NYS Lawmakers Call For Resignation Of NYS OCFS Commissioner
New York State Republican lawmakers and leaders from the state's two biggest unions call for resignation of NYS Office of Children and Family Services Commissioner Gladys Carrion.
In a timesunion.com report, first published Thursday, May 27, 2010, at least 11 Senate Republican lawmakers and leaders from the state's two biggest unions, Civil Service Employees Association and the Public Employees Federation, demand Carrion's ouster for 'creating a culture of pampering young felons, including reports of sex at a facility social.' The "social" for prisoners took place at the Goshen Secure Center in Orange County in December of 2009.
Governor Paterson Defends Carrion
The governor rejected calls made Wednesday for the immediate resignation of Gladys Carrion for the failure of her "therapeutic" or "sanctuary" model of dealing with juvenile offenders.
"I think she's actually done an excellent job," Paterson said.
Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira Disagrees
Fulton County District Attorney Louise Sira spoke at the event about concerns with rising assaults and injuries to staff at sites such as the Tryon Center near Johnstown, where a worker was clubbed by a youth and later died.
"The sanctuary model appears to be good on paper," Sira said. "(But) it has resulted in a marked increase in violence against staff."
Chilling Details Warrant Investigation
Currently, there are three State agency investigations into the incident.
Girls as young as 15 were transported into the prison to attend the dance with convicted killers and other dangerous criminals. A lap dance was videotaped by a surveillance camera and other sexual acts possibly were committed.
One prison employee said that he was ordered to drive two women invited to the dance in a state car from a street corner in Albany to Goshen and back -- a distance of 230 miles round trip.
Senator Nozzolio Elaborates On The Incident
“It is abhorrent that teenage girls-some underage -were escorted at taxpayers' expense into youth prisons that house convicted murderers and other violent offenders. It is equally appalling that an event like this was ever allowed to take place in a State facility, but the fact that taxpayer money was used to pay for it is simply unconscionable” said Senator Nozzolio. “We are demanding that Commissioner Carrion answer for allowing this outrageous abuse of our State’s juvenile justice system to take place.”
Juvenile center employees also complain that Carrion's policies have placed them in harms way and Orange County District Attorney Frank Phillips wants to know, "What the hell is going on in these facilities?"
He said arranging "mixers" for violent felons is outrageous, and said he is upset that no one has contacted his office -- even though crimes may have taken place in his jurisdiction. Phillip said he will consider asking a grand jury to investigate.
Edward Borges, a spokesman for the Office of Children & Family Services, said Carrion will serve through the end of her term in December. But the socials are over. "The experiment is on moratorium," Borges said.
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