BOSTON (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Our role at FOX 25 is to bring
you stories that matter, and demand answers when you're not getting them. We get your tips, we hear your calls, and we push for change. We ask tough questions of government leaders, and we demand accountability.
This week Governor Deval Patrick changed his position and announced he'd hired a Washington D.C. based group to perform an independent investigation of the Department of Children and Families.
It came more than a month after we learned about the case of a missing 5 year old Fitchburg boy, Jeremiah Oliver, who is feared dead. Mismanagement at DCF led to the agency losing track of him.
Just three weeks ago, when FOX 25 asked Patrick if he wanted an outside review, he said it was already being done, by the state's Office of the Child Advocate. That's an office that is appointed by him.
Fox 25 Political Reporter Sharman Sacchetti has stayed on this story because viewers wanted answers, and you asked us to get them.
Sure enough, this week, the governor changed his mind and said he thought an independent review of DCF would be wise.
"It's okay to ask questions and expect answers and then, in the end, demand accountability. I mean that's that's how we get things done," said Laurie Myers, child advocate and VOICES executive director. "We're in a role, we have to protect kids here. And if there's something we're doing or not doing, we have to know what that is so we can change it."
In two weeks, lawmakers on Beacon Hill will hold hearings on what went wrong at DCF. So, public pressure can in fact make all the difference. It made a difference when it came to welfare reform and EBT cards.
Under intense public pressure, lawmakers and the governor agreed to a controversial measure, to put photo ID's on EBT cards. It came after repeated reports of fraud and abuse, and even a state audit that found benefits were being given to dead people.
It was a story FOX 25 never let go, because viewers didn't want us to.
Finally take the case of Jared Remy, son of Red Sox announcer Jerry Remy. An independent review criticized the Middlesex County District Attorney's office for not seeking to hold Jared Remy on bail after he was charged with domestic violence.
Remy is accused of murdering his girlfriend, Jennifer Martel, the next day in their Waltham home. At first, Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan vehemently defended her agency's actions.
Under mounting pressure from the public, she called for an independent review.
After the findings were made public, Ryan admitted prosecutors should have done a better job in handling the case.
"People need to get involved. Whether it's dropping an email to you or making a phone call, or calling their legislators, or just asking questions. People need to be that engaged," said Myers. "It's hard now with so many distractions but you know it's good to know that you are getting that type of feedback."
We do what we do, at your insistence, because you deserve answers. So it can be good when you, the viewer, wants us to stay on a story.
You can help effect change.