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Powell tragedy draws scrutiny from lawmakers

Post by Jordan Schrader / The News Tribune on Feb. 9, 2012 at 11:25 am |
February 9, 2012 11:25 am

State Sen. Pam Roach, a frequent critic of the Department of Social and Health Services, asked DSHS today what Utah police told the agency about the Powell children’s welfare before their deaths.

Roach’s news release is below. Here’s our rundown on why the children were under DSHS supervision and the role of DSHS contractors like the one who took the children to their father on what was supposed to be a supervised visit — until father Josh Powell locked the door in the contractor’s face and blew up the house.

It may not be the last word from lawmakers on the case. House Republicans told reporters Wednesday they want to deal with supervised visitation in this year’s state budget. The contractor’s caseload was too large, they said.

Reducing it might have done little to save Braden and Charlie Powell. “I don’t know if it would have made a difference in that case,” Rep. Richard DeBolt said. That’s a tragedy and that man was pure evil.”

Roach requests Utah police warning to DSHS in Powell case

OLYMPIA Under public disclosure laws Sen. Pam Roach, R-Auburn, today formally requested information sent by Utah police to alert DSHS in the placement of the children of Susan and Joshua Powell.

The letter to Department of Social and Health Services Secretary Robin Arnold-Williams asked for the records at her earliest convenience.

The West Valley City, Utah, police department, in a press release dated February 1, 2012 indicated they had sent a warning to Washington regarding the placement of Charles and Braden Powell.

“It appears DSHS was forewarned about information regarding Joshua Powell and the treatment of his boys,” said Roach.

“DSHS needs to come clean with what they knew. Having information pertinent to the welfare of the Powell children, and not acting on it, may have actually contributed to their deaths,” said Roach.

Recent news reports from Utah indicate the investigation into Susan Cox Powell’s disappearance in 2009 has been conducted as a homicide investigation for at least six months. During that investigation correlated information unrelated to the death of Susan Powell, but concerning Joshua Powell and the children was discovered.

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