A law firm investigating Riverside County care 13 Turpin brothers has reviewed more than 2,600 documents and interviewed more than 85 people, including two of the siblings, but needs records currently under the judicial seal for its work to be completed, a lawyer said Tuesday, March 29th.
Following the presentation on Tuesday of Hilary Potashner of Larson LLP, the Board of Supervisors expressed frustration at what they said were legal barriers to full accounting of Turpin’s child care and improvements in how the county protects children and vulnerable adults.
“We are responsible for protecting,” said supervisor Karen Spiegel. “However, we cannot protect if we do not know.”
The county announced the hiring of retired law firm Stephen G. Larson’s law firm following an ABC report “20/20” last year on the Turpins, which raised doubts about their care after they were released in 2018 from a Perris home where they were found chained, malnourished and neglected by their parents.
David and Louise Turpin later he pleaded guilty to 14 felony counts and were sentenced to 25 years in life imprisonment. Their children have been placed in the care of the county, being minors foster and adults under the supervision of the Public Nursery, which cares for adults who can not live alone.
In November, an “20/20” report from ABC News raised questions about the life after the captivity of the children. Two of the adult children said they struggled to find money for food, were forced to live in slums and were kicked out of society with few skills for life or respect for their well-being, a statement backed by District Attorney Mike Hestrin .
Despite the huge community support that raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the children, Joshua Turpin said the Public Guardian denied his request for money to buy a bicycle. And three members of a Perris family have been charged with physically and psychologically abusing nine foster children. including five that evidence suggests are members of the Turpin family.
Larson was unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting in person because he was busy with a federal trial in Boston, Potashner said. In his presentation to the board, he said the company’s research team included experts from UC Berkeley, UCLA and Virginia Tech.
In addition to two Turpin children, the interviewees included 37 employees from the Children’s Services Division, 11 Public Guardian employees and two prosecutors, said Potashner, who praised the county for its cooperation and giving the company autonomy to do its part. work.
But the investigation will not be done until Larson LLP can examine county and sealed court records to protect the Turpin’s privacy, Potashner said. His company went to court to get those records, with some of these and others subject to future court hearings.
The report was originally scheduled for March 31, but the company now expects to deliver its results by May 31, Potashner said. The company’s findings cannot be addressed until the report is complete, he said.
Potashner’s comments on Tuesday came the same day as a status report by an ad-hoc committee of supervisors formed to assist in research and recommend improvements to the county’s safety net for vulnerable children and adults.
That report noted that while “there is already a lot of work in progress to continue to improve our delivery of services to children and adults … more needs to be done.”
Supervisor Kevin Jeffries, who is on the committee with Spiegel, offered his own opinion on the committee’s work.
Confidentiality laws, he said in written comments, have prevented the board from being aware of problems in social services, “and those confidentiality laws continue to prevent us from presenting any kind of explanation (good or bad) of staff and actions in the county. no Turpin. case to our constituents or to the media “.
“While there are definitely more than two sides to the story in terms of allegations of abandonment of the county in the Turpin case and other previous cases, one thing is clear: we need to do a better job of communication and coordination between programs and departments. Jeffries said.
The CPS case load is at “overwhelming levels,” Jeffries said, adding that state funding for the care of vulnerable children and adults is “severely inadequate” and “available housing and treatment facilities are significantly limited and sometimes non-existent “.
“Incredibly burdensome” legal barriers and state regulations hinder services for at-risk youth and adults, and “there have been very few complaints or responsibilities to the executive office (county)” of county agencies responsible for those services, Jeffries said.
Jeffries detailed his comments on Tuesday.
“My experience in ad hoc and closed sessions to get to the root of the challenges was addressed with‘ I can’t tell you that supervisor, ’” he said. “It’s the most frustrating experience I’ve had in my time on the Board of Supervisors … I’ve never experienced that before. It’s brutal.”
The county “is not the obstructionist here,” Supervisor Chuck Washington said.
“We want to know not only the truth, but the full truth so that we can move forward with the improvements we can make,” Washington said, adding that the county is not hiding information “as has been hinted by some in the press.”
Turpin investigation interviewed more than 85 people, reviewed 2,600-plus documents so far – Press Telegram Source link Turpin investigation interviewed more than 85 people, reviewed 2,600-plus documents so far – Press Telegram