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Investigator Exclusive: No follow-up in abuse case

6:46 PM, Dec 21, 2010   |    comments
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The caseworker should have continued to try reaching Renee Lester in November, but the department has no record those follow-ups occurred, spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan told the Investigator Tom Meyer.

The Cleveland Metropolitan School District has not determined whether it will take action against Lester, who works there as a secretary, a spokeswoman said.

The caseworker and the caseworker's supervisor have been suspended, pending an investigation into Lester, who was arrested Friday after her three adopted children told police that Lester denied them food, beat them if they tried to use the toilet, and forced them to stay in the basement or attic.

The caseworker last visited Lester's Edgewater Drive home in September, Madigan said.

There is nothing in the file that indicates, however, that Lester's home had double-key locks on doors leading to the basement and bedrooms, Madigan said.

Double-key locks only open with a key and are widely considered dangerous for use in homes.

The department is also trying to determine how many calls it received regarding alleged abuse by Lester since she adopted the three children in 2003, Madigan said.

As part of that inquiry, the department will be looking at how thoroughly those claims were investigated.


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