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Declan O'Scanlon

Posted on: September 8, 2023

Legislators Call for Emergency Session & Hearings on Veterans’ Home Death Investigation Report

Menlo Park Veterans Home Entrance Sign

Senator Declan O'Scanlon, Assemblywoman Victoria Flynn and Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (Monmouth - R's) are calling for an emergency session and subsequent independent committee hearings to discuss the horrific treatment of Veterans in care homes by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy's Administration during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report (PDF) released yesterday by the United States Department of Justice and the United States District Attorney's Office of New Jersey outlined in graphic detail how the Murphy Administration's failures led to devastation, subjecting over 7,900 Veterans to cruelty and ultimately culminated in our heroes losing their lives in vain.

O'Scanlon, Flynn, and Scharfenberger release the following statement:

"The conclusions offered by the District Attorney's Office and the U.S. Department of Justice are, at a bare minimum, horrific. In all our years, we have never seen such a scathing report, detailing complete failures and lock of compassion for human life by State officials. It is almost inconceivable that this occurred - we owe it to those Veterans as well as their families to find recourse and impose consequences on all those involved. There must be accountability for those who failed to protect our must vulnerable residents.

It is a sad day in New Jersey history to have an administration placed on notice for neglecting to protect our Veterans, heroes who sacrificed so much to protect and preserve liberty of our Country. It is disgraceful that our Veterans could be treated with complete disdain by officials and bureaucrats. Making matters worse is the cavalier attitude by those responsible for this, essentially expressing feigned shock by the findings as if they were not already aware of the havoc they imposed.

As members of the New Jersey Legislature, we will not stand idly by after having been made aware of the findings. We call on our leaders and colleagues in the Legislature to come back into session immediately so that we can hold hearings to review this report and attempt to bring justice for those who lost their lives as well as for their families who were rendered helpless as they were banned from visiting and robbed of sharing final moments with their loved ones.

We must also seek justice for those Veterans who today continue to live in substandard conditions due to the State's neglect. We can ill afford to wait any longer for reports and a determination from our own State Attorney General, we must act now.

In the same vein, we must ensure this never happens again. We must enact stronger laws to prevent one person and unelected administrators from ever being able to impart unilateral control over the lives of citizens. Never again should the authority of the New Jersey Legislature be usurped by one individual lest we suffer the same failures in the future."

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