NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - The Virginia Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers suspended the license of a Norfolk funeral home owner after, they say, he violated numerous state codes.
Carlos A. Howard, of Carlos A. Howard Funeral Home, is accused of violating state codes in the cases of three different clients.
The board says around July 13-15, 2011 Howard transferred an improperly labeled body to Nix & Nix Funeral Homes in Philadelphia. According to the board, the decedent arrived at Nix & Nix in poor condition with unsightly bullet marks in his face.
The Philadelphia funeral home had to do restorative work on the decedent's face, so the body could be viewed. The state claims the body was also leaking embalming fluid.
Howard is accused of violating yet another state code when he gave the Nix & Nix staff a box, he said, was to be delivered to the family. The order says it was implied that the box contained personal effects. But, the box, in fact, held intestines and organs from the body.
The board says Howard violated state code with the second client listed in the order by delaying a deposit for a pre-arranged/prefunded funeral.
State regulations require that such deposits be transferred in 30-days. Howard allegedly delayed a deposit of $1,500 from Client B's trust at a nursing facility into an account certificate of deposit for more than four months in 2009, the board's order states.
The order also alleges that around Sept. 20-24, 2010 Howard refused to release remains to another funeral home at the family's request. The board says Howard insisted that he would have to be paid for the "removal, transport and embalming services already performed by his funeral home".
But Howard says he hasn't done anything wrong and has the paperwork to prove it.
"The case was embalmed, properly loaded on the gurney, the remains were properly sent to the funeral home," Howard said of the Philadelphia transfer.
"He is adhering to all regulations that have been placed today and arrangements have been made," Howard's attorney, Joy Malbon, said when asked whether the funeral home was still operating.
A hearing will be held March 8 at the state's Department of Health Professions, located outside of Richmond.
But, an emergency injunction hearing is scheduled for Jan. 20 in Norfolk District court.
For years, Howard has helped organize a grassroots effort to revitalize the Park Place community.
Click here to read the Virginia Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers' order against Howard.
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