ARRESTED John Allen, Director, Office of Mental Health, Office of Consumer Affairs

Hello Friends! My last blog post on October 12, 2016, was entitled, “Good Bye!”  There are a few reasons why I have not written any posts. First of all, I had written over 200 factual articles which required countless hours of research. At this time in my life, I am not willing, nor am I able, to devote that much time sitting in front of my computer. Secondly, the nature of this subject matter is extremely depressing and not good for my mental health. Thirdly, I was tired of banging my head against wall trying to convince the New York State Office of Mental Health to release the names of former patients in an online format, etc. If you have read past posts, I don’t need to fill you in.

A friend of mine contacted me with some very disturbing news about John Allen, Director, Office of Mental Health, Office of Consumer Affairs. Here is his mugshot from the Albany County Jail.

John Allen-Albany County Jail

John Allen-Albany County Jail

This is the man who was in charge of Consumer Affairs. This is the man that everyone had to go through to get answers. This is the man who had total control over what we could and could not learn about our family members; former patients of New York State Hospitals/Asylums, who died YEARS AGO and were buried in anonymous, unmarked graves in the state owned cemeteries of these 26 state run institutions. In my judgement, any deal that was made between the New York State Legislature and John Allen should be null and void. Hopefully, we can start over and write the bill that I wanted written in the first place but I’m not holding my breath. Two years after my last blog post I have reached 507,475 hits without any new blog posts. Read the comments! Clearly, there are people out there who are still searching for help, trying to locate any information on their long lost loved ones!

News10 Albany – By Anya Tucker
Updated: Sep 26, 2018 05:20 PM EDT

Times Union Albany – By Paul Nelson
Updated 8:44 pm EDT, Thursday, September 20, 2018

Spectrum News – Capital Region


14 thoughts on “ARRESTED John Allen, Director, Office of Mental Health, Office of Consumer Affairs

  1. Shocking. I have been trying to gain information on my grandmother who died at Willard after being there for 25 years. Never got the information. What can we do with and about this in light of this disclosure?


  2. Unfortunately, the fact that this criminal has been arrested and fired isn’t going to change the NYS Office of Mental Health’s interpretation of the law regarding allowing family members access to the records of people who were at Willard and other state hospitals. I know, because I had that job before him, and when I was there, the state allowed families access if they documented their relationship. After they got rid of me and hired him more than 15 years ago, he got them to change their interpretation. I think the law needs to be amended to make it crystal clear that descendants have the right to access these records in accordance with federal HIPAA laws.


  3. Disgusting and very disturbing story. Hope they throw the book at him. More over, I hope families searching for information finally get answers.

    Sent from my iPad



  4. John Allen had a bunch of us working on the Willard Suitcase Project. We were each assigned two suitcases in an attempt to find the owner’s living relatives (names were assigned 8/6/18). I found both of my clients and submitted it within a week. They haven’t done anything with the information. In fact, at the time of his arrest, nobody had accepted my invitation to the trees I’d created. After his arrest, there has been very little contact with the volunteers (I had 4 friends also working on it – none of us have heard much of anything other than the show will go on). The ancestry subscriptions are about to run out, and there has been no communication of any plan. Very frustrating to know that there is information available, but we can’t disclose it and they may be people looking for it.


    • I have a few questions for you. 1. How many people were given free accounts? I heard there were about 300 volunteers. 2. How much did each account cost? 3. I was told that the NYS Office of Mental Health paid for these subscriptions with tax payer funds. 4. I was also told that each volunteer had to give their username and password to OMH. Can you provide any answers for me? I thank you for trying to help others find their deceased relatives. Sincerely, Lin


  5. However, under new laws for medical records, the 50-yr extension of HIPAA rights may be moot b/c med records in some states are destroyed after 6 yrs, absent extension


  6. I have been trying to get my records from OMH for 8 years. John Allen refused to release them. OMH made its decision without lawful regulatory authority, without properly considering the information that I provided to it, and without properly documenting its decision. Its decision violated, inter alia, New York State Mental Hygiene Law (NYMHL) §33.25(a), which concerns a patient’s right to release of records pertaining to allegations and investigations of abuse and mistreatment.

    I met with Mr. Allen, second-in-command at OMH, twice in April 2018 (I have transcripts and audio recordings). On the surface he was cordial. But after promising me in the first meeting that he would show me the investigation report in the second meeting, he then refused to do so. He declined to explain to me what OMH’s role is in overseeing its licensees such as the hospital where I was detained, or to give me any information about how OMH does its work. He said that the matter was closed, but then said that he would review new information if I gave it to him. He refused to listen to any of my legal arguments, saying that was because I wasn’t a lawyer, but there was evidence that it was because he didn’t understand the applicable law and knew that I did. He said that he would try to include the OMH investigator on my case in the second meeting, then said he wouldn’t. He also made some alarmingly inaccurate and insensitive statements. The worst of these was that he thought it is perfectly legal for a gang of hospital staff — including men — to restrain a nonviolent woman by her wrists and ankles and forcibly strip her of her clothes, hands-on, as punishment for nonviolently trying to escape the hospital. His female colleague in the meeting – astonishingly – agreed with him. If this was some kind of a practical joke, it was a despicable one. His arrest a few months later for acts of sexual perversion might explain why he held such an unconventional belief, destroyed his credibility, and revealed the fraudulent nature of the determination that OMH had made in my case. And yet I did not hear from OMH again, even after his arrest, to retract the determination or explain what happened.

    The National Advisory Council found that “flight risk is not sufficient justification for removal of clothing and that a blanket policy of automatic disrobement based solely on psychiatric diagnosis was clinically unjustified, discriminatory, and illegal…” But as Mr. Allen mansplained it to me, “Then file a complaint with the appropriate authorities to have the appropriate people arrested. I’m telling you in my experience they’re not going to take the complaint. What you experienced is in fact an involuntary commitment. Period.”

    While I was hospitalized, NSLIJ Staff prevented me from dialing 911 to report the assault and battery to the police. Mr. Allen – who in a previous incarnation might have been Rosa Parks’ bus driver — effectively told me that even though it was a penal code violation, and I was prevented from reporting it to the police by the perpetrators, this is acceptable to OMH so I should not even bother trying. I refused to get off the bus.

    Not only did OMH reach the wrong determination, it used a decision-making process that was opaque to me and not authorized by statute. OMH made determinations as a result of these gray-area “hearings” which were not supported by substantial evidence. I use the term “hearings” here since I was meeting formally with a top official of OMH at its headquarters, and I was not offered any other kind of hearing than this, administrative or judicial, in the hospital or since then, so Mr. Allen was acting in a quasi-judicial capacity. This created the preposterous situation in which a sex offender was judging the misconduct of other sex offenders. I received no notice that this was a hearing, and nobody was sworn in. After requesting my supplementary evidence after our first meeting, Mr. Allen refused to examine the evidence that I had brought with me in the second meeting, and in fact literally pushed it away when I tried to hand it to him across the table. He made several false statements, failed to adequately explain why OMH had reached its conclusions, refused to discuss the applicable law with me, issued no written determination, and refused to budge from the Agency’s position described in the one-page letter that his colleagues had sent me in Feb. 2012, which was based on outdated information. If any minutes were taken or evidence used – other than the evidence that I tried to give Mr. Allen myself – this was not shared with me. Mr. Allen referred verbally to documents that he and his staff allegedly reviewed during the investigation, but refused to give me copies of them – nor did he put anything at all in writing.

    Mr. Allen’s assertion that he needed to get legal advice to be able to release my records should be a red flag for anybody reading the transcript. After nearly eight years, and a meeting the previous week, those records should have been ready to hand.

    Mr. Allen openly stated that he did not disagree with my recitation of the facts of the case and acknowledged that he could perceive the extent to which I have been traumatized by the hospital’s misconduct. However, he was also unyielding in his position that my complaint should not have resulted in an OMH Special Investigation as opposed to a simple “document review”. I asked Mr. Allen for some concrete structure around what is supposed to happen in an OMH document review, and he said, “I’m not going to give you that structure, because the structure is not detailed in regulation or in statute.” Bewildered by Mr. Allen’s stream of echolalia and misleading statements that defied common sense and were apparently designed to cover the area with a haze of gray, I left the meeting frustrated, without having received satisfactory answers to my questions.

    Mr. Allen’s statement about structure was patently false; not only are there regulations and statutes telling OMH what to do (inter alia the NYMHLs and NYCRR), but there are also OMH’s own policies, its code of ethics, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) code of ethics, the American Nursing Association (ANA) code of ethics, and case history, all of which echo one another.

    Mr. Allen said that a patient with financial resources is not entitled to MHLS representation, which is absolutely false; NY Court Rule §823.2 sets no requirements for patients’ financial resources. Anyone with common sense would say that an individual who is detained without charges in a hospital should not have to pay for his own attorney. And OMH has publicly declared its commitment to make behavioral health crisis response available to all New Yorkers regardless of payment source or ability to pay. Mr. Allen said “I cannot respond to what MHLS does or doesn’t do… OMH is not going to enforce your legal rights. That is up to you and your attorneys to do.” So, ironically, OMH considered that Mr. Allen as a sex offender has more right to legal representation than I did – a nonviolent vulnerable person. However, NYMHL §7.07(c) requires OMH to ensure that “care, treatment and rehabilitation is of high quality and effectiveness, and that the personal and civil rights of persons receiving care, treatment and rehabilitation are adequately protected.”

    “The patient or qualified person may challenge the accuracy of the information and require that a brief written statement prepared by him regarding the challenged information be inserted in his record” according to NYMHL § 33.16(g). Mr. Allen’s sole solution to the problem of the dozens of false and defamatory statements, exaggerations and innuendo in my 450 pages of clinical records – which amount to extrajudicial punishment by stealth – was to allow me to insert one or two pages into this weighty tome to try to refute all of the misinformation. But if I don’t know where the hospital and the Agencies have sent the records, how can I be sure that such a statement has actually been inserted into them?

    I have reams of more information on these topics.


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