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Thursday, June 26, 2008

Child Abuse and Sham Peer Review...Corruption in Pennsylvania IV

UPDATE: Check out my new book, The Definitive Dossier of PTSD in Whistleblowers, and in chapter three this story, and especially its mentally debilitating effects, is explored in much greater detail. 

Introduction: If this is your first introduction of this story please read part one, part two, and part three. I will be referencing them often and you will be confused if you haven't read them.

Let's review what I have laid out. In 1986, Jim Singer was a practicing psychologist in Dubois, Pennsylvania. He treated a patient with a series of problems including alcoholism and a history of abuse. Singer suggested that the patient go through counseling with the rest of his family. During the course of that treatment, Singer began to suspect that the patient's younger 16 year old sister was being abused. When the sixteen year old was confronted, she admitted, in front of several witnesses, that she was being abused.

Singer immediately called the proper authorities as he was required to by his status as a mandated reporter. From the beginning, DCFS was more interested in protecting the abuser than the child. The child was never given an attorney and her father continued to make contact with her.

Within a year of reporting the incident, Singer began losing many of the patients and then he was accused of wrongdoing by seven separate patients all at roughly the same time. Singer had been a practicing psychologist for nearly fifteen years and never had a complaint. Now, he was facing seven different complaints all at once. Even though this should have raised all sorts of red flags, the Psychology board proceeded with charges against Singer. In fact, there was even evidence that DCFS paid off patients to turn on Singer and make false claims against him.

Within a few years, Singer was nearly out of money and eventually his license was suspended indefinitely. Singer never regained his license in Pennsylvania and only recently had it reinstated in West Virginia.

Since the beginning of his case, he reached out to nearly single politician. Most were initially helpful. Letters were written to folks like Janet Reno and Bill Clinton himself. Tom Ridge even tried to get Singer's case heard in front of the appropriate Senate Committee. In fact, politicians local, state, and national were attempting to help Singer. Most peculiar, politicians helped a lot more prior to the release of this police report (summarized here). Even though this police report confirmed everything that Singer had been saying for nearly a decade, and accused much of the Pennsylvania political apparatus of criminal wrongdoing. Despite, or maybe as a result, of this new police report, the powerful politicians of Pennsylvania began to be strangely non responsive.

As such, Singer's case continues to be unresolved. Neither the accused or anyone else involved in wrongdoing has been brought to justice. The whole entire affair has been swept under the proverbial rug. How does this happen? The accuser worked for the phone company. Did he really have enough power to orchestrate a sham that sweeps his abuse under the rug while at the same time ruining Singer's career? If it wasnt' him, who was it? Those are all questions that no one has the answer to. What is clear is that DCFS and everyone else mandated to protect children in Pennsylvania failed miserably in their jobs in this case. Mark Spotz, who went on a spree killing, was also a product of the DCFS in Pennsylvania.

Given what I have reported here, can anyone imagine the horror that Spotz likely went through when the state was supposed to be protecting him? If the state of Pennsylvania protected the abuser and attacked the reporter in this case, how many other cases are there? What is going on here?

While this case is complicated with many twists and turns, it comes down to this simple narrative. The state of Pennsylvania was supposed to protect the abused child and keep the reporter anonymous and protected. Instead, the child was given no protection. The accuser was protected, and on top of it, the state looked the other way (or worse) while the reporter was retaliated against. As such, an affair that started more than twenty years ago continues unresolved today. A career is ruined, and who knows what has happened to the life of a then sixteen year old child. On top of it, no one seems to care.

Finally, here are some other similar cases of doctors being taken advantage of in other parts of the country... stories like a doctor in South Carolina that was targeted for reporting on a serial killer nurse, a doctor in Texas targeted by Blue Cross/Blue Shield, a nurse that was targeted after he reported on illegal drug testing at his hospital, the Texas Medical Board's systematic targeting of doctors, and the tragic case of obscene corruption at Atlanta's Grady Hospital. Finally, you can check out a similar case in which a doctor in Rhode Island was also targeted after she reported on suspected child abuse.

5 comments:

Joan Dufour said...

I wish that the psychologist in this story, who was treated so badly by everyone involved, could be reinstated to his job with an appology for being wrongfully fired. It is really sad that such things can happen to whistle blowers. That is why so many people are afraid to speak up in abuse cases. Sincerely, Joan Dufour

mike volpe said...

Therein lies the rub, Joan, as Shakespeare would have said.

If things were ever as simple as Dr. Singer being reinstated and given an apology then of course it never would have happened in the first place. The folks that targeted Singer have no intention of apologizing or taking things back. This was no mere accident. Singer got himself caught in a tangled web of corruption and that web ruined his life.

J.T. said...

Mike,

I stumbled across your article while doing some research for a project that I am working on right now. What a sad story this is, but a very real one when dealing with the very heated issue here.

I just so happen to be from DuBois and the project deals with the long term affects of child abuse. Could you contact me via email (it should be listed in my profile). I would love to talk to you at more length about it.

3D said...

Does anyone have a copy of the actual police report, and, if they do, can it be posted?

Deborah

mike volpe said...

It has been linked. I believe it is in part one of the story.