Today’s news:

Gavel to Gavel

Criminal probe in hospital death

A grand jury has been empaneled to determine if criminal charges should be brought against employees of Kings County Hospital Center in the death of Esmin Green – a psychiatric patient who was left to die in the emergency room last year.

Prosecutors said that potential witnesses to the hours leading up to Green’s death will be questioned from now until early fall.

The criminal probe was launched after Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn from the city’s Department of Investigation uncovered some troubling information on how Green was treated in the days leading up to her death.

Officials said that Green arrived at the hospital by ambulance at 6:30 a.m. on June 18, 2008, was diagnosed with schizophrenia and psychosis and ordered to be admitted involuntarily.

She was still awaiting care 24 hours later when she collapsed from a blood clot and died on the floor of the psychiatric emergency room.

Yet the Department of Investigation findings show that “there was a breakdown in Ms. Green’s care during four medical shifts on June 18 and June 19, 2009.”

According to the Department of Investigation, hospital personnel failed to administer blood work and an EKG, failed to monitor vital signs, and doctors failed to conduct a medical examination.

Her death could have been avoided if any of these tests were conducted, investigators learned.

Green’s death led to wide sweeping changes in how patients are treated at the hospital, which had to fork over millions in a civil suit filed by the woman’s family.

Slaughterhouse turns into legal lamb

Feathers were flying in Brooklyn Federal Court last week as prosecutors hammered out a “consent decree” with a borough slaughterhouse accused of selling uninspected poultry.

Following a legal squabble, attorneys for Island Farm Meat Corporation and its president, Mohammed Aldeen, have agreed to a consent decree barring them from “selling uninspected poultry to the general public and establishes extensive sanitary standards” at their facility on 21st Street in Sunset Park.

Officials from the U.S. Attorney’s office said that the slaughterhouse could face stiff fines if it is determined that they are continuing to violate the Poultry Products Inspection Act (PPIA).

Their investigation revealed that Island Farm and Aldeen, who operate under an exemption to the PPIA which allows them to sell uninspected poultry products to individuals for consumption in their own home, repeatedly violated the company’s exempt status by diverting uninspected poultry to retail stores for direct sale.

“With the successful resolution of this matter, a significant health risk to the public has ended,” U.S. Attorney Benton J. Campbell said in a statement, although it wasn’t clear if anyone had been made sick by Aldeen’s flaunting of the rules.

Bouncer bounced into

jail cell – for life

The nightclub bouncer convicted of kidnapping and killing John Jay College graduate student Imette St. Guillen was sentenced to life in prison without parole last week.

Darryl Littlejohn, 44, who is already serving 25 years to life for a kidnapping in Queens, showed no emotion as Judge Abraham Gerges handed down his decision on July 8.

Littlejohn, a bouncer at the Falls Bar in Manhattan, was convicted of grabbing and then murdering St. Guillen, 24, as she left the bar in the early morning hours of February 25, 2006.

St. Guillen’s body was discovered wrapped in a dirty bedspread and dumped on a deserted section of Fountain Avenue, just north of the Belt Parkway, in East New York a few days later.

She was bound and gagged and had been sexually assaulted, officials said.

A medical examiner later determined that she had died of asphyxiation.

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