SBCO

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 10/04/16 – 10:51 PM PDT |

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a contract with Enron prosecutor John C. Hueston to assess the county’s child welfare services system amid an investigation by the state Attorney General’s Office.

Hueston, one of the nation’s top litigators, who successfully prosecuted Enron Corp. figures Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling for bank fraud and insider trading, was retained by the county in January 2009 to investigate former county Assessor Bill Postmus in a scandal that ultimately led to a civil lawsuit and criminal charges against Postmus and his resignation from his elected post.

Supervisor Janice Rutherford requested an update from Children and Family Services Director Marlene Hagen on system and program overhauls in her department. The Attorney General’s Office’s Bureau of Children’s Justice has been investigating CFS for the last year for alleged mismanagement resulting in children being left or placed in abusive homes.

“As it involves the children of our county, it’s obviously of keen interest to everyone,” Rutherford said.

Rutherford noted the grand jury report, released July 1, which found communication gaps between social workers and police that hindered child abuse investigations, a propensity for CFS to leave children in abusive homes and systemic failures resulting in the deaths of children.

Hagen noted some of the many changes that have occurred within her department since she took the helm last year.

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