Family files suit in death of Glenara Bates

Posted at 11:02 AM, Dec 17, 2015

CINCINNATI -- The family of a toddler investigators said was starved and tortured to death is suing Hamilton County.

Desena Bradley, the grandmother of Glenara Bates, is accusing the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services, Hamilton County commissioners and other officials of misconduct.

The family filed a wrongful death suit in U.S. District Court on Thursday.

The family is asking for compensation for the girl’s death, as well as for pain and suffering. They are also asking for punitive damages against the defendants.

Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said 2-year-old Glenara was “tortured” to death by her parents. He also accused Job & Family Services of “dropping the ball” in the case by putting the child back in her mother’s care.

The defendants in the suit include: the Hamilton County Department of Job and Family Services, Hamilton County, Hamilton County Commissioners Greg Hartman, Chris Monzel, Todd Portune; JFS Director Moira Weir, and former caseworkers Shamara Stephens and Kassie Setty; as well as the girl’s parents Andrea Bradley and Glen Bates.

The suit claims that a series of bad decisions and misconduct lead to Glenara being put back into the “squalor and depravity” of her parents’ home. It also attributes the girl’s death to the alleged misconduct of agency.

The family claims the evidence shows Glenara was functioning normally while in foster care, but abuse was evident when her mother took her took Children’s Hospital because of her inability to walk.

In the suit, the family argues that despite signs of abuse and neglect pointed out by physicians, the agency decided to return the girl to her parents.

The suit levies charges of wrongful death and civil rights violations against the agency and the county.

Two Job & Family Services workers who were involved in the case resigned in April.

In early April, the agency acknowledged that the case was mishandled with officials saying "a preliminary review shows we failed to follow our own policies and procedures."