By Investigative Reporter
Medford, Oregon – In late October of 2004, concerned parent Steve Hartman of Gold Hill, Oregon went to the Central Point Police to inform them that Robert Graham, a “convicted, untreated, predatory sex offender” according to the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) was residing at Sandra Graham’s (Steve’s ex-wife) residence with his 7 year old daughter. Mr. Hartman was more than alarmed due to the fact that the same predatory sex offender had lived with Ms. Graham 8 years prior, spending time around her older children. Mr. Hartman had also been concerned over other highly questionable men residing with his ex-wife.
The Central Point Police contacted DHS in Medford, Oregon and Hartman’s young daughter was taken into state custody.
On Thursday, October 28th Steve Hartman received a call from his daughter’s caseworker Tina Amela and was informed that he needed to pick up his daughter immediately at the Central Point Police Department. Steve Hartman was granted physical custody in Juvenile Court of his daughter on October 29th at 11:30 a.m. Earlier on the 29th Ms. Amila informed Mr. Hartman that he could stop paying child support.
Mr. Hartman was informed by Sandra Graham that there would be a court hearing on November 3rd, and after numerous attempts to contact the caseworker he finally received a call from Tina Amela on November 1st informing him there would be no court on November 3rd and not to worry about it. Mr. Hartman then asked if he should enroll his daughter in school at Rogue River Elementary because of the great travel distance between Rogue River and Central Point and she said that he should, because it would be 4 to 6 weeks until a dependency hearing. Hartman enrolled his daughter in Rogue River on November 2nd and she started school on November 3rd.
Sandra Graham was scheduled to have supervised visitation with their daughter on Monday November 8th, however on November 5th Hartman received a call from Tina Amela at 1:55 p.m. informing him that “the problem had been resolved and that he needed to take his daughter to his Mother’s home at 3:30 p.m. so Sandra could pick her up.” In shock, Hartman did as he was instructed. Later, as Hartman regained his composure he began asking questions and he received all the wrong answers, a trademark of DHS’s involvement in many of the cases they open. In short, DHS routinely takes (steals?) children when they shouldn’t and in this instant case they chose to leave a child in a dangerous environment under the guise that the problem was resolved as Robert Graham had been arrested and removed from the residence. It’s incredible that a dysfunctional agency can remove a child from an obviously dangerous situation, have the Father place her in a new school, fail to properly investigate the case and then within one week reverse everything by placing the child back with the dysfunctional mother…and get away with it.
An Observer investigation has shown that Sandra Graham has two older children who have had severe disciplinary problems, some involving law enforcement. Sandra Graham has made it a practice to allow her daughter’s to live around “alcoholics” and abusive individuals and in November of 1999, Ms. Graham “was transported to the Rogue Valley Medical Center on a police hold for a mental health evaluation.” Sandra’s detainment was the result of her informing Steve Hartman that she was going to kill herself. Upon receiving phone calls from Sandra wherein she claimed she was going to kill herself Steve Hartman called the Central Point Police (CPP). According to the CPP “Ms. Graham said that she made comments about taking a bunch of muscle relaxers and putting herself out of her misery.”
It is the well qualified opinion of the US~Observer that DHS is too busy stealing children from innocent parents (to create permanent placements and therefore more federal dollars) too afford them time to properly investigate the cases where children should be removed from a dangerous environment.
To date Steve Hartman really hasn’t learned much from DHS other than there will be no hearing to hold the mother accountable and thus protect his young and vulnerable daughter.
According to Hartman, “DHS is making Sandra take classes so that she can learn to both recognize and then supervise sex offenders in her home.” Amazing policy DHS! Robert Graham has also been required to take classes and we have been informed that he will be allowed back in the home with Hartman’s daughter once he completes his course successfully.
In a recent interview with Steve Hartman he stated, “It’s obvious to me that Tina Amela is inexperienced in these matters. She has caused me, my daughter and my entire family a great deal of mental anguish over this situation by not knowing her job. The supervisors at DHS are trying hard to cover up her ineptitude. I’ve heard many horror stories about DHS and now I’ve experienced one personally.”
The US~Observer plans to start a campaign much like we did when the director of DHS was Kay Toran. Kay Toran was removed from her position and Children’s Services Division (CSD) had to change their name in an attempt to remove the stench.
Don’t miss upcoming editions of the US~Observer wherein we will continue to report on this case and others in our effort to change the way in which DHS does business.
Editors Note: As we go to press we are informed that Robert Graham was sentenced to 20 days in jail, two years supervised probation and mandatory counseling for failing to register as a sex offender while he was living with Steve Hartman’s child…