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Lawmakers Want Confidential Information Related to Dezirae Sheldon's Death

Lawmakers want confidential information related to Dezirae Sheldon's death.
MONTPELIER - Lawmakers want confidential information related to Dezirae Sheldon's death.

The Senate Panel on child protection introduced a resolution Wednesday to get subpoena power. That would allow them to compel witnesses to testify in front of the committee, and would allow them to get access to documents that aren't public record.

"Certain court documents might be confidential that we might want to look at," said State Sen. Dick Sears (D-Bennington).

It would also give the panel access to Dezirae's confidential record at the Department for Children and Families. Commissioner for DCF Dave Yacovone says he wants to hand the record over, if he can.

"I want to comply, I want to be transparent," Yacovone said. "Now's the time to be transparent. And we want to be, assuming the law allows us."

The records would remain confidential even after the senate panel obtains them.

Dezirae's mother, Sandra Eastman Duby, is now on the sex offender registry.  She was supposed to be on it all along after a 2008 conviction involving a 15-year-old boy. The panel discovered the mistake last week, prompting them to ask more questions and consider the subpoena option.

The senate panel has about a month to secure the subpoena power. Lieutenant Governor Phil Scott, also President of the Senate, says he will consider the resolution a bill, and refer it to the proper committees--potentially judiciary, health and welfare, and appropriations--before it hits the senate floor.

Dezirae's stepfather Dennis Duby has been charged with her murder. In addition to the criminal investigation and the senate panel's investigation, there are internal and external investigations going on into DCF.
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