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CPS Defies Grand Jury
October 5, 2008 permalink
In the USA, grand juries have subpoena power to investigate and refer crimes for prosecution. CPS is so arrogant their workers stonewall even a grand jury.
CPS admonished to cooperate in grand jury probe
By Marjie Lundstrom and Sam Stanton - firstname.lastname@example.org, Published 12:35 pm PDT Friday, October 3, 2008
Complaining that its investigation of Child Protective Services is being stonewalled, the Sacramento County grand jury has warned all CPS employees and its leaders that they must cooperate with the panel's probe.
In a strongly worded two-page letter issued to all CPS workers this week, the grand jury said it has "been met with staff resistance and staff improperly refusing to answer general program questions..."
"Any further refusals to answer general program questions or the citing of confidentiality statutes when none apply will be considered a direct attempt to interfere with the Grand Jury's investigations," said the letter, which indicated it was being sent by grand jury foreman Donald Prange Sr.
Grand jury proceedings are confidential. A copy of the letter obtained by The Bee today indicates that Prange sent the warning on Wednesday to Penelope Clarke, the county administrator who oversees CPS and its parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services. The letter was then forwarded to all CPS employees instructing them to cooperate with the panel's probe, sources said.
CPS spokeswoman Laurie Slothower had no immediate comment today on the letter, and requested that questions about it be submitted in writing.
The grand jury's investigation was sparked by stories in The Bee in recent months concerning a string of child deaths and the agency's altering of documents in one case before they were released publicly.
Prange indicated in the letter that CPS staff members have resisted or refused to answer the panel's questions and have improperly cited confidentiality statutes in doing so.
"So that the Grand Jury can continue these investigations without further delay, please direct DHHS management and staff to fully cooperate with our investigations," the letter said.
The letter indicated that one of the areas being examined includes "policies regarding altering documents," and it warned CPS administrators that they cannot retaliate against employees who cooperate with the investigation.
"There should be no intimidation/harassment of interviewees by management and no questioning regarding testimony taken by the Grand Jury," the letter said in one section that was in bold-face type.
For more details on this breaking story, see tomorrow's Bee.
Source: The Sacramento Bee