Federal Judge Sees New York State Conspiracy to Thwart Care for Mentally Ill
The judge who oversaw landmark case involving troubled homes for the mentally ill sends word to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman that state’s efforts to undermine care must end.
A federal judge in Brooklyn has accused state officials of secretly trying to subvert a landmark court order to improve care for thousands of mentally ill residents of New York City.
Three years ago, U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis ended a prolonged lawsuit against New York state by ordering the Department of Health to begin moving as many as 4,000 mentally ill residents housed in group homes to less restrictive environments where they could live more independently. As part of his order, the judge had laid out a timetable for the state to meet its obligations to men and women who had long lived in homes marked by neglect and abuse.
But at a hearing last month, Garaufis angrily charged that officials with the Department of Health appeared to have hatched a plan with the operators of the troubled group homes to get out from under his court order. …