Well, it’s been a coupla weeks since I last brought up this incident: Another case of DCYF bullying in Laconia? And CYAing using RSAs that they don’t know? To recap, this was an incursion into a Laconia NH family by a DCYF worker that purportedly was investigating a claim of child abuse. ButTrinity Mulleavey, the SPSW, wouldn’t (or couldn’t) give the underlying RSA or departmental policies of what was being investigated.
At the first contact, she was unable to tell the Mom what it was she was trying to do (and wasting the time of the police that were there to “protect her.” And even the police, from what I was told, said they couldn’t just waltz into the apartment because they needed a warrant in order. In essence, what I called a “fishing expedition“.
At the appointed time that following Friday, this circus was repeated all over again (complete description here) – different day, same state of confusion. When it became clear that Ms. Mulleavey was unable to articulate why she was there and that she wasn’t going to actually do any kind of investigation, she used the fact that my camera (I had identified myself as part of the media) was pointed at her as an excuse to leave.
Subsequent to that event, my calls to her (MORE than just a few) went unreturned; always went to voice mail and none of my calls were answered. I then started placing calls to her supervisor, Kelly Andrews – different lady, same result. Calls placed, vmails left, and no calls were ever returned.
Finally today, I called the office of the Ombudsman who then suggested that I contact Bill Brehm of the DCFY Public Information office (271-9389). Once again, I got the automated attendant response and left a voice mail for Mr. Brehm. In addition to recapping why I was calling, I specifically asked which department policy restricted recording of interactions with its staff. After all, I would think that more families would want to make sure that everything that was done and said would be available for any kind of defense (and if warranted – I do know that in a number of cases that DCYF is called in, the adults in such a “family” are, well, bad actors – and that DCYF would want the same level of proof available). Of course, NH is a two-party consent State when it comes to recording but DCYF consists of public officers, so there is that…
I also got a call from the family. Apparently, the videos I posted had an impact!
The first was that the “main office” made it clear that neither Mulleavey or Andrews were to call the media (that would be GraniteGrok) back. Period, Full Stop. No picking up the phone, no answering voice mails, no sending of emails, and no text messages (I have no idea of they tried smoke messaging but that would be another story).
The second is that at a recent dinner meeting of law enforcement and politicos, a loyal reader relayed that comments containing “GraniteGrok” and “DCYF” were overheard. When that reader was asked, as part of common conversation, if GraniteGrok would be willing to “help out more”, the answer demurred to “You can contact Skip via GraniteGrok” directly – but wanted to make sure that GraniteGrok was a topic. Who knew?
The third is that family was also finally contacted after they had left a number of voicemails that went unreturned (hmmm, see a pattern here?). So right now, at a meeting later on this week, some paper work is to be exchanged and the case is going to get dropped / closed. The jist of what I got is that there will be a finding of NO finding of abuse, that the family has been working with other specialists from other agencies and that the actions they’ve been taking are the best for the child in question. I do wonder if they will admit that the DCYF intrusion was completely unnecessary?
One other thing did strike me as odd – they were told that this upcoming meeting was optional. It was to be held to answer any of their questions but at no time would they allow recording to happen. If that was insisted upon, the meeting would be canceled but the case would be closed. I do wonder if anyone at DCYF has knowledge of the requisite law on this issue as, more and more, the courts are deciding that the general public has the right to record their interactions with government officials (elected, appointed, and employees).
To me, this statement is a complete lack of transparency and openness – THE hallmark of good government. Certainly the family believes (and so does DCYF – at least now) they’ve done nothing wrong. If DCYF believes this, why not try to present a picture of “every thing is fine” but further, if a mistake was made, admit to it. Let people know, let the public know, that while DCYF isn’t perfect (this we already know!), it is making the commitment of admitting that “stuff happens” from time to time, and in this case, just like when *I* ran into this situation of having RSAs that meant nothing to the particular situation with no reasonable explanation (other than “I’m telling you so”), the department will do a better job training its workers so that they’d actually know the law.