Nicolas Alahverdian

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Nicholas Alahverdian
Nicholas Alahverdian
Nicholas Alahverdian and Vice President Mike Pence
Born (1987-07-11) July 11, 1987 (age 32)
Providence, Rhode Island, US
Nationality American
Alma mater

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Occupation Lobbyist
Awards Template:Endplainlist

Nicholas Alahverdian (born July 11, 1987) is an American lobbyist, political operative, and writer.

He is currently the chairman of RI Future PAC[3] and is a managing partner at Rhode Island Government Solutions.[4][5]

Hired as a Rhode Island House of Representatives legislative aide at age 15, he grew up as an orphan who in the care of the Department of Children, Youth and Families. He attended Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts.[1][2]

He later went on to manage political campaigns[6] and write opinion pieces for The Providence Journal.[5] Alahverdian also had roles in Brotherhood and Underdog.[7]

Early life

At age 15, Alahverdian became an orphan and was placed in various group homes and nightly shelters.[8] He suffered abuse and negligence in foster care and this continued while he was employed by the Rhode Island House of Representatives. Alahverdian informed lawmakers of the abuse.

Following inquiries from legislators and Alahverdian's own lobbying efforts before legislative committees, he was sent out of state.[2]

2010 saw the filing of Alahverdian v. Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families, et al. in the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island.[9] Alahverdian reached a confidential settlement in August 2013. The financial terms of the settlement with the private defendants were not disclosed.[10]

In a 2011 Associated Press article, Alahverdian was interviewed about foster care by investigative reporter David Klepper. Facts revealed included millions of taxpayer dollars expended on exporting foster children out of Rhode Island.[11][12]

Lobbying

File:Nicholas DeFilippo Alahverdian.jpg
Nicholas Alahverdian at the Rhode Island State House in 2017

Following his employment as a legislative aide, Alahverdian registered as a lobbyist. In 2002, he became the youngest registered lobbyist in the history of the state at age 15. He advocated for social justice legislation.[13]

In 2010, Alahverdian waged an unprecedented legislative campaign for an overhaul of the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth & Families. Several bills were introduced in the Rhode Island General Assembly to reform the department, including a bill that created an oversight commission[14] and another that prohibited out of state placements unless necessary services were not available in-state.[15]

Rhode Island State Rep. Roberto DaSilva, a Democrat, appeared at a press conference with Alahverdian in 2010 to announce the legislation.[16]

It was later disclosed as a result of the DaSilva investigation in Politico that the state of Rhode Island was sending kids outside of the state at a cost to taxpayers that reached over $9 million. Roberto DaSilva said Alahverdian was the inspiration for introducing the legislation that would end the practice.[17][18] and placed kids in group care at twice the national average.

Lawsuit

File:Nicholas Alahverdian Portrait.jpg
Nicholas Alahverdian announcing legislation in the Rotunda of the State Capitol in Providence, Rhode Island

Alahverdian sued the State of Rhode Island[19] among others including former Governor Donald Carcieri, the State of Nebraska, and the State of Florida due to documented[20] serious abuse and negligence that occurred in state-owned and out-of-state facilities. The case was in the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island before Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. and alleged a wide array of charges involving physical[21] and sexual abuse, the prevention of attending school, and being sent to out of state facilities where he was allowed to contact no one.

The two facilities used by the state of Rhode Island, Manatee Palms Youth Services (part of the Psychiatric Solutions, Inc. chain) and Boys Town Residential Treatment Center, were later closed[21] by state regulatory agencies[22][23] for serious abuse and neglect.

The lawsuit claimed[21] that state senators and representatives (including the man who hired Alahverdian, former Speaker of the House and Rep. Gordon D. Fox, discovered the abuse when Alahverdian worked at the Rhode Island State House, but was sent out of state once those legislators began to take action against the Department.

He was billed for the medical care he received while in state care.[24][25] Two legislators, Rep. Doreen Costa and Rep. Michael Chippendale appeared at the press conference to criticize the move and indicate that they would introduce legislation to reform the department as a result of Alahverdian's advocacy.[24]

In June 2011, US District Judge John J. McConnell held the first conference in the case.[26]

In September 2012, a former State Representative appeared live on the Buddy Cianci Show on Newstalk 630 WPRO and reported[27] that he was one of the lawmakers that initially discovered the abuse. Alahverdian was also sent a $206,000.00 lien[28] for "medical expenses" from the State of Rhode Island, claiming that he owed that money should any settlement be reached.

Alahverdian was represented by Providence attorney Matthew Fabisch.[29] The case[30] was settled in August 2013.[10]

Alahverdian's lobbying efforts coincided with the lawsuit, aiming to improve the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families. In June 2013, a child's arm was broken at DCYF facility Harmony Hill School[31] and a toddler in foster care was found dead.[32] Following these incidents, The Providence Phoenix asserted that those in power in Rhode Island "should listen to what Nicholas Alahverdian has to say" so that foster care abuse and deaths can be prevented.[33]

The case was formally closed in late 2013.[34] Among other conditions including a trust,[35] Alahverdian stated the settlement consisted of a $209,000 waiver of a lien against him. The state continued to reject any culpability with respect to his allegations.[36]

On February 12, 2015, the legislation prohibiting out of state placements was reintroduced in the Rhode Island Senate at the initiative of Alahverdian.[37]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Buteau, Walt. "Abuse victim fights for DCYF changes". CBS News. http://wpri.com/2012/04/19/abuse-victim-fights-for-dcyf-changes/. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Heller, Mathias (9 February 2012). "Legislation spotlights domestic abuse". The Brown Daily Herald. http://www.browndailyherald.com/2012/02/09/legislation-spotlights-domestic-abuse/. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  3. "Campaign Finance Document". 17 March 2017. https://secure.ricampaignfinance.com/RhodeIslandCF/ReportsScanned/8546-RICF1-162229-211850a2-8876-4328-adcf-ee19ee7b94cf.pdf. 
  4. "Lobbyist Details". https://apps.sos.ri.gov/lobbytracker/profiles/view/1068. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Alahverdian, Nicholas (11 April 2017). "Nicholas Alahverdian: R.I.’s DCYF workers need help to protect children". The Providence Journal. http://www.providencejournal.com/opinion/20170411/nicholas-alahverdian-ris-dcyf-workers-need-help-to-protect-children. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  6. San Miguel, Michelle (26 October 2016). "Former RI state representative says he didn’t steal political signs". NBC 10. http://turnto10.com/news/local/former-ri-state-representative-says-he-didnt-steal-political-signs. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  7. "Nicholas Alahverdian". http://www.imdb.com/name/nm8898487/?ref_=nmbio_bio_nm. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  8. Kerr, Bob (24 November 2002). "A survivor tells the story of kid dumping". The Providence Journal. https://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/projo/access/245699021.html?FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current&date=Nov+24%2C+2002&author=Bob+Kerr&pub=The+Providence+Journal&edition=&startpage=C.01&desc=A+survivor+tells+the+story+of+kid+dumping. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  9. "CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 1:11-cv-00075-M". United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island. https://ecf.rid.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/DktRpt.pl?10056563359549-L_1_0-1. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 Arditi, Lynn (22 Aug 2013). "Settlement ends suit by former ward alleging abuse while in care of Rhode Island’s Department of Children, Youth and Families". The Providence Journal. http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20130822-settlement-ends-suit-by-former-ward-alleging-abuse-while-in-care-of-rhode-islands-department-of-children-youth-and-families.ece. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  11. Klepper, David (14 August 2011). "RI pays millions to send foster kids out of state". The New Haven Register. http://www.nhregister.com/general-news/20110814/former-foster-child-says-rhode-island-failed-him-and-others. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  12. Klepper, David (14 August 2011). "RI pays millions to send foster kids out of state". Erie Times-News. http://www.goerie.com/article/20110814/APN/1108140658. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  13. "Man claims he was abused in DCYF care". 1 March 2011. http://www.turnto10.com/story/21103803/man-claims-he-was-abused-in-dcyf-care. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  14. Rhode Island House of Representatives. "House Resolution Creating the Rhode Island House of Representatives Emergency Oversight Commission on the Department of Children, Youth and Families". http://legiscan.com/RI/text/H5855/id/214620. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  15. "DaSilva reintroduces bill to keep children under DCYF care in state". GoLocalProv. http://www.golocalprov.com/news/new-dasilva-reintroduces-bill-to-keep-children-under-dcyf-care-in-state/. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  16. Jaehnig, Dan (1 March 2011). "Man claims he was abused in DCYF care". NBC News. http://www.turnto10.com/story/21103803/man-claims-he-was-abused-in-dcyf-care. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  17. Arditi, Lynn. "DCYF report: RI children placed in group care at nearly twice national average". The Providence Journal. http://www.providencejournal.com/news/health/20140605-dcyf-report-rhode-island-children-placed-in-group-care-at-nearly-twice-national-average.ece. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  18. Lord, Peter. "Rep. DaSilva says R.I. pays hundreds of thousands of dollars for out-of-state care for children in state custody". Politifact. http://www.politifact.com/rhode-island/statements/2011/apr/08/roberto-dasilva/rep-dasilva-says-ri-pays-hundreds-thousands-dollar/. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  19. United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island. "Alahverdian v. Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families, Et Al". United States District Court. https://ecf.rid.uscourts.gov/doc1/1611592875. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  20. Buteau, Walt (8 April 2011). "Victim of abuse works for DCYF overhaul". WPRI. http://www.wpri.com/dpp/on_air/street_stories/street-stories-providence-victim-of-abuse-works-for-dcyf-overhaul. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Alahverdian, Nicholas. "Alahverdian v. Rhode Island, et. al.". United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island. United States District Court. https://nalahverdian.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/dcyf-complaint.pdf. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  22. Ruggles, Rick (16 September 2010). "State: Boys Town violated rules". Omaha World-Herald. http://www.omaha.com/article/20100916/NEWS01/709169899. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  23. Fields, Robin (7 May 2010). "Florida Regulators Stop Admissions to Troubled Youth Facility". ProPublica. https://www.propublica.org/article/florida-regulators-stop-admissions-to-psychiatric-solutions-youth-facility. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  24. 24.0 24.1 Buteau, Walt. "Former ward of state billed for medical care". CBS News. http://wpri.com/2012/09/29/former-ward-of-state-billed-for-medical-treatment/. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  25. Buteau, Walt. "State bills former DCYF ward for medical care". CBS News. http://wpri.com/2012/09/26/state-bills-former-dcyf-ward-for-medical-care/. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  26. "RI man's lawsuit against DCYF goes to court". The Boston Globe. 27 June 2011. http://www.boston.com/news/local/rhode_island/articles/2011/06/27/ri_mans_lawsuit_against_state_dcyf_goes_to_court/. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  27. "Excerpts of the Nicholas Alahverdian interview on The Buddy Cianci Show". 630 WPRO. 
  28. Buteau, Walt (28 September 2012). "Former DCYF Orphan Billed 206k by State". WPRI. http://www.wpri.com/dpp/target_12/target-12-former-DCYF-orphan-billed-207K-by-state. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  29. Arditi, Lynn (29 September 2012). "Lawmakers Question Lien Note Sent To Orphan". The Providence Journal. 
  30. "Civil Docket for Case #: 1:11-cv-00075-M". United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island. https://ecf.rid.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/DktRpt.pl?10056563359549-L_1_0-1. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  31. Rappleye, Bill. "Woman claims school staff broke her son's arm". NBC News WJAR. http://www.turnto10.com/story/22586566/woman-claims-school-staff-broke-her-sons-arm. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  32. Krause, Nancy. "Police await tests in tot's death: Found unresponsive in bed at foster home". CBS 12 Eyewitness News. http://www.wpri.com/dpp/news/local_news/west_bay/cranston-imperial-ave-toddler-found-dead-in-dcyf-custody. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  33. Phillipe and Jorge (26 June 2013). "The Horrors Continue". The Providence Phoenix. http://providence.thephoenix.com/news/154627-changing-climate-at-white-house/#ixzz2XTmm5Pwg. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  34. Buteau, Walt. "Suit against DCYF settled". CBS News. http://wpri.com/2013/08/22/suit-against-dcyf-settled/. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  35. Klamkin, Steve. "Steve Klamkin and the WPRO Morning News". 630 WPRO/N Alahverdian. 
  36. Arditi, Lynn (22 August 2013). "Settlement ends suit by former ward of state". The Providence Journal. http://www.providencejournal.com/breaking-news/content/20130822-settlement-ends-suit-by-former-ward-alleging-abuse-while-in-care-of-rhode-islands-department-of-children-youth-and-families.ece. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 
  37. "An Act Relating to State and Government Affairs - Department of Children, Youth and Families". State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText15/SenateText15/S0336.pdf. Retrieved 12 April 2017. 

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