Second Oklahoma DHS worker fired in Serenity Deal case

Randy J. Lack, 58, a Pottawatomie County child-welfare specialist, has denied doing anything wrong. He worked for the Department of Human Services for 11 years.
BY NOLAN CLAY nclay@opubco.com Modified: September 20, 2011 at 8:56 pm •  Published: September 21, 2011
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The principal DHS worker on the Serenity Deal case was fired Tuesday.

Randy J. Lack, 58, a Pottawatomie County child-welfare specialist, has denied doing anything wrong. He worked for the Department of Human Services for 11 years.

Serenity Deal, 5, died in June from an assault after she began living full time with her father in Oklahoma City at the recommendation of Lack and other DHS workers.

The father, Sean Devon Brooks, now is charged with first-degree murder. She was placed with her father from foster care even though she was injured twice in January during overnight visits with him.

“I don't have a crystal ball. I couldn't possibly have known any of this was going to happen,” Lack said last week.

Lack said he thought Serenity's injuries in January were from accidents.

His supervisor, Jennifer Shawn, was fired Thursday.

Lack was fired on grounds of unsatisfactory performance, misconduct, willful failure, dishonesty in reports and neglect of duty.

Lack of background check cited

In the termination papers, the agency specifically said Lack failed to fully check the father's background, often taking the father's word for things. Lack, for instance, once reported Brooks had no history of family violence. Brooks' ex-girlfriend actually had obtained a protective order against him after an angry confrontation in 2003.

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