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LA County May Have Underreported 60 Child Deaths

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — An independent auditor says Los Angeles County officials have failed to publicly disclose as many as 60 child fatalities resulting from abuse or neglect.

Attorney Michael Gennaco told county supervisors Tuesday the problem stems from the Department of Children and Family Services failing to classify dozens of deaths. He says staffers in the department often disagree over case assessments.

Auditors from the county’s Office of Independent Investigation uncovered the issue after examining the case of Jorge Tarin, an 11-year-old who hanged himself in June. Though social workers wrote his death was the result of abuse or neglect, his case was not made public.

Family services director Trish Ploehn says there is no excuse and blamed omissions on a disconnect within her department.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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