Calif. won’t investigate claims by Dugard
Associated Press Writer
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – State corrections officials said Thursday they do not intend to investigate Jaycee Dugard’s claim that she spoke with parole agents while she was held captive at the home of a convicted rapist, even though the information had not previously been disclosed.
“It was new information. We did not know that,” said David Shaw, the corrections department’s inspector general. “It’s more evidence that they (parole agents) weren’t doing the job.”
However, Shaw said Dugard’s revelation provides too few details to warrant reopening an investigation that already documented numerous instances in which authorities missed opportunities to rescue Dugard, who was kidnapped from her home in South Lake Tahoe when she was 11.
Nor will the inspector general’s office try to interview Dugard, now 30, to get more details, Shaw said. She previously had declined to speak with investigators, he said.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is content with the reviews already completed by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, the inspector general and the Sex Offender Management Board, said spokeswoman Rachel Arrezola.
Dugard’s revelation was in an attorney general’s report that was given to state lawmakers before they approved a $20 million settlement with Dugard and her family last week. It says Dugard spoke with agents who were supervising Phillip Garrido, but the agents never followed up to verify her identity. Garrido, who fathered two children with Dugard, has pleaded not guilty to kidnapping and rape.
The report does not say where or when the conversation occurred. Attorneys for the state and Dugard said they could not provide more details because negotiations that led to the settlement are confidential.
“For us to go back and talk to her now, we probably won’t,” Shaw said in a telephone interview. “I’m not even sure, with the settlement, that she wants to talk to us.”
Dugard and her daughters, ages 15 and 12, claimed that parole agents did not properly supervise Garrido, nor follow up on clues that could have led to their discovery after nearly two decades in a secret backyard of Garrido’s home in the eastern San Francisco Bay-area city of Antioch. They finally resurfaced last August.
The corrections department and inspector general previously disclosed that parole agents talked with one of Dugard’s daughters in 2008 but accepted Garrido’s explanation that she was a niece.
More details could be revealed at the trial of Garrido and his wife, Nancy, said Terry Thornton, spokeswoman for the corrections department. Nancy Garrido also has pleaded not guilty.
Thornton said the department is satisfied with its internal review and the inspector general’s report.
“The personnel issues have already been handled internally, so at this time CDCR considers this matter to be fully investigated,” Thornton said. She would not say if anyone was disciplined or give any details.
“It’s not our policy to discuss personnel issues,” Thornton said.
Earlier Thursday, Schwarzenegger told reporters that “we are going to get to the bottom of it so it doesn’t happen again.”
However, he was referring to following through on recommendations from the completed reports, Arrezola said. In addition, the corrections department is continuing to review its parole policies to look for improvements, she said.
Schwarzenegger said he intends to sign the legislation authorizing the $20 million settlement.