DCF Investigation Clears Former Bulkeley Coach Of Violating DCF Client Privacy

(CBS Connecticut) — The state Department of Children and Families finds that no violations of its policy occurred, after the agency investigated allegations that a former Bulkeley High School football coach who also worked for DCF revealed private details of a student’s DCF history to other players.

The probe was considered a human resources investigation of a state employee.

That investigation found that although some other coaches said former coach Pablo Ortiz discussed apparent DCF case information about students, none of the students mentioned had active cases with DCF.

“The human resources investigation determined the allegations that Social Worker Ortiz discussed or disclosed confidential DCF information about students was unsubstantiated,” wrote Human Resources Specialist Gabriel Blackburn in the report. “As no violations of policy occurred, the HR investigation will be closed with no further action.”

Ortiz says he never verbally or physically abused players.

“It’s not something that would ever cross my mind,” Ortiz said. “For me it is more about keeping the kids safe, keeping them out with me.”

He spoke at an AFSCME union office in New Britain with his son, and two former players. Because the Human Resources investigation reviewed his actions in connection with his job at DCF, he was represented by the union.

“Was I perfect? No. Did I get upset? Yes.  All coaches do. But for the life of me, I would never demean, or put a young man down,” Ortiz said.

Ortiz says DCF also cleared him in a second investigation involving child protection.

Ortiz declined to release a copy of the letter he received informing him of that finding.

DCF says state law prevents it from releasing information about a child protection investigation.

Ortiz continues to work for DCF.

He says he hopes to return to coaching, but would have to speak with his family, before considering if he would want to coach for Bulkeley High School again.

Ortiz says he is considering his legal options.

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