Two Sullivan County Children and Youth Services employees were in court Wednesday, accused of not reporting alleged child sex abuse.
The department’s director and a case worker have both been suspended with pay since the charges were filed in May.
This is a case that the state attorney general’s office is taking very seriously.
Troopers say Sullivan County Children and Youth Services Director Lisa Wilcox and case worker Elaine Wich failed to report a case involving a 13-year-old boy suspected of sexually abusing another child. That’s something their job requires them to do.
Sullivan County’s director of Children and Youth Services walked into court facing charges herself. State police say Lisa Wilcox and case worker Elaine Wich failed to report alleged child sex abuse.
“They are serious allegations. Obviously we want to have faith that individuals that serve the public are acting in the public’s best interest,” said Deputy Pennsylvania Attorney General Daniel Dye.
According to court papers a 13-year-old boy allegedly had inappropriate contact with a 5 year old but neither Wilcox nor Wich ever notified state police or the Sullivan County district attorney’s office.
Sullivan County Commissioner Bob Getz says these allegations have put a strain on the county’s children and youth services department.
“Yes it has, and we think we’ve been dealing with it as best as we possibly can. And we have a temporary director,” the commissioner said.
Both Wilcox and Wich have been suspended with pay since May.
Now the state says because Wich reported the alleged abuse to the director of Children and Youth Services in Sullivan County, they’ll be dropping all charges against her.
“If you report to your supervisor, basically the buck passes onto that supervisor, and both sides confirmed that was the case so those charges were withdrawn and it was absolutely the right thing to do in this case,” Dye added.
Wich admits this has been a difficult time for her and her family.
Wilcox gave up her right to a preliminary hearing
County commissioners say for now, she’ll remain off the job.
“It’s bittersweet news but it will go on. And we’ll continue to address and keep the agency going,” Getz said.
As for the caseworker, Elaine Wich, commissioners say she could be cleared to go back to work for Sullivan County Children and Youth Services as early as Thursday.
The department’s director is scheduled to be back in court early next month.