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Maine's director of child welfare, Todd Landry, resigns after scathing watchdog report

The Maine State House is seen Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in Augusta, Maine.
Robert F. Bukaty
/
Maine Public
The Maine State House is seen Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, in Augusta, Maine.

Maine's director of child welfare resigned Monday, citing personal reasons. Todd Landry's departure comes a little more than a week after a watchdog agency found the state's child protection system repeatedly failed to ensure the safety of an infant who died in 2021.

Landry was hired to lead Maine's office of child and family services in 2019 following the high-profile deaths of two children whose families had been involved with the state's child protection system, 10-year old Marissa Kennedy and 4-year old Kendall Chick.

But in the nearly five years Landry has served as director, the office has continued to face scrutiny for failing to adequately protect children. The deaths of four children in June 2021 led to a series of investigations. The most recent review found "errors on top of errors" in the state's handling of a case where an infant died from abuse by his father. And caseworkers have told lawmakers that they're overworked as the office is hemorrhaging staff.

A spokesperson for Maine's Department of Health and Human Services says that the child care system in Maine was strengthened under Landry's tenure.

Bobbi Johnson, who is currently the associate director of child welfare services, will serve as the acting director while DHHS searches for a permanent replacement.