Friday, March 18, 2005

Taking Bribes to determine the outcome of an investigation

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From:
"Connecticut DCF Watch" Add to Address Book
Date:
Sun, 13 Mar 2005 08:24:12 -0500

Subject:
[connecticutcivilrightscouncil] Blumenthal, Child Advoacate Investigate Accusations of Bribe-Taking by DCF Supervisor

Probe's Focus: DCF Supervisor Blumenthal, Child Advocate Investigate Accusations Of Bribe-Taking

March 12, 2005
By KEN BYRON, Courant Staff Writer

MANCHESTER -- Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is investigating whistle-blower allegations that a supervisor in the state Department of Children and Families office in town took bribes in return for dropping complaints of child abuse and neglect.

Blumenthal said Friday that after receiving complaints from state auditors several months ago, his staff began investigating.

The complainant was not identified, nor was the accused supervisor. Blumenthal and other officials also would not say if the person they are investigating still works in the Manchester office. Information on how long that person has worked for DCF or how long he or she has been assigned to the Manchester office was also not available.

Gary Kleeblatt, a DCF spokesman, said the state's child advocate, Jeanne Milstein, forwarded similar accusations to the agency a year ago. But he said the information was too vague to investigate and did not give a specific case in which a bribe was paid.

Milstein said on Friday that her office is doing its own investigation of the allegations but that it is too early to say what the result of that work would be.

"I alerted DCF because I wanted them to do their own investigation in case any children were at risk," Milstein said.

DCF reviewed a number of cases that the supervisor was involved in, Kleeblatt said, but that investigation turned up no evidence of wrongdoing. Blumenthal's office has not notified DCF of the investigation but the department will cooperate when asked, he said.

Kleeblatt said the person being investigated is a mid-level supervisor and that it would be difficult for someone in that position to close a case on his or her own. Such a decision would have to be approved by a higher-ranking supervisor, he said.

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