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

Investigation clears DFACS
The GBI inquiry focused on abused children's records seized from six of the agency's offices.
Ron Martz - Staff
Saturday, April 22, 2000

No criminal charges will be filed in 10 of the 13 child abuse cases under investigation since January, the GBI said Friday.

The GBI, after consulting with the attorney general's office, "has concluded that there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing on the part of any (Department of Family and Children Services) employees connected with those investigations," GBI spokesman John Bankhead said.

Two cases in Fulton County and one in Sumter County in south-central Georgia are being investigated, according to Bankhead, who would not release the names of children in any of the cases.

Gov. Roy Barnes ordered the investigation after a series of stories in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution raised questions about record-keeping practices in numerous DFACS offices throughout the state.

The stories cited the deaths of hundreds of children after they had come to the attention of state officials because of abuse or neglect.

In coordinated, highly publicized raids on Jan. 11, GBI agents seized records of the 13 children from six county DFACS offices.

The GBI also created a special task force to investigate these and other possible child abuse cases and opened a toll-free hotline for tips. Bankhead said the hotline has received more than 300 calls and is still in operation, "but the task force is winding down."

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