Secaucus, NJ hospital fined $63K didn’t tell state about guns in office
SECAUCUS – Hudson Regional Hospital has been fined $63,000 by the state Department of Health following the discovery of nearly 40 firearms stored in a closet by the hospital’s marketing director.
Secaucus police said K9s detected the firearms in the office of marketing director Reuven Alonalayoff, 46, while they were searching the premises after an unrelated bomb threat. Police Chief Dennis Miller said the bomb threat on July 18 was a hoax but the guns were real.
Alonalayoff was arrested on Aug. 7 at Newark Liberty International Airport returning from an "extended medical trip" to Israel, according to a report by ABC 7 Eyewitness News.
An investigation by the state Department of Health determined the hospital failed to maintain a violence prevention plan and implement policies and procedures to maintain a safe hospital environment in violation of administrative code. The results of the investigation were laid out in a document known as a notice of assessment of penalties.
Bomb threat not reported
According to the notice, administrators did not report the threat to the Department of Health as required. A staff member told investigators it was unclear as to whether or not it was reportable as police told them there was no threat. The incident should have been reported within three hours.
The report also shows Alonalayoff was present when K9s found the firearms. He told police the weapons were his and they had been in his office closet for "months." The weapons were in cases, covered in plastic, and not visible to anyone.
Alonalayoff brought them in using a cart but because of his friendly relationship with security, he was not asked what was in the cart. Security footage did not raise any flags when Alonalayoff brought them into the hospital.
An administrative assistant who used the bathroom in Alonalayoff's office on an undisclosed date told investigators she noticed the firearms through a door that was ajar. She didn't report it as she did not believe it to be any of her business.
Fined opening an education
The hospital was fined $1,000 a day between July 11 and September 9, the day the security staff was educated on policies and procedures to maintain a safe hospital environment, for a total of $61,000. Separate $1,000 fines were assessed for failure to report the bomb threat and the discovery of weapons.
Hudson Regional Hospital on Wednesday morning did not respond to New Jersey 101.5's request for comment on the findings.
Police said they found over three dozen handguns, shotguns, and rifles including:
— 11 handguns of various calibers
— 27 rifles/shotguns
— A Kriss Vector .45 caliber semi-automatic rifle with a high-capacity magazine
— A 14-round high-capacity handgun magazine.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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