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Nazareth, Pa., United States

Thursday, January 12, 2017

While NorCo Stonewalls, State DHS to Investigate Former NorCo Adoption Supervisor

While Executive John Brown is enjoying himself in sunny Florida, Northampton County officials have done nothing to reassure the public or defend their own Children and Youth Department after the arrest of a former adoption supervisor over thee drugging rape, murder and dismemberment of her own adopted daughter. This complete lack of accountability and transparency only sews the seeds of distrust in a department that is already often vilified, and unfairly, for saving the lives of children. While the county administration pretends all is well, the State Department of Human Services has thankfully opened its own investigation.

Cathy Utz,  Director of the State Office of Children, Youth and Families (CYF), has been in contact with Controller Steve Barron to confirm the dates of accused murderer Sara Packer's employment with Northampton County. Incredibly, county administrators were unable to give her that information.It's one thing to stonewall the press or the public. It is quite another to play games with the state. Hopefully, this is just some sort of misunderstanding.

Over the years, Sara Packer had 30 foster children living under her roof. They came from Lehigh, Berks and Bucks County. She had no foster children that were from Northampton County, so far as anyone knows. It is my understanding that a NorCo CYF employee is unable to foster children up for placement in Northampton County. According to Barron, after the 2010 child abuse charges against Sara Packer's ex husband, she has been unable to foster children from anywhere.  This is something the County administration could confirm if it spoke publicly.

According to Barron, state officials plan to interview every one of the foster children who lived under Packer's roof. Hopefully, that investigation will also include interviews with the personsin thoseadoption agencies who referred children to Packer.

It is unclear whether the state DHS will investigate the files on which Packer worked for NorCo. It is known that a county CYF lawyer has taken them for review. In my view, this requires an independent investigation, not a whitewash, and an interview with every family she touched.

Another disturbing point. Packer did work for a human services agency in the private sector after being let go by Northampton County. It is unclear whether this agency involved children.

I have also heard from someone calling himself  "Max Quaad." Though county officials have done nothing to inform the public about the standards fora CYF caseworker, he has supplied some details.
"CYF Caseworkers as well as all County Caseworkers are vetted by PA Civil Service regarding initial application credentials. Applicants for CYF ( Since this is the topic) are interviewed by a the Assistant CYF Administrator and a "Committee" of managers and if selected, require FBI, SBI and Child Line clearances before they are offered a position. Once an applicant is hired as a County Caseworker, they are required to complete a basic training program prescribed by the State Office of Children, Youth, and Families through the U of Pitt and other sanctioning organizations to be certified. ALL County Caseworkers are on probation and AT WILL employees for a period of six months and are to be further vetted during that time. County Caseworkers are required to complete at least 20 hours of training each year to hold the certifications.

"After all of that, it's a crap shoot because County Administration has a dubious policy of standing shoulder to shoulder with local managers and supervisors no matter how bad, and that policy is entirely unacceptable. Every administration is briefed by appropriate people and this one was too. The cases that Mr. O'Hare references in his blog ought to be reviewed for the purpose of ensuring that each and every child involved has been accounted for.

"Further, Human Resources should be part of any interviews for promotions and this Executive needs to act on behalf of the Public AND the good people that are trying to perform their duties by the professional standards that important posts require. These County Caseworkers require proper support and have laid down an offer of proof that is irrefutable. We haven't seen any meaningful changes beyond that. No one can predict anything like what happened to these children from walking through those doors. But it's not the only one over the course of a few years. Right? - Max Quadd"

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

"Max Quadd"

Yeah, that's sounds real!!! Please, those requirements can be found online. The guy is probably a 300 pound goof in his Mom's basement.

The chickens are coming home to roost. The Department is out of control and you blame Brown?? How about some folks who you don't want to point at.

Anonymous said...

Florida???? Yeah, right -- You were sold a bill of goods.

Anonymous said...

The "standing shoulder to shoulder", no matter how bad is a true statement. I worked for the department for over 20 years. Pat Himmelwright and Kevin Dolan did everything in their power to silence me. People who know me well know the whole story. True, nobody could have predicted the horrific nature of this event, however, this monster should have never been promoted. She was very very odd, another supervisor I worked with described her as a "freak" at that time. She was right on the mark, little did we know! While the department has many more good people than bad, those at the top have gotten away with covering up way too many instances of unethical and improper behavior and practice. Additionally, the behavior of Kevin Dolan has been covered up by this administration, as well as past administrations, and it is time that truth be spoken about the "standing shoulder to shoulder" in the CYF dept.

george schaller said...

Bernie,
This is were all local criminals working under cover under colur of law ACTing in there official capacity in the triboro circus carnival law of there choosing pr case REtire too (lehighlanding)! In your article it states that a STATE investigitory team is being implimented in this particular case. Well the broke corrupted system is allready at state level, when I print Browne that is not NorCos Browne!
This band of the soul sale sector has been opperating there subset sector for many years since before the REcreation of the nue nue nue REnue the cesspool of three into one! Currently there juggling ACTs are being commited and omitted for this political panderance of the hostel take over tactiks employeed to take America and local pennsyltuckyians back to the darkages of there designs?
Clueless, one and all and there suposid governmental employment as REpresentatives of the populus is horiffic and lacking to say the least, because most only care to see about two inches past there noses? Sad STATE of affairs this America has become for a child to even begin to digest when there is really no one locking out for there intrests and the ones that do are only side tracked and hampered too!!
REpublican redd
humanist by design

Anonymous said...

9:07: Been there/Done that, too. I speak your name. My educated guess is that Sara Packer was promoted because she didn't make waves, played nice and kept quiet (obviously all around by not reporting and/or protecting her daughter from sexual abuse).

I copied the following from another blog/poster, but I think it is poignant:

so... David Packer molested Grace in 2011 and Grace told on him. And put him in jail.
Sara Packer was fired, because her co workers found out she knew David is molesting Grace.
And.. so... in 2016, Sara is so angry at Grace for ruining her marriage and her career...
So she got Jacob Sullivan to rape and kill Grace for REVENGE

Bernie O'Hare said...

4:45 & 6:12, If what Quaad sent me could be found online, I would have published it. That is precisely the kind of info that Brown or Allen should be releasing publicly instead of hiding and ignoring the public they serve. And yes, Brown was in Florida. That is no crime, but he needs to direct Allen or his HS Director to go public, discuss what CYF does, how dedicated the staff their are, acknowledge that everything is being done to ensure no county resident has been hurt. That is part of his job and he has failed to be transparent yet again.

Bernie O'Hare said...

" the behavior of Kevin Dolan has been covered up by this administration"

It appears that Kevin Dolan did exactly as he should. You claim to be a former employee and I suspect there is a good reason for that and you are anonymously attacking someone who did exactly what he should do. You should ID yourself. I know one former employee there who is as nutty as they come

Anonymous said...

Bernie, My name is Mary Beth Jacavage. I am a former employee because I could not be a part of the corruption any longer. I was a good employee, not afraid to say, a damn good employee! My character and reputation speak for me. Those that criticize me have been afraid of the truth. I would hope you would keep more of an open mind here. This county is indeed corrupt, and covers up for people in power. They have covered for Kevin Dolan long enough. The truth always comes out and justice is going to prevail here, on many levels.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Mary Beth, You are not the person I was thinking about. Please tell us how long you worked there, when you left, and the circumstances of your departure. I find Kevin Dolan one of the county's best, so what you are saying is completely inconsistent with what I myself have observed over many years.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Also, did you work with Packer? Please tell us about that.

Anonymous said...

Mary Beth: I am a social worker, too. I don't know about the allegations you allege against Pat Himmelwright and Kevin Dolan as my interactions with them have always been good, but I can vouch for you that you were a good employee with upstanding character and an impeccable reputation.

Anonymous said...

I also worked with Ms Jacavage for many years and found her to be a very good supervisor. She always tried to do the right and ethical thing for her workers and clients. The majority of CYF workers and supervisors were good but I completely concur with Mary Beth's assessment of CYF administrators. They buried their heads in the sand when informed of issues that needed attention and correction. They preferred staff who didn't try to voice their opinions or concerns, but rather they tried to quiet staffs' voices and pretend all was well. One of the concerns was Sara Packer and adminstration ignored concerns voiced to them. I am not commenting on the sadness and horror that resulted from Sara Packer. I am commenting to support Mary Beth's allegations about Kevin Dolan and Pat Himmelwright and Lisa Hand as administrators. They are not what an agency needs to be run effectively.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Can you ID yourself?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have deleted two comments that just attack me instead of addressing the issue.

Anonymous said...

Thank you to 907, 240, 437, and 758! I appreciate your support! Bernie, sometimes it is not what you see, but what you don't see May be at issue here. I encourage everyone reading to speak out! Bernie--- people are afraid and so was I. I hope everyone reading understands that. You work for government and they will find ways to come after who they want, and promote others who promote them! Thank you again everyone! Mary Beth

Bernie O'Hare said...

I have asked you some questions. Did you work with Packer? Did you raise concerns? What is your specific problem with Kevin Dolan? Have you noticed that others in your field who praise you also praise him? Is it not a fact that Dolan stopped her from fostering children from other counties? I would like to talk to you. My email is BOHare5948@aol.com, and my cell is 610-533-7379. I tried contacting you, but at an old number. If nothing else, I'd like to confirm that you are who you say you are.

Anonymous said...

Packer worked in my unit for a very short time. As I stated, she was very odd, so odd that a co- supervisor at that time described her as a freak. No, I did not raise concerns about Sara, but she was odd enough that she should never have been promoted. Bernie, you noted in a prior post on this matter that CYF needs to prove it is unlike Packer. Although no direct murder of a horrific nature, similar cover ups have been commonplace. CYF is very much like Packer because Kevin Dolan provides no leadership and has covered for the wrong people over and over and over again. You speak about "matters of public concern", perhaps you can help with this one. I'm real Bernie. MBJ

Bernie O'Hare said...

Please call me, if only so I can confirm you are not being impersonated. Then I will feature your comments in a separate blog. You have my number and email.

Anonymous said...

Some of us have talked amongst ourselves about this. Since you have already deleted some comments and have nothing but praise for CYF management, why do you think people would expose themselves?

You do not believe that Mr. Dolan or Ms. Himmelwright can do anything wrong. Why would anyone communicate with you privately just to be smeared on this blog.

Sorry but if you don't want the truth or are unwilling to accept it, there is nothing you can do to help.

Anonymous said...

Bernie---I'm sure Amy Trapp and others are reading this blog. They have been told of concerns in the CYF division by me, Mary Beth. Who would be impersonating me.? You often seek information using the "right to know" law. I encourage you to review my personnel file as it pertains to that law. Perhaps documentation has now mysteriously disappeared. If that is the case, i have copies. My file should expose it all.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If you knew anything about the Right to Know law, you'd know that I am entitled to very little information from your personnel file. And now, with absolutely no evidence to back you up, you insinuate that information is missing. Who would impersonate you? I can think of a few people who are bitter who would impersonate a county employee and have experienced it first hand, and on this blog. All I asked you to do was to contact me to confirm you are who you say you are. And yes,I have a very high opinion of Kevin Dolan, whom I have known for decades, just a few years. As news accounts make clear,it is he who fired her. As they also make clear, that action prevented her from fostering any additional children. Notwithstanding my personal view, I have a higher obligation to tell stories that need to be told, even if it hurts people I like. So I was more than willing to hoist your comment as a separate blog, but not without your confirmation. As you tell it, you raised no concerns about Packer, but pretty much hate Dolan and others in that department. She never should have been promoted,but you never said a word. OK. I did delete some comments bc they attacked me. I am not interested in petty horseshit or your jealousy. Iaminterestedin facts. And we know from you, a supervisor, that you never said a word about someone another caseworker called a "freak." Thanks for nothing.

Anonymous said...

And I must give kudos to 913---Mr. Dolan is indeed capable of wrongdoing and has engaged in such, as employed as a public servant. Pat Himmelwright indeed to cover things up has also engaged in wrongdoing. They have tried and tried to silence me for too long, way too long. My personnel file should show that I complained to Pat Simienkowski, Ross Marcus, Allison Frantz, John Stoffa , and others. So yes, Bernie, please please listen to 913, if you can be a little slower to judge, please! They are capable of wrongdoing, even if they give the appearance of the opposite to some of you. Isn't that what Sara Packer did, fool everyone? MBJ

Anonymous said...

MBJ, despite Mr. O'Hare's attacks many of the past employees know of what you speak. You are absolutely right. Mr. O'Hare likes Kevin Dolan so he will look no further and attack and delete those of us who know the truth about the agency.

It is sad that all the problems of the past are still around. You are right that protests to all including Mr. Marcus were a waste of effort. Zero leadership and responsibility. Just bury it.

Anonymous said...

If they and didn't notify law enforcement, can they be prosecuted

Anonymous said...

If they knew and didn't notify law enforcement, can they be prosecuted. What about this poor girl's teachers

Anonymous said...

Thank you 354, Thank you! Appreciate your voicing that the taxpayers and customers of CYF deserve better, they need administrators looking out for them, advocating for them. Pat Himmelwright and Kevin Dolan have little respect for kids and families lives. If a child/family is referred by a judge, this family gets undivided attention and service. If the case is referred by other sources, no services are available as we are over budget. Discrimination like this is rampant in the CYF dept. It is time for this agency to be exposed! I plead with all of you reading, to speak up and try not to be fearful! Your voice is crucial to effecting change and holding people in power accountable.

Anonymous said...

7:34: Apparently they found out and notified law enforcement; hence why David Packer went to jail and then fired Sara Packer. Of course, as Bernie writes, it was Dolan who fired her. He is the Director of the Agency and so that is his job to do. I'm not sure why Bernie seems to be giving him a special pat on the back in his 9:59pm post.

That being said though, I have known Mr. Dolan for several years, also- not as well, perhaps as Bernie, as I only know him on a professional level, but I will share one simple story about him. Approximately 20 years ago, I was working in Human Services, contracting with NCC&Y and my supervisor was trying to railroad me about some things and started to spread rumors about me. I was hearing things through the grapevine and therefore started to send out my resume to different agencies. I was offered and accepted another job, where I eventually worked for 20 years and had excellent evaluation reports throughout my career.

Right before I started the other job, Mr. Dolan called me personally (he barely knew me, and I was just a couple of years out of college) and he told me that he thought highly of me and my work and I should consider working for him. He knew what was happening in my then-current job. I told him I would keep it in mind if things didn't work out elsewhere- but they did. He wished me well. I always remembered the kindness and professional courtesy that he showed me.

About year later, BTW, my old supervisor was fired for several misconduct violations and she immediately moved out of State.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Well, regardless of my high opinion of Kevin Dolan, I am certainly willing to share complaints about CYF from a former supervisor. She has called me. Though I missed her call, I will speak to her. Far from burying this, I am one of those who has been demanding that the county get out in front. But I am primarily interested in the Packer case, not internecine rivalries within a department about which Dolan and Himmelwright are both muzzled.

Anonymous said...

1004---I can appreciate and relate to the kindness you point out about Mr. Dolan. Some years ago he also personally called me and told me he was impressed with my work and recruited me back to the CYF division from Early Intervention where I was working at the time. Mr. Dolan can indeed be very charming. when it comes to respect for kids and families in his department, he has been absent, a lot! The public needs to know how this Department is broken and needs to be fixed. Families, children, taxpayers and staff of CYF deserve better!
MBJ

Anonymous said...

I think that there should indeed be concern about the Packer case, however if you approach this case as some light finally being shed on years of corruption and misconduct within the NorCo CYF system, I believe you will discover a lot of employees (past and present), as well as clients, who have some very valuable insight into just how rotten the agency has become. If Mr. O'Hare isn't willing to use his platform as a means to examine the failed CYF system, perhaps another local journalist is willing to take that chance. I'm fairly certain you will have multiple employees willing to come forward (assuming under the condition of anonymity) and discuss years' worth of concerns and misguided administrative decisions.

Anonymous said...

Bernie - you are a brave guy putting your cell and e-mail out there. I commend you - and you will not be hearing from me. A lot of words written on this one.

Gary W. Gorman said...

Mary Beth: Just my humble observation or JMHO. You might want to let your anger go. I can spend all day on this blog with you and debate you and BOH at every post, but you should let it be.

No one could've predicted what Sara Packer did...EVER! We're all hurting over it and about it; thinking, "What could I have done differently?"

Dolan isn't the problem, but if you reach hard enough...he could and should be part of the solution.

Again...JMHO.

Anonymous said...

"Dolan isn't the problem, but if you reach hard enough...he could and should be part of the solution."


Or if he reached hard enough.

Anonymous said...

Mary Beth...can you get in touch with me....I'm a reporter at WFMZ
610 791 1111
jstover@wfmz.com
I offer the same request to any current/former workers of Northampton or Lehigh Children and Youth...
We can chat on or off record...

Bernie O'Hare said...

Looks like Jamie Stover is brave, too.

Anonymous said...

Gary, Thanks for your humble observation. I stand proud to say that I am angry at the administration for turning a blind eye to the public being mistreated by the department of CYF. I stand proud of my emotions not allowing me ever to accept what Kevin Dolan has covered up for years. I stand proud that I advocated strongly to do the right thing for every family that came under my watch. I stand proud that my emotions, yes, inclusive of anger and rage, have kept me going in a direction of righteousness especially for kids and families who did not have a voice. I understand your quick judgement, just seeing these words on the blog---you think it s another disgruntled supervisor.
You tell me, if you were under investigation by CYF, would you want an honest, fair, evaluation of your circumstance? Are you not entitled to a fair/ nonjudgmental assessment of your home and circumstance.
Or would you prefer that your case outcome be dictated by an outsider, someone with whom the director was having an inappropriate relationship with. Should I not be angry, and continue to try to protect the public interest. Are you really representing that before you know all of the facts? The public needs to know about the department of CYF. And the CYF dept needs changes. This time is going to be different, you will see....

Anonymous said...

I am a social worker, too, and along with your upstanding impeccable reputation, I can vouch for your choice of smart but understated and sensible shoes. And I am a social worker, trained in college to do specifically nothing but licensed to do whatever I wish, so I am in the best position to vouch for my assessment of what I wish to vouch for. I applied to be a CASA and they rudely rejected my application. Please Bernie, read my personnel file.

Anonymous said...

What is it like working for a boss who hires omly people who disagree and argue with them? For a boss who encourages employees to openly complain about everything? For a boss who says every day how bad things are working for the company and how bad some people working for the company secretly are? For a boss who fires someone being called names by others working for the company, including being called a freak? If you dont like your boss or your bosses boss or your bosses bosses boss, isnt it just time to leave? Or is it easier to stick around and bitch and bitch and bitch and make everyone elses lives as wonderful as yours? Are bosses supposed to publish and publicly report every disagreement and infraction and then ask employees to talk about it over and over year after year? When bosses want to quiet disruption and dissent and put a happy face on things arent they really just doing their jobs? By the way, nobody named mary beth made allegations here about anybody named lisa hand, so didnt you just libel all three like mary beth libelled the first two? Will Bernie and the blog give up their records for the criminsl investigation and discovery phase of the trial to learn who you are and come after you for libel? I bet you and mary beth were a barrel of monkeys to work with. I would not want to hire anybody if all they did was complain. Like a bunch of high school girls who got turned down for cheerleaders. 35th class reunion and their still bitching about it. Yeah, i bet its fun to work with you, 437 anonymous.

Anonymous said...

1212 compliments for being generously recruited. False flag. Recruiting between departments in same business often not allowed. Unless agreement between department bosses maybe - this ones a problem, take him off my hands, please? Please?

Anonymous said...

Everybody who makes decisions at work runs them through a filter, a decision tree, a checklist. You might say they evaluate the information and make an appropriate determination after a complete assessment. Whatever. I get along best at work when my filter matches my employers filter. Sometimes my employer uses a different filter for reasons I wouldn't know. If my filter never matches my employers we will always be in opposition. That might be uncomfortable but not necessarily wrong. Or corrupt. Ive had some jobs in the last couple years where we had a bad match, and I got out because it wasnt worth it. They werent bad people but we didnt fit. Do you serve water to every customer or just the ones who ask for it? Do you bring the check before dessert and give them an excuss to leave or do you ask them first if they would like dessert and talk about the fresh juicy apple pie that came out of the oven a few minutes ago and how good it tastes with a sprinkle of nutmeg or a scoop of the coldest anc creamiest vanilla ice cream or with a shot of butterscotch liquer drizzled over the top? Does evry customer who complains get a free meal or just a dessert or just a thank you for sharing or an eyeroll? Works best when our filters are a good match.

Bernie O'Hare said...

11:30, How can I read your personnel file when I don't know who you are?

Anonymous said...

Thank you, MBJ for your 10:04 post. I've been telling people for years that KD called me personally and I got so many smirks over the years because of it. You validated my story.

george schaller said...

Bernie,
it is probably and most deffinitly one in the same as the bearded fatlady of the circus carnival with the head died redd! Please Please can you put that picture on the back page as a circus carnival freek and geek or whateveer it may be.
Upon going to try to make some sense of this poor young life snuff out by two pieces of camel dung I just feel my stomach twist with repulsion at such a sight and it will bring me as well as many nightmares for a long time too come. I am sure glad that these kinds of circus carnival freeks no longer are allowed to work the back midway. Than now look what we have though they have become employable vital parts for the many TENTicles that the circus carnival still plays to diversionary taktic employeed by the triboros counties as a HOLE.

Can't help butt wonder how many of this type of shideshow was let go silently by the inner workings that deal with children and others that are voiceless because there is only a number upon there head for which a check is allocated to the county of residence? The circus carnival must go on as the sunk ship has sunk to the abyss.
REpublican redd
humanist by design