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Former CAS executive director charged

William Sweet, former PEC CAS executive director

The former executive director of the Children’s Aid Society of Prince Edward County is facing 10 counts each of Criminal Negligence Causing Bodily Harm and Fail to Provide the Necessaries of Life.

The Ontario Provincial Police charged William Sweet, 67, of Picton, following allegations of wrongdoing in connection with the operation of the agency between 2001 and 2010 that placed foster children in area homes.

Sweet did not foster children but is linked by being an official in charge of the facility placing children with foster parents who have since been charged and convicted in child abuse cases.

Members of the OPP Criminal Investigation Branch (CIB) began an investigation in early 2016 involving the operations of the former Prince Edward County Children’s Aid Society.

The investigation encompassed a review of previous abuse investigations and convictions, trial transcripts and the outcome of subsequent civil proceedings between 2013 and 2016 – prior to OPP CIB involvement. Police also conducted additional interviews, executed search warrants and seized evidence to put before the court.

Sweet appeared at the Ontario Court of Justice in Picton on Wednesday, May 2. He is to return to court June 6.

Although police will not comment on specific details of the allegations to protect the integrity of court process, they note full co-operation is being received for this ongoing investigation from the Highland Shores Children’s Aid Society.

In 2013, following a review by the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, the Children’s Aid Society of Prince Edward County amalgamated with Highland Shores Children’s Aid. Sweet left the employment of Prince Edward CAS in November of 2012.

Mark Kartusch, Executive Director for Highland Shores Children’s Aid commented, that, “The Society acknowledges the seriousness of these charges and has fully cooperated with the police investigation and will continue to do so,” said Mark Kartusch, Executive Director for Highland Shores Children’s Aid. “Our thoughts are with the young people who were affected and we are saddened to think that this may bring back for them the devastation that they were feeling at the time of the incidents.”

“This is a criminal proceeding. We respect the due process that must unfold,” said Kartusch.

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