|Arlington County Manager Mark Schwartz has appointed Anita Friedman as Director of the Department of Human Services (DHS); she takes her position effective immediately. Ms. Friedman has been the department’s deputy director since 2013. Prior to becoming deputy director, Ms. Friedman served for six years as chief of the DHS Economic Independence Division. She stepped into an acting director role in May 2015 upon the retirement of Susanne Eisner.
“Anita has played a leading role these past eight years in ensuring that we have a strong safety net for the most vulnerable residents of our community, from babies to older adults to people with disabilities,” said Schwartz. “As director, she can build upon that work and use her talents and expertise to take on new challenges and opportunities.”
As head of DHS, Friedman will lead a staff of more than 700 whose work is focused on strengthening, protecting and empowering those in need.
During her six-year stint as DHS Economic Independence Division chief, Ms. Friedman played a role in ensuring that Arlington households impacted by the economic downturn had access to federal, state and local resources to help them weather the storm. She oversaw a number of successful employment initiatives, including those devoted to finding jobs for Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC)-affected workers, IT training for military veterans, and culinary training for people who were homeless. She also oversaw a major modernization of the department’s client management software. As deputy director, Ms. Friedman has played an integral role in department efforts related to performance measurement, integration of services and professional development.
Before joining Arlington County, Ms. Friedman worked for more than 20 years in international development, managing social and economic development programs, primarily in Latin America and the Caribbean. She has held positions as chief of operations for the Inter-America and Pacific Region of Peace Corps, country director of the Peace Corps/Dominican Republic, and chief operating officer for the Latin American Youth Center in Washington, D.C.
She has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a bachelor’s degree from Vassar College. She has lived in Arlington since 1990 with her husband and two sons.
Hopefully this change of leadership will cause Arlington DHS to revisit some of the botched Foster care cases that Ms. Eisner oversaw and failed to correct.
Updated Residential Facilities Location Guide: List of In-state and Out-of-State Medicaid Facilities Where Virginia Hides Kids24 Sep
As described in other stories covered by this publication, some CPS agencies, like Arlington DHS, hide children illegally in special care facilities as far away as Maine — even though there is nothing wrong with those children. They use fraudulently justified Medicaid funds to underwrite this illegal child trafficking — without providing the child an attorney to represent them or notice to their families. We have obtained from public sources an expanded list of those facilities used by Virginia CPS agencies — including out of state facilities — to hide children from their families. If you are looking for your child, try to call or visit the facilities listed…. Also, tell the US DHHS Office of Inspector General and AG Cuccinelli to stop the practice in Virginia of Medicaid fraud to destroy Virginia families and warehouse Virginia’s foster care children.
- Thought Provoking Video: Why does Virginia reject “Obamacare” but still accepts millions in federal handouts for CPS to steal kids from good families?? (arlingtonparentnews.wordpress.com)
- Abuse in Foster Care… (my.kidjacked.com)
- 10 Shocking CPS Videos You Need To Watch (intellihub.com)
- Faced With a Failed System: Governor McDonnell Leads the Way to Fix Foster Care System in Virginia (arlingtonparentnews.wordpress.com)
- Foster Child Facility Finder
- Hallmark Victims
- Getting Even
- Study: Medicaid Expansion Will Hurt Virginia (thealexandrianva.com)
When Arlington Commonwealth Attorney Theo Stamos ran for office in 2011, she promised to be hard on crime. During her distinguished career, she prided herself in taking on and winning convictions of murderers in Arlington. She said she loved the work the Commonwealth Attorney’s office does, and how it “gives voice to ordinary people” and to the witnesses and victims of crime, and that the “right decision might be the decision not to prosecute.” She said she would fight “tough” but “fairly.”
Now that she is in office, her career as a prosecutor has taken a very perverse turn in the Ashlie Mae O’Brien case. Instead of dedicating her time to prosecuting serious crimes, she is personally prosecuting a “petty” criminal contempt of court case (less than six months potential sentence) against a 68 year old grandmother, Delores O’Brien Heffernan, for, in effect, caring about her own grandchild’s welfare.
Sound unbelieveable? It is. We wish it weren’t.
We have been unable to find anyone familiar with how the Commonwealth Attorney’s office prosecutes cases that can understand how this highest ranking prosecuting attorney in Arlington is spending her scarce resources on such a low level case — which is of highly suspect and questionable value to prosecuting in the first place. It is definitely one where the “right decision” would have been Ms. Thamos “not to prosecute.” It is an anti-family, anti-love, and anti-child case. It is exactly the type of case that should NOT be prosecuted.
So, what is it that is so special about this case? Why is she prosecuting this poor grandmother with such zeal? In this case, the grandmother had exposed, and is continuing to expose, Medicaid fraud by the Arlington DHS (involving Assistant County Attorney Jason McCandless (a Stamos political supporter) in concert with Arlington GAL Karen Grane). Is the real objective of prosecuting Ms. Heffernan to silence her exposing criminal activity in Arlington (at least for awhile), in collaboration with the likes of Hallmark Youthcare and Intercept Youthcare?
Almost a million dollars has been wasted by Arlington DHS, mostly in Medicaid funds. To protect themselves, the County has used every trick in the book to isolate Ashlie Mae O’Brien from her family since she was beaten in public view by Arlington Sheriff’s Deputy Ventura on December 7, 2011. Instead of going after the Arlington Sheriff’s Deputy, Commonwealth Attorney Stamos’ office has gone after almost every member of Ashlie’s family, including her grandmother for caring about her granddaughter and exposing the fraudulent use of Medicaid funds by Arlington County. She has done so with such zealousness that she has made documented gross misrepresentations in hearings in order to illegally incarcerate the grandmother without due process, without the right to confront witnesses, and without proper notice — outcomes that the GAL Grane now seeks to cover up with a motion to seal. Ms. Thamos’ pursuit of this case promises to turn Ashlie (who is under the total control of Arlington DHS/Karen Grane, and suffering from Stockholm Syndrome) against her grandmother by forcing her to testify.
Is picking on the weak being tough on crime? Is this what Ms. Stamos promised the County of Arlington when she ran for office? You decide. She is up for reelection next year (2015). We hope she will stop pursuit of this case and focus on serious crimes in Arlington, like she promised.
The next hearing where Ms. Stamos will appear in the prosecution of this petty criminal contempt case of Ashlie’s 68 year old grandmother is scheduled for tomorrow morning (September 18, 2013 at 9:30 am) in the courtroom of Judge Fiore (Case No. CR13001445-00). The so-called “trial” (which by all appearances Judge Fiore has apparently already decided before hearing any evidence, as he has denied Ms. Heffernan her right to a jury trial and to change venues) is scheduled for September 30, 2013 at 9:30 am. We encourage our readers to attend both hearings and see for themselves what Arlington is wasting its time and money on. Maybe if enough people see and speak up, these destructive and wasteful activities will stop.
As Albo Oblon point out on their website. In Arlington, the “legal culture has a small town feel. Prosecutors and active criminal defense attorneys are relatively few in number here. … It is not uncommon for a prosecutor and criminal defense lawyer to argue passionately and aggressively on behalf of their clients in court — only to hang out later over drinks, the day’s battle a footnote.” Reassuring for justice? Not really. Makes for a culture where prosecutors, defense attorneys and the members of the judicial bench have the incentive to collude at the expense of defendants in order to continue to “get along.” This case illustrates the deep flaws in and backwards nature of Arlington’s judicial/legal system, and its failure to protect children, their families and taxpayers. No amount of lipstick will dress up this pig.
Arlington’s war on Ashlie Mae O’Brien’s family continues. This past week, based solely on proffers of GAL Karen Grane, with the support of Arlington County Attorney Jason McCandless and Arlington Commonwealth Attorney Theo Stamos, misdemeanor charges were brought against Ashlie Mae O’Brien’s Grandmother for, in effect, allegedly caring about her 14 year old grandchild who continues to be locked up somewhere and barred from having contact with her family at the urging of Suzanne Eisner’s Arlington DHS. Ashlie Mae O’Brien’s grandmother allegedly, violated a baseless “no contact order.” Actual contact between Ashlie and her grandmother was NOT alleged. See, Arlington Circuit Court Case, Commonwealth v Heffernan, Case No. CR13001445-00.
Based on a tenuous motion filed by GAL Karen Grane, that was not supported by any affidavit and only contained hearsay and proffers of GAL Grane (in violation of the newly adopted Rules of Evidence), the presiding judge, Hon. Daniel S. Fiore II still allowed a criminal charge proceeding to go forward for alleged minor “indirect” violations of that baseless “no contact order” — again, based solely on hearsay and proffers of GAL Karen Grane, as well as Jason McCandless in the court.
Notably, through Ashlie’s Grandmother’s research and efforts, Karen Grane and Jason McCandless have been alleged to have conspired to use fraudulently justified Medicaid funds to place Ashlie Mae O’Brien in institutions to prevent her from having any contact with the outside world.
The illegal incarceration of Ashlie in institutions at Medicaid expense occurred after Ashlie was viciously attacked by Arlington County Sheriffs Deputies when she tried to testify that she did not want to be adopted out and instead she wanted to return to her family. That illegal and unjustified incarceration took place after Judge Varoutsos denied Ashlie an attorney to represent her and failed to notify her family prior to commitment. Other abuses that Ashlie has endured are described in a Petition for Habeas Corpus. that is currently pending in an appeal of the Petition for Habeas Corpus before the Supreme Court of Virginia.
In addition to bringing these trumped up charges, GAL Grane and Jason McCandless, with the active support of Commonwealth Attorney Theo Stamos, requested that Judge Fiore impose an additional condition on a bond (beyond those contained in the “no contact order”) barring Ashlie Mae O’Brien’s Grandmother from being anywhere in Chesterfield County. The draconian ban on her being (or even passing through) Chesterfield was based on the proffers of GAL Karen Grane that Ashlie Mae O’Brien is now located in a group home somewhere in Chesterfield County. Chesterfield County is 437 square miles, has Interstates 95 and 295 running through it, as well as major state highways/roads 76, 288, 360, 631, 647, 699, and 754. Without looking at a map to see the illogic of what GAL Grane, McCandless and Stamos were advocating, the Judge refused to reconsider and narrow the scope of their proposed county wide ban — with the exception of allowing the Grandmother to drive on Interstate 95. That left other interstate and major state roads, and where Ashlie’s Grandmother was living, in the 437 square mile forbidden zone.
Ashlie’s Grandmother’s home was located in the upper left hand corner of the 437 square mile Chesterfield County — within a mile of the Richmond border. The outrageous county-wide prohibition required that Ashlie Mae O’Brien’s Grandmother would have to move out of her home in the area (whose rent was prepaid). The Judge gave her less than 48 hours to gather her belongings and leave her home. An emergency petition is pending before the Supreme Court of Virginia seeking to bar the enforcement of this ban, which violates her constitutional rights.
Arlington County’s child protection agency, DHS, has become a narcissistic house of horror and injustice for families and children. They teach children that the system is not there to help you, but instead to take you away from your family, and then go after your family.
- Appeal of Petition for Habeas Corpus Case Against Arlington DHS Moved to Virginia Supreme Court (arlingtonparentnews.wordpress.com)
- Chesterfield teacher arrested for ‘inappropriate relationship’ with student (wtvr.com)
- Foster Child Finding Guide: List of Medicaid Facilities Where Foster Children Are Hidden by CPS (arlingtonparentnews.wordpress.com)
- 100th Anniversary of the Chesterfield County Fair (wtvr.com)