Recently, I served on the Gravelle jury. It was a daunting and difficult task. What was most evident in this case was that these children have been failed - both by their adoptive parents and by the agencies in charge of their supervision. While we, the jury, have held the adoptive parents responsible for their part in this failure, no one has addressed the failure of the personnel in whom the citizens trust with the oversight of society's most vulnerable.
In the state of Ohio, it is the responsibility of all to report suspected cases of child abuse and neglect to the public children's services agency. In this case, jurisdiction falls under
the scope of the Huron County Department of Jobs and Family Services, and in particular, Huron County Children's Services.
There was ample evidence presented at trial that private citizens and a respite care worker did due diligence in reporting suspected misconduct in the Gravelle home. Caseworkers testified and notes from a meeting were presented into evidence that undeniably prove the director of Huron County Children's Services, David Broehl, and other members of the county agency were made aware of deplorable conditions in the Gravelle home in October 2003. The presence of "cages with sirens" was reported and documented two years before the children were removed from the home. For two years the agency chose to do nothing. For two years the children continued to live under deplorable conditions because no action was taken. Two years! Why? Where is the accountability of the county agency and its employees? Where is the ethical responsibility of these agents?
I urge the Board of the Huron County Commissioners to hold their employees responsible for their actions, and lack of action, in failing these children. Restore public trust in the agencies under your employ. Show these children you will not fail them again.