edwards, a.k.a. Michael A. Donaldson, 32, of Manchester, was arrested on May 21 after his employer, Sunrise Senior Living facility in Jackson, told police that another employee caught Edwards inappropriately touching an elderly woman in her room at the facility. His employment at the facility has been terminated.

Edwards is one of eight CHHAs sanctioned by the State Board of Nursing (“the Board”) this year following arrests for crimes allegedly committed on or off the job. In a Consent Order filed by the Board on June 22, Edwards agreed to the temporary suspension pending the outcome of his criminal case.

His suspension comes as the Division, under the direction of Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal, undertakes a sweeping review of how its 51 professional boards  — which oversee approximately 720,000 active licensed professionals, from accountants and doctors to plumbers and veterinarians — address allegations involving the sexual misconduct and abuse of licensees and applicants.

The review, which is currently underway, will include evaluations of whether boards should ask additional questions on license applications, how boards approach investigations and discipline, and how boards engage with complainants alleging sexual misconduct and abuse by a licensee or applicant.

“It’s an egregious abuse of trust when any licensee sexually preys on a patient or client, but it is especially heinous when the victim is an elderly individual under their care,” said Attorney General Grewal. “The actions announced today underscore both the need for our professional boards to remain vigilant in protecting vulnerable patients, as well as the importance of the review they are presently undertaking to better protect victims and hold licensees accountable for their actions.”

 “We take all allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse by licensees seriously, especially when they involve patients or clients in positions of vulnerability,” said Paul R. Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “It is to protect victims in cases like these that we are committed to undertaking this review of how professional and occupational licensing boards handle allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse.”

Since January, the Board has also filed Orders against the following CHHAs charged with crimes:

  • Yolanda A. Penalo De Gonzalez, 40, of Hackensack. De Gonzalez’s certification was temporarily suspended on June 29 pending the outcome of criminal charges filed against her in connection with an alleged knife attack on her husband during a domestic dispute on March 14, 2020.  De Gonzalez is charged with aggravated assault, terroristic threats, and domestic violence. The incident was unrelated to her employment.
  • Josefina Milagros Brito De Fernandez, 49, of Camden. De Fernandez’s certification was temporarily suspended on June 15 pending the outcome of criminal endangerment charges stemming from her care of an 80-year-old woman during the COVID-19 public health crisis, which the Office of the Attorney General announced on May 15. De Fernandez allegedly defied health officials’ orders to self-isolate over fears she may have contracted the coronavirus, and instead continued caring for her elderly charge without wearing a face mask or other personal protective equipment.  The woman and four other people living in the household later contracted COVID-19. The elderly woman was subsequently hospitalized and died.
  • Emma Llanes, 57, of North Bergen. Llanes’ certification was permanently revoked on May 21 after she pled guilty to endangering another person in connection with her mistreatment of a 90-year-old bedridden patient she cared for in the woman’s Clifton home. Llanes was arrested in May 2019 as a result of incriminating video showing her slapping the elderly woman’s legs, grabbing her by the neck and shoving her head forward, and otherwise mistreating her. The footage was captured by a hidden camera the victim’s family borrowed from Division’s Safe Care Cam program.
  • Myrlande Dornelus, 41, of Elizabeth.  Dornelus’ certification was temporarily suspended on May 21 pending the outcome of murder and related weapons charges in connection with an alleged incident involving an elderly patient. Dornelus is accused of fatally stabbing Anna Pollard, a 62-year old woman she was caring for in the woman’s Elizabeth home on April 13, 2020.
  • Oleg Protas, 53, of Marlton. Protas’ certification was permanently revoked on February 13, after he pled guilty to criminal sexual contact in connection with a 2017 incident involving a female acquaintance. Protas’ certification had been temporarily suspended by the Board pending the outcome of the criminal charges against him. The incident was unrelated to his employment.
  • Adeola S. Pade, 53, of Plainsboro. Pade’s certification was temporarily suspended on February 13 pending the outcome of criminal charges stemming from a hit and run accident that killed a pedestrian in East Windsor in December 2019. Pade was charged with knowingly leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death, and other related offenses. The incident was unrelated to her employment.
  • Elizabeth H. Dungee, 33, of Roselle.  Dungee’s certification was temporarily suspended on January 29 pending the outcome of criminal charges in connection with the theft of a patient’s credit card. Dungee was working at Brightview Senior Living in Warren in October 2019 when she allegedly stole a credit card from a resident and used it to make $240 worth of fraudulent charges. Warren Township police arrested Dungee on December 4, 2019 and charged her with credit card fraud and credit card theft in connection with the alleged incident.

Investigators with the Enforcement Bureau within the Division of Consumer Affairs conducted investigations in these cases.

Deputy Attorney General Shirley Dickstein of the Consumer Affairs Counseling Section of the Division of Law is representing the State in these matters.

For more information about the Division’s Safe Care Cam, or to learn how to apply for a camera, visit the Consumer Affairs website at

Patients who believe that they have been treated by a licensed health care professional in an inappropriate manner can file an online complaint with the State Division of Consumer Affairs by visiting its website or by calling 973-504-6200 to request a complaint form.

Wanted For Shoplifting

July 7, 2020

EWING TOWNSHIP, NJ (MERCER)–On June 28, 2020 at approximately 10:15 am, the unidentified pictured female was captured on Shop-Rite video surveillance shoplifting what was estimated to be $629.23 worth of miscellaneous items. The female was observed placing the items in a shopping cart which included a Daewoo 5000 BTU window unit air conditioner. Once the shopping cart was full, she bypassed all points of sale and was seen entering what appeared to be a tan or gold colored Chevy Trail Blazer. The female then proceeded out of the parking lot and onto Parkside Avenue out of site. Anyone able to assist with the identification of the pictured female are urged to contact Detective Morris of the Ewing Police Department at (609) 882-1313 ext. 5561, email at or the Ewing Police confidential tip line at (609) 882-7530.

Chambersburg Columbus Statue To Be Removed

Statement from City of Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora on Chambersburg Columbus Statue

July 7, 2020

TRENTON, NJ (MERCER)–The current national debate on racial justice has led to a long-overdue examination of how we honor our past, including our statues, monuments, and the names of our parks and schools. Our communities rightfully expect that the individuals we celebrate actually represent the principles of freedom and equality that we all hold dear.

The statue of Christopher Columbus, long held in the park of the same name, will be taken down and placed in storage. We’re grateful for the community input we’ve received on both sides of the issue, but what we know about Columbus simply makes his image a poor fit for a city that is as diverse as Trenton. We will continue to engage the community on where the statue should go and what the new name of the park will be. –City of Trenton Mayor W. Reed Gusciora

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

NJ MVC FAILURE: 1,000s Wait In Extreme Long Lines At NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Buildings, Complete Chaos as Fights Reported In Trenton and Edison

Motor Vehicle Commission Wait Times A Total Disaster With Times Exceeding Three Hours, with new reports some waited 6+ hours with nothing done. Fights were reported in at least Trenton and Edison. Edison Police had to call neighboring departments for help.

July 7, 2020 posted at 4 pm, updated at 9 pm.

TRENTON, LAWRENCE TOWNSHIP, (MERCER), SOUTH BRUNSWICK, (MIDDLESEX), NJ –People set up camp and waited in line, some earlier than 6 am but, they were not waiting in line for a Black Friday Sale, A Trump Rally or even concert tickets, they were just waiting for a visit to the local NJ Motor Vehicle Commission office.

It has been months since people could process an in person transaction to get or renew a license, register a car, get new plates and any other in person transaction that the MVC office processes.

The extremely long lines, snaked though parking lots, around buildings and even up the side of highways as the first day the NJ MVC opened its doors since the COVID-19 closures months ago.

Just after 8 am, a fight was reported this morning at the NJ Motor Vehicle Commission in Trenton on South Stockton Street. Trenton Police responded and reported that the line was wrapped around the building.

In South Brunswick/Dayton hundreds were in line as the line snaked back and fourth though the parking lot then eventually up Route 130. A group of people still about 100 deep at that location reported they had been in line since 6 am.

In Lawrence at Bakers Basin the scene was similar with lines wrapping around and though parking lots. People sat in chairs and under umbrellas and even a frozen dessert truck set up in the area near Route 1.

Edison, NJ we have a report of a disturbance at the Edison NJ Motor Vehicle Commission and Edison Police had to call mutual aid departments to the scene around 1:42 pm.

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South Brunswick-Dayton: NJ Motor Vehicle Commission:

Photos below by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News

Trenton NJ Motor Vehicle Commission:

Lawrence Township: NJ Motor Vehicle Commission Bakers Basin:

Photos by: Brian McCarthy OnScene News