Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi is calling for a federal investigation into New York state's response to abuse and neglect allegations at a state-run group home in Rome.

Steve Wenger is a permanently disabled patient who had been living in a long-term care facility in Rome.

Wenger was found to have maggots around his breathing tube twice in two days last year. A state investigation found it was the result of days of neglect.

Brindisi is demanding a federal investigation by the Department of Health and Human Services.

“It is clear as day that when it comes to investigating the conditions of these state-run long-term care facilities for the disabled or very sick, New York State simply cannot police itself. Secrets are brushed under the rug, information is withheld from elected officials demanding answers and patients who can’t speak up for themselves continue to suffer,” said Brindisi

He wants the investigation to include all of New York State's long term care facilities where ongoing investigations are underway or have already been closed by the state themselves.

Meanwhile, Senator Joseph Griffo has sent a letter to officials at the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities and the Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs seeking answers.

Griffo called for a “thorough assessment by OPWDD to determine what shortcomings may exist that allow such unfortunate and inexcusable acts of neglect to occur,” so that these issues can be corrected to ensure that every employee works to the best of their ability to provide adequate care.

Griffo says the incident is not only shamefully reprehensible, but it is totally unacceptable.

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