- Associated Press - Tuesday, July 19, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - A legal services group says the state agency responsible for investigating abuse and neglect of disabled New Yorkers isn’t effective and should be moved into the state attorney general’s office.

Disability Rights New York is also calling on lawmakers to hold public hearings on whether the Justice Center should be more independent of the state agencies it investigates.

The rights group, which is federally authorized to protect the disabled, has sued the Justice Center seeking access to full investigation reports and says the state agency refuses to provide requested records in 25 deaths related to choking and falling.

The Justice Center says it has prosecuted 278 employees, barred 270 more from working in the system, done more than 500,000 criminal background checks while working to improve its effectiveness.

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