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.
The agency also said Lack never interviewed that ex-girlfriend, who had three children with Brooks. The ex-girlfriend later told police she considered Brooks too violent to be around his children.
The agency said Lack failed to notify the judge and the district attorney when Serenity needed medical treatment for black eyes and a swollen face the second time she was injured in January.
The agency said Lack failed to report to a judge that Serenity had reacted negatively to hearing her father's name while in foster care. Both of Serenity's foster mothers had reported this concern, according to the termination records.
Lack and Shawn have hired an attorney, Pete Serrata, to appeal their firings.
Serrata on Tuesday again criticized DHS, saying the agency did an incomplete and haphazard investigation into what happened in Serenity's case. Lack last week said he was personally invested in his cases.
“When you go home at night you still think about those kids,” he said then. “It's the first time in my life I've ever been fired. ... I've always done a good job in whatever capacity I've worked. Now, at this late stage in life, having to start all over again, it's a pretty scary thing.”