Embattled DCF commissioner Olga Roche resigns - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Embattled DCF commissioner Olga Roche resigns

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Olga Roche (MassLive). Olga Roche (MassLive).

The embattled head of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families has resigned.

Olga Roche announced her resignation Tuesday morning after repeated calls for her to step down over the last several months.

Health and Human Services Secretary John Polanowicz made the announcement at a press conference in Boston.

House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Senate President Therese Murray both said on Monday that Roche needed to resign after two recent baby deaths.

Over the weekend, a 2-week-old Fitchburg baby, who was being monitored by DCF, died. In a separate case, a 4-month-old Grafton child also died after a fax regarding potential harm to the child was misplaced for six days.

The department came under intense scrutiny in the fall over the handling of the Jeremiah Oliver case. The 5-year-old was last seen in September, but was not reported missing until December. DCF workers hadn't made required visits to the family's home during that time. His body was found off I-190 in Sterling on April 18.

Gov. Deval Patrick had previously backed Roche, but said on Monday that he was as upset as anyone about these incidents, and that his confidence in the department had been rattled.

Gov. Patrick has named Erin Deveney as interim DCF Commissioner. She was previously the chief of staff for the Department of Transportation, but had been installed as DCF deputy commissioner for the last 30 days.

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