Former Direct Service Assistant At Melville Estates Group Home Found Guilty After Trial; Other Pleads Guilty
Schneiderman: I Am Committed To Protecting Our Most Vulnerable Citizens, Including The Developmentally Disabled, From Abusive Caregivers
HAUPPAUGE – November 3, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman announced today that James P. Brown, Jr., a former Direct Service Assistant at the state run group home Melville Estates in Melville, was found guilty of violently punching a 53 year-old, severely impaired, intellectually disabled resident of the home in the face in February 2014. Melville Estates is a group home for developmentally disabled adults in Melville, NY. In a separate prosecution arising out of Melville Estates, Allexy Chambers admitted that in February 2014 while he was employed as a Direct Service Assistant at Melville Estates, he punched a 56 year-old, profoundly intellectually disabled adult in the face while the resident did nothing other than sit in a chair. Both Defendants were removed from the state payroll and are awaiting sentence.
“These acts of abuse by health care workers on the disabled and other vulnerable members of our society will not be tolerated,” said Attorney General Schneiderman. “My office will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute those individuals who prey upon our defenseless and infirm citizens.”
Attorney General Schneiderman thanked the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and the New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs for their assistance in conducting the investigations.
Brown, 33, of Farmingdale, was convicted of Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the First Degree, a class E felony, after a bench trial before Supreme Court Justice William Condon in Suffolk County Court in Riverhead. Chambers, 21, of Brentwood, pled guilty to Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor.
The case was investigated by Special Investigator Stephen Clarke and Special Investigator Greg S. Muroff with assistance from Deputy Chief Investigator Kenneth Morgan. The cases are being prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Lara Merchan of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) Hauppauge Regional Office. Jane Zwirn-Turkin is the Regional Director of the Hauppauge Regional Office. MFCU is led by Acting Director Amy Held and Assistant Deputy Attorney General Paul J. Mahoney. The Criminal Justice Division is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.
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