ALBANY, N.Y. (WIVB) - A bill created in the wake of the brutal murder of a Lockport group home worker is moving forward.
Renee Greco was only 24-years-old when she was killed while supervising troubled teenagers in Lockport. Some believe the state's juvenile justice system failed her, and now, they want changes.
Anthony Allen and Robert Thousand were brought to justice for their roles in the bludgeoning death of youth counselor Renee Greco.
State Sen. George Maziarz said, "It was a formula for disaster, and disaster struck."
And now Maziarz is hoping to change that formula. Maziarz and his Senate colleague, Cathy Young of Olean, will push for passage of a bill, Renee's Law.
"Renee Greco had no idea that the individuals that she was with were violent offenders," said Maziarz.
The legislation, among other things, addresses staff training and requires that agencies, such as the one that operated the Avenue House in Lockport, have a full background report on juveniles.
Renee's aunt, Carla Sauberan, said, "She had a right to know with who she was dealing with."
Carla and Mark Sauberan, still grieving over their niece's death, believe the system needs to be changed. Mark testified before a Senate task force in Albany last June.
"It's not saying it won't happen again, it will happen again, and it's going to be somebody else's daughter, somebody else's son, somebody else's wife or whomever it might be," said Mark.
Carla added, "Renee was just a small piece of what's totally wrong the underlayment of this whole process."
Maziarz has written to Governor Andrew Cuomo about the Renee Greco case.
"What I'm afraid of is that the Governor is going to direct the office of Children and Family Services to start outsourcing all of this work, all of these individuals to these not-for-profits without the training being in place," said Maziarz.
In his letter to Cuomo, Maziarz writes, "If Anthony Allen and Robert Thousand had been incarcerated, Renee would be alive today."
"Mr. Allen and Mr. Thousand never should have been in a non-secured detention facility," said Maziarz.
Carla said, "Until it happens to a Senator's daughter, you wonder if it will get changed."
Maziarz says the bottom line is that Renee Greco should never have been put in a position where that could have happened. He says the bill is designed to keep everyone safe, residents and workers.
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