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Panel will review DHS actions

By Randy Ellis Published: August 14, 2007

/> The petition asks the grand jury to investigate individuals who allegedly molested the child as well as persons and governmental agencies that failed to act to protect her.

District attorney responds
Kiowa County District Attorney John Wampler said the allegations of sexual abuse surfaced during a bitter divorce and custody dispute.

He said the allegations were independently investigated by both his office and the office of District Attorney Mitch Sperry of Ardmore, and both declined to file charges.

"I'm not going to comment on any of the facts of the case,” Wampler said. "I welcome the opportunity for a grand jury to review the entire case and to let them pass on what should or should not be done.”

Comanche County District Judge Allen McCall announced Monday that he would empanel the grand jury after Kiowa County Election Board Secretary Lynne Morris verified the validity of 704 out of 883 signatures on a petition seeking the inquiry.

At least 500 signatures were needed, McCall said.

The grandmother said petitioners had no problem gathering enough signatures, even though Kiowa is a thinly populated county.

"The response has been overwhelming,” she said. "It seems every other signature had a story to tell about DHS or knew someone who had been abused by DHS.”