Criminal indifference: How child welfare officials on Long Island failed little Thomas Valva
Added 02-16-20 04:13:02am EST - “Justyna Zubko-Valva must have felt she was going insane over the past year, as she repeatedly begged judges, child welfare officials and even the U.S. attorney general to investigate whether her ex-husband, NYPD Transit cop Michael…” - Nydailynews.com
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Justyna Zubko-Valva must have felt she was going insane over the past year, as she repeatedly begged judges, child welfare officials and even the U.S. attorney general to investigate whether her ex-husband, NYPD Transit cop Michael Valva, and his girlfriend Angela Pollina, were abusing her young children, Thomas and Anthony. She believed the couple starved, beat and locked her autistic sons overnight in their freezing garage as punishment for wetting the bed.
Thomas froze to death last month. Prosecutors say Michael deliberately left him overnight in the 19-degree garage.
While the justice system may well render Valva and Pollina guilty of a heinous crime, people and institutions whose job it is to protect children and who exhibited stunning indifference and ineptitude share responsibility.
Teachers and others at the boys’ school filed multiple official child maltreatment reports alleging Thomas showed up to school with a black eye and was too skinny, and that Anthony “has been staying in the garage,” was coming to school “soaked in urine” and his father and stepmother knew and “fail to adequately address the concern.”
Over and over, court records shared with the Daily News’s Graham Rayman show, a judge and child welfare officials closed the cases quickly, with little evidence they’d seriously investigated.
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