The Kentucky Office of Inspector General has issued its report, available online, on quick trigger adoptions, inter alia. While the investigation is beyond the scope of this blog, many readers will want to read the entire report, parts of which will no doubt be in the headlines in the coming days and weeks.
We are pleased to hear that one of its recommendations is to make these proceedings less secretive:
Based on our findings, we believe it would be imprudent to ignore the serious nature of the issues identified herein by only addressing individual misconduct while failing to fully address the conditions that ripened the environment for individual misconduct. It is the opinion of the OIG that such issues flourished, in large part, from the shroud of secrecy that so fully envelops the TPR process as to leave it highly susceptible to individuals or groups of individuals desirous of corrupting the process. For example, we believe strongly, the cloak of secrecy that currently dominates this process is not in the best interest of Kentucky’s children and must be removed as part of any material reform. Simply stated, these are not matters of national security, wherein effectiveness often requires secrecy. Rather, they are social service issues that demand the full light of day in order to better ensure the integrity of the process. The fact that children are involved in the process should no longer be used as an excuse to protect these proceedings from meaningful public oversight.
The Kentucky Law Blog posted this morning the news that three key officials are leaving for private practice. Sadly, Inspector General Robert Benvenuti, author of the report, is among them.
UPDATE: Read Deborah Yetter's front page story at the Courier-Journal and Valarie Honeycutt Spear's story at the Lexington Hearld-Leader.