State Watch

Story of homeless veterans booted from hotel for migrants was a hoax: NY lawmaker

A sensational story about hotels in upstate New York throwing out homeless veterans to make room for migrants bused from New York City turned out to be false, according to a local news outlet.

New York state lawmaker Brian Maher (R) told The Times-Union the story was false after he had a conversation with Sharon Toney-Finch, the CEO of Orange County nonprofit Yerik Israel Toney Foundation.

Toney-Finch made the original claim about the homeless veterans thrown out of the hotel rooms, setting off a media frenzy this week that was scooped up by conservative outlets Fox News and the New York Post.

But under pressure from Maher to provide evidence, she unraveled emotionally and kept saying she wanted to help the veterans, according to the newspaper. But she failed to provide any evidence, such as bank statements, to the New York state lawmaker.

Maher also talked to the veterans who claimed they were thrown out of the Crossroads Hotel in the city of Newburgh.

At least one of the purported veterans said they were paid by Toney-Finch to lie about being thrown out, according to the Times-Union. And staff at Crossroads Hotel and two other hotels confirmed they never had dealings with the nonprofit or never housed any veterans.

Maher said he was “devastated and disheartened” to learn the truth.

“This is something I believe hurt a lot of people,” the New York State lawmaker told the local outlet.

The sensational story about displaced veterans was first reported by the New York Post last week.

The outlet cited Toney-Finch as saying 15 veterans were forced out of the Crossroads Hotel and another five were forced out of two other upstate hotels.

Republican governors in states on the U.S.-Mexico border have been busing migrants to liberal cities, such as New York City, since last year.

In turn, New York City this month began busing migrants upstate, citing a lack of space for them in shelters. A judge temporarily blocked the move earlier this week.

Tags Brian Maher Eric Adams Migrant busing migrant influx migrants New York New York City New York State Assembly Orange County Sharon Toney-Finch Yerik Israel Toney Foundation

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