CHARLOTTE, N.C. — After a rebuttal email from Department of Social Services (DSS) director John Carroll began circulating and was printed unattributed by the Daily Courier, Associated Press (AP) reporter Mitch Weiss responded, “We stand by the story.” The facts in the AP story make it clear what the true story is.
The AP who had been in contact with Carroll over the last week was not sent a copy of Carroll’s email. The email was released to a Charlotte reporter just minutes before yesterday’s press conference and used in an interview with former WoFF member John Huddle. The State’s response, however, was not forwarded as well.
RC Catalyst has made a public records request for all of the communications between the State of N.C., DSS director John Carroll, and the Associated Press.
Carroll’s email, used without attribution as the Daily Courier’s Editor Note today, is copied below:
Hi Rob. Here is a statement. If you can, reply back and let me know that you received it.
Contrary as reported in recent articles appearing through the Associated Press, Kirk Randleman, Assistant Attorney General acting on behalf of the State of North Carolina, approved the 2005 settlement agreement in Word of Faith Fellowship et. al v. Rutherford County DSS et. al.,1: 03 CV 298. Without this approval, Rutherford County DSS would never have entered into the agreement.
The email from Mr. Randleman, dated in January, 2005, occurred six months prior to the settlement date. Mr. Randleman was subsequently invited to participate, and did participate, in mediation sessions between the parties in the case. Mr. Randleman assisted in developing the protocol for screening, initiating, and investigating child abuse cases involving members of the Word of Faith Fellowship. He assured Rutherford County DSS that the protocol developed in the settlement agreement 1) was consistent with state policy; 2) protected the children of Rutherford County; and 3) enabled Rutherford County DSS to fulfill its statutory obligations to protect children. On June 21, 2005, United States District Court Judge Lacy H. Thornburg approved the entire settlement.
Any assertion that the state did not approve of the settlement agreement is not correct.
This information was shared with Mr. Mitch Weiss last week as part of a statement issued by the Department.
John Carroll, MHDL