Home > Issues & Alerts > Legislative Alerts > DCFS Says AG's Office Doesn't Care About Children's Best Interest! (Alert 10/8/03)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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DCFS Says AG's Office Doesn't Care About Children's Best Interest!
(Alert 10/8/03)


Update for 12/22/04: After years of trivializing the rape of innocent Utah families, a Utah legislative audit has taken a baby step toward confirming what we have been telling you all along: DCFS is out of control.  A recent legislative audit can cite no evidence for the forced removal of Jordan and Leigh Bierly. See Legislative Audit: No Evidence for Removal of Bierly Children.

Original Alert Below

Summary: Anonymous, sympathetic informants have delivered several e-mails purportedly originating within the Utah Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) regarding the Bierly family tragedy. They point the finger of blame at the Utah Attorney General's Office for harming children.

Topics:

1. Even DCFS is Aware of AG Corruption

2. DCFS Hides AG Abuses from Public

3. AG's Office Covers Up Abuses, Including Harassment of Lawmakers Who Question their Actions?

4. TAKE ACTION!

 

1. Even DCFS is Aware of AG Corruption

Anonymous, sympathetic informants have delivered several e-mails purportedly originating within the DCFS regarding the Bierly family tragedy. They point the finger of blame at the Utah Attorney General's Office.

E-mail 1: AG Doesn't Care About Best Interests of Children

From the first e-mail from DCFS employee Linda Harris to Laray Brown, dated July 20, 2001:

"Paul's [Assistant Attorney General Paul Amann] behaviors need to end immediately.  I believe he and Liz [Guardian ad Litem] have worked together and that their behaviors have worked against the mother from the beginning... I do believe they DO NOT have the best interest of the children as their priority."

Ms. Harris' e-mail also charges AAG Amann with "acting inappropriately" and states that she has "concerns with Paul regarding cases other than this as well."  How many other families has AAG Amann destroyed?  Ms. Harris calls for an "immediate meeting" with DCFS and other officials to discuss Amann's problems.

This e-mail also notes that AAG Amann contacted Lisa's landlord.  Apparently this upset Ms. Harris, who told the landlord to only respond to her.  The landlord evidently was "relieved."  According to Lisa Bierly, Amann has repeatedly contacted her landlords and has been instrumental in throwing her family thrown out of their places of residence.  At one point, Amman even went house to house in her neighborhood attempting to poison her neighbors against her.

E-mail 2: AG is Hurting Children

From the second email from Julie Lund, with the AG's office, to DCFS employee Laray Brown, dated October 15, 2001:

"I am very concern about Paul's lack of professionalism... The lack of trust that DCFS's has for Paul [Amann] is hurting the working relationship as well as hurting children.  Paul is hurting the credibility of the AG's Office."

Notice the subject of this e-mail: "Fwd: Re: (Mo)Lester."  According to other information we cannot disclose at this time, this was a nickname AAG Amann had given to a human being who had not been proven guilty in a court of law.
(Note: In the original post for this alert, we had incorrectly stated that Julie Lund was an employee of DCFS. We apologize for the error.)

E-mail 3: Bierly Family Destroyed for Failing to "Comply"

From the third email from DCFS employee Laray Brown, dated October 23, 2001:

"For me the most disturbing issue is that Jordan and Leigh may lose their mother, not because she cannot parent but she is not in compliance."

AAG Amann has persecuted the Bierly family from the beginning of this tragedy.  According to another document signed by the original DCFS caseworker, "Grampa" Barry Richards, Leigh Bierly was removed under the direction of Amann.

Internal DCFS Activity Record Asks for AAG Replacement

According to an Activity Record dated August 6, 2001, DCFS requested:

"...A change in AAG in that she felt the Division needs appropriate representation."

With all of this information, why haven't Jordan and Leigh Bierly been returned home?

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2. DCFS Hides AG Abuses from Public

AAG Amann had trouble trumping up enough charges to keep Leigh away from her parents.  As reported in our first alert on the Bierly case, "Astounding Evidence! How Utah Officials Destroy Innocent Families!", an internal DCFS document stated that Leigh's case was closed and that her seizure was due to an administrative error by the Attorney General's office (and due to the fact that there was not sufficient evidence).

Richard Anderson, DCFS Director, wrote a letter dated August 6, 2003, on the stationary of Governor Leavitt and Robin Arnold Williams, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Human Services to Mr. Thomas Sullivan, Regional Administrator for the federal government in Denver, Colorado.  In it, he glossed over Lisa Bierly's concerns.  The letter was carbon copied to DCFS employee Laray Brown, who was involved in all three purported e-mails cited above.

With all this internal documentation regarding AG abuses and impropriety, why did DCFS utterly fail to inform the courts and the public?  Why is Leigh Bierly languishing in foster care and not at home with her family?

(For information on the Bierly family tragedy and the despicable actions of AAG Amann, see our alert, "Astounding Evidence! How Utah Officials Destroy Innocent Families!")

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3. AG's Office Covers Up Abuses, Including Harassment of Lawmakers Who Question their Actions?

It doesn't end there.  In October, 2001, the Child Welfare Legislative Oversight Panel, chaired by former Representative Matthew Throckmorton, announced its intention to hold closed-door meetings on DCFS and the AG's office.  According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the hearings were in response to "extreme allegations of misconduct."
(Source: "Panel to Review Misconduct Allegations," Ashley Estes Broughton, Salt Lake Tribune, October 26, 2001)

In January of 2002, Throckmorton claims to have received inappropriate and rude e-mails from AAG Amann, who was angry at Throckmorton's scrutiny into his alleged improprieties.  Throckmorton sent the e-mails to Shurtleff's office.  To Throckmorton's knowledge, Amann was then reassigned to the AG's Internet porn project.

According to Lisa Bierly, last week (October 2, 2003), Amann called her attorney, Steven Russell, and was furious with him for considering her case.

Why is Amann still employed with the State of Utah?  And why has the AG's Office concealed these allegations and patterns of behavior from the public, particularly as it affects the Bierly case and potentially other families?

Attorney Wayne Searle has filed a complaint today with the Utah Bar Association.  Read the complaint for yourself.

(Additional Note: In December of 2002, Throckmorton requested that Legislative Research audit the DCFS and the Bierly case in particular.  House Speaker Martin Stephens, who governs that office with Senate President Alma Mansell, supposedly approved the audit, though no action has been taken to this date.)

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4. TAKE ACTION!

Today, Darryl, the father of Leigh Bierly told his wife, Lisa, that he "could not take it anymore."  It has been three years and he still cannot hold the daughter whose head the sun rose and set upon.  He told Lisa he has no more hope and is sure that this corrupt state will bury his suffering children deep in the system to cover their horrible wrongdoings.  We pray for Darryl's safety and well-being.

The Bierly family has lost everything their hopes, dreams, and happiness have all been ripped away.  And those who have done this are still enjoying their plush offices, making light of the lives they have destroyed.

Our unaccountable government must begin open, public hearings for families it has destroyed!  TAKE ACTION FOR YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES:

1. Forward this message to your family, friends, and associates. Tell them that there is no ignorance or oversight.  There is only personal political agendas that stand in the way of children going home to their innocent parents.

2. Call Lieutenant Governor Olene Walker.  If you have called already, call again with this new information.  Demand that she reign in these rogue agencies and open IMMEDIATE investigations into the Bierly case and other alleged abuses of families.  Don't take her silence or excuses.  Call her until she takes real, tough action:

Lt. Governor Olene Walker:
210 State Capitol Bldg
Salt Lake City, UT 84114
Phone: 801-538-1000
Toll-free: 800-705-2464
Fax: 801-538-1528
E-mail: governor@utah.gov

3. Call your state senator and house member. Tell them that children are in danger today!  Demand that they IMMEDIATELY open public hearings and extensive investigations and audits on the Bierly case and other abuses by the Governor's Office, Utah Attorney Generals Office, the Utah Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS), and the Office of the Guardians ad Litem (GAL).  We also need a special session to restore due process rights for innocent families.

When your politician says he is "for families," tell him you have no cause as of yet to believe him.  To find your representative, visit our elected official contact page.

If your senator pretends to be disoriented as to what is going on, refer him to our alert, "Time's Up! Lt. Gov. Walker & Senate Ignore DCFS Abuses!" on a secret senate meeting held on September 26, 2003, where senators discussed how to respond to these reports of DCFS abuse.  Keep calling and demanding progress reports until they have all done their job.

4. Call the AG's Office and demand that they come forward and publicly clarify this situation so that appropriate actions can be taken for the children and families involved, and so that integrity can begin to be restored to our AG's Office.

Attorney General Mark Shurtleff:
Main number: (801) 538-9600
Main fax: (801) 538-1121
Main e-mail: uag@utah.gov

5. Volunteer to assist in flier and door-to-door efforts throughout the state.  Contact us at info@accountabilityutah.org.  Step up and do your part to put an end to these atrocities.

6. Contact any attorneys you know from within and without Utah to step forward and prepare to file lawsuits and actions against this corrupt state.

7. Monitor this site for new and updated information and join our alert list by e-mailing us at info@accountabilityutah.org.

 

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