Thursday, January 15, 2009

Residents Seek Removal of DSS Commissioner

Oswego County Legislature Chairman Barry Leemann said Monday that he has yet to receive word from the state in regard to the investigation into the Department of Social Services’ handling of the Erin Maxwell case.

In September, a request was made to have the New York State Office of Children and Family Services review all records relating to prior investigations of abuse or neglect involving Erin Maxwell, the 11-year-old Palermo child who died Aug. 29 in what New York State Police are calling a homicide.

Legislators continue to hear from outraged constituents in regard to the handling of the previous complaints by the Oswego County DSS and Commissioner Frances Lanigan.

Ms. Lanigan released her own report to the legislature in September that concluded her department did its job. Her report detailed three separate investigations of Erin Maxwell’s living situation conducted by Child Protective Service workers.

The first complaint found "deplorable" conditions in the house. After three unannounced visits, it was determined the parents had cleaned up the home and were cooperating with caseworkers.

The second complaint was unfounded. That investigation also concluded that the home failed to meet minimum standards and indicated inadequate guardianship on the part of all three adults in the home. It further concluded that no services were to be provided at the time because the child was not being impacted negatively.

Some residents have viewed the report differently and feel that DSS did not do enough to help Erin. They petitioned the legislature for the removal of Commissioner Lanigan.

Full Article and Source:
County officials still waiting for report in Maxwell case


Anonymous said...

Removal? She should be FIRED and lose all her state benefits. Obviously, there are GROSS problems with this Agency. A thorough investigation and re-structuring of this Agency is imperitive to save other children
from abuse, neglect, and deaths
by this irresponsible and unresponsive Agency

Anonymous said...

There aren't enough details released about this case, but it seems that this case should be watched, and the Commissioner's previous records should be scrutinized. Ultimately, the state official who appoints commissioners is responsible for those Commissioners, who are responsible for the actions of those they appoint/delegate to do particular jobs. ALWAYS in such cases the WHOLE department is/should be on trial.

we the people said...

The appointees are usually big campaign donors (or family/friends of deep pockets) and this is their pay back the business as usual "pay to play".

Connect the ......dots and get copies of their bankrollers.

These people are not qualified to hold these positions and in this case they are risking young lives.