Cumberland Times-News

February 2, 2014

Outrageous

Probe of abuse must be carried out to the fullest


Cumberland Times-News

— The more we learn about the allegations of ongoing child abuse at the Potomac Center in Romney, W.Va., the more we are angered and disturbed.

West Virginia State Police say there is a potential of up to 10 suspects being involved in the physical and sexual abuse of as many as a dozen children between the ages of 7 and 17 — half of the 24 children who were part of the center’s Intensive Training Program.

Police believe the alleged abuse may have taken place for as much as 18 months before it was reported in January.

In addition, numerous former employees of the center and parents of the children are complaining about how Potomac Center has been disseminating information about the situation.

Potomac Center has 180 employees, and 82 of them have been affected so far — 50 of them being laid off because Medicaid has stopped sending payments to the facility.

The center’s chief executive officer has described the nature of the alleged abuse as demeaning, disrespectful, degrading and intolerable. If the allegations prove true, they also constitute an outrageous violation of trust ... trust that some of our most vulnerable children would be properly cared for, rather than subjected to abuse.

Also, the darkest of shadows has been cast upon on people who were employed at the center and executed their duties in an honorable fashion. They deserve better. Hopefully the community will not shun or maltreat them because of someone else’s suspected impropriety.

The most thorough of investigations must be continued until all of the facts are brought to light and the appropriate steps are taken.