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DCF Commissioner Resigns After Toddler Deaths

Gov. Deval Patrick said Olga Roche lost the trust of the public and her staff.

Olga Roche. Credit: WHDH/7News
Olga Roche. Credit: WHDH/7News
Embattled Department of Children and Families Commissioner Olga Roche has resigned following the deaths of two toddlers under DCF care this month.

Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz announced Roche's resignation during a news conference Tuesday morning.

Erin Deveny was named interim commissioner. She has been the deputy DCF commissioner for the last month and previously served as chief of staff at the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles.

On Saturday, Bailey Irish, a 2-week-old Fitchburg baby, died while under the care of DCF officials. The girl was unresponsive and her parents brought her to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to Boston.com. The cause of her death has not yet been determined.

On April 11, another child under DCF care, Aliana Lavigne, a 4-week-old from Grafton, was also found dead. Officials said a fax sent by Grafton police that said the child was possibly being abused was misplaced by DCF staff, according to the Boston Herald. The cause of her death has also not yet been determined.

Several politicians had called for Roche's resignation.

Gov. Deval Patrick said during Tuesday's news conference that Roche had lost the trust of the public and her staff.

"It's impossible for her to do her job," Patrick said.

Authorities are also investigating the death of 5-year-old Jeremiah Oliver of Fitchburg, another child under the care of DCF who was found stuffed in a duffle bag this month by the side of a highway—months after he was reported missing.
Ash Ley April 30, 2014 at 01:49 PM
Why do these articles keep saying toddlers? Newborn babies died.
Ken B. April 30, 2014 at 06:13 PM
Olga got shown the door yesterday, and flew straight to Oklahoma to immediately assume her new position with the Dept. of Corrections.
deb of see-attleboro April 30, 2014 at 07:34 PM
Will this be Deval Patrick's "Willie Horton" moment? Time will tell.
A. Eichman May 01, 2014 at 01:52 AM
ANother failed De-Val appointee.
Peter Lang May 15, 2014 at 01:35 PM
failing upwards!!

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