“Chutzpah” is defined as “shotgunning your mother and father and then pleading for the mercy of the court because you are an orphan.” I have a new definition. It is Gov. LePage calling for filling “major, major holes” in a system he and his trusty sidekick Mary Mayhew, former commissioner of the Department of Health and Human Services and now a candidate to succeed LePage, starved of resources for the last seven years.

The DHHS’ child protective services bureau was required to deal with a 52 percent increase in confirmed cases of physical abuse between 2008 and 2016, despite a reported 80 percent turnover in staff in some offices; untrained employees dealing with the hardest of hard situations; a lack of effective software; an exploding caseload, and no increases in caseworkers since 2011.

In these circumstances, the deaths of children were an absolutely foreseeable result of these craven policies, and LePage and Mayhew should be held to account.

Jamie Broder


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