Tag: social services

May 20

2016

Child abuse investigations still lag

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  The unit charged with investigating allegations of child abuse and neglect in Erie County is still having a hard time clearing cases on time. While there has been improvement since Investigative Post reported on the unit’s performance last summer, about four in 10 investigations are not completed within the timeframe the state requires. And although caseworkers are assigned fewer cases, the average workload is still higher than the state-recommended maximum. “There has been improvement but we’re still not where we should be,” said Erie County legislator Ted Morton, who is vice chairman of the committee that oversees Child and[...]

Posted 7 years ago

Dec 23

2015

Was dead mother failed by social services?

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The story of the four-year-old boy who spent days alone with his mother’s dead body, surviving on milk and maple syrup, has prompted a public outpouring of sympathy and the donation of gifts that piled up at police headquarters. Former employees of the Buffalo Urban League say there’s another side to the story. The boy’s mother, Shaleena Hamilton, had been receiving preventive services under the $1 million contract recently audited by the county comptroller, according to six current and former Urban League caseworkers. The audit, released two weeks ago, found extensive problems in the agency’s handling of the contract, including overbilling, a[...]

Posted 7 years ago

Dec 13

2015

Urban League scandal demands further scrutiny

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What to do about the Buffalo Urban League and its president and CEO, Brenda McDuffie? Something, that’s for sure. As our Charlotte Keith first reported, and an audit released last week by Erie County Comptroller Stefan Mychajliw subsequently confirmed, the Urban League has been overcharging Erie County for services that include working with families to prevent child abuse. To make matters worse, the Urban League retaliated against the caseworkers who helped expose the problem, firing or running off all eight of them. To make matters even worse, Urban League officials stonewalled the comptroller’s audit and, on the eve of its[...]

Posted 7 years ago

Dec 9

2015

Audit: Urban League bilked taxpayers

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An audit by the Erie County Comptroller has confirmed allegations leveled a year ago by social workers at the Buffalo Urban League that their employer charged the county tens of thousands of dollars for work never performed. Among the abuses: bills claiming some employees worked as many as 170 hours in a single day. The audit also found the Urban League tried to stonewall investigators and retaliated against the whistleblowers who brought the problems to the comptroller’s attention. All eight have now left the agency – either fired or effectively forced out of their jobs. The Department of Social Services,[...]

Posted 7 years ago

Feb 26

2015

Urban League hits back at whistleblowers

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The Buffalo Urban League, accused of submitting inflated bills for social services to Erie County, is retaliating against whistleblowers and impeding an investigation by the county comptroller, numerous sources have told Investigative Post. Some of these sources said whistleblowers have nevertheless provided investigators with evidence of “blatantly fraudulent billing” that buttresses their original claims that the Urban League was bilking the county. They’ve provided the comptroller documents purporting to show, among other things, 15 instances of double-billing and a one-day bill from a single employee that claimed 170 hours of work, sources said. Despite public statements to the contrary, internal[...]

Posted 8 years ago