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Josh Lafazan backs instructional vendor at juvenile detention center

The Nassau County lawmaker went to bat for a nonprofit that provides instruction in the juvenile detention center to children under 16 who are separated from their families.

Nassau County Legis. Joshua Lafazan (I-Woodbury) speaks during

Nassau County Legis. Joshua Lafazan (I-Woodbury) speaks during a news conference in Mineola in January. Photo Credit: Barry Sloan

Freshman Nassau Legis. Josh Lafazan of Syosset held a news conference in July to support a service agency housing migrant children separated from their families. He then co-hosted a fundraiser to help the separated migrant children.

Last week, he turned his attention to separated children in Nassau.

Lafazan, who is not affiliated with any political party but ran on the Democratic line, went to bat for the nonprofit Leadership Training Institute of Hempstead. The 35-year county vendor provides two hours of daily instruction in the juvenile detention center to children under 16 who have been separated from their families and are awaiting court dates on their alleged infractions. LTI  hasn’t been paid in more than seven months although it continues to provide the schooling.

After Lafazan asked about the hold-up, county officials determined that  LTI’s contract had stalled because some forms had not been notarized as required. “This is purely a paperwork situation that was left over from the prior administration,” said county spokesman Michael Martino. “They’ll get paid as soon as possible once all the paperwork is corrected and the claim is fully processed.”

Lafazan said he had been told payment would be made next month. “The bare minimum we can do is uphold the compacts that we make,” he said. “We should be a champion for kids for everywhere, period.”

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