Embattled MASS. DCF Chief Resigns Amid Pelletier Scandal, Deaths of Children

Barb Wire

The embattled Chief of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF), Olga Roche, has resigned following the controversy surrounding the costly mismanagement of Justina Pelletier’s case and the tragic recent deaths of three children.

Now, under intense scrutiny by the Massachusetts General Assembly. House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D), who called for Roche’s resignation, told radio station WBUR:

“DCF is an agency in crisis; and we must immediately undertake the difficult, but crucial, task of creating an effective structure of protection and care for our most vulnerable children.”

Massachusetts Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz was also quoted as saying, “I believe it is not possible for the agency to move forward with her at the helm.”

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With the crisis building to a head, Governor Deval Patrick cited his diminishing confidence. “She can no longer command the trust of the public or the confidence of her line staff.”

Roche’s resignation comes on the heels of a fax barrage calling for action against the DCF.

The fact is, the DCF conspired with Boston Children’s Hospital to conduct an unwarranted and unlawful “parent-ectomy” on Justina Pelletier in her removal from the Pelletier home.

Liberty Counsel legal team filed a habeas corpus petition with the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court asking for the immediate release of Justina from her unlawful detention.

DCF has absolutely no reason to continue to hold Justina, nor did they have any reason to take her in the first place. A disputed medical diagnosis does not warrant the removal of a child from the care of her parents and family.

The DCF is also under intense scrutiny for the amount of money they have spent on the Pelletier case, while other children remain missing or deceased within their system.

Representatives Jim Lyons and Marc Lombardo and other Massachusetts lawmakers are citing the mismanagement of the DCF as evidence as to why the agency should not have additional funding this fiscal year.

They introduced measures into the state legislature that strongly rebuke the DCF while calling for the removal of funding until there is accountability from the embattled agency over their mismanagement of the Justina Pelletier case.

Both Representatives have called for a groundswell of grassroots activism to ensure that their bills receive the debate time it deserves. Liberty Counsel has been at the forefront with a massive fax barrage demanding exactly that. Lawmakers tell us it’s making a huge difference.  

We have limited time to impact this debate.

Lou Pelletier says that Justina is dying in DCF’s “care.” We are calling for every action possible to be taken BEFORE Justina becomes another DCF statistic.

While we await our day in court, we join Representatives Lyons and Lombardo in calling on every elected official from Massachusetts and Connecticut to stop the DCF’s own neglect and malicious medical abuse of Justina before it’s too late.

Together, we have been extremely proactive in battling the mismanaged DCF on behalf of the Pelletier family and I’m urging your continued support right now.

We have just a few days now while the Massachusetts legislature takes up measures that could provide proactive steps toward returning Justina to her family and home.

(By participating in Liberty Counsel’s Fax Barrage, your impactful message will be delivered to the governors of both Massachusetts and Connecticut, the respective attorneys general, and lawmakers of both states. Please join us in this important initiative today.

Click here to send your immediate faxes while this is being debated in the legislature.)

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Mathew D. Staver is Chairman and Founder of Liberty Counsel®, an international nonprofit litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics. With offices in Florida, Virginia and Washington, D.C., and an outreach in Israel, Liberty Counsel has hundreds of advocates around the world.

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