Montesano: State Home Deaths Revelation Brings Need For Immediate Action

Assemblyman calls on Attorney General and Committee on Mental Health to act
November 14, 2011

Assemblyman Michael A. Montesano (R,I,C-Glen Head) is speaking out against the recently publicized unexplained 1,200 deaths in state-run group homes. With the alarming number of unnamed causes of death, Assemblyman Montesano has been spurred to action. Montesano wants to see action taken to help those living in state and private homes.

According to data obtained by the New York Times, one-in-six deaths in state- and privately-run homes are attributed to either unnatural or unknown causes. Assemblyman Montesano noted the importance of such an investigation, and is calling on New York State Attorney General Schneiderman to begin a full investigation of these unnatural or unknown deaths.

“We are looking at a widespread and deep problem plaguing the state- and privately-run home community,” said Montesano. “I am calling on Attorney General Schneiderman to begin a formal state investigation into these deaths. Someone must be held accountable for these unexplained deaths, whether it’s the people who run the homes, the state for lacking a more formal tracking system on patients or the individual caretakers involved. These families deserve answers and these residents deserve safe living conditions.”

Assemblyman Montesano also is calling on fellow Assemblyman Felix Ortiz, chair of the Assembly Committee on Mental Health, to hold a hearing in conjunction with Assemblyman Andrew Hevesi, chair of the Assembly Committee on Oversight, Analysis and Investigation. “It is imperative that we look at this problem from every angle possible,” said Montesano. “This way we can begin to look into so many unexplained deaths in these homes. There is a serious problem somewhere in this system and we need to identify and remedy it.”