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Supervisor Perea seeks Fresno County report on slain boy

A family photo of Seth Ireland, a 10-year-old Fresno boy who died after repeated abuse in 2009.
A family photo of Seth Ireland, a 10-year-old Fresno boy who died after repeated abuse in 2009. Fresno Bee file

Fresno County Supervisor Henry R. Perea said Monday he will try to obtain the release of a report about the death of Seth Ireland, a 10-year-old who died after repeated abuse in 2009.

Perea said he wants to bring the matter up during a Board of Supervisors closed session in December.

He joins those who say they want to know why Child Protective Services did not remove the boy and other children from a home where social workers received reports four months earlier that Seth was being abused.

Seth died after he was repeatedly kicked and punched by LeBaron Vaughn, his mother’s boyfriend.

The role CPS played in Seth’s death is the subject of a civil court case. In September, a Fresno appellate court threw out an $8.5 million civil jury verdict and ordered a new trial against CPS, which is accused of failing to protect the boy from abuse.

In February 2013, the civil jury ruled that CPS was partly responsible for Seth’s death because social workers did not properly investigate Seth’s situation. The jury assigned the county 65 percent of the blame for Seth’s killing. Vaughn was assigned 25 percent of the responsibility, and Seth’s mother, Rena Ireland, was assigned 10 percent.

Perea said he wants the matter on the agenda on either Dec. 8 or Dec. 15.

He said he wants to know “what went wrong and how can we fix it.”

Although two courts have ordered Fresno County to turn over an investigative report to Seth’s father, Joe Hudson, the county has not done so.

On Sept. 30, the appellate court ordered the county to release the report to Hudson’s attorney, but the county refused, saying it might challenge the court’s opinion in California’s Supreme Court.

Perea said he wants to know if there is a legal reason the report cannot be released.

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