DANVILLE, Iowa — A county prosecutor has dropped charges against a southeastern Iowa nursing home operator.

The Des Moines Register reports that Des Moines County Attorney Amy Beavers dropped the felony dependent adult abuse-exploitation charge against 47-year-old Marc Johnson, Hamilton, Illinois, whose company runs the Danville Care Center in southeast Iowa. Beavers says if Johnson were prosecuted, the facility might be forced to close, displacing its three-dozen residents.

Authorities had said Johnson took about $1,700 from a center resident to buy a television and other items for the facility.

Dean Lerner, who once ran the Iowa agency that inspects nursing homes, was critical of Beavers’ decision, saying that to “leave this man in a position of authority so the business can remain open just seems absurd.”

Johnson’s attorney, Aaron Hamrock, says the care center maintains there were “no improprieties or irregularities” involving resident trust accounts.

Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com