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Embattled Commissioner of Mass. DCF Resigns

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BOSTON (WGGB/AP) — Olga Roche, the embattled Commissioner of the Mass. Department of Children and Families, has resigned under mounting pressure following the deaths of three children.

Mass. Secretary of Health and Human Services John Polanowicz said Tuesday that she had submitted, and he had accepted, her resignation.

The move Tuesday comes after calls from top Democratic lawmakers — including Massachusetts House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray — for Roche to be replaced as head of the child welfare agency.

Deputy Commissioner Erin Devaney has been named interim Commissioner until a permanent appointment can be made.

Authorities say the family of a 2-week old Fitchburg baby who died over the weekend was being monitored by state child welfare officials.

In the second case, a DCF spokeswoman says a fax from Grafton police about possible harm to a 4-week-old who later died was misplaced for six days.

The body of a third child, 5-year-old Jeremiah Oliver of Fitchburg, was found off a highway this month. Jeremiah’s family was also under DCF supervision.

ABC40 will continue to follow this story and will have more as it becomes available.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.


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