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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Brown Finally Addresses Packer Murder Case

Nearly a month after WFMZ-TV69 and NBC10 first reported that a former NorCo adoption supervisor was involved in the rape, murder and dismemberment of her adopted daughter, Executive John Brown is finally addressing the matter.

Two hours after Lamont McClure slammed him over his refusal to reassure the public or defend his own office, Brown has finally released a statement. It's a day late, a dollar short, and says nothing that has not already been discovered without his help. After throwing the Children Youth and Family Division under the bus and subjecting them to harsh criticism, he now says they do great work, but through an intermediary.

Below is his statement, which he claims is not even from him. The notion that he is unable to discuss employment or breach the confidentiality owed to children is no excuse for refusing to discuss what that office does, or whether the culture there has created a climate in which things like what happened to Grace can happen.  It's no excuse for refusing to tell the public that every case Packer worked on is being reviewed. This review should include an interview with every person she touched.

EASTON, PA - January 19, 2017 - The following is provided by the Northampton County Department of Human Services, Children Youth Families Division, in response to inquiries regarding Sara Packer:

Sara Packer was employed by the Northampton County Department of Human Services, Children, Youth and Families Division. She began as a caseworker in January 2003 and became an adoption supervisor in July 2007.

On January 20, 2010, Ms. Packer was suspended from her employment without pay. At or near that time, a criminal investigation was taking place in Lehigh County. Ms. Packer did not return to the Children, Youth & Families Division. Her employment was officially terminated on April 15, 2010.

At no time during the course of her employment with the Children, Youth & Families Division did Ms. Packer serve as a foster parent for any Northampton County dependent juveniles. Ms. Packer did serve as a foster parent for one Northampton County dependent juvenile from 2000-2001, which was prior to her employment with the County. That individual is now over the age of 21.

Northampton County's Children, Youth and Families Division was not the intermediary for the adoption involving Grace Packer.

After the horrific circumstances surrounding Grace Packer's death became known, questions were posed to Northampton County, as well as many other entities. Northampton County's Children, Youth and Families Division is bound by strict confidentiality statutes and regulations which preclude the release of detailed information concerning this matter. Moreover, the Agency cannot engage in conduct which could compromise criminal investigations or assessments being conducted by other entities.

Information can be provided as to the structure and process that are in place. At the time of Ms. Packer's employment with the County, at the time of her termination, and through to the present, Northampton County's Children, Youth & Families Division has been subject to oversight by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. The County Agency has and will continue to cooperate and comply with the Commonwealth Agency's direction in all matters. This includes any record reviews and/or production of information requested by the Commonwealth Agency.

Whenever a child dies in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services has the authority to assess the circumstances that caused or contributed to the child's death. A particular process is in place for such an assessment. The County Agency is required to cooperate with such assessments. The results of the Commonwealth Agency's assessment are ultimately made public.

This particular tragedy has drawn public attention to the employees of our Children, Youth and Families Division. The alleged actions of Ms. Packer are contrary to the mission of our County Agency and its dedicated workers. Typically, these people do not receive enough positive attention - or appreciation - for the monumental work that they do. These individuals devote their lives to the safety and well-being of children. On a daily basis, they go willingly into situations that would make most people feel uncomfortable, repulsed, or even frightened. They do the job that very few people have the guts to do, in order to keep children safe. There is no greater contribution to our society and these workers deserve our gratitude.

20 comments:

george schaller said...

Bernie,
The reel question now is, are all the innocent indigent children that came in contact with this one of the finner institutions alive and accounted for, than there is the issues of these children's cognazant abilities and how there human growth and development have been hampered due to negligence of all parts?
The soul sale sectors subsets strikes again!

Ken Kraft said...

Wow, you got the statement before me...

Ken Kraft said...

And I'm only on County Council

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, Ken, I'm not aware I got this statement from you. I got it from Brown, but if you sent it, thanks. I will say that when NBC10's Deanna Durante was getting the run around from the County, which included outright lies, you put her in touch with the Controller and he was able to disclose information that the admin had been trying to hide. So you did the right thing.

Anonymous said...

People get hired all the time in the county and its based on civil service tests. They are then on probation. The real question is how did this person get promoted to that particular position? A person there at the time told you people raised red flags to not only CYF officials but Mr. Marcus the Director. You have and continue to cover for CYF administrators, so we will probably never get someone with the balls to go after them to answer those questions.
I agree that the overwhelming and vast majority of employees are good, decent and underpaid individuals.
Your blind spot of CYF administration is as bad as Browns bullshit!

Bernie O'Hare said...

I doubt any CYF administrator would agree I am covering for them.

george schaller said...

Bernie,
This is not only an infection of one of the triboro's CPS institution as well as domestic confusion it is a triboro infection and if you would allow me I can name names in the county seat to the west that on a lower level infects the higher level and above? You know how to reach out and touch these reprehencible ACTors of this particular carnival circus sideshow that are made up of death eaters and the soul sale sectors subsets that make up a whole gang? My words that makes up this part of a hole are generally not so nice as we all can browse past posts out here in the reel news worthy news generators, not the collective advertismentalistZ that also work as one!

Yes I know some are good people that are under paid, but the fact remains sights seen and conversed about doesn't make for an excuse to work outside of the pay level. These are children that will suffer and fall through the cracks that have cracks, never ever to come out from the reprehenciblity that has been allowed because someone from above tells there employees to leave this one alone!
REpublican redd
humanist by design

Anonymous said...

What, 952, makes you say someone is covering? And what questions do you want answered? Someone went to work, completed their tasks, applied in-house for a position, and interviewed well. You might not want to think that bad and evil people can function like that, but they can and do. Do you require that the county administration be able to predict the future? That would be unfair. Yes, it took long enough to release a statement, and I do think this one was horribly written - it doesn't serve CYF or their interests, or their workers. Who wrote it? Dolan or Himmelwright or Cammarene?

Anonymous said...

Perhaps, Mr. Schaller, you would make a specific complaint of laws broken or regulations violated to the state Department of Human Services, and it will be investigated. If they could understand what you were saying. Perhaps you would make a specific complaint to the county Controller who would conduct a review. I suppose the problem with that is that you have to know something in order to allege specific wrongdoing in a specific case; I don't really know how either office would respond to a general nonspecific complaint about worries and fears that are difficult to resolve outside of individual therapy. The same thing happened when Joe Paturno was fired after an assistant coach was arrested: there was a lot of noise and dissatisfaction and anger that could not be assuaged without an offering of blood to quench a noisy public.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Don't even try to compare Sara Packer to Joe Paterno. Brown could have avoided the mess he is in if he had simply opened up and said what he is permitted to say at the onset. He chose to thumb his nose at the public and throw CYF under the bus. That's the reality.

Anonymous said...

I don't compare Packer to Paturno but to Sandusky (how on earth could you miss that?), and I'm wondering who is going to be offered up like Joe was.

Anonymous said...

By the way, Berns, you seemed to suggest over on another discussion that Cammarene was over at Lehigh as a solicitor at the time of their Mr. Packer investigation. Was Cammarene attached to the child advocacy center or to their CYF at the time? And did she participate in the Mr. Packer investigation?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Can't say. That's an interesting observation, and one I completely missed. She was at Lehigh until 2007.

Anonymous said...

Only until 2007? Then she was not there for the Mr. Packer investigation that would have been at the end of 2009. She would have had no possible involvement at Lehigh based on that timeline. Glad to clear that up so quickly so the question didnt linger unfairly.

Ken Kraft said...

No I said "you got this BEFORE me" not from me

george schaller said...

Bernie,
207am makes comments as to making a complaint, lehighcounty CPS is in reciept of the complaint and names as to the best that I can do, yet all they do is create more confusion for myself as well as children never to even do there job just covering for one another. The email is in the diologs and the names are named and this is probaly lost like much of the other documentation and hidden for there litigators to use?
There is higher ups thatare hampering this for personal reasons of there political panderance locally that has become a democratical dysfunctioning tool implimentation to deFLECKed and divert while pointing the finger somewhereelse? This is qite clear if someone would just look over the documentation there would be no explination needed as the proff is in the print? Up late at night much because of your involvement in this collectiveity you are invlved with!
REpublican redd
humanist by design

Anonymous said...

time for a grand jury investigation? Does the DA have the stomach for it?

Anonymous said...

We all failed this girl. Society failed to protect her as it fails to protect so many others who are unfortunate enough to find themselves in a terrible situation with no way out. She deserved better and we who truly care..want some assurance that this will not happen again on our watch..in this place we call the county of Northampton. We need to set the bar so high..that this will never happen again. Who among us is going to champion this cause? Who is going to make sure we do not forget this girl and the life she was denied. Who?

Anonymous said...

A grand jury investigation for what alleged crime? Or a grand fishing expedition?

Anonymous said...

813, I didnt fail her, and I'm wondering how you are responsible. Not only that, Grace was not abused "on the watch" of Northampton County, but Lehigh, the counties where the torture/ death/ and disposal took place, and potentially Berks, if that is even a fair statement. What bar are you seeking to set high? How does society have an right to intrude where there is no suspicion? What action are you calling for? What are you concretely proposing?