One question left by the recent trial and conviction of Arlan and Linda Kaufman: Why did their abuse of mentally ill residents in a Newton group home go on so long? An article in Tuesday’s Kansas City Star noted that federal prosecutors in Kansas were first presented the case by investigators in 1990 and made a decision not to prosecute in 2002. U.S. Attorney Eric Melgren declined to specifically discuss the 2002 move but offered two lines of reasoning to The Star: “We file when we are able to amass a solid case,” and “Mr. Kaufman was a remarkably pugnacious individual.”
But the state’s paper trail on the Kaufman home’s “numerous problems” dates from June 1984. It’s unacceptable that residents were allowed to remain at risk for so many years. Lawmakers and the governor need to reassure Kansans that changes have been or will be made to prevent such a horror story from reoccurring.
Posted by Rhonda Holman
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