The Scioto County Commissioners responded to critics of their handling of CPS at Thursday’s meeting. The meeting went long, three or four times longer than the average session, but there was plenty to discuss.
One hot topic was social media posts blasting the commissioners for their handling of the situation at Scioto County Children Services. CPS came under fire after the 2019 death of baby Dylan Groves and the recent death of Annabell Greene.
Commissioner Cathy Coleman called the suggestions that the commissioners were somehow responsible for the deaths, ‘deplorable.’ “I don’t care who’s running or what the situation is. I just think it’s deplorable.”
Some leveled accusations that the commissioners prevented the firing of certain personnel or interfered in the handling of cases. Commissioner Bryan Davis blamed politics. “Hopefully most people out there understand the procedures. There’s still those out there because it’s an election year. Just ask the director or the board members if the people making the statements have ever attended a meeting.”
Davis said he’s it’s hard to stay quiet. “It’s been really hard for me to stay quiet. It’s reprehensible to say that the county commissioners somehow had something to do with the death of Dylan Groves. The two people who caused the death of Dylan Groves are in prison. Annabell Greene’s murderer will go up for trial in the near future. The situation surrounding children’s services, whose responsible for those shortcomings, is being investigated by BCI.”
He expressed frustration that it’s taking the state so long to finish the Groves investigation. “Am I upset that it’s taking BCI so long to bring justice for Dylan? Yes, I am.”
Kinship Is Broken
Davis invited critics of Scioto County CPS to attend the agency’s public board meetings. “To basically insinuate that we had something to do with their death is just wrong. When it comes to children’s services, the board acts independently. People that are concerned are very much welcome to attend. The individuals blasting children services have never attended. Jason Mantell has been a breath of fresh air.”
The commissioner pointed out that he’d been critical of Children Services even before the death of baby Dylan. “Prior to that, we were very critical. We started appointing new board members much to the chagrin on several people in our county much to the chagrin of several people in our county. We didn’t back down from that. People can have their opinions. The board is pretty new and they are doing the work. I just talked to Jason this morning. We talk every week. How can we help? What can we do? We’re doing what we can.”
Davis admitted there are big problems but he said many problems originate at the state level. “Kinship is broken. Reunification is broken. Those standards are substandard. It has to change in Columbus.”