Allegations of Abuse and Misconduct Surface in Lawsuit Against NY National Guard and DocGo, Revealing “Systemic Problems” at Facility

Buffalo, NY — A lawsuit has been filed against the New York National Guard and the company DocGo, alleging various abuses that took place at the Quality Inn in Cheektowaga. According to the plaintiffs’ attorney, Nate McMurray, the facility has “systemic problems” and a failure of leadership on all levels. The 19 plaintiffs in the lawsuit claim instances of rape, battery, false imprisonment, and other abuses by asylum seekers and contractors from DocGo.

The lawsuit, which spans 16 pages, accuses members of the New York National Guard and DocGo staff of engaging in sexual relationships with several asylum seekers. Some of the plaintiffs are former DocGo subcontractors who reportedly reported the abuse to company officials, but were ignored or told to stay quiet. McMurray also revealed that some management at DocGo were allegedly involved in the wrongdoing.

The court documents further describe disturbing incidents. One instance involved a National Guardsman transporting guests from Cheektowaga to a nearby hotel where the guardsmen were staying. Another incident claimed that a National Guardsman drove an asylum seeker and her children two hours away to a rental property, where he demanded sexual favors in exchange for his assistance.

McMurray emphasized that such events could not occur without the knowledge and indifference of many people. The lawsuit alleges that a woman identified as Jane Doe engaged in sexual activity with the Guardsman, which caused severe distress to herself and her children.

The allegations have prompted investigations by the Erie County District Attorney’s Office and the Cheektowaga Police. However, no further details have been provided by either office. The New York National Guard, on the other hand, has stated that it cannot confirm any internal investigations or the validity of the lawsuit due to Department of Defense policy.

In response to the allegations, DocGo released a statement affirming its commitment to safety and well-being, adding that it conducts internal investigations into allegations and has strict policies in place to address misconduct. They also mentioned that their program has received visits from various city and state agencies, including confirmation of their commitment to safety by the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

2 On Your Side, a local news outlet, reached out to Governor Kathy Hochul’s office for comment. A spokesperson confirmed that the governor views abuse and misconduct as unacceptable. They stated that the New York National Guard has an independent disciplinary process under military law to hold offenders accountable.

As the allegations unfold, approximately 2,100 members of the New York National Guard continue to be deployed across the state, involved in operations related to the placement of asylum seekers from New York City.

It should be noted that the allegations in the lawsuit have not been proven and remain under investigation.