UPDATE: Gov. Patrick, Fire This Man!
Haleigh Poutre was beaten into a coma on his watch. Rebecca Riley was killed. He reacted by praising the government employees who oversaw these cases. "We have nothing to be ashamed of."
His name is Harry Spence and he's still the head of the Massachusetts Department of Social Services. Why, Gov. Patrick, why?
UPDATE: If you need more reasons to fire this bumbling bureaucrat, just read today's papers. A few highl..er, "lowlights":
The state Department of Social Services received a report raising concerns about whether Rebecca Riley was taking too many powerful prescription drugs last summer, but dropped the issue after receiving assurances from her mother and [her] doctors that the treatment was appropriate.
Despite the concerns raised by a therapist, the agency did not seek an independent review of the child's treatment until after the 4-year-old died from an overdose on Dec. 13.--Boston Globe- Democrat.
DSS spokeswoman Denise Monteiro said the agency did not remove Carolyn and Michael J. Riley’s three children last fall because as far as caseworkers knew, “He was out of the home, there was a restraining order against him, and we don’t punish mothers because they’re victims of domestic violence. We don’t punish families twice.”
But Michael Riley was not out of the home at all, nor was there a restraining order in place against him, as DSS was told by Carolyn Riley...“We believed her. We did not check,” said Monteiro. -- Boston Herald.
In July 2006, a social worker filed two 51A allegations of abuse or neglect with the Department of Social Services. The first was based on her observations during a visit that Carolyn Riley was neglecting her children and appeared heavily drugged. The therapist stated she filed a second 51A after another visit when Rebecca’s 6-year-old sister disclosed that Michael Riley had hit her. She stated that DSS later reported to her that both reports were unsupported. --Boston Herald.
You can reach Gov. Patrick here.
Or use this information:
Office of the Governor
Boston, MA 02133
Phone: (617) 725-4005
(888) 870-7770 (instate use only)
FAX: (617) 727-9725