KUSA - The warning appeared to be quite direct. Should 9NEWS air an interview with a former case worker of the Denver Department of Human Services and should the interview contain "confidential" information, both the interviewee and the interviewer risked the possibility of criminal prosecution.
9NEWS chose to air the interview with Nathan O'Neal on Wednesday night because we believed the interview did not violate confidentiality laws. We have yet to receive any word from the Denver Department of Human Services whether or not their attorney believes that to be the case as well.
The story focuses in on DDHS' s involvement in the case against Wayne Sperling and his common-law wife Lorinda Bailey. Earlier this month Denver prosecutors charged the pair with felony child abuse after Denver Police say they found four of their children "non-verbal" and living in filth. The children, ranging in ages between two and six, were taken away by protective services shortly after the arrest.
But the reporting of 9NEWS has shown the child abuse case is not the first one involving Sperling and Bailey. In 2006, Denver prosecutors charged them with misdemeanor child abuse. The case eventually led to them losing custody of three of their children, but 9NEWS' interview with O'Neal showed the two were allowed to keep two younger children who were born after the 2006 case.
O'Neal told us he urged DDHS to not allow children to go back to the home, but said he felt like he was overruled at the time by his employer. He resigned this year.
This week's "Inside Story" is with 9NEWS reporter Chris Vanderveen.
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