PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — Two people are now facing charges in connection with conditions at a Petersburg assisted living facility shuttered by the state.
Brenda Seal and Saifullah Niazi have both been charged with violating the fire prevention code and failing to maintain elevators at Fillmore Place. Both are Class 1 misdemeanors.
A spokesperson with the City of Petersburg said an investigation by the Fire Marshall led to the charges. According to court records, the offense date is listed as Sept. 16 — the date residents were moved out per the state’s order to stop operations at Fillmore following dozens of repeated violations and several failed inspections.
8News has not yet received a response to a record request that would show whether the Fire Marshall was — or should have been — involved at Fillmore Place before the facility was already closed down. However, reports from inspections — which Fillmore previously failed — show violations for issues like exposed wires and fire panels detached from the wall.
Seal was the facility’s administrator, while text messages with employees show Niazi handled things like the payroll — despite his wife — Shehla Niazi — holding the license for the facility as the administrator. Niazi’s former psychiatric office, where he practiced until losing his medical license for the second time, was also where Rite Way Inc., the holding company for Fillmore Place, was headquartered.
The charges represent another chapter in a months-long investigation 8News began in March.
At the time, two employees came forward with allegations Fillmore Place staff were doing nothing to clean up their act after failing an inspection in December and being put on a provisionally licensed status.
They provided pictures and videos of a widespread bedbug infestation, soiled sheets, filthy and inaccessible bathrooms and rotten food. They worried insufficient monitoring of the facility was putting residents there at risk.
The state, in determining the facility staff continued to be unable to substantially comply with laws and regulations, seemed to agree, by sending a notice on Monday, August 29 that its owner was facing a denied license renewal if it failed to successfully appeal. That failure ultimately led Fillmore Place to close down completely almost three weeks later.