This blog is dedicated to "The Children Left Behind." We will not rest until the safety of our children and those that are entrusted with their mental health care are held accountable for abusing the children's God given rights, those rights upheld by our constitution, and those that have been complicit in obfuscating the truth!

Friday, September 21, 2012

A Tribe's Epidemic of Child Sex Abuse, Minimized for Years

The New York Times

September 19, 2012

A Tribe’s Epidemic of Child Sex Abuse, Minimized for Years

Matthew Staver for The New York Times


SPIRIT LAKE INDIAN RESERVATION, N.D. — The man who plays Santa Claus here is a registered child sex offender and a convicted rapist. One of the brothers of the tribal chairman raped a child, and a second brother sexually abused a 12-year-old girl. They are among a number of men convicted of sex crimes against children on this remote home of the Spirit Lake Sioux tribe, which has among the highest proportion of sex offenders in the country.
Federal officials are now moving to take over the tribe’s social service programs, according to members of the tribe, government officials and documents. The action comes after years of failure by government and tribal law enforcement officials to conduct proper investigations of dozens of cases of child sexual abuse, including rape.
While members of the tribe say that sexual violence against children on the reservation is common and barely concealed, the reasons for the abuse here are poorly understood, though poverty and alcohol are thought to be factors. The crimes are rarely prosecuted, few arrests are made, and people say that because of safety fears and law enforcement’s lack of interest, they no longer report even the most sadistic violence against children. In May 2011, a 9-year-old girl and her 6-year-old brother were killed on the reservation after being raped and sodomized.
“It bothers me that it is so accepted, that it is considered so normal. It’s lawless,” said Molly McDonald, who was a tribal judge until March, handling juvenile cases.
The reservation has 38 registered sex offenders among its 6,200 residents, a rate of one offender for every 163 residents. By contrast, Grand Forks, N.D., about 85 miles away, has 13 sex offenders out of a population of 53,000 — a rate of about one in 4,000. In one home on the reservation, nine children are under the care of the father, an uncle and a grandfather, each a convicted sex offender, a federal official said. Two of the children, brothers who are 6 and 8, were recently observed engaging in public sex, residents said.
“Those little boys are crying out for help,” said a neighbor, who called the Bureau of Indian Affairs Police but said that officers declined to take a report or notify child welfare officials.
Another member of the tribe said that police officers and social workers failed to act after a 9-year-old girl described giving oral sex to a man.
Neither the tribe nor the federal government provided current figures on abuse, but in 2007 there were 26 confirmed cases of child sexual abuse and nearly 10 times as many allegations of abuse or neglect. Ms. McDonald said she presided over 20 to 30 cases of child sexual abuse each year. In 2011, fewer than a dozen cases of sex crimes against children were prosecuted by either the tribe or the federal government, which has jurisdiction, according to federal and tribal records.
Betty Jo Krenz, a former tribal social worker, said she oversaw 131 children — 100 more than the state’s average caseload. In some instances, members of the tribe say, there are generations of victims from the same family who have been preyed upon by generations of child rapists from other families. Others abuse their own children, including one tribal government employee who publicly complained that his young daughter had bitten his penis, according to a relative of the man and a federal official.
Federal agencies, however, have sought to minimize the extent of the problem, including disciplining employees who have spoken publicly about sexual abuse and questioning the competence of others, according to federal and tribal officials.
Thomas F. Sullivan, a director of the federal Administration for Children and Families, who has emerged as a crucial whistle-blower, is among those who have been prevented from speaking to reporters, he said. Still, his periodic reports to his superiors in Washington have been blistering.
“If we fail in our role as leaders, we will deserve the same condemnation society so correctly applied to those leaders at Penn State and in the Catholic Church who, knowing of the abuse being inflicted on children by their colleagues, did nothing, failing in their basic obligation to protect children,” Mr. Sullivan wrote last month to his supervisors.
And weeks before the scheduled federal takeover on Oct. 1 of the reservation’s social service system, which is responsible for the care of the tribe’s sexually abused children, senior staff members at the Bureau of Indian Affairs continued to play down the issue.
Hankie Ortiz, deputy bureau director of the Office of Indian Services, said the news media and whistle-blowers had exaggerated the problem. “Their social service program has made steady progress,” Ms. Ortiz said, adding that she was unable to discuss specific cases under privacy laws or because she was unaware of them.
Roger Yankton, the tribe’s chairman, did not respond to requests for interviews.
But in a letter published last month in The Devils Lake Journal, a local newspaper, tribal officials cast blame on whistle-blowers and a lack of federal money.
“The tribe’s elected leaders and its people are well aware of the gravity and difficult nature of these problems,” the letter said, “particularly because we live with their consequences every day.”
But members of the tribe say their leadership has often sought to hide abuse.
Ms. McDonald said that the police investigated sex crimes against children only if a victim requested hospitalization, and that tribal leaders frequently sought to sway judges’ opinions improperly. She said she was forced to dismiss many cases because social workers forgot to submit required paperwork.
“The perpetrators know they can get away with it because the authorities don’t do anything,” said Joanne Streifel, a tribal elder.
Among the sex offenders is Quentin Yankton, 61, who stands 6 feet 5 inches and is a brother of the tribe’s chairman. He was first convicted of raping a child in 1976, state records show. In 1992, he was convicted of a similar crime after he forced his 15-year-old niece into sex. The girl became pregnant with twins, and DNA analysis showed that he was the father.
Mr. Yankton told the police, according to court documents, that he thought he was entitled to have sex with his niece because she told him that she had previously been sexually abused by her father.
Mr. Yankton was sentenced to 12 years in prison. The girl’s father was never prosecuted, but Alfred Longie, 67, a half-brother of the men, was convicted in 2008 for undressing and rubbing the genitals of a 12-year-old who had passed out after he had given her alcohol.
Joseph Alberts, 59, who plays Santa Claus for the tribe, was convicted of rape in 1983, and in 1986 was found guilty of committing lewd acts with a child under 14 on four different occasions. He served one year in jail for that crime and 18 months for the rape.
In another case, after a woman tried to burn down her house with her 5-year-old daughter inside, the girl was put in a foster home where a sex offender was living, according to Mr. Sullivan and a member of the tribe. Once the foster parent’s criminal record was discovered, the tribe removed the child and put her back in her mother’s home.
But when the child proved too much for the mother to care for, Mr. Sullivan said, she sold her daughter back to the family of the registered sex offender for $50 and a ride to Grand Forks.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


Well, well, well ...  Instead of scouring the stench from the walls of the far from transparent Department of Human Services (DHS) and its sister agencies (including, but not limited to the ORCC/RCC, DFCS, DBHDD, CPS,  and DJJ)  that offer the appearance of being drenched in nepotism, chicanery, and ineptitude (after too numerous to list botched oversights including the infamous, now defunct,  Downing Clark Center (now Downing Clark Hope Center and Academy, Inc.) and the Hidden Lake Academy/Ridge Creek School facilities, Clyde Reese, Commissioner of the DHS rewarded those current and former directors in June with promotions ... a round of applause is hardly in order.  Reward those who were complicit in containment and keeping the former Department of Human Resources(DHR) currently the Department of Human Services(DHS),  and its sister agencies  a "Protected Empire."(Ga. Sen. Nancy Schaefer)

One would think since Georgia ranked in first place as the most corrupt state in the US (*see below) a thousand Dyson's would hardly make a dent.  *

“It is not the goal to put people out of business,” said Keith Bostick, (former)*director of the state Office of Residential Child Care. “We want to do as much as we can to try to keep kids safe. But it is a balancing act.”


Applying a partial text quote from a recent interview with Benjamin Netanyahu, "I think the people who say this set a new standard for human stupidity" - aptly sums things up. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that children's well-being and safety have determined those facilities need to not only be put out of business, but held accountable for their actions.  The DHS Mission statement does not include teaching these "Hell-hole" facilities how to treat children with dignity, respect, and humanity.

DHS Mission statement:
"Strengthen Georgia by providing individuals and families access to services that promote self-sufficiency, independence, and protect Georgia's vulnerable children and adults."

The most politically correct statement is laughable:

"Promote accountability, transparency and quality in all services we deliver and programs we administer."

Since when?

Parents and advocates state that as far back as 2002, accessing information from the DHR/DHS and its sister agencies was like pulling teeth - they were frequently being sent through a maze, involving hours of telephone calls to different departments in order to answer one simple question that never got answered.  In the mid to later 2000's, not one director EVER informed a parent or advocate of the existence of the OFFICE OF THE CHILD ADVOCATE. 

To make matters worse, DHS/ORCC/DFCS supervisors and their legal counsel do not follow their state's redaction statutes on documents requested through Georgia's Sunshine Act, Open Records Act, or FOIA. "If we left in the dates, you might figure out who it is."(2011) [See Reference Guide below]
This redaction  insanity, culminated in thousands of dollars spent by child advocates (citizens) for blank pages, subjectively redacted per specifications/directives from immediate supervisors over  redactors.

Apparently Georgia's DHS doesn't get that "those who fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it."  A little trip down memory lane appears in order.
One would think when Georgia elatedly sent former Chicago bureaucrat DHR Commissioner BJ Walker(hired in2004) back to Chicago, the Governor's Office would wake up.  Afterall, Ms. Walker replaced DHR Commissioner Jim Martin who was reportedly forced to resign by Governor Sonny Perdue:
"Martin, a lawyer, resigned from his position as DHR commissioner in 2003 following the deaths of two toddlers whose families were being supervised by the state's Division of Family and Children Services, which is part of DHR."

Governor Deal's office did manage to move the Office of the Child Advocate, er, not create it.

What was the DHS motto in 2011?  According to the Office of Residential Child Care (ORCC) legal advisor,  Ms. Pamela Carr Cosby and other supervisors,  "Supervisors are allowed to subjectively change reports."  Is that the same as "falsify?" "Falsifying records is a felony..." **[see article below - "DFCS OFFICE RAIDED IN COLUMBUS"]

Mr. Dave Statton, former Director of the ORCC, cleared out his desk  last May of 2011 (officially a RIF) the morning after a conference call with parents/advocates, only to be replaced by Ms. LaMarva Ivory, who also participated in the conference call.  Ms. Ivory is now - drum roll - DHS Deputy Inspector General.

It just doesn't get any better than this

Under former DHR Commissioner BJ Walker,  Ms. Carol Winstead was the former Director of the Office of Regulatory Services (ORS) before the ORS became the Office of Residential Child Care (ORCC) under the DHS.  In dealings with Ms. Winstead, it appeared she continually shirked her duties (DHR/DHS MISSION) by blatantly obfuscating the truth in dealing with complaints of families of those attending the now defunct Hidden Lake Academy ( "I've never heard of any complaints or concerns regarding Hidden Lake Academy or Ridge Creek Wilderness")(2004 -2006).  Documents between Ms. Winstead, the Law Office of Quirk and Quirk,  along with emails between families, and Ms. Winstead prove this was not the case.  Prior to Ms. Winstead's tenure as Director, emails between Ms. Jo Cato (former Director of DHR's Child Care Licensing Division) and parent complaints exhibited more of the same.  One parent stated the requested documents never arrived. 

Ms. Winstead's position was then given to an interim director, then to another individual, Mr. Keith Bostick,  who appeared clueless, (better than another apparent liar),  and whom plead the fifth re: Creekside Wilderness program/facility, the unlicensed sister part of the Hidden Lake Academy/Ridge Creek School facility.

Georgia's Department of Juvenile Justice had a contract with the above facility for juveniles under the phantom illegal, unlicensed Creekside Wilderness program/facility under Ridge Creek, Inc.  Court records revealed Creekside as an unlicensed "half-way" house.  According to DJJ Director Williams, every program facility must be licensed by the ORCC to have a contract with the DJJ. Additionally,  Mr. Bostick stated that he knew of no contract between the DJJ and the facility.  Odd, when under his watch, the Director of the ORS/ORCC, along with DJJ Contracts Director Williams, they must authorize the license for a contract and contracts clearly indicate Mr. Bostick was either misinformed, totally out-to-breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or he, too, obfuscated the truth.  In a telephone call with Ms. Williams in the Fall of 2009,  she stated that Mr. Bostick and herself were going to try to schedule a visit to the facility...? Uh, which one?  Mr. Bostick remains at DFCS. 

In addition, during the conference call noted above, former ORCC Director Statton and other directors/legal counsel never heard of Creekside. 

Note:  At this time, the ORCC statutes allowed several programs on the same compound, but they were to be licensed.

Even better,  according to the DJJ, their stimulus money was used to pay the per diems for the juvenile offenders to attend the unlicensed, mythical Creekside Wilderness program facility (Ridge Creek School facility) via the DJJ. 

Juvenile offenders (including violent offenders) were now commingled with  private pay children/special needs, all the while being told by the Ridge Creek School facility that there were no juvenile offenders.  Medicaid anyone? Let's not forget the out-of-state commingled juvenile offenders either. 

Mr. Bostick's ORS/ORCC was responsible for  rewarding, sanctioning and licensing another facility program on the same compound, Mountain Brook Academy in the midst of a Class Action Lawsuit and hundreds of complaints.  The town of Dahlonega, meantime, shut down a proposal under the corporate veil of Ridge Creek, Inc. to have a lock-down facility for juveniles on separate grounds called Mountain Brook Academy.  Apparently, no one reads or does research either at the DHS and its sister agencies.  Mr. Bostick remains at DFCS.

BJ Walker :

The list goes on: For more -  enjoy the article: 

Welfare Watch - June 4, 2012 - DHS Announces Changes in ORCC
From DHS - Clyde Reese - Announcement about Changes in the Office of Residential Child Care
It is my pleasure to announce several personnel changes today. In accordance with the resignation of current Inspector General Cathy Lynn Craven, Terry Hamrick is being promoted to the position of Department of Human Services (DHS) Inspector General. LaMarva Ivory, currently the Director of the Office of Residential Child Care (ORCC), is being promoted to DHS Deputy Inspector General. Carol Winstead, currently Program Director of ORCC, will be named Acting Director of ORCC. These actions will become effective on June 16, 2012.

Effective July 1, 2012, Rachel King, currently Deputy General Counsel, is being promoted to the position of DHS General Counsel. Shon Momin, currently Associate General Counsel assigned to the Division of Child Support Services, is being promoted to the position of Deputy General Counsel.

Finally, effective July 1, 2012, Keith Horton, Director of the Division of Child Support Services, will also assume the duties of permanent DHS Liaison to the newly created Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency (GVRA). The GVRA will be administratively attached to DHS.

Please join me in congratulating these individuals. I am confident they will excel in these roles. Thanks to all of you for the work that you do and have a great weekend.
Clyde L. Reese, III, Commissioner
_________________________________An email newsletter of the
Georgia Association of Homes
and Services for Children
as a public service.
Normer Adams, Editor


Updated: 11:49 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012 | Posted: 11:48 a.m. Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012

DFCS office in Columbus raided

By Christopher Seward

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
State and federal agents raided a state Division of Family and Children Services office in west Georgia on Wednesday as part of an investigation into whether officials falsified records to get millions of dollars in federal funding.
Arrest warrants were issued for a former acting director and an intake supervisor at the Muscogee County DFCS in Columbus. The former director, Deborah Cobb, and child protective services supervisor, Phyllis Mitchell, are charged with destroying, delaying, changing and falsifying child abuse reports, according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
In a statement obtained by The Columbus Ledger-Inquirer, Commissioner Clyde L. Reese III of the state Department of Human Services, which oversees DFCS offices, referred to possible allegations that the Muscogee office may have reduced numbers of abused children entering the state system.
Reece said the state agency stresses to all DHS employees — “in particular the Division of Families and Children Services child welfare and social services’ staff” - that safety of all children is the fundamental guiding principle.
“No DHS employee has any reason or incentive to hide allegations or abuse or neglect in order to lower the number of children and families to be entered into the state system,” Reese said. “DHS will cooperate fully with all federal and state authorities in their investigation.”
Child protective services offices must follow certain guidelines in evaluating and responding to abuse allegations to receive federal funding. The GBI said some of the record-keeping deals with how timely child abuse investigations are launched.
The federal Department of Health and Human Services had withdrawn funding from the DFCS for failure to maintain proper records on child abuse. The west Georgia office, however, later submitted new documents and data showing it had met compliance requirements. Federal funding was then restored.
District Attorney Julia Slater of the Chattahoochee Judicial Circuit sought the GBI’s assistance in investigating the DFCS office on Aug. 15 after learning that Health and Human Services and the Office of Inspector General had launched an investigation.
The GBI did not say how much money was involved. Falsifying the records is a felony.

My Take:

The Feds raided the wrong 'house'. DA in Georgia asks for the GBI's help only after learning of the Federal investigation. The latter speaks volumes.

**In another article:
"We're looking at Muscogee County," said Kelly McCoy, an assistant special agent-in-charge of the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. "I don't know if it's systemic. I don't have any indication that it is at this point."

My Take:

"Systemic" is an understatement.  The alleged fraud is from the top down.  If the DHS/ORCC's own attorney states that the supervisors are allowed to subjectively change DFCS/ORCC investigator reports and the Feds say it is illegal to falsify reports - aside from a case of semantics, there is a serious CONFLICT here. Ms. Mitchell and Ms. Cobb were apparently, simply applying "business as usual." 

For one to ascertain anything different is beyond naive.

In the same article:
"Gov. Nathan Deal said through his spokesman, Brian Robinson, that child safety was of "paramount importance" to the administration.

An illusion?   Advocates for child safety have yet to see "the beef," so to speak.  DHS's  apparent clandestine, internal, nepotistic problems have continued through Governor Deal's term.   

At least Governor Sonny Perdue exhibited moxie launching an investigation into the Hidden Lake Academy/Ridge Creek Wilderness debacle.  In the end, the aforementioned facility was required to be licensed after some momentary insanity on the part of the DHR/ORS, (that was hit by a barrage of complaints from child advocates and families forcing the licensing of Hidden Lake Academy) during Mr. Bostick's directorship). 

Licensed?  Why bother if the ORS/ORCC  was to never follow their own directives, other than subjectively change reports.


  And, that's my take
"For the Children Left behind" ... and those to come.

Downing Clark Center((DCC) was shut down, their license taken, their license was reinstated and now licensed under Downing Clark Hope Center.   Unlike DCC, where the facility license was taken for repeated violations Hidden Lake Academy/Ridge Creek School and its manifestations were protected in spite of egregious violations and operations.

Reference guide:

Georgia's Sunshine Laws:

Georgia Open Records Act :