New Jersey hospital fined $63K over gun cache

The New Jersey Department of Health has fined Hudson Regional Hospital $63,000 for various licensure violations after dozens of guns were found in an unlocked closet at the Secaucus, N.J.-based hospital in July. 

Police found the cache of firearms July 18 while doing a sweep of Hudson Regional Hospital in response to a bomb threat, which was later determined to be a hoax. The guns were discovered in the closet of an office used by Reuven Alonalayoff, the hospital's marketing director. Mr. Alonalayoff was arrested in August and charged with possession of an assault firearm and two counts of possession of a high-capacity magazine.

In a Nov. 30 letter to hospital leadership, state health officials said Hudson Regional Hospital violated state licensing standards by failing to report the bomb threat and discovery of the gun cache. The hospital was also cited for failing to "maintain a violence prevention plan and implement policies and procedures to maintain a safe hospital environment," the health department said.

Hudson Regional Hospital has 30 days from the notice to either pay the fines or request a formal hearing challenging the penalties. 

"The presence of weapons in a hospital is inexcusable beyond comprehension and contradicts our mission of care and our commitment to the safety of our community of staff, patients and the extended community," Hudson Regional Hospital officials said in a statement to in August. "While regrettable, this incident has given us occasion to review security protocols and we have taken steps to assure that it will never happen again."

Editor's note: Becker's has reached out to Hudson Regional Hospital for comment and will update the article as more information becomes available.

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