clear
Tuesday December 12th, 2017 7:11AM
6:48AM ( 23 minutes ago ) Weather Alert

Lawmaker seeks probe after AP reveals maggots in NY facility

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — A New York state lawmaker is demanding a federal investigation into New York state's care for the disabled following a recent Associated Press story that revealed the case of a man infested with maggots in a state-run group home.

Democratic Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi, of Utica, told the AP on Saturday that he is asking the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to investigate the group home and other state-regulated facilities for the disabled where there have been allegations of abuse and neglect.

"It's clear from seeing this that New York state cannot be relied on to police itself," said Brindisi, who is running for Congress. "When you have thousands of cases (of abuse and neglect) happening across the state — this being one of the most egregious — we must give some reassurance to families that their loved ones are being taken care of."

The call for a federal probe comes after the AP published a story Thursday showing that it's often easier to find health and safety information for local restaurants than it is to learn about conditions at facilities serving approximately 1 million of the state's most vulnerable residents.

Forty-one-year-old Steven Wenger was twice found to have maggots crawling around his breathing tube in a state-owned and -operated small group home in Rome, New York, last summer. Wenger cannot walk, talk or feed himself after suffering severe brain trauma in a 1991 car crash.

A state investigation concluded that the infestation was the result of neglect and that caregivers failed to properly clean the site of Wenger's breathing tube. Yet no caregivers were disciplined and the report on the case was made confidential. The agency in charge of the facility says it did increase training for staff. Wenger is now being cared for in a different facility.

A copy of the report was obtained by the AP, which found that New York state is not alone in making it difficult for members of the public to access records about allegations of abuse and neglect in state-regulated facilities for the disabled. In New York, the Justice Center is tasked with investigating cases related to the care of approximately 1 million New Yorkers.

Brindisi said he sought details about Wenger's case earlier this year after the man's father contacted him with concerns about his son's care. He said officials at the Justice Center told him that the case was closed and that Wenger's father was satisfied with the results — something that wasn't the case.

"There has to be more transparency by the Justice Center," he said.

Asked about Brindisi's comments, Justice Center spokesman William Reynolds said Saturday the agency regularly works with federal officials "and will continue to do so as needed."

The Justice Center conducted an "exhaustive" review of the incident but could not assign responsibility to any specific staff members.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News
© Copyright 2017 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
The Latest: 1 dead, 19 injured in downtown Charlottesville
A hospital official says one person has died and 19 have been injured after a car plowed into a group of protesters in Charlottesville
3:57PM ( 15 minutes ago )
The Latest: Spieth heating up at PGA with 3 straight birdies
The Latest: Jordan Spieth is heating up at the PGA Championship.
3:44PM ( 28 minutes ago )
The Latest: Farah settles for silver in 5,000 at worlds
Muktar Edris of Ethiopia broke the hold of Mo Farah on long-distance running
3:42PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Advocates stage first big Texas protest against border wall
Hundreds of people have marched in South Texas to oppose the wall the U.S. government wants to build on the river separating Texas and Mexico
2:39PM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump says he's open to military intervention in Venezuela
Trump leaves open possibility of military intervention in Venezuela as Pence prepares for 6-day tour of the region
1:32PM ( 2 hours ago )
Death toll rises amid Kenya's rioting over disputed vote
Death toll rises amid Kenya's rioting over disputed vote; 24 killed by police since election
1:12PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP National News
Sold-out birthday bash for 90-year-old Louisiana ex-governor
Louisiana's four-term former governor Edwin Edwards is having an ostentatious 90th birthday bash, with a $250-per-person price tag to attend
10:44AM ( 5 hours ago )
Fire blocks route for dozens in Glacier National Park chalet
Most of the guests at a Glacier National Park backcountry chalet with its hiking exit route blocked by a wildfire have decided to hike out of the park using a much longer route
9:50AM ( 6 hours ago )
Parents test school liability in bullying and child suicide
The parents of an 8-year-old Ohio boy who hanged himself from his bunk bed with a necktie are testing the issue of school liability in suicides blamed on bullying
9:06AM ( 7 hours ago )
Top U.S. News short headlines
Egypt's Moussa rejects calls to extend presidential terms
The head of the panel that drafted Egypt's 2014 constitution, possibly the most progressive in the country's history, has denounced calls to amend the charter, saying parliament should focus instead on implementing it
3:04PM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump says 'no place' in US for violence seen in Virginia
President Donald Trump says there's "no place" in the United States for the kind of violence that's broken out at a white nationalist rally in Virginia
2:46PM ( 1 hour ago )
Trump's Venezuela comments pose challenges for Pence
Vice President Mike Pence is heading to Latin America on the heels of yet another provocative statement from the president that he is sure to have to answer for
2:28PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
The Latest: Chinese president speaks with Trump, urges calm
Chinese state media say President Xi Jinping, in a call with President Donald Trump, said all sides should avoid rhetoric or action that would worsen tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
12:50AM ( 15 hours ago )
The Latest: Japan PM vows to protect people from missiles
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vows to do everything he can to protect the Japanese people as tensions escalate over North Korean plans to send missiles flying over Japan toward Guam.
11:56PM ( 16 hours ago )
The Latest: Trump threatens retaliation against North Korea
President Donald Trump has issued fresh threats of swift and forceful retaliation against nuclear North Korea, declaring the U.S. military "locked and loaded"
10:52PM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
The Latest: 1 dead, 19 injured in downtown Charlottesville
A hospital official says one person has died and 19 have been injured after a car plowed into a group of protesters in Charlottesville
3:57PM ( 15 minutes ago )
The Latest: Spieth heating up at PGA with 3 straight birdies
The Latest: Jordan Spieth is heating up at the PGA Championship.
3:44PM ( 28 minutes ago )
The Latest: Farah settles for silver in 5,000 at worlds
Muktar Edris of Ethiopia broke the hold of Mo Farah on long-distance running
3:42PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Virginia city rocked by white nationalist protests; 1 arrest
One person arrested, eight injured after violent classes erupt at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville
3:19PM ( 53 minutes ago )
Submarine owner detained over journalist's disappearance
A Danish court has ordered the owner of an amateur-built submarine to be held in pre-trial detention for 24 days while police investigate the disappearance of a Swedish journalist who had been on the ship before it sank
3:18PM ( 54 minutes ago )