- Associated Press - Thursday, December 3, 2015

BUTLER, Pa. (AP) - The client of a former western Pennsylvania home care worker who admitted to theft and fraud says her caregiver is a kind and compassionate person.

Mary Fisher, who uses a wheelchair because of a permanent illness, told a judge that Marie Gazaille took good care of her, helped with her father until he died and watched her own children.

“Give her another chance,” Fisher asked the judge. “Temper justice with mercy.”

Fisher then produced gifts for Gazaille’s children.

Gazaille pleaded guilty to theft and filing a fraudulent medical assistance claim after accusations that she billed the state for hundreds of hours that she did not work.

After hearing from Fisher, a judge sentenced Gazaille on Tuesday to three years’ probation and ordered her to repay nearly $4,500 to the home care provider, The Butler Eagle reported (https://bit.ly/1OzOgi4). But the judge then decided Gazaille’s probation could end if she paid all court costs and restitution.

Authorities say Gazaille drove Fisher to the home of Gazaille’s mother in Massachusetts on May 29, 2014. Documents show Gazaille then drove to Butler, Pennsylvania, and Fisher meanwhile had to be admitted to the hospital for four days.

After Fisher was released from the hospital, records show, she became critically for days then was hospitalized again when Gazaille returned the following June 13.

“This investigation has shown that the reason for the delay in Fisher’s hospitalization was because the defendant had abandoned Ms. Fisher,” the state attorney general’s office said in an affidavit.

The state also accuses Gazaille of billing for hours she couldn’t have worked because Gazaille said on social media that she was in Dallas or Las Vegas.


Information from: Butler Eagle, https://www.butlereagle.com

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