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CSEA social services worker dies after assault

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CSEA social services worker dies after assault
By Pete Levine ·
Tags: Our Stories

CSEA member Maria Coto, a Westchester County Department of Social Services worker, died this week after being attacked while making a home visit in Peekskill, New York, on May 14.

CSEA President and AFSCME Vice President Mary E. Sullivan said in an email to members, “Our hearts go out to her loved ones and her CSEA family in Westchester County.”

In the aftermath of Sister Coto’s killing, CSEA worked with Westchester County leaders to beef up safety for workers conducting community and home visits. County Executive George Latimer announced extra security measures last week, Sullivan said.

“This tragedy highlights some of the hazards CSEA members face when working in the community and reinforces why occupational safety and health must always be a top priority,” Sullivan said.

Sister Coto, 56, had mistakenly knocked on the wrong door while conducting a home visit, prompting the vicious, unprovoked attack. The suspect has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder and assault.

Hattie Adams, president of Sister Coto’s local, CSEA Westchester County Unit 9200, echoed Sullivan’s grief and promised to fight harder for the safety of members.

“We will in her memory continue to be committed to do everything possible in conjunction with the Westchester County executive’s office to educate and to assure our membership is safe while working to service the community,” Adams said in a statement to new outlets. Our condolences go out to her CSEA family, co-workers, friends and family during this difficult time.”

Many AFSCME members serve on the front lines and put their lives on the line for the communities they serve. Safety on the job is something AFSCME fights for every day – at the local, state and national levels.

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