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Weisenberg Alleges Abuse of His Son

In federal suit, Weisenberg says his disabled son was physically and psychologically abused at a Plainview facility.

Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, D-Long Beach, is accusing a Brookville-based agency serving the special needs community with abusing his son at its residence in Plainview.

Weisenberg and his wife, Ellen, filed a federal lawsuit Monday against AHRC Nassau, an agency which serves developmentally disabled people in residential settings around Long Island.

In the lawsuit, the Weisenbergs allege that their son was physically and psychologically abused at the agency's Plainview living facility.

Weisenberg told Newsday: "The thought of someone hurting him is almost unspeakably painful to us," of his son Ricky, 54. "We will continue to speak out on his behalf."

AHRC Nassau issued a statement Monday about the Weisenbergs' lawsuit: "We are disappointed that our longtime friend would choose to name us in a lawsuit of this nature," the statement said.

The elder Weisenberg is among the legislature's leading advocates for the disabled. Weisenberg grew up in Long Beach and was a teacher and police officer before entering public office. He and his wife have five children.

The lawsuit, filed in federal district court in Brooklyn, also makes allegations against Dwayne Edwards of West Hempstead. Edwards, an employee at the Plainview site at the time, verbally abused and hit Ricky Weisenberg in the presence of others, the suit contends.

The incident took place three years ago, on April 9, 2009, the suit claims. The suit asks for unspecified damages.

Ricky Weisenberg, 54, suffers from cerebral palsy and can't speak. He still lives at the Plainview facility, the elder Weisenberg said.

AHRC Nassau assists the developmentally disabled with housing and other services.

Weisenberg told Newsday that he learned of the abuse charge from AHRC Nassau officials in 2009. The agency was complying with legislation authored by Weisenberg in 2007, requiring that guardians be notified when allegations of abuse surface.

Newsday said Weisenberg filed the lawsuit three years afterward because "we thought the authorities we went to would do something, but they didn't."

According to AHRC Nassau's statement "the employee was immediately relieved of his duties. An investigation was opened by an independent, internal unit of AHRC Nassau and all parties were notified that day."

The investigation took one day and resulted in the firing of the employee, the statement said.

Carmela Soprano October 02, 2012 at 11:57 PM
A truly heartbreaking story. As a healthcare advocate, I cannot fathom the pain that Ricky endured. He's such a wonderful person, with the best parents in the whole world.
Igwheet October 03, 2012 at 12:40 PM
This lawsuit disgusts me. If Weisenberg was so appalled, he would have placed his son elsewhere. If Weisenberg was so appalled he would have filed suit immediately. If Weisenberg was so appalled, it would be unjustified, because the agency took immediate action by dismissing the worker in question. Weisenberg is not really appalled, he's terrified. Because for the first time in his career as a politician he is convinced he may lose an election, and grasping at anything -- which includes exploiting his disabled son in a pathetic, transparent bid for sympathy to avert the attention his opponent has brought to his miserable record. This lawsuit disgusts me, and it disgusts me more and more, the more I think about it.
David Thompson October 03, 2012 at 01:57 PM
As usual, the Patch missed the point. The abusive worker in question was immediately fired, and immediately HIRED at a new facility, working with the disabled. Who can sleep at night knowing this monster who slapped non-verbal people on more than one occasion and called Ricky a "dirty Jew" is still working with vulnerable people. That's why Harvey is freaked. I am too, and if you're not there's something wrong with you!
Igwheet October 03, 2012 at 03:33 PM
Freaked... three years after the fact? The only thing freaky is that weisenbeg knew this monster was rehired elsewhere and slept just fine for three years, and only became concerned after realizing he's never been down this far in the polls before an election. If you can't see this stunt for what it is there's something wrong with you.
unknownauthor October 03, 2012 at 05:26 PM
mjh I couldn't agree with you MORE. This appears to be politically motivated by an Assemblyman who seems to be grasping for straws. Why would he bring this action three years after the fact? And just one month before the election? Pathetic... Over two hundres signs endorsing David Sussman's candidecy removed illegally. Pathetic... State economic support for school districts skewed to favor Assemblyman Weisenbergs home town at the expense of ALL the other communities he is supposed to represent. Pathetic... It is time for Harvey to retire and apologize for years of neglect that have cost taxpayers millions of dollars.
Carmela Soprano October 03, 2012 at 06:22 PM
The only thing that is disgusting is lgwheet's comments. You are insensitive and pathetic. Removing his son will help others who face the same behaviors by health care providers? I think not. And apparently you are totally uninformed regarding Weisenberg's long and illustrious record. Ask Dean Skelos what he thinks of Weisenberg. He'll tell you the truth. Weisenberg AND Skelos both receive wide, bi-partisan support that carries them to victory each year because of both of their outstanding records and relationships with their constituents.
Carmela Soprano October 03, 2012 at 06:24 PM
The man should have been arrested for criminal assault. AHRC did not call the police. They only notified the parents. Now the bum works with other vulnerable folks who cannot advocate for themselves. AHRC was wrong. Igwheet, you're as pathetic as the criminal who is still working.
Carmela Soprano October 03, 2012 at 06:25 PM
Signs are still all over the place.
Carmela Soprano October 03, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Sussman wants to fund public education teachers in yeshivas at the behest of the taxpayers. What do you have to say to that?
Carmela Soprano October 03, 2012 at 07:41 PM
One year after Cuomo instituted the property tax cap, it has proven to be a tremendous success. A report released last week <http://cts.vresp.com/c/?AndrewCuomo2014/4ad45d77f0/2746dc58aa/f91b67cf35> found that the cap held average property tax growth to 2 percent – 60 percent less than the previous ten-year average. In addition, 95 percent of school districts chose to stay within the cap rather than exceed it by a supermajority vote. Now tell me again, how Weisenberg and our Albany legislators haven't done anything about our school taxes AND Sussman is going to cure everything? Not a chance in hell.
Igwheet October 04, 2012 at 05:36 PM
Funny you should bring that up. Harvey voted against the cap.
Igwheet October 04, 2012 at 05:40 PM
Give it up Carmela. You're so in the bag for harvey that you're blind to reality. If weisenberg was so horrified with this guy, and so distrbed with how AHRC dealt with the matter, why wait three years to file suit? Why the suspicious timing that coincides with his unprecedented drop in electability? It's a pathetic act of desperation, and union types like you have a vested interest in falling for it.

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