Weisenberg settles suit over abuse of disabled son

Assemb. Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach) settled on a

Assemb. Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach) settled on a suit alleging that his disabled adult son was abused at a Long Island group home. (June 29, 2012) (Credit: James Escher)

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ALBANY -- A state assemblyman from Nassau County said Monday he has settled a lawsuit alleging that his disabled adult son was abused at a Long Island group home.

Assemb. Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach), a longtime advocate for the disabled, agreed to end the lawsuit against AHRC Nassau for $120,000. He declined to comment further.

Weisenberg had filed a federal lawsuit last year claiming that his son, Ricky, 55, had been physically and psychologically abused at a Plainview living facility run by AHRC Nassau, which assists the developmentally disabled with housing and other services.

The lawsuit named the agency and an employee, Dwayne Edwards of West Hempstead. It alleged that Edwards verbally abused and hit Ricky Weisenberg, a resident, in the presence of others in 2009.

Ricky Weisenberg is mentally disabled, has cerebral palsy and can't speak. He still lives at the facility, his father said. The suit had asked for unspecified damages.

AHRC officials didn't immediately comment Monday.

Edwards denied the allegations and had never been accused of any such conduct before or since, his attorney Peter Biging told The Associated Press Monday.

When the claim was filed, AHRC Nassau issued a statement saying that an employee "was immediately relieved of his duties. An investigation was opened by an independent, internal unit of AHRC Nassau and all parties were notified that day."The investigation concluded the same day and AHRC Nassau fired the employee a day later, according to the statement. The employee was not identified in the statement.

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