During Tuesday’s meeting of the Scioto County Commissioners, Commissioner Bryan Davis once again addressed ongoing issues between the Board of Commissioners and Children Services.
While the Children Services Board had previously stated they planned to meet on July 17 and extended an invitation to both the Scioto County Sheriff’s Office and the Scioto County Commissioners, as of Tuesday morning commissioners stated no public meeting notice had been posted and that no agenda for the meeting had yet been received. Davis stated that not properly giving notice of the meeting poses sunshine law issues, and said as a board the commissioners are required to post an open meeting notice 24 hours in advance.
“It would have been nice if we were contacted and asked if we were available, with Mike [Crabtree] out on county business and all three commissioners wanting to attend, it would have been nice if we were asked before we were told to be there,” said Davis.
Commissioner Cathy Coleman stated she felt the responsibility of notifying both the commissioners and the public of the meeting should be that of Children Services Chairman Al Oliver, who she stated previously should be stepping up to fulfill the boards obligations to the children of the county.
Davis stated his understanding of the purpose of the upcoming meeting was to improve communication between the different entities, saying multiple times the phones at the commissioner’s office were working fine.
Davis stated the Commissioners still had numerous questions as to the series of events and who played what roles which led to Dylan Groves being placed back into the custody of his parents, and ultimately being unseen by CPS for an extended amount of time before being discovered deceased.
Both parents of Dylan, Daniel and Jessica Groves have been charged with multiple counts, including aggravated murder, and remain in Scioto County Sheriff custody.
“We have a lot of questions, and whether or not those questions can be answered in this meeting tomorrow that has been proposed, I’m not so sure that is the place to do that. Because that is not what it has been presented to us as for,” said Davis. Davis reiterated that questions about the amber alert are among those not being answered, and the issue of confidentiality seems to be a factor in limiting the information commissioners are able to obtain. Commissioners stated that the requirements which Dylan’s father completed in order to regain custody had also not been disclosed to them or those on the CPS Board.
“There’s a lot of miscommunication as far as who did what, who didn’t do things, the amber alert was one of those things. Why there wasn’t an amber alert issued, blame as to who prevented that. They will not openly answer that question apparently. Our sheriff sent some communication that kind of confused everybody about official notes, and those were retracted and revised stating that the Director did not make those comments in regards to making the agency looking bad, but also did not clarify as to who did, only stating that it was a supervisor,” said Davis. “Right or wrong, it kind of made it look like it was Lisa Thomas that did that. I can’t say yes or no if that was the case. We’ve asked that in regards to whether or not she did that, because she’s the one doing the review of all the cases. That raised a red alert for me as to, was it that the wisest of things? And if it wasn’t her who was it? These are issues that need to be resolved by the Children Services Board. They need to be asking these questions and the questions need to be answered to them. They are the governing board, not an advisory board. They are to govern that organization.”
Davis stated there is a civil and criminal side to this issue, and important questions are not being answered. Davis commented that he believes, should liability be found, commissioners, CPS Governing Board, and the CPS Director would all be held accountable according to Ohio Revised Code.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932
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