Monday, May 03, 2021

Whitney: Allentown Mayoral Candidate Ce-Ce Gerlach Exposes Minor to Alleged Sexual Abuse

Introduction: Allentown-based blogger James Whitney has another great investigative report.  

Recently, an Allentown community activist and concerned citizen made an accusation that has now been partially confirmed by CeCe Gerlach. The concerned citizen alleged that CeCe met with a 16 year old boy, who had runaway from home, to do intake paperwork for her employer - Valley Youth House. But rather than take the child to Valley Youth House’s emergency shelter, or the Allentown Rescue Mission, or The Salvation Army, Ce-Ce decided to drop the boy off at tent city, an Allentown homeless encampment. Subsequently, over the course of two nights, the child was allegedly abused. The only reason the abuse stopped seems to be because an unhoused hero, and O.A.T.H.(Operation Address The Homeless) reached out to the community activist and sought real help for the child. That person then reached out to the Child’s mother, who had reported the child missing.

I reached out to Ce-Ce Gerlach and asked her to confirm or deny the allegation, prior to writing this article. She told me “Because it happened through my work, because of HIPAA stuff, I can’t say anything about it. But I didn’t know how old he was, so if people want to beat me up over that, they can.” I asked her to clarify that she dropped the child off, but is claiming she didn’t know his age- she said “yes”.

The most glaring problem with CeCe’s claim that she didn’t know the child was under 18 is that she met the boy through her work at Valley YOUTH House. And even if she didn’t know the child’s age when she was introduced to him, wouldn’t Valley Youth House’s intake paper work include determining the age of those seeking help?

Ce-Ce also violated her duties a mandated reporter. A mandated reporter means that by law, you have to report to Lehigh County when you come into contact with a child may be a victim of child abuse or at risk of becoming the victim of child abuse, which includes, among other things, being physically neglected. The PA Department of Human Services states that “The penalties for a mandated reporter who willfully fails to report child abuse range from a misdemeanor of second degree to a felony of the second degree.” And according the Child Protective Services Law of Pennsylvania, child abuse means intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to a child through any recent act or failure to act. Based solely on Ce-Ce Gerlach’s admission, this definition seems to fit as a description of her actions.

The allegations have been forwarded to state investigators who will be handling the case moving forward. The original whistle blower has been advised not to comment on this matter any further. When contacted for this story they were only willing to say that Ce-Ce Gerlach was indeed aware of the child’s age.

My own observations: Ce-Ce Gerlach, whose real name is actually Cecelia E. Gerlach, is currently in her first term as a member of Allentown City Council. She, along with Matt Tuerk and Julio Guridy, have challenged incumbent Mayor Ray O'Connell for the Democratic nomination. Tim Ramos is running unopposed for the Republican nod. 

Under Pennsylvania law, a person supervising the welfare of a child has a duty of care, protection and support. As an intake worker for Valley Youth House, Gerlach had such a duty. It appears she may have violated that duty by knowingly endangering the welfare of that child. Dropping a 16 year-old boy off at a homeless encampment invited precisely what happened to him. If true, this conduct is criminal. If she failed to pass along his reports of neglect, that's also criminal.  

I am unable to find any evidence that she is licensed in any capacity by the Pa. Board of Social Workers, not even as a provisional worker. 

Perhaps, especially in the wake of our experience with Edwin "Fed Ed" Pawlowski, she thinks criminal behavior is a prerequisite for Mayor in Allentown. She's the last thing Allentown needs.

Ce-Ce Gerlach is part of a mob that put 2 and 2 together and came up with 5 when Allentown police last summer were forced to deal with a drug addict who was staggering and puking in the street outside of Sacred Heart (St .Luke's Hospital) on 17th Street. He had just ingested seven bags of heroin and cocaine. His lengthy criminal record included possession and use of drug paraphernalia, possession of controlled substances, public drunkenness, retail theft and criminal trespass. Police officers had to put a spit mask on him before hospital personnel could treat him, but an out-of-context video made it appear that officers had pinned his neck with a knee. Later video showed nothing like that happened, but Gerlach was part of an angry mob that reacted that night and for weeks thereafter with chants of "Fuck the Police" and "Defund the Police."

Her disdain for the importance of public safety is also evident in her vote, without explanation, to reject 11 new police officers. She also voted against receiving a $110,000 grant for Allentown police with no strings attached. As Allentown business owner Nat Hyman put it, she was "making political statements with the tax payers’ money and, in the process, showing a wanton disregard for the best interests of our City, the safety of our citizens and common sense governance."

This disdain extends to Allentown's regular people as well. Why else would she dump a 16 year-old boy at a tent city? Or film and publish the aftermath of a tragic suicide before the victim's own family were even notified? 

Defund the police? Gerlach has just demonstrated why they are so necessary. Had this boy been taken to them, they would have ensured that there would be no abuse. It is time for Allentown's voters to defund Ce-Ce Gerlach.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

this is unforgivable

Carl said...

Dropping someone off at a tent city seems to legitimize the encampment by a government official.

William Sherman said...

It would seem Ms.Gerlach is too immature for social work or political office

Anonymous said...

Admittedly this is minor in comparison to what you've revealed, but she also blocks from her campaign page anyone who dares ask a question she does not want to answer.

Anonymous said...

Just a question out of curiosity and clarification, back when I was a CPS worker, intake paperwork for the Valley Youth House shelter was completed at the shelter itself. Where, exactly, was this paperwork completed? Was Ms. Gerlach actually working a VYH shift when this paperwork was completed or was she doing it while in a voluntary, unpaid status? If she was working at another VYH location, than the shelter, who (if anyone) supervised the decision to allow Gerlach to drive this boy to tent city? And, as mentioned in the article, why "wasn't" his age discovered at the intake?

Moreover, if the mother did report her child missing, the police would have listed him in the NCIC and most likely would have referred the mother to LCOCYS. A simple call to one of these agencies would have brought quick remediation.

Finally, a point of clarification, a Pennsylvania mandated reported is required to call Childline (The PA child abuse hotline) to report suspected abuse and then file a CY 47 form, not call Lehigh County. However, many times, a mandated reported often calls their local C&Y office first to review the case to determine if a mandated CY 47 report needs to be made. In reality, most mandated reporters are unclear/unsure when they need to report their concerns to Childline (CPS) reports versus to the County Office (GPS) reports.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately most of the inhabitants of Allentown will never hear a peep about any of this.

Anonymous said...

CeCe is CraCra

Anonymous said...

This would be career ending in any other city except Allentown. Nonetheless, the state should investigate Cecelia and those who put her in a position to do this harm to a minor.

James Whitney's a rock star fighting a noble battle against some horrible people. What a welcome addition to this space.

Anonymous said...

Please tell us this isn't true. This young man's life never will be the same. No matter her conduct, voters may elect her Allentown's next mayor.

Bernie O'Hare said...

8:06, That's not just one question, but four. They are good ones. I called Valley Youth House on Friday but was unable to even get through. I doubt they would have spoken about this bc, quite honestly, I don't think they can say much. Don't know if James tried. I never considered the possibility she was an unpaid volunteer. I am very bothered if this child agency would allow an unpaid volunteer who has no license such initial access to a runaway. I am aware a report was required and it is my understanding that question is being looked at by investigators, as it should be.

I agree this should extend beyond Ce-Ce. The operation of Valley Youth House needs a review. This would not be the first time childcare workers in the Lehigh Valley exposed children to harm. I'd say that you should ask Grace Packer, but she's dead. Also, Hasshan Batts was a major drug dealer while supposedly caring for children.

Anonymous said...

Valley Youth House serves up to age 29. Given that it’s common that many homeless people lack identification. It’s likely when asked his age, the boy didn’t share his real age because, as a runaway, he didn’t want to have to go home.

If the whistleblower wasn’t there (they weren’t), how could they say that his age was known?

If an incident had occurred that was outside of protocol, Councilwoman Gerlach would not still be employed by VYH.

Also, you do not have to be a licensed social worker to be a street outreach worker/intake coordinator. That’s not a requirement, and isn’t even listed in job descriptions.

This blog post is pure speculation.

Bernie O'Hare said...

This statement by Gerlach says it all: "so if people want to beat me up over that, they can."

She obviously doesn't give a shit. As for your "protocol," something is seriously wrong with it.

Anonymous said...

If this lady gets elected mayor it's over for Allentown. She would destroy whats left of that city.

Anonymous said...

How could VYH even allow a volunteer to be alone and responsible for any child's well being?

Anonymous said...

"But I didn’t know how old he was, so if people want to beat me up over that, they can.” That is a pretty flippant statement. How about "I didn't know how old he was, I made a horrendous mistake and feel terrible". Where is the Press on this? Thank God for Bernie.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Thank God for James Whitney, not me.

Anonymous said...

What a shame that Nat Hyman didn't run. He would have killed all 4 of these candidates and done a great job for the citizens of Allentown. Now we have to choose between incompetents like Ce Ce and Tureck.

Anonymous said...

Should have known James Whitney was better then Bernie!!! ;) Thanks to both of you!

Anonymous said...

If the mayor of Allentown chants defund the police, the police will leave, and people will die. It's as simple as that. This is so fucking dangerous.

Bernie O'Hare said...

".What a shame that Nat Hyman didn't run. He would have killed all 4 of these candidates and done a great job for the citizens of Allentown. Now we have to choose between incompetents like Ce Ce and Tureck."

No you don't. Ray, Julio and Ramos are all running.

Anonymous said...

"What a shame that Nat Hyman didn't run. He would have killed all 4 of these candidates and done a great job for the citizens of Allentown. Now we have to choose between incompetents like Ce Ce and Tureck."

If you live in Allentown City and you like Nat Hyman, then vote for Ray O'Connell since they are allies. Tell your friends and neighbors too. As a fairly popular incumbent, I think O'Connell can win if turnout is generally low and voters like you show up. So stay positive and don't give up just yet, I'm not convinced that Me Me has this in the bag just yet.

Anonymous said...

Hey, at least she picked him up and took him somewhere. Who was monitoring the homeless shelter?. Would any of you back benchers picked this person up? so the message is, just ignore such a person or it may be trouble for you.

Anonymous said...

No one as smart of nate Hyman would risk his reputation and resources for a hopeless cause. He should run for mayor for every political assassin to criticize everything he does.

Anonymous said...

How come none of you consider Tim Ramos, don't you believe he would do a better job. The question is, does anyone in allentown really want anything better? This is likely what they really want.

Bernie O'Hare said...

"Hey, at least she picked him up and took him somewhere. Who was monitoring the homeless shelter?. Would any of you back benchers picked this person up? so the message is, just ignore such a person or it may be trouble for you."

It was her J-O-B. She had a few alternatives. LVY has a shelter. Salvation Army would help. So would the police. It was criminally negligent for her to drop off a 16 yo boy at a tent city. That is worse than doing nothing.

Anonymous said...

Where the hell is Jim Martin on this? Where’s Shapiro? Should they at least temporarily ban her from working with kids until this is sorted out?

Anonymous said...

RAY will get to totally destroy the rest of the city.

Bernie O'Hare said...

If anyone is destroying the city, it is people like Gerlach and her poor judgment. The way she handled that 16 yo boy is exactly what she would do to Allentown while Palmer and Siegel cut videos mocking small business

Anonymous said...

This should automatically be referred to the Regional office of Child Welfare. They investigate all claims founded and unfounded. Also she is required to report to the county child welfare this situation, Valley Youth House could be held liable. Any child welfare professional knows this. What is her degree in?

She really dropped the ball on this one.

Anonymous said...

Was Gerlach not properly trained? Her excuse that she believed that juvenile was an adult is unexceptable! If she could not positively identify that juvenile, then she should have least contacted someone that could. She needs to be called out on this. By making this very bad decision she put that juvenile in serious physical/mental abuse issues. Why hasn't any of the news/media taken this under their wings? Just think if a police officer or another public official did what she did. She would have gathered a mob and demanded justice...

Allentown is in a world of trouble if "Me Me Gerlach" is voted into office. She is one of those very far far left political activist that will surely screw up a city that truly needs strength and stability. She will undoubtedly weaken Allentown. Anyone one stands in a crowd and yells BLM - Defund the Police, cannot be impartial to ALL !!! She needs to stick to her activism where she belongs and stay away from city hall. Allentonians please be smart and not vote for "Me Me Gerlach" !!!

New Pol said...

What lala land are you living in?

New Pol said...

You’re delusional.

New Pol said...

But O’Connell did a Justin Simmons.

New Pol said...

He’s a tRumpfeteer.

New Pol said...

They were commenting on small businesses nit being able to make a go of it in the NIZ.

Unknown said...

Valley Youth House was pioleted

Anonymous said...

Wow! This is getting around. Good job.

Now can you shine a light on some of Julio Guridy's dirty dealings?

Anonymous said...

"Wow! This is getting around. Good job."

Where?

Unknown said...

You're clueless...
It's been factually proven..ever hear of the Ferguson Effect? When police stop actively policing in high crime, often minority communities,
CRIME INCRESES drastically!
Just ask Minneapolis
how defunding the police
worked out.

Anonymous said...

N.Y.Governor signed bill to allow felons to vote, P.A. Governor should sing along too. This would increase the probability of more misfits like this dredge here to get elected and wipe out any leadership to creating total chaos. Mission Accomplished! Just like Minneapolis.

Unknown said...

Someone making a bad decision like this one does not have the ability to run the 3rd largest city in PA. And now I question her as a city council member as well.

PhantumWhisperz said...

Just what Allentown needs another criminal/corrupt politician she should be ousted from her position on the City Council & should not be allowed to run for office it us obvious she does not have this City's & its citizens best interest at heart Ce-Ce time to pack yo shit you gotta go !!!Defund CeCe !!! We can do better Allentown....

Anonymous said...

Welp she was finally charged today with failing to report child abuse so apparently it's a lot more than speculation!