A rally was held Jan. 29 in front of the...

A rally was held Jan. 29 in front of the Nassau criminal courthouse against those in the judicial system who were involved in the Thomas Valva child welfare case. Credit: Yeong-Ung Yang

One of the Feb. 19 letters [“Thomas’ death demands answers”] stated that “government jobs are too cushy.” I retired as a senior caseworker in Suffolk County Adult Protective Services, having dealt with some of the most vulnerable — and some of the most dangerous — citizens in the county. I went into more filthy, hoarding situations than I could count. I did this with nothing to protect me except my wits and a cellphone. The job, which I loved, was anything but “cushy.”

The suffering and abuse that led to the tragic death of Thomas Valva appears to be the result of systemic failures involving government, judicial and educational agencies. Hopefully, the investigations will lead to accountability for the failure to protect Thomas and to protocols that will better protect all children.

The letter had a vigilante ring to it, which is dangerous, and will not help protect anyone.

 Maureen Riordan,



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