Funeral home’s closing possible

South Yellow Springs Street facility given a one-month suspension.

SPRINGFIELD — D.B. Washington Funeral Home could close after a monthlong suspension for what a state agency called unprofessional conduct and misleading the public by using false or deceptive advertising.

The state board of embalmers and funeral directors suspended the funeral home and former funeral director Dean Washington for January.

Signage and advertisements for the home did not establish that the owner, Tammy Qualls, was not licensed, said Jennifer Baugess, administrative assistant in compliance for the board. Other advertisements and Facebook also listed Qualls’ husband, former funeral director Jim Qualls, as an owner, when he is not, according to the original complaint in August 2010.

Baugess said the several-month period between the complaint and the penalty was normal processing time.

Since opening in early 2011, the home on 1530 S. Yellow Springs St. has also had two funeral directors.

“They currently do not have (a funeral director) on record,” Baugess said.

Despite the suspension and lack of funeral directors, owner Tammy Qualls said the home is not “officially” closed yet. But she acknowledged some of the struggles the business has had.

“We set out to do something really advantageous to the community,” she said. “It turned out to be a travesty.”

The Qualls are no strangers to conflict with the board. Jim Qualls had his license suspended in 2007 after being charged with stealing $88,000 from Porter-Qualls Funeral Home, also on South Yellow Springs Street. Porter-Qualls license is under review by the board for allowing Qualls to practice without a license, according to November board minutes.

Meanwhile, Qualls is also awaiting a ruling from Clark County Common Pleas Court for allegedly violating an injunction from the state board filed in 2010 to prevent him from practicing without a license. If found guilty, Qualls could be fined $250 or sentenced to up to 30 days in jail. Magistrate Melinda Reardon, who heard the case in October, has not yet ruled.

“I don’t know when (Qualls’ case) will be done, but it is a priority,” she said.

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