He said he filed the lawsuit three years after the alleged abuse because he learned that Edwards still works as a caregiver at the United Cerebral Palsy Association of Nassau County. “I went to the [district attorney’s office] and they did nothing. I went to law enforcement and they did nothing,” Weisenberg said. “They investigated this in the agency and they fired the guy, and he was working somewhere else the next day. I’m the greatest supporter of this agency … but I’m acting as a parent now, and I’m going to protect all other families from having a person like this in their employment.”
Weisenberg is seeking compensatory and punitive damages, which he said he would donate to organizations that help people with disabilities.
The lawsuit comes as Gov. Andrew Cuomo is considering signing legislation that would create a new Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs. The center would investigate claims of abuse and neglect and create a statewide registry of workers who have committed acts of abuse, preventing them from working with people with disabilities. Weisenberg was a co-sponsor of the bill.
“This case is just part of an epidemic of abuse in New York state,” said Ilann Maazel, the attorney representing the Weisenbergs. “If it can happen to the son of a New York Assemblyman and one of the leading advocates for disability rights, it can happen to anyone.”