Two DHS child-welfare workers deny wrongdoing in the Serenity Deal case, and they say the agency is targeting them for termination in an effort to make the controversy disappear.
Their attorney, Pete Serrata, alleges policy failures at the Department of Human Services actually led to Serenity's death “and the deaths of numerous other children across the state.”
DHS is seeking to fire Pottawatomie County worker Randy J. Lack and supervisor Jennifer R. Shawn on grounds of misconduct and dishonesty, records show. Final decisions on their jobs are expected later this month.
The agency alleges in notices to the workers that both failed to follow DHS policies and were involved in making false statements to court officials that jeopardized Serenity's safety. Among the accusations is that they failed to fully check her father's background.
Serenity, 5, died in June from a beating while with her father. The girl, who had a pacemaker for her heart, began living with her father full time in Oklahoma City in May on DHS' recommendation.
The girl was placed with her father, Sean Devon Brooks, even though she was injured twice in January during overnight visits with him. DHS was involved because Serenity's mother had been accused of molesting a boy.
Brooks is charged with first-degree murder. Records show he did not know he was the girl's father until she was 3.
DHS put Lack, Shawn and two Lincoln County workers on administrative leave after Serenity's death. One suspended worker, Donald Wheeler, then committed suicide. His supervisor, Wes Priest, resigned.