Rep. Zeldin, relatives of group home residents claim state agency not keeping loved ones safe

Rep. Lee Zeldin and relatives of some group home residents say a state agency that is supposed to keep their loved ones safe is failing.

News 12 Staff

Jul 23, 2019, 6:50 PM

Updated 1,789 days ago

Share:

Rep. Lee Zeldin and relatives of some group home residents say a state agency that is supposed to keep their loved ones safe is failing.
The Justice Center was created in 2013 to protect group home residents against cases of abuse at the hands of group home workers. Instead, the relatives claim many allegations of abuse were never followed up on by the center.
Maria Baruch's son, Joseph, is in a group home. She says her son was purposely placed on a treadmill to tire him out, and he ended up suffering from bruises and a fractured neck.
Zeldin faults the Justice Center for not ensuring that a thorough background check was done on the employee.
"Richard Garnett, the group home worker who was charged with the crime, had a history of abuse in past facilities where he was suspected of committing multiple acts of abuse against others," says Zeldin.
A spokesperson for the Justice Center said in a statement that every allegation of abuse is thoroughly investigated and also referred to the local district attorney for an independent review. The spokesperson added that the center has offered to meet with Rep. Zeldin about his concerns.
In response to the Justice Center, Rep. Zeldin's office released a statement saying, "We are not aware of a single request from the Justice Center to meet with Congressman Zeldin. Rather than embrace and address the need for improvements and accountability at the Justice Center, they continue to publicly attack and try to discredit victims and anyone who sticks up for them. The Justice Center's visceral reaction to accountability and oversight is alarming. Instead of sidestepping, they need to step up to the plate and protect New Yorkers with disabilities."
Zeldin wants the Justice Department in Washington to look into the Justice Center's handling of these cases.
The relatives want a law requiring cameras to be installed inside of group homes to catch any cases of abuse.
 


More from News 12
1:20
Rapper Ja Rule performs at Mitchel Field as part of Nassau County’s Juneteenth celebration

Rapper Ja Rule performs at Mitchel Field as part of Nassau County’s Juneteenth celebration

1:26
Pleasant weekend on Long Island ahead of expected heat wave

Pleasant weekend on Long Island ahead of expected heat wave

0:31
Suffolk police: Motorcyclist seriously hurt in Bay Shore crash

Suffolk police: Motorcyclist seriously hurt in Bay Shore crash

1:46
‘We lost a brother.’ Friends, loved ones remember ‘Rookie of the Year’ firefighter at Hagerman FD

‘We lost a brother.’ Friends, loved ones remember ‘Rookie of the Year’ firefighter at Hagerman FD

1:34
Early voting begins on Long Island for Democratic primary elections

Early voting begins on Long Island for Democratic primary elections

All lanes clear on Southern State parkway following overturned vehicle crash

All lanes clear on Southern State parkway following overturned vehicle crash

Is your dad awesome? Long Island tell us why your dad rocks!

Is your dad awesome? Long Island tell us why your dad rocks!

0:27
Police: Owner of Huntington restaurant, 2 security guards arrested during State Liquor Authority compliance check

Police: Owner of Huntington restaurant, 2 security guards arrested during State Liquor Authority compliance check

2:07
New beach rules limiting access take effect after shooting in Long Beach

New beach rules limiting access take effect after shooting in Long Beach

2:04
Kevin Jonas undergoes surgery to remove common skin cancer; urges fans to get checked

Kevin Jonas undergoes surgery to remove common skin cancer; urges fans to get checked

2:15
Police: Woman arrested for motorcyclist hit-and-run in Patchogue

Police: Woman arrested for motorcyclist hit-and-run in Patchogue

2:15
Oakdale residents call for Islip officials to hold owners of former Dowling College more accountable

Oakdale residents call for Islip officials to hold owners of former Dowling College more accountable

2:07
Study: Food insecurity becomes growing problem for Long Islanders

Study: Food insecurity becomes growing problem for Long Islanders

0:41
Mastic Beach street renamed for teen who was killed 3 years ago

Mastic Beach street renamed for teen who was killed 3 years ago

1:49
Baldwin residents & businesses call on Liberty to reimburse them after water main break

Baldwin residents & businesses call on Liberty to reimburse them after water main break

0:27
Police: Man accused of exposing himself outside Westbury church

Police: Man accused of exposing himself outside Westbury church

2:37
Police: 16-year-old shot in Long Beach following chaotic night with massive crowds

Police: 16-year-old shot in Long Beach following chaotic night with massive crowds

2:08
69th annual Strawberry Festival in Mattituck underway

69th annual Strawberry Festival in Mattituck underway

1:59
Food Truck Friday: No Good Burger

Food Truck Friday: No Good Burger

0:50
'I'm just so thankful': American Heart Association honors 13-year-old survivor from Franklin Square

'I'm just so thankful': American Heart Association honors 13-year-old survivor from Franklin Square