Details on Johnstown funeral home owner’s license suspension

JOHNSTOWN – The owner of the funeral home where police say they found decomposing human remains had his license suspended last year. However, complaints about his behavior go back much further.

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Johnstown police say they found decomposing human remains in a furniture storage area last week at the Ehle and Barnett funeral home, and two more in the garage among garbage.

Police say they also found more than a dozen containers of cremated remains, some labeled, but some open and unidentified.

Monday, a Gloversville woman told NewsChannel 13 about her terrible experience with the funeral home when her beloved mother died in 2020, especially when the family tried to go in for her service.

"When we finally got in, we had less than five minutes to be able to go see my mother, and he was still working on her, and he did a horrible job," said Tami Brown.

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The New York State Department of Health oversees funeral homes.

According to the department, owner Brian Barnett’s license was suspended on November 30, 2021 for operating an unregistered firm, for which he had been previously sanctioned, and for denying the health department’s requests to inspect funeral firm records.

His name has been removed from the list of registered funeral directors.

Funeral directors must register their license with the health department every two years in order to work legally in New York. All registrations expire on June 30 of even years.

Authorities say they got a complaint in May 2021.

According to another funeral home director, customers can always ask to see a license, and it’s a good idea to check reviews.

Among the Google reviews for Ehle and Barnett, two months ago, one person said, "Do not use," and that they do not call back or respond to emails.

Eight months ago, someone wrote that it was a horrible experience overall for their father’s funeral, and they found his remains were not even in the urn. They had to ask for them repeatedly.

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Johnstown police say charges are pending. NewsChannel 13 expects to get more information on this case at the end of this week.