Charges dropped against shuttered Virginia assisted living facility officials

PETERSBURG, Va. – Charges have been dropped against two officials with a beleaguered Petersburg assisted living facility.

The same day residents began moving out of the bedbug-infested Fillmore Place at the center of a months-long 8News Taking Action Investigation, a city fire marshal found cause to file a complaint against Brenda Seal and Saifullah Niazi. New court documents reveal why.

In the criminal complaint, Assistant Fire Marshal Jeffrey Fleming wrote the fire alarm system wasn’t operable and that both Seal and Niazi had received prior notices of violation. It states they’d been instructed to have the system repaired, tested and inspected.

And yet, despite the multiple prior notices of violation, just a day after the state ordered Fillmore Place to shut down over repeated violations, they were both charged for failure to maintain the functionality of the fire alarm system. One of the violations previously noted by Department of Social Services inspectors earlier this year, had been a fire alarm dangling from the wall.

The court documents appear to indicate a broken elevator had initially brought Fleming to Fillmore. The complaint for that related charge stating that prior notices of violation for that issue required the elevator to be repaired, inspected and certified before noon on September 16th.

But Fleming found it inoperable, thus filing a complaint for failing to test, inspect and certify the safety of an elevator.

A broken elevator is already in violation of the law. However, given the mobility challenges of many of the several dozen residents at Fillmore Place, it posed a much greater issue.

8News is still waiting to hear from the Commonwealth’s Attorney as to why the office dropped the charges against Seal and Niazi.

Fillmore Place is no longer in operation.