TUPPER LAKE, N.Y. - A second state employee in just months has been arrested on charges of abusing a resident at a northern New York group home.
As a result of a joint investigation by State Inspector General Catherine Leahy Scott, the New York State Police and New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD), 51-year-old John Boyer of Tupper Lake was charged Wednesday with endangering the welfare of an incompetent person and official misconduct.
Boyer was arrested after being accused of verbally abusing a resident at the Tupper Lake residence for people with developmental disabilities. Boyer, who has been employed as an OPWDD Direct Support Assistant, was responsible for providing personal care, treatment and rehabilitation services to four residents of the facility.
When OPWDD was made aware of the reported incident, Boyer was immediately placed on administrative leave and the case was referred to the Inspector General and New York State Police.
"As I have said many times, there can be no tolerance for abuse of those with disabilities – especially by people who are charged with providing care for them," Franklin County District Attorney Derek Champagne said in response to the report. "My office stands ready to prosecute those workers accused of perpetrating aggression or violence against our most vulnerable population."
Boyer admitted to authorities that between 2008 and 2009 he was verbally abusive to a resident of the facility. Boyer later ranted about the incident and his comments were captured on video on a cellphone.
"Mr. Boyer's alleged conduct fell far below the standards New Yorkers expect and deserve," Inspector General Scott said in a statement. "As was the case two months ago, we were able to remove a danger to residents living in this state facility, and the prosecution of Mr. Boyer should serve as a strong warning against any workers whose aggressive behavior endangers or abuses those in their care."
Boyer was arraigned before Town Justice Leonard Young III at Tupper Lake Town Court Wednesday, where he pleaded not guilty. He was released on his own recognizance and is scheduled to return to court June 12.
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