Attorney General requests to dismiss complaints against five defendants in DeBrodie case

1 year 11 months 2 weeks ago Wednesday, June 13 2018 Jun 13, 2018 Wednesday, June 13, 2018 5:07:00 PM CDT June 13, 2018 in News
By: Naomi Klinge, KOMU 8 Digital Producer and Jared Smith, KOMU 8 Reporter
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JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Attorney General's office filed a motion Tuesday to dismiss civil rights violation charges against the state employees involved Carl DeBrodie. DeBrodie was found dead in a Fulton storage facility last year. 

These state employees are separate from the five people facing criminal charges for DeBrodie's death. 

The attorney general's motion states that even if all allegations against the defendants are true, they are not sufficient enough for valid claims against the state defendants.

The defendants and the Department of Mental Health are alleged to have licensed and certified Second Chance Homes, the private facility caring for DeBrodie, but the motion states this does not prove that the defendants had intent to harm DeBrodie. 

The attorney general's office also said these five  were unaware of any facts that could have led them to think that DeBrodie was in any danger. Therefore, the motion explains the claims should be dismissed.

But DeBrodie's former guardian, Mary Martin, said anyone involved with the case should be tried and prosecuted.

"Yes. They really should be punished. There needs to be a better check system in place," Martin said.

Martin claims that the Department of Mental Health (DMH) should be held responsible for the death of DeBrodie.

"I thought that every person that is apart of DMH as a client as a worker that sees them once every three months," Martin said.

The motion also explains DeBrodie was not in state custody, but in a private facility.

The Attorney General's office sees this as a non-state issue. 

The filing also claims these state workers should be protected by the qualified immunity doctrine.

Qualified immunity says federal law shields government workers from things performed in their official capacity.

Through this doctrine, the Attorney General's office sees no proof that these state officials violated DeBrodie's constitutional rights.

The claim of qualified immunity does not sit well with Martin.

She said, "I agree that the [Second Chance Homes workers] had more responsibility in the sense of the day to day and the nurse and the CSS, and all of that, but DMH, they're going to have to keep up with their clients."

 The defendants included in the motion to dismiss were the Missouri Department of Mental Health Mark Stringer and Divison of Developmental Disabilities Valerie Huhn, Wendy Witcig, Marcy Volner, and Wendy Davis. 

The list did not include Anthony R. Flores, Anthony R.K. Flores, Sherry Paulo, Mary Paulo, and Shaina Osbourne, who were charged with various criminal counts last Tuesday concerning DeBrodie's death.

Assistant Attorney General Michael Pritchett filed the claim Tuesday.

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