This article just came over my alerts for the Palm Beach Post. This office needs to be investigated from the top down. The corruption, lies, falisfing of records and cover ups is the norm in all offices all over the country. This is the tip of the iceberg. It is time to stop the murder of our children. Ms.Fleary should be criminally charged for her part in the death of Nubia and the near death of Victor. It is past time to take back our children
By Ana M. Valdes Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Updated: 5:14 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011
Posted: 5:08 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011
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The state child abuse investigator currently under fire for not following up on an allegation that twins Victor and Nubia Barahona were being tied and confined to a bathroom by their adoptive parents was given a final notice for a similar mishandling of a case last year, according to state Department of Children and Families documents released this afternoon.
Andrea Fleary, who was placed under paid administrative leave Feb. 17, two days after the twins were found in West Palm Beach – Nubia’s dead body in the back of the truck and Victor seizing and covered in toxic chemicals – was given a final conseling notice Feb. 15 of last year, for failing to find a home for a child removed from his or her biological family by the 24 hour deadline established by DCF.
“Your neglect placed this child at risk of additional harm,” wrote Kevin Ramos, a DCF child protective investigator supervisor. “Further, you interviewed the child without law enforcement present. Even more disturbing, you failed to document notification with the Child Protection Team.”
Fleary refused to sign the notice, according to DCF documents.
Last year’s reprimand, however, was not the first time Fleary was called out by the agency for her performance.
In 2003, the department issued her first final counseling notice for taking 11 days to interview the person who reported the abuse of six children. The notice also said Fleary failed to find shelter for one of the children, despite a knowing that the child was living with the mother even though a court order denied the mother custody. Some of the children were also allowed to visit with their maternal grandmother without proper authorization.
In 1992, Fleary was also given a written reprimand for punching a colleague in the face.
DCF officials are now looking into whether Andrea Fleary did enough to find the 10-year-old Barahona twins before Nubia was found dead in a truck owned by her adoptive father, Jorge Barahona, and Victor was hospitalized with life-threatening burns.
The 48-year-old investigator gave a brief explanation about how she handled the case at a court hearing two days after the twins were found in Palm Beach County.
She said she had visited the Barahona home in western Miami-Dade County Feb. 10, when the abuse allegation was reported to DCF’s abuse hotline.
After Flearly failed to locate the twins or their father, she visited the home a second time the next day, but she did not find the children again. When the judge asked why she had not tried to locate other relatives or contact the reporter of the abuse, Fleary said it was 9:30 p.m. on a Friday night, and that she was not allowed to work weekends.
Since then, DCF is investigating Fleary’s actions. Officials will not comment on whether Fleary violated any steps in the abuse investigation at the Barahona home.