« Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit 2-1 panel reverses Judge Barker in Grote and consolidates Grote with Korte | Main | Ind. Law - "Experts: Recast sex offender bill unconstitutional" [Updated] »

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Ind. Gov't. - Still more on: Judge Bonaventura named as the new Department of Child Services (DCS) director

Updating this ILB entry from yesterday, Bill Dolan reports for the NWI Times in a story headed "Lake County leaders give governor high marks for Bonaventura selection." It begins:

CROWN POINT | Leaders of Lake County's law enforcement and legal communities cheered Lake Juvenile Court Judge Mary Beth Bonaventura's appointment to oversee the investigation of child abuse and neglect.

"She'll knock ’em dead in Indianapolis," Chief Superior Court Judge John Pera said Wednesday afternoon. "She is the most cooperative, solution-driving person I know and a dear friend."

A story by Mary Beth Schneider and Tim Evans in the Indianapolis Star is headed "Choice of Mary Beth Bonaventura as DCS chief is praised." Some quotes:
Advocates for children, along with lawmakers in both parties, were hailing Mary Beth Bonaventura, Gov. Mike Pence’s pick to head Indiana’s Department of Child Services.

In hiring Bonaventura, a Lake County juvenile court judge, the state is getting someone with both the strength and compassion to deal with one of Indiana’s most difficult problems: protecting children from abuse and neglect.

Pence called Bonaventura “uniquely qualified” to head DCS. She has dealt with difficult issues affecting children since 1993, when she was first appointed to the bench by Gov. Evan Bayh, and has also served on state panels that address children’s civil rights, welfare and services.

Bonaventura will take over an agency with more than 3,000 employees — a number that will grow as Pence and the legislature are backing funds to hire more people to take on a stressful job at a time when the agency’s record has been both praised and criticized. * * *

Democrats have been particularly critical of the DCS management, but their reaction was best summed up by House Minority Floor Leader Linda Lawson. As Pence’s news conference ended, she threw her arms around Bonaventura and hugged her.

“Thrilled, thrilled,” Lawson said, saying she has known Bonaventura for 30 years. “She has the right idea about kids and what’s good for them. . . . She’s warm, she’s compassionate but she can be as tough as nails when she has to be. She can come down on parents. She can come down on the system when she has to, and she does.”

The ILB has had a number of entries on Judge Bonaventura over the past years. One of them links to this long July 8, 2012 story by Marisa Kwiatkowski in the NWI Times, headed "A day in CHINS court." See also this June 6, 2011 ILB entry, this July 6, 2010 entry, and this Jan. 30, 2007 story headed "Mary Beth Bonaventura to talk about MTV series filmed in her courtroom."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 31, 2013 08:23 AM
Posted to Indiana Government