EXCLUSIVE: Ombudsman Finds Violations with Mesa County DHS regarding Seriani Family Jurisdictional Overreach!
The story you are about to read should shake you to your core because as the story unfolds you will see exactly how your forceful local federalized government behaves hiding behind the government immunity act! You will also see how you can quickly change the lives of a family if you so desire to call in a false anonymous complaint. The issues that follow culminated from a local resident, Barbara Mathes email to Commissioner John Justman, requesting help regarding a Mesa County employee, who is also her brother-in-law. This unanswered email led to some interesting reactions and revealing documentation of multiple violations within Mesa County government, especially the Department of Human Services (DHS).
Since there was an insider element to the issues the Seriani family faced by DHS, VetTheGov helped the family with multiple CORA request, filed complaints with county officials and attorney's, met with multiple county officials, and an internal affairs request with the Sheriff's Office. VetTheGov has received permission from the Seriani family to share their horror story especially involving DHS's actions that are far too familiar occurrences in this valley. In the meantime, the Seriani family's daughter is still meeting with therapists over this poorly handled investigation!
VetTheGov and Stacy Seriani both phoned and emailed Ombudsman to investigate the following items: Jurisdictional overreach, criminal violation of releasing anonymous reporter information, reopened case report, field notes by case managers, and the childish text and emails of involved case managers. In Ombudsman letter response, nothing was noted regarding the reopened case file, nor the issue involving the failed redaction criminal violation.
See the below Ombudsman investigation response finding major policy violations within Mesa County DHS. Also keep in mind Ombudsman is not a true third party entity but are assembled and funded by the Colorado state government. If your around government institutions long enough the realization is they protect each others backsides first and foremost.
Here is the full version of Stacy Seriani and VetTheGov meeting with DHS management and county attorney. The audio gives extensive insight of the internal dealings of DHS involving anonymous vindictive complaints and the lengths unprofessional case managers will go to get their reports done on time so the tax payers monies keep flowing in. DHS Director Garcher mentions this never reached his desk and then later states he has zero case management experience. Who is running the show here? Where was the leadership to begin with? Here are the minimum state requirements for county personnel involved in child welfare protective services. Are these requirements enough given the circumstances of this case? Based on the emails and text, it appears business as usual and very little oversight within the walls of DHS!
One of the main issues surrounding this case was the reasoning for sending case manager staff all the way down to Paonia to pull the Seriani kids out of their classes and perform intrusive interrogations without Delta County DHS assisting or anyone else allowed to represent the terrified children. Senior case worker Sarah Evans made first attempt to contact on 11/17/2015 attempted to visit the schools in Palisade to make contact with Seriani kids but was informed they had moved to Paonia by the school secretary Kay Konicek. Several weeks go by and on 12/10/2015, Lynette Overmeyer meets with Sarah Evans to see if any further attempts were made to contact the kids. Based on the report Sarah Evans made no further attempts. On 12/11/2015 Lynette Overmeyer supposedly contacted Delta County DHS employee Anne Gallegos via email and Anne Gallegos responded that Delta County DHS could not interview the kids based on her administrator declining due to low staffing levels.
Based on CORA request by Stacy Seriani, the reasons provided by Mesa County was Delta County DHS was short on staff and unable to assist. However the letter below from the Delta County attorney's office proves no such correspondence ever existed. A text message shown below the Delta County letter was finally provided by Lynette Overmeyer ultimately involved a different family altogether as stated by Delta County. This was further validated by face to face communication between Anne Gallegos and Stacy Seriani where Anne Gallegos had no recollection of any communication from Lynette Overmeyer regarding the Seriani family whatsoever.
The interviews conducted by DHS in Paonia were one on one in which any interpretation given by the case managers could have made life even worse for the Seriani family or quite possibly put the case worker in a difficult situation if any further allegations made against them. No audio or video were used by the DHS case managers during the interrogations! Shockingly Stacy Seriani's daughter when discussing the questions she was subjected to, the first thing she stated was they asked her if anyone in her house specifically brothers touched her inappropriately. This is a far stretch from a supposed drug deal the kids were accused witnesses of between family members but we're from the government and we're here to help!
Another very disturbing action was the Delta County school district allowing unknown out of county case workers to just walk in and remove three kids from their classrooms with no resistance from the school district employees. VetTheGov called the Mesa County D51 secretary for the superintendent and discussed the Seriani scenario and the below conversation took place and not much hope offered by D51 policies. Understand the common theme is that government owns you and your kid's and government will not stop government from violating your kid's rights. They will trust each other but never you! The comment in the conversation most disturbing is that they are with the government and they can take your kids whenever and however they want without a parent's permission!
Here are the unprofessional juvenile text messages from case managers that interrogate our local children. As you often hear, case managers are carrying overloaded cases and finding time to complete task is often difficult due to budget constraints. Yet here when asked to go out of town these tight schedules suddenly have no bearing. See childish text messages below:
In further communication with Mesa County DHS shortly after the Seriani family began asking why they interrogated their children all the way down in Paonia, well let's just say the email strings are just as disturbing as the text. Take note of all the chiefs (over seven individuals) that are notified in the emails and then read on as the original report is reopened and changed multiple times. To date, the original report closed on 12/23/2015 has not been provided to the Seriani family, so there is no way to confirm what was added or deleted in the original report! It's no doubt a Cover Your Ass moment for all involved. See the email strings below:
Here is a telling confession in an email from DHS Executive Director Tracey Garcher to Commissioner McInnis when his actions were in question and his job was on the line just prior to this event exploding! The most telling part is that the so called leader of this $25 million dollar government organization is an admitted accountant which suggest this portion of local federalized government is driven by the almighty dollar and not at all about the kids!
The Seriani family is hoping through this horrible experience with the Mesa County Human Services Gestapo, that these events never happen to another family which has inflicted so much pain to the children involved and has brought embarrassment to this family in a small community. Rest assured the system is at your disposal if you want to wreak havoc on someone you dislike. There are zero repercussions to falsely accuse someone of child abuse or neglect and the main keyword to use when calling in a false report is anything related to "DRUGS" and this local Gestapo group will drive or fly wherever necessary to interrogate the kids involved! VetTheGov must note that the suspected accuser behind this investigation won't be held responsible by the agency since false reporting criminal charges can only be in relation to a police authority. However it did open the eyes to the inside of a government agency behaving badly.
For past related stories click this link http://vetthegov.com/stories/tag/tracey-garchar
Link to Rule 7 mentioned in the Ombudsman letter http://www.colorado.gov/apps/cdhs/rral/volumeTOC.jsf