GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids woman is facing criminal charges after she allegedly used a dead woman’s nursing license to fake her credentials and land a job.
Tekeyta Teasley, 43, is charged with performing an occupation without a license, a misdemeanor charge with a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail, court records show.
Kent County jail records show Teasley turned herself in on Jan. 7 and made a first court appearance on the charge a week later.
The allegations surfaced after Teasley got a job at the Beacon Hill assisted living facility in southeast Grand Rapids. Human resources officials with the company grew suspicious after noticing irregularities with the photocopied license Teasley presented.
The document listed the suspect’s name as Tekeyta S. Teasley, which caught Beacon Hill hiring official’s attention because state nursing licenses always list the person’s full name.
Another irregularity was in the expiration date of the license. The state ended a practice where many licenses expired on March 31 of a given year. This license had a March 31 expiration date in 2021.
The suspicions were confirmed when the ID number on the license matched with someone else. The number linked to a license that expired on March 31, 2013, a year before the actual license holder died.
“When we asked for an original document from the candidate she was not able to produce one,” Jeffrey Huegli, Beacon Hill at Eastgate’s President and CEO, told News 8. “When we presented the reference to the state it also was not valid there.”
Less than two weeks after she was hired, Teasley was fired from Beacon Hill. The staff there notified state and local authorities who investigated and filed the charge Teasley now faces.
“She never really had any responsibilities here at all,” Huegli said of her time at Beacon Hill. He said that Teasley was still going through orientation and was not yet caring for patients.
Huegli said his hiring officials typically conduct further background screening after an employee is hired. He said this incident was an example of the system working the way it was supposed to.
“It’s really encouraging to know that we are able to establish what’s valid right away,” Huegli said.
A man who answered the door at the address listed for Teasley on court papwerwork said she wasn’t there Tuesday afternoon and didn’t live there.
“Maybe ya’ll gonna have to get in somebody else’s business ain’t ya,” the man said. “That’s how you make your living gettin’ in people’s business?”
Prior to noticing the documentation irregularities, officials at Beacon Hill say they were impressed with Teasley. They said she interviewed well and seemed to know the terminology associated with the nursing position she was applying for.
“We hire for heart and talent and she obviously fit a profile for us,” Huegli said. “I’ve been in this business 27 years … I’ve never once seen a licensure issue of this sort.”
Records indicate at least a few other healthcare positions held in Teasley’s past. It’s not clear whether or not there are allegations of false documentation connected to those jobs.
It does appear that Teasley attended Grand Rapids Community College for a time.