Head Of North Dakota Department Of Human Services Among State Officials Facing Criminal Charges

According to this report from KX News in Minot (video at the link), the head of the North Dakota Department of Human Services is, along with other DHS personnel facing criminal charges related to the death of a child in Velva last year.

The girl, five-year-old Gracelyn Aschenbrenner, was in the care of a daycare called KidQuarters which didn’t have a current license. BCI investigators say they have emails proving that multiple members of DHS were aware of the expired license:

Investigators say email correspondence on June 9th shows that multiple people within the Department of Human Services were aware that the KidQuarters daycare license expired, including executive director Maggie Anderson and regional director Laurie Gotvaslee.

Investigators found that on June 16th, McHenry County social worker Cheryl Johnson submitted a reapplication packet for KidQuarters, requesting that the license be reissued and back-dated to June 2, 2015.

The investigator says when he contacted the state agency about the back-dating, employees were directed not to talk to law enforcement.

Apparently the charges filed against the state officials have to do with their alleged lack of cooperation with law enforcement.

“Charges for criminal conspiracy and refusing to perform a public duty were filed in McHenry County on Friday against at least five officials at the state Department of Human Services: executive director Maggie Anderson and regional director Laurie Gotvaslee, state administrator of early childhood services Jennifer Barry as well as legal counsel Julie Leer and Jonathan Alm,” the report states.

Heather Tudor, the daycare provider, is facing two class C felonies for negligent homicide and child neglect and a class B misdemeanor for operating a child care facility without a license.

It’s worth noting that Anderson was one of the officials who got a controversial retention bonus from Governor Jack Dalrymple last year. Anderson’s bonus was $27,692.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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