Binghamton, NY – NYS Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs Special Prosecutor Patricia E. Gunning announced that a Binghamton man employed by HCA of Southern New York, Inc. has been arrested and charged with endangering a person with special needs in his care.

Michael M. Scott (DOB: 12/09/1987) of Binghamton, is charged with:

  • ·Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent Person in the First Degree, a class "E" felony.

The charges stem from a February incident in which the defendant allegedly pushed the victim to the ground, and kicked the victim several times. The victim has autism and an intellectual disability. The incident occurred at HCA’s Kirkwood facility.  The program is certified by the NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).

“Professionals employed by HCA are trained to calmly resolve difficult situations that can occur in its facilities,” said Special Prosecutor Gunning. “Caregivers should never resort to violence as a means of dealing with the people they serve, as this defendant is alleged to have done.”

Scott, who has been placed on administrative leave, was arraigned before the Honorable Jeffrey Hawkes of Kirkwood Town Court and released on his own recognizance.  Supervising Assistant Special Prosecutor Linda E. Gafford is prosecuting the case, which was investigated by Justice Center investigators Bruce Hall and Sheila Stanbro. Gunning thanked the office of Broome County District Attorney Stephen K. Cornwell, Jr. for its support of the Justice Center’s prosecution.

About the Justice Center

The Justice Center operates a statewide hotline which is staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week by trained professionals who receive reports of allegations of abuse, neglect, and significant incidents involving people with special needs. The Justice Center has authority to investigate these allegations and may also delegate responsibility for an investigation to the relevant state oversight agency.  An investigation may lead to both administrative and criminal remedies, when the evidence supports a finding that an employee or volunteer committed abuse or neglect.

The Justice Center is also dedicated to abuse prevention.  Such efforts are critical to advancing the Justice Center’s mission to support and protect the health, safety, and dignity of people with special needs. In collaboration with state oversight agencies and its Advisory Council, the Justice Center identifies and develops strategic prevention initiatives. These efforts have included guidance documents, tools and training for staff and other stakeholders to enable them to take a proactive approach to creating safe, supportive, abuse-free environments. 

Editor’s note: In compliance with Rule 3.6(b)(6) of the Rules of Professional Conduct, you are advised that a charge is an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.



Contact: Diane Ward, Office of Communications

(518) 549-0200 [email protected]