DHS chief cleared

By Randy Ellis Published: August 8, 2007
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/> "The evidence was that the injury was reported immediately to medical personnel and their advice was followed immediately,” Edmondson said. "You just don't get neglect in a case like that.”

Edmondson said his investigators interviewed medical personnel outside and inside the hospital, nurses, other witnesses and family members and "found no evidence of neglect in this case.”

Normally, child neglect complaints are investigated by the Department of Human Services, but this complaint was referred to the attorney general to avoid a conflict of interest since Hendrick is the DHS director.

There has been some speculation that the complaint against Hendrick might have been politically motivated, but Edmondson said "there is no indication of that at all.”

"Of course, we do not know who the complaining party was,” he said. "We can engage and surmise based on the knowledge they had and where they might have gotten it — but nothing to indicate it was political. I think it was out of genuine concern.”

Edmondson said it is "entirely appropriate” for someone concerned about child neglect to report concerns.

Cassandra Williams, Hendrick's attorney, said the director believed all along that he would be cleared, and she was happy the attorney general was able to conclude the investigation so quickly.

Hudson continues to be treated for his burns and "is on track in terms of his healing,” she said.

Hendrick and others declined to comment on the extent of Hudson's injuries.

Oklahoma Dept. of Human Services AG letter to DHS director

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DHS Director Howard Hendrick

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