SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon admits the “system didn’t work” in protecting a boy in Camillus from his allegedly abusive mother.
Beyond a written statement, McMahon hasn’t been willing to discuss the case because of an active criminal investigation by the Onondaga County District Attorney.
Last month, 44-year-old Susan Orendorf was arrested, accused of abusing her son. Investigators claim she strangled her son, handcuffed him to his bedframe, and grabbed his genitals as discipline.
A former child care provider of the boy claims she called CPS, witnessed an interview of the boy, and is angry the mom kept custody of him.
Ryan McMahon made his first comments about it as part of this week’s edition of “Newsmakers with Andrew Donovan.” “Newsmakers with Andrew Donovan” will air Friday, October 14th at 12:30 p.m. and re-air Saturday, October 15th at 5:30 a.m. and Sunday, October 16th at 5:30 p.m.
“What happened to this little boy is horrific,” McMahon said, reminding the community his family helped found the McMahon Ryan Child Advocacy Center.
McMahon says his budget funds the center and other related organizations “millions more” than previous budgets.
“If anyone tries to tie this to finances,” McMahon said, “they are blatantly wrong and dishonest. This had nothing to do with money.”
McMahon commits to changes within his Department of Family and Child Services but says he’s not able to detail a plan yet.
He said: “We’re going to let the district attorney finish his criminal probe with this individual who appears to be a sociopath and at the appropriate time, we’ll lay out all of the facts and details that we’ve seen and we’ll lay out what our strategy is to make sure these things never happen again.”
“We have ideas on what went right and what didn’t go right and what went wrong,” he added.
McMahon shared some new information about the case. He said many of the investigations done by Child Protective Services involving the Camillus Family were “unfounded,” meaning there wasn’t enough evidence to pull the boy away from his mom.
“We need to look at unfounded cases differently now because the system didn’t work the way it was supposed to,” McMahon said.
When it comes to his case investigators, McMahon asks the community to pause its judgment.
He said: “Unwarranted criticism and unnecessary criticism when all the facts aren’t out, doesn’t help us in protecting kids.”
Susan Orendorf is facing charges of strangulation, imprisonment, forcible touching, and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child.
She’s out of jail on bond. An Onondaga County Grand Jury is hearing her case and will decide whether to indict her.