Judge Threatens To Jail DCS Employee

(Nashville) A court hearing in the battle over child fatality records took a different turn Wednesday morning.

The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services was slated to release the third set of records to the media coalition related to children who died in its care.

While that did eventually happen, more attention was drawn to how the child welfare agency had handled records its already turned over.

At one point during Wednesday’s hearing, Chancellor Carol McCoy said she wanted the name of the employee who redacted more information than necessary in the second set of records.

She said the issue shouldn’t be taken lightly, and threatened to hold that person – or any other DCS employee that violates her order – in contempt of court.

Chancellor McCoy ordered DCS to redact any identifying information such as names and counties.

However, the second set of records, released in early June, contained a number of heavy redactions, including basic medical information not previously blacked out.

DCS cited federal HIPAA laws as the reason for the additional redactions.

Chancellor McCoy ordered the agency to go back and review the second and third set of records (released today) and restore any information that shouldn’t have been redacted.

DCS has until July 5th to comply.

The On Your Side Investigators have started combing through the third set of records.

We’ve already found heavy redactions related to medical notes, and in some cases, the date of death on the Notice of Fatality, which wasn’t redacted in the first set of records.

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