Family wants justice over toddler's daycare death
BATON ROUGE- The man who claims he helped raise 22-month old Angel Green is demanding answers from the state after she was left in a daycare van on Friday.
The state revoked the daycare owner's license last April. However, Shelia Newman managed to open another facility, without any oversight by the state. Our investigation revealed Monday, the state does not double check to make sure that daycare owners abide by the law, once their licenses are revoked.
Lenise Martin believes that's what led to Angel Green's death.
"Angel was like a daughter of mine," Martin said. "She was special to everybody. If anyone had any contact with Angel, your taking this real hard, sweet baby, very active...had a beautiful smile."
Lenise Martin has two other daughters with Angel's mother. His daughters are Angel's sisters.
"I didn't explain it to them yet," Martin said.
Martin said Angel had just started attending the daycare Newman was running three weeks ago.
"People need to be responsible for their actions," Martin said. "I know it was a mistake, but that's a mistake you can't take back and it shouldn't have happened. It's not like it was her first mistake because this woman had a license taken already."
Tonight, Martin wants to know why the state didn't followup with Newman after her license was revoked last year. In September, she signed a consent order where she agreed not to operate a daycare. However, without any checks from the state, Newman opened another day care anyway without any oversight.
Martin believes Angel's blood is on the state's hands.
"Who else could it be on," Martin asked. "You can blame the sitters of the daycare and how she ran it but the state is responsible. If they would have did their job from jump this would not have happened."
We wanted to know if state polices were under review. We requested an interview with the state for a second day in a row. Instead, we received a statement which didn't answer any of our questions.
The statement from Barry Landry from the Department of Education reads, The procedures put in place by the Department of Children and Family Services worked to revoke the license for the original facility. This is a situation where a woman signed a consent order acknowledging her understanding of the law and the court ruling then immediately broke the law again. Anyone caught operating illegal child cares will be prosecuted."
That's not good enough for Martin who believes once Newman's license was taken away, the state should have followed up with her to make sure she wasn't still dealing with children.
"The state not doing they job to make sure it's not happening," Martin said. "The State slacking on it, sleeping on it. They given you consequences but it's not hard enough....we'll just take your license."
Yesterday, WBRZ spoke to Angel's mother by phone. Today, we were told she was too heartbroken to talk.
Last year, the Department of Education took over licensing daycares. The Department of Education revoked three licenses from daycares since October. Again, it's not part of their procedure to make sure they check back with the daycare owners to make sure they don't open another facility.