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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A disgraced caregiver who was fired for abusing a disabled man may be back on the job, according to a leading advocate for the rights of disabled people.
This time, however, Harvey and Ellen Weisenberg said it’s personal because the alleged victim is their son.
“Ricky is so sweet and docile and defenseless,” Ellen told CBS 2′s Carolyn Gusoff on Monday.
Ellen and her husband, Harvey, said they are heartsick over what they called the sadistic treatment of their son, Ricky, at a group home in Plainview. Ricky, 54, is a mentally disabled man who cannot speak.
“He tortured Ricky. He flicked his ears with his fingers,” Harvey said.
Not only is Harvey Ricky’s dad, he is also a New York State assemblyman and a leading voice for the rights of the disabled. He is suing AHRC, which runs the group home where Harvey claims Ricky was abused by an employee named Dwayne Edwards.
The allegations against Edwards are that he repeatedly terrorized and demeaned and ridiculed Ricky, plucked the back of his neck, hit him in the back of the head, and abused him verbally by calling him “nasty and worthless.”
AHRC found that the abuse claims were substantiated and fired Edwards but Harvey Weisenberg told CBS 2 that he is still caring for disabled patients at the United Cerebral Palsy Association.
Edwards could not be reached for comment but his current tenants called the allegations out of character.
AHRC has been named in a suit by Weisenberg, and said that it is “disappointed that our longtime friend would choose to name us in a lawsuit,” but that it, “fully supports pending legislation that would create a state registry to prevent the re-hiring of abusive workers.”
The Weisenbergs said that they will donate any money won in the lawsuit to organizations that help disabled people.
The United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County would not comment on whether the fired worker was employed by them.