The state’s Health and Human Services Secretary has accepted the resignation of Olga Roche, the embattled commissioner of the Department of Children and Families.
Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz made the announcement at a news conference Tuesday morning.
Deputy Commissioner Erin Deveney was appointed interim commissioner until a permanent replacement for Roche is named.
Governor Deval Patrick also spoke at the news conference and said of Roche: “It’s clear from the events this weekend that she no longer has the confidence of the public or her staff.”
Patrick had previously not accepted Roche’s efforts to resign, insisting that she was more than capable, but he back off of those assertions a bit during the press conference.
The Boston Globe reported:
Patrick insisted that he still had faith in Roche personally, but said she has become the lightning rod for criticism, even when it should not be directed towards her or DCF.
Two more children under the agency’s care have died in the past week.
Those deaths follow the high-profile case of 5-year-old Jeremiah Oliver, who vanished for nearly a year while under DCF care. The ongoing investigation revealed that caseworkers failed to conduct home visits. Jeremiah’s body was found April 18 near a wooded area beside Interstate 190 in Sterling.
Correction: In an earlier version of this story, interim commissioner Erin Deveney’s name was misspelled.