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MO Foster Care Report '98-'99
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Dominic James Timeline
Governor Holden Lies to Us About Changes
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Dominic James Memorial Foster Care Reform Act 2003
The following list of names for people who resigned from DFS had care, custody, and control of Dominic James. Yet they were given slaps on the hand for assisting in the murder of this child. If it had been YOU or ME, we would still be in jail awaiting
a "fair" trial.
Jan. 15, 2003
Time line: Resignations
Five people have resigned since the investigation into the Aug. 21 death of Dominic James began:
• Kathy Martin, Department of Social Services director.
• Christine White, assistant deputy director of children’s services for DFS.
• Robin Gierer, associate director of DFS.
• Kristy Hardy, a social service supervisor in Greene County.
• Carmen May, head of the Greene County DFS office.
Here are some of the events leading up to the resignations:
June 19: Dominic James, 2, is placed in the Willard foster home of John and Jennifer Dilley.
July 10: Dominic’s father expresses concern about a bruise under the boy’s eye. His foster mother says Dominic hit the edge of a dresser.
Aug. 11: Dominic is hospitalized for a seizure.
Aug. 13: A hotline call to DFS just after midnight alleges bruising under Dominic’s eye and on his back. A DFS investigator interviews Dominic’s mother, foster mother and the nurse assigned to Dominic the day the hotline call was made.
Aug. 14: A mandated 60-day Family Support Team meeting is held with the DFS social worker, the juvenile officer, the guardian ad litem, the biological parents and the parents’ attorney. The foster parents are not present. Documents obtained later by the News-Leader show the juvenile
officer, guardian ad litem and parents’ attorney thought the decision was made to move Dominic, but he is kept in the Dilley home. DFS officials maintain the decision not to move Dominic was a team decision.
Aug. 16: Kristy Hardy sends an e-mail to her supervisor, Vanessa Johnston, saying the hotline call would be unsubstantiated. It also says the juvenile officer, the guardian ad litem and the parents’ attorney wanted Dominic moved, but she and social worker Alysha Friend feel the
Dilleys are doing a good job and Dominic should stay with them. This e-mail was not included in subsequent releases of information by DFS.
Aug. 18: Dominic is taken from his foster home to a hospital with head injuries.
Aug. 20: White says DFS will investigate whether policies were followed.
Aug. 21: Dominic dies of shaken- baby syndrome.
Aug. 30: John “Wesley” Dilley, 34, is charged with second-degree murder.
Sept. 6: White says an internal investigation showed DFS followed all policies and procedures. “I don’t see any policies or procedures we did have or didn’t have that would have prevented this.”
Sept. 26: The News-Leader reports that a summation of the case issued by Kathy Martin shows two policies weren’t followed.
Oct. 1: Holden appoints Richard Dunn and Judge Frank Conley to investigate foster-care system.
Oct. 11: The News-Leader files suit against DFS to open records in Dominic’s case.
Nov. 25: Investigators release report calling Greene County’s child welfare system “dysfunctional.”
Nov. 29: News-Leader receives Dominic’s file from Department of Social Services, but significant portions are blacked out. News-Leader says it will continue its lawsuit in the interest of setting a precedent for public disclosure.
Early December: White resigns.
Dec. 6: The News-Leader’s attorney in the lawsuit, Bryan Wade, sends DFS counsel a letter saying Martin and Greene County DFS Director Carmen May will be deposed in the case to answer questions about how decisions regarding the release of information were handled.
Dec. 9: Hardy forwards the e-mail about the team meeting she wrote on Aug. 16 to May. The next day, May forwards it to John McGinnis, regional director for DFS.
Dec. 13: Gierer resigns. Dilley pleads not guilty to charges of second-degree murder, second-degree assault and child abuse.
Dec. 17: Holden announces a reorganization of the Department of Social Services, effectively dissolving the Division of Family Services.
Dec. 21: Holden tells the News-Leader in an interview: “The message I sent to the department is ‘straighten up, get things improved.’ If that doesn’t happen, you will see further resignations.”
Dec. 23: Kathy Martin resigns.
Jan. 2: Hardy resigns.
Jan. 9: Division of Family Services Director Denise Cross appoints an interim supervisor, Bev Long, to review policies and personnel in the Greene County office. Cross also releases Hardy’s Aug. 16 e-mail, which she said she received the night of Jan. 6.
Jan 14: May resigns.