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Judge orders state to release records on child abuse deaths

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Franklin Circuit Judge Phillip Shepherd has ordered the state to release records of child abuse deaths, finding the Cabinet for Health and Family Services has no legal basis for refusing to disclose such information.

Shepherd chided state officials for a “culture of secrecy” and said federal and state law are clear that such information must be disclosed despite the cabinet’s refusal to do so on grounds of confidentiality.

The ruling Thursday follows a lengthy court fight by The Courier-Journal and the Lexington Herald Leader to obtain records of children who die or are seriously injured from abuse — including several who died while under supervision of cabinet social service workers.

Shepherd’s order doesn’t say when the records must be released but orders the cabinet and the newspapers to meet within 10 days to negotiate on the release of what he acknowledged will be a voluminous amount of material.

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Written by dawneworswick

November 3, 2011 at 6:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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