Reprinted with the permission of the Atlanta Journal and the Atlanta Constitution.

EXCERPTS: 'Referrals . . . severely mismanaged'
Wednesday, May 3, 2000

Excerpts from letter to Mitchell from Juanita Blount-Clark, director of the state Division of Family and Children Services:

"You have wholly failed and/or refused to properly and adequately exercise and perform your duties and responsibilities to effectively manage and operate your agency . . . in a manner to properly and adequately protect children and reduce the risk of harm to children whose care and safety depends largely on the agencies actions."

The letter lays out five charges, followed by comments:

Mismanagement of Fulton County DFACS social services programs:

"You . . . have repeatedly failed and neglected to perform your duties as Fulton County DFCS County Administrator and Director in a satisfactory manner, constituting Neglect of Duty. Further, you have repeatedly engaged or failed and/or refused to engage in the performance of your duties such that this performance has constituted the Unsatisfactory Performance of your Duties in a Willful Manner and Insubordination."

Failure to ensure proper management, review, oversight, supervision and accountability of the Terrell Peterson case:

The letter noted that from Aug. 27, 1991, through Dec. 3, 1996, Fulton DFACS received eight referrals concerning Terrell and that with one exception, "these referrals were severely mismanaged and . . . negligently handled."

Negligent provision of false and inaccurate information to the new media and public:

The letter said Mitchell's response to inquiries about Terrell's death was "a distortion and an untruthful portrayal of your agency's role and involvement . . ." The letter adds that "it was your duty and responsibility to require, direct and exercise sufficient oversight, supervision and accountability" over staff to make sure the public received accurate information.

Failure and/or refusal to correct misinformation after it was brought to his attention:

The letter said that once he became aware that the public statement was "inaccurate, untruthful and misleading," Mitchell "failed to initiate appropriate action to correct the statement . . . and, to the contrary, expressed relief there had been no further media inquiry into the matter."

Mismanagement of foster home investigations:

The letter says that in June 1999, the state determined that 17 foster home investigations by Fulton DFACS during 1998 had not been reported to the state and that after Fulton DFACS was notified of this, only seven had been reported to the state as of Oct. 7, 1999. "You received copies of the correspondence related to these delinquent investigations . . . but wholly failed and/or refused to take any action to correct these problems and deficiencies."

[Back to Terrell Peterson Pages] [GAHSC Home Page] brought to you in partnership with AccessAtlanta
© 1999, 2000 Cox Interactive Media