Latino Advocacy Group Claims Victory as Besieged "New Day" Center Files Bankruptcy, Shuts Down

Apr 30, 2012, 17:50 ET from Consejo de Latinos Unidos

EL MONTE, Calif., April 30, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- After a year of protests and letter writing, Consejo de Latinos Unidos, a national not-for-profit organization and public charity which educates and assists Latinos, claimed victory today as New Day Adult Day Care in El Monte filed for bankruptcy and appears to be closing its doors this week. New Day (formerly known as Healthy Start) has been at the center of physical and sexual abuse allegations since an employee was arrested for raping a client in May of 2010.

"We are elated that after a year of public pressure, New Day is finally shutting down," said K.B. Forbes, Executive Director of the Consejo de Latinos Unidos. "The most vulnerable in our society, the mentally disabled, were victims of negligence, lack of concern, and at times, utter disregard for their well-being or safety. Healthy Start's management scoffed at the original allegations."

In February of 2011, Juan Fernando Flores, who worked at the New Day facility when it was named Healthy Start, was sentenced to eight years in prison for the rape and molestation of three mentally disabled women. Since 2009, families had complained repeatedly about Flores to the facility and the supervising Regional Centers, and they allegedly did nothing. Flores was arrested 11 months after the first incident was reported for raping a woman in the bathroom.

Forbes disputed the notion that State budget cuts forced the bankruptcy. "New Day was a victim of their own arrogance and negligence. Instead of addressing the abuse allegations, they mocked the families and simply rebranded their center from Healthy Start to New Day thinking that would save them from community outrage."

Parents and families of the mentally disabled have wanted the New Day facility shut down, and corporate owners held accountable. "Our work is not done," Forbes declared. "Obviously by filing for bankruptcy, financial probes by the State of California, criminal investigators, and regulatory authorities should commence."

In March of 2011, attorneys for the victims of the abuse filed a lawsuit against New Day and two Regional Centers that supervise New Day for alleged negligence, violations of the Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, and deceptive business practices.

Since 2001, the Consejo has helped spur three U.S. Congressional hearings and over a dozen local and state probes, including two Civil Rights inquiries.

CONTACT: K.B. Forbes (202)320-1212
or email kb@consejohelp.org

SOURCE Consejo de Latinos Unidos