Christine Stuart photo
Attorney General Richard Blumenthal and Sen. President Donald Williams (Christine Stuart photo )

State officials accused a nursing home chain of taking millions in Connecticut taxpayer dollars and using them to purchase a nursing home in Springfield, Mass.

Sen. President Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, said while it’s not illegal to do this, it’s what lead to the nursing home chains financial difficulties. “We ought to know when Connecticut taxpayer’s money is leaving the state,” he said.

“An overambitious nursing home acquisition has drained the chain’s resources, impairing solvency,” Attorney General Richard Blumenthal said in a press release.

The nursing home chain they’re referring to is Marathon HealthCare Center, which has more than 500 beds in six cities and towns, including New Haven, Norwalk, Prospect, Torrington, Waterbury, and West Haven. Marathon has filed for federal bankruptcy protection.

Blumenthal said Friday that he filed a receivership complaint in Hartford Superior Court for the $7 million in past due taxes and other expenses, Marathon owes the state. However, if Marathon filed for bankruptcy protection first, then the state court action will likely be stayed, Blumenthal said.

He said if the bankruptcy protection was filed first then the state will “take other appropriate steps, such as seeking appointment of a health care ombudsman and management consultant to safeguard residents and assets.”

In the wake of the Haven nursing home scandal reported by the Hartford Courant, lawmakers are considering ways to hold nursing home owners accountable for their finances and patient care.