Two DHS Workers Terminated On Serenity Deal Case Charged - News9.com - Oklahoma City, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports |

Charges Filed Against Two DHS Workers Terminated On Serenity Deal Case

Posted: Updated:
Jennifer Shawn and Randy Lack Jennifer Shawn and Randy Lack
Serenity Deal Serenity Deal
POTTAWATOMIE COUNTY, Oklahoma -

Charges have been filed against two DHS workers who were fired for their handling of the Serenity Deal case.

Jennifer Shawn and Randy Lack have been charged with misdemeanor suppression of evidence. Both Shawn and Lack will receive a one-year suspended sentence and may never work for the DHS again.

9/15/2011 Related Story: DHS Worker On Serenity Deal Case Is Officially Terminated

9/20/2011 Related Story: DHS Terminates Another Worker On Serenity Deal Case

Five-year-old Serenity Deal was found dead in her biological father's northeast Oklahoma City apartment in June, 2011. Her father, Sean Brooks, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder charges in Deal's death. He was undergoing a trial reunification with Serenity at the time of her death. The girl was under the state's care.

The State says both Shawn and Lack were negligent in their duties by not providing evidence of child abuse to the court, evidence the state says may have prevented the murder.

Shawn and Lack were among the four workers put on administrative leave pending the investigation into Serenity Deal's case.

"There is no way that this child fell out of a car seat, and anybody with a bit of education can tell that his story was just not true," Pottawatomie County District Attorney Richard Smotherland said.

DHS Spokesperson Sheree Powell said Shawn did not check out Sean Brooks' background, did not provide information to the court and made false reports and claims. Brooks is Deal's biological father and faces a murder charge in her death.

Shawn says she was a child of the system and wanted to advocate for children. That's why she became a case worker in 2006. However, she says DHS does not make decisions in the best interest of children. Shawn claims case workers would have case loads of 20 to 30 children at a time. She also says the allegations stated in her proposed termination paperwork are untrue and unfounded.

"It is DHS's attempt to shift blame," Shawn said. "DHS intimidates and bullies its workers."

Randy Lack is the second case worker fired for their handling of the Serenity Deal case. He was served with a 55-page termination letter from DHS.

Lack said at the time he did not see any issues placing Deal with her biological father, Sean Brooks, despite two incidents where she sustained substantial bruising during her overnight visits with him.

DHS states Lack failed to follow policy and procedures in her case, including checking out Sean Brooks' background.

In the letter, DHS states Lack was terminated for unsatisfactory performance, misconduct, willful failure, dishonesty and neglect of duty and claiming Lack wrote false reports and emails and knowingly withheld information in the case.

Lack has repeatedly stated he did nothing wrong and plans to fight his termination and sue DHS.

In a statement sent to News 9, Lack's attorney, Pete Serrata, stated "the hearing officer found exactly what DHS intended, given their continued withholding of documents and their incomplete and haphazard investigation. This decision only compounds the tragedy of Serenity's death and ensures that more children will suffer."

Jennifer Shawn was booked into jail after her court appearance and has since bonded out. Randy Lack has until November 15 to surrender.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Law Enforcement Tragedy Sparks Major Communication Changes

    Law Enforcement Tragedy Sparks Major Communication Changes

    OHP can now talk and listen to police departments and sheriff's offices on one of three radios, a low-band radio, an 800 MHz system and the city-county radio for surrounding areas.OHP can now talk and listen to police departments and sheriff's offices on one of three radios, a low-band radio, an 800 MHz system and the city-county radio for surrounding areas.
    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Oklahoma City Police paused to remember two of their own this Labor Day weekend, killed in the line of duty 14 years ago.Both agencies lost men in a head-on crash because they had no way to communicate with each other, but the deaths brought about huge technological changes for law enforcement in Oklahoma.
    More >>
    The Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Oklahoma City Police paused to remember two of their own this Labor Day weekend, killed in the line of duty 14 years ago.Both agencies lost men in a head-on crash because they had no way to communicate with each other, but the deaths brought about huge technological changes for law enforcement in Oklahoma.

    More >>
  • Edmond Police Say They Are Seeing Increase In Daytime DUI's

    Edmond Police Say They Are Seeing Increase In Daytime DUI's

    Five years ago, an Edmond Police officer patrolling the streets during the middle of the day would have been surprised to hear a DUI call. Not anymore.Five years ago, an Edmond Police officer patrolling the streets during the middle of the day would have been surprised to hear a DUI call. Not anymore.
    Edmond police are reporting an increase in daytime DUI's, but officers say many of those arrested aren't the usual suspects.More >>
    Edmond police are reporting an increase in daytime DUI's, but officers say many of those arrested aren't the usual suspects.More >>

Special Features

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

Mobile Alerts

Get breaking news, headlines, weather alerts & more on your cell phone.

Radars

See where weather is happening using our live interactive radars.

Classifieds

Use our free classifieds to find the things you need or sell your items.

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

ESP Interactive

Special Coverage

  • Bridge Tracker

    How safe are Oklahoma's bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

  • Fallen Heroes

    News 9 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • Road Trip

    News 9 is on the move with a new series, Road Trip Oklahoma. See who we're visiting!

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

  • Turnpike Timelines

    View a historical road map of Oklahoma's turnpike system.

Powered by WorldNow
News 9
7401 N. Kelley Ave.
Oklahoma City, OK 73111
OKLAHOMA CITY'S OWN TM
Oklahoma's Own News9.com is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state including Oklahoma City's Own.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014, WorldNow and KWTV. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.