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County child welfare agency ex-head pleads guilty in backlog case

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The former head of a county welfare agency in northeastern Pennsylvania is guilty of endangering children by concealing abuse allegations to clear a backlog of cases. J

oanne Van Saun pleaded guilty Tuesday before a county judge in Harrisburg to endangering the welfare of children and two counts of obstruction. Sentencing is set for December. She resigned as Luzerne County’s director of the Department of Children and Youth Services in Luzerne County after her arrest in July.  Her attorney, Patrick A. Casey, declined comment. The 58-year-old Van Saun was accused of setting up a team led by three senior aides to address a backlog of nearly 1,400 cases.

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