DCF ordered to rehire agency critic

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — An arbitrator says the Department of Children and Families did not have just cause when it fired a youth services officer who has been an outspoken critic of the child welfare agency.

Arbitrator Susan Brown directed the agency to reinstate Cornell Lewis to his position at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School in Middletown. She said in Friday’s ruling DCF must also compensate him for lost wages.

Lewis was fired a year ago for allegedly failing to supervise youth under his care in 2012. The agency also put his name on an abuse and neglect registry.

Lewis, who is black, has criticized DCF for having what he calls a racist attitude toward black employees.

A DCF spokesman said it is reviewing the decision. The agency can appeal the ruling in court

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