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Panel Recommends Settling Okla. DHS Llawsuit (Dec 21, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - An Oklahoma Human Services Department panel has recommended settling a lawsuit that alleges abused children in the agency's care are at continued risk of harm.

The DHS Human Services Commission voted 6-3 late Tuesday to authorize its chairman to sign settlement papers if the Contingency Review Board also approves the settlement. That panel is to meet Dec. 28.

The New York-based group Children's Rights filed the suit seeking class action on behalf of 9,000 children in DHS' care.

DHS Director Howard Hendrick says the settlement requires the agency to make improvements but the details of the plan still have to be developed. Hendrick says the settlement terms are confidential.

The Contingency Review Board consists of the governor, House speaker and Senate President pro tempore.


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