City Paper is not for tourists
On Friday, Youth Today broke the story that Roque Gerald, the new head of the embattled D.C. Child and Family Services Agency, had sex with a patient during a counseling session in 1989 and was subsequently sued. The case was eventually settled after appeals reaching all the way to Virginia’s supreme court.
(For the record, LL is personally embarrassed that the scoop eluded him, seeing as the first item in a Google search for “Roque Gerald” brings up a summary of the suit. That’s not to to take away from Youth Today, who are totally fuego.)
Gerald has either refused to comment to the press or has been unavailable to comment on the matter, but yesterday morning, Gerald sent out an e-mail to CFSA staff responding to the revelations. “I have not made any public comments,” he wrote, “but my personal statement to you is the following. Twenty years ago, I made an error that I recognized, regretted, and admitted immediately. I have continued to regret it ever since. That one-time lapse was a painful lesson, but it strengthened my commitment to the high standards I lived before and have upheld every day since.”
“Nothing will erase my regret over the past,” he continued, “but I was very relieved that it will not undermine support for CFSA at this critical time.”
The full e-mail is after the jump. —-Jason Cherkis and Mike DeBonis
From: Gerald, Roque (CFSA) Sent: Mon 21-Jul-08 7:14 AM To: CFSA – All Staff Subject: My Message to you
Dear CFSA Colleagues:
This past weekend, media delved into my professional history and reported a lawsuit against me from nearly 20 years ago. Many of you have probably seen the coverage, and everyone within CFSA deserves to hear directly from me about this issue. I want you to know that I fully disclosed that part of my past to the City Administrator and Acting Attorney General when they approached me about serving as interim director of CFSA. They did not see it as a barrier, and the Mayor’s office responded to media queries with their full support throughout the weekend.
I have not made any public comments, but my personal statement to you is the following. Twenty years ago, I made an error that I recognized, regretted, and admitted immediately. I have continued to regret it ever since. That one-time lapse was a painful lesson, but it strengthened my commitment to the high standards I lived before and have upheld every day since.
Pushing on in my personal and professional dedication to service has been my way of re-establishing credibility over the past 20 years. This past weekend, I received supportive calls from several stakeholders important to CFSA who have known and worked with me for a long time. Nothing will erase my regret over the past, but I was very relieved that it will not undermine support for CFSA at this critical time.
In fact, tangible support from many quarters for all of us at CFSA is very high. On your behalf, I am determined to accept help and make the most of these opportunities to regain our footing and move ahead. At the same time, your diligence is essential to re-stabilize CFSA and provide the best services possible to children, youth, and families. Continuing contributions from each and every one of us have never been more important. I sincerely believe we can work through current issues and continue to meet all our commitments to those we serve. I believe in our collective resilience, I hope you believe in it as well, and I thank you sincerely for your deep reserves of dedicated, professionalism, and capability that inspire this confidence.