Protect Our Most Vulnerable Population - Support "Paula's Law"  New York State Assembly Bill A1715 New York State Senate Bill S2000
  • Petitioning New York Governor
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Protect Our Most Vulnerable Population - Support "Paula's Law" New York State Assembly Bill A1715 New York State Senate Bill S2000

    1. Bill Liblick
    2. Petition by

      Bill Liblick

      Swan Lake, NY

To Protect Our Most Vulnerable Population with surveillance cameras outside State run Group Homes and Day Programs.

Please Support “Paula's Law” New York State Assembly Bill A1715 and New York State Senate Bill S2000 mandating surveillance cameras be installed outside State run Group Homes and Day Programs.

“Paula’s Law” is named after Paula Liblick who was raped in her state run group home. Paula’s horrific story must never happen again.

Security cameras are everywhere, but when it comes to protecting our most vulnerable and loving members of society, The State of New York and The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities has been negligent.

In December 2009 Paula Liblick was raped in her state run group home, but it was not until she was brought to her day program several days later when her black and blue marks on her thighs and bleeding from her diaper was reported.

Protecting our most vulnerable should be a given in every civilized society, shamefully such has not been the case in New York. We have a long history of neglect and abuse when it comes to the developmentally disabled.

Even further deplorable is how difficult it is to convince lawmakers to approve changes that would safeguard and deter crimes against our most vulnerable.

New York State Assembly Bill # A1715 also known as “Paula’s Law” was introduced by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther mandating surveillance cameras be installed outside State run group homes and day programs.

New York State Senate Bill # S2000 also known as “Paula’s Law” was introduced by State Senator David Carlucci mandating surveillance cameras be installed outside State run group homes and day programs.

“Paula’s Law” must be passed immediately to prevent what happened to Paula from ever happening again.

To hear about Paula Liblick’s horrific story, please view Paula’s brother Bill Liblick’s 2011 testimony before the New York State Assembly Committee looking into Group Home abuse - please view this link, http://vimeo.com/26473727

 

Bill Liblick’s Plea:

 

My 62 year old severely and profoundly developmentally disabled sister Paula Liblick is dead today because of neglect.

In December 2009 Paula was raped in her state run group home, but it was not until she was brought to her day program several days later when her black and blue marks on her thighs and bleeding from her diaper was reported.

Paula was rushed to hospital and then the rape unit. I held Paula and lifted her as doctors conducted the extensive examination. With tears in all of our eyes, the worst of our fears materialized. The exam proved trauma in several places in her vagina. Paula was raped.

After an extensive investigation by The Office for People with Developmental Disabilities five employees at Paula’s group home were fired. The group home is now closed.

In January 2011 Paula became very ill and was in four hospitals until she passed away April 2011. Paula was battling uncontrollable green water diarrhea, vomiting bile, pneumonia, pancreatitis, urinary infections, high fever, shingles, yeast infections, required four blood transfusions and so on.

A biopsy from a simple colonoscopy that other hospitals did not do revealed Paula had strongyloides. Larvae from the parasite usually found in the Caribbean entered her body when she was raped.

The very day doctors discovered the parasite, Paula died because of even more neglect.

Paula was found unconscious with no blood pressure or pulse for at least 30 minutes, with a New York State contracted health aide at her bedside.

I spent the next week with Paula in ICU, and even though her blood pressure and heart rate went back to normal, there was no oxygen in her brain for her to live.

Paula’s bright blue eyes, striking eyelashes, beautiful red hair, and eternal smile that brought nothing but love to everyone who knew her, is now gone forever.

The big business of group homes over shadows care for the developmentally disabled. The New York Times detailed this in a series entitled "At State Run Homes, Abuse and Impunity." In vivid description they highlighted many of the problems and abuse.

It broke my parent’s heart placing Paula in Letchworth Village. I remember them spending their life savings on a car so we could visit her each and every week. Then came the Willowbrook/Letchworth Village scandals, I cried with my parents as we watched Paula on the evening news lying on the floor partially dressed and drenched in urine.

And, now the biggest tragedy of all, some sick pathetic animal raped Paula and infected her with a parasite. I continually ask myself, what did she do to deserve this? Whom did she ever harm? I thank God my parents are not alive to have gone through this.

What a great legacy Paula would be leaving knowing that she helped others live a safe and secure life.

Paula’s horrific story must never happen again. I appeal to all elected officials to support “Paula’s Law.”

 

Bill Liblick

PO Box 526

Swan Lake, NY 12783

talkerbill@aol.com

917-287-4345

 

From the Legislative Gazette:

http://www.legislativegazette.com/Articles-Top-Stories-c-2013-02-06-82560.113122-New-hope-for-Paulas-Law.html

 

New hope for Paula's Law

Legislation would put cameras at entrances to OPWDD facilities

 

By BILLY DeLAP

Bill Liblick will not give up on the legislation that bears his sister's name. Paula's Law (S.2000/A.1715) would require the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities to place video cameras on the entrances and exits of all its facilities as a way to prevent abuse and protect both patients and staff.

The bill is named in honor of Bill's sister Paula Liblick. Paula was a 62-year-old, developmentally disabled woman who was raped while living in a state run group home in December of 2009. The injuries were noticed several days later when a caretaker at her day program was changing her diaper.

Paula died in April of 2011 from Strongyloides, a sexually transmitted parasite, native to the Caribbean, which is believed to be a result of the rape. Five employees from the Hudson Valley group home were fired and it has since closed down. No one was ever arrested for the assault because there were no video cameras, or a way of tracking visitors.
"When it comes to protecting our most vulnerable, New York looks the other way. It's reprehensible," said Bill Liblick.

The legislation was introduced in both the Senate and Assembly last session but did not move out of committee. The current bill has bipartisan support from 18 lawmakers.
Liblick said state buildings, hospitals and even convenient stores have cameras for protection, so why not group homes?

"It's not a privacy issue, we just want them [cameras] at the exits and entrances. It will protect staff members as well, no one seems to be looking at it from that angle," Liblick said. The bill is sponsored this session by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, D-Forestburgh, and Sen. David Carlucci, D-Clarkstown. Liblick said he was happy with the bipartisan support he has received from senators and assemblymen.
When asked why the bill was not passed on the first attempt, Gunther said, "I thought it was a great bill. Sometimes it takes more than a year, that's the reality of it." Gunther hasn't shown any sign of letting up on this bill

"I'm going to make every effort I can to get it passed," she said.
Liblick, who was devastated by the loss of his sister and the way it happened, has vowed to work 24 hours a day until Paula's Law is passed. He said he thinks the bill is crucial in ensuring no one goes through the pain he has, or has to watch a family member suffer the way Paula did.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. 'Paula's Law' fails to pass either house

      Bill Liblick
      Petition Organizer

      'Paula's Law' fails to pass either house
      Bill would place cameras at entrances to OPWDD facilities

      By Hannah Nesich
      Staff Writer


      Paula Liblick, right, in her youth, pictured with her parents Mollie and David. Photo by courtesy of Bill Liblick.

      June 30, 2014
      For the fourth consecutive session, "Paula's Law," a bill requiring surveillance video cameras to be placed at all facilities run by the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities, failed to pass either chamber.

      Since 2011, Paula's Law advocate Bill Liblick has been pressing lawmakers to support this amendment to the Mental Hygiene Law, which ended the session in the Codes Committee of the Assembly and the Finance Committee of the Senate.

      Liblick's fight to pass Paula's Law started in 2009, when his life changed drastically after he learned his 62-year-old sister Paula, who was severely functionally disabled, had been raped multiple times while living in a New York state-run group home.

      Liblick, who said he was not notified until days after the discovery, was devastated, and furious that there were no cameras installed that could have recorded the perpetrator entering or leaving the building.


      The bruises found on Paula's thighs after workers at her day program discovered she had been raped. There was also blood found in the diaper Paula wore. Bill Liblick, Paula's brother, has been fighting to pass legislation that would require state-run facilities operating under the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities to install cameras at each entrance and exit, in hopes of catching future criminals like Paula's rapist. Photo by AP.

      "No one takes crimes against these people seriously and there are no measures to protect them," Liblick said. "A simple camera placed at a group home can show the comings and goings of the facility. They could have seen someone."

      Two years later, Paula died after becoming deathly ill and suffering cardiac arrest. Two doctors had diagnosed her with Strongyloides – a sexually transmitted parasite native to the Caribbean. Liblick believes Paula contracted the parasite during the rape and that it contributed to her fatal illness.

      Nearly a year after Paula's rape was discovered and an investigation was conducted, the group home was closed and five employees were terminated, according to Liblick. But Liblick said it was not enough.

      "Paula is a statistic, and [the Office for People with Developmental Disabilities] say they are sorry and try to make every excuse to overshadow what happened," he said. "If they had proper measures in place to protect the safety of the functionally disabled, Paula would not have been raped multiple times and she would be alive today...New York state doesn't care about what happened to Paula Liblick, and it is evident with their refusal to pass Paula's Law."
      Paula's Law (A.1715-a/S.2000-a) is sponsored by Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, D-Forestburgh, and Sen. David Carlucci, D-Clarkstown. Gunther, the chair of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities Committee, pushed the bill through the Committee in January and expressed disappointment that it failed to gain enough momentum to pass for a fourth time.

      "[Paula's Law] should be passed," she said. "We have all kinds of cameras on ATMs, grocery stores, McDonalds, Walmart, all over the place. Yet we don't have them there. It's ridiculous."

      The bill's fiscal implications are "to be determined," and Gunther said the financial aspect is one of the driving forces behind opposition toward the bill.

      If Paula's Law were passed, a surveillance camera would have to be placed at every exit and entrance of each state-run facility operated by the Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. There are approximately 700 nonprofit service-providing agencies throughout New York that operate under that agency, according to their official website.

      Gunther said though the bill's budget is not yet determined, it would be once the bill moved further along through the committees, and added that at the end of the day, "safety outweighs the cost."

      "These folks are fragile, voiceless residents, and they deserve this type of protection," she said.

      Though discouraged by the bill's failure to pass this session, Liblick said he will continue his mission to pass Paula's Law, despite a lack of influential resources.

      "If there was a high paid lobbyist firm pushing Paula's Law, perhaps all our elected officials would wake up and see to it that Paula's Law is passed. But, I am all alone. I have no money for a massive advertising campaign, or the ability to take elected officials out to lunch or dinner," Liblick said. "I am all alone, someone who wants to protect our most vulnerable population and see to it that what happened to my sister Paula Liblick never happens again. Paula would have wanted it that way."

      The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities did not return a request for comment.

      http://www.legislativegazette.com/Articles-Top-Stories-c-2014-06-30-88450.113122-Paulas-Law-fails-to-pass-either-house.html

    2. Reached 250 signatures
    3. Brother of rape victim renews push to focus on most vulnerable

      Bill Liblick
      Petition Organizer
      Brother of rape victim renews push to focus on most vulnerable

      By: Eva McKend Text size: + - Albany/HV: Brother of rape victim renews push to focus on most vulnerable Play now The developmentally disabled are among our most vulnerable population. That's why a local man who says his sister was sexually abused is working to get a law passed to protect those who cannot protect themselves.

    4. Decision-maker Ellen Jaffee responds:

      Ellen Jaffee

      Dear Neighbor,

      Thank you for contacting my office regarding bill A1715. I understand your concerns and appreciate the time you took to write to me.

      A longtime advocate for the developmentally disabled, I am a co-sponsor of A1715. ...


    5. Reached 200 signatures
    6. Victim's brother fights for cameras at OPWDD facilities

      Bill Liblick
      Petition Organizer
      Victim's brother fights for cameras at OPWDD facilities

      Paula Liblick with her parents Mollie and David. Photo by AP. This legislative session Bill Liblick is once again renewing his fight to pass "Paula's Law." The bill is named after Liblick's sister, a developmentally disabled woman, who in 2009 was raped multiple times in her New York state-operated group home, which Liblick says led to her death in 2011.

    7. Reached 100 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Tony Carlucci NORTH BRANCH, NY
      • 17 days ago

      These groups of individuals need the utmost support do to how vulnerable they are. It is a terrible situation that due to neglect, Paula succumbed to her injuries due to this horrific event. If nothing else, Paulas name will live on to help protect others and hold people accountable for these heinous acts. May Paula rest in peace... Please do the right thing, New York State.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Corrinne Dunlap MONTICELLO, NY
      • 17 days ago

      I work with Mentally and physically disabled teenagers and this is something that I worry about every day.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Regina Korn SWAN LAKE, NY
      • 28 days ago

      To speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Angie Alexis WOLCOTT, CT
      • 28 days ago

      This should not had happened, ever. I wonder if her rape kit had DNA evidence that could link that low life and send him to jail forever.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Sharon Weinstein OCEANSIDE, NY
      • 30 days ago

      As a special education teacher, I am disguised that this can happen. We can put red light cameras at so many corners, but not in group homes to protect our most vulnerable people!?

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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