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Brandt's adoptions not connected with agency violations, director says


Sept. 1, 2012

Brandt's adoptions not connected with agency violations, director says

By Mark Gokavi

Staff Writer

DAYTON — ACTION Inc., the private adoption agency alleged child rapist Kenneth Brandt used to adopt his children, was found to have 12 violations of non-compliance with state guidelines. The agency’s director said none of the violations involved Brandt’s adoptions.

An Ohio Department of Job and Family Services spokesman said the infractions did not warrant termination of the license held by executive director Patricia Hill and that ODJFS accepted the agency’s already-completed corrective action plan.

“In response to the horrific allegations in Miami County, we launched a complete review of the case, including a review of ACTION Inc.’s entire operation and the agency’s compliance with state and federal adoption regulations,” said ODJFS spokesman Benjamin Johnson. “We monitored ACTION Inc. closely as they implemented their corrective action plan.”

Brandt, of Troy, adopted three children from Texas and was in the process of adopting a fourth when law enforcement officials said an investigation revealed that Brandt had raped three boys under age 13 in his care and prostituted one son out to Beavercreek’s Jason Zwick and Dayton’s Patrick Rieder.

Brandt faces 31 counts of felony rape in Miami County and seven similar felonies in Montgomery County. Zwick faces three counts of rape in Miami County while Rieder faces four counts of rape in Montgomery County.

Johnson said the most serious violations uncovered by an investigation involved safety procedures. Those included a safety audit that did not contain signatures, an adoptive parent medical statement not dated by a physician, no documentation that a well water test had been completed for an adoptive parent record and that volunteers and interns from the University of Cincinnati were not subjected to criminal background and reference checks.

Brandt had been approved to be a foster parent in Miami and Montgomery counties and was a youth basketball coach and involved in many community and church activities.

“You could go through any file and you could find a missing date or, you know, some minor little thing,” Hill said. “You can find that anywhere with any agency. With this particular case, everything was looked at… . You cannot begin to understand how we felt (about the allegations).”

Johnson said in the past year ODJFS has completed 131 complaint reviews of the state’s estimated 252 certified public and private children’s custodial, placing and service agencies. None lost their license as a result of the review. ACTION was certified as a private adoption agency in 2006 and its current two-year certification runs through February 2014.

Hill said activity at the agency did slow down during the investigation but that they are open for business and typically go “above and beyond” the state’s requirements for licensing adoptive families.

“We work very diligently here to identify loving adoptive homes for our children from the foster care system,” she said. “That was our mission from the time we started. That continues to be our mission.”

2012 Sep 1