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Ex-social worker pleads guilty to endangering disabled woman by smoking marijuana, leaving client alone in car during jail visit, officials say

A former employee of a social services nonprofit has pleaded guilty to putting her disabled charge in danger by smoking marijuana and leaving her alone to visit a jail inmate, state officials said.

Angelique Broadus, 22, of Wheatley Heights, could be listed in the state registry that names people barred from providing care to people with special needs, according to the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, an independent state agency that prosecuted the case.

Broadus was working for the SCO Family of Services when she twice endangered the welfare of a woman with an "intellectual disability" in May of last year, the center said. On May 23, she left her charge alone in the car while she visited an inmate at the Nassau County jail, then later bought and smoked marijuana in the car while the victim was in the backseat, state officials said. Five days later in Suffolk, the victim was in the backseat again when Broadus bought marijuana, picked up two friends and smoked a joint inside the car, authorities said.

Broadus this month pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of second-degree endangering the welfare of a physically disabled or incompetent person.

Her attorney declined to comment.

SCO Family of Services, which has offices in Glen Cove and Brooklyn, said Broadus was on the job as day habilitation specialist for three weeks when the incidents occurred.

The victim told the nonprofit what happened, and Broadus was immediately suspended and authorities contacted, said Rose Anello, the nonprofit's chief strategy officer.

"A safety plan was immediately developed for the client to ensure her phsyical and mental health needs were met," Anello said.

Broadus was fired last August, she said.

An order of protection for the victim was issued against Broadus, who will be placed on probation in Suffolk, state officials said.

If she does not violate probation, she will be given a conditional discharge after July 28 and her misdemeanors will reduced to a violation, state officials said.

"The victim in this case was unable to care for herself and requires constant supervision," said Patricia E. Gunning, a special prosecutor at the Justice Center. "Leaving her alone in a vehicle -- even briefly -- placed her at risk of serious harm. Fortunately, the service recipient suffered no adverse effect, but the case should serve as a reminder of the dangers of leaving people with disabilities or special needs unattended in a vehicle."

The Justice Center will hold an administrative hearing to determine if she should be added to the registry. Under her plea terms, Broadus cannot appeal the decision.

The Justice Center, which operates a hotline and incident reporting system, was launched June 30, 2013 to advise people with special needs and investigate and prosecute reports of neglect and abuse. It maintains the "Staff Exclusion List" and also oversees certain facilities or programs that are licensed or operated by six state agencies that help at risk people, from drug rehabilitation to children and family services.


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