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Abuse allegations substantiated in Troy transitional housing death

January 09, 2019 06:29 PM

Allegations of abuse are substantiated after the death of a Troy man whose body was found decomposing at a Transitional Housing facility on 6th Avenue in Troy. 

The Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs substantiates claims alleging that Raolik Walls was subjected to conduct which constituted abuse or neglect by two staff members at the Mohawk-Hudson Recovery Center and at least two staff members.

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NewsChannel 13 was first to obtain a letter dated December 10 to the mother of Raolik Walls, Yvonne Ketter-Walls.

According to the letter from the office of General Counsel for the NYS Justice Center, a staff member "committed neglect when she failed to provide adequate services to Mr. Walls," as part of Allegation 1, that was substantiated as Category 2 neglect. 

Another staff member, according to the letter, committed neglect when he failed to provide "proper supervision and/or oversight to Mr. Walls by not establishing proper structure and oversight of the Supportive Living Program." This second allegation was substantiated as Category 2 neglect.

This third allegation alleged that a staff member failed to provide proper supervision to Mr. Walls. That was unsubstantiated.

The fourth allegation, that a staff member committed neglect when "she failed to provide proper supervision and/or adequate services to Mr. Walls" was both unsubstantiated and sealed, but also substantiated according to the letter as Category 4 neglect.

In this case, the letter states it was appropriate "based on substantial systemic problems identified during the investigation, including inadequate management, training, and supervision at the facility that exposed Mr. Walls to harm or risk of harm and that mitigated individual staff culpability."

Walls, whose body was found decomposing in a transitional housing facility in Troy on January 11, 2018, was found by an exterminator -- according to his mother.

Through a Freedom of Information Law request, Troy police released department records including a three-page police report to NewsChannel 13 last week. Officers reported that Raolik Walls had not been seen since December 3, 2017 -- but that police weren't contacted until January 11, 2018, after his body was found in what was supposed to be a vacant room.

Wall -- according to the police report, stopped attending treatment and cleaned out his room and left the key for staff – and that he never formally checked out of the program, but it was assumed he wasn't living there any longer.

There was a list of six residents who spoke to Walls. A request for the investigation report by the Justice Center was denied.

The Justice Center released the following statement to NewsChannel 13:

"The Justice Center upholds the nation’s highest standards of care for people with special needs by ensuring independent investigations into allegations of abuse, neglect and mistreatment. The agency is prohibited by law from discussing the details and determinations of our investigations in order to protect the rights of the vulnerable population we serve."

The Hudson Mohawk Recovery Center released the following statement to NewsChannel 13:

"Over the past several months, our agency has cooperated fully with the Justice Center throughout its investigation. While we review the findings and any possible recommendations, we will continue to provide treatment and recovery services, as well as abide by our critical mission of helping Capital Region residents who suffer from the disease of addiction."


MORE INFORMATION: Paperwork from the Justice Center Investigation

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WNYT Staff

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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