Web Osi Speaks!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

At Last, Judge Philip Shepherd Does What I Have Been Advocating For A Long Time, Fines Cabinet For Health And Family Services Thousands Of Dollars Over Child Death And Abuse Records. I Wish Employees Responsible Will Pay Up, Rather Than Tax Payers!

Judge fines state agency $16,000 for withholding child abuse records
By Bill Estep

A judge has ordered the state Cabinet for Health and Family Services to pay penalties totaling more than $16,000 to three newspapers over of its handling of their requests for records about abused children.

Franklin Circuit Judge Philip Shepherd also ordered the cabinet to pay a total of more than $57,000 in attorney fees incurred by the three papers as they fought to get the records in court.

Shepherd entered his orders Thursday in cases involving the Lexington Herald-Leader, The (Louisville) Courier-Journal and the weekly Todd County Standard.

The three had sued the cabinet seeking access to records of children who were killed or nearly killed from abuse and neglect after having contact with child-protection workers in recent years.

Shepherd ruled that the cabinet had improperly withheld the records.

In the case involving the Todd County paper, Shepherd said the cabinet first said it had no records on a girl named Amy Dye, who was beaten to death last year by her adoptive brother. That was not correct. The cabinet had approved letting a Todd County woman adopt the girl and had received several reports of suspected abuse involving the girl.

The cabinet's response to the newspaper was a willful misrepresentation, Shepherd said.

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