Posted at: 12/18/2012 9:26 AM
By: Associated Press
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has signed legislation to create a new state agency he says will better protect about a million New Yorkers with disabilities and special needs under state-funded care.
The law will establish a new special prosecutor and inspector general, with more than 400 staff, to oversee six state agencies and their contractors.
It will establish a single point for reporting and screening abuse allegations for those in residential care and day programs.
The agency will have a hotline, statewide incident database and a list of employees banned from working with the disabled because of abusive behavior.
Critics, including a man whose autistic son died in state care, caution the agency will perpetuate abuse and cover-ups because the law doesn't create true independent oversight of the system.
The signing was announced Monday.