The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

17 March 2006

The Gleeson report

KFOR-TV sent a News Babe to talk to Sean and Phoebe Gleeson, and in the absence of any fresh Brad-and-Angelina updates, it rated a couple of minutes during the 10-pm newscast.

The unsatisfying thing about all this, of course, is that we'll probably never know for sure who turned in the bogus child-neglect report: DHS, said the reporter, doesn't have the resources to chase down bearers of false witness, and, well, we're not privy to the Last Judgment, except for our own.

On the upside, the Gleesons (all seven of them, though the younger ones got no spoken lines) came off as a traditional Big Happy Family, the sort that makes certain individuals (they know who they are) mumble to themselves about how glad they are that they didn't reproduce, a sentiment I am inclined to share.

Posted at 10:21 PM to City Scene

They will never know for sure who filed the report because it is illegal for DHS to disclose that information. Which is a good thing in most cases, but not always.

Posted by: rita at 6:07 AM on 18 March 2006

You know I kind of think it's better to have to suffer through a bogus report than have anyone scrutinize the reports and not investigate. There are wayyyyyyyyy too many kids out there being abused/misused/neglected than we will ever even know. I am not even sure that DHS really does that much anyway. I see far too many DHS reports with no effective response to stop the problems.

Posted by: Dr. Jan at 10:20 AM on 18 March 2006

To me, though, the real question is whether the ban on disclosure means that DHS literally can't go after someone who cried wolf because actual prosecution, which is inevitably a public proceeding, would perforce amount to disclosure.

(This is one place where my lack of rigorous legal training is obvious.)

Posted by: CGHill at 10:22 AM on 18 March 2006

While it's true that there are times when a case falls through the cracks in the system and it ends in tragedy for a child, I wonder if we may be swinging too much in the opposite direction. Even if someone wants to report my dog for barking too much, it takes *two* neighbors complaining to bring it to official attention. In most of the truly tragic cases, there were at least two parties that could/should have been aware of a problem. Why is it that one dog-hater can't vent his prejudice on me, but a single evil-minded person can jeapordize my most fundamental relationship, the one with my child?

Posted by: Stacey at 2:09 PM on 18 March 2006