ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN) — More reports are finding veterans getting kicked out of a hotel to make room for migrants as untrue. On Wednesday at the Capitol, republican lawmakers pointed to an article first reported by the New York Post stating that 20 veterans were being displaced from the Crossroads Motel in Newburgh to make space for migrants, causing an uproar. Multiple reports have since come out finding holes in that story, and the motel denying that any veterans were being displaced.
The source of the initial claim comes from Sharon Tony-Finch, a disabled military veteran. She’s also the Founder of Yerik Israel Toney Foundation for Preemies. The website claims it provides housing assistance for families of preemie babies as well as homeless and military vets. According to that initial Post article, Tony-FInch stated that veterans were being placed in another hotel due to the migrant situation – a story that’s now being falsified.
Senator James Skoufis weighed in, “I’m appalled. I think that the individuals involved here who started the lie and amplified the lie knowingly, need to be held accountable. And quite frankly I think the organization in question, this veteran’s organization that made up this story needs to be held potentially criminally liable for the issues that they caused.”
In a statement, Senator Rob Rolison – whose district occupies the Crossroads Motel said in part, “Our office, like other elected officials, responded to media reports describing homeless veterans evicted from a local hotel with a mixture of alarm and compassion. We wanted to help. The source of these initial reports… now appears to have misled the public. One thing I learned from my years as mayor and now your state Senator is this: lead by example. I sincerely apologize for repeating a statement our office, and others, believed to be true based on media reports.”
We did reach out to Sharon Tony-Finch, but have not heard back. We’ll keep you updated as we follow this story.