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“Vindication” for Chris Perkins?

February 4, 2008
By

The Great Falls Tribune in Helena, Montana reported on Monday that former superintendant of Maryland’s Victor Cullen Academy Chris Perkins is waging a public campaign to clear his name. Perkins abruptly resigned in December amid allegations that he abused children while the director of the Swan Valley Youth Academy, in Condon, Montana, from 2003 to 2006. Perkins was hired last July to head the recently re-opened Victor Cullen Academy, but failed to disclose to Maryland Department of Juvenile Services Secretary Donald Devore that he was fired from Swan Valley in February 2006, after the allegations first surfaced that he and a subordinate “placed youth at risk of being physically and emotionally harmed,” according to licensing authorities in Montana.

Informed of the Montana officials’ findings by City Paper in late November, Devore announced in early December that he had promoted Perkins to director of statewide detention facilities. The Washington Post and Baltimore Sun picked up the story, and when City Paper obtained and published a previously sealed report by the Montana Child and Family Services Division that substantiated allegations of criminal child abuse, Perkins resigned and refused to answer City Paper‘s questions. Though Perkins had contested the Montana criminal allegations back in 2006, no hearing ever took place to afford him a full adjudication, and the allegations were dismissed for lack of prosecution by Montana’s child and family services division. Local and state law enforcement agencies declined to prosecute the matter criminally, citing lapsed statutes of limitation and difficulty in locating witnesses. Now, Perkins tells a reporter at the Great Falls Tribune, “I think that I need to be vindicated both procedurally and legally.”

Other than announcing that Perkins is armed with six three-ring binders of what he claims is exculpatory evidence, the Great Falls Tribunedoes not say exactly what Perkins is aiming to do with the information. In the article, Perkins points out that he has retained a Montana attorney.